Want to Chuck in Your Job and Set Up Shop Online? Here’s How.

Working for the man can suck. Conforming to the whole 9 to 5, Monday to Friday thing, selling products you don’t like, wearing pants. So why don’t you chuck it all in? Become your own boss. Become the CEO of your own life. Setting up shop can be a daunting thing, especially if you have to find an actual IRL shop to work out of. But going down the online path means (a) you don’t have to worry about pesky overheads; (b) you can spend more of your cash on things like inventory; (c) you can reach a much wider audience; and most importantly (d) pants are 100% optional.

In the latest installment of Taking Care of Business, we got BFFs and the owners of online beauty and lifestyle store Outergold, Carney Nir and Bridget Rusk, to talk us through how and why they decided to become their own online bosses.

If you want to know the precise steps it takes to build an online store, sign up for Outergold’s Pedestrian Coach session HERE.

Why did you decide to start your own online store?

There were two main reasons. As we both work full time in music, we were doing most of our shopping online. We couldn’t find a beauty store that we liked that was similar to the clothing sites that we liked to shop at. Most sites were very pink and girly, which is not us at all! We also couldn’t work out why we couldn’t find some of the amazing brands that we’d discovered on our overseas travel in Australia – so we decided to make our own store. I think there was definitely wine involved when we made that decision.

Did you have any idea how to run an online business before you started?
We both have marketing, e-commerce and business backgrounds so we had some decent experience, which was definitely helpful to us. But we’d never actually owned our own business before, and we both work in music, not within the beauty industry. As experienced as we might have been in some aspects of the business, there were definitely curve balls along the way that we had no idea about!

How long did it take to go from initial idea to first sale?
It took about a year from having the idea to going live, and luckily we have amazing family and friends who purchased items that very same day. We spent A LOT (some might say too much) time developing ideas about how we wanted the brand to look (down to fonts and what colours we could/couldn’t use), what sorts of topics we’d cover in our blog, the sort of customer we wanted to appeal to and who we’d love to collaborate with. After we got a very clear idea of what our brand would be, it took about 3 months to build the website, and around the same time to source stock. We were both working full time so were working on Outergold outside of our normal work hours, so I’m sure it could have been done much quicker!

What’s your favourite item currently stocked in the store?
The Rodin olio lusso face oil is amazing, I use it every day, winter or summer. It’s Rodin’s signature product for a reason. We also love all the uslu airlines lipsticks, particularly SAW and BIR.

If you could only use three beauty products for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Lipstick, mascara and moisturiser. It’s pretty much the 3 items we both use religiously every day anyway!

What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given?
Keep remembering the vision you have for the brand and refer to it when making any business decision. It would be easy for us to bring on a bigger brand that we know would sell a lot of stock, but it may not be the best fit for our brand or our customer. It takes patience to see this out and say no to opportunities that bring you short term benefits, but you have to have the long-term vision always at the forefront of your mind.

Where do you wish Outergold to be in the next five years?
We hope that it will be a major alternative to the big department stores for beauty and cosmetics. We have a tonne of other great brands we’d like to add to our selection and you’ll likely see some collaborations down the track. We really feel that there are a lot of women out there like us who would like to buy online from an Australian store, so we just want to do our best to make sure they are well looked after.

To get some more tips on how to set up your own online store, sign up to get coached by Outergold.