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The Scale Your Agency Podcast | Bright Ideas

Mar 30, 2021

Episode Highlights

[04:14] —
Nathan shares how he started product sourcing

  • His background as a foreign exchange student in China led him to import products from Asia.

  • Sourcify is a B2B eCommerce manufacturing platform helping hundreds of high-growth eCommerce brands.

  • Nathan is also the founder of Bubble Hotels.

[05:27] — Launching Sourcify

  • They initially charged companies upfront to manufacture products for them. 

  • They have teams all over Asia handling supply chains of over 150 mid-sized eCommerce brands and numerous Fortune 500s. 

[06:38] — How Nathan funded Sourcify

  • They went through Y Combinator, which is an accelerator program for startups. 

  • Through the three-month program, they raised $2.5 million.

  • Nathan was one of the only non-technical solo founders to ever go through Y Combinator. Most companies have co-founders and technical teams.

[09:25] — How they acquired their first customers

  • Nathan used his content marketing background to put out valuable content.

  • His approach focuses on providing value and bridging the content space gap instead of pitching.

  • Within the first few months of business, he was writing in major eCommerce blogs. It was possible because he built relationships with the blog owners and writers.

[15:06] — How Sourcify increased its top of the funnel

  • They built a software tool for product management and manufacturing. 

  • Their sourcing teams in Asia do the behind-the-scenes work.

  • At the same time, they can also sell the project management system to the brands they handle.

[17:50] — Questions Nathan considers when building a business

  • Am I going to regret not doing this in the future?”

  • “Is it going to be fun and enjoyable? Is it something that I want to learn?”

[18:24] — Sourcify’s source of growth

  • Sourcify’s growth is all inbound and referral base.

  • Sourcify comes up as one of the top search results when you search China or Vietnam manufacturing.

  • They ask for referrals from existing customers after proving their success in their service.

[19:35] — Sourcify’s customer onboarding process

  • The company sends their specs and samples, which they send to their main office.

  • They'll choose a handful of factories and assess which is the best fit to produce samples.

  • After approval from the customer, they start the production.

  • They make sure to have third-party inspections before shipping the product.

  • Customers either already have specs and designs or want to improve an existing product line.

[22:17] — Gotchas and best practices

  • The main approach is going to Alibaba and other global sources to find suppliers based on the same products.

  • Nathan suggests reaching out to 10 to 20 factories and getting samples from two to three factories. 

  • Getting products from other companies or looking at bad reviews of products helps you see how you can improve — and later sell — products.

  • The 30-70 payment term is the most typical in product sourcing and is where third-party’s importance comes in. The production generally takes 30 to 60 days.

  • Supplier platforms have their internal advertising platform. Hence, the top search results are not necessarily the best supplier.

[28:44] — Going viral with FU

  • During Conor McGregor’s fight with Floy Mayweather, McGregor wore a suit with FU pinstripes.

  • When it went viral, Nathan had the idea to recreate it in other products. 

  • It was a success as their products went viral in a week.