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  • #986657
    Hatching_It
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    Hi all,

    So having received the weekly (fortnightly? I’m not sure) FS newsletter yesterday I was inspired by the 12 week book challenge. I used to read a lot, I have barely read for the last 5 years.

    I bought book one of the challenge last night “Dynamic writing, how to make words work for you” by Nick Souter. My local book store sells every brand new book in their store for $10 – I would happily of paid $10 for two phrases in the first couple of pages.

    This set off a chain reaction in my head of “You know what? Let’s stop pussyfooting around and get serious about my businesses”.

    I’m 27, I’m looking forward to starting a family in the next few years and unlike people I have worked for my definition of success is building wealth in a way that allows me to spend 80% of my time with my family and 20% of my time on making money.

    For those of you that read my introductory thread, I run two businesses whilst still working full-time (yes I know, this is hardly 80/20! But you have to start somewhere)

    The first, my passion. Helping micro and small businesses earn more through consolidating processes and systems by moving online. This usually includes building a web site and online presence as well as integrating all of their systems using cloud based technology. My business partner (and gf) handles the creative and marketing side, I handle the process and tech side. It works well, but it’s a lot of work whilst also sitting in front of a computer and doing much the same thing at my full time job. It’s hard to motivate ourselves to put in another three to four hours after work.

    The second, my ‘family first insurance policy’. An eBay business that I started 4 months ago. We’ve started with two products that sell for $15 and $55 and turned over $1500 in the first four months. A good start, but hardly a retirement fund..

    So what do these ramblings have to do with the thread title? We’ve decided it’s time to live off my wage and put my gf’s wage in to our businesses.

    It’s scary.

    We earn a modest wage, I know a lot of people my age are starting to get towards earning what both of us earn together. We enjoy some of the ‘finer things’ on a ‘not so finer things budget’. We’ll cut a few non essentials like gym (we live in Kingston, Canberra on the lake with cycling paths and parks for working out), beer money, extra foxtel channels, and we’ll start buying the $4 jar of tartare sauce instead of the $11 one..

    We can do it.

    We’ve given ourselves the month of February to consolidate our wage in to our joint account, move things like phone and Internet (100% business use) over to the business and move exactly her wage in to the business account. But what does this buy?

    Each month whilst speaking to my eBay business mentor he says ‘you guys can have this business earning what you earn now within 12 months, you just need more products’. Our store has no speciality, we sell anything with one qualifying statement. “It must make a high profit”. I’ll sell a soap dispenser one day and then a uv fish filter the next if they make a high profit %.

    The promise:

    One of the phrases from the first couple of pages in my book is “Do not take or give oral instructions or commands”.

    So with the good people of the Flying Solo community as my witness, I’m writing this down.

    For the remainder of this year,using my gf’s wage, we will grow our eBay business by one (or two depending on cost) products every single month.

    When you break it down, it’s really quite easy. You need a product that makes $10 profit. You need to sell 5 a week (our products are doing this already). You then need to find 11 more products like it (it’s easy once you know how). You are then making $600 PROFIT a week. In your first year you’ve built a $30,000 PROFIT business.

    I don’t mind if no one reads this thread (if you do, I hope you draw some inspiration from it). This thread is my promise to myself, to my gf, to my future family and too my co-soloists that it will happen, starting now.

    Happy soloing!

    Maclean

    PS. For those that wonder “what about your passion?”. I haven’t thought that far, it’s steady, we take on as much work as we can handle, it pays for itself. I’ll let a 2015 epiphany (or maybe the next book!) decide on that one.

    #1158915
    The Rogue Counsellor
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    Hi Maclean,

    Love your enthusiasm and your commitment!

    Yes it’s scary, but most things in life that are worthwhile are outside our comfort zone. That’s what makes them exciting.

    You have a goal and you have a plan to get there. They are the must-haves.

    Looking forward to following your progress. I’d wish you luck, but it’s no substitute for what you already have … determination :)

    Lee
    The Rogue Counsellor

    #1158916
    Robert Gerrish
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    Well done Maclean – for picking up that book and for making these wonderful commitments.

    I look forward to following your journey!

    Robert :)

    #1158917
    Hatching_It
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    Thanks for taking the time to reply guys!

    Started moving all of our bills over to my account yesterday, figured I’d get the depressing part done first :)

    Maclean

    #1158918
    LucasArthur
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    Maclean,

    I think this is an awesome commitment, and applying the simply rules of growth and expansion (bit like compound interest) you should be well and i mean WELL on your way to growing your enterprise..

    Very proud to be a part of your ‘lil’ journey and look forward to seeing you up on stage! honestly…

    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1158919
    Hatching_It
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    Thanks Jason, much appreciated.

    Exciting little bit of news, we’ve just managed to source our first new product to bring in. $20 purchase price per unit and we’re going to make about $30 profit on each sale (yeap, after all associated costs). There’s only one other person on eBay selling it and they’re selling one a day.

    Now to just keep finding those little gems and we’ll be set.

    I’ve also just registered a new domain name where I will be running a blog all about starting our business with $0 and building it. It will be aimed at people just looking to start out from home. Hopefully people can take inspiration and start their own home business. Hopefully by the time the blog attracts a reader I’ll be in a position to offer assistance starting up with freight etc.

    Thanks again,

    Maclean

    #1158920
    LuchiaBloomfield
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    Your enthusiasm is contagious, Maclean. Looking forward to following your journey!

    #1158921
    affgar
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    Love your spark & simple outlook.

    I too share similar goals. I am a new dad …. weeks.
    I am not going to be a debt slave or make my child/children (maybe) miss out on what I can offer them.

    My love & passion towards my child is worth far more than a grind lifestyle full of negatives & regret.

    I am lucky to have such freedom in my life… but financially I do not aspire to a Sydney harbour front lifestyle. :D

    Great work … keep following your passion!

    #1158922
    Hatching_It
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    Thanks for the positive comments all!

    A few exciting (for us) updates.

    The blog is coming along and we’ve been contacted by a few people (mostly from Flying Solo but a few from elsewhere as well). I’m always amazed that the eBay community is so willing to help each other. You would think everyone would be competing against each other but with the number of users and products available I guess we don’t.

    Last month we had our biggest month yet, just missing out on $1000 turnover for the month so our goal for this month was to get over $1000. Wow did we underestimate the traction some our products are getting.. We’ve almost nailed that target already!

    Last month

    zmfatt.png

    As of today for April

    11cb2pc.png

    We may actually turnover $2000 this month so 240% on the month before.. Obviously I don’t expect to grow this much month on month but I’m pretty happy!

    Unfortunately we’ve had some delays in our new product and it only left China a couple of days but we’ve got the product listing ready to go so that we can list it as soon as it’s on the truck. In the meantime we also found another product that we’ll make over 100% profit on and we’ve sold 3 in the first week of listing it.

    We also had to restock a product ahead of what we were scheduling so had to freight by air in a ‘bandaid’ quantity rather than by sea so our highest selling product isn’t quite as profitable as we’d planned, but we should be good for the next restock.

    I finally purchased a shiny new DSLR camera as well so am busy taking new photographs of the products and finishing off the website (90% complete) so we’re on target to have the website done by the end of the month and we’ll start sending out business cards with discount coupons for website purchases.

    Sorry for the long post but hopefully this can help others get excited about growing their businesses.

    Maclean

    #1158923
    LucasArthur
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    Howdy Maclean,

    Firstly, promise i will try and stay on topic :D

    Awesome news on the blog and having people contacting you, especially off of FS as this means you are getting some traction eslewhere! AWESOME!!!!!! May i ask what is your intent with this blog? are you planning on gathering your own ‘students’ and the likes to help others down the track and profiteer from it? reckon this would be another great thing for you.

    Re competing against each other, OH MY such a big playing field.. bit like all of us at FS swimming in the Indian Ocean and we would never see each other…. And the product variations are so great as well…

    The turnover increase if great, especially since you are ahead of your targets.. and with products being 100% margin, another great achievement.. Its great you are reinvesting the profit into stock to ensure you can maintain your growth as well… Some people forget about the importance of having the stock growth…

    China, delays in receiving stock.. i have 2 containers sitting on the docks in China at the moment.. should have been here 3 weeks ago… pain in the proverbial you know what… unfortunately i cant airmail a fix in for temporary stock :( so be thankful you are able to find a quick remedy so you dont affect your growth strategies…

    Photography in the park i hear you say? Cant wait to see some of your learnings with your new toy…

    Look forward to reading more, as i must say i do enjoy following your growth.. quite infectious actually.. So thanks for sharing your personal journey.

    Cheers
    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1158924
    Hatching_It
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    Wow, sorry Jason I totally missed your reply.. Have been AWOL from FS for the last couple of weeks as we picked up a few web site projects..

    Before I answer your post I thought I’d just put up another graphic showing our sales, we *may* hit the $2000 sales for the month but with the long weekend I’m thinking we might just fall short. Either way, we’re really happy with the growth. One of our products is fighting for 2nd spot in the eBay search results which is pretty exciting. We’re just about to take shipment of our latest product and am about to send another $5k over to China to import 2 new products this month..

    2ajay5g.png

    My only ambition with the blog so far is to empower other people to take the same steps I have. If I can earn money through tutoring/mentoring later I would entertain the idea, but at the moment it’s really just trying to inspire people to take the leap of faith.

    Oh man I hear you about the shipping delays.. I’m slightly terrified about the new product we’ve brought in because there was a 1 month time to assemble 100 units and then it’s taken over a month to get here. With our most successful product it was steady, steady, steady and then boom we sold about 30 in 2 weeks. I don’t want to get caught with my pants down and no products to sell!

    The goals for the end of the financial year haven’t changed much, I still want to of hit $3000/month in sales and be offering 6 products.

    We’ve stuck to our budget pretty well but did find that we needed to relax it a little bit due to my medical bills (I should be walking again in 8 weeks!) but are still sticking to the 1 month, 1 new product idea.

    So whilst I’ve got the day off, I’m of to write a new blog post.. I’m thinking it’ll be about the benefits of a paid eBay store today.

    Cheers,

    #1158925
    LucasArthur
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    Hatching_It, post: 189209 wrote:
    So whilst I’ve got the day off, I’m of to write a new blog post.. I’m thinking it’ll be about the benefits of a paid eBay store today.

    Mate, no need to apologise at ALL!

    Although i have only taken one line from your reply, may i start by saying a BIG WOOT WOOT with regards to sales, product growth and kicking over these little goals you have set.. Its awesome and rewarding to see you advise everyone (should i say share) your progression.

    With the snippit, oh mate this is imperative.. those that want to seriously sell on ebay need to foster any advantage they can from the system and cost vs product sales and repeat sales stores are they only real option. With more NEW vs OLD products (new vs secondhand) the market has shifted significantly to warrant this… due to lower fees etc etc so an excellent blog idea mate…

    Great to hear some web stuff coming in as well.. revenue on all fronts to help further with the growth..

    Off to watch the preparations with the AFL game.. My son is at the game sitting alongside some real legends (long story)… might see him on TV :)

    Cheers
    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1158926
    The Rogue Counsellor
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    Hi Maclean,

    I’ve just signed up on your blog to show my support and gain some inspiration from you. I have no plan to enter the EBay market but find your enthusiasm infectious :D

    And I love that you set concrete reasonable-with-a-bit-of-a-stretch targets, and take no easy outs when you surely could (you said you’d be walking in 8 weeks – what on EARTH did you do to yourself?!!!!)

    I have no doubt you’ll reach your goal, and I reckon Jason’s right and you’ll be paid to mentor others, not because you’re out there trying to drum up paying customers, but because you are generously sharing what you know through your blog for free. That will naturally lead to people wanting more (because you’ve demonstrated you know useful stuff and your business success will prove the strategies work) and before you know it you’ll have yet another business on the side.

    Hope the month manages to meet and exceed your target, will be keen to hear through here or the blog how things go for you in May.

    Lee
    The Rogue Counsellor

    #1158927
    Hatching_It
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    So did we meet our goals for the end of the financial year? Not quite but I learnt some good lessons along the way.

    How did we go?

    • We didn’t quite make it to $3k/month as our more popular products are more suited to warmer months. We managed to maintain about $1500/month though as our other products gained traction,rather than seeing a drop.
    • We’ve realised that we’re investing too much in single products. We’ve been buying in quantities of 100 rather than looking to buy 3 months worth initially. 100 is upwards of 6 months worth and is essentially a ‘waste’ in more ways than one.
    • We’re getting some good processes in order as far as pre packing everything as soon as we receive them so that we can do a single run to the post office in the evening
    • We got to 6 products, and all of them are ranking really well in eBay searches (top 5)

    So with the above in mind, we’ve got a few things we’re changing. Rather than looking to buy at least 100 of a product, we’re splitting that 100 across 3 new products. It takes a good couple of months for a new eBay listing to gain traction so 30 should last 3 months initially.

    We’re looking to import every three months rather than every month. This means our shipping/import fees will be lower across the board as we’re importing in larger quantities. Fixed fees are therefore shared across more products and reducing the cost per product.

    We’re going to try to purchase more than one product from each supplier (even if the margin is a little lower) Whilst we’ll make a little less money on each product, we’ll have a larger range, meaning larger target market.

    By purchasing multiple products from each supplier we’re also trying to set up niches within our store.

    We’ve also almost finished the website, it got put on the backburner as we picked up some work designing some other websites. As soon as we get to 10 products we’re looking to do an email blast with a discount code to get some repeat customers.

    Thanks again for all the positive comments and hopefully we’ll continue to kick some goals!

    Maclean

    Oh, and Lee, I suffered a full rupture of my achilles playing football. Unfortunately due to incorrect diagnosis (they got the location wrong and therefore wouldn’t operate) and mismanagement by my hospital I’ve only just started walking unaided and am looking at another 6 months of rehab and physio until I can think about running. It sucks, but if that’s the worst thing in my life I’m pretty thankful!

    #1158928
    markgrogan
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    Hey Maclean, I think it’s commendable the amount of foresight and thought that you’re putting into making things work. And from the looks of your last update, it’s fantastic to see things coming along! I only wish that I had your drive and focus when I was your age! You’re definitely going to go far with your attitude and I’m definitely going to take a page from your book!

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