578
10 min 14 sec

Global Supply Chain Adventures: American Ships Brazilian Hair to Liberia

This shipping executive’s foreign friends struggled to get their hands on the American goods he took for granted. His new business now delivers thousands of packages a month to countries like Liberia and Hungary.
Franchise High Profit International Power of Observation Service

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What It's About

A service that helps people in other countries get the American goods they want.

Business Model
Service
Skills Required
Power of Observation & Coordination
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
High

Words of Wisdom

To market his business, Randy has relied mainly on Facebook advertising. It’s been a great way to reach people in hard-to-reach places, like rural towns and villages. He can select locations within a radius of his franchised location or delivery drop-off point, and target the people who live there.

Fun Fact

Randy had the bittersweet experience of being forced to go full time with his side hustle because of a car accident. However, the extra time invested allowed him to finally break the seven-figure mark.

Notes from Chris

Episode 578

Have you ever ordered an item online and felt there was far too much packaging? You know, when you buy something tiny, like a USB stick or set of batteries, and it comes in a box big enough to contain a car tire?

For most of us, it’s just an annoyance—a clear sign of waste. But for many people living outside of America, the land of free shipping, it can be a costly problem that stops them from getting the products they want.

Which is where today’s side hustler, Randy Robida, found his new side hustle.

While working as an executive of a home delivery company, Randy spent a lot of time in different countries all around the world. Everywhere he went, he felt that he stood out as, “The American,” and people often commented on what he was wearing. From his sneakers to his laptop cover, the items he traveled with were often the hot topic of conversation.

One conversation he had in Budapest really stuck with Randy. Waiting for a meeting to start, one of his clients asked Randy, “How long have you had your shirt for?” Randy found the question to be a little odd. He’d been asked where and how much, but never how long he had something. Randy told him the shirt was about three years old, and the client laughed and said, “Shirts in Hungary barely last us a year.”

This was one of many similar conversations, and Randy began to feel an idea percolating in the back of his mind. He could tell there was a high demand for American items, but what was the problem with supply? Many of the people he spoke with were middle-class or high-income individuals from relatively affluent backgrounds—what was stopping them from getting the products they wanted?

He began to ask everyone on his travels where they were getting stuck, and he found two significant problems.

The first was that payments were often rejected. Although people had money, they were ruled out based on their location, and legitimate credit cards would be denied. In particular, people in Nigeria suffered from this, which you’ll understand if you’ve ever received an email from a generous faux-prince offering to send you a hundred million dollars if only you’ll advance him a few thousand up front.

The second was the cost of shipping. Products were affordable to buy in America, but sending them abroad could quickly turn a $40 pair of shorts into a $150 investment, sometimes more when you factor in import taxes.

These two points of friction and the hundreds of people struggling with them gave Randy the confidence to start his new endeavor. If he could fix these two problems, he could help people in these countries, and earn a profit for himself. So, he founded the company USA2Everywhere.

USA2Everywhere uses a simple system of consolidating packages. Customers submit their desired orders through their website. They’re then bought and delivered to Randy’s garage. There the products are re-packaged in more appropriate boxes—and sent to a pick-up location close to the customer. This offers incredible savings to the customer and allows most shipment to most places for around $25.00. Much less than any of his global competitors can provide.

Six years after its initial creation USA2Everywhere is on-track to generate several million dollars in revenue for 2018. Randy is still running the business from his house and currently employs his family members to help him out. However, he’s also expanding to a warehouse space to deal with the volume of orders coming through.

He’d eventually like to expand beyond developing countries and look towards higher-income places like Germany, Australia, and the United Kingdom… so that everyone can get those cheap laptop cases and shirts that last for more than one year.



MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • USA2Everywhere: Learn more about the side hustle Randy is building over on his website!

SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Resources

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Quote of the Day
"I’m proud of how I make my money and I love doing it. Not everybody can say that."
—Randy Robida #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau