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MythOfSisyphus

MythOfSisyphus

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MARCH UPDATE

Monthly Revenue Goal: $108,000

Actual Monthly Revenue: $109,591.49

Annual Revenue Goal: $1,750,000

Revenue so far: $321,970


For a while there it looked like I would miss the target, however an Easter long weekend sale netted about 10k in 2 days which got me over the line and resulted in my best month ever by a fair margin.

What went right:
  • 6 new products that I stocked earlier in the month ended up taking in $2800 in sales
  • Easter sale netted 10k in 2 days
  • Re-invested a large percentage of profits into some new stock that will hopefully arrive this month and should really boost revenue over the coming months
  • Hiring a part time employee to handle shipping freed me up to focus on activities that will grow revenue in the next few months.
  • Website traffic was up by about 20% from the previous month which is a huge increase

What went wrong:
  • An overhaul of my adwords campaigns didn't pay immediate dividends, netting only 30k in revenue for an 8k spend. (February saw 28k in revenue for only a 5k spend). I'll be tweaking the keywords and budgets in the next week or so to see if I can improve those figures.
  • Several best selling products were out of stock for an extended period due to manufacturing delays caused by the Chinese new year.
  • Had a higher than usual number of returns and refunds
  • Selling on the newly launched Amazon Australia is still being delayed due to several frustrating issues. I had incorrectly assumed it would be as easy as listing items on ebay.
  • Conversion rate dropped by 2% from previous month

Revenue Goal for April: 118k

April is traditionally the month that sales really start to dip due to the colder months here in Australia so if I can hit this target I'll be very pleased. I'm expecting several new products to arrive but probably won't see many results from them until next month due to the time it takes to do photography, copy and website adjustments.

Any growth this month will hopefully come from improvements to my paid search campaigns, continued sales from the new products introduced last month and more time spent engaging with our customers on social media.
 
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Quick progress update:

I've been meaning to come back here and update more regularly however it's been tough to find the time.

So far April is looking okay but I'll struggle to make the target of 118k. It's looking closer to around 110k which would still be the biggest month ever but not a big improvement over March unfortunately.

I've had a stack of new products arriving that I should have up on the website for sale in early May. It's at this point that I'm predicting a big jump in revenue.

There's also a new product I've found that could be a huge innovation in our market and if I can get it out there first it should be a massive boost. This one is probably 2 months away from being in stock though.

This month I've spent a lot of time researching my competition and seeing what they're up to. I've actually ordered a lot of stock from some of the main competitors to see things like how they package their orders, what their order notifications and follow up sales tactics are like and it's been a great experience. I've come away with a lot of ideas to improve. eg. I'm having some stickers printed that will go on the inside of the box and have a nice message for our customers when they open their order. Improving little things like this will have a payoff in the long run with brand loyalty and customer retention.

Anyway... back to the grind and hopefully I'll have another more detailed update soon.
 

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MythOfSisyphus

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Marked NOTABLE, congrats on reaching the revenue goal. You socking money away?

BTW, here is your intro post if anyone wants a link or missed it in your first post.

INTRO - In the fastlane and looking to go even faster
Thanks, I'll probably miss this months goal but revenue is heading in the right direction.

And yes, I'm re-investing heavily in the business but have also almost completely paid of the mortgage and am just about to purchase some waterfront land that I'll be building an investment property on next year. Looks like I'll also have enough borrowing power to build a commercial property or properties that I can move the business into some time next year as well. Living the dream.
 
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MythOfSisyphus

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A couple of annoying issues that cropped up yesterday:

1) A shipment of new products Im expecting has been held by Australian customs due to a dispute over the price of the goods and their slice of the import tax.

2) A shipment of another new product from a different supplier arrived from China which is great, however the labels have a printing error. Some only a minor error but others it is fairly major and they can't be sold this way (we're talking around 2000 products). I got pretty pissed about this and ripped into the supplier. They will be sending replacement labels, however doing the relabeling will take a few days and cost me hundreds, if not thousands in wages for my employee to fix.

A very frustrating day over all.
 
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MythOfSisyphus

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APRIL UPDATE

Monthly Revenue Goal: $118,000

Actual Monthly Revenue: $110,990.38

Annual Revenue Goal: $1,750,000

Revenue so far: $425,616.05


A slight increase over March's total revenue but unfortunately still a long way off the goal of $118,000.

At the current rate I'll now need to average $165k per month from here on out to hit the annual revenue goal. The new products need to go up on the website asap, and then need to sell ridiculous amounts in the coming months otherwise I can't see me getting anywhere near that lofty goal.

What went right:
  • Plenty of new stock arrived that should bring in a lot of revenue over the next few months
  • I added Afterpay to the website at the end of the month and it's resulted in an unexpected spike in sales so far this month. This surprised me as I assumed that since our customers are business owners that they wouldn't be so reliant on payment methods like AfterPay but I guess I underestimated how many sidewalkers are out there.
  • The new products I introduced last month continued to sell well, netting approximately 4.5k in sales
  • My suppliers all managed to ship on time and combined with the excellent stock forecasting software I use this has resulted in a much lower number of stockouts than usual.
  • I managed to simplify several tasks that I can now hand over to my employee to free up more of my time.

What went wrong:
  • The Adwords campaigns didn't improve as I had hoped, netting only 31k in sales from an 8k spend.
  • A shipment of new products I desperately want to start selling is still being held up in customs
  • Another shipment of different new product that I also want to start selling asap arrived with printing errors on the labels a large number of products. They sent replacement labels and my employee will start replacing them tomorrow.
  • My mobile phone died and I spent 1.5k AU replacing it with a Pixel 2 XL because of it's great camera. Well, it turns out that it's camera is terrible at taking photos under fluorescent lights which makes it useless as for product photography (The entire reason I purchased it). I wasted an entire day taking photos of new stock only to find all of the pictures had an ugly yellow band running through them and were essentially useless.

Revenue Goal for May: 125k

We're a week into May and I still haven't put any of the new products up for sale on the website as yet. I am hoping to have at least some of them up at the start of next week and this should help me hit this months target. The spike in sales I've seen from Afterpay should also hopefully continue throughout the month and contribute.
 
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Action Mike

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Good stuff, I look forward to reading more updates. When you first started did you only invest the $4,000 into the business and recycle it growing month by month or did you infuse more cash into it for inventory to get it jump started?
 
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Good stuff, I look forward to reading more updates. When you first started did you only invest the $4,000 into the business and recycle it growing month by month or did you infuse more cash into it for inventory to get it jump started?
The business grew slowly and steadily enough over the first few months that I was able to simply re-invest the profits in new stock without any need to dip into the pool of savings that I was living off.

Looking back though, if I knew how well the business would go, I probably would have immediately branched out into different products types using my savings to fund it.
 

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The business grew slowly and steadily enough over the first few months that I was able to simply re-invest the profits in new stock without any need to dip into the pool of savings that I was living off.

Looking back though, if I knew how well the business would go, I probably would have immediately branched out into different products types using my savings to fund it.
Hey @MythOfSisyphus nice updates. I’m sure you will kick the gears these months and will get close to your annual goal, good job!

Would you mind sharing how you approach your targeting method to sell to retailers, vs a direct to consumer approach?


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MythOfSisyphus

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Hey @MythOfSisyphus nice updates. I’m sure you will kick the gears these months and will get close to your annual goal, good job!

Would you mind sharing how you approach your targeting method to sell to retailers, vs a direct to consumer approach?


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Sure, it's basically been about allocating the marketing budget a little more unevenly than you would with a direct to consumer approach.

The majority of the marketing spend is on adwords search because I know that I'm paying for business owners and retailers who are already actively looking for similar products.

I don't spend a lot on social media ads because our audience on there is extremely narrow (based on job title). Even using lookalike audiences based on our existing customer base gives a really poor return.

Secondly I spend quite a lot on retargetting as we're in a niche we're our customers are constantly restocking their products. I have retargetting campaigns setup on both adwords and facebook/instagram that display previously purchased products to lapsed buyers, and also campaigns that target previous visitors who showed interest. Based on experience (and I believe this is the general consensus when it comes to marketing) it's been far more cost-effective to advertise to previous customers than it has for new ones.

I'm happy to go into more detail for anyone who's interested.
 
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May Revenue Goal: $125,000

Actual Revenue for May: $144,153.36

Annual Revenue Goal: $1,750,000

Revenue so far: $586,616.17


Wow, what a month. I thought 125k might have been out of reach, particularly given that I'm coming into what is traditionally the slowest time of year for sales so to hit 144k was completely unexpected. It's an awesome result and has put me back on track to hit that big annual goal. Revenue so far this year is up 215% on last year which is pretty decent growth 3 years into the business.

What went right:
  • The addition of afterpay continued to boost sales
  • The new products I launched sold quite well particularly in the first days after launch due to email and social media campaigns
  • I continued to keep nearly all products in stock permanently which saw more consistent sales

What went wrong:
  • Not a lot really. The adwords campaigns continue to struggle netting only 30k from an increased 9k spend so we're trending downwards there.
  • Some ongoing struggles with our shipping software (I paid 5k to have this software customised and it's been a massive dissapointment with constant bugs and wasted time). No direct impact on sales but frustrating none the less.

Plans for June...
I'm still currently running my accounting from a spreadsheet which is becoming completely unmanageable so I've hired a freelance accounting expert to assist me in setting up online accounting software.

In an effort to get better results from my online advertising, I'm going to hire a digital marketing expert to work a couple of hours a week to get the adwords and facebook campaigns doing better returns and also to provide me with better analytics and reports.

I'll also start shipping internationally this month which will hopefully start to pay dividends toward the end of this year by growing a repeat customer base overseas. There's a little bit of red tape to get through first with GDPR compliance

Currently we're still sending items on ebay via envelopes in an effort to provide free shipping (All items via the website go out in mailing boxes) . This has been a great strategy in the past because it's much easier to sell on ebay with free shipping, however ebay now only accounts for less than 10% of revenue and having 2 different shipping methods is a pain.

I've started charging a small flat rate shipping fee on ebay (at a loss) and will ship the ebay orders together with the website orders in an effort to streamline our processes. If this proves to have too drastic of an impact on sales then I'll back out.

I'm mindful of losing customers this way because traditionally ebay has been great for siphoning customers from there over to my website and in the long run it could have a bigger impact on long term sales than I'm predicting. If this is the case I may even consider offering free shipping but still using the mailing boxes which would mean on most individual items sold on ebay I'd be making no money and in many cases a loss, however if this means I'm still gaining new long term customers regularly then the hit might be worth it, especially if I can renegotiate my shipping contract with Australia Post (which is also on the agenda)

Revenue goal for June: $155,000

To be honest I'll be happy if I can sustain the great sales from last month, but there's no reason I can't build on those sales and hit this lofty target.
 
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Great job, you're killing it!

In an effort to get better results from my online advertising, I'm going to hire a digital marketing expert to work a couple of hours a week to get the adwords and facebook campaigns doing better returns and also to provide me with better analytics and reports.
I think you should consider talking to @Andy Black about your AdWords strategy, looks like he knows his onions when it comes to AdWords.
Though I think he primarily consults for offline services local businesses, not sure about ecommerce businesses, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a chat with him.

Wish you sustained progress, and hope you hit (and shatter) your targets for this year.
 

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Not as yet. I'd definitely be open to exploring it but not sure how viable it would be in my niche. Most of the sellers in this niche have their own brand of products.

I have recently negotiated a contract with Australia post for domestic shipping, but one that also includes the option of much lower international rates as well, so resuming international shipping is part of my plan in the coming months. I originally scrapped it due to the effort required to complete manual paperwork for customs. This process is now automated so I'm good to resume.

Approximately 10% of daily traffic to the site is international (around 30 to 40 visitors a day) so there's money on the table there.
You should consider a 3PL here in the US. Have your products shipped there and they will charge you a per piece fee to do the shipments for you.

Assuming your products are popular here or are a good fit, this could work out very well for you.

The other option is to open a "branch" or get a partner in the US. Have that company import the products in bulk (deal with customs 1 time), then have that "entity" deliver the goods.

Either solution should allow you to scale to the US.

Any questions, let me know.
 

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Hi @MythOfSisyphus thanks for your insights here. Your writing is very clear and I'm personally learning a lot from the simplicity of your posts.

How do you decide which new products to introduce? Is your wife still heavily involved in this process and would you be lost without her in this regard?

Also are the products simply made somewhere in China then you slap your branding on them, and your competitors have the identical product with different branding? Or are you literally creating the products 100% from scratch, with input on the composition/manufacture etc

Thanks again and I hope you continue the good work.
 

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Great job, you're killing it!


I think you should consider talking to @Andy Black about your AdWords strategy, looks like he knows his onions when it comes to AdWords.
Though I think he primarily consults for offline services local businesses, not sure about ecommerce businesses, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a chat with him.

Wish you sustained progress, and hope you hit (and shatter) your targets for this year.
Thanks for the kind words @Genius01.

@MythOfSisyphus ... I have some eCom clients but mostly lead gen. Happy to have a chat, as I’m sure @Ungodly would who does specialise in eCom.

I’m not actively looking for any more eCom clients but could maybe spot a few quick wins.
 
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Thanks for the kind words @Genius01.

@MythOfSisyphus ... I have some eCom clients but mostly lead gen. Happy to have a chat, as I’m sure @Ungodly would who does specialise in eCom.

I’m not actively looking for any more eCom clients but could maybe spot a few quick wins.
Thanks guys, I appreciate the offers. I'm still undecided on which direction to go with this hire and have put it on hold while I focus on resuming international shipping.
 
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You should consider a 3PL here in the US. Have your products shipped there and they will charge you a per piece fee to do the shipments for you.

Assuming your products are popular here or are a good fit, this could work out very well for you.

The other option is to open a "branch" or get a partner in the US. Have that company import the products in bulk (deal with customs 1 time), then have that "entity" deliver the goods.

Either solution should allow you to scale to the US.

Any questions, let me know.
This is something I've considered for quite a while and to be honest it's really only a bit of internal fear (and a few logistics that need to be ironed out) that's holding me back from pursuing it properly. It seems like a huge step to take and the loss of control over things like packing causes me a bit of anxiety.

Our packing process can be quite complicated as we have around over 600 hundred SKUS and currently nothing is barcoded. Several of our products have multiple variants that are all extremely similar by eye except for the labels. The average order contains around 5 or 6 products and the large ones up to around 50.

But, to be honest it's really probably something I need to just investigate a bit further into to make myself comfortable with it. I'd love to hear experiences from anyone who has successfully transitioned their business overseas in this way.
 
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Hi @MythOfSisyphus t

How do you decide which new products to introduce? Is your wife still heavily involved in this process and would you be lost without her in this regard?
Thanks for the kind words.

This is a good question. I generally get an inkling of what products to stock by keeping an eye on the competition, listening to our customers (including conducting surveys) and also keeping an eye on new products that our suppliers are offering. From there I will often get my wife's opinion, and then order samples for her to test.
The next step is usually estimating how much stock I'll need to start and then seeing how it sells. Sometimes a product will fall flat but I've found most products I've decided to stock have done quite well.

I've even stocked a few that my wife didn't think would do very well, but are now providing a couple of full time jobs worth of profit each month by themselves.

In the beginning I wouldn't have been able to start without her help, or at least not have been anywhere near as successful, but to be honest, at this point I could simply create a focus group from our long term customers to decide which products to stock.

Also are the products simply made somewhere in China then you slap your branding on them, and your competitors have the identical product with different branding? Or are you literally creating the products 100% from scratch, with input on the composition/manufacture etc
They're made in both China and Korea and yes, some I simply slap our brand on and can spot the exact same products amongst several of our competitors, however I usually only put our branding on products where I've had some input into the manufacturing process. Many of the products, in particular disposable ones, are simply sold without any branding at all.
 
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June Progress Update:

Things a looking good so far. Had a mid-year stock take sale last week that provided the biggest week ever in sales by a fair way. Not sure if I'll hit the target but should hopefully be close.

I've also put in a bid for a warehouse and office that is currently under construction and will be ready early next year. Hopefully I won't run out of room in the home office and storage shed before then. The main reason for this move is that I'll most likely be bringing on a 2nd employee within the next 7 or 8 months and I don't think having 2 employees working from my backyard is sustainable.

My biggest concern at the moment is trying to keep the overheads from blowing up. The warehouse expenses won't help and I've just switched to an online accounting system that will most likely require me to hire a part time book keeper, in addition to a digital marketing expert some time in the coming months.

I'm also in the process of going from being a sole trader for tax purposes to an actual business operating through a family trust. This will help protect my income, however will also incur further costs.

I'll provide a full update at months end.
 

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June Progress Update:

Things a looking good so far. Had a mid-year stock take sale last week that provided the biggest week ever in sales by a fair way. Not sure if I'll hit the target but should hopefully be close.

I've also put in a bid for a warehouse and office that is currently under construction and will be ready early next year. Hopefully I won't run out of room in the home office and storage shed before then. The main reason for this move is that I'll most likely be bringing on a 2nd employee within the next 7 or 8 months and I don't think having 2 employees working from my backyard is sustainable.

My biggest concern at the moment is trying to keep the overheads from blowing up. The warehouse expenses won't help and I've just switched to an online accounting system that will most likely require me to hire a part time book keeper, in addition to a digital marketing expert some time in the coming months.

I'm also in the process of going from being a sole trader for tax purposes to an actual business operating through a family trust. This will help protect my income, however will also incur further costs.

I'll provide a full update at months end.
Amazing update! Congrats on the killer month.

I am not, nor have I have been, in your current level but I think you are making the right moves in expanding your team and operations site. Although it may dip the bottom line in the short term, down the road it should allow you to let the team do more of the day to day and you focusing on increasing sales and expanding the business. Very inspiring!

Are you in the US? By sole trader do you mean sole proprietor (operating under your own social security/name vs an LLC or Corp)? If so, another great move in my opinion.. let the business be it’s own entity, you have limited liability, and thus protect your personal assets if someone ever tries to go after the company


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Amazing update! Congrats on the killer month.

I am not, nor have I have been, in your current level but I think you are making the right moves in expanding your team and operations site. Although it may dip the bottom line in the short term, down the road it should allow you to let the team do more of the day to day and you focusing on increasing sales and expanding the business. Very inspiring!

Are you in the US? By sole trader do you mean sole proprietor (operating under your own social security/name vs an LLC or Corp)? If so, another great move in my opinion.. let the business be it’s own entity, you have limited liability, and thus protect your personal assets if someone ever tries to go after the company


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Thankyou.

No, I'm in Australia but you're correct... it's basically the same thing. I'll be going from the Australian equivalent of a sole proprietor to an LLC. So I'm about 12 days away from peace of mind in that regard.
 

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I’m starting this thread to document my journey from “good money” (you can read my intro story here) to FU money.

I aim to do this in the next 5 years by getting my online salon supply business to the stage where it’s profiting 7 figures a year and then hopefully selling it for several million. I’ll then have enough money invested to live comfortably off interest and investments for the rest of my days. Or at least that’s my plan. Let’s see what happens.

I’m documenting this for a few reasons...

First of all I hope that sharing my successes and failures will be of some value to you on your own journey.

Secondly I see it as a way of holding my self more accountable to my goals. Not that I think I’ll slack off or give up, but I this will add some extra motivation for me in hitting my milestones.

Thirdly, because while I’m confident in what I’m doing , it never hurts to get a fresh point of view. Hopefully your feedback can help me see things I might be missing.

And lastly, all I seem to do lately is work on the business and learn about business. This thread will give me a much needed creative outlet.

I’ve decided that I won’t be giving away any major details about my business apart from what I’ve already stated in my intro thread but I will try and be transparent as possible regarding what I’m doing and my progress toward the financial targets I’ve set.

Goal for 2018: $1,750,000 in revenue
I aim to make $1,750,000 in revenue (a figure more than double what I made last year) and I’ll start setting financial targets to hit each month in order to get there.


Monthly totals so far:


January: $101,992

February: $103,041

March: $50,689 (At the halfway point)


Considering I need to average $145,000 every month to hit my goal I’m a long way behind where I need to be. But while the start has been slow, I think if I put in the hard work now, I will see my efforts start to pay off in the back half of the year.


I’ll set my goal for March at 108k which would be a good result considering my position at the halfway mark.

The goal for April will be 118k and if I can grow revenue at around 10k per month thereafter I might be able to hit the annual target by years end. It’s an unlikely goal, but why not shoot for the moon?


How I plan to grow revenue:

1. Hire & Outsource – Until 2 weeks ago I was handling everything on my own. I have since hired someone part time to assist with packing & shipping which will free me up to spend more time growing the business. I’ll also be looking for other opportunities to outsource work to VA’s and other contractors.


2. Expand the product line – I’m currently talking to 2 new suppliers in China after ordering samples of some new beauty products and am about to put in large orders with both of them for variants of some products we already stock that have been extremely popular. I’ve also just started stocking some new aftercare products (products that the salons we supply can retail to their customers) and so far they’ve generated around a thoursand dollars worth of sales within the first week or so.



3. Improve marketing campaigns – I’ve been spending around 5k per month on advertising on adwords and facebook but haven’t put in the time and effort required to really test and tweak the campaigns. I spent my nights over the past 2 weeks doing an online adwords certification and completely overhauled the old campaigns and set up some new ones. They’ll need time to settle but once they do I’ll continue to tweak and adjust to get a better ROI which will mean I can increase the overall marketing budget and generate more traffic and more revenue.


4. Increase Social Media Presence – This has probably been the most neglected area of my business. I keep meaning to post more regularly but always seem to find other things to work on instead. I think this is partly because as a guy selling beauty products, marketing them doesn’t come naturally to me and I’m not an avid social media user outside of work either. Having said that, Instagram is huge in my niche and other brands are taking advantage so I need to step up my game here. I did try to outsource the social media work by advertising on upwork however I couldn’t find anyone with knowhow in both B2B and the beauty industry.



5. A heap of other stuff - I use Trello to track all my various to do lists and I probably have well over 100 changes planned for the business from website tweaks to improving my email campaigns to improving ad copy. Basically anything that will 1) Increase traffic, 2) Increase conversions, 3) Increase order value. These are the things that will grow revenue.


So that’s my first post done. I’m not sure how often I’ll be providing updates. I’ll at least do a run down for the end of each month documenting how I measured up against the financial goals and what changes I made. What went wrong, what went right. I’ll also try and provide updates and answer any questions each week as well.


The plan is to keep coming back to this thread and setting new goals each year, all the way through until I make that sweet FU money and drive off into the sunset in my new lambo.
Interesting! I am rooting for you. One question. Did you start your sales off exclusively online and if so how did you get Salon owners to trust using non recognizable brands on their customers head and skin? I am assuming you private labeled them.
 

Yussef

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The 4,000 was spent on multiple products (around 600). There are thousands of products in this niche and most cost around 5 dollars to import and retail for around 20.

In the beginning most of the sales came from ebay and it took around 10 months for the shopify sales to overtake them.
That means you have to have had a branding strategy ...right? I have sold both (hi end) well known brands like It Cosmetics, Laura Geller and Philosophy online as well as (unknown) Private label beauty and man in that industry people love and trust the brands they love. You must have figured out the formula to building trust around your brand? And with Salons that put their reputation on the line everytime they use a new product, that's gold.

Please share a little about what you did to send your traffic to your Shopify (with private label products) and convince them to trust and buy there as opposed to more trusted channels? Did you utilize email appends to retarget? Just curious about your strategy NOT YOUR STORE OR BRAND.

Thanks in advance.
 

MJ DeMarco

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I've also put in a bid for a warehouse and office that is currently under construction and will be ready early next year. Hopefully I won't run out of room in the home office and storage shed before then.
Ha Ha, sounds like a great problem to have. Outgrowing a space doesn't happen if the phone isn't ringing. Congrats and thanks for all the updates.
 
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MythOfSisyphus

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Interesting! I am rooting for you. One question. Did you start your sales off exclusively online and if so how did you get Salon owners to trust using non recognizable brands on their customers head and skin? I am assuming you private labeled them.
Thankyou.

Yes, I started exclusively online and still am. We sell to quite a few salons and businesses in my town and are often asked by customers if they can buy in person but I really don't want the hassle of having to do face to face sales.

Yes, I had private labeled most of our products (I still sell some from other established brands)

To establish trust there were a few things I did...

1) Registered with NICNAS (Australia's body for importing chemicals into Australia) and advertised this fact on the website.
2) Advised our customers that all products were safe to use and had been hand selected and tested by a professional.
3) Made sure the website, copy and product photos were all top notch.

Before I went into this venture I noticed there were many other sellers doing well, despite not being reputable or recognisable brands in the industry so I knew gaining customer trust wouldn't be too difficult.
 
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MythOfSisyphus

MythOfSisyphus

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That means you have to have had a branding strategy ...right? I have sold both (hi end) well known brands like It Cosmetics, Laura Geller and Philosophy online as well as (unknown) Private label beauty and man in that industry people love and trust the brands they love. You must have figured out the formula to building trust around your brand? And with Salons that put their reputation on the line everytime they use a new product, that's gold.

Please share a little about what you did to send your traffic to your Shopify (with private label products) and convince them to trust and buy there as opposed to more trusted channels? Did you utilize email appends to retarget? Just curious about your strategy NOT YOUR STORE OR BRAND.

Thanks in advance.
To be honest, in the beginning, no, I didn't have a branding strategy, and didn't really know what one would even look like. I knew a little bit about marketing and the importance of professional looking products, logos, websites etc but didn't have a strategy (although I have developed some strong rules around the brand along the way). In the beginning my basic strategy was to simply out-do all the existing competitors I could find in the niche in every way I could. I started off beating most of them on both product price and shipping price, and also made sure I had a more professional looking website, better copy, and more professional looking product photos. I also put a huge emphasis on customer service as this is a niche that thrives on repeat buyers.

I guess from these things I put importance on a brand kind of organically grew as opposed to being intentionally put in place from the outset.

If you read my intro thread (there's a link in the first post of this thread) I go into detail about how I gained traffic in the early months.
 
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MythOfSisyphus

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Ha Ha, sounds like a great problem to have. Outgrowing a space doesn't happen if the phone isn't ringing. Congrats and thanks for all the updates.
Yeah, I'm not going to complain if it does happen.

I'll be doing an update for June very soon.
 

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When it came to beauty products from China, I was always concerned about the quality. Like what if they put shitty ingrediends into their products and my customers get a rash or worse. How did you combat that? Did you got all products tested?
 
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MythOfSisyphus

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When it came to beauty products from China, I was always concerned about the quality. Like what if they put shitty ingrediends into their products and my customers get a rash or worse. How did you combat that? Did you got all products tested?
I don't buy any liquid products from China. I buy solid materials and tools from there however.

For the liquid products I purchase from Korean suppliers who have pretty decent standards. I make sure all the products we buy have safety data sheets first, and check the ingredient list against the NICNAS database to make sure what we import is safe for Australian standards.

Only hiccup I had was at one point Australian law had changed to ban an ingredient in one of the products I was importing as it could be used in the production of GHB (a narcotic) and Australian customs handed the shipment over to the Australian Federal Police. It took over a month and numerous phone calls and emails to sort out. Eventually they simply destroyed the product and sent me the rest of the shipment.
 

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