Smart50 Awards 2014

3 Showpo

Revenue

$7.5 million

Growth

306.23%

Founders

Jane Lu, 28

Head Office

New South Wales

Year Founded

2010

Employees

22

Industry

Retail

Website

Showpo.com

 

Spending a lot of time on Facebook often means procrastination but for ShowPo founder Jane Lu, it’s how she’s turbo charged her online fashion business.

“We have cracked social media like few others, we have over 900,000 followers across all channels,” Lu says.

Getting Facebook marketing right helped Showpo double its revenue in three months at the start of the last financial year.

Lu did this by experimenting with another side company whose only marketing channel was Facebook, so Lu could better see the direct impact of any Facebook marketing efforts on revenue at a small scale and then apply these findings to ShowPo.

But Lu went through tough times establishing ShowPo, particularly when she first quit her corporate job to follow her business dream.

“While living with my parents for six months after leaving my job, I put on a suit and ‘pretended’ to go to work every day so my parents didn’t freak out that I had quit,” Lu says.

Lu believed in her vision so much that she funded ShowPo on her credit cards in the early days and was $40,000 in debt.

She says a “common misconception” is that she’s in business for the fashion.

That may be a perk but for Lu the attraction is the game of business.

“Running Showpo is like a game to us, we have all this revenue to play with, and it’s fun working out where to put the money in order to make more!” she says.

To date, a strategy of “top level” customer service and a focus on growth has paid off.

“We are passionate about growth hacking and are always looking for ‘minimum effort, maximum output’ methods,” Lu explains.

“The space is getting crowded, it’s so much harder to get off the ground these days as online fashion is becoming a flooded market, so you need to really work out what your competitive advantages are and push hard to maintain market share.”

Lu’s focus for the next financial year is to increase Showpo’s international revenue from 15% to 40%.

This means the only thing keeping Lu awake at night is “dreams of global domination”.

Self-belief is not something Lu is lacking in and believing in yourself is her tip to fellow entrepreneurs.

“Belief in yourself is the greatest thing you can do, but also to educate yourself before jumping into anything blind. Information is power,” she says.

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