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Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by MythOfSisyphus, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. MythOfSisyphus
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    MythOfSisyphus Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Thanks. There's an awesome Shopify plug-in called inventory planner thats been a complete life saver. It uses past sales history to predict how much stock I'll need to order and probably saves me at least 5 to 10 hours and thousands of dollars a week in lost revenue. There's no way I could handle that many SKUs with the basic Shopify inventory management
     
  2. SROWE85
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    SROWE85 Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    This mentality has clearly reflected itself in your success.

    This is one of the best progress threads that i have read so far. Thank you for taking the time to share and answer everyones questions. Being able to witness a live process is invaluable to me at this moment in time.

    Thanks again
     
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  3. MythOfSisyphus
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    MythOfSisyphus Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad I decided to do the progress thread, although I do wish I had spent more time updating it.

    I'm really glad to hear it's helping others.
     
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  4. Tanu1234
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    Congrats for your achievement.

    Please update us when you buy new house. I think one treat to wife in fancy restaurant is ok. Lol

    We are excited to know more about your journey!
     
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  5. Timmy1990
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    I am happy to see a fellow Australian having success, i am following your thread closely congratulations so far!
     
  6. Lucious
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    Lucious Lucious FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Nice to see an Aussie doing so well in eCommerce. This thread has helped me keep focus on my eCommerce goals.

    MythOfSisyphus what are your thoughts on Australia's Amazon so far?

    I started a new business 2 months ago have made sales on ebay and just recently my first sale on my website. But so far 0 sales on Amazon.

    Feels like it could be years before Aussies make the transfer to Australia's Amazon. I personally dont know anyone that shops on amazon. Also just browsing through Australia's amazon listings there is a very low percentage of reviews.
     
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  7. MythOfSisyphus
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    MythOfSisyphus Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Thanks Timmy. Much appreciated.
     
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  8. MythOfSisyphus
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    MythOfSisyphus Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I was expecting big things from Amazon, but their foray into Australia has been extremely underwhelming.

    When news broke about their Australian launch I signed up as a seller as soon as I could and began researching what I'd need to do so that we could prepare to sell our products on there from day 1 and beat our competitors to the platform. Unfortunately however selling on Amazon (particularly beauty products) is nowhere near as straightforward as it is on eBay and I simply gave up in frustration (but also partly because it soon became apparent that Amazon would take a long time to see the kind of popularity in Australia that it has in the US).

    So I'm not surprised to hear you haven't made any sales on there yet and to be honest, I wouldn't expect to make many in the near future. Your efforts would be better focused on eBay and trying to rank your own website, assuming you have one.

    With all the resources they have at their disposal I'm sure Amazon will make inroads eventually, but it doesn't look like happening any time soon.
     
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  9. Paul David
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    Great story so far. Congratulations on your success.

    I like how you prioritise your tasks. I really need to do something like this (I use asana) but i always struggle to put them in the right category. I will try to implement your method this week as i'm spending too much time procrastinating.

    Regarding moving to your own warehouse, i had one for 15 years (well more like a shop front with two large rooms) and the cost price was pretty low due to my Father owning it. When i went to look at bigger warehouses the cost increase was dramatic. Now i use a 3rd party fulfilment centre to handle all our orders. The more i sell the more i pay etc. We're paying flat rate of £0.65p a single item and extra £0.10 per unit for same order.

    I would highly recommend using a 3rd party company because firstly it makes you get your sh*t together and prevents having stock lying around the place under boxes and paperwork (like i did) and secondly the amount of time it frees up enabling me to concentrate on growing the business is a lot.

    No need to worry about staff sickness, utility bills, staff sourcing etc. And the amount of times i was called out over the years at 3-4am for the alarm going off armed with a baseball bat in case of intruders is now all a thing of the past. You're also not burdened with large monthly costs and tied to any leases. Now i can be anywhere in the world and know that day in day out by parcels are going out the door.
     
  10. Paul David
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    So using this decision matrix i have a listed my tasks below and the prioritised them as follows, would you agree with these?

    Re-stock Amazon FBA SKU's - URGENT
    Find New Products to sell - IMPORTANT
    Increase Facebook Followers - NEITHER
    Increase Instagram followers - NEITHER
    Set up Shopify site - IMPORTANT
    Set up customer follow up for sales - IMPORTANT
    Design product bag for particular SKU for factory in China - IMPORTANT
    Re-Order Stock - URGENT
    Check Stock Performance - Slow/Non selling SKUS and act on results. - IMPORTANT
    Check Google PPC performance - IMPORTANT
    Check Amazon PPC performance - IMPORTANT
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
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  11. MythOfSisyphus
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    MythOfSisyphus Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Looks pretty good to me and quite similar to my lists. Only suggestion I'd make is to go more specific than 'Increase Facebook Followers'. I've found that when I don't write down specific actionable tasks that I often procrastinate with them. I would have it broken down into things like 'Schedule 8 instagram posts' or 'Research ideas to increase facebook followers'. And don't forget to re-order things in order of...

    1. URGENT & IMPORTANT
    2. URGENT
    3. IMPORTANT
    4. NEITHER
     
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  12. Xeon
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    Hi @MythOfSisyphus , just came across your thread. How could I have missed this!
    It's so inspiring to know you are making 6 digits monthly.

    I read in one of your posts that you're using AfterPay. Does AfterPay greatly increase your sales and orders?

    From a theoretical point of view, it seems like a magic potion, because it totally tempts customers who're hesitating to part with their wallet. A product that's $80 might be hard to swallow for some, but what if it is just monthly installments of $20? Sounds like it will attract customers like bees to honey, lions to meat. I assume it significantly lowers your cart abandonment rate.

    And the best part is, merchants get the payment upfront fast with no risks, and that small commission that AfterPay charges seem reasonable. Heck, we can even add that fee to the product cost to offset it.
     
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  13. MythOfSisyphus
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    MythOfSisyphus Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Initially I resisted adding afterpay as the merchant fees are quite high compared to competitors and I also assumed that as we sold to business owners that the need for pay later options wouldn't be as high as it would for general consumers. I was completely wrong though. After adding afterpay sales jumped around 10-15% immediately that month and we now do around 30k in AfterPay transactions every month.

    For anyone on the fence about it I would recommend just pulling the trigger (assuming your margins can cover the merchant fees). You can always remove it if it doesn't work out. My only complaint is that their support team are absolutely terrible to deal with.
     
  14. Tim001
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    I love this thread, thank you for sharing. I’m amazed at your numbers with afterpay, this is interesting. Are perhaps more of your customers actually individual employees renting chair/booth space at a business.

    I like your idea on adding stickers for your customers on the bottom flap of the box.

    The other day I ordered packaging and received a note my order was packaged and awaiting pickup WITH a photo of the package at the warehouse. The tool used was “visual confirm”. As a consumer this stood out as being different - just an idea.

    Tim


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  15. MythOfSisyphus
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    MythOfSisyphus Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Thanks Tim.

    The majority of our customers are individuals operating their own beauty business, often from their homes as opposed to a salon. But we sell to businesses of all sizes, all the way up to beauty schools and colleges.

    Afterpay, Zippay and paypal tend to be more popular with the smaller businesses and smaller orders while the larger ones generally use credit cards
     
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  16. NaPal
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    NaPal Done > Perfect Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Fantastic updates and congrats on your success @MythOfSisyphus ! This is one of my favorite progress threads.
     
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  17. MythOfSisyphus
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    MythOfSisyphus Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    September Revenue Goal: $165,000

    Actual Revenue for September: $158,217 (Down 18k from previous month)


    Annual Revenue Goal: $1,750,000

    Revenue so far: $1,201,933 ($548,067 to go)


    Average per month required: $182,689

    So September was a bit off where I wanted to be at this stage but the target is still achievable (just). October will hopefully see a spike in revenue and November is traditionally a very good month, as is most of December, however the Christmas period hurts sales at the end. Hitting this target will basically mean that the business is capable of earning around 1 million (profit) a year going forward which is staggering considering where I was only a few years ago. I'm also looking forward to a couple of weeks after Christmas driving along the coast with my family and planning what will come next.

    What went wrong:

    Some of our search engine rankings for major keywords went downhill. Some investigating revealed that we lost positions on a few different keywords to the same competitor. They look to have outsourced their SEO to someone or some company that is using a bunch of spammy blogs to create artificial banklinks. I won't be doing the same, however I will be putting a focus on SEO and doing what I can to get the rankings back.

    We also had some delays in restocking products due to switching the supplier for our bestsellers. Some variants of the products we supply were new to them and took longer to deliver. Hopefully they'll be faster moving forward.

    What went right:

    The campaign manager I hired to work on our adwords campaigns has done well so far by attaining roughly the same revenue as we had previously but cutting the monthly ad spend by around 3-4k. No impact on revenue, but there's a full time wage worth of savings there.

    I negotiated a new shipping rates contract with Australia Post which didn't seem to be great value initially, however they have just announced that there will be price changes to their standard delivery costs very soon (which I am assuming means a price hike)

    I finished reviewing resumes and interviewed for a new picker/packer who should start in the next week or so and once trained up should free up an extra 2 days a week for me to focus on more important matters.

    The loose ends of transition from a sole trader to a company have pretty much all been tied up now (this was quite a time sink for me over the past couple of months)

    Thanks to the tax man and mortgage brokers I no longer have that pesky issue of all that surplus cash sitting in the bank that I was learning how to invest ;)

    Plans for October:

    Apart from a sale or 2 and some good marketing there's not a lot I can do to impact sales over these last few months of the year. I basically have to hope that the hard work I've done throughout the year pays dividends. So this month will mostly be about long term planning...

    • Getting the new employee hired and trained up before things get hectic around here
    • Rearranging what little room we have left in the backyard office and storage facility to make space for said employee
    • Contacting suppliers about new products to stock early next year
    • Focusing on SEO to regain rankings on the more competitive keywords in my niche
    • Continuing to focus on social media


    October Revenue Goal: $180,000
     
  18. ericaung
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    ericaung New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Hey mate,

    How was your initial capital to start this business? I am not sure you posted this in this thread.

    Thank you.
     
  19. MythOfSisyphus
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    MythOfSisyphus Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Around $4000 AUD

    It seemed like a lot at the time.
     
  20. ericaung
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    ericaung New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Any updates for October??

    Cheers,
    -Eric
     
  21. MythOfSisyphus
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    MythOfSisyphus Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I'll post an update within the next week with the final tally but currently sitting about 6k short of the monthly target with a day and a bit to go. I'm confident I'll reach the 180k
     
  22. MythOfSisyphus
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    MythOfSisyphus Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    October Revenue Goal: $180,000

    Actual Revenue for October: 183,624 ($25k Up from previous month)


    Annual Revenue Goal: $1,750,000

    Revenue so far: $1,385,558 ($364,442 to go)


    Average per month required: $182,221

    October went pretty well and ended roughly where I expected it to. Sales in December suffer because of the Christmas week so November will need to be a pretty big month to get me over the line.

    What went wrong:

    • No major issues but after the Adwords campaign performing quite well in September, October was relatively poor with an increase spend but stagnant returns. I'll meet with the campaign manager next week to address this.

    What went right:

    • Sales continued to trend upward.
    • Hired a new employee and they've started pretty well which has freed up an extra 2 days a week for me to focus on other things
    • Most products remained in stock throughout the entire month
    • I managed to actually post to our social media pages quite regularly and should be able to continue to do so


    Plans for November:

    As November is the busiest month of the year I don't have anything major planned. Just hoping to stay on top of the day to day things and put out fires wherever they start (that's basically 50% of my job now anyway). I have around 50 small tasks on my radar that I'll try and get through including doing an overhaul of the slightly dated website.


    November Revenue Goal: $200,000
     
  23. _abuelreem_
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    i know it's your busiest month, I am just too anxious to know what November numbers are.... any updates?

    amazing post by the way...big ups
     
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  24. MythOfSisyphus
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    MythOfSisyphus Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Thanks. The month started off pretty slow, even slower than October so things weren't looking good but it picked up a bit about half way through the month. Black Friday weekend was huge with Friday almost doubling the revenue record for a single day. Currently sitting on 191k for the month so should hit the 200k target.

    Will provide a full update in a few days.
     
  25. MythOfSisyphus
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    MythOfSisyphus Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    November Revenue Goal: $200,000

    Actual Revenue: $200,818.99 (up 17k from previous month)

    Annual Revenue Goal: $1,750,000

    Revenue so far: $1,586,377 ($163,623 to go)


    Average per month required: $163,623

    November started off a lot slower than expected and I had pretty much resigned myself to not hitting the target, however I underestimated the growing popularity of Black Friday/Cyber Monday in Australia. In fact, I only decided to have a sale a few days before black Friday. I won't make the same mistake again next year and will plan ahead.

    On the Friday alone we did around 17k in sales which was almost double the previous best day and over the entire weekend we did around 44k.

    Having said that, the downside is that sales have slowed a little since then and December isn't looking promising. Sales really die off in the last week so in order to hit the monthly target I need some really solid sales in the first 3 weeks. It's not looking good so far though.

    What went wrong:

    • With the most experienced of my 2 employees on leave myself and the new employee were under a constant barrage of orders and emails in the last 2 weeks. We've really only been able to catch up in the past few days.
    • I didn't anticipate the impact of the BFCM sale and could have capitalised on it even more had I planned properly
    • The warehouse we should be moving into early next year has been delayed due to some construction issues with the foundation. Still hoping to be in there around March but this will put a hold on expanding the product range as early as I had planned.

    What went right:

    • Sales hit an all time high
    • The Adwords campaign continued to improve with ad spend down 1.5k and revenue up around 4k (Although it's difficult to gauge if this is actual improvement or just the impact of the busy season - time will tell)
    • Had a new logo designed by 99designs and was extremely happy with the result. Now to look forward to the horrific task of rebranding everything early next year.
    • I started to feel a little more confident in organising and delegating to my staff and contractors. It's been a tough adjustment from solopreneur to manager.

    Plans for December:

    • Working hard on handing over some of the customer service tasks to my employees so that I won't need to be as involved while I'm on leave for 2 weeks after Christmas. I'm currently documenting how to handle the most frequent customer requests/complaints so that it will cut down on the number of requests that filter through to me.
    • I have a meeting tomorrow with a social media marketing expert who hopefully will be able to get our paid social campaigns on track.
    • Apart from that I'll probably shift my focus to next year with a few major changes coming up including a new website, re-branding of the business and new warehouse.

    December Revenue Goal: $163,623
     
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