With over a decade in the marketing industry, Alisha Chocha started her entrepreneurial journey a couple of years ago by co-founding Your Marketing People, a digital marketing agency. Just recently, she, along with another fellow female traveler, launched Roam Often, a travel and lifestyle eCommerce brand that sells travel jewelry cases. After a promising start to the brand in the last few months, Alisha has experienced the true tribulations of being an entrepreneur, since they launched a travel brand in the wake of the CoronaVirus (bad timing).
Where did the idea for Roam Often come from?
Three tangled necklaces. I travel quite frequently and was tired of untangling necklace after necklace during my trips. I’d be late to dinners and/or just frustrated in the most beautiful of places. Finally, after the third time, I searched for a jewelry travel case and was thoroughly disappointed with what I found on the market at the time. I wanted functional and fashionable options. And that’s where the idea of Roam Often came into being.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Right now, we’re at the start of our venture. So my typical day involves speaking to vendors, answering customer inquiries, updating the website, and managing marketing channels like Facebook and Instagram.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Always be moving. Don’t get derailed by small things, just keep moving forward and ask for help when you come across a hurdle that you can’t accomplish by yourself. I’ve connected with other eCommerce business owners to ask them how to do this or that, like questions about Sales tax, tariffs, etc. and it’s helped tremendously.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Everybody loves sharing their positive experiences online and traveling with beautiful photos on social. It’s just fun to see where our travel case goes and how we are apart of this large adventure!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I always stay on task and create checklists daily. I’ll outline big and small tasks and everything in between to keep me on track and motivated. I’ve noticed if you create one large project, you’ll get frustrated early on and will have a higher chance of just abandoning it altogether. It’s better to break out a large project into small tasks. This way, as you are completing small task after small task, you get motivated and excited. And then, one day, whoa, you’ve completed it!
What advice would you give your younger self?
Value yourself and your work. I think it’s common, for women, especially, to undercharge and devalue their work. We don’t ask for raises nearly enough or charge the prices we should. That needs to stop!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I’m perfect. 🙂
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Research the market and determine if it will be profitable for you before you jump right in. I’ve seen entrepreneurs who believe their idea is awesome but they don’t evaluate competitors’ pricing and the cost of goods as well as all the expenses that go into running an eCommerce business. You could lose a lot of money and be stuck with a ton of inventory if you don’t do your due diligence.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Invest in video and Facebook/Instagram marketing – the two go very well together. Video gives buyers a look into how your product can be used and conveys in overall feeling and lifestyle. Then use that video on Facebook and Instagram to introduce yourself to a target audience that would LOVE to buy your product. If done effectively, you should see sales coming in.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Well, we are going through it right now. The CoronaVirus has demolished the travel industry, so probably the worst time to launch a travel brand. But we are getting through it and will be using this time to create new products and hopefully, after the virus, there will be a real boom for the travel industry.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I feel like sleep is such an important time for entrepreneurs and would love to see more products out there that help you sleep more soundly and prevent back and neck pain in the morning. I’ve tried so many products but none of them help.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Hiring a videographer for half a day to film YouTube videos for Roam Often. Videos help our rankings and provide value to our customers.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use Asana quite frequently for task management for the whole team, but honestly Gmail Tasks is great for staying on task. I just add all my tasks there and checkmark them off throughout the day.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. It will change your life.
What is your favorite quote?
“This too shall pass” – Seems relevant in today’s economic climate. But it has always helped me get through rough patches and remain hopeful that better times are just around the corner.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.