Q2 Review of Our 2020 E-Commerce Goals

Episode 25

In this episode, Ken and David review their goals that they set in January 2020 for their e-commerce businesses.  You will hear what is going well, what areas they are trying to improve upon, and their plans for the rest of 2020. 

www.Firing The Man.com
Email us –> support@firingtheman.com

Ken 0:00
100% top line growth across ecom brands and I’m definitely on pace to do that with the the challenging times that we talked about demand, right everybody is going online and shopping. So one thing that I’ve done is I’ve doubled down on my inventory. I’ve been buying as much inventory as cashflow will allow you to capitalize on the demand that we’re seeing right now that the traffic online.

Intro 0:28
Welcome, everyone to the www.firingtheman.com 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 stream in just a few short hours per day. And now your host serial entrepreneurs David Schomer and Ken Wilson.

David 0:52
Welcome everyone to the firing demand podcast on today’s episode, Ken and I are going to be reviewing the goals that we set in January. 2020 for the upcoming year, Ken, it has been one hell of a year. If you would have told me in January that we would have faced a global pandemic, the entire economy would have shut down. I don’t I don’t know if I would have believed you. How’s the first part of your year been going?

Ken 1:17
Yeah. David, you know, it’s great to do an episode today. But yeah, you’re right. Like the year is kind of taking a turn, you know, and throwing some curveballs at us. We’ve had to adjust and, yeah, the word unprecedented, is used a lot. But, you know, it is what it is. But, you know, as an entrepreneur, we’re used to, you know, peaks and valleys and roller coasters and everything else. So yeah, it’s been interesting a challenge. How about that?

David 1:49
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Now, to prep for this episode, I went back and listened to our January 2020 episode, and listen to our goals and We said in that episode that we are going to be revisiting these. And, you know, we commented on the tendency of people to set goals and then, you know, never really revisit them or have a plan in action. So, as I go through some of my goals, some of them I’m doing great. Some of them I need to step up my game in the latter half of the year. How are you doing now? Just in general? How do you stack up?

Ken 2:22
Yeah, exactly. You know, I’m probably somewhere in line with where you’re at, you know, and, and the one the one thing about our show, I think, is being transparent and open and honest, you know, like, hey, whenever you have a failure, or whenever you’re off path, you know, it’s really good to say hey, you know, you have to own it right? In order to do that, so yeah, I’m in the same boat. You know, some some of the goals are are good and I’m reaching them and some up in my need to step it up a little bit or, or change direction.

David 2:54
Absolutely. Well, let’s get into it. Let’s get into our specific goals. I’m looking at my list right now and the first one that I set was attend two national conferences for Amazon sellers or for e commerce sellers. And at that time, this was pre COVID. And I was planning on going to seller con, I was planning on going to the 10 x conference and had a couple other conferences on my list. Now, unfortunately, all of those have been cancelled. So that’s, you know, that’s an update on my goal. I do think that you’re going to see more opportunities for virtual conferences or virtual learning. And I’ve dipped my toe into the water of zoom calls and zoom masterminds and those have been okay, but I am looking forward to getting back to things getting back to normal and attending these big conferences. What about you Ken?

Ken 3:42
Yeah, same here, you know, I had a goal of attending at least three conferences on e commerce or in the e commerce space. And, you know, that’s, that’s not something that’s going to happen this year. But I do still plan on going to two virtual conferences. And also I wouldn’t say if it’s a conference or not, but the Canton Fair. So they’re taking that online this year. So I’m going to kind of count that as a conference. Right? And I’m going to use that as sourcing and stuff like that. So right now, you know, I have on my, on my list to go to two virtual conferences.

David 4:20
Awesome. Awesome. I don’t want to get too far off track. But you mentioned the Canton Fair. And for our listeners who are unfamiliar with that, can you tell us a little bit about it?

Ken 4:29
Sure. Sure. The Canton Fair is believe it’s held twice every year, and Guan Jo In China, and it’s one of the largest gatherings of vendors in China or in the world, for that matter. And it’s just, it’s absolutely massive. And they’re not going to do it physically this year, but they’re all gonna they’re gonna do it online. So if you’re sourcing products from China, then that’s likely you’re going to want to go to that or attended and we might even do a feature show on that and kind of dive a little bit deeper into that.

David 5:00
Absolutely, absolutely. Well, good stuff. What’s number two on your list?

Ken 5:06
So we got number to build my team from three and a half to seven. You know, right now I’m at a, I’m at four, for four and a half not sure how you want to call it that. So I’m on pace. And I’ve really evaluated that goal to kind of step back and look at it. And, you know, like, I don’t know, whether I’ll hit it or not, I don’t know, I’m not going to just hire and bring on people just to hit that goal. But that was a number to make me uncomfortable and say, Hey, I need to be growing right? Like I need to take more tasks off my plate and grow. So I met four and the goal seven, so we’re getting there.

David 5:47
Awesome. What about number two on my list was carve off two hours per week for learning and I have been doing a pretty good job of that. I have been reading quite a few books, namely the new Ryan Daniel. Moran book, zero to 1 million in 12 months, great book, great book, I picked it up and and it was one of those that you start reading and you can’t put it down. So that’s been one that I would recommend to anybody. But you know, in terms of like specific technical knowledge, I’ve been using the freedom ticket through helium 10. It’s a training that Kevin King puts on. And I have been, you know, I’ve kind of poked and prodded through the different modules there and and looked at some that I thought were interesting, but most recently, I did one on accounting, and that one was like eye opening, and I’m an accountant. And that’s where I see kind of one of my blind spots is being an accountant. I sometimes think I know it all right, and whoever did this training, they brought in a specialist from the UK. And he talked about like accounting specifically for Amazon companies, and talked about cash flow and building your cash flow and scaling I learned a lot of great stuff from it. So just goes to show that just because you may have some previous knowledge of something doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t check out a training about that topic. So in general, I feel like I’m doing pretty good. I have been blocking off certain mornings. And that’s been helpful. And I’ve been keeping my phone on airplane mode during that time, just uninterrupted learning time. So, so far, so good. Looking forward to I’m almost done with the freedom ticket. And so I’m going to be looking for another training another way to keep sharpening my sword. And so if you have any recommendations, let me know.

Ken 7:37
Yeah, for sure. Want to take a step back and highlight the fact that you were humble enough as an accountant to go and do training on accounting and highlight the fact that you learned something right. So I think that’s huge. No matter if you ever stop being humble and and, you know, if you just listen more, you’ll learn right? Like I do it all the time or trying to write something that I I can improve on as well. But that was good to hear that I’m glad you shared that. My next goal, I have here allocate two hours per week on diversification off of Amazon. I’ve actually probably been spending more like four hours a week on this. This is something that I think is going to be crucial for the longevity of my business as well as increasing the value of my business during an exit. So some of the things that I’ve been working on. And David, you and I have discussed this, eBay, I’ve been taking my brands on eBay and getting getting some sales on eBay. The last few weeks has been kind of nice. Next is Etsy. So I’m waiting on a couple of inventory purchases to come in and we’re going to scale on Etsy. So I’m really excited about that potential there, as well as my website. So been really building organic growth to my websites to drive sales off of Amazon to my website, you know, and working on the branding. Another book that I’ve been reading that just came out was shout out to the Russell Brunson it’s traffic secret. And it’s this a really good book. So we’ll have to, we’ll have to dive into that one on a later show. But that’s one that I’ve been kind of putting into play for getting that external traffic. So yeah, really been working hard. And that goal, that’s kind of that’s easily gonna be easily going to achieve that one. And I think that was going to do we’re going to move the needle.

David 9:40
So excellent. You know, the our last two episodes have captured what you’re talking about. So two episodes ago, would have been Episode 23. You dropped some giant knowledge bombs on how to build a website and went into some really good detail there. And then the following episode. We did a deep dive on diversification off of Amazon. So looking at Etsy, Jett, Walmart, eBay and some of these other online selling platforms. So we’ve been talking about it a lot. And it’s good that we’ve both been doing that in our businesses.

Ken 10:14
Yeah, absolutely. It was kind of eye opening, you know, it’s, you always see like, Oh, hey, the Amazon sales, right? Amazon’s a monster, but there’s always, you know, other players. And there’s always other angles. So it was good to see. And good to hear all those stats like that show you did on on eBay and Etsy, and all those other channels. Some of that stuff was eye opening to me. So yeah, pretty cool. What’s the next one on the list?

David 10:41
So the next thing on my list is get one thing off my plate per month that is creating a bottleneck. And this has been going well in some areas and has been going terrible in other areas. I’ll go into detail. So things have been going well, I’m hired another VA to help out with my business and that’s been going on Well spent a lot of time researching and finding the right person for my business, and found really good help. And this saying is, you know, people say this all the time, but good help is hard to find. And so, you know, that was, that was one thing. I’m glad I spent some time trying to identify the right individual. And so that piece of it that’s going well, and that person, I think, has probably taken more than one thing off my plate per month, you know, for the last five or six months. So that’s going well. On the flip side of that, there have been a couple things. I’ve tried to get off my plate that have just stayed on the plate. And in particular, I hired a social media manager and it just went just catastrophicly terrible. And so I ended up firing that individual and, you know, lesson learned, I think, in the first week, I had a feeling in my gut that this wasn’t going to work out and some of the mistakes that were being made and the lack of progress that was being made. I knew early This didn’t feel right. But I’ve been looking for a Social Media Manager for so long that I just was like, Alright, hang in there, I did end up probably hanging in there a little too long, I ended up parting ways with that individual. And I’m back in the hunt for a new social media manager. One lesson learned through that process is that I need to get a little more organized. I think people that have a organized room probably have a organized desktop, an organized file structure. And that’s one thing that as a solopreneur, I was the only one that needed to know how to find things. And so I had stuff all over my desktop. I had stuff on flash drives on external hard drives, some in Dropbox, some in Google Docs, and, and that worked, alright, but when I’m getting these things off my plate, I need to pass them along in a organized way. And so that has been something that in order to get a task off of my plate, I’ve needed to get That subcategory organized before passing it off. I think that just makes an easy transition. And specifically, I’ve been using Dropbox business. It’s been nice I can, you know, delegate permissions, and it’s been a pretty good setup a lot better than what I had before. So I’d say on that goal so far, so good. What about you can what’s the next one on your list?

Ken 13:23
Yeah, before I move on, guys, I get hit up on the organization part. I think that’s pretty, pretty common. I know I have the same the same challenges with file structure and just being organized. And as you scale your teams, you know, like what you mentioned, like, Hey, I have all these things and all these places that I know where they are, but as you scale and you delegate out, you know, if you have to kind of squeeze these down from all these other platforms into one, and then scale that one, and yeah, I’m working on that now. And that’s, that’s a challenge. So I’m with you. Moving on, I’ve got on the next one on my list is 100%, top line growth across ecome brands. And I’m definitely on pace to do that, with the the challenging times that we talked about earlier in the show and the e commerce space has been the products that I sell have seen tremendous growth. So that one, I’d likely already hit it or will pass it very soon. So that one is a huge win. And I’m super humbled to have that.

David 14:32
Can we dive into that a little bit more. So that’s awesome growth, right for six for six months into the year. What have been a couple things that you’ve been doing lately that have helped create that that very steep growth curve.

Ken 14:44
Yeah. So I mean, it’s really tough to pin down I mean, demand, right, everybody is going online and shopping. So one thing, one thing that I’ve done is I’ve doubled down on my inventory. Now I don’t take much proofits out of the business, I have been buying as much inventory as cash flow will allow. So I think that’s probably the number one contributing factor is to have inventory for people to purchase. And to capitalize on the demand that we’re seeing right now, the traffic online. So yeah, that, you know, just having inventory and having it in front of shoppers. Absolutely.

David 15:26
All right, Ken, what’s, what’s your next goal?

Ken 15:28
Okay, so I got two more left on my list. And they’re both crucial, I think. So. The next one is building my email list to 25,000 for one of my brands, and I am probably 30 35% of the way there, and I’ve got strategies in place to really ramp that up. One thing I’ve one thing I’ve done to, to really helped that email list out is lots of different ways to get email. So this kind of goes with Back to the diversification, so building websites and getting that organic traffic to the website. So I’m using the Hello bar and ConvertKit to capture the traffic that comes to the website capture the emails with a lead magnet, you know, PDF, whatever it is, and I’m getting on, on average 10 to 15 emails a day now through that process, and as I don’t panic traffic grows, those emails will obviously increase. So that goal is on pace easily and I’d like to far exceed that because i think i think the email marketing is underrated. I think everybody goes after, you know, other you know, low hanging fruit or other shiny objects. I’m one of those people but I’ve seen the power of the of the email list and the email marketing, just small glimpses, and it’s very powerful. So that’s something that I’m really going to try to exceed that goal this year. If I can If I can. Lastly, rounding out, firing the man is the last one on my list. And I don’t know when this episode is going to air or not. But David and I will have a, you know, maybe a special episode there we can, we’ll be able to discuss a few things later on. So I’ll just leave that one there for now. We’ll revisit it.

David 17:24
It cannot I don’t want to go too deep into this because that this deserves to be its own episode. But you and I have had a couple conversations recently. And I am very, very excited for you. And I’m very, very proud of what you’ve accomplished. And, and I’m really looking forward to letting the audience know, so we’ll leave them with that. Anyway, I’m glad we’ve revisited these goals and and we’re going to do another episode at the end of the year. Just to recap our year talk about whether we met our goals or if we didn’t What we can do to do a better job of that and as always go to www.firingtheman.com And leave us a message let us know what your goals are for this year and what you’re struggling with what’s going well and just check in with us we’d love to hear from you.

Ken 18:17
Yeah, absolutely. I’d like to echo what David said you know go to www.firingtheman.com on the on the main page, we have a tool there that you can send us a voice message, you know, hold myself and David accountable. Share your goals with us. We might bring him on the show and in turn with everybody but

David 18:33
yeah, just keep in contact and hold each other accountable. I think that’s huge. Absolutely. Well, good stuff. Thanks, everyone for joining us. We’ll see you next time. Thank you everyone for tuning in to today’s firing demand podcast. If you like this episode, head on over to www.firingtheman.com and check out our resource library for exclusive www.firingtheman.com discounts on popular e commerce subscription services that is www.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, or that head on over to www.firingtheman.com/library. Lastly, check us out on social media at www.firingtheman.com on YouTube at www.firingtheman.com for exclusive content. This is David Schomer and Ken Wilson. We’re out

Transcribed by https://otter.ai