Watch: Necole Kane talks challenges of running an e-commerce business

During an interview for theGrio's series "BlackMade," Necole Kane opened up about starting and running an e-commerce business.

TheGrio recently featured Necole Kane on our original series “BlackMade,” and she talked about her journey to creating My Happy Flo, plant-based supplements that help alleviate the pain and discomfort that comes with periods. Prior to My Happy Flo, Kane was known for being a celebrity blogger on her website and then shifting gears and launching the lifestyle website XoNecole.

Necole Kane, Founder of My Happy Flo. (theGrio)
Necole Kane, founder of the My Happy Flo brand of plant-based supplements, also started two media businesses. (Photo credit: theGrio)

Kane opened up about how although she launched two successful media businesses, as an entrepreneur, she still faced challenges.

The following is a transcript of what she said.

Necole Kane: I think people think since I already started two businesses, it just would be super easy for me. But this was in a whole different — Like, e-commerce is just a whole different ballgame than media.

And so just coming in, I didn’t realize you would always be in a negative cash flow, meaning more than likely you’re going to always be in the negative because you have to buy your inventory upfront. And people also don’t know where you’re going into retail, they may purchase, say, 80,000 bottles, but then you have to front the cost of those bottles and you don’t get paid from them until maybe 90 days after they receive the product.

So businesses normally find themselves going out of business if they’re not ready and they go into retail too soon. So, yeah, it’s…it hasn’t been easy at all. It’s been a whole different everything, just learning about how to even move product. People just think you post on social media. You need automations, you need flows, you need lead magnets, quizzes to capture, you know, potential customers’ data, SEO, paid ads, all of that works together.

So yeah, it’s not easy at all. People don’t tell you that when you’re a product-based business, like, you of course have to pay sales tax in your state every month. But then if you reach nexus in other states, then you have to file and pay sales tax in every state you make nexus. So at any given time, you could have nexus in 15 states, you’re filing sales tax and paying sales tax in 15 different states. And it’s just something I never, ever heard anyone talk about when it came to running an e-commerce brand. Like, how did y’all forget to tell about nexus?

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