All journeys start with the first step on the long road towards the goal, full of challenges, opportunities, and adjustments. With this article, I would like to guide you through the beginning of our agency WeScale.
In August 2019, I had just finished working as a CMO in one of the fastest growing eCommerce companies in the region. In four years, we got from 0 to 50 MM € revenue by bringing together the best of Facebook, Instagram, Influencers, Content creation, localization, and direct response tactics to build up a strong beast in the industry.
Selling in 13 different markets, being strongly connected with other prominent players in the market, leading a 30+ people marketing team, and being part of a C-level management, gained us a lot of knowledge in the eCommerce area.
Some of the main areas were: how to grow, fast-paced a/b testing, implementing different growth hacks, opening new markets, introducing new products, dealing with challenges, creating original video & photo content, integrating Influencer marketing in eCommerce, and much much more.
Back to the drawing board: How to scale these results and help more companies?
At 27 years old, after being in the industry for more than five years, I was at the stage where I had to start from 0 again.
To tell you the truth, this was one of the most exciting things in my life.
Being at home, sitting at my table in the bedroom with my laptop and just thinking about what to do next; Like the first time, when I was starting with my own company.
I wanted to do something different, something that will help our partners grow and inspire others in the industry to go out there and do incredible things on their own.
So the first step was the decision on what I wanted to do. It went somehow like this.
I started thinking...
Since I started my journey, I have always loved the performance side of marketing, looking at the numbers, coming up with ideas with a team, and running thousands of tests to find the winning ads for scaling.
So the first part is clear; it will definitely be a performance-oriented company.
The next question for me was: Whom I want to serve?
The answer was easy → eCommerce businesses that sell products that improve people's lives, meaning that I wanted to work with companies that bring smiles and joy to the customers.
I was thinking deeper...
I compared my years in the agency that I owned to the year I worked in-house for an eCommerce company.
They both had pluses and minuses, and after hours of brainstorming with my sister Maja, who is an excellent coach; 100 podcasts that I listened to on my phone while hiking and tons of Zoom calls with my new network of people in the eCommerce area; I thought of ways of combining all of my years of experience.
That's when the ideas of Boutique eCommerce Growth Agency came to life.
Boutique eCommerce Growth Agency as a business model
Sounds interesting, right?
"But what does it mean?" I asked myself, because I wanted a clear picture of what I wanted to do for many years to come.
So the idea was to build a company of ecommerce professionals who love eCommerce and want to create inspiring stories together by learning new things and executing strategies that would help turn branded life-improving products into brands.
By serving a limited number of clients (quality > quantity), we would be able to go deep into each product and create an excellent environment for personal and business growth for our team members and our clients.
That was it!
After going through the plan, I had an idea of what kind of company I want to start building for the next 10+ years. I got super excited about it, knowing this plan will get me out of bed in the morning for many years to come. On the journey, we will be able to work with many amazing people - people we would never meet, if we weren't on this journey and knowledge we otherwise would not have the chance to gain.
All I could say at the end of that day was: Let's go! 🔥
Building a 12-member team in a year with zero employee churn
Super excited with a pretty clear idea, it was time to start.
How did it start?
I started working as a freelancer with three clients that I found within my Facebook and LinkedIn contacts. I got on with testing if I can implement some of my ideas and if they would result in sales growth.
This was in late September and October 2019, only one month after leaving the company. Those who had known me for a long time know that I am awful at taking breaks.
I rented a table in the coworking space near my home and started doing the work.
So the first three projects were all at their beginning, generating 5-15 K €/month and selling in a single country. The fastest way was to start in my own country, because I had some strong contacts here, and speed is always essential for marketing and eCommerce.
I didn't wait to find the perfect name for a one-person agency :); I believed that it would come naturally down the road. I started executing and getting feedback on the market.
For the first couple of weeks, I didn't have much execution to do, since the projects had just begun, so the budgets were small and stock limited, but I decided to go all-in and there were no excuses for me.
I started learning 3-4 hours a day about different growth hacking approaches on digital channels, studying the digital-first eCommerce brands and founders, doing the courses, making notes, and creating a plan at which stage to implement tests.
One precious thing was (and still is) the direct communication with clients; I can clearly remember how many hours we invested in our conversation via Slack, Zoom, or just sitting at the coffee shop.
I still believe that this is one of the best ways to shape your business and relationship because you understand the needs, vision, and business.
The first responses within November & December 2019 were incredible; partners loved the strategy we were discussing. We opened the first new countries together, worked with other freelancers to create content, and scaled the sales results.
That was a massive win for me.
Not only did I get the social proof confirming this is something valuable to work on, but at that moment, the name of our agency was born: WeScale.
From one man band to three musketeers
In December 2019, I decided to transform "me" into "we" and start a WeScale agency to help eCommerce businesses grow.
In order to do that, I needed a team, and I went back to my connections on LinkedIn and Facebook to find the people I wanted to work with.
So my first two hires were directly picked and reached out from my contact lists.
They are Jure & Nika, who I both already knew and always wanted to work with, because I always believed we shared the same mindset.
Jure was first, and Nika joined the company a few weeks later. We met in the cafe, and I explained my vision for the company, what I believe they could bring to the team and what I think we can do together.
I'm super grateful that they believed in me and the idea, so they both said yes, and on January 15th, 2020, WeScale officially became more than a one-man band. We started operating as a team and building infrastructure and systems to empower eCommerce growth in Europe.
With that, the exciting story of WeScale had begun. In less than a year and a half, we have worked with 10 hand-picked clients, built a team of 18 KPI-driven individuals and broke dozens of records. On behalf of the whole team, I would like to thank you for your support; our community, family, friends, partners, mentors, and all the others that helped us start and chase our vision. Thank you!