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Room4

New Contributor
Dec 27, 2017
2
11
34
New York
‘Hi Team!’

I use those two words on multiple conference calls each day. Of course I’m referring to my day job, but it seems like an appropriate phrase to introduce myself here as well. The FLF community strikes me as real team, and I’m just here to learn and share insights with like-minded people.

A bit of background:
I’m 29 and live in NY, but plan to relocate in Q1 2018.
I’ve taken a few business ventures to date, none wildly successful in monetary terms, but each taught me some great lessons, for example:

1) I gave a crack at Amazon FBA and loved the thrill of producing full fledged financial statements for my tiny llc (I’m a CPA). Creating a chart of accounts was just as fun to me as running around Kmart and Target searching for arbitrage opportunities. I really liked that venture but had some other life items come up that led me to close the business. My biggest lessons from that were (I) Understanding sales tax compliance, in particular as it relates to ‘nexus’ and Amazon warehouse locations. (II) When you have a hot selling product ... RELAX and then plan your purchasing/stock limit decisions. I bought like crazy as my product sold, but quickly ran into shipping delays from the supplier while the market caught up and my profits vanished by the time they hit Amazon warehouses.

2) I created a product from scratch, with some cheap homemade materials and free labor (Thanks mom!). It was a ‘flash in the pan’ type product that was fun. Ended up hiring a product design firm in NYC and had prototypes, sell sheets etc. When it came time to testing the market, I didn’t have sufficient capital for the molds and the companies we sought to add the product to their line (ASOTV) etc saw the product as ‘too niche’. What was my big lesson? Have more control over the process. Hiring a design firm helped, but for obvious reasons I was not invited to the meetings with the manufacturers, design team, lawyers etc. I didn’t like this as I got bored just giving directions and then waiting weeks to hear updates. Also, I now don’t have the networks to use for my next idea..... but I do know the process. Some people will say I through $15k down the drain. I say I paid $15k for a real life MBA in bringing a product from concept to (almost) market.

3) This last one’s kinda funny, in how naive I was. I wanted to import a food product from the UK to USA on a large scale. I researched the product, manufacturer and import FDA process etc. Basically wrote a ‘how to guide’ on how to get this specific product into the US and expand the market. I arranged a phone call with owner of this large private food company in the UK and it went great. The guy loved my proposal document that I sent (prior to the meeting) and was keen on expanding into the US.... but not with me ...as I didn’t hear from him after that and I had given him the guide already. Oh well, live and you learn.

That sums up a few of the ventures I’ve tried to date. I hope to come up with other ideas and maybe one will work out, as I’ve always wanted to own my own business.

I think that a good way to expedite that process is to join as many quality teams as you can.

Looking forward to meeting you guys!
 
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