Why this business was startedI started this business with the intention of building something to fit a market need and then selling to someone with the time and interest in marketing it to capture the market potential. My models suggest this website generates $400k+ a year with a campus ambassador program (described below). In talking to recent college graduates and college students, I realized that furnishing their new dorm room or apartment space is something they all care deeply about - but also something that they don't want to invest TOO much into (that price point is different depending on age/college campus). But everyone is buying posters or artwork to hang on their walls. When I stumbled upon multi-panel canvases I recognized the unique market opportunity among this audience. In addition to this unique style of artwork, I intentionally named the site Dope Wall Decor to be broad enough to not limit my product potential to just this multi-panel artwork. Not only does this current student/recent grad audience have a need for wall decor, but much of this target market also has a desire to make money and generate business experience to put on a resume. A campus ambassador program would enable 1-2 students at college campuses to market DopeWallDecor to their peers, getting a % of commission on sales, with potential for that % to increase if they reach certain sales figures. The ambassador pays $XX a month to you (covering your website operating costs, and then some), and then they get to put this job on their resume all the while making some money while in school, and you keep a substantial % of the sales. If the campus ambassador refers another campus ambassador from another school, and you choose to hire that person, the referrer gets a referral fee and you get organic growth. Even with just 5% market penetration on college campuses alone (not including the recent graduate market), you are making a boat load of money.
The reason of selling this businessI work 90+ hours a week as a business and marketing strategy consultant and I love my job (so don't want to quit to pursue this site) - so while I have the time to build this site, I don't have the time to properly market this site and manage the ambassador program while doing the other job I love. I spent a few weekends building the site, a few weeks doing UX testing with college students and recent grads, and a few more weeks testing out the experience myself (buying a few products to better understand the customer journey), and then making some additional changes. With other life commitments, my day job, and just living life, this took a few months. So I'm finally ready to put it in the hands of someone who is interested in taking this thing to market. I've yet to do any marketing.
What's involved in running this businessI've done the heavy lifting, so from here it's just marketing really. I haven't done any marketing yet, just built the site. I have uploaded a large inventory to the site, but you can continue to add/change products to the site. Otherwise, launching the ambassador program if you likewise believe in its value. Since you don't personally hold any inventory (shipping is done as dropshipping - I'm happy to explain/send you links if you don't know what that means), the website is set up so that when people purchase from your site the product purchasing/shipping process is initiating and all you have to do is watch the $$ come in. Dropshipping is pretty fantastic.
How to grow this businessThe ambassador program as described above
Skills to haveSocial media marketing is a plus, but I don't think that's critical. Most critical, for what I believe will make the most money, is willingness/ability to target college students and/or recent college graduates.
Adam F.Running this business for about 1 year
Based in Boston. Full-time strategy consultant advising businesses - from nonprofits to global fortune 50 companies - on how to better position themselves to capture their target market.
Our features for a secure experience
- Verified revenue and traffic
- Secure messaging platform
- Escrow payment system
- Dedicated migration team