How CaliConnected grew to $100k/month

CaliConnected is an online headshop marketplace. In addition to all the incredible products we ship from our warehouses, you can now browse and order items from a number of other vendors and new brands on one platform.

Each of our awesome vendors is vetted for their reliability, and we handle all customer service inquiries on their behalf. Every product page shows where the item will ship from with real-time fulfillment and shipping estimates.

We will also be providing this great service to retailers with Dropshipping services available via our public Shopify app, Smoke Source starting later this year. 

πŸ“ˆ Monthly revenue: $90,000

πŸ“ˆ ~% Churn: N/A

πŸ“ˆ ~% Net profit: ~29%

πŸ“ˆ Funding: Initially Bootstrapped | Secured a $100,000 note from investors last year

πŸ“ˆ Initial cost/investment to start the company: Basically nothing, just a few thousand dollars for initial inventory and software needs

πŸ“ˆ Number of team members: 5

πŸ“ˆ Number of founders: 2

πŸ“ˆ Started 2018, April

How does the company make money?

πŸ’° We sell bongs, dab rigs, vaporizers, and CBD ranging from a few bucks to several hundred.

πŸ’° We will be selling B2B subscriptions for retailers to access our inventory on our Shopify app Smoke Source. 

3 strategies that have worked to attract and retain customers? 

βœ… Affiliate Marketing Program: Creating our own affiliate program has allowed us to attract new customers and be more involved in our community/industry. We use an app called Affiliatly to run our network and track orders for marketers. 

βœ… Thank You Cards: Handwritten thank you cards with a $5 gift card for first-time customers helped us retain customers, and set us apart. At first, we used to handwrite these at the end of our shift. When that became too much with our volume, we switched to an automated service using robotic arms to β€œhandwrite” these cards. We now have our own two robots in-house. The robotic arm holds a pen, just like we would if we were to be writing the card.

βœ… Email Marketing: Consistent Email and SMS marketing attracts repeat customers and keeps us relevant in our customers’ eyes. Unfortunately, due to carrier restrictions in our industry, we were recently disallowed from continuing to send SMS. When we had it up and running, it was successful and converted better than Email. We use Seguno for our email marketing. 

3 things that you’ve learned about hiring and retaining great talent?

βœ… Four day work weeks really do work. Structure your company from the beginning with this workplace environment; it will be easy to grow with it. As the study showed in Europe, we, too, did not see a drop in productivity. Your employees will appreciate it too.

βœ… Be involved. Know who your employees are and what is happening outside the workplace. Know that productivity will come in waves in a healthy workplace environment. Keep goals fluid and adaptable in order to move with whatever outside forces are hindering productivity.

βœ… Cross-train. When your team is small, this will increase individual and overall productivity and keep your team motivated because they are not doing the same redundant task every day. They will also be more willing to collaborate on projects when they know more aspects of the business. At the end of the day, your company will be more sustainable and agile when employees are cross-trained.


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