- Inspiring Startups
Yahya Oudra - Digital marketer and E-commerce brands owner
Yahya Oudra got his start in digital marketing as an entrepreneur, building a side hustle e-commerce business from the ground up. He quickly discovered how to use digital marketing to grow that business, then it became his true passion.
Between his roles as an in-house marketer of his multi businesses and manager, Yahya has spent more than 8 years learning & practicing digital marketing. Creative X Growth (Raed Digital LTD) was founded through that experience, and he’s cultivated a team that shares his passion for digital marketing, problem-solving and strategies building.
Tell us a bit more about your businesses?
I run multi businesses, including a digital marketing agency called Creative X Growth, and an e-commerce brands chain (The Moon Bath, SilkBare, ...).
Through the digital agency, me and my co-founder Houda Matqal and our professional team help business owners build a strong digital presence on different channels like search engines, Facebook, Instagram ...etc. It depends on the clients need and goals. And the goal of my e-commerce brands chain, that are founded under the Y.T.H solutions LTD company, is to become a part of my clients' lives with my products.
Why did you start your business(es)?
I worked in a 9-5 job, I was always trying to be that good employee by doing my best at work but every time I tried to improve the atmosphere and the system of the work there, I got hit by a big NO from my boss because he’s an old fashioned business owner.
I tried many times, then I started hating my job because it took my energy for nothing, and also not helping me push my creativity, then I decided to start my online retail business that helped me a lot to move from an employee to an entrepreneur.
How did you start it? Did you have any previous experience as an entrepreneur?
By coincidence, I got back from work and I started surfing on Youtube. Then I clicked on a video of a guy talking about Shopify + Dropshipping. Then I watched it, then I got more curious about the topic. I did a lot of research on it, which made me more interested in the business model. Then, I took the action and I’ve built my first store of Yoga equipments.
The funny thing is that I built the store and waited for people to start buying without driving traffic from social media or search engines. Then, I started learning about social media marketing and I started with Instagram and I’ve built a strong presence of my brand on instagram. Unfortunately I lost the account later because I used automation tools.
Then, I used my skills on Facebooks ads and started the real business. By the way, I didn't have any Entrepreneurship experience before, except selling temporary tattoos and lemonade juice during my childhood, hahaha we can count it as an entrepreneur experience.
How did you validate your idea?
Simply I saw people around me making it happen and once I earned my first $4 as profit from e-commerce I validated the idea.
How did you finance your project?
From my last paycheck and I borrowed from some friends.
How did you market and promote your business when you were launching? What was the most effective strategy? How did you get your first customer?
I’ve used Instagram organic tactics to grow followers and I turned them into buyers, and I used Facebook ads as paid tactics to make fast results and validate the efficiency of the product that I’m selling. Also, I linked my store with marketplaces like eBay, Wish and Etsy.
And, the most effective honestly was Facebook to drive sales, Instagram to build loyalty.
How did you get your next few customers?
Through the marketplaces like eBay, Wish and Etsy. That helped me a lot.
How long did it take you to see you could create a viable business?
6 months of learning and practicing.
What has been your business revenue progression?
At the beginning, I was making just few hundreds. After using Facebook and linking my store with marketplaces, my store started having good numbers. The minimum was 2000$ a day with 25%-35% profit.
What are the main ways in which you are able to monetize your business?
I started by selling products on marketplaces like eBay, Etsy and Amazon, and I was saving the gains for reinvestment, and I built a reinvestment framework that let me always have money for new investments and scaling. And for my agency, we sell professional services.
What are the most useful tools/platforms that you use for your business?
Instagram, Facebook, Google shopping, adspy.com, Google trends, Linkedin, ahrefs, Google (SEO)
What do you like most about being an entrepreneur?
Financial freedom, No limits, and being creative.
What has been your biggest challenge/failure as an entrepreneur? And how did you deal with that?
Honestly, finding the right environment, I wasn’t hanging out with people that were looking to grow their businesses or building a strong knowledge background, that was a challenge and failure at the same time because it had affected my businesses and my career.
What are your business goals for this coming year?
1- Expand my e-commerce brands chain and relaunch others with new energy and new missions
2- Expand our agency to francophone countries (France, Belgium... ), acquire more clients, expand our international team and bring more talented people.
How can an aspiring entrepreneur start building a business? What would be the best steps to take as a beginner?
Based on my experience, here are the steps:
Turn what you love into business because loving what you do is the only thing that would make you keep doing it. You love painting? Sell arts and NFTs, or create a blog and monetize it with adsense
Do research before you start: these steps will decrease the failure rate because you will gather a lot of info that will help you from day one.
Be mentally ready for any shock whether positive or negative because entrepreneurship by definition is risky (you take high risks to gain high income).
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I take the time to think about my goals. I believe that this makes me more productive as an entrepreneur because it helps me focus on what is important to me. I am clear on what my priorities are, and I can now identify the right things to work on today with a deep understanding of why they matter.
I put my phone away. I set a timer for intervals of work, a timer for breaks, and a timer for when I need to go back to work after my break is over.
I keep track of how much time I spend on different tasks per day or week so that I can see where my day was spent and make sure that nothing was wasted.
What's your favourite quote?
There's a quote that truly changed my life and I'm seeing it everyday in front of my desk. The quote is "Life does not get better by chance, it's get better by change - Jim Rohn"
Any good book(s) to recommend to an aspiring entrepreneur?
The Best book that helped me when it comes to money management and investments is "The richest man in Babylon". I highly recommend for everyone not just entrepreneurs.
Also, I recommend "The 7 habits of highly effective people". It's not just a theoretical book but contains some best practices that helps you to manage your entrepreneurship life.
For the marketing side I really really recommend "Ca$hvertising"
Learn more about Yahya Oudra at:
Creative X Growth Agency’s Instagram
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