It’s hard enough to be a start-up business, but when that business is going to be featured on a nationally televised show, things get a little more complicated.
When Megan Cummins was in pre-venture phase with her business, You Smell Soap, she had the opportunity to be on the ABC hit “Shark Tank” where investors, like Mark Cuban and Daymond John, hear a business pitch and decide if they will invest their own money to help entrepreneurs build their business.
Cummins had developed a line of very high end soaps that gives customers the luxurious ingredients and fragrances that they like but with a spunky edge. Some of the scents include “Divine” and “Sweet Seduction”. Cummins describes the product as “luxury meets personality”.
Cummins knew that once the show aired, there would be huge interest in her product. Potential customers would go looking for a website and perhaps even other investors would be interested. Cummins and her fiancé, Aaron Heth, knew it was time to build a website. And quickly.
They turned to Volusion, an e-commerce solution that offered them not only a place from which they could highlight and sell products, but that they felt they could trust with all aspects of helping them run their business from the get-go.
“We were so small, we were a nonexistent company and had the funds to match that,” Cummins said. “We needed a really well-functioning website that would work for a small company and act like a large company.”
After exhaustive research, they settled on Volusion and built their store in just 2 days so they were up and running when the show aired in February 2012. Volusion backed the tiny start-up like it was Amazon, dedicating two servers and even another smaller server for overflow (and to offer coupons and apologies if customers ended up there during a rush).
In the days before the show aired, the Volusion support team called and emailed the duo, giving them advice on what to expect and suggesting tests they could run from their end to ensure there were no hiccups once the visitors started clicking.
“We felt like we were the only people they were dealing with,” Heth said.
The site received more than 100,000 visitors in the weekend after the show aired. Heth and Cummins also tapped into the large array of Volusion partners and found a fulfillment company that helped them fill the orders quickly and efficiently.
Best of all, Cummins and Heth said, they are able to use Volusion for all their own order entering, not just for website customers. For example, Heth said, if they attend a trade show, they can head back to the hotel at the end of the day and enter the orders on the back end of their Volusion site. Those orders go immediately to the fulfillment center, which allows this small business to deliver like a much larger business. Their wholesale customers even have private pages where they can place orders that go directly to the fulfillment center.
Heth and Cummins say Volusion has made running their now booming business much easier, thanks to the simple email marketing and social store, which allows retailers to post products directly on a Facebook page, Pinterest or Twitter.
Cummins says that choosing Volusion was by far the best choice for her start-up business, because “with a real tight budget, we need to automate everything” and the full complement of services at Volusion has offered the company just that.