What is the state of your ecommerce business? Are you excited about the possibilities or are you worried about your future? Scott is here to help you peel back all the complexity and get to the heart of what makes a business succeed. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott walks through a recent Mastershop he held with two business leaders at his new lake house. From obvious changes to ones that you might not have thought about before, you’ll want to have pen and paper handy for this powerful episode – don’t miss it!
Scott’s Five Takeaways
Did you know that one of the best ways to set your brand up for success is by learning from other business leaders who learned and adapted their approach along the way. You don’t have to make the same mistakes and face the same challenges that other sellers faced – learn how to set your ecommerce business up for success by listening to this engaging episode with Scott. After spending time with ecommerce sellers like you, Scott had several takeaways that he belives will help business leaders like you.
- Big numbers don’t mean big success.
- Keep your businesses separate!
- Have clean financial books.
- Focus on diversifying revenue and product streams.
- Get a patent.
Where are you on your journey? What do you need to start working on today? Hear Scott expand on each of these takeaways and so much more helpful information by listening to this episode of The Amazing Seller!
Focus on the basics!
If you’ve been around the TAS community for very long, you know that Scott is a fan of simple and easy. Too many business leaders get caught up in the weeds and fail to seek through all the challenges to focus on what really matters. Don’t let overwhelm and worry rob you of your success and joy as you build your ecommerce business. Find out how Scott was able to keep his eye on the prize and make his dreams a reality by listeing to this inspiring episode of The Amazing Seller!
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
- [3:15] Why Scott loves helping sellers unlock the growth of their brand.
- [9:00] Diversification makes your brand more profitable.
- [11:50] Make sure you have clean financial books.
- [15:00] Get a patent for your product!
- [16:30] Focus on the basics.
- [18:00] Closing thoughts.
Speaker 1: 00:00 Right now, there are businesses out there that are doing really, really well, but they're also afraid they're afraid of their business going away like that over night. And a lot of times it's because they're dependent on just one channel or maybe they haven't set it up correctly. Well, in today's episode I'm going to give you five big takeaways from a recent master shop that I did. I invited two businesses to come to my Lake house and we dove into their businesses and we were able to identify some of these areas that they're going to be working on. So what I want to do is I want to peel back the curtain and I want to let you see exactly what we discussed. So if you have a business or you want to start a business and you want to make sure that things are set up correctly and that you are setting it up for success and being future-proof, you're going to want to stick around and listen to this episode.
Speaker 2: 01:01 Hey, what's up everyone? Welcome back to another episode of the amazing seller podcast. This is episode number eight Oh three and today, like I said, I'm going to give you guys a little bit of a recap from our recent master shop that I held with a couple of successful businesses. One of them is mid six figures, another one is 17 and
Speaker 1: 01:23 figure plus. And you know, you would look at these businesses and you'd be like, they're so successful and they're doing great. And they are. But when I asked this one question, a lot of times I see faces start to, you know, get a little bit sunken in, eh, they start to get a little stressed, not breathing the same. And that question is this is your business dependent on just one channel? And when I asked that question a lot of times it's like, Oh yeah it is. And then I say, okay, what is that channel? And probably 95% of the people that I talk to say it's Amazon. And then I asked the next question. I say, well, what would happen if Amazon for whatever reason did away with that channel for you? Or they just said, you can't sell on here anymore. And both of them said my business would pretty much be done.
Speaker 1: 02:20 And that got them thinking. And that really allows me to have them feel that because if you feel that you're going to take measures to prevent that. All right? And that's what I want to cover here with you today. And we spent two full days together and it's really everything that I talk about inside of brand creators Academy, which is our Academy where we're helping brand creators, but it's also exactly what I go through in the brand creators playbook. Now if you'd like to grab a copy, you can head over to brand creators, book.com and you can follow along inside of that playbook. But it's everything that we do to set up the business. So this way here, it's not dependent one channel and that goes for traffic that goes for revenue and everything in between. All right, so, uh, I just again, want to give you a little bit of a backstory of how this whole thing happened.
Speaker 1: 03:09 Uh, I was thinking to myself, I'm like, you know what? I really love working with businesses closer, you know, closer, uh, where we can actually dig into their business. We can talk openly about their business, their niche. And from there we can start to explore. And what's really awesome about this is then we start to see that there's a lot of low hanging fruit, but things that we might just be missing. All right. And what I want to do here is I want to walk you through what this is, all right? And like I said, you might want to ask yourself that question right now. If you're up and running and you have that one hero product, as we call it, uh, you know, what would happen if that product went away? So to kind of put this into context for you, I want you to do that right now.
Speaker 1: 03:53 Imagine right now that you have a product that's doing $1 million a year, seven figures, and that's, that's not uncommon, by the way. All right? Uh, the one business that I met with, uh, they had done over $2 million in one of those products, did probably about 70, maybe even 80% of that one product in one brand. Now they have two brands and that's what we're also going to talk about here in a minute. Cause I have some things to say about that because as entrepreneurs, we just want to go out there and play. We want to go out there and start new things, but we want to work on the boring stuff. Eh, it's not as fun, right? I mean, I think we all can relate there. Um, but yeah, so one, one product or maybe three, one brand, but the one product is driving most of the revenue, $1 million per year.
Speaker 1: 04:41 Now two things could happen. All right. Now, one thing that could happen is your supplier could stop giving you that product or allowing you to sell it. Or maybe they just run out of raw materials. Or maybe there's a coronavirus happening right now as it is right now, the time of recording this, right? And everyone's in panic mode. What happens if your supply chain stops? So that's like something, we're not even talking about Amazon. Forget about Amazon for a minute. You just have an eCommerce business right now. What happens if that supply chain gets cut off? Now this is again why I talk a lot about diversifying your revenue streams through affiliate marketing, through ad networks. Uh, you know, maybe you're going to start doing digital products, or maybe you're going to sell other people's digital products, uh, shoulders, all these different ways that we want to set up the business.
Speaker 1: 05:30 So we're not relying on just one traffic stream, but also revenue streaming. All right? So the second thing that could happen is let's say that your supply chain is doing great and they're willing to give you your products. Well, uh, let's say Amazon does give you the boot, or they say, you know what, your listing is suppressed until we, uh, have you, uh, you know, go through this investigation with us. Maybe it's a patent infringement. Maybe it's a trademark violation. Maybe it's whatever, make up whatever you want. Because there's a whole bunch of different things that can happen. Now again, like I've said in other episodes, I'm not saying we don't want to use Amazon as our channel, but the problem is most people that get started selling physical products start on Amazon and then just build everything in that system and we don't want to do that.
Speaker 1: 06:17 So we want to, we want to set it up outside of that as well, but we still want to use the channel of course. All right, so let me just get into the five big takeaways, right? I'm just gonna kind of go through these. I'll talk about each one, but these are like top of mind because we just wrapped this up. All right, so number one, and I think this is important, okay. And this is again a big takeaway is even though you would look at that business and you would go, wow, they just posted their screenshots that they're doing $1 million, seven figures, we've all seen them, right? Guys? Like top line revenue. It's everybody's posting that, Oh look at this, I did this much. Right? But they're not telling you is the profit margins and all of that stuff. Right? For another conversation, okay?
Speaker 1: 07:02 But you would look at that and you'd be like, there, they've got it made. Here I am just starting. I might be selling 10 units a day. I'm not doing as good. They're doing better. They're successful. No, that's not true. Okay? There's a lot of seven figure sellers right now that are struggling and mentally struggling because they're lying awake at night wondering if they're going to get that red flag up in the right hand corner of their Amazon account. Okay? Now that's a big takeaway here for you because understand that you might be comparing yourself to another business that you think doesn't have any problems, but in reality they do, right? They're just at a different place. So that's a big one. Don't think that if you just get to that number. I actually was just reading a post, um, on the, uh, or in the group of the amazing seller.
Speaker 1: 07:54 And this guy was saying he's doing, he was doing $100,000 a month. And right now he's having all of these issues about someone saying that he's infringing on his own, a so-called Patton, which I think he has a patent, or maybe he has one that's, that's in, that's in process right now. But now he's going back and forth like he's having to prove that he is, and he doesn't think that he's going to win this thing, right? So he's going to go from $100,000 a month to zero, zero and now he's panicking, right? So again, don't look at, Whoa, they're doing $100,000 a month. They, they've got it made. They, they've got an easy, no, they have to be really, really concerned about this because they need to diversify. So this way here, they're not dependent on that. And for another reason, uh, you know, and I'll, I'll get to this here in a minute, but if you're ever looking to sell the business, that's a big one.
Speaker 1: 08:49 Uh, Joe Valley from quiet light brokers, you showed up at the, at the Lake house, we had him in as a guest. He spent about an hour and a half, maybe even two hours with us, and he was going through their businesses and one of the main things he was saying was diversification. Like if he had a horror story that someone was buying the business for like $2 million, right? And, uh, it was going through its process, I think it was like a three month process and then all of a sudden they had a patent infringement and the sales went down to almost zero and now they had to go through all of the legal things to try to get that thing back up and running. So the buyer wasn't going to get cold feet. I don't know about you, but if that happens to me that I'm buying a business, I'm getting cold feet, I'm bailing on that.
Speaker 1: 09:36 Right? So again, that can look like, uh, you know, or that can be a problem. Uh, if you are a buyer of a business or if you're a seller of a business. So again, we want to look at this as a longterm thing and we want to set it up for success. All right? So that's number one. Okay. Even bigger businesses or successful businesses, um, to you and me, they may look and appear like they're successful, but in reality, there's probably some, some things going on there, or they are just one notification away from being out of business. All right? So number two, this is a big one. And this we identified there. Keep your businesses separate. And here's what I mean. If you are starting a business or a brand or you have one right now, do not start selling other things under that brand.
Speaker 1: 10:26 It sounds like common sense, but a lot of people do it, uh, because you don't know what's going to happen. You're like, well, I don't know if this thing's gonna take off. I'll just put it underneath this umbrella here, even though it's not in the same market. It'll be four different brands under one thing. Well my good friend Mike Jackness went through this, uh, because he had done that and when he sold his brand color it, uh, he had to pull out all of that inventory from, from that one brand and then separate it so he could make the sale. And that's a lot of money by the way. You've got to pull the inventory and reship it in. Okay. So we don't want to, we don't want to have to do that. So one of the things that we had to have, one of the, uh, the brands that we met with is separate their accounts.
Speaker 1: 11:06 So luckily one of them doesn't have a lot of momentum yet, but one of them doesn't have a lot of product in there yet. So for them to pull it now is going to be a lot easier than later. So again, if you are considering starting another brand or if you are already operating two brands under one, you might want to start thinking about which one is the primary and the other one you want to, you want to separate it. And that was one of the tasks that we had them do immediately. And Joe Valley said, yes, you need to get that done ASAP. All right, so that's number two. Keep things separate. Okay? Number three, this is a big one as well. Have clean books, have clean books. Why is this important? Well, if you don't have clean books and you get audited, that's a problem, right?
Speaker 1: 11:53 And a lot of times it's just a matter of you paying a service, a third party service to do your taxes for you. Also, if you ever want to sell, that's another thing that allows the buyer to feel more secure. So again, we're talking about how to really set our business up for success. Well, it's doing things like this to the boring stuff. Separating your account outside of, you know, Amazon under one account, uh, having clean books, basic stuff, but a lot of times overlooked. And again, this sets our business up for success. All right, number four, and this is a big one and I talked about it a little bit, but I'm going to really hone in on this one. Focus on diversifying revenue. And traffic streams, okay? If you are currently operating your business with one hero product, you yes you, you need to start diversifying, okay?
Speaker 1: 12:46 And the way that you can do that is either have a few more products or start getting traffic outside of Amazon. Start building out your website with content that will bring traffic over and now you can start diversifying that with ad networks with, with affiliate offers. Uh, an affiliate offer could be another product in your market that you're never going to sell. I always use the example for kayak, bass fishing. Well, let's say that we were going to get into that market, but we weren't going to sell kayaks. Why can't I start doing content and writing content or producing content for, uh, kayaks that people used to fish, right? Then what I can do is start putting all this content on my blog. When people start to come over, I start to get the traffic. I'm going to start getting sales. Maybe eventually I partner with a kayak supply company and I become an affiliate for them and I get a higher commission than I would if I'm selling it on Amazon.
Speaker 1: 13:38 That's the power in traffic. So I really want you to consider that. And if you are thinking to yourself, Scott, I don't even know where to start because I've really just taken all my time to focus on Amazon, then I'm going to have you go to this resource, all right? It's going to be money. Well spent. The money is going to cost you less than $5. Okay? And that is brand creators, book.com there's six parts to that book. And inside of there I break down everything from identifying your market. So even if you have your market, uh, selected, it really hones in on your market. It also identifies and validates that you can get traffic and where you can get traffic. And then from there, how to set up these, these traffic assets so you can continually bring traffic over and then you can start to monetize later in that process.
Speaker 1: 14:24 Uh, building the email list, like all that stuff, brand creators, book.com. There's my little shameless plug. Go grab a copy. It will be a really well spent, uh, that coffee that you'll buy me. All right? So that's number four, focus and diversify revenue and traffic streams. All right? Write that one down. That's a writer downer, okay. Because if you do that and you do it over time, it will start to build momentum and things will just start to happen. Opportunities will start to happen. It's just really, really powerful. Um, and then the last thing, and this is a big one. Number five is you got to, you got to get a patent if you have a hero product, all right? If you have that hero product, you got to get a patent. And if you can't get a patent, I'm sorry to say you're at risk, cause you are going to probably have rip offs and then you're going to be competing with hijackers or you're going to be competing with people that are infringing on your so-called original product.
Speaker 1: 15:19 I mean, you hear this all the time on shark tank, right? They'll say, if you don't have a patent, what's, what's, uh, you know, to prevent me from going out there and just making my own version. And when people say nothing and then they're like, it's not defensible, I don't care. Right? So if you have a hero product that is yours and you're doing really good with it, you got to ask yourself, can this be patented? And if it can start getting the patent process in place immediately, it also is going to help you if you ever sell it. Because if you sell the business, then having a patent is a huge, huge check for your business. And that when there is something that will drive up the price that you'll be able to sell the business for as well. All right, so little bonus takeaway here, and this was a, a little tip that I had given, uh, to the, uh, you know, the attendees here at the master shop.
Speaker 1: 16:10 And that is you need to focus on the basics and stop looking at shiny objects and just stay focused on the basics. It's kind of like basketball, it's kinda like baseball or any sport or anything that you want to do, playing guitar, it doesn't matter. It always comes down to the fundamentals and just the basics, right? But who wants to sit there and do a thousand layups on the right side and then a thousand on the left side or who wants to sit there and hit off a tee, uh, you know, 50 times, you know, a day, right? Who wants to really do that? But it's that stuff that makes you great and it's that stuff that will make you successful. So I would encourage you to focus on the basics and just continually, continually do more of that focus on what you know has to get done to really allow yourself to be successful in your business, be future-proof in your brand and uh, and just really show up on a regular, consistent basis.
Speaker 1: 17:11 I mean, one of the big, big takeaways that the, uh, that the brands that I worked with had to say was that they were just, they were not looking at the business the way that we are. I say we, myself and Chris Schaffer, it's really not coming up with these, these new strategies necessarily. It's really focusing on diversifying the simple things that we talk about but doing it on a regular basis. And things could also be talked about as far as just developing new products that could be part of the diversification but then also how to find those external channels that drive traffic but also drive sales. And one of those is email marketing and we talk a lot about that inside of the Academy. And we also go really, really deep inside of the playbook. So again, if you haven't grabbed the playbook, you're going to want to cause that will really give you all of the steps to building a future-proof brand.
Speaker 1: 18:01 All right, so guys that is going to wrap up this episode. I wanted to give you guys some of those takeaways cause they're, they're top of mind, they're fresh in my mind right now and I wanted to convey them to you because what you see on the outside isn't always what's happening behind the scenes. And both of these brands were experiencing that. And these are just two of the brands that I've talked to in the past and just about every single one can do more of diversification on traffic and in their revenue on their business. So guys, if you have any questions, drop them in the comments or you can always hit me up at uh, email@example.com. If you have a question that you want to ask me, you can always go to the amazing seller.com forward slash [inaudible]
Speaker 2: 18:46 ask and you can do it right there. All right guys, that's it. That's going to wrap it up. As always, remember I'm here for you. I believe in you and I am rooting for you, but you have to, you have to come say it with me. Say it loud. Say it proud. Take action. Have an awesome, amazing day. I'll see you right back here on the next episode. Hey, before you go, I've got one quick favor for you and I would love to hear from you. And I've also got something that I would love to give one of my listeners and I'm going to tell you how you can get it. So here is the deal I want to hear from you. So what I would love for you to do is head over to iTunes and leave a review over there. Let me know how this podcast has helped you in one way, shape, or form.
Speaker 2: 19:36 I read every single one of them and they really do energize me and give me the fuel to get back on here and want to just keep creating and keep helping. So I really would love you to do that. Now anyone that leaves a review from today, moving forward, what I'm going to do for anyone that leaves a review and you take a screenshot of that and you send it to firstname.lastname@example.org you send me that. What I'm going to do is I'm going to enter everyone once a month into a little contest and in that contest I'm going to pull one winner and I'm going to send them eight gift, a special personalized gift. Just for you. So all you have to do, head over to iTunes, leave me a review, and then take a screenshot of that. Send it to me, email it to email@example.com and that way there you can be entered to win. Oh, and one last thing. If you haven't subscribed yet to the channel, what the heck are you waiting for? Go ahead and subscribe. That way you never miss one of the upcoming episodes. All right guys, so thanks once again, I'll see you in the next show.