From Food Stamps to Delivering Pizza to Being Her Own Boss
Growing up, Elizabeth Whitcomb didn’t have it easy: she and her mom were on food stamps, she was around people who didn’t really do the right thing, and, with her dad in the Marines, she never felt like there was someone to show her the way. A firm believer that everything happens for a reason, Elizabeth decided to forge her own path.
After high school, she earned her associate’s degree from her self-proclaimed “home away from home,” Mercyhurst North East, then continued to the school’s main campus, Mercyhurst University, to study business management. It was during this time that things really started to fall into place for her and — unbeknownst to her at the time — her Amazon business.
As a student, Elizabeth didn’t originally have her sights set on e-commerce — it just sort of happened. She was working part-time as a delivery driver for Domino’s Pizza, and she and her husband (a retired military veteran) rented out a room in their home to supplement their income. She soon learned that her tenant was running an Amazon business and became intrigued by the possibilities. So she spent a month learning how to sell on Amazon, then leveraged the teachings from her Entrepreneurship class (which, ironically, she thought she’d never have to use), to open her Amazon storefront, Swanny’s, in March 2016.
A Slow Start
Selling 5-10 different health and wellness products, Swanny’s had very inconsistent sales because of Amazon’s two week payment delay. There simply wasn’t any cash flow, so Elizabeth would sell out her inventory, wait two weeks for her income, buy more inventory, then repeat the process. Then she came across Payability while watching some Amazon seller how-to videos — and the rest, as they say, is history.
Their first year on Amazon took off quite quickly — they were selling about 100 items on their own and ended 2015 with about $30,000 in sales. The next year was all about expanding. In 2016, they started to expand their offerings with 200+ different flavors of candy brittles, nuts, snacks, and trail mixes. The product expansion efforts paid off and they doubled their sales that year.
“You either have Payability and get paid everyday or you don’t, it’s that simple. And the 2% fee is nothing – it’s sand in the wind and it pays for itself” – Elizabeth Whitcomb, Founder
Since she started working with Payability in May 2017, her business has tripled. She’s making $42,000 in sales each month, is selling 50 different products now, has cash flow every day, and is able to order more inventory ahead of time (thus avoiding the Amazon stockout as well as hefty overnight shipping costs from her suppliers). On top of that, she’s less stressed and even hired an intern to help with her business’s day-to-day operations.
For Elizabeth, Payability is a business asset, not an expense. “You either have Payability and get paid everyday or you don’t, it’s that simple. And the 2% fee is nothing – it’s sand in the wind and it pays for itself,” she says.
These days, Elizabeth is eternally grateful for her success and, knowing all too well what it’s like to need a helping hand, she’s paying it forward. She started an online training group for new Amazon sellers, and already has four members that she’s mentoring. “It’s a great little support group, and one that truly wouldn’t exist without Payability,” she says humbly.
To see how Payability can help your business, call us today at (646) 494-8675.