Business Owner Profiles

Niching Down to Vacation Rentals Boomed Business for Antoine, a Former Fortune 500 Salesman

4 Mins read

From Fortune 500 company paint salesman to gig worker with Shipt, Uber, and Lyft, Antoine Good and his company, A Good Grocery Delivery Company, expanded thanks to jumping on surprising shuffles created by COVID. “What that gig work turned into was an opportunity during COVID while I was doing Shipt and [my former full-time employer] didn’t allow us to work due to COVID,” Antoine explains.

While looking for extra income to support his family, Antoine began grocery delivery with Shipt; however, when COVID took hold, his business began to grow its client roster and “it was everybody; nobody wanted to go to the stores.”

“I thought instead of working for a company that controls my pay scale, I want to be able to have my own business and control my own money,” he says, “The pay scale was 25 percent of the order with Shipt, then that changed to about 7.5 percent, then went down from there. And it just changed again so I can’t see myself doing anything with Shipt ever again because they keep changing the pay scale.”

Antoine had a friend who swapped Shipt for Dumpling and mentioned it was “this great opportunity where you could set up your own business, and you may want to look into it.” After doing some digging, he found the support he was looking for with Dumpling, figured out they funded a credit card, protected him from fraud charges, and that they promoted coaching and small business development.

Additionally, their platform assisted “with advertising, business cards, and gives you the tools to do your job. It’s not just, ‘Hey, we’re here to have your customers run transactions through our app, but coaching, development, marketing, and full support to back your business and help you run what you need.”

It also seemed like Dumpling would strengthen his unique business model where he services vacation rental customers on Florida’s private barrier islands. “I didn’t bring any of my Shipt customers over…And I don’t have any mainland customers with my Dumpling business; it’s all secluded to the islands,” explains Antoine, “My business was, and currently is, weekly turns.”

Developing More Quality of Life With a Vacation Rental Customer Base

With Shipt, Antoine hit the stores when they opened at 7 AM and worked until closing time at 10 PM. But shifting to running his business with Dumpling, he swapped to completing just two orders per day for similar income. “There’s no more groceries being delivered to the islands after 5 PM because the ferry stops so now, I’m done working then and that changed my quality of life,” Antoine says.

He started off marketing through Facebook messages to grow his business and let his clients know he could stock vacation rentals. That turned into vacation rental homeowners and property managers (including the largest property manager on the islands) promoting A Good Grocery Delivery Company to their guests through check-in processes. And because of the high quality of his service, guests who enjoyed his vacation delivery service began singing his praises as well.

After building up his business, he now manages a team of three on the islands and two on the mainland. His team stocks rentals that run “between $5,000 to $6,000 a week” filling the niche where vacationers who just finished the long-distance flight, car, and ferry rides to the private islands don’t have to shop and put away groceries.

“I found a niche where customers I deliver groceries to are on secluded private islands in Florida, and there’s no grocery store there, and everything’s accessed by ferry so there’s 3 of these barrier islands on the West Coast of Florida that I deliver groceries to every day,” explains Antoine.

A Drastic Shift in Income Via Fewer Orders and Fantastic Resources

With his 7 AM to 10 PM Shipt shifts, Antoine made $150 to $200 daily with a packed schedule. “With Dumpling, my typical payout now is $300 to $400 per day and I’ll do 4 to 7 orders a day,” he says, “I’m making drastically more money now than with Shipt, with more quality of life…In the 8 months that I’ve been with Dumpling from March 2021 through the end of December 2021, I just got my 1099 and I did over $100,000 in customer third-party sales.”

With the app, Antoine sends invites directly to new customers and can easily follow up. “You automatically have their information in your phone so you can reach back out and say, ‘Hey, I saw you haven’t signed up; what information are you missing? When can I place that order for you?’” he explains, “You can use the Dumpling invite tool to bring them in, and then on top of that, Dumpling provides discount codes for the first 2 orders to intrigue customers to receive a discount before even placing an order.”

His goal now is finding quality employees to depend on to delegate orders while he steps back to manage, coach, and develop. “Instead of me, myself and I shopping the majority of the orders, I want to step back and have someone I can trust shop and deliver the same quality of brand image that I’m building,” he says.

Helping Others Grow Their Revenue Through In-App Options and Niching Down

“Overall, my experience with Dumpling is phenomenal. I love seeing app updates to increase functionality and the new in-app chat blows my mind in that it allows all my employees to see what the customer says,” says Antoine, “Their app development is phenomenal and there’s nothing bad I can say about Dumpling at all. They’re there to support my business and they’re supporting my growth.”

He also recommended a Dumpling colleague start sending welcome messages in the app and “once he changed that, and he uses the same script I send out to my customers, he saw a quadruple turn in orders,” Antoine adds.

Part of the grocery delivery gauntlet is solving the puzzle of niche fit and how to hit your income and work/lifestyle goals. But Antoine offers some wise words: “Stop going for chump change working companies like Instacart or Shipt, and start investing the money and time into your own company. Grow yourself with the money and time you’re spending versus working for someone else where you’re making chump change.”

And even though he’s nabbed over $100,000 in the last 8 months with Dumpling, he still hops on the Tuesday and Thursday “fantastic” coaching calls “to gain new ideas from someone else. Someone else has the best practice of putting labels on the bag, or this is how I have my introduction conversation, and I feel like those calls are crucial, important pieces of coaching and development for everyone to take advantage of,” Antoine says.

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