Episode 19

7 Day Startup Journey

Feat. Nathan Shearer Founder of Butter Coffee Australia


The Seven Day Startup
Nathan's Seven Day Startup Journey
Running Meetups in Perth
Is Australia a Good place for Ecom?
Amazon's Launch in Australia
Shopify vs. Woocommerce
The Future of Ecommerce in Australia
What is Click Funnels?
Nathan's Call to Action


Nathan started his ecommerce journey in 2014. He grew from zero to sales in seven days. In this episode, he shared his successful but challenging journey.

Nathan’s ecommerce journey started with a book called The 4-Hour Work Week, written by Tim Ferriss. It was the introduction to the idea of anyone becoming a successful entrepreneur. Nathan was attracted to this idea. But the book didn’t give any advice on tactical ways to become an entrepreneur.

He decided to read more books to find out a tactic. Then, he came across a book called The 7 Day Startup written by Dan Norris. Nathan gave us a summary of the book.

Dan Norris was running a web design agency. It was a successful business, but the labour was starting to be overwhelming for Dan. One day, he read The 4-Hour Work Week. After reading the book, Dan came up with the idea of re-framing his web designing business.

During that time, blogging and podcasting had exploded. People were using platforms such as WordPress. Dan decided to implement his new business framework in this area. He aimed to charge a smaller fee but have more people use his service. Therefore, he pitched to his friends and families that were blogging. He offered to develop their blogs at a low price. They showed interest in his pitch. This was the first day of his startup.

On the second day, Dan made his business framework a bit clearer. He came up with the business name on the third day. Day four involved preparing a location for people to pay money for his services. Now, he needed to reach out to his target audience. The best platform was to join bloggers on podcasts. Dan came up with this on day five. Day six was when he realised the importance of metrics. Finally, he made his services open to the world on the seventh day. Dan’s new business went from zero to six figures.

Based on this story, Nathan started his 7-day startup journey. He said he was so fascinated by this simple framework. His business idea ticked all of the items on the checklist of the framework. This is his version of a 7 Day Startup.

At the time, Nathan was interested in health and nutrition. During his healthy journey, he stumbled across Bulletproof Coffee. Nathan enjoyed the coffee and resonated with the approach of its creator, Dave Asprey. He became a sort of evangelist and told his surrounding people about its benefits. Nathan even bought them at bulk discounts and sold them to his friends. Then, he came up with the idea of becoming a re-seller.

He was enjoying it. It was scalable, and Nathan’s idea was on the right track. On his third day, he tried to think of a business name. He looked up for bulletproof and found a competitor. According to Nathan, their SEO was terrible. Nathan did his research and found the second-highest search term for Bulletproof Coffee. That was ‘butter coffee’. He made it into his business and domain name. He reflected and said he didn’t realise how powerful it was in SEO.

One day, Nathan heard that Dave Asprey was coming to Perth for local radio. He aimed to get his store mentioned in the radio programme. It would boost his startup business opening. He contacted the radio station and offered to help during the interview as a re-sellers of Bulletproof Coffee. Nathan thought of making them Bulletproof Coffee. Unfortunately, it is against occupational health and safety to go into a corporate office with hot beverages and not have a license. The radio station notified Nathan at the last minute.

Instead, Nathan went on to forums and blogs about Bulletproof Coffee. After the radio with Dave Asprey, Nathan found a forum post asking where you can get Bulletproof Coffee in Perth. He put a little comment saying that he has just started selling it. That person became Nathan’s first sale on the seventh day of his startup journey. After that, his business grew from zero to six figures in six months!

The point of this framework is to hit the targets each day. Nathan said if you can’t get through the checklist for that day, maybe it’s not the best idea.

The next topic was Amazon. Nathan had been running meetups in Perth. When Amazon came to Australia, he made an Amazon Meetup Group with other ecommerce owners. With Amazon FBA and the dropshipping model, many people were finding success. Nathan was also one of them.

Simon then asked about the effect of law changes on ecommerce. In Nathan’s opinion, he saw doing business in Australia was difficult at the time. GST and regulations played a role in the difficulty. Nathan referred to when Amazon came to Australia. They took a long time to get their business started. He said, “…[I]n a nutshell, you need to have some business support…”

Nathan had also experienced difficulties when he tried to import charcoal supplements to Australia. One day, a TGA government agent told him he needed to close his store. Otherwise, he would risk a $3 million fine or six years in jail. He talked with the agent and found out that he needed to register his supplements with the TGA. It can cost around $1500 to $2000 per product line in a year.

Nathan shared his hopes about Amazon changing the regulations. “[I]f something is going to change the regulations and make things a lot easier, it’s something as big as Amazon.” He admitted that Amazon is a danger to smaller businesses. However, he also admitted that Amazon created that platform for smaller ecommerce businesses.

The two touched on changing shipping expectations in Australia. Then, they talked about ecommerce platforms. Simon asked Nathan which he would recommend, Shopify or WooCommerce. Nathan used WooCommerce because he had a little bit of coding knowledge. However, he had trouble with a PayPal plugin. He lost 40% of his sales because he couldn’t provide a PayPal option. Therefore, he recommended Shopify as it is easier to set up.

Simon then asked Nathan his opinion of the future of ecommerce in Australia. Nathan said he thinks Australia won’t be having any dodgy products coming in. For example, low-quality products from dropshipping. Australia’s TGA regulations are reliable. He also raised the difficulty of the Australian market compared to America’s market.

The last topic of this episode was ClickFunnels. ClickFunnels is Nathan’s other business. They provide a tool that helps businesses keep track of their marketing metrics. Upon building this business, Nathan followed the 7-day startup process again. It was deemed successful, and he gained sales in seven days!

Lastly, Nathan’s call to action was to simplify. Simplify whatever aspect is in your business. If you can automate any process, it will give you more leisure to grow your business.

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