Running 7 Figure eCommerce Business Nohma from a Campervan with Charlie Low and Dale Comley (episode 423)

Charlie Low and Dale Comley are the co-founders of Nohma (at time of recording called Climbingvan) – an extensive resource for self-build campervan converters that’s evolved into a successful eCommerce business they run whilst living and traveling in their own campervan. Founded in 2021 they now generate over 7 figures a year via their WooCommerce site.

Charlie Low & Dale Comley ClimbingVan on eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast

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About Nohma (called Climbingvan at time of recording)

Charlie shares that their first eCommerce product was actually their book, The Van Conversion Bible. They decided to write the book when they finished their own van conversion a week before the first lockdown in the UK.

Since then, the business has grown to include the electrical side of things, which covers selling electrical products and designing full bespoke systems.

Laying the Foundation for Nohma

Prior to starting their van conversion business, Dale and Charlie already had a following on Instagram, where they shared the process of how they converted their own van.

When they launched their business after the release of their book, Charlie says people already trusted them in a way because of the personal connection they built over social media and through the book.

AND… if you want to hear more about Charlie & Dale’s Startup Journey, you can hear their startup-story focused chat on the Start Your Own Business Podcast.

The Nohma Team

While it was originally just Charlie and Dale doing everything, they eventually brought on their first engineer in 2022. They’ve since added two more engineers who work on the electrical systems side of the business. Dale says having actual qualified engineers from different engineering disciplines their customers can speak to is important to them and makes them stand out.

They also have someone handling operations and two content writers. One content writer is focused on the technical aspect and research, while the other handles the less technical content.

Scaling a Startup Even With Constraints

Dale and Charlie run their business in such a way that they try to balance working and traveling.

Charlie explains that they work when they feel most productive, regardless of the time of day or day of the week. She adds that working slightly fewer hours and at less conventional times helps them get more work done.

Working from their van full time also has its limitations. They don’t hold face-to-face meetings, and they don’t physically hold stock and send things out themselves. Their set-up has taught them to let go of control in a way and has driven them to look for and work with the right people.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Content writing, SEO, and ranking well in Google are long-term traffic strategies for Nohma, according to Dale. He mentions building well-thought-through content for 3 different audiences: the pure reader, those who use search engines so they can discover Nohma, and the journalists and big media outlets.

Tool Top Tip

Dale gives three tools they can’t live without:

  • Slack communication platform
  • Monday project management software
  • Google Sheets

Growth Top Tip

  • Focus on all marketing aspects of your business because the incremental gains you get from each, when added together, will add up to something significant.

Interview Links

Related episodes

  • Tiny Business, Big Money: Strategies for Creating a High-revenue Microbusiness with Elaine Pofeldt (episode 374)
  • Taking a fast growth carbon reduction focused startup to 7-figures with Byway Travel’s Cat Jones (episode 397)
  • Customer Clarity and Growth Focus with Buderflys’ brilliant Shea Gerhardt (episode 412)

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