Nik Hawks is the co-owner of multi award winning Paleo Treats – the best paleo desserts in the world. They started the business from their kitchen table in 2009, and now wholesale and sell worldwide shipping over 1 million desserts since they started and with a turnover fast approaching $500k.
About the business
- eCommerce Business Structure – Online Only
- Product Range Scale – niche
- On Shopify
- Based in San Diego, ships everywhere, mainly to the USA
- Fave Plugin = LiveChat
Getting Started in eCommerce
Before he started Paleo Treats, Nic dipped his toe into a couple of entrepreneurial ventures to see what would work best for him. He first got his introduction to online sales and marketing back in 2004, when he was in Iraq doing security contract work and noticed fundamental security issues.
He built a website that would help teach people how to address those problems, and although it didn’t work out, he did not give up on his eCommerce journey there. Nic explored another online business opportunity with his wife, Lee, the following year wholesaling t-shirts.
They went out of business, learned what not to do, and used that knowledge to finally launch Paleo Treats.
Small business is not a question of doing everything perfectly; it’s about making as many mistakes as you can early on, learning from them quickly, and adapting quickly to new information in order to recover and press on.
Listen to be inspired by the initiation and growth of a career in eCommerce.
The Paleo Treats team consists of six employees. Nic and Lee consider customer service to be the most important aspect of their company, so they keep that part of the team in-house. They have people running operations, graphics, front desk, and social in-house as well. Nic and Lee started off baking the products in their home, quickly realized the inefficiency of that plan, and hired a local bakery to bake for them with given instructions.
Paleo Treats initially catered to the CrossFit audience, unsure of who else might be interested in products labeled “gluten free” and “paleo.” The audience has since shifted and is now comprised of three main focus groups: performance athletes, busy moms, and men who have had some sort of health scare but don’t have time to cook. Setting up the live chat on their website and having discussions with their customers is how the Paleo Treats team has discovered who their audience is and what drives them.
Listen to learn the fundamentals of customer service and getting to know your audience.
Diving into the World of Podcasts
Before he knew much about podcasting, Nic was brought onto his friend’s podcast, Sofre, to speak about his business. He was pleasantly surprised to experience a massive increase in sales come in through Sofre after the episode launched, which inspired him to launch his own podcast. Rather than use this opportunity specifically to drive sales, Nic embarked on an exploration of what drives people to do cool things with the desire to share the incredible information he was getting from being a part of the Paleo world.
Most Awesome Thing Right Now
Paleo Treats allows Nic and Lee to explore the intersection of food, small business, health, performance, customer service, and art. They get to wake up every day and do the things they are most passionate and curious about, which makes their business a tool that gives them access to living a very engaging and enjoyable life.
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eCommerce Book Top Tip
eCommerce Traffic Top Tip
- Email drives the most sales.
- You’ve got to continually shape and update your SEO in order to maintain traffic.
You can hear about all this on the podcast, for free – right now…
Tool Top Tip
- Whatsapp to streamline communication across borders.
Growth Top Tip
- Set clear and specific goals. If you meet or do not meet your goals, figure out why and address those issues head on. Recognize failures as signs that you have got some changes to make.