Megan Dahle of Discount Catholic Products and Megan Dahle.com knows a thing or two about heart and business. Before branching out into the world of e-commerce, Megan’s expertise was her as a virtual CFO for small businesses. She uses her gift for teaching and knowledge to dive into the defensive side of small businesses to help them grow. Her adventure into owning her own business began nine years ago when Meagan and her husband wanted to pay off their loans. In order to achieve this, they bought an e-commerce business: Discount Catholic Products..
In this episode, we discuss:
- How your outside skills can benefit your e-commerce goals
- Getting started when buying an existing online business
- Savvy and wholesome advice
If you’ve been keeping up with our podcast, you’ll note that Megan’s story is a little different from others you may have heard so far. Meagan Dahle’s expertise as a CFO for small businesses meant that she was off to a great start when she decided to purchase an e-commerce store, Discount Catholic Products. Megan is not a bookkeeper or a tax person– bubt with a background in accounting, Megan thought it would be easy to dive into the world of e-commerce. However, as it sometimes goes with business, she found her business in a hole. Thanks to her background and skills, she was able to “put on her numbers hat” and figure things out.
How did you get started in e-commerce?
About 9 years ago, Megan and her husband wanted to pay off their loans. They decided to do this through a new adventure, and bought an existing e-commerce store. After some negotiation, they bought their website at a discount price, and were suddenly the new owners of Discount Catholic Products. The brought the business back home from California to South Dakota, where they rented a barn to house their inventory. Megan recounted how during that first year, they used to stay up until 3am fulfilling orders themselves and working inventory. When they eventually hired someone to take over those tasks, they learned about ShipStation, which was a game changer for them. Megan shared that they use Able Commerce (which she has a love hate relationship with), and that the site has gone through a couple versions of redesign.
What do you wish you would have known before you got started?
The answer to this question was a resounding: marketing! Megan knows the math stuff– but marketing and inventory management were two different beasts. She advises business owners to use tools like Google Ads, Facebook ads, the marketplace, email lists, etc. These tools enable you to connect and communicate with your customers. In that communication, Megan points out that you have to love your customers.
When it comes to narrowing down inventory, Megan talked about how it helps when a business can narrow things down to focus on the winning categories that sell. This realization took seven years to hit home and implement.
With all of these lessons has come growth for their business. I asked Megan how she and her husband handle company growth while both working. By growing with their company, of course. They are currently looking for someone to hire to take over inventory and picture management. Growing pains can also create great opportunities.
What is your advice for other businesses?
Do your due diligence! Megan counsels that covering your bases by asking the right questions goes a long way. It’s also important to know what questions to ask. For example, what’s the turnover on your current inventory? This is just one example, but asking questions about your own business helps you to learn and the business to grow. Megan also gave some heartfelt advice: be vulnerable. Communicate with your customers from the heart, and your experience and authenticity will shine through.