[Sponsored by PayPal]
I read articles every day about millennial entrepreneurs taking over the world. People like Mark Zuckerberg and Brian Chesky who don’t have the qualifications our parents told us we needed to be billionaires, but are doing it anyway. They have managed to achieve in 30 years what some spend a lifetime dreaming of. Not only have they each built empires worth billions (with great support teams) but they have used technology to connect people across the globe in ways that didn’t exist before. And in doing so, changed the traditional way people used to do things.
Don’t get me wrong, they had great ideas. But those great ideas were made possible because of technology. I refer to technology as the superpower of small businesses (or start ups) because it gives ordinary people the opportunity to do extraordinary things. Whether you are Brian Chesky changing the way people book accommodation with AirBNB, or a craft merchant looking to sell your designs online, technology is the superpower you need to help turn those dreams into a reality.
We have the power to research our ideas (Google), easily set up an online presence (WordPress), market your business ideas through social networks, set up an e-store in just a few steps (with WooCommerce or Shopify) and when you’re ready to trade you can offer a secure and trusted payment source to your customers through PayPal.
All the above can be done from behind a computer. If you have an idea and enough drive to bring it to life – the rest is all there for you. The exciting thing for South African entrepreneurs is that PayPal is now available for us to use in South Africa as merchants. When I launched my eStore in early 2015 it was a simple process setting up through FNB.
I had no experience in retail, certainly none in how to securely manage transactions, but I took advantage of the technology superpower available to all of us – PayPal. It wasn’t easy, the logistics behind online retail involves a heavy workload, but the lessons I learned along the way shaped the business decisions I make even today. We sold all our stock over a six-month period, and ensured the happiness of many geeks in 2015.
(The store is still live but we’re looking for a logistics partner to handle the deliveries and orders that became impossible as a sideline business. So if you know any fellow geeks, please SHOUT J)
If you’re looking to do something new in 2016, small or big, arm yourself with the right superpowers and do more than your parents ever dreamed of.
Have any questions? Contact PayPal
As a follow on from my last post I wanted to talk a bit more about WooCommerce. I touched on them in a blog post two weeks ago but I didn’t really get into the detail on why.
Why I think they have built something incredible, why their latest acquisition deal is an inspiration to entrepreneurs across Africa, and how (I think) they managed to achieve all this.
When you’re enabling the not-so-web savvy customers to venture into ecommerce, often for the first time, there are a number of things you need to get right from the start – but keeping their money secure is the first on the list. Thanks to their partnership with PayPal, these guys managed to take the most complex thing on the internet (payments) and make it simple for day-to-day people to process them. There really is no better business model than making something simple, and accessible for everyone to use.
That’s the thing about ecommerce, when moving over to that model your products can become available on an international scale. Naturally that makes payments a little more complicated, which is why using PayPal as a payment method on your e-store is worth a thought. Cross border payments are made simpler with PayPal that fully supports 26 currencies, is active in 203 markets and provide global reach of 173 million active accounts worldwide. In fact, in addition to making it simpler, offering PayPal payments can potentially increase your online sales due to the high usage and preference of PayPal, especially for international transaction. In a 2014 research by PayPal and Ipsos, it was found that on average, 63% of shoppers in 22 markets worldwide, use PayPal for their international transactions, compared to PayPal’s main competitor in the market.
We’re living in a digital world, and selling products online is slowly becoming a necessity for businesses. But ecommerce is not only for the corporate world, you and I can create an
online store on a blog or a fully developed website and sell anything we want to. Whether it be homemade jam, or handmade figurines of your favourite Marvel superheroes. For the big corporates a complicated cross border payment is easier, but for us regular people it can be more challenging.
WooCommerce speaks from experience. In 2014 they suffered a malicious hack that resulted in them moving all their payments to PayPal. They communicated this to their community – announcing their new found strength and security through the partnership, making PayPal not only available for their customers using their plug-ins, but also as their preferred payment method to accept their own payments online.
That brings me to my next point about partnerships. One thing I see most businesses struggling with is the fact they try to own everything. When I look at how WooCommerce expanded globally I wonder if that would be possible without partnerships. Like the PayPal partnership for example. Joel Bronkowski, business development manager at WooThemes (WooCommerce’s parent), said: “In many ways, it’s simply the standard for global electronic payments, if ease of use and quick payments is your thing.”
We live in a world where everything is fast-paced, and we expect everything to happen at the click of a button. If it doesn’t, we simply look for a faster alternative. That’s probably another reason why WooCommerce brought in PayPal for themselves and their customers. With PayPal’s Express Checkout, businesses have the flexibility to accept PayPal payments as well as credit and debit card payments. The product also offers a 3 click checkout experience for customers, significantly shorter than traditional checkouts, helping merchants minimise their churn rate and convert more users into customers.
Launched in 2011, WooCommerce has simply exploded, and there are currently 660,000+ sites around the world powered by WooCommerce, including our very own GeeksDoingStuff.com eStore!
What’s next for WooThemes and PayPal?
“In the same way that PayPal allows us to concentrate on what we are good at by taking care of our payments safely and securely, we want to simplify the process for our merchants to take their business online. We are working more closely than ever with PayPal to make it as easy as possible for our merchants to enable PayPal payments for their customers,” said Mark Forrester, WooThemes co-founder and CEO.
Well played Mark. You did SA proud!
Have questions? Contact PAYPAL
 ‘Ipsos study for PayPal reveals opportunities and best practices for online merchants who want to grow their international business’, in ipsos MORI research publications. Viewed 22 December 2015, https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3486/Ipsos-study-for-PayPal-reveals-opportunities-and-best-practices-for-online-merchants-who-want-to-grow-their-international-business.aspx
We’re already at the end of our first 2015 month. No one warned me that time moves quicker as you get older, it’s crazy. I’m excited for a few things this year – lots of exciting work opportunities on the go, a new home renovation project, and the curveballs a life in digital will throw my way.
Just earlier today Facebook was down for a few minutes and the internet almost exploded – we complain about Eskom but it seems they aren’t the only ‘service’ we can’t live without. Gadgets follow a close second to things we’re unable to live without, if you’re anything like me. I don’t insure everything i own but gadget insurance is right up there with cars and medical 😉
I’m keen to see more gadgets that creep into our lives in 2015. Besides the usual smartphones and music accessories i think these three gadgets might be next in line for me…
1. Samsung looking at a phone with a bendable screen… SAY WHAT!?
2. This smart pedal from Connected Cycle is making big waves in the biking industry. Not only does it track stats like speed, route, incline, and calories burned on each ride, but it also alerts you through an app if someone tries to steal your bike.
3. The AirDog drone, designed for action sport enthusiasts, is a self-flying drone controlled by a wristband. YES, you read that correctly!
Best bet is to have your favourite items insured early into the year. Wether its your new car or your new Airdog – our good friends at King Price are keen to do just that with super cheap premiums that decrease every month.
Click on the image below and chat to the King yourself, he’ll help you cut down on those unnecessary monthly expenses so you can increase on the necessary ones… i.e. GADGETS 😉
Cake or death?
I think cake.
How can you not choose cake when it’s a Lego Movie cake!
That headline does not 100% make sense but i’m sticking to it. That’s the cool thing about having your own blog – you can write whatever you want. I think for my next post i am going to title it “Goats on a plane”, that one is bound to generate LOADS of traffic. Yes? No? Maybe?
Let’s move on. I came across an 8-bit coffee table a while ago when i was on a mission to make my house look more “adult”… lame, I know. I have been collecting rad coffee table designs from Pinterest and Google ever since. These are 10 geek coffee tables that might just make you wet your pants, i think each table represents a different type of geek hood. Maybe i’m crazy but this is where i’m at…
Well he could have joined a while ago but @MarksMandusic only just discovered this his account today so let’s pretend this is breaking news.
If you don’t already follow Peter Griffin you should – he is just as grossly entertaining as you expect him to be. Lot’s of selfies. Some with skittles, some on the toilet holding a baby. Just a regular day in the life of a Family Guy.
I’ve listed some of his best Instagram posts below. Follow him here > http://instagram.com/peterpumpkineater69
***This one titled ‘#poopingwithababy‘
***This one titled ‘So disappointed in this one. #shutupMeg‘
***This one titled ‘Obsessed with pie lately. Can you tell? #pielover’
Yip, it finally happened. I finally opened that eStore. I can definitely say that the last year of my life has been the most hectic. New ventures, life lessons, long hours and even a few laughs along the way. But i’m the happiest i’ve ever been and GeeksDoingStuff.com has been a passion project of mine right since the start so this is a really exciting day for me.
Go easy on me though. We’re technically still in beta and i know there are some bugs on the store but heck, we’re opening anyway in the hopes that your purchases can pay to fix the website bugs 😉 Feel free to TELL EVERYONE by clicking the Tweet button. Tweet
But enough about me. Let this green dinosaur take you on a Reggies Rush experience for adults. Go on, click him.