Telstra workers reveal how they made $3.6million in just three years

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Two university students quit their day jobs at Telstra to launch a multi-million dollar phone charging company with just $12,000 in savings. 

Michael Wang and Mark Johnston, both still in their 20s, were working as sales consultants at the telco giant when Apple announced wireless charging technology would be enabled on its iPhone and AirPod products.  

The pair discovered there was a gap in the market for wireless car chargers, and decided to create their own brand through an international supplier.

‘We knew the iPhone with wireless charging capabilities was launching and we wanted to start a new trend. We also complained about having messy cables in our car,’ Mr Johnston said. 

Michael Wang (third from left) and Mark Johnston (far right) were working as sales consultants at Telstra while studying at uni

Michael Wang (third from left) and Mark Johnston (far right) were working as sales consultants at Telstra while studying at uni 

The two university students immediately discovered there was a gap in the market for wireless car chargers, and decided to create their own brand through an international supplier

The two university students immediately discovered there was a gap in the market for wireless car chargers, and decided to create their own brand through an international supplier

SnapWireless' power banks, cordless car chargers and socket-based wireless pads can charge an iPhone at about 1 per cent every two minutes and one per cent every minute for the Samsung Galaxy

SnapWireless’ power banks, cordless car chargers and socket-based wireless pads can charge an iPhone at about 1 per cent every two minutes and one per cent every minute for the Samsung Galaxy

In September 2017 and with $12,000 in savings, the pair launched SnapWireless, a portable wireless charging retailer on track to make $3.6million this year.

‘We already had a bit of background in understanding tech. We knew with Apple launching it, there would be big hype behind it,’ Mr Wang told SmartCompany.

SnapWireless sells between 1,500 and 2,000 orders every month to customers in Australia, the United States and Europe through its online shop and in-store with Telstra.

Mr Wang and Mr Johnston used their knowledge of how Telstra works to create a sales pitch the telco couldn’t refuse.   

The entrepreneurs launched their products into 15 Telstra stores in their first six months of business, before the telecoms giant approved a statewide deal in South Australia.

‘We were ahead of everyone else, even the bigger wholesalers,’ Mr Johnston said. 

The pair cashed in on the lucrative social media market by sending products to influencers in exchange for Instagram posts and sponsored content

The pair cashed in on the lucrative social media market by sending products to influencers in exchange for Instagram posts and sponsored content

The pair also cashed in on the social media market by sending products to influencers in exchange for Instagram posts and sponsored content. 

SnapWireless’ power banks, cordless car chargers and socket-based wireless pads can charge an iPhone at about 1 per cent every two minutes and one per cent every minute for the Samsung Galaxy.

Despite that being slightly slower than traditional cord chargers, the pair predict wireless charging will become commonplace.  

‘It’s still a top-end thing to have wireless charging, but within two-to-three years, all phones will be charging wirelessly,’ Mr Johnston said.    

Mr Johnston encouraged budding entrepreneurs to follow his seven-step guide to launching a successful online retailer.

SnapWireless sells to between 1,500 and 2,000 orders every month to customers in Australia, the United States and Europe through its online shop and in-store with Tesltra

SnapWireless sells to between 1,500 and 2,000 orders every month to customers in Australia, the United States and Europe through its online shop and in-store with Tesltra

The entrepreneurs launched their products into 15 Telstra stores in their first six months of business, before the telecoms giant approved a statewide deal in South Australia

The entrepreneurs launched their products into 15 Telstra stores in their first six months of business, before the telecoms giant approved a statewide deal in South Australia

How to build an online business from scratch 

Step 1: Pick a niche: Tech, beauty or fitness 

Step 2: Pick a brand name and make a logo

Step 3: Register a domain name online

Step 4: Make a Shopify website

Step 5: Link Shopify store to online website 

Step 6: Pick a theme and customise your website

Step 7: Add your products to website

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He advised other young Australians to find their niche, and recommends entering either the technology, beauty or fitness field. 

‘Tech is evolving so fast and there is so many products you can launch,’ Mr Johnston said.

‘Beauty products are always running out and people will pay a premium to look good, and fitness because people are always looking for new ways to stay fit and healthy.’ 

Mr Johnston said deciding on a unique brand name and creating a logo comes next, and suggested using free website Canva.

‘Once you have your brand name you need to register online. I use a free platform called Hostpapa,’ he said.

‘Step four is to build your website, I recommend using Shopify that has a 14-day free trial. It has free themes you can pick from and it doesn’t require any coding.’  

Mr Johnston then advised linking the Shopify store to the online website, which can be done with just a few clicks. 

‘The last step is to add your products. You can add your product title, descriptions, images and the pricing, and then you’re good to go,’ he said.  

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