In today’s episode, we talk with Don Henig, Co-Founder of AccrueMe, LLC. AccrueMe is providing growth capital for Amazon sellers with 0% interest and no payment requirements. You don’t even need to let go parts of the ownership when you work with Don’s team. The only way they will win is if your Amazon business wins. Does this sound too good to be true?
Listen to this episode and learn how to grow your Amazon business!
[00:01 – 08:23] Opening Segment
- Let’s get to know Don Henig
- His path to helping Amazon sellers
[08:24 – 18:47] 2X Capital, 0% Interest, 0% Ownership
- Don breaks down the unique business model of AccrueMe
- Why Amazon sellers can benefit from AccrueMe
- What part of your business will AccrueMe support?
[18:48 – 27:34] Not A Loan
- The only way you don’t win with AccrueMe
- Want some Amazon refunds? Check out Getida
- Promo code: FTM400
- Don clarifies that their model is not a loan
[27:35- 39:44] Timing is Everything
- Successful businesses have done this according to Don
- A true story about building a business from Don
- Why timing is important in any business
[39:45- 48:03] AccrueMe’s No. 1 Rule
- The no. 1 rule of AccrueMe
- Let’s get to know more about Don in the Fire Round!
- What separates success from failure according to Don
[48:04 – 50:45] Closing Segment
- Connect with Don. Links below
- Final words
“I love to do things where it’s a win-win. Everybody should be able to win.” – Don Henig
“My idea is to provide you capital when you have the opportunities to grow.” – Don Henig
- Book: The Compound Effect
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Don Henig 0:42
So the idea is to provide you capital, when you have the opportunities to grow. And when you don’t have the opportunities to grow. When you’re flush with cash, it’s in your best interest to pay us down. Because then our profit percentage comes down. You know, so it’s a matter of making these minor little changes, and doing them consistently over time, that make a huge difference in business and in life. And it’s the same thing with anything, you know, you can sit back and think the business is gonna come to you and hey, this is ecommerce, you know, it’s a four hour workweek, I can do this from anywhere. This is great. No, I’m sorry, you got to go to work, you know, four hour workweek and maybe one day, but initially, you got to put in, you know, a lot of hours and bust your ass. Yeah, find the technology and the tools to streamline your business. But that just enables you to do more. That doesn’t mean you’re going to stop working. You know, you have to come into this expecting to bust your ass and make it happen. And that’s the biggest thing I would say.
Welcome everyone to the firing the man podcast, a show for anyone who wants to be their own boss. If you sit in a cubicle every day and know you were capable of more than join us, this show will help you build a business and grow your passive income streams in just a few short hours per day. And now your hosts serial entrepreneurs David Schomer and Ken Wilson.
Welcome everyone to the firing the man podcast on today’s episode, we are joined by Don Henig from accrueme. now Ken this was an absolutely awesome interview with Don. And you know, one thing that stood out to me is he is a serial entrepreneur with tons of experience, you know, starting in the mortgage lending space and and now getting into Amazon funding. What were some things that stood out to you about this podcast?
Yeah, you know, Don is a very, very interesting guy with a wealth of experience, he shares it on the podcast, it was an amazing podcast. One thing that jumps out with accrueme is, you know, I’ve used various funding methods for my Amazon business and Accrueme has a completely new approach to funding for Amazon sellers. And, you know, just a little teaser, they use a near real time funding. And we’ll get into that a little bit more in the episode. What about you, David?
Absolutely. You know, I would say, as an entrepreneur, if you’re growing your business, at some point, you’re going to get into a cash crunch. And you know, they have some certain aspects about their repayment schedule, or lack thereof, that makes this a really unique way to fund your Amazon inventory. And so this is something that I think our entire audience is going to deal with at some point in that they’re going to get into this cash crunch. And if accrueme can be a tool in the toolbox that they look to, I think it could be a very good option for certain people in certain situations. So without giving any more away, let’s jump into this interview with Don. All right, Don, welcome to the show. First things first, tell us a little bit about yourself and your background in the business world.
Don Henig 3:43
All right. Well, prior to getting into the Amazon world, I was retired for five years, and I was not planning on coming back in. But when my friend of mine started talking to me about Amazon and Amazon sellers, it was too intriguing. So I was never in e commerce before. And so now I’m in e commerce for the last two years and having a ball and doing some big things and exciting things. But to step back, you know, I am a finance guy, primarily. I had my own financial planning company, which I did really well bought my first house, first new car, all that kind of stuff. And then that led me into the mortgage industry where people started asking about mortgages, I didn’t know anything about it. I had a commercial lending background. But I learned, I quickly went out I learned I read books, I found people I asked for help. And next thing you know, I started a mortgage company. And within a year to two years, I was one of the three largest in New York State. So just to give you a perspective on how that all worked, which was a lot of fun, and it was an exhausting thing. But there was a law that was coming out back then that would have put companies like mine out of business because we were you know, small in comparison to the banks. And so they were trying to put us out of business, they saw competition coming. And so I read the law and didn’t seem like anybody else did. So I formed the New York association of mortgage brokers back then. And, you know, we ended up with, you know, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of members. And we got the law changed. And we worked hand in hand with the banking department in New York State to tighten up the rules in the mortgage industry to make it better for the consumer and better for the industry. So that led me to be president of the National Association of mortgage brokers, and on the board of governors of the MBA of America, Mortgage Bankers Association, where I testified before the House and the Senate, which was incredible experience a lot of fun, but scary as hell for a 30 year old guy. But with my mortgage company, I sold it after 10 years, I started a mortgage broker franchise, which I built to 765 units nationwide, and sold that maybe a year or so later. From there. I said, What do I want to do? I took some time off. My kids were young. I love being out of the fields with the kids, whether it be soccer fields, lacrosse fields, baseball fields, so I started a soccer publication, youth soccer. And we quickly became the number one and the official soccer newspaper for New York State soccer 165,000 copies full newspaper every month, I was the only employee I did everything from every article I either wrote or got every picture, I would get people to take pictures, I handled the distribution, everything. And after about, you know, maybe eight months or so I ended up selling that I had two partners that understood publishing and really wanted to take it over. So I sold it to them. I got into technology, you know, it was great. And I did a bunch of stuff there, got back into the mortgage industry built one of the biggest mortgage companies in the nation at the time, the fifth largest direct to consumer lender in the nation. If you can think of Quicken today, rocket loans, they were my number one competitor, we were head to head and I built the sixth largest wholesale mortgage operation in the nation. So if you can think about it, this is in like 2006, we were doing just my group alone, over $50 billion a year in mortgages, and earning a net profit of well over $300 million a year net. We were the most profitable mortgage company of the time, which is pretty interesting. Got out again, took some time off, you know, a year or so started looking at foreclosures and buying and selling houses. So in 18 months, I bought and sold and flipped 300 houses, every one of them for a profit. In the meantime, I started a entertainment company out of the blue from scratch. No experience a friend of mine was a producer, we started a company. Next thing you know, we did eight feature length films with the biggest names, whether it be Natalie Portman, Tom Cruise, Mark ruffalo, all of them. We had two films sold at Sundance, which was a lot of fun, very exciting. And we also did the Broadway show Rock of Ages on Broadway, we ended up I think, the 26th longest running show of all time. So that was amazing. And the crazy thing about all of that is as big as it all was, didn’t make any money. It didn’t make any money, it’s the truth, we had a lot of fun. And I learned an awful lot about the entertainment world. And I will tell you that the parties in the entertainment world are better than parties in the mortgage world. But, you know, I didn’t make any money at it. I did a few other things, and then took the last five years off, and just enjoyed life, my wife and I love boating, the kids love to come out with us on the boat. We traveled all over the world. You know, I started to get pretty good with golf. And then we looked at Amazon, and it intrigued me and we just came up with this idea on how we can help Amazon sellers. And that was the whole idea behind it. How do we help these sellers? And we’ve talked to a bunch and we found that they needed capital. So we came up with a completely unique program. And I’m talking too much. So I’ll shut up for a minute and let you ask the next question.
That’s a pretty impressive background sounds like you got a ton of experience in a wealth of areas. So that’s really cool. So Accrueme, can you kind of explain that, you know, is Accrueme a new startup? Has it been around a little bit and kind of your journey on kind of CO founding it?
Don Henig 9:25
Sure. Sure. It’s pretty interesting, actually. So a friend of mine from the mortgage industry, I thought of him. One day I was on the way out of Manhattan. I think I was going to a doctor’s appointment. I thought of him haven’t talked to him in over 20 years. So I looked them up on LinkedIn. And I’m on the train and I send him a quick note just saying, Hey, man, I hope all as well that’s it, you know, send somebody a positive message. That’s it. He said, Let’s have lunch. We did. We had a great time. Next thing you know, he starts pitching me on different businesses. And I’m like, I don’t want to do this. I’m happy. My life is too good. It’s too easy right now I don’t want to do this. Anyway, when we finally started talking about Amazon, that intrigued me because I love helping people grow businesses, and I specifically love helping and mentoring younger people in business and in life. So you know, it’s not something I need to be paid for. It’s just something I enjoy. So that really caught me Amazon and helping younger people grow, not just only young people, but you know, younger people grow Amazon businesses. Okay, let’s look at it. So I went to my accountants, I said, Do you know any Amazon sellers? They said, Yeah, we have a few clients. And they have 1000s and 1000s of clients. So they put me in touch with a few. I remember the first one was the guy had about $5,000 of inventory. And I asked him, you know, some questions and learned what I could. And I finally said, you know, if you had one thing that you needed, what do you need? capital, I can’t grow without capital. I have so many opportunities, but I just can’t grow. Next one had like $100,000 of inventory, same answer capital, the third one had over a million dollars of inventory doing really, really well. Same answer, I need capital. I’m like, wow. Alright, so we sit down again, and we go through that. Alright, let’s look at the lending options, we look at the lending options. And at first, they looked so good, because the marketing is really, really good. And I’ll never forget, the first one I looked at it said, borrow 10,000, pay back 11. It’s that simple. So we can’t compete with this this is really good. And then I ran a spreadsheet, and I did the numbers, and it’s pay it back every two weeks, it’s a six month loan. And when I figured it out, you would have to earn about 19% ROI per month to break even. So if you borrow that $10,000, you would have to make I think the monthly payment was 1856. So think about it, you need to earn $1900 just really to break even, you know, I mean, God, but nobody’s going to figure that out. Most people are just going to take that, and they’re gonna get further into a hole and further into a hole and further into a hole. Like this is horrible. And we looked at a few others, it was the same thing. So yeah, there’s reasons for these loans or reasons for, you know, borrowing your own money for two weeks and such and, you know, bridging the gap. But, you know, we just didn’t see the big growth reasons. So my partner Eric said to me, Well, why don’t we partner with the sellers? I said what do you mean? I don’t know, so we started brainstorming it and just thinking it through. And I love to do things where it’s a win win, everybody should be able to win. This is not like the stock market, where it’s a zero sum game. If I win, you lose. That’s not what this is. This is where we can all build and make a better business make a bigger business, and everybody wins. And that’s the way I like to live. And that’s why I like to do things. So we came up with a very unique model. It’s never been done before. And it’s a home run. So what we did was, I’m going to give you a scenario, imagine Shark Tank, because a lot of people refer this like a shark tank. So you come into Shark Tank, and you say, Hey, I have an Amazon business, it’s doing really well, I’m growing, but I need more money. I want $100,000. And I’ll give you 20% of the business. And Mark Cuban says, alright, I’ll give you the 100,000. But I want 30% of the business. And then Robert herjavec says, I’ll give you 115,000. But I want 35% of the business. And then Mr. Wonderful comes in and says I’ll give you the 100,000 I’ll give it to you as a loan 12% you pay me back over a year. And then I want $1 on every product you ever sell again. And then there’s this new shark is sitting there all quiet. And he says, Alright, you know what I’ll do, I’ll give you the 100,000 but I’m not going to charge you any interest. So right off the bat, Mr. Wonderful is all pissed. And you know what else, I’m not going to require you to make any monthly payments. You pay me when it’s right for you and your business when you can grow, grow. And when you’re flush with cash, pay me back. Okay, now the other sharks are getting pissed. And you know what? I don’t want any ownership in your business, you keep your entire business. What do you think of that? The other sharks then go to a commercial and they throw the new guy out and say don’t ever come back because we’ll never make money. But that is the accrueme model we’ll basically double your capital with no interest, no required monthly payments, and no loss of ownership. And what we get is a percentage of profits, but just for however long you use our money. That’s it.
So Don, I’d like to dig in a little deeper here. And I really like this model and I think it’s a unique model. One, the thing that stands out to me is the timing of cash flow. So typically in q4, my bank account balance is pretty low. I’m gearing up for Buying a lot of inventory getting ready for holiday sales. And then typically in January, my bank account is a little more just because I’m getting paid on all those q4 sales. And so I really like that timing. But let’s dig into an example here. And I’ll actually use an example from my own business. So I’ve got an established Amazon business of four years, have a pretty good understanding of my customers. And I’ve actually had several of them reach out to me and say, Hey, I’d really like it, if you’d make this product, I’ve looked into making it and the molding cost on it’s going to be about $100,000. And so when I think of, you know, I know, this would be profitable on Amazon, I need about $100,000 to launch this, I don’t have that capital, my options are, you know, I could go to somewhere like Amazon lending, and pay somewhere between 15 and 20% APR, I could go to a traditional bank, but you know, a line of credit may not be a really good fit for this, because it’s more of like a one time expense, right? And so, you know, if I were to call you, how would this type of funding work? And what would the payback period look like?
Don Henig 16:06
Good question. And an interesting example, as well. So a couple of things, you’re right, as far as matching the cash flow with the payments. So we don’t get paid by anybody in q3, and q4, they’re using all the money, every bit of profit goes back into the next order. But in q1, typically, I’m going to say, you know, February, March, April, May, most of the sellers that we work with are flush with cash, and then they start making payments to us. And that’s great. And then they stop again, because they start planning out, you know, the q3 q4, and the build, which is great, that’s what they should do. So in your situation, is a couple of things. One, we will provide capital to your current business, but not to the new product, because we don’t have any history of that new product, you know, we don’t take the risk of starting a new product, we will provide capital to your current business that you can use for the new product. But you know, not directly for that new product. So once that new product is profitable, and profitable for a short period of time, like two months, three months, we’ll count that as capital, and we’ll give you money against that as well. But we don’t take that risk upfront. So we would give you money in your business, that you can pull some of that out to start the new product, which a lot of people do. And then once it’s profitable, we’re in 100%.
Okay, okay, and I’m glad that you made that distinction, because you guys are lending against items that are currently profitable, and currently cash flowing. And so maybe a better example, would be, I’m gearing up for q4. I’ve sold out every year, because I bought as much as I possibly could, I maxed out my lines of credit, and I keep selling out. And so I want to, you know, reach the fullest potential and just stay in stock. So maybe that would be a better time to pick up the phone and call you guys.
Don Henig 18:00
Yeah, well, even with the new product is fine, too. But you know, However big the company is we can provide a good amount of the capital that you can pull out, you know, so basically, our capital replaces your capital in the business. So you’re able to use your money for, you know, new products and such. So yeah, all we look at we look at one thing, we don’t pull credit reports, we don’t look at financial statements. We’re not doing personal guarantees. All we’re looking at is the inventory, the inventory that you currently have, and how is it turning over. And we built an engine ourselves, you know, as opposed to going out for to keepa. And to, you know, the various engines, we built an engine that does it all. And it has, you know, the algorithms built in. So we just want to look at your current inventory, see if it’s profitable, what level of profitability is it, and how quickly that inventory will turn. So we don’t want to give you money on inventory that’s going to be sitting there for eight months and 10 months. But for inventory that’s turning over relatively quickly. We match it 100%. So if you have $100,000 of money that you put into inventory at cost. So if your inventory cost is 100,000 plus the amount due from Amazon, call that all 100,000 then you qualify for 100,000. So we call that the capital in the business. So how much capital do you have that your inventory cost plus whatever is due from Amazon, and we’ll match that number.
So one thing, I want to dig into that profit split, so let’s use a really easy example. We buy inventory for $100,000. And then we sell that and we earn $100,000 in profits. What would that split look like in terms of that payment back to accrueme?
Don Henig 19:44
Alright, great question. But now let me just you know, narrow that question down a little bit. You have $100,000 of inventory. You’re going to return $100,000 of profits. So you’re getting 100% ROI?
Yeah, so cash. Yes.
Don Henig 19:58
Okay. Great, great. Now, let me ask you a question. You have $100,000 of inventory. If we gave you $100,000. Could you make 200,000?
Yep. I mean, it would depend on the situation. But presumably. Going out of stock seems to be our biggest problem.
Don Henig 20:15
Yeah, and you and everybody else these days. So it may be you don’t need $100,000. Day one, maybe you need $20,000. You know, we don’t push money, we want to, you know, we suggest everybody to take the least amount that they need. Because, you know, take our money and put it to use, the only way that you don’t win, is if you take our money and leave it in the bank, then you’re paying us for no good reason. So we encourage everybody to take the least amount, but on whatever amount of money. Look, if you’re getting 100% return, whatever amount of money we’re going to give you, you’re probably going to get a similar return, whether it be $20,000, or 50,000, or 100,000. But to keep the example clean, I’m going to assume we give you 100,000. So you earn $100,000 on yours, alright, and you earn $100,000 on the 100 that we gave you. So now there’s $200,000 of profit. So what the profit percentage that we get is 50%, or half of whatever percentage of the capital we represent. And I said that kind of confusing, so I apologize there. But in this case, you have $100,000 of capital, we have $100,000 of capital. So we’re 50% of the total, cut ours in half. So we get 25% of the profits for that month. So assume all this happens in a month just to keep it simple. So on your own, you would have earned 100,000. Now with us, you’re going to keep 75% of the 200,000. Okay, because we’re 25%. So you would have earned what 150,000. And we would have earned 50,000, which is phenomenal for us, and phenomenal for you. So you increased your ROI and your profit by 50%. And you didn’t take on any additional risk. There’s no debt. that’s it in a nutshell. So if we represent 30%, so let’s say you had $70,000 of capital, and we gave you $30,000. So now there’s $100,000 in the business, we represent 30% of it. So that month, we would get 15% of the profit cut us in half. So if you think about it, if we represent 30%, and we took 30% of the profit, which most investors would want to do that, then you’re not really getting a hell of a lot of benefit. But by us cutting our percentage in half, then you can’t lose.
Yeah, you really can’t. And I’ll tell you, the wheels are turning right now.
Don Henig 22:39
Right? I thought I smelled something.
Yeah, coming from a mergers and acquisitions background, I think the thing that’s unique about this that I want to point out is you’re not giving up any ownership. And so you know, you can increase that bottom line, which you know, when you go to market, you multiply that bottom line by somewhere between three and four, depending on your business. And so you are able to increase the value of your company by taking on external capital. But, at the end of it you don’t have to give away any of the ownership Exactly. And so that’s really unique and something that I think is different from say, like a money partner that wants to chunk your business, like on Shark Tank.
Don Henig 23:21
Well, we get it all the time, because we have sellers that come to us that have family members that have invested in their business, and you know, all well and good. But now they want to get the family member out because, a guy just the other day, his family member has 50% of the business because he gave him like $5,000 to start the business. And now the business is big. And he goes and how I got it. So he’s selling his current business, selling it to get rid of the partner, and then already planning his new products so he can open up a new business without the partner, but he wants us to finance a lot of it.
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So Don, I’d like to get into a little bit more of the nuts and bolts. So with my businesses over the last several years I’ve I’ve taken on loans from Amazon lending and a couple of the other lending, I would say predatory lending units that are out there, I’m not gonna say the names, but, you know. So, with accrueme, do you guys I guess connect to the seller account and kind of look at all of the inventory and look at the history or kind of what are you looking at there to make sure that it’s a good fit to partner with the Amazon seller?
Don Henig 25:18
That’s exactly what we do, we made a pretty simple, but we made it in a couple of steps to deal with us. It’s not like, you know, go online, you know, give us access. And here’s your offer, you never talked to anybody. We feel, and maybe I’m right or wrong on this, but this really comes from me is that this is a new process. This is not something that people, it’s not a loan. So if it was a loan, it’s been done for 2000 years, everybody understands, you know, the interest rate, the payment, and such, this is something different. So what we did, as far as the process goes is you go on our website, and you fill out a questionnaire it takes, I’m gonna tell you two minutes, maybe three minutes, we call it three, but that’s probably too long. It’s nothing. But it gives us enough information to give you a good funding estimate, you know, in your cases, you may put it in and we come back with $100,000, that we would offer you. Okay, great, doesn’t mean you have to take that, then the next step is give us access your nws token so that we can pull down the inventory, run it through our system. And then we come back with a complete funding offer that is detailed and specific. And it details you know, you might have some inventory that we don’t want any part of. But when that inventory turns to cash, then that’s capital in the business, and we’ll give you more money against that. And you can keep building. But you know, that typically is a very, very, very tiny percentage of anything. So we look at it, we go through the funding estimate, we get back on the phone, and we go through it line by line with you. And in the funding estimate, we provide something we call the key points document. And the key points document is something that I actually wrote up initially, because I’m not a lawyer. And instead of doing legal agreements, I went through the legal agreements and said, What are the most important things? What should everybody be asking? And what are the questions and what are the concerns, whatever, let’s get them all in plain English. I grew up in Brooklyn, it is plain English as it can be, you know? And so this way, we can go through it. And nobody’s ever gonna come back and say, oh, man, you guys didn’t tell me that? You know, none of that. It’s it’s just bottom line. This is what we do. Let’s have the conversation. Let’s discuss it. Let’s make sure you understand it. And then we fund the the business. All together it takes anywhere from five days to 10 days, I would say. entire process.
Okay. Yeah, that’s pretty reasonable.
Don Henig 27:54
Yeah. And we hear that predatory comment quite a bit.
Yeah, unfortunately, you know, when there’s, you know, it’s supply and demand, right, like, there’s a demand of cash flow right now. And if there’s not any other options, then you know, you don’t have a whole lot to pick from. So I’m glad to see that there’s more options coming into the marketplace. That’s good.
Don Henig 28:16
Everybody says that, to me, Ken, I swear to God, Everywhere I go, people are the biggest sellers, you know, talking to a guy who’s worth over $100 million. And he’s built multiple Amazon businesses and sold them. And he’s one of the big gurus in the industry. And he’s building another number of businesses right now. And he used all the same words you used. And then he came back. And he said, just so happy to see new money and new ideas coming in that work for sellers. And what he wants to do is, he’s got two products, two different brands, and he’s got if I remember correctly, 10 more that he’s building that are already, you know, decided and everything ready to go. Really interesting and really smart way of doing things. All the numbers, you know, he’s got dialed in. He wants to take, if I remember correctly, $100,000 on the first business that he’s got, and then take 25,000 of that to start the second brand. And then when that’s up and running in a few months, take money out of that to stock the third brand and so forth. And he wants to pretty quickly roll out all 10 new brands. And he believes that over two years, and he’s you know, he could use his own money. But he believes that over two years, he’ll be able to sell the entire thing for $12.6 million and never have used any more of his own money than he used to start the original business.
That’s the dream, right? Yeah, that’s the goal, right?
Don Henig 29:50
And I think he’s doing it more as a challenge than anything else. You know, he’s having fun with it. He’s that stage. So, I mentioned 100 million, just a little interesting thing. So here we are, we start this business. And you know, I live in New York, so makes it easy. So does my partner. So, you know, it’s pretty easy to get into the city and get some appointments with, you know, big hedge funds and such. So we go to the first hedge fund. And as we’re there, out on Broadway, I said, before we went in, I said to my partner, do you know what 242 is? And he said, No, what? And I said, 242 is the number of pitches that Howard Schultz from Starbucks made before anybody put money into Starbucks. I said, so we’re not going in here getting money, we’re gonna go in here and get our asses kicked, we’re gonna go in here and meet some really, really smart people that are going to build spreadsheets that we don’t even understand how to do, you know, they’re going to blow us out of the water, they’re going to ask us questions that we didn’t think of, I guarantee that. And they’re gonna make us think, and at best, what we hope for is to be invited back, you know, come back with some better answers about this, or that maybe improve a spreadsheet, you know, whatever. And so long story short, we’re in there, you know, we’re supposed to be in there for like a half hour we’re in there for two and a half hours and meeting with the, you know, the owner of the hedge fund, the general counsel, you know, senior level people, which is pretty cool. They knew me. So that was, you know, big, big, big help. And we got invited back two weeks later, and all together over a six week period, they came back and gave us an offer of putting a million dollars of capital in the business, and giving us $100 million to invest in sellers.
Don Henig 31:37
Not a bad first meeting.
That is awesome.
It didn’t take 242, huh?
Don Henig 31:43
It didn’t, it didn’t. Howard Schultz sucks, man.
Don Henig 31:49
Yeah, it’s a lot of fun. And you know, we are having fun with this. Because we really believe that we’re helping people grow their business, we’re teaching a lot of people things about their business, and teaching them about, you know, different things in business, if you will, not just ecommerce, and part of it is staying in touch. And, you know, one part of it is motivating some sellers to do certain things that they don’t realize that they have to do, you know, in business, and helping some people overcome some personal issues that they might have. I’ll give you a good example of something that happened just this past year, that’s mind blowing, really. But you guys will appreciate this. A year ago, we had a number of clients that as you know, couldn’t send in any new products to Amazon. And they went from making a lot of money one month, to breaking even the next month to losing money the next month, and then losing money for three months in a row. And they were concerned. I’m not talking about tons, but there were a few. And they were concerned and I spoke to all of them. And they were very concerned, like, you know, what are you guys gonna do? Hey, accrue me, what are you guys gonna do? And I got on the phone with them all. And we talked about it like, no, this is a business transaction. This is not a personal transaction. It’s not like you took money and stole it, you know, you’re doing the best you can under this crazy circumstance. So you’re not making any money. We’re not making any money. Not only do they not have to make a payment, but we didn’t earn a fee. We didn’t earn anything. Zero. And you know, no bank, no loan ever does that ever. So the one guy he had come in after paying off $100,000 Amazon loan, and his monthly payments were somewhere in the $9,000. Little over $9,000, if I remember correctly, somewhere in that ballpark. And he said to me, Don, if I had to make payments, right now, I’d be out of business. And like, I’m sure you would, that would be a killer. You know, it’d be brutal. Imagine trying to go to sleep. At home, you have kids, you have your house, and you have to make this big payment, and something in the world happened. It’s not your fault. And you can’t make these payments. You think a lender is gonna sit on the sidelines and just don’t worry about it. Not happening. It’s gonna be bad, you know, your credit reports gonna be screwed, everything’s gonna be screwed. with us. It’s like, yeah, that’s part of business. We understand we, you know, we’re in this. So anyway, they all recovered pretty quickly, which was great. And I gotta tell you, they’ve done very, very well, since
that’s huge. This timing component is huge. I mean, I have not had any experiences with banks, credit cards, any type of lending mechanism, that gives you that level of flexibility. And if I look at where the major stressors in my business come from, it comes from these rigid due dates for credit card payments, for line of credit payments, etc. And so as anybody who’s involved in business knows, things come up. Oh, they always do, there’s a 100% chance that you’re gonna have a curveball thrown at you or several. And having that flexibility from your partner or, I would consider you guys like a money partner, was huge. So I really liked that example. And boy did that sound familiar? April 2020, was the best month of my Amazon businesses life followed up by two terrible months, because I couldn’t order inventory and I couldn’t get it in Amazon warehouses. So I was chuckling when you were telling me that, because that sounded very, very familiar.
Don Henig 35:15
Yeah, it’s very familiar to a lot of people. And it’s a true story. It’s absolutely true. But I want to come back to the timing, because there’s another part to this timing that I think is even better. It’s not just a matter of that you didn’t have to make any payments, when you know, when things are bad, or, you know, let’s face facts, there are months where you’re going to break even as well. And then there’s going to be months where you’re going to kill it. So what about, you know, Ken you brought up the Amazon loan, not putting Amazon loan lending down, but any loan, if I was a bank, and I gave you $100,000, today, and today being February, well, really March 1, by the time you got to the busiest part of the season, let’s say September might be August, September, October, where you’re ordering everything, that loan is down to maybe 30, or $40,000. that’s all you have left, you’ve had to pay it all back. Now you need money to grow, you can’t, they’re not giving you any more money yet, until you pay that thing off. So with us what happens, let’s say we gave you 100 grand now. And in three months, you’re doing so well. And you’re flush with cash, and you’re making payments to us and whatever, you might pay us down to 50 grand, now come August in September, you need money to grow, your business is now not $100,000 business, I’m just gonna make up $150,000 business or a $200,000 business by then. You have that much more money available to you. Because we’re looking at your inventory every day, we know how much is coming in from Amazon. So you started at $100,000 of capital, and you went to 120, and 150 and 200. And now let’s say it’s $200,000 of capital in your business in September, you can take all that out. That’s mind boggling. So the idea is to provide you capital, when you have the opportunities to grow. And when you don’t have the opportunities to grow, when you’re flush with cash, it’s in your best interest to pay us down, because then our profit percentage comes down. So it’s like the invisible hand in finance, right? In economics. It just makes sense. But I will tell you, when we started this, we didn’t know if anybody would ever pay us. We were a little nervous about that. Like how, what kind of seriously, can you imagine? Can you imagine going before a hedge fund, and when they say to you, will anybody ever pay you? Well, we think so, you know, this is what we think will happen. Like, some of the guys in the room wanted to kick us right out, you know, like this is just stupid. So our first client who came to us, this is a true story, first client, we didn’t know what we were doing. We had no system, we, you know, quickly drew up a contract at the last second. You know, I mean literally we’re starting. And we went out to them and a few others and just gave them capital, we had no underwriting criteria at all. We gave them money. So this first client, really nice people, husband and wife team, they were retired, and their retirement was lost. And by lost, meaning that they owned a business. They sold the business with a building. And the people that bought the building and the business went out of business, they leveraged the building and went out of business. So there was nothing left. So here they are older couple that, you know, great people that had everything set did everything, right. And now what do they do? So they learn about Amazon, they start an Amazon business, and they had a small business, but they were in business, maybe six months. And they were on track for that first year to earn about $50,000 of profit. Very good. They had about $25,000 of capital. So we gave them 25,000. And over the next 12 months, and I’m hedging on the numbers a little bit here, whether it be 12 months or 13 months or nine months, whatever they took out, remember, they were only earning $50,000 they took out of the business, roughly $125,000 All right. That’s how well they did. And they doubled more than doubled their profit. I don’t remember what their sales did, but it went up, you know, many times, but their profit went up from, just their end after paying us, you know, after our share, and they’d already paid us. After us they went from like earning $48,000 to $112,000 in that year. Yeah. And their first payment to us was 18 months after they started because they’re flush with cash. And they started they sent us $2,000 and they sent us $3,000 and $5000, then they sent us 10,000 because they had it. They built a business they don’t really need us anymore. I think we’re on the way out with them because they built it to a level that they’re Very comfortable, and they don’t really need our money anymore.
That’s a great story. And yeah, it’s great to hear like a case study, an example. And I’m sure you know, you’re glad that the payments actually came in, they started to come in, right?
Don Henig 40:14
Absolutely. We love getting payments. But we love to see them grow. You know, we love to see them use the money the way it should be used. And that’s what they did.
Yeah, absolutely. A couple follow up questions. So one. So my business I know, David’s business, probably on average Amazon businesses are they’re growing like 100%, year over year, right. And sometimes even more, I mean in 2020, there was quite a bit more on some cases. Now, you guys just readjust that every year, you kind of go in there and say, okay, you know, when we first started talking, when we first analyzed this, you said you had like a sheet or something? And so do you just go in there on maybe a quarterly basis or an annual basis and then re adjust the estimates?
Don Henig 40:58
It’s pretty much every day.
Don Henig 41:00
Yeah. So we look at your inventory every day. And we know what’s due from Amazon every day. So we know what the total amount of capital is. And we’ll match that capital. So let’s say you started you have, you know, $100,000 in your business, but you only need 20. So we give you 20. And next month, you come back and say, Hey, I need another 20. It’ll be in your account in less than an hour. Because we’ve already approved you. We’ve got everything there. Now we get to the busy season in August, you know, your business is not 100,000 it’s 150. I’m making up numbers, and you need money, you can go up to 150. There’s no other underwriting it’s all in the system. We’ve done it.
That’s awesome. That’s more like real time financing.
Don Henig 41:42
It’s real time. It’s real time. So we have one rule. Here’s our one rule. We don’t want to have more money in the business than you. So if you have $100,000 of capital, we don’t want to have 101. That’s our only rule 50% max. So we will only be 50% of the total capital in the business at any time. You know, but that’s it. So anything besides that, that’s it.
David, you got any follow up questions before we hit the fire round?
Let’s get into it.
Don Henig 42:11
Fire round? You guys didn’t tell me there’d be a fire round. This is like the Middle Ages right?
They’re easy. They’re easy questions. Ready, Don?
Don Henig 42:23
I’m ready. I’m ready. I’m sitting down.
Alright, what is your favorite book?
Don Henig 42:27
Ah, I have a bunch of them. So I’m going to tell you two. One, and I think David, might be on your I got distracted before when I saw some books behind you. The compound effect by Darren Hardy.
Don Henig 42:40
Have you guys read it?
I have not. I have not.
Don Henig 42:44
it is such a great business book, I would suggest it to anybody, the book or the audio book as well. And Darren Hardy was the publisher of Success Magazine, which goes all the way back to I think Norman Vincent Peale was the original one. All right. So just the you know, it’s motivation, it’s successful stories. And the compound effect is all about making small positive steps towards some bigger goal. And as opposed to doing something negative, every day do something positive. So you know, the good example is two guys, they’re both the exact same height, weight best friends the whole bit. And one decides, you know, I’m like 35, I want to lose a few pounds. So he stops eating snacks at night. And the other one says, You know, I love ice cream. So I’m going to have a dish of ice cream every night, just a dish, not a big thing. Well over a month, you’re not going to know a difference, you’re not going to see any difference. Over three months, it might be a couple of pounds, a few pounds difference. In six months the guy who stopped eating the snacks is slimmer. He’s feeling better. He’s now going to the gym. He’s working out he’s eating healthier, he’s thinking clearer, you know. So it’s a matter of making these minor little changes, and doing them consistently over time, that make a huge difference in business and in life. So the compound effect and the other one that’s life changing for me that I read when I was 18 years old, was your erroneous zones by Wayne w Dyer. And it’s just a fantastic book. still my favorite of all time.
Excellent. those are great, great recommendations. I’m gonna put them on my list. Next one, what are your hobbies?
Don Henig 44:33
You know, my wife and I we live on Long Island so we’re surrounded by water and we actually live on a lake that flows down into the ocean across the street. And so we’re always out on the water so we boat so we pleasure boat not so much fishing anymore. I used to do a lot of fishing but now it’s really more about pleasure boating, so taking our boat over to Fire Island which is a barrier island on Long Island or taking it out into the ocean and seeing whales and Dolphins and seals, I mean, it’s unbelievable what’s out there, going up to Nantucket or Newport, Rhode Island or Block Island, Rhode Island, or taking it into Manhattan. And just enjoying, you know, coming by the Statue of Liberty on a boat is a unique experience. Last year before going into the city on the boat, and it was Memorial Day for Fleet Week. So all the big, you know, naval ships come in for Fleet Week, and the city gets taken over by the Navy, basically, and it’s a lot of fun. So we’re coming in, go ahead and say something. So we’re coming in, and going by the Statue of Liberty, and these monster ships are coming by me, I’m like, holy cow, I gotta be careful here. Anyway, as we’re leaving, you know, after a couple of days or a few days, there was another naval ship that was either coming or going, I don’t remember. And I was going around them. Next thing, you know, I’m surrounded by Coast Guard and police boats with machine guns, man, they were not kidding around. There was no kidding around, you know, you better not turn that wheel. They were very, very, very serious. But we love boating, I love golfing. But to tell you the truth, since I started this business two years ago, I’ve only golfed once. And I was golfing two times a week, and going to the range probably three or four times a week and taking lessons every month and doing really, really well. And now I’ve only gone once in two years. So, what can I tell you?
Yeah, it sounds like you’re very passionate about accrueme.
Don Henig 46:34
You know, I believe when you start a business, you have to get your whole family to believe in it and buy into it. And I did that with my family and this business. And really every business where I’ve told them look, I’m going to start working my ass off again. And you know, you guys will all have to be on board with this or or tell me now. So you know, then I won’t do it. But no, go ahead, dad do what you have to do. I don’t think they realized, I don’t think I realized. Yeah, and that’s what we do.
That’s awesome. Alright, so the last question for the fire round. What do you think sets apart successful ecommerce entrepreneurs from those who give up, fail or never get started?
Don Henig 47:10
I have a real simple answer for that. And that is go to work. You know, and I’ve seen in this business, I’ve seen real success. And I’ve seen some failures. And it’s sad to see it really is it breaks my heart. Because the failures in each case that I’ve seen, is a case of people not getting up and going to work. You know, in one case, a wholesale account, wholesale seller. And in wholesale. It’s a matter of making a lot of phone calls, you have to make relationships with suppliers. And if you make one a day, you’re never going to be successful. If you make 10 a day, you’re setting yourself up for success. You may not get a single account for a day, two days, three days a week, but you still have to make those 10 calls. And if you make those 10 calls before 10 o’clock in the morning, 10 by 10, you know is the way I would look at it, then you’re ahead of the game, because then you have the rest of the day to find other ways to win. And it’s the same thing with anything, you know, you can sit back and think the business is gonna come to you. And hey, this is ecommerce, you know, it’s a four hour workweek, I can do this from anywhere. This is great. No, I’m sorry, you got to go to work, you know, four hour workweek yeah maybe one day, but initially, you got to put in, you know, a lot of hours and bust your ass. Yeah, find the technology and the tools to streamline your business. But that just enables you to do more. That doesn’t mean you’re going to stop working. You know, you have to come into this expecting to bust your ass and make it happen. And that’s the biggest thing I would say.
Now, for anyone that is listening to his podcasts and wants to get in touch with accrueme what should they do? What’s their next step?
Don Henig 48:51
Sure. So you know, simple address accrueme.com ACCRUE . So accrue, me m e.com. And what I would do there, you know, click around and all that there are two main things that I would do is there’s an ROI calculator that you put your own information in, you know, and see how you would do with our money and the way that it works versus anything else. And then there’s a get a funding offer button. And again, that’s what I was talking about earlier. It’s just, I think 10 questions like, you know, how long you’ve been in business, how much did you do last month, you know, basic questions, it takes you two minutes to fill out and you’ll get a funding offer. And then you just give us access to the business to the inventory. And we’re off to the races. And again, you’re not in you know, you don’t have to make a decision until the very, very last minute. And that’s only up to you. But that’s accrueme.com. And then my email is also very simple. Just Don firstname.lastname@example.org. And then the last thing I’d suggest I think a lot of people like to you know, see what you’ve done and all that stuff. So go to my LinkedIn and it’s my full name like my mother calling me for dinner, Donald. So DONALD henig HENIG and on LinkedIn and you know, feel free to connect with me. I like talking to people and I like helping people and you don’t have to do business with us. If I can help in some way, happy to do it.
Well, very nice. Don, thank you for being a guest on the firing the man podcast and we look forward to talking to you again.
Don Henig 50:23
I got to tell you, I love the name of the podcast, by the way, the best name of any podcast out there by far.
All right, I like you. I like it. Thank you everyone for tuning in to today’s firing the man podcast. If you liked this episode, head on over to firingtheman.com. And check out our resource library for exclusive firing the man discounts on popular e commerce subscription services that is firingtheman.com\resource. You can also find a comprehensive library of over 50 books that Ken and I have read in the last few years that have made a meaningful impact on our business, for that head on over to www.firingtheman.com/library. Lastly, check us out on social media at firing the man and on YouTube at firing the man for exclusive content. This is David Schomer
and Ken Wilson. We’re out
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai