Simon Slade is the CEO and co-founder of Affilorama, SaleHoo and co-founder of Smtp2Go. Through these companies, Simon provides education and resources for ecommerce professionals to start their own drop shipping business, build an affiliate marketing business and achieve occupational independence. Simon can be followed on LinkedIn.
Why was Affilorama and SaleHoo started?
I got into e-commerce as most people do—I started as an online seller on a New Zealand auction site called TradeMe. In conversation with fellow online sellers, I realized people were having trouble finding solid, trusted suppliers. I knew this was a challenge from my own experience, too. E-commerce is such a unique industry because it allows individuals to have such great independence. I’m really passionate about folks being able to create the lifestyle they want and have as much personal autonomy as possible, so I was really inspired to help people become more successful at online selling. I created SaleHoo, an online directory of verified wholesale suppliers, to help online sellers be confident about who they’re working with and ensure happier customers and consistently good reviews. Later, partner Mark Ling and I launched Affilorama, an affiliate marketing training portal—another resource for folks in the e-commerce industry that can generate economic success and help people become more independent. From there, we built the parent company, Doubledot Media Limited.
What makes SaleHoo different?
Accessibility is really core to our mission at SaleHoo, so one of things that makes us different is our price. There are a lot of directory memberships out there with exorbitant fees that make them cost-preventative for new business owners. And people new to the e-commerce world are the ones who need the directory most! So we’ve structured our membership to be affordable for everyone. We’ve also made it risk-free—every purchase is backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Another thing that sets us apart from other membership directories is that we’re more than just a membership directory. We’re a one-stop-shop for online sellers, with a whole host of tools for managing your business, from training resources to an automated dropshipping tool. Again, this goes back to our idea of increasing people’s autonomy — when your resources are centralized, your business is more effective, and you have more time to do the things you really want to do.
What have you learnt?
One of the most important things I’ve learned in all my years of business is not to be a perfectionist. Rather than spend hours and days trying to perfect a product or service, launch a beta version and let your customers tell you what they want. I think one of the best ways to learn is through experience. While it’s good to be cautious, you also won’t get anywhere without taking risks.
What are the plans for SaleHoo in the future?
We feel good about what we’re doing at SaleHoo and we want to keep doing it. We’ll continue to help small and medium businesses grow and succeed online, with a strong focus on automating manual tasks, as this is a great way to improve efficiency and streamline operations. No plans to retire just yet!