I Began A 5K/Month Facet Hustle Sending Items To Expats [Bangladesh]

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Howdy! Who’re you and what enterprise did you begin?

I’m Iqbal Anwar and I’m the founding father of Tohfabd. I’ve been operating this enterprise since final April 2021. Tohfabd is a web-based reward supply enterprise that enables folks residing in different international locations to ship presents to family members in Bangladesh. On particular events akin to birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Eid, and others, folks from everywhere in the world can ship muffins, goodies, flowers, meals, groceries, and presents to make their family members really feel particular.

Tohfabd presently has greater than 500 Logistics Assist Service Brokers serving all of Bangladesh’s districts. Our audience is primarily from the USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia. We have been in enterprise for nearly six months and have efficiently delivered over 8000 orders with no hassles.

Tohfabd was formally launched in Could, and we have been in a position to appeal to clients from New York, Illinois, California, Virginia, Texas, and different common cities and nations internationally since then. Bangladeshi expats can go to our official web site and choose any merchandise from our in depth reward collections, which might be delivered to their family members’ houses in Bangladesh in lower than 24 hours.

All of our supply brokers have obtained in depth coaching and comply with strict hygiene and security guidelines when delivering merchandise to customers. New and Returning clients may get a 30% low cost on all purchases by making use of the unique promo code “Gift30”.

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Our flagship merchandise are reward objects, muffins, goodies, flowers, fruits, electronics, and equipment are among the many hottest issues in our on-line retailer. Tohfabd is the place to go in case you’re searching for distinctive vacation reward concepts. We ship tasty and opulent sweets to your family members’ doorsteps to have fun particular occasions, whether or not it is mud cake from Shumi’s Sizzling Cake or Premium sweets.

It is ultimate for marriage ceremony favors, company presents, birthday presents, anniversary presents, and different events. A field of recent fruit, a chocolate basket, or an indulgence current can carry our clients the utmost satisfaction and pleasure. Most of our clients select to acknowledge their family members’ particular days with a good looking cake with a pleasant word, therefore we primarily promote muffins. Flowers are included with every current by our supply agent to make it extra elegant and memorable. Our purchasers are all Bangladeshi expats residing overseas.

What’s your backstory and the way did you provide you with the concept?

I grew up in Dhaka, Bangladesh. After finishing school, I went to realize my Bachelor of Know-how from the Indian Institute of Know-how (IIT), Kanpur, India. And Grasp of Engine Engineering and Enterprise Administration from the College of Wisconsin, DePaul College respectively. Then I bought settled within the USA. I’m presently residing in Lisle, Chicago.

At present, I’m working as COO, CFO of Poepping, Stone, Bach, and Associates Inc. I’ve 5 years of expertise in logistics and delivery service. I Co-founded a peer-to-peer delivery firm named Airposted.

Through the use of our platform, clients from Bangladesh can order any merchandise from the USA and get them delivered to their doorstep making cross-border delivery simplified. I’m additionally working as a FedEx franchise in Lisle, Chicago. Not too long ago, I’ve launched the primary home peer-to-peer courier supply firm in Bangladesh named Parcelmagic.

I’ve at all times missed my household again dwelling as a Bangladeshi expat. Their presence has at all times captivated me. It was practically laborious for me to keep away from seeing them as a result of pandemic, as I used to see them a minimum of twice a 12 months. I attempted to recollect their birthdays, anniversaries, and different important dates whereas in Bangladesh.

Nevertheless, I’ve been unable to take action for the previous two years attributable to a difficult state of affairs. I used to be sitting in my home, depressing, when inspiration struck. The thought was to launch a web-based reward supply service that will enable Bangladeshi expats like myself to ship presents, muffins, flowers, and groceries to their family members in Bangladesh.

By no means quit and at all times have a backup plan in case Plan A fails.

I knew this was the suitable idea since I’ve at all times needed to create happiness, and as an entrepreneur, I’ve at all times needed to ship one thing that will make my customers pleased and content material. For the previous ten months, Tohfabd has successfully offered hassle-free supply. There have been a few “aha” moments, one in every of which was notably memorable for all of us.

A husband residing in the USA needed to ship a kachhi field to his Bangladeshi spouse. She was anticipating a baby and had a powerful need for kachhi. The pleasant supper was delivered to our supply agent’s beautiful spouse’s dwelling. The spouse smiled as she accepted the meals, and he or she had pleased tears in her eyes as nicely. That second was indescribable as a result of we had succeeded in bringing pleasure and happiness to our buyer’s life.

Under is a few of our buyer’s suggestions on Fb:

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Take us by means of the method of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

As we’re offering reward service to our clients, we solely do not manufacture any product, what we do is create stunning customized reward concepts for our purchasers holding completely different events in thoughts. As soon as a present package deal or hamper order is positioned, our in-house supply staff collects all of the reward objects from our enlisted native distributors ASAP, wraps it up with stunning reward wrapping paper, and goes with our clients’ necessities so as to add a private message throughout the reward field. We offer a present card and a rose with every reward package deal we ship

Deciding on presents is usually a tiresome course of so we designed the web site holding in thoughts the way to simplify the gift-giving expertise. We saved each reward class individually e.g. – birthday reward, anniversary reward, muffins, flowers, goodies, and so forth. In consequence, the need of every buyer might be met. After a buyer locations an order from our web site, distributors get notified on their web site. Some clients don’t have any web site so for them, we talk with them straight and place the order.

At first, it was fairly difficult to onboard distributors as they weren’t acquainted with the concept of individuals sending presents to Bangladesh. Initially, we onboarded a couple of cake distributors because the cake is the preferred reward merchandise everywhere in the world. And we bought an incredible response! After that, we acquired many different reward merchandise distributors. Every vendor will get a 15% fee for every sale. We offer our deliveryman an app with which they’ll replace order standing and we will monitor deliveries.

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Describe the method of launching the enterprise.

We began with a small staff of eight members. Initially, I employed some internet builders and designers in Bangladesh who constructed the web site. We used Laravel to design the web site and it took round 6 months to finish. We took 15 days for testing and launched on 24 April. Our launch day was filled with festivities. We celebrated by reducing a cake and adorning our workplace with balloons and festoons. It was a really joyous day for all of us as we had been working very laborious to launch this service. And our happiest second got here with our first order! We delivered all the things correctly and the receiver was very glad with our service. We actually felt that we’re delivering happiness.

Then progressively we began outreaching the Bangladeshi neighborhood from USA’s completely different states and launched Tohfabd by means of numerous cultural occasions taking part as co-sponsor. Although we could not take part in lots of occasions due to COVID-19. In 2021, we participated in an occasion of the Bengali Affiliation of Dallas – Fort Price (BA-DFW). Please discover a couple of footage of these occasions below-

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We did influencer campaigns with two common USA-Bangladeshi. Please discover the pictures below-

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Additionally, I promoted our service by means of Fb advertisements, and slowly we began to accumulate extra clients from the USA, UK, and Canada. As we’re very new within the reward service business and there are already some established reward service suppliers on the market for a few years, we needed to constantly provide reductions on all of our reward objects, in addition to ensure our service stays top-notch on the similar time.

Since launch, what has labored to draw and retain clients?

As we’re nonetheless rising and attempting to extend our on-line presence for tohfabd.com; we’ve began to generate leads with Fb Adverts campaigns, and despatched emails to outreach Bangladeshi Expats communities from the USA, Canada, and the UK to introduce Tohfabd as a present supply service. We bought a great response by taking part/sponsoring completely different cultural occasions the place all of the Bangladeshi expats got here in and we distributed promotional flyers/playing cards with signup reductions.

This gave us good publicity initially to construct a loyal buyer base, additionally as soon as we began operating Fb Adverts by concentrating on Bangladeshi expats we began getting increasingly guests to our web site. Right here’s our visitors overview of the final 3 months:

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As we’ve not too long ago began specializing in website positioning, we’re extra centered on content material and we began so as to add partaking content material into our web site’s most essential pages first. Additionally, we began outreaching intently related area of interest bloggers and PR websites that match with our focused service or key phrases, to submit visitor posts and PR supplies. As for PR protection, we revealed an AD to Prothom Alo – The preferred newspaper in Bangladesh.

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As we’re fairly recent with the web site and progressively getting ranked in Google for sure key phrases, for additional enhancements and higher UX, we’ve already provide you with a brand new model of the web site and planning so as to add an on-site weblog from the place we’ll be usually posting reward associated articles and infographics to assist out reward lovers and finally it will assist us create extra authority over our content material. Under sneak peek of our latest progress in Google by way of natural ranks and visitors.

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To maintain our current clients within the shopping for cycle, we periodically ship Mailchimp emails and messages by means of Fb to our clients with new gives and reductions, additionally we re-target our most frequent and beneficial clients by means of Fb Adverts utilizing Google Analytics & Fb Pixel information (Screenshot given beneath)

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As most of our buyer is interacting with us on Fb, we constantly push increasingly artistic photos and content material by means of our Fb and Instagram, beneath screenshot of a few of the most engaged posts we had not too long ago on each Fb and Instagram:

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Right here’s a breakdown of tohfabd.com web site’s present visitors information (December’s general visitors stats):

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With Tohfabd, To date we’re nonetheless prospecting and progressively creating a powerful buyer base from an viewers that’s scattered in numerous components of the world, we haven’t reached our revenue milestone but (proper now making appx. 3000-5000 {dollars} month-to-month) however very quickly hopefully with correct advertising technique and method, we might be there! (our goal is to ship a minimum of 500 orders month-to-month and make 10K USD per 30 days)

Whereas your online business thought could have been implausible when it was first developed, lots can have modified by the point you begin. To remain forward of the curve and achieve success, entrepreneurs should be capable of pivot.

As we plan to broaden our viewers attain each month to new international locations together with the UK, Australia, Japan, Italy, and France, and so forth. and put extra finances and efforts on different internet advertising channels akin to Google Show Adverts, Search Adverts, Youtube Adverts, and so forth. to see us the place we’ve pictured ourselves in subsequent one 12 months. In the meantime, we’re additionally including new personalised reward objects and packages on daily basis with our current checklist of reward objects, so our clients discover all of the presents in a single place to have fun each event!

Via beginning the enterprise, have you ever realized something notably useful or advantageous?

Having a contactless supply to our buyer’s residence all through the epidemic was the one wonderful resolution we made. We had a tough time making certain a easy supply throughout the lockdown, however our logistics help suppliers got a motion go and bought coaching from the pinnacle of operations. To supply a hassle-free supply to our customers, they maintained hygienic facets in addition to WHO-certified healthcare necessities. Because of this motion, we now assume that something is feasible with laborious work and devotion. By no means quit and at all times have a backup plan in case plan A fails.

What platform/instruments do you utilize for your online business?

We use Fb Enterprise as our major platform for Adverts and Google Analytics and Google Search Console to watch and monitor all of the visitors information, conversions, and so forth. As our most buyer acquisitions occurred by means of Fb until now, we usually run advertisements on Fb and Instagram platforms for brand spanking new buyer acquisition. Additionally to keep up and monitor all of the social media posts underneath one place we use Hootsuite as our major social media device.

For e-mail advertising we use Mailchimp to ship out all of the promotional gives to our current and potential clients every now and then, additionally as we not too long ago put extra effort into Google’s natural visitors, due to this fact we began to make use of website positioning Instruments like SEMRUSH, Ahrefs, and Surfer website positioning for aggressive evaluation, key phrases rank monitoring and content material advertising technique.

What have been essentially the most influential books, podcasts, or different assets?

As we run advertisements usually on Fb and began specializing in website positioning we usually keep watch over the business’s high neighborhood websites akin to Search Engine Journal and AdEspresso to remain updated with all new algorithms and updates from Fb and Google.

Recommendation for different entrepreneurs who need to get began or are simply beginning out?

The startup business is a really aggressive place. Whereas your online business thought could have been implausible when it was first developed, lots can have modified by the point you begin. To remain forward of the curve and achieve success, entrepreneurs should be capable of pivot. Acquire suggestions out of your beta testers and make the required adjustments to fulfill market calls for. Conduct polls and surveys to acquire a greater data of the difficulties that your audience is coping with and to begin engaged on options. The bottom line is to by no means cease innovating.

Are you seeking to rent for sure positions proper now?

At present, we want to rent a full-time in-house content material author. Candidates could apply at this e-mail tackle.

The place can we go to be taught extra?

When you’ve got any questions or feedback, drop a remark beneath!


 

Iqbal Anwar
 
Founding father of Tohfabd

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