Shopify Helps Rapidly Growing Bikini Company Scale Quickly
- September 30, 2015 | Stephanie Faris
Launch a Google search for the terms “designer bikinis” and Candice Galek’s site, Bikini Luxe, will be among the top results. Galek has worked hard to make sure that happens, partnering with an expert search engine optimization team to make sure her site ranks well. As a result, the site has been averaging around 200,000 visitors each month, with social media impressions reaching monthly views in the multimillions.
Since founding the company in December of 2013, Galek has watched her site grow from a one-person operation to a business of more than ten local employees and an international team of 30. As a result of a recent call for talented help, the company will also add four new interns to its team this fall. With such rapid growth, Bikini Luxe has seen multiple challenges in scaling operations to keep up, from collecting sales tax to inventory management and beyond.
From the start, Galek realized the importance of putting a talented bookkeeper in place to take care of the financial end of things. When choosing an accountant, Galet recommends choosing someone who is familiar with your specific niche and knows the ins and outs of your particular industry.
“The most important thing is having a good accountant who works well with your bookkeeper,” Galek says. “We hired our accountant and then used his recommended bookkeeper. Using a bookkeeper helps to keep the cost down, and using his recommendation was important as they already had a good working relationship.”
Galek’s top piece of advice when it comes to how a rapidly growing business should handle sales tax? Make sure you collect it.
Complexity in Sales Tax Collection
Galek sells items through her own brick-and-mortar store as well as online. Selling on diverse online platforms brings complexity to tax collection, since each platform charges its own commission on each sale. In addition to hiring a good bookkeeper, Galek has found that it is crucial to keep good records and always be aware of the tax rates in each area in which a business is selling.
Shopify has made it easy for Galek to automate the sales tax portion of her business, although she is still responsible for remittance. U.S. sales taxes are calculated automatically and, if for some reason they need to be changed, it can be done with just a few clicks. To handle the complicated task of paying sales tax in so many different areas, Galek works with both an accountant and bookkeeper, who make sure she is in compliance with all sales tax regulations.
The Shopify platform has also helped Galek with another challenge that comes from a need to scale quickly: inventory management. Bikini Luxe stocks a large selection of designer bikinis, but the styles are constantly changing. Added to that is the challenge of designers having difficulty getting fabric for certain styles, forcing them to discontinue certain items. By using Shopify, Galek and her team can easily make inventory updates, as well as manage shipping and social media activity.
“The customer service is really what makes Shopify so great,” Galek says. “I can't even tell you how many times I have talked to support at 5 a.m. with some pressing issue that needed to be fixed or tweaked.”
As Bikini Luxe continues to grow at astronomical rates, Galek has confidence that her team will be able to easily manage the increased traffic. With the right tools in place, Bikini Luxe can automate operations like sales tax collection and shipping management, allowing her team to focus on building and growing the company’s customer base.