Wateralo is the first business project in which I embark with 2 university classmates. The three of us are driven by the entrepreneurial spirit and decided to start an online store selling stainless steel bottles. This type of bottles were becoming very popular, mainly among students. In addition, the bottles could hold cold water for up to 12 hours, something that is not bad in the summer of Murcia.
A SWOT analysis shows us the Weaknesses, Threats, Strengths and Opportunities of a company. In our case, at the time of initiating the sale, we identified the following aspects:
- Weaknesses: low budget, little business knowledge. None of us had previous experience running a store or a business.
- Threats: we were not the first to sell this type of bottles and the prices of other companies were more competitive. Before sale, we surveyed students around the campus of the University of Murcia to find out if the product was accepted. The result of this survey was that many people either already had one, or knew of a cheaper store to buy it.
- Strengths: we knew our audience better than anyone else. Although a young audience would not pay high prices for a stainless steel bottle, we knew that audience.
- Oportunities: one of our first marketing strategies was to raffle bottles via Instagram along with several tickets to a popular college party. We were able to identify the opportunity and took advantage of it.
What we learned?
This experience lasted a year and a half. In that time we learned:
- Importing products from China through Alibaba’s suppliers
- How customs, duties and other taxes work
- Setting up an online store on Shopify
- Design ads using Facebook Ads
- Manage logistics
- Offer a great customer service