Genevieve Rosen-Biller, the founder of French flax linen company, Bed Threads shares her top three tips for turning a side hustle into a booming business.
According to research commissioned by NBN Australia, a staggering 80 percent of Australians are looking outside of their day jobs for a career they’re passionate about. Based on estimates, one in three of these ‘passion’ businesses will fail within the first year.
However, Rosen-Biller believes this doesn’t have to be the case. After opening her online business in 2017, it took just three weeks for her to sell out of stock. The former journalist says this meant she was able to turn her side hustle into a full-time career.
“I’d spent years working for some incredible Australian publishers, including Fairfax Media and News Corp and I really loved my job as a journalist,” she says. “But I could see that Bed Threads was really thriving and with more attention, could really take off, so I made the difficult decision to quit my job and work on my business full-time.”
According to Rosen-Biller, three simple steps will help other budding online retailers replicate the success she has had with Bed Threads.
“Bring something different to the market”
Accessible price points and quality materials are the two major selling points of the Bed Threads brand. Rosen-Biller originally realised there was a gap in the online linen market that she could fill when she herself tried to purchase bedding for her new home.
“After lots of searching, I found that I was priced out of this option because everything was sold as separates. I was determined to create a luxury product that was affordable and came packaged as a bundle.”
Now, she says Bed Threads is the only Australian e-tailer selling 100 percent French flax linen sets at an accessible price.
“Be willing to get your hands dirty”
According to Bed Thread’s founder, working harder than you ever have before comes hand-in-hand with getting a new business off the ground.
“I’ve never worked harder since working for myself, so if starting a small business is your aim, be ready to take on all facets of the business until you have the resources to outsource them or build a team,” she says.
For Rosen-Biller, this meant operating her e-commerce store’s social media accounts, managing its marketing activities, and handling all aspects of its product development, logistics, accounts, customer service and etc.
“Be willing to work two jobs for a while”
For most people, starting a side hustle is just that, a side hustle. This means that very few people are able to quit their day job as they pursue their dreams.
“It’s important to remember that success doesn’t happen overnight… I began research and product development for Bed Threads in 2014 – just over two years before we actually launched,” Rosen-Biller says.
“You’ll need to work on both your day job and small business for potentially a few years until it’s safe to jump across.”