SBI! Reviews: E-Commerce Store
I began working in a flower shop in late 1994. Although I did all kinds of design work, my heart was in love with wedding flowers. I eventually found myself managing a full time shop, plus handling all the wedding work.
Health began to catch up with me as I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I couldn't take the long hours and heavy lifting, so reluctantly I resigned my position in the fall of 2006.
I was eager to begin caring for my first grandchild, but knew I should be contributing to our finances as retirement loomed over my husband and me.
Where Could I Earn Money?
I doubtfully approached the internet - my experience being limited to some casual browsing on it. I toyed with the idea of selling through eBay, but a short experience with it convinced me that eBay was making a lot more than I was!
When I stumbled across SBI!, I was extremely skeptical at that time due to all of the "get rich" schemes being touted on the internet. If it was so easy to make thousands on the internet, why were they bothering to show them to me?
SBI!, on the other hand, seemed different. In fact, their sales page seemed to caution that if I was looking for fast money, this wasn't for me! Their "sales pitch" made a lot of sense to me, cautioning that it took time and skill to build a quality business. (I was cautious enough to visit the BBB first, making sure there were no complaints against SBI!.)
I liked the fact that I could actually e-mail real websites directly and ask their owners what they thought of their SBI! experience. These people seemed to have nothing to gain personally by responding to me and this seemed a lot more real than those "quotes" you see on the other sites! Laura from www.Cheap-Chic-Weddings.com responded to my e-mail immediately, with a friendly manner and warm enthusiasm for SBI!.
Convinced that SBI! was for real, I wavered on clicking the "Buy" and committing myself. $299 seemed like an enormous investment for me. But I took a deep breath and plunged in, already knowing that I wanted my niche to be built around wedding flowers. That was my area of expertise and passion.
Every Journey Begins With One Step
While I threw my hands up at first, declaring I would never understand how to build a website, I persevered. Despite some pretty big "oops" in the beginning, understanding of the process began to sink in. My Home Page was finally published on May 2, 2007.
Unlike many others in SBI!, who plan their "M" in monetization around Google Ads and affiliate programs, I knew my niche would have to include providing specific hard goods to my visitors. Since I focus much of my attention on teaching my visitors how to create their own wedding flowers, I also knew that many of the supplies were not that easily available or accessible to them.
Having my own online store was the best solution for my brides and me. Because I was so busy, I had someone set up my store's framework, while I worked on my information site. I knew that it was going to be the main traffic generator for my store.
I began with over 400 basic products used by florists for weddings. My first step was to compile a list of the products I actually wished to carry in my store. I then had to meet with my wholesalers to determine wholesale prices, which then had to be marked up for retail.
Whew! It is a daunting task and I can see why SBI! suggests it's easier to have an information site with Google Ads for income. Yet it's been immensely satisfying to build a business one step at a time. I learned the ins and outs of a small warehouse (set up in a basement) and how to pack and ship like an expert.
Sales and More Sales
My first year in sales were over $12,000 and the following year I more than doubled it with over $32,000 in sales. I anticipate continued growth and have had great satisfaction in knowing that my business is growing by leaps and bounds.
The best part? I showed enough progress to convince the manufacturer of my hottest selling products to refer me to a florist wholesaler who is now helping me to take my business to the next level. Because he drop ships my orders, this means that I have access to a warehouse full of products that I don't have to spend a dime on until I sell them! It is pretty much unheard of in the floral industry for a wholesaler to be willing to break cases and do the shipping for you, while giving you the rock bottom case price on all your products.
How did I do this? It was because my traffic on my SBI! site was impressive enough to convince a major manufacturer to want to work with me, personally initiating contact with a wholesaler several states away. I've since flown twice to meet with my wholesaler, hammering out details and meeting with the people who are joining me in my vision for a successful online business.
SBI! allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, putting my skills to work in front of a computer rather than in hauling and lifting all those water buckets for flowers. Since my site went live in May, 2007, I can now definitely say that my income has more than doubled since I was working full time... and I am anticipating huge growth in the coming years.
My unique visitor traffic keeps expanding (one day my unique visitor stats actually broke the 10,000 benchmark) and my potential for growth looks better each time I build a new web page. My pages have been viewed well over eight million times in the last 12 months. That adds up to a lot of Google Ad "clicks" and climbing passive income (with about a 4% Click Through Rate or CTR).
God has blessed me greatly by leading me to SBI. I will never say the learning curve was easy (many times I felt like pitching the computer into the swimming pool!). But I've met so many wonderful SBI'ers - many thru e-mails and several by phone. I actually met one who is now a dear friend. She even offered her hospitality to me when I flew to her state to meet with the wholesaler.
I still have so much more to learn but I have a great many plans for my baby company!
My advice to everyone I meet? Demand a lot from yourself. Dream big, set high goals and don't let anyone deter you from them.