• The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success
  1. Join 40,000+ entrepreneurs
    who are kicking butt and
    winning their dream life.

    Unscripted™ Entrepreneurship:
    A Business That Pays More Than Money, It Pays Time.

    "Fastlane" is an entrepreneur discussion forum based on The Unscripted Entrepreneurial Framework (TUNEF) outlined in the two best-selling books by MJ DeMarco (The Millionaire Fastlane and UNSCRIPTED™). From multimillionaires to digital nomads, the forum features real entrepreneurs creating real businesses.

    Download (Unscripted) Download (Millionaire Fastlane)  Register
    Registering for the forum removes this block!

EXECUTION $5000 to $30,000 per month - eCommerce Progress

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by SparksCW, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. Nhausberger10
    Offline

    Nhausberger10 PARKED

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2016
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $11
    Thank you for your answers, they are very well written/ worded, and helped me out a lot. Thank you and congratulation on a good month. I get what you mean when you tell me that what sells the best, are things that other people can't replicate, and that had a lot of thought and hard work put into it. I feel like I am ready, I just have to tackle the biggest obstacle. Picking a product that fixes a problem or fulfills a desire. With 8 billion people in the world, and business starting and failing everyday; finding something to sell now a days that is actually profitable, is hard. I respect anyone who has success in business now a days, and I respect you highly. I look forward to more updates by you.
     
  2. SparksCW
    Offline

    SparksCW Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South, UK
    Rep Bank:
    $4,308
    It's the 5th of June and the website that I'm focusing on in this thread has now (already!) directly sold more $$ than it did in jan, feb, mar, april, may (not combined, just beat the previous months individually with exception of May)

    This is telling me that the subtle and the not so subtle design/layout changes are working, the product info is good and the site is working well. The changes were made at the beginning of May and the conversion rate for May was 0.75% and for June so far is 1.33% (for comparison, apr 0.46%, mar 0.58%, feb 0.59%, jan 0.40%) at present overall traffic has barely changed, it's still low at approx 3k sessions and that seems to be pretty steady so at present I'm just converting more people.

    3k p.m traffic (sessions) sounds awfully low, I am excited to think what sales will be like if I can get the traffic to 3k a week!!!

    This particular site, lets call it Site X for ease.. is now becoming the biggest single source of income out of all the channels as it appears to be (almost) overtaking eBay and Amazon. (average order value is about $300-$400)

    Aside from some new products and general on going improvements I think I'm going to back off working on the website and now work on MARKETING. I was working on a "master niche" site but I've put it on hold again as I think I still have so much to learn and do with Site X that starting anything else, even in the same niche, will just be a distraction, Site X's niche is plenty big enough and I don't think I've scraped the surface of it yet.

    Said it before, but I have a new sense of motivation right now.

    TO DO

    1. unique product pictures
    2. unique product videos
    3. case studies and more content
    4. blogging
    5. Found an email marketing automation software which I'm going to give a go, seems really clever and I'm going to look at ways to sell more to existing customers as well as sign up people who haven't purchased yet then send them a series of helpful emails to hopefully convert them.
    6. I am in talks with a marketing company, I'm reluctant to spend the money but I really want re-marketing banners set up and I've not had much luck with PPC so may need some professional help.
     
    Ungodly, Bruh, Ajita and 2 others like this.
  3. SparksCW
    Offline

    SparksCW Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South, UK
    Rep Bank:
    $4,308
    Finding the day job a real issue lately, I work for my dad and am "in line for the throne" and all that, but my heart isn't in it and we don't really see eye to eye on anything. I'm having an authority issue too, not happy being an employee. Past couple of years I've only really been there because I want to help him get back on his feet, he doesn't seem to help himself though so I'm almost at the point of giving up. He's a true sidewalker through and through.

    Might be taking this full time soon, intrigued to see how well we can do if the majority of my focus is on this! Even as part time, by the end of this year I'll be debt free and I'm already paying my own bills!

    Favourite thing this week... I import a product from the USA and today I sold one to someone in... the USA! strange when it's readily available out there.

    Anyway, keep working and progressing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
    Ungodly, Chazmania and ddall like this.
  4. m500
    Offline

    m500 Contributor

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    24
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    United Kingdon
    Rep Bank:
    $164
    Just read through this whole thread and feel inspired and extremely impressed! It wasn't until your last post that I remembered that you also work for the family firm too. I think that makes it all even more impressive, and makes you wonder what figures you can do if you're dedicated to it full time.

    I'm also in the UK and am researching products/niches to get into so this is all really useful for me.

    I ran a Shopify store for around a year and it did pretty crap to be honest! But, I learnt a lot and was impressed with Shopify.

    Congrats on your progress so far and I look forward to reading more.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  5. Eos
    Offline

    Eos Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    104
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Location:
    England
    Rep Bank:
    $100
    Thanks for the advice and for carrying on sharing your journey. Keep it up mate!
     
  6. SparksCW
    Offline

    SparksCW Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South, UK
    Rep Bank:
    $4,308
    So this happened....

    Sink or swim time!
     

    Attached Files:

    Johnny Le, jesset17, Eos and 2 others like this.
  7. SparksCW
    Offline

    SparksCW Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South, UK
    Rep Bank:
    $4,308
    I only have a few days left in my slow lane job and then I am full time on my own fast lane ventures.

    I haven't posted in this thread for a couple of months but we've been pretty busy and just about keeping a steady $25-30,000 p/m revenue.

    We've taken on a couple of other brands and put a lot of work into the site.

    • Streamlined and removed certain products as they just caused clutter as they weren't the items I want to be selling.
    • Added some much needed product up sell options as customers kept asking on the phone for them but no ability to buy directly on the site
    • I have employed the services of a copywriter to do 2 blog posts per month and to gradually re-write the guides, create an e-book and eventually re-write the product descriptions
    • I have employed an eCommerce consultant with proper industry experience, in my own industry which I'm really, really hopeful that this will be a key success move as he has run adword campaigns generating $3-400,000 revenue per month - this is verified as he comes from a recommendation and he is currently working for one of my key suppliers.
    • Increased website traffic, not significantly but it is going in the right direction
    • Increased phone orders
    • got a semi-exclusive product deal
    • got my own product ready to be manufactured!! I utilised an existing company and they have agreed to build their existing product into a different format with some key changes and in a new box.
    • got a deal with a foreign manufacturer who wants to bring their product into my country.


    In the coming months, now with my full attention we will be doing:

    • product videos
    • general videos
    • blog posts
    • a major SEO push
    • a major adwords push
    • further conversion optimisation - if you properly look through analytics you can start finding out where people drop off the site.. I've just noticed that more than 50% of traffic is going to a certain set of pages that are poorly designed and offer no value, and thus have a 70% bounce rate.. so these are first on the list for major improvement.
    I have been struggling to increase the sales as you can see from the relatively flat turn over from past months.. always around the $25-30k month. But I am very hopeful that by Christmas this year we'll be smashing the $25,000 revenue mark.

    Keep plugging away!
     
    Bruh, Fox and jasoncuellar123 like this.
  8. SparksCW
    Offline

    SparksCW Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South, UK
    Rep Bank:
    $4,308
    Oh I forgot to say though...and it's kind of important.

    Whilst overall revenue is steady, it's now coming predominately from the key site this thread is about. When I started the thread we were only doing a few $ through this particular site and the revenue was made up via other sites and third party sales, now via the site and the phone calls it generates we're doing about $15,000 p/m! That's a pretty good increase I think and we're only just getting started!

    Lately third party sales and our other site sales are quite low, luckily this particular site is growing and we will be working on the other channels soon to try and increase them as well.
     
  9. SparksCW
    Offline

    SparksCW Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South, UK
    Rep Bank:
    $4,308
    So this month has been a real change for me. I've been guided by someone who's run much larger shops in the same industry and I've learnt a considerable amount already. (action has been taken on my site, and seeing results already)

    I'm not here to take part, I'm here to take over - Connor McGregor

    Little Details

    Every single last thing on a website matters. If you want to be the best it matters anyway.

    I've been tracking keywords for a long time, and I see them rise and fall and I add a few words into the page to try and boost it. Had some success over time sure.

    BUT

    I've often wondered why we're in top 5 for a relevant keyword which appears to have reasonable monthly traffic, but we don't seem to get considerable traffic onto the site. And here's why..

    When you click on that link and look at the page...

    what does it say to you?
    does it answer your question?
    does it solve your problem?
    does it make you want it?
    does the meta title and description shown on Google draw you into clicking the link?
    does the page relate to the above meta title and description?
    does the category description fit?
    is there enough products to fulfil the customers needs and desires, people tend not to want 1 solution, they want to compare otherwise they have a nagging doubt about "what else is there?"

    Most important thing with SEO (my opinion)

    If someone is searching for calculators.. and you're on the first page, top 5 results somehow, but your meta description says computers. Will people still click? if they do and your page mentions computers, will they convert? or will they just disappear off to the next link?

    What if you're in the top 5 and your page is relevant, but the description isn't good enough? there aren't enough products to choose from? the page doesn't adequately answer questions?

    The SERP ranking isn't the only key factor here.

    Your Google result needs to say

    Buy Calculators
    Make adding up easy. Get your calculators here, all types sizes and colours available next day.

    and the page needs to be

    "Heres a calculator, want a black one? here you go! calculator with a printer? here you go! calculator that doubles as a coffee machine?!! We have that too because we're the best damn place to buy a calculator oh and heres some pretty pictures of calculators!!!"

    So this month we've been going through everything with a fine tooth comb and it's hard work, it's boring and it'll take a lot more time. Every time you think you're getting close you realise there are still so many questions un-answered or bits missing. And let me say that the details weren't alarmingly bad, they just weren't good enough to be the best.

    We've been re-writing META descriptions and titles, keeping them within lengths. I recommend using www.seomofo.com SERP tool as you can see what it will look like on Google.

    Long Term

    This is all long term, it takes time to make changes and it takes more time for them to have results in Google.. however it does make a better product/category page which will improve Google Adwords quality scores etc and hopefully convert more paid traffic whilst building on the organic.

    So yeah, attention to detail is where it's at.

    (all above being tracked via analytics, judging by conversion, bounce rate improvements and general traffic improvements - small results so far, but we're only a couple weeks into the ongoing changes - I still believe eCommerce is about finding and perfecting the formula, and once the formula is perfected you'll turn the tap on full power and become an "overnight success").
     
    Chazmania, quanttastic and Brian C. like this.
  10. SparksCW
    Offline

    SparksCW Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South, UK
    Rep Bank:
    $4,308
    Haven't posted here for a while, last month was $36,000 so starting to increase but still far slower than I'd hoped, it was also ironically one of my most stressful months yet. It's only been two months since I quit my day job and the world has changed a lot in that time (Brexit for example!) but it's all too easy to blame outside influences, the trick is to learn to adapt and change so that those issues no longer become a problem.

    Things I've Learnt After A Really Stressfully Hard Month


    1) Amazon and eBay are hard to compete with.

    2) But Amazon & eBay don't add value, so whilst products may be there and cheaper, it doesn't mean you won't sell via your own website.

    3) Control is important. One of my smaller brand websites has had a 24% price increase due to the current exchange rate. My supplier put my costs up significantly, now I have to raise all my prices and risk losing sales, but more importantly I can no longer offer my trade account margin and a lot of my customers are trade. Not able to gain product direct, lesson learnt. Unsure how to make the most of this situation now. I can only think of adding more content, more value and more accessories. It's unfortunate, but my other niche site far outperforms this so it's not going to ruin me.

    4) Scaling costs money. Lots of money.

    5) Three good, properly made, value adding niche websites beat 1 "mega store" that has no USP or purpose.

    Spent the whole of Oct-Nov getting stressed over suppliers, eBay & Amazon competition, only to be punched in the face by the reality that (in my opinion) there are only three types of direct product sales ecommerce websites these days.

    A)
    the quality niche store that answers all the right questions about a product that you can't easily buy from down the road.

    B)
    the big money mega stores with advertising budgets to suit, all the big brands want these guys to sell their stuff and their TV ads will generate the trust required to make a mega store work.

    C)
    the wannabes in the middle who don't really know what they are or what they're doing, wondering why they have no traffic and no sales.

    I have 2 stores in band A and 1 store in band C. This thread has mostly been about a band A site but I've been working a lot on the band C site this past month or two, only to realise that I'm working pointlessly on something I don't have the money or connections to make it work. I have seen the light and this site can easily be transformed into a Band A site by following the blueprint of my other sites. They are all closely inter-connected but all serve a very different audience.

    6) Business isn't easy. Working for yourself is tough. BUT there are no ups without downs. Working for someone else is like sitting on the kids caterpillar rollercoaster at Disney Land. You're pretty safe but you're not really going to have much fun.


    My Niche Store 101


    1) close matching domain names do help, I am not an SEO expert but I'm very confident that they help. Even if just a little. I know lots of people say otherwise. I don't know if I'm right. But I've had far more success with them than others. I have the same niche product on two sites, the domain name matching site far outperforms the generic site in the serps.

    2) Your products need to be something that people need and want (even if they don't know it yet), but they can't just go to the local Tesco/WalMart/Currys/Best Buy and pick one up after work or buy from their websites. Why would someone buy a generic product from you over a big name? Or if it can be picked up easily then it needs to be something that really needs a lot more questions answering that the big stores can't/won't do.

    3) You CAN beat Amazon. But you'll only beat them with lots of very useful content. Not just a bit, I'm talking proper descriptions, FAQ's, knowledge base, blog, videos, pictures, guides, how-to's. Go deep! Good content is ever-green, promotes conversions, promotes links and reduces phone calls and emails asking about your products.

    4) Build a niche, and when it starts selling well start working in your own-branded or re-branded products. It makes it harder for people to compare you to competition, if your re-branded product is spot on for pricing, quality and meeting customers requirements then you stand a good chance of selling it over the other brands on your site.

    5) Niche stores can make it BIG. think ao.com they sell white goods and closely related things you'd expect to see in that type of shop, their USP is low prices due to no showrooms and they play HEAVILY on the FREE timed delivery, who wants to lug a new washing machine home in their car? And vice versa, who wants to pay $60 for delivery? no one, so AO.com removed both those issues and are now a big name in white goods. (in the UK at least) I hear it was started by some bloke who was in a pub with his friends moaning about white goods deliveries and thought he could do better. (not sure if that's true or just internet hear-say) A lot of the success stories I see for people making decent money online all seem to be from smaller niche stores.

    6) Don't under-estimate the importance of reviews.

    Next month I'll be taking some of Andy Black's advice by spending some more time and money on "Coffee & Diesel"!
     
    Nicoli, Chazmania, Eos and 4 others like this.
  11. devine
    Offline

    devine Bronze Contributor

    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    107
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Russia
    Rep Bank:
    $570
    How many products do you have?

    Start with discounts:
    $59 now ($71 full price).

    I would attempt (it's thin ice) to increase the price for fewer products + additional % to slightly cover the lack of margins on other products. Then increase the price for what's left.

    I would also offer specials and introduce new products to provide the alternative.

    There are countless ways to smoothly increase prices without loosing customers.
     
  12. Arun Siva
    Offline

    Arun Siva aspiring 大君 of the bourgeoisie Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    990
    Likes Received:
    1,458
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2016
    Location:
    NORD-TRONDELAG
    Rep Bank:
    $9,915
  13. bbrrookie
    Offline

    bbrrookie Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    36
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2014
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Rep Bank:
    $78
    Awesome progress! Looking forward to more success and more content.

    Im sure youre gearing up for the holidays now. Best of luck!
     
  14. SparksCW
    Offline

    SparksCW Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South, UK
    Rep Bank:
    $4,308
    I've not updated for a while but we have been busy.

    Last month was nearly $70,000 t/o. This month not so good at $40,000 so far but still good enough and a few days left yet....

    Things I've learnt.

    1. Sometimes it's lucrative to get off your fat ass and go find business in the real world. Ring people, e-mail people, go see people, network, shows etc.
    2. Paid search is key. You can work hard for months to increase SEO and it should be done as it does definitely help. But likewise you can get hundreds of visitors to your site instantly via paid search. The trick is to LEARN IT so you don't waste all your money without conversions. With the help of reading @andyblack threads and help I've managed to double my daily budgets and actually become profitable. It still needs more tweaking as it's not super profitable, but I guess this is where the element of scale comes in - increase ads exponentially and that "smaller" profit margin becomes a large pot of money. I'd highly recommend you read them, then read them again then watch the videos and of course in the words of andy himself, launch and learn!!
    3. As you grow your debtors amount gets bigger, it gets a bit scarier and you need to be careful with what you do with your CASH money. Cash is king!
    4. Keep good stocks, if you sell something regularly, keep it in stock! Else when the manufacturer says they can't get any for a month you still have stuff to sell!
    5. Stay healthy, being tired and in constant pain isn't the key to success. Exercise, lots of water and a bit of down time is required.
    6. To coin a Gary Vaynerchuk phrase... ALWAYS BE ON THE OFFENCE. Your competitors are not sitting around twiddling their thumbs. They're planning to attack you. Be ready/get in there before they can attack you. They will never give up, just like you won't.

    TL: DR

    Business is hard, there's more to business than the internet, learn PPC, stock what you sell, do some stretching before you ATTACK!!!
     
  15. Chazmania
    Offline

    Chazmania Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    467
    Likes Received:
    757
    Joined:
    May 23, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Rep Bank:
    $3,615
    Great thread man! I'm bookmarking and will be going back through it asap.
     
  16. SparksCW
    Offline

    SparksCW Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South, UK
    Rep Bank:
    $4,308
    Been a while with no updates again so here's an end of 2017 update.

    Hit the dizzy heights of $95000 in one month! Still a long way off where I want to be but I've learnt a lot of very important things about the process this year.

    We're 120% up on last years turnover, gross profit margin is a little bit down as to be expected but it's still relatively consistent. All of the profit + more has been re-invested, and I've been paid a basic amount each month so all in all a successful year I guess.

    Business

    • Increasing order volume is hard
    • When you manage to increase order volume, everything gets even harder
    • Cash flow is king. Ironically when you're selling a lot it gets harder to manage.
    • More orders = more risk of fraud, we've taken quite a hit in the last couple of months.. had to implement new procedures to reduce the risk.
    • Need to build a team - seriously, this is the most important and also the hardest part. I still feel like we can't afford the right person, but at the same time we're struggling and not progressing as much as I'd like to. On the flip side, the right person could increase orders by who knows what? They could transform the company in a matter of months, I have two roles to fulfil but it's chicken & egg here!! what comes first?? May consider taking a leap and getting someone in part time for one of the roles and full time for the other.
    • Keeping up with the competition is pretty hard. A lot of them in my industry have deep pockets and are buying up complete stock ranges (like 700+ items at $100 each per product line) then the supplier ships them to Amazon in batches. It's almost impossible to compete, when we do sell something it's often "out of stock" and we end up refunding our customer.
    • Whilst I'm trying to maintain a set GP margin, a lot of the competition are happy to work on much lower margins for the box-shifting products. I don't want to get too caught up in that, but I think maybe we do need to find some faster selling lines - less profit but could aid cash flow.
    • Stock is becoming key. Almost to the point now where we're moving towards only selling what we physically have in stock. It's impossible to control a third party, they might have 100 today and 0 tomorrow (probably because they've sold it to the big pocketed companies) no stock = lost sales.
    • Don't think too much... i.e it's hard to do things when you're already busy. I was going to implement some new stock and order management software, for some reason I decided against it, then we got really busy and I could have really done with the software, but was too busy to implement it.... now we're quiet I'm re-looking at it, trying to get over the $200 / mo costs but I know it'll bring value so for some things you kind of just need to take a leap of faith and not think about it too much.
    • Too many avenues - there are so many ways to do business, so many options, marketplaces, ideas, sub-sites, niches etc etc.. I'm sure you can make millions in any of them, but if you're dabbling in all of them you're just going to struggle unless you have deep pockets and lots of staff. I'm finding it real hard to focus on the avenues with the most realistic potential. Too many ideas!

    Personal

    • Need to find a work-life balance. Working too much really does affect everything negatively. Next year I really need to find some hobbies and improve my health. I'm always tired and achey and have a few health issues that I need to get resolved next year.
    • It's really hard to hit personal financial goals when you're growing a business. Therefore it's important to have non-financial goals otherwise you'll feel like you're standing still, which is how I feel right now. I'm not much better off personally (in my opinion) however my business has doubled. Another year and I'll no doubt benefit personally big style. To be fair I certainly haven't got backwards personally and my family aren't doing without. So it's not all bad!

    What's planned for 2018?

    Well obviously need to keep increasing, keep pushing. Want to make it to the 6 figure / month mark. But consistently, not just a one off.

    Need to buy more stock, especially on the common selling items, why worry about buying loads of stock if it consistently sells? Can save an extra 5-10% and less hassle booking in stock etc. Suppliers are happier too as it's easier for them to deal with. Just need to not think about it and send that purchase order...

    Trust my instincts on software, a few hundred a month can save lots of time which can be better spent elsewhere. Plus it's systems that help the company run without me.

    Going to watch the 1%... as the turnover grows then every 1% of gross profit margin saved now equates to quite a few thousand dollars of additional profit each year. This year we'll be buying in bulk to save 5-10% on some stock lines, some lines we'll be buying into stock instead of drop shipping just to save 1% margin on that line, we're going to be a bit more frugal on quotes to customers and try to offer a free product instead of a general discount, simple things to still offer value but save the 1%...

    PPC - paid search is significant. Next year we'll be increasing our ad ranges and our spends. I've noticed that shopping campaigns seem to work best. Looking at our 2017 to 2016 annual advertising spend our turnover has more than doubled and our advertising spend has also just more than doubled. So it's very, very consistent (so far).... sometimes you can get wrapped up in looking at 7 days of data and it might not have been a good week, but over 60 days it could have been very good overall... looking at the year, it was good.

    Next year we need to spend more if we want to grow.

    That's all for now, so much going on in my head!

    Happy new year!
     
    Ungodly, Johnny Le, Si G and 5 others like this.
  17. SparksCW
    Offline

    SparksCW Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South, UK
    Rep Bank:
    $4,308
    So it's March, another quick update.

    Business is still growing, almost at end of financial year and we're set to almost double last fiscal year (turnover)

    Things I've noted.

    • We are now buying more profitably but it's causing major cash flow issues, something I've never had to deal with in this business before. We're buying in 50+ units of an expensive product that we used to buy in 3-4's at a time. Making an extra 10% margin so technically making more money but we're buying faster than the money is coming in from payment processors which is starting to cause me some stress. We're also selling more in general so hitting supplier credit limits in the first week of the month. Not ideal.
    • Low daily order volume (of high value products) make it hard to employ additional warehouse staff. Must find lower priced items that sell faster.
    • More staff needed. Seriously, I've said this numerous times in this thread, but it needs to be actioned. And it will be. Just wait and see...
    • Content is king... having done a complete analysis of how we can grow as a value add eCommerce business, it all comes down to content.
    • All my goals have INCREASED.
    • Throw excuses out of the window, everything is possible if you work harder/smarter.
    • I've realised that the technical aspect of our products that's been "worrying" me is actually the moat around our castle if we play it correctly.
    So all in all much of a muchness. Bit of a plateau but with lots of positive stuff in the makings.

    I can sense a massive breakthrough coming soon though, something to smash the $100,000 / mo mark.

    Hopefully next time I post it'll be because we've broken the £100,000 / mo mark which is $140,000 dollars.
     
    Ungodly, Huracan and Almantas like this.
  18. SparksCW
    Offline

    SparksCW Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South, UK
    Rep Bank:
    $4,308
    May Update!

    So turnover is steady, nothing too exciting, just steady and increasing. This month is set to be our best month ever as we are almost even with our current best month and its only the 18th!

    Since the beginning of the year we've been buying in bulk to save a percent here and there, we've been a bit more careful with how much discounts we give and we've been trying to maximise profits where possible whilst offering great value to the customer. All in all this year every month has been far more profitable than previously, we're not making loads of money just yet but certainly doing better than we were.

    I employed a new team member in web design and content creation, let's just say that our website has improved significantly since he started!

    I have been working on streamlining the website, conversion optimization and getting the business running smoothly with the aim for it to run with very little of my input as well as providing tangible assets (with view to an exit in a few years time...)

    Small changes can make a big difference in sales. Hard to show it in full context but some checkout simplifications and tactical addition of trust badges have had a positive effect (See image, the figures are percentage increases from the previous period.)

    [​IMG]

    So I would recommend instead of always chasing new traffic, it's worth having a look at your existing metrics and see if you can easily and cheaply convert more of your existing traffic or increase average order values/repeat custom etc.

    Work to our product pages and our help pages has helped decrease bounce rate and increase time on site.

    Now we are going wider by adding more relevant categories and products.

    Still determined to break that first $100k month but at least I know that my margins are improving which ultimately is the most important thing!

    My main take away from the past couple of months is:

    Employing and expanding the team is a bit scary and is hard work if done properly to get the best candidate, but the right team member can accelerate your business forward.

    My recommendation is to embrace it and don't see that person as a cost, as a liability, that person you pay X amount could help generate Y amount or make life 10 x easier so that you can be more productive and turn X into Y etc..
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  19. SparksCW
    Offline

    SparksCW Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South, UK
    Rep Bank:
    $4,308
    Wow just saw my post from a couple of years ago.

    Can I just say to anyone who can relate to the above post...

    1. You will land on your feet and eventually thrive.
    2. You don't owe anyone, anything. (in that situation)
    3. Your employer won't fall apart without you, they will simply replace you and carry on as if you were never there.
    4. You will never look back.

    If I knew then what I know now, I would have left that job many years before!
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
    Kid, Ungodly, Forge and 5 others like this.
  20. SparksCW
    Offline

    SparksCW Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    598
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South, UK
    Rep Bank:
    $4,308
    Another month over and.....

    $103,000 in May! (margin target also met)

    Finally.

    A lot learnt this month, will put it into a post at some point.

    Next target is $140k /mo and to do this consistently. A lot of things going on at the moment....
     
    Johnny Le and Ungodly like this.
  21. Ungodly
    Online

    Ungodly Tom Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    1,444
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Location:
    Raleigh
    Rep Bank:
    $6,422
    Hell yeah! Now you're in the big leagues. Before you know it you'll be cruising past $500k. Rep +
     

Share This Page