Business Owner Profiles

Long-Time Customer Service Worker Bee Tim Finds Success Switching to Grocery Delivery Entrepreneurship

4 Mins read

Decades in customer service and refining his precise client niche propelled Tim Brown’s business, Gig Guy Groceries, into fast and furious growth. Hopping from missionary work to Domino’s Pizza to Capital One to Lyft and Uber then restaurant deliveries, Tim finally found a balance between hours worked and good income when he switched to grocery delivery.

“I worked for Domino’s Pizza for about 22 years and owned my own store, and supervised stores for the largest franchisee in the country,” Tim says, “Still love Domino’s to this day, but I stopped loving the 80-to-85-hour work weeks it took to make good money. So I left and worked for Capital One for five years as a manager of a contact center.”

Though his career shifted to different positions, when he landed on grocery delivery with Shipt then Dumpling, he worked shorter hours and made more money every week. “I started thinking, ‘There’s gotta be a way to open up my own company,’” says Tim, “The biggest drawback, of course, was having the backbone with app inventory so that people could use that to then text me orders. I did some research and it seemed like Dumpling was by far the best fit.”

Tim joined Dumpling in July 2021 and with Dumpling’s offerings, believed within 12 to 18 months he could “wean off” Shipt and fully dive into Dumpling. “There were two other people in West Little Rock that were with Dumpling, and long story short, now 6 months later, I’m doing 75 percent of my business with my own company, Gig Guy Groceries, and Dumpling,” explains Tim.

“Last month, I reached about $900 a week with only 22 clients…And it looks like by summer of 2022, I’ll wean myself completely away from Shipt while working close to a 40-hour week and making better money with Dumpling,” he adds.

Scaling With Careful Consideration for Clients and Business Management

In working with Dumpling over Shipt, Tim realized, “I’m my own boss. I set my pricing…I know Dumpling’s here for the long run, I believe in them and have great confidence that when I can’t work anymore, they’ll still be here. Dumpling gives me the opportunity to take orders that are not just profitable for my business, but that make sense from a business management point of view…it’s just been a perfect fit for me.”

Because Dumpling already had a business profile ready to set up, ideas to spark engagement with potential customers, and business principles that aligned with his, “It looked like it’d be a good marriage,” he says, “They had inventories for my main store, Kroger, had an app with the ability to add stores and charge different prices, and their prices were extremely reasonable. My customers now pay less than an Instacart or Shipt yet still get exceptional service.”

He also feels confident dropping Shipt orders now if they’re not a fit for him because “my end game is to run Gig Guy Groceries completely, and looking at the future…when I’m interested in a 25-or-30-hour work week, I’ll be able to handpick my clients that stay with me.”

Gig Guy Groceries typically operates from 8 am to 6 pm, 6 days per week, but because Tim’s been flooded with orders, and now has schedule flexibility through Dumpling’s app, he’s able to open Sunday blocks, if needed. Plus, his branded uniform and hat, Gig Guy license plate, and decals riding around town help him stand out and slant his business as something different than what’s in town.

Over the last several months in his transition from Shipt to Dumpling, he’s been able to average orders of $200 to $500 with a 15 to 20 percent (or higher) tip. And jumped from 11 orders per week when he started to 20 weekly orders now, with his ideal goal at 30 weekly shops at $1,200 to $1,500 per week working 40 to 50 hours.

SHARP Plus LEADS Equals Exceptional Customer Service

“One thing that’s important to me is exceptional customer service. I’ve been involved with customer service for decades and I’ve got a couple things I do,” explains Tim, “I always talk about being SHARP: Smile, be friendly, and be exceptionally upbeat and pleasant at all times, Honest with your customers, the grocery store, and with yourself, Attitude and having a good one, Respect all people, Pride in what you do.”

“I don’t want to be normal like everybody else…I want to go the extra mile…And I want that clientele who appreciates trying to be beyond normal; not just settling for commonplace,” he explains, “I want to excel in quality above anything else. I’m very picky with produce, meat quality, and work with a servant’s heart. My desire is to show up with extreme thankfulness for my clients without worrying about myself being put on a pedestal, and be thankful for them giving me this opportunity.”

When it comes to LEADS, he recommends: Listen to your customers truly, Empathize by putting yourself in their shoes and their perspective, Apologize for what you, the company, or the store has done, Do whatever it takes to make it right, and Stand by your promise to do what you said you would do. “I’ve never had to worry about times where I’ve discounted or gave money away, its always comes back, always,” he adds.

Future ROI and Coaching Entrepreneur-Style

For future goals, Tim’s looking to snag advanced strategies from Dumpling coaches and talking to more successful entrepreneurs. “One of Dumpling’s selling points is that I’m able to have one-on-one coaching,” he says, “I was very impressed with the coaching I got early on. The fact that I know I have people to reach out to it, just a call or text to get some answers, and it’s a team there to assist me in the decisions I want to make for my company.”

“When I call Shipt, Instacart, Uber, or Lyft, all of those gig-style companies are horrible at customer service. And the longest I’ve ever waited with Dumpling is maybe 4 minutes and it was when the payment platform Dumpling uses went down,” explains Tim, “And everybody and their sister was calling them, but it was still only a 3-or 4-minute wait to get through SOS to figure out what I could do.” He also loves the fact that the Dumpling team is proactive and overnighted him a new Boss card and set up a virtual card as well when he needed it.

If you’re considering going into the grocery delivery game, Tim also offers some last advice: Know your market and use a business model that works best for it to see growth. “If I was in Dallas, I’d look at a different business model and want 60 or 70 clients, and I’d have a model that made good sense for me to do $30 orders and have them there in 30 minutes because that’s what that particular clientele wants,” he explains, “That’s entirely different than what I’m doing now where customers want any kind of sandwich in 20 or 25 minutes, that’s it.”

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