21 February 2024

Rohan Gilkes of Wet Shave Club: Transforming a $4K Investment into a $350K Business

By Ronald Smith

I want to tell you about this amazing guy named Rohan Gilkes. He took someone else’s brilliant business concept and turned it into a super successful venture. Let me spill the beans on how he did it!

So, there’s this awesome company called Wet Shave Club. They send out a monthly box full of stuff for guys who love old-fashioned, traditional shaves. Now, Rohan wasn’t the original founder, but he saw something special in this idea. He realized it had the potential to be a huge success.

Guess what he did? He decided to buy out the original owner and take control of the business. And get this – with just a $4,000 investment, he managed to rake in a whopping $350,000 in revenues in less than a year! Can you believe it?

Now you must be wondering, how on earth did he do it? Well, Rohan and his team of four incredible people worked their butts off to make it happen. They had a brilliant plan, and they executed it flawlessly. And let me tell you, it paid off big time!

But don’t just take my word for it. I’ve got something exciting for you. You can actually listen to Rohan himself spill all the juicy details in the full interview audio, right at the end of this article. How cool is that?

USamerica.US: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

Rohan Gilkes: Before I started my online business, I used to work as an accountant. But I wanted to have more control over my own life and work for myself. So, I started reading blogs to learn about Internet marketing, and that’s how I got into building businesses online.

USamerica.US: What’s the story behind Wet Shave Club?

Rohan Gilkes: Someone else had started Wet Shave Club about six months before I even found out about it. I was hanging out on Reddit when I came across a post from a guy who wanted to sell the business. He had been running it for a while and had managed to make about $300.00 per month. However, he felt like all the effort he was putting in wasn’t really paying off, so he decided to sell it.

Long story short, I ended up buying Wet Shave Club for $4,000.

USamerica.US: So it’s been almost a year since you opened. You spent $4,000 to acquire the domain and some of the existing customers – basically, the few customers the previous owner had. Where are you at now?

Rohan Gilkes: As we wrap up our first year, we’re looking at around $350,000 in revenue and just over 1,500 customers.

USamerica.US: That’s so cool. Can you tell me what you did in the beginning to get more customers interested?

Rohan Gilkes: The very first thing we did was take a close look at how the website looked and changed it to be more welcoming and easy to understand for customers. We also redesigned the packaging and added a few more products. To make our business even more successful, we increased our prices by nearly three times.

USamerica.US: Oh, wow! How long did it take for the number of people signing up for our services to start increasing steadily?

Rohan Gilkes: It took about another two months or so, mainly because we didn’t have a lot of people visiting the website. However, we were able to double our conversion rates, which put us in a good position. The only thing left was to figure out how to bring in as much traffic as possible.

USamerica.US: How were your conversion rates at the beginning?

Rohan Gilkes: Initially, our conversion rates were around 1.5 percent. But by the end, they had increased to just over three percent. This means that out of every 100 visitors to the website, we could expect three of them to sign up for our service. This is great for a regular eCommerce store, and even better for a subscription box because our offers require customers to sign up on a recurring basis.

Rohan Gilkes: My main goal was to connect with influential individuals in the wet shaving community and introduce them to our new branded products. If you were someone who moderated a forum, had a substantial following on Instagram, or a thriving YouTube channel dedicated to wet shaving, we made sure you received a special box from us. This box contained our top-notch products and it only cost us around $10.00 to put together. The great thing about this strategy was that those who saw the box and trusted the recommendations of these influential individuals were instantly drawn to subscribe to our services, leading to a significant boost in our subscriber numbers.

So here’s what I did—I turned to regular folks on social media. You know, everyday people who love having a chat. We wanted to spread the word about our brand, so we ran contests. To enter, you had to tweet about us or send a message on Instagram or email. This way, we could tap into the wet shaving community and have them share our experience with their friends and communities.

Now, let’s talk about our blog. It played a big role in driving up traffic. We would share videos from manufacturers featuring people who were into wet shaving. We also posted reviews of our box and shared it all on social media. But the catch was, folks had to come back to our blog to watch those videos.

So, when you’re checking out our blog, guess what? A little window pops up asking if you want a sweet deal – like a cool five percent discount – in exchange for giving us your email. And you know what? It worked! We collected thousands of emails from people who maybe didn’t sign up right away, but that’s okay. Because now we can keep reaching out to them and maybe even convince them to join us in the future.

USamerica.US: So, how’s your traffic looking these days?

When I started my business, I realized that it was important to leverage the power of advertising on platforms like Facebook and AdWords to reach new customers. It was a bit daunting because it meant spending money, but it was a necessary step after all the free promotional efforts I had made.

Now, let’s talk about how I keep my customers engaged and satisfied, and the vital role customer service plays in this process.

So, here’s the deal: When you run a subscription box service like mine, the value of your business depends on how long you can retain each customer and how much money you can generate from them in that time frame.

I have a special focus on building a community around our products. Instead of just receiving a box every month, we aim to create a community. To achieve this, we have implemented an online chat for customer service. If you encounter any issues, you can quickly chat with us on our website. We opted for this method instead of using telephones because it simplifies the process. With our online chat, we can effectively address and resolve any problems our customers may have.

On the community front, we have also established a Facebook private group for our customers known as The Wet Shave Lounge. It’s like an exclusive focus group for VIPs. We share sneak peeks of upcoming products, gather feedback on past boxes, and learn about our customers’ scent preferences. Our aim is to develop a deeper understanding of our members and build stronger relationships to ensure they remain with us for the long haul.

USamerica.US: Where else can I find more information?

Rohan Gilkes: Sure. You can definitely check us out at wetshaveclub.com. You can reach me personally at [email protected].

This is part of the One-on-One Interview series with influential thinkers. The transcript has been edited for publication. If it’s an audio or video interview, click on the embedded player above, or subscribe via iTunes or via Stitcher.

This is part of the One-on-One Interview series with influential thinkers. The transcript has been edited for publication. If it’s an audio or video interview, click on the embedded player above, or subscribe via iTunes or via Stitcher.