How I built a small business using market insights
Building a small business can improve your monthly incomes. Here I share how I built my own small business that sold bicycle locks, yes bicycle locks.
In 2015 while searching for my first design position in Barcelona, I worked in the delivery department at Glovo, an on demand delivery service application.
I purchased, picked up and delivered products to the clients ordered through the mobile app.
One afternoon, while I was inside a store, somebody stole my bike. I then bought a new bicycle and two strong locks. Three months later, when I started my first design job, I decided to sell all the equipment that I used while working at Glovo on Wallapop, (a local second-hand market app). This included my bike, basket, and two locks.
After uploading my items to sell, I received many messages from people that wanted to buy the locks. I didn’t understand why, but I realized that this was an opportunity that I needed to investigate.
I wanted to start a business selling bicycle security solutions, at a fair price
My goal was to start a business selling bicycle security solutions, at a fair price. While doing market research, I uploaded 20 different locks for sale to Wallapop, in order to confirm that there was a real need in the market. Actually, I didn’t have the locks, and I only wanted to know if there would be a lot of interest.
That first week, I received a large volume of requests for the locks from various types of people, students, employees, families and also Glovo delivery employees.
There were still many questions that I had to answer in order to start my business:
Where will I buy locks?
Where will I store all the locks?
Do I need to open a shop?
How can I invoice the clients?
I found a supplier that agreed to sell me a small amount of locks at a good price. I decided to sell from Wallapop, so I did not need a store. I then needed to search for a solution for the invoices. I wanted to be able to create an invoice from my phone, so I could sell anywhere. I found the app, Invoicebee. This app allowed me to create an invoice from my mobile and my PC.
After three weeks, the business was going well. I talked to the clients in order to get feedback to further develop the business.
Some examples of the feedback were:
1. People asked to buy two locks with a discount, so I started to sell two locks at a discount. This increased the volume of business right away.
2. Some questions were always repeated:
A. What is the difference between the types of locks?
B. What is the best way to use the locks?
C. Which are the best locks?
I decided to answer the questions and share this information with them with a new Facebook business account.
People from all around Spain also wanted to buy the locks, but I didn’t have a process to deal with that, so I decided to build an e-commerce store. The store was created with the Woocommerce platform, integrating the Stripe payment gateway and the Packlinkpro shipping platform. Giving me the option to sell outside of Barcelona.
It was a very successful side business, that covered 30% of my expenses.
I learned from it 4 important things:
1.How to identify when there is a need in the market.
2.How to grow a business with feedback from clients.
3.How to study the market and how to evaluate the products.
4.The necessity to market products in many ways in order to be successful.