So that’s a lot of title words. But while it is a mouthful, it is accurate. Raun has figured out a way to identify market opportunities, do product research and get feedback all from micro-interest Facebook groups. Imagine finding out what horse lovers think of a new shampoo? Or what chicken raisers need to address the shortcomings of current watering systems? You get it now. Let the real market determine what you need to bring or improve to get your business to higher levels.
Transcript: (note- this is a new tool I am trying out so it is not perfect- it does seem to be getting better)
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Cool voice guy: 00:04:39 Welcome to the e-commerce momentum podcast where we focus on the people the products and the process of e-commerce selling today . Here’s your host Stephen Peterson .
Stephen: 00:04:52 Welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast . This is episode 276 Ron Lauterbach . Man oh man do we get to a cool place . We get to a controlled experiment . Yes I’m using that term because it comes up almost at the end . But it’ll make sense to you because Ron is a scientist . Yeah he’s a scientist who has a laboratory but not in any way that you would think . And I know that sounds like bait . What do they call that bait headlines or whatever . But this is just a really really smart guy who humbly has built up a very very cool business part time yet full time levels by being disciplined organized and executing very well in his laboratory . Love it .
Stephen: 00:05:46 Let’s get into the podcast more .
Stephen: 00:05:49 Welcome back to the conversation in a podcast very excited for today’s guest . Time seller and I’m interested how how that’s gone for him still part time but doing full time numbers it’s very exciting for me .
Stephen: 00:06:04 Welcome Ron Louderback welcome Ron Steven good to be here .
Stephen: 00:06:08 I appreciate you coming on . You and I have a connection I don’t know . Let’s talk about yours . How long have you known Dan Miller .
Raun: 00:06:21 I think I started listening to this around 2007 and were in there .
Stephen: 00:06:29 I mean that’s 10 years ago learning about it . That’s a long time into that long too . That is fascinating . Did you find him through Dave Ramsey is that how you found him .
Raun: 00:06:40 Yes .
Stephen: 00:06:40 Yeah very common yeah the big association there and if you been down there you know how well you know I know you have been down there you see how they’re all connected . They’re all intertwined down there . Absolutely . So it’s a very neat .
Stephen: 00:06:55 I was walking on dance property or walking and he said See that tree Steve as Luke Bryan’s treat them like Baluchis is next door neighbor like . All right that’s cool . But it’s such a regular guy that he is like the most regular guy .
Raun: 00:07:09 Yeah . And positive impossible .
Stephen: 00:07:13 Like yeah he’s positive he’s what 70 years old and yet he acts like he’s in his 20s . He just can’t wait to see what’s coming next . Can you imagine . I mean I don’t know your grandparents or your great grandparents can you imagine him having that much enthusiasm at that age for doing what they love . I mean do you know anybody that age that loves what they do that that passionately . Not very many people . Not many people . And here’s the worst part on people young people don’t have that passion about what they do how they’re going to make it 50 years if you’re 20 and you’re miserable . How are you going to make it another 50 years and enjoy it . Right . Why would you want to . Yeah you’re right . So let’s go let’s go back first before we get there . You are a two time college dropout . You tell me . So is it not for you .
Stephen: 00:08:09 I mean is that really what it comes down to . I was listening to somebody today talk about learning methods and they’re like wait a second . Some people learn this way some people learn this way some people but industrial schools which is what we have factory level schools .
Stephen: 00:08:21 That’s what they were designed for teach this way . And they were given the example that some people learn at night like I always used Liron in Nate Slamdance those guys are night owls . I mean they’re up literally they’re going to bed when I’m getting up in the morning and you know that’s when they’re the best . So if you’re that kind of person and you’re teaching you at 9:00 a.m. in the morning how are you supposed to learn . Right .
Raun: 00:08:47 So my like quick college story is my freshman year of college was easily the worst year of my life .
Raun: 00:08:58 Not don’t really need to get into that . The reasons for it . It just wasn’t good it just wasn’t good .
Raun: 00:09:07 So at the end of that year I just needed to be done .
Stephen: 00:09:13 What were you studying . What were you going to study .
Raun: 00:09:15 I was studying business and management information systems .
Stephen: 00:09:21 So you were going to be a computer nerd . What is your I mean that was that interesting to you . I mean were you hooked on it . You know as a kid doing it yourself .
Raun: 00:09:30 I have . I’ve always been kind of a kind of a tech geek . I grew up around computers . My my older brother built several of them you know so I kind of watched him . And so that’s kind of how I got in how I got into it . But sort of as as the year went on I kept asking myself Can I see myself doing this .
Stephen: 00:10:02 You know for years that’s pretty sure at that age I mean to be thinking that way that’s mature you know the answer is No .
Raun: 00:10:11 Good for you .
Stephen: 00:10:11 You know but could you imagine if you did all that made that huge commitment and then get out there and said oh my god this is the worst thing in the world . This is like you know watching paint dry it’s awful .
Raun: 00:10:23 Yeah . So . So the following . Well I reenroll started taking night classes and I did that for a couple of years .
Raun: 00:10:37 And I basically refocused toward just business . I dropped the computer science angle and that was going well . Then I got married and moved out of state .
Raun: 00:10:50 And it’s her fault now . I knew there was a woman in there somewhere . But what we did is I mean what were you what led you to business .
Stephen: 00:10:58 I mean was there something I mean were you a hustler growing up or you know selling stuff or . What was interesting you for business in general . Why not just go get a job or go work in a factory or whatever . Why business .
Raun: 00:11:13 Looking looking back I .
Raun: 00:11:17 Yeah it was always a little bit of a hustler . OK .
Stephen: 00:11:21 And that’s not a negative term mental mean in a negative way . I mean it is a positive that you just have that spirit about you that are just born into it .
Raun: 00:11:28 Right . I mean you know as you know 10 11 12 year old I was the kid that that people came to when they needed some money instead said you were a loan shark .
Stephen: 00:11:43 You were a 12 year old loan shark weren’t you there . Maybe if that’s money so that you were that guy . I mean I was not like I knew guys who were that guy . They were just selling stuff for whenever they started they just know better and it just it’s pretty awesome . You hear Gary veh talk about that you know that kind of thing that you’re born into it .
Raun: 00:12:05 I didn’t have that yeah . So I you know same age . There was a gas station about a mile from my house and I would stop my old older neighbor kids house houses and ask that I go pick them up something and you know for a small fee of course and so I was running courier service candy and baseball cards .
Stephen: 00:12:36 That’s awesome . It makes sense though . I mean think about it . You know you were that you were the drive through right the convenience store you were getting up and you were thrown . That’s it . You were the pre . That’s what they modeled the drone . Are you .
Raun: 00:12:51 Yeah pretty much .
Stephen: 00:12:54 So you were going to do what I mean . So the business stayed with you . You go to go to business . And what were you going to start a business that you thought you would do with this degree .
Stephen: 00:13:05 I always thought in the back of my mind that that I would be a business owner . I didn’t grow up in an entrepreneurial family .
Stephen: 00:13:20 But I was I was around it . Now were they blue collar white collar family a good mix of Balka Mixi generationally it probably would change about year the right age where it would be transitioned .
Stephen: 00:13:34 So you saw both and you still thought . I’m not interested in either of them . I’m more might be want to be an entrepreneur .
Stephen: 00:13:43 Yeah but I mean I’m also I’m fairly well suited to the corporate environment . You know I’ve been working a of a regular day job you know forever .
Raun: 00:14:01 And you know it doesn’t get me away like it eats that some other people .
Stephen: 00:14:08 I see that when you can see when they pose like this is literally killing me right .
Stephen: 00:14:12 I mean you see those people who say it’s like I can’t take it anymore . You know I think of office space you know that guy with a stapler . You know they just can’t take it you don’t have that image . And you’re right it just right .
Stephen: 00:14:25 But you’re selling . I mean you know I hate the a story here a second . But you’re selling full time levels .
Stephen: 00:14:33 I am now . Yeah .
Stephen: 00:14:36 Let’s do to be nuts . And yet you still feel that’s cool . That’s a very cool place to be . Very cool .
Raun: 00:14:44 I mean I think what I think what helps me is that in my in my day job every day I’m learning all kinds of new stuff .
Raun: 00:14:56 And so it doesn’t get old .
Raun: 00:14:58 So it’s interesting to you . So it’s interesting . Yeah that’s there’s stuff .
Raun: 00:15:04 There’s stuff to apply in both directions . You know having having my own business poses certain challenges and working through those oftentimes leads me to little epiphanies at my day job .
Raun: 00:15:25 So the other way you know the other way around .
Stephen: 00:15:27 So you’re able to take and apply what you learn in your e-commerce business and bring it back and enhance that company’s business .
Stephen: 00:15:35 That’s an awesome thing that’s my old role was very similar to that I would you know especially because it’s internet right . And then I’d be able to bring it back . So you are they know what you do . OK . Which is very cool so you don’t have that pressure . The fact that you’re bringing depth back to them especially in this cutting edge world that’s appealing to them . So they keep you interested that’s a quid pro quo kind of thing . You know you give them and they give you . That’s the best relationship isn’t it . I hope somebody’s listening who’s thinking . You know they they want to go in full time because I get these questions all the time when’s the right time to go full time and I’m always like that . The advice that was given to me was you’ll know right . And what does that mean . It’s really a non answer right you’ll know . What does that mean . Right . But what we’re describing is if it’s not the most painful thing in the world to getting up and going to work . Well that’s a clue . Maybe it’s not the right time right . And if you’re still getting challenged and interested and they find value in you like wrong that’s probably a clue to that it’s not the right time . Fair yeah that’s cool . That’s very cool . I think that’s a very cool place to be . Again we’re back to the maturity of back to the jury .
Raun: 00:16:53 I feel like I have all the leverage .
Stephen: 00:16:55 Yeah yeah you definitely have them . You know you’ve got a seat you know . B of course C D maybe even any planche all kinds of options .
Stephen: 00:17:09 Would you say any of that’s related to Dan Miller’s 48 days or you know that whole you’ve been listen to him for 10 years . You bought into his multiple streams of income that whole you know if you get a law degree you don’t have to be a lawyer you could write books you could you know work in the music industry . You could be you know you go work at sports medicine even with a law degree . Yes you can because you might be writing or helping them research . You know legal issues and stuff like that .
Stephen: 00:17:38 Would any of that have helped you in this formation .
Stephen: 00:17:43 It’s kind of one of the things I mean I have a list of stuff I wanted to get to but it’s one of those things that to me you and I are kindred spirits with Dan that I think that he just exposes you to so many more options that you can’t see in front of you because it would you say that had some influence on this .
Raun: 00:17:59 Absolutely .
Raun: 00:18:02 There are there are two things that I learned from Dan that are absolutely instrumental .
Raun: 00:18:12 One of them is the looking word you know so he’s talking about you know he’s referring to job search . You know 80 percent of figuring out what you’re supposed to do is looking in the other 20 percent book now . So you know learn yourself be true to yourself . And you know if if you’re doing what you’re supposed to do things start to kind of line up for you . And then the second thing is don’t look for either or solutions or both . And solutions . You know it’s very easy to ask a question and get to know and go OK that’s it it’s like it’s an absolute .
Raun: 00:18:55 There’s always another way to look them .
Stephen: 00:18:59 Let’s stop their slogans so let’s look inward . Ron what is Ron when he looks inward .
Raun: 00:19:04 What does he see . I’m a a super extreme introvert .
Raun: 00:19:12 I am incredibly steady . I don’t get emotional about making decisions . I’m very pragmatic . And so you know I I don’t generally speaking speaking of my business I don’t generally get involved in the hot toys you know what . I have no clue what what the hot thing is the other than your kids wanting it you wouldn’t know .
Raun: 00:19:42 Right . Right now .
Stephen: 00:19:44 Not a call .
Raun: 00:19:47 I’m also risk averse generally . So I don’t make I don’t make moves that that if they don’t go 100 percent right the catastrophic everything is of measure .
Stephen: 00:20:08 Dave Ramsey technique there right . Don’t rush at all . Don’t make fatal choices right or fatal decisions where it’s death or not . Those aren’t good options . Neither one .
Raun: 00:20:20 So I mean I over the years . So the first time ever sold anything online . 1997 that’s a long time ago . And I have tried all sorts of different things and some of them some of them I knew going in were terrible for me . And shocking . They didn’t work .
Stephen: 00:20:47 So let’s just reinforces what you’re saying there is that reinforces what your methods are says OK . Yup I’ve picked the right path . Right .
Raun: 00:20:55 So don’t be afraid to try different things . It’s the only way you learn what you’re what you’re good at what you’re not good at but also don’t be afraid to drop something on her .
Raun: 00:21:08 You know it’s it’s a constant reminder that so when you think about you know trying to figure out who you are .
Stephen: 00:21:19 I mean was there a technique that you used or anything that got you to be so introspective although it sounds like you were as a young guy anyway but I mean again we’re back to that maturity issue .
Stephen: 00:21:30 That’s a pretty mature thing to do end as a guy you know it’s hard to admit you’re not perfect in that you don’t know it all and you’re not the best you’re not the you know I should be . I should be that guy . You’re saying no because this is who I am . That’s very that’s difficult to do as a guy isn’t it .
Stephen: 00:21:50 It certainly can be I . I’ve always been generally pretty comfortable in my skin . And I mean I’m I’m never going to be there . Vaynerchuk meaning there you know ever and for all kinds of reasons and in all kinds of ways and I’m good with that .
Raun: 00:22:16 But that doesn’t mean you failed right . That’s the key . Right Gary . Gary . That’s him .
Raun: 00:22:22 Not me buddy . Yeah .
Stephen: 00:22:26 And I’m I’m glad a lot of people that are that are in the public White Way more than I you know are who they are .
Raun: 00:22:37 They you know they give us little glimpses into what is possible . You know I I’m certainly not a giant dreamer . You know so I’m I’m I’m not a visionary so .
Raun: 00:22:56 So I’m not going to leave . Right . Right .
Stephen: 00:23:02 There’s nothing wrong with that I always say there are better leaders than I . Because when I get asked to be and I’m like now there are better leaders and there are people that are good at that . That’s their thing . What does that mean . You know the fact that you’re not a dreamer not a visionary . Is that a limit or is that . I mean I guess it depends on how you look at it right . It’s a perspective issue right .
Stephen: 00:23:22 The fact that you know that doesn’t make you hamstrung by it it sounds like to me it’s like OK good because I know that’s not me . I’m going to stay right here and I’m going to crush everybody because I’m in a you know the turtle wins the race right . Yes .
Raun: 00:23:37 I mean I I preferred to win with mastery and execution . You know I learn learn what I can learn and then do the best that I can .
Raun: 00:23:48 And you know circle back and check and make sure that it’s still the best that I can do and if it’s not well how do we improve .
Stephen: 00:23:59 Well and what you’re describing to me sounds like because it’s so tight you’re able to control it because one of the big challenges for most people is the shiny object syndrome . Right . We got to go do Mirch . Let’s go to church and then you’re distracted from this and then oh wait I got to go .
Raun: 00:24:18 I’ve got to get on on Wal-Mart not to be on Well my wife I’m a Wal-Mart I can jet . And then if I’m on jet that I got to be international .
Stephen: 00:24:27 And then wait you know what I need go wide not deep so I need 2000 Skewes on each . I mean all those things right . All those things are complications are all . And you’re not complicated by it because you’re saying nope this is as far out as I’m throwing the rope and then I’ll pull myself up and then I’ll throw a little bit further .
Raun: 00:24:49 Yeah I do . I do try to carve out a little bit of time here . There are two play with some of the shiny objects a little bit . So I mean I do have a merchant here . And I have uploaded you know a few designs I’ve sold of them but that’s not lighthearted you know . So it’s in my back pocket . You know it’s that’s an opportunity for sometime but I don’t need to focus on that . I have things that are work .
Stephen: 00:25:25 Do you do you manage I mean how do you manage your time I guess I was thinking you know I want to lead you where you are going to go but I mean just how do you manage because you know you get a full time you got two young kids you know marriage you’ve got a house to take care of you get a lot of responsibility so and at levels that most part are more than some full time people . How do you how do you manage your time .
Raun: 00:25:50 Well I I keep my my day job separate from from everything else . Basically it’s it is a set period of time .
Raun: 00:26:04 I know and they know that a whole lot of extra time and they can’t afford it because I’m not going to give it up .
Raun: 00:26:15 And someone that’s you know a little bit of negotiation .
Stephen: 00:26:19 But we’re in that but that you earn because you bring them back value and you continue to deliver value . So that’s the quid pro quo . I was talking about you around that stuff . That’s a very that’s a very cool place to be . Again that’s why you’re in that position and you have a little bit of confidence because you’ve you’ve heard it .
Raun: 00:26:36 That’s fair right . So then family time soon as I get home from work until the kids go to bed .
Raun: 00:26:45 You know that’s their time in their business .
Raun: 00:26:49 Ok cool .
Stephen: 00:26:50 And you’ve been doing this for a long time so this isn’t new . This is pretty evolved .
Raun: 00:26:55 Yeah . And it’s not it’s not like it’s her . You know there are times when I can tell that I’ve spent too much time on business in a short period of time but I have to kind of throttle back .
Raun: 00:27:12 There’s other times when you know the business just needs to set the kids say your wife needs help here .
Raun: 00:27:20 I mean life is going to happen right . Isn’t that the beauty though .
Stephen: 00:27:24 Well I mean again I don’t put words in your mouth . But isn’t that the beauty of where you’ve built this business and the limitations the self-imposed limits you placed on it puts you in that position again . You’re driving the bus the bus is not pulling you along .
Raun: 00:27:41 Yes .
Stephen: 00:27:43 It’s powerful man . I mean that’s what you get . You got to sit back and pause every so often and say wow I mean that’s pretty accomplished place to be for somebody who decided to change college and change and kind of design a life . That’s a pretty cool place to be .
Raun: 00:28:02 It’s wild against myself sometimes yeah .
Stephen: 00:28:05 Could you imagine .
Stephen: 00:28:06 Well here you are with that degree in computer science or whatever it was you were studying miserable as ever . Management Information System whatever you’re miserable as ever . Or you could have the job that you like that they like you that you are still interested in and you bring them value and you get treated with respect . You get a little perks of kind of limiting your hours and then you got lots of family time that can ebb and flow as their lives ebb and flow .
Stephen: 00:28:38 Oh my goodness . Sounds like you have it all and yet you’re not running Apple as their CEO . Right . Life was good . I don’t know the guy running Apple is going to say that very often you guys he’s got some big pressures right . Yeah . Who live longer . That will be the question . I think Ron is going to live longer . All right so so you’ve designed this and things are rockin along . You dabble out . You try other things as you want where did the idea come about to bring products to market . I mean you’re not only you know doing ARBs and stuff . However you do that are wholesale which we haven’t talked about yet . But you actually have brought some products to market .
Raun: 00:29:27 So the story behind that is it’s completely aside from Amazon or eBay it all it all came down to a Facebook group .
Stephen: 00:29:40 Now you got me interested .
Raun: 00:29:42 So a lot of us online sellers especially part timers .
Raun: 00:29:49 You know the e-commerce thing kind of is our hobby .
Raun: 00:29:55 Well I have some other ones and I joined a Facebook or or one of my hobbies .
Stephen: 00:30:03 So let’s say it’s making Paice Mrs. Bucket so stupid .
Stephen: 00:30:06 Right . I tell you it’s it’s it’s out there for barbecues .
Stephen: 00:30:12 You’re one of those guys who slung around a half a pig and throw it on this thing and got one of those big barrels . Are you one of those guys .
Raun: 00:30:20 Yeah that’s cool and so I joined I mean a few of those of those groups I joined one in particular and I kept seeing the same two complaints and neither of them seemed particularly difficult to solve . One of them is actually several people that solved it and other people would comment on that post . Hey will you make me pay . The answer was always no . So I went oh no one else is going to take you back .
Stephen: 00:30:59 So let’s pause a second and don’t give away your item of course . You know it . So you are paying attention . You’re in a group that you’re interested in that you have a passion about . And you’re listening and others have had this problem and someone has solved it . They want the other who had the problem is like hey can you help me and the other person’s like . Now I’m not but I solved it . So you said if there’s a problem and there’s a way to solve it I can solve it just as easy and I can do this and I’m willing to do the work and bring it to market . That could apply to mom groups that could apply to gymnast’s groups cross fit people .
Stephen: 00:31:44 Right . I mean all those things . Anyone because you paid attention Ron . All right .
Stephen: 00:31:52 So basically what happened with that is I made up a couple of drawings .
Raun: 00:32:01 Nothing nothing fancy that I contacted a friend of a friend who happens to who has a metal fabricating shop . And I said hey can you can you give me a quote him . And you know .
Raun: 00:32:20 So they they did that and then I went back to the administrator of the Facebook group and said you know do you mind if I if I ask this ask a question your group .
Raun: 00:32:34 You know if I were to or were to have these made would you be interested in them number one and number two would you be interested in them at this price which is kind of what I needed to make it worth it for me .
Raun: 00:32:48 And they said sure go ahead and so I put that up there and I got about 150 responses the first time . Lots of signs are positive and I went OK well I guess I guess I’ll do it .
Stephen: 00:33:05 Hit me in the head with a pig leg . I can see that’s value right .
Raun: 00:33:10 And so I had the second problem which is a much smaller easier one to fix . I ran over to Home Depot and bought a couple supplies and made some really home prototypes just to sort of prove that it would work . And at the same time I had to say I got the other products coated . I had them quote this . And so what I did after I after I decided to actually go through with a with a manufacturing run is I offered to throw in that one other thing free with a preorder .
Stephen: 00:33:54 Sounds like your own Kickstarter campaign here right now .
Raun: 00:33:57 Yeah basically . And so what ended up happening is my lead time on on that order was about a month and so when I got to about a week and a half out I started taking preorders and I ended up selling about a third of my initial order before they had been delivered .
Raun: 00:34:25 And so I went OK maybe we got something . Yeah it sounds like there’s a proof of concept there right . The market has spoken . Right .
Raun: 00:34:34 And so going into it I kind of went you know I can just sell the rest of what I can sell this order by the end of the year .
Raun: 00:34:44 And this was in April last year and I sold all of that in about six weeks the eyes of the markets spoken again with a little louder voice .
Raun: 00:35:00 Yeah and the voice kept getting louder louder and so at the time that Facebook group had about 5000 people in it .
Raun: 00:35:14 This is a big no for a little guy like me .
Stephen: 00:35:23 I mean think about it . They’re very they’re all interested in the same thing . It’s a very specific group that will have something in common . So that’s the perfect market right .
Raun: 00:35:32 Right . So that’s what eight nine months ago . And now that group has 17000 . Now can so you know there is probably half the group was never heard of .
Stephen: 00:35:48 Let me ask you this . I just want to go past this because I mean you designed this product . You then go speak confidently to this person to get it made . Then you get it made . You’re smart enough to market it in a group you’ve got this marketing education going . You’re marketing it the right way you’re building bundles your packaging . Where does all this come from . Where does this knowledge come from .
Stephen: 00:36:15 I mean this is not like you know you’re at sniffin too many pig drippings . I mean where does this come from .
Stephen: 00:36:24 It comes from having Solbes .
Stephen: 00:36:28 So it from all that eBay experience and then the Amazon experience you have learned a marketable set of skills .
Stephen: 00:36:36 Yeah . And you apply them to that task . That’s cool . Very cool .
Stephen: 00:36:45 Then again pause and think about this . You’re doing this full time . You’ve got no more time than anybody else does in a day . You’ve got kids just like most other people you’ve got a full time job . You’ve got this pretty good size . Amazon and eBay business . And then you find time to do this . That’s a very disciplined approach .
Stephen: 00:37:05 You must be disciplined . I have my moments . Are you a process type of person . Definitely . OK .
Stephen: 00:37:16 All right . So that’s a skill set . I mean do you map this out . I mean you list maker or is there something that you do to manage your time like this .
Stephen: 00:37:24 I’m not and I’m not a natural maker .
Raun: 00:37:30 I’m pretty good at prioritizing tasks for quite a few years in my day job a large part of what I did came down to sequencing dealing with supply chain related stuff all the time as everything in supply chain .
Stephen: 00:37:57 And so were you dealing with vendors and stuff too . Yeah okay . So there’s some confidence there you get to speak the language you get past that you know ooh can I ask you . Or is that too much . Now you kind of get a feel when you do a few of those and eventually you get a feel for that stuff and that’s helpful .
Raun: 00:38:14 Right I mean it’s sort of like you know with wholesale you know the first time you go to contacts a distributor or whatever you have no confidence whatsoever and you kind of wonder why they go on or answer an e-mail . But once you’ve done it you know 10 times or 20 times or 100 times it’s no big deal .
Stephen: 00:38:37 Right . Right . Well there’s an interesting twist to this story because it doesn’t just end there . So now have you . Is it the same manufacturer . You’re still having these me . OK . So it’s a U.S. based manufacturer . You’re selling at other locations than just Facebook or just on Facebook .
Speaker 36: 00:38:59 So it started out through Facebook .
Raun: 00:39:02 I do have a Web site which is I set that up very quickly . So so that so that I can take preorders down . Cool . So Amazon is selling even .
Raun: 00:39:19 So you’re collecting data on your customers to buy with that Shopify store . Yes I am . There’s a little value there isn’t there . Yeah but doing it for a while so .
Raun: 00:39:31 So what .
Stephen: 00:39:34 Because this conversation came up with somebody the other day we were talking about something similar . And I said Are you keeping their birthdays . And the person was like What would I do with that . It’s like wow that’s an anniversary .
Stephen: 00:39:44 Any anytime you have an event gives you a reason to contact eight year anniversary hey it’s your birthday . Hey it’s your whatever it gives you a reason to make another pitch right . And so there’s value in that information .
Stephen: 00:39:55 Have you been able to do anything . I mean have you gone back to those customers with anything a head on . Oh my god I’m drawing a blank on her name . She was genius hilarious and she took me to task on her . She was basically like Steve you want to build a catalog for your customers meaning you want to take Like-Minded . So if I sell a barbecue sauce that might be a good fit for your customers .
Stephen: 00:40:16 So when you make a pitch or if you do a newsletter in there you have Steve’s barbecue sauce and Steve agrees to pay you . By the way a percentage of anybody who buys through your link just like an affiliate link . And then that way you’re offering a full catalog to that person . Have you been able to do that .
Raun: 00:40:33 A little bit . OK .
Stephen: 00:40:36 So 1 Heather Heather haven what that’s what her name was sorry I drew a blank . Apologize .
Raun: 00:40:45 So one thing that I that I do is I’m constantly trying to come up with new products . That’s fit within that same niche . You know basically once you find the place to face it you can do lasting that .
Stephen: 00:41:04 Yeah you have a whole test market right there . Oh my goodness .
Raun: 00:41:07 Right . So I you know I go to the Facebook group and say you know hey if I made one of these would you be interested . It’s a laboratory . It absolutely is alive . And if in if you were doing it what would you do .
Raun: 00:41:26 Oh my God . And you know I there’s seventeen thousand people you know the odds of me getting no response . Zero . And you know so you take that stuff and you know some some of those ideas are just genius .
Raun: 00:41:45 OK I’ve got them I’ve got to work that here . And then you know they go hey here it is .
Stephen: 00:41:54 And you already have that skill set . You have confidence in it . You’ve already done it . You proven it and they know you brought stuff to market so they know you’re the guy that can fix it . Let me ask you this . Has has that also developed into Hey Ron while you’re fixing this . I also have this problem .
Raun: 00:42:14 No kidding . I don’t like Ron I think I didn’t go to college .
Stephen: 00:42:23 I’m telling the dude . I mean you would never have gotten to that . I mean think about it . Have you thought about one thing leads to another it’s a joy Packard quote I always use it .
Raun: 00:42:33 This this this just didn’t happen .
Stephen: 00:42:37 I mean this is all evolved to this place . That’s a very cool place .
Raun: 00:42:43 Yeah .
Stephen: 00:42:45 All right . So let’s tell the little there’s a little bit of a cool twist at the end . I mean this is a successful products you’re selling them on multiple marketplaces .
Stephen: 00:42:54 Get your own thing going you’re collecting your own customers and that because it’s going fairly well somebody notices some some little dinky company begins with a Yeah .
Raun: 00:43:06 So they they tried to contact me a couple of times . So the company was Seagate and the Amazon retail Amazon retail wanting to purchase my products . So on that planet at this point I haven’t responded .
Stephen: 00:43:28 I really think I have almost zero interest in working you’ll help them sell on that on their platform . It’ll be under Ron’s store name though right . Absolutely .
Stephen: 00:43:39 Yeah yeah we’ll get plenty of we don’t need them unless they want to reduce fees .
Raun: 00:43:43 You know they can give you lower fees that’s always nice but I would accept that you’d take one for the team there right . That’s a very cool place . I mean think about that .
Stephen: 00:43:52 Now the proof of concept is the largest marketplace in the world man or if it’s the largest in the world I don’t know I can say that the United States for certain cars or is that right Ali Baba company is kind of a big place too but so the largest company in the United States the largest retail outlet officially in the United States . Because I think they’re big in the Wal-Mart in most ways comes to you and says hey we like what you’re doing . That’s the next proof of concept right there . Right . That’s right . I remember the stories when you know that when Wal-Mart would come knock and you knew that that was going to be it . Now I think it’s the death now of Wal-Mart comes knocking and you accept it . But Amazon coming knocking says whoa there’s velocity because they got data . I mean think about it . They got data . They see how big that market is . Don’t think yeah .
Raun: 00:44:46 I mean that’s what’s so wild to me . I know the sales range of my products on Amazon and the sales rank of the products that my stuff works is higher than mine and so I know that you know every minute that passes my my potential market keeps getting bigger .
Stephen: 00:45:13 What do you attribute the growth of that Facebook group going from 5000 to 17 . Is it interest or is it just access or knowledge .
Stephen: 00:45:23 People know it exists now . This week there are other people that are sick like me who love the smell of barbecue in the morning . Not me . I’m a vegetarian so I’m bad example but I I get it . You guys are like that’s tailgating 24/7 right .
Raun: 00:45:39 Yeah . I think that you know there’s different things that go into it that make a facebook group good you know .
Raun: 00:45:50 So one thing is it’s there’s very little drama they just don’t tolerate it .
Stephen: 00:45:56 They’ll throw you in their grill and nobody will ever see you again .
Raun: 00:45:58 Well that’s right yeah . And they won’t ask questions about who .
Raun: 00:46:03 And you see that in all kinds of Facebook groups . You know Jim Cockrum my silent team . We’re both in that Facebook group . It’s got to be close to 40000 people now .
Raun: 00:46:16 And they just they don’t do drama . All right . You know if it disappears quickly live there moving forward .
Stephen: 00:46:27 That’s that’s what they’re Merlis they keep going forward only in the positive way .
Stephen: 00:46:32 Right . Right .
Raun: 00:46:37 So past you know there’s there’s interest of course there’s the fact that those particular type of products is a it’s a fast growing segment of the overall outdoor cooking niche and so there’s there’s more more people that are getting familiar with it generally .
Raun: 00:47:01 And they were looking for animal based . You know there’s all kinds of factors and I’m I’m not they or just .
Stephen: 00:47:11 But you’re one that took advantage . Do you sit there now and think about it like do you see nothing but opportunity when you’re in that group and you see comments you’re like I could solve that I could fix .
Stephen: 00:47:22 And I know what he needs . I mean is that is that where you’re now at like had the blinders completely come off for you .
Raun: 00:47:28 Yeah I can tell you what . But while this thing is when when someone complains about that you know one of those problems and someone else in the group says hey you need this . And this is my .
Stephen: 00:47:44 Oh my God that’s got to be like the coolest feeling because it’s like Yeah I own that .
Raun: 00:47:51 Yeah and it happens several times . And I was lucky enough not to go to college because I was smarter than the rest .
Stephen: 00:48:01 And then you chuckled to yourself when you sell them and you sell them something .
Stephen: 00:48:07 When you try to not be the one who answers Oh yeah you want others to be your raving fans and then that way yeah yeah I’ll take care you know .
Stephen: 00:48:16 Yeah sure that’s me . That would be good Mirch merchandise by the way . I’m assuming you’ve already done that and I’m sure you got that all figured out . OK so you you’ve got this business going . You’re working full time and enjoying it . So that’s not changing your family’s growing up . You got that sounds like it’s under control and you’ve got this little incubator this laboratory little do you think you know if you’re a knitter or crochet or minus in a crocheting club now that those same opportunities exists no matter what the interest is it’s just the ability to take your blinders off and instead of going in and saying But you know Ron all the barbecue stuff that’s ever going to be made in the earth has already been thought of and made by somebody so there’s no opportunity here or do you just say you know what .
Stephen: 00:49:08 Man There’s we’re just scratching the surface there isn’t anything crocheting there we’re just scratching the surface . Any anything .
Raun: 00:49:18 I mean look at anything that exists today that also existed 30 years ago .
Stephen: 00:49:26 It’s not the same will go back to what you said about looking inward . Isn’t it really what it is you get in that group and you look in the group . I mean it’s kind of almost the same thing right kind of . No it is not my making a weird connection there .
Raun: 00:49:41 I think so . I think that’s something that’s on target .
Stephen: 00:49:45 Yeah I mean I just think it could make you start to think like huh .
Stephen: 00:49:50 You mean in the crocheting world which I know very little about . Although having that passion really probably adds a lot . Right . That’s probably a big plus .
Raun: 00:50:00 The fact that you’re passionate about it I think it helps .
Raun: 00:50:04 I mean there’s a certain a certain amount of you know just background knowledge that I think is hard to come by when you don’t when you don’t actively participate in what it is you’re working you’re like I don’t crochet the odds of me coming up with a solution to a problem aren’t that great .
Stephen: 00:50:32 Yeah it has to involve some kind of pig and sauce and you know grease and all that . So yeah unless it has that you’re not going to help them much there .
Raun: 00:50:42 Yeah I mean it’s possible . And some people some people’s minds are just wired to find solutions like .
Stephen: 00:50:52 Well . But if somebody came to you and said hey you know Ron I have this idea I’m in a crocheting thing and this is a common problem and I have a solution .
Stephen: 00:51:02 Then you have a lot of value because you know how to go get something made you know how to speak their language and get it brought to market . And you know how to sell it . So from that point of view right you could add a lot to the conversation so you know what .
Stephen: 00:51:16 Would you ever consider partnering with somebody . I mean is that something that you know somebody came to you and said Hey I’m a crochet artist kind of what I described . And you would counsel them through or coach them through furphy of course . I mean to me again this is a master skill set . I’m just I’m not down on college I have a master’s degree so I’m not bragging . I’m just saying that is great textbook stuff . Lovely . Most of it I don’t ever use accounting . I’m an accounting degree . Ninety percent of it . I never used even though I was an accountant because I didn’t do a lot of that technical stuff . We had departments that did that . Later on in my career but this education that you’ve got the ability to do each one of these things these are huge because these are hands on . You’ve done it . That’s the best way to learn . It’s almost like how weird is this to sound . It’s almost like going to a trade school . I was just talking to Jim Thompson who runs the Prosper conference and we were talking about continuing professional education credits right .
Stephen: 00:52:20 So if you’re an accountant you got to do CPS or you’re an engineer you’re a lawyer you’re a doctor you’re a pharmacist there’s the CPA they call them .
Stephen: 00:52:29 It’s missing in our world because there’s really not a lot of education going on in our world . And that’s what he’s trying to do . And so what we’re describing here is basically a trade school . Ron you went to trade school for e-commerce .
Raun: 00:52:45 Yep .
Stephen: 00:52:47 It’s critical . It’s so cool when you sit back and think about it this way you’re like the proof you’re like you built your own frickin laboratory dude you were smart enough to recognize that this is a laboratory .
Raun: 00:53:03 When I look back at the hundreds of hours of podcasts Spreecast all of us you know took in the last several years . You know that was cool .
Stephen: 00:53:22 Yeah and you didn’t act on all of it but that doesn’t mean you didn’t learn anything in it . Correct .
Stephen: 00:53:32 You know for me the podcast helps me learn because I talk to smart people like you and then I know a lot of times it’s I learn what I don’t want to do because I’m like check I’m not going to do that or whatever but just sitting here you expanding my thought process so wide with this laboratory thing to do .
Stephen: 00:53:52 I’m just telling you I am blown away impressed with the fact that you executed back to your execution . Right it’s executing it . Keeping your rope tight you’re not going way out there you’re not you’re not this giant dreamer and that’s not a negative or positive you’re just not and you know it . All right so let’s do this . Your life is like as you said life is good . You’ve brought yourself to this place though don’t don’t downplay you and your family both have gotten into this place . How about let’s help somebody . You know I usually I usually follow up with a whole bunch of you know kind of questions about ambitions and what makes you you know what keeps you driven and what keeps you successful . To me I’ve heard it I heard you say it and it’s just it blows me away . How about this . How could we transfer that to someone else . How did they get to know it Dan Miller and have them . Because I consider Dan a mentor for me . I’m guessing you do too .
Stephen: 00:54:54 Yeah absolutely . And I mean I’ve I’ve never met him . Oh I haven’t physically met him . No .
Raun: 00:55:02 I I actually was interviewed by him about when I don’t know five years ago .
Stephen: 00:55:08 No kidding .
Raun: 00:55:10 So in the past he had a membership site called 48 days . And I was the group leader .
Raun: 00:55:22 You were on there . That’s right . That’s where you and I connected . Yeah . Yeah . I’m still not over there . Yeah .
Raun: 00:55:29 So I was a group leader for for basically the e-commerce group on that on that membership site here for five years or something like that and it was from that that the interview he was doing some he was doing a weekly series basically in a community members that had something to something to teach basically . So he interviewed me a while back .
Stephen: 00:56:03 But that that’s the only back and forth interaction really had with him .
Raun: 00:56:09 But you know it is it’s podcast it’s 48 minutes . And he’s done one every week or ten years and I earn just about all . So to say he’s not a mentor will be wiped out . Why .
Stephen: 00:56:27 Well but if you did because he’s been actually on like 12 years . So 48 minutes times 52 weeks times . We’ll use the 10 years . That’s a lot of minutes . I’m not doing that man . But it’s a lot . Yeah . That’s putting in the time right . I mean to me it’s one of the you know people always like What’s the secret .
Stephen: 00:56:47 There it is right there 48 minutes times ten years . Times 52 weeks . That’s the secret out in the time like you said the Spreecast . So your advice to help people to get unstuck because I always ask that question and I think it’s from somebody who’s as accomplished as you are . You wouldn’t see it that way . But Steve is here to tell you different . Ron you’ve accomplished an amazing thing in many different ways . You’ve executed it . To me that’s the most powerful thing . What would you say to somebody who’s struggling who’s not been able to figure this out .
Raun: 00:57:23 What I would say I’m glad you used the word laboratory . I’ve been thinking about this and really it’s you know treat things like they’re an experiment as their spare you know it’s not . Especially with with brand new sellers they sort of feel like everything is life or death .
Raun: 00:57:50 And it’s not you know you might lose money . That’s OK . You still live to fight another day .
Raun: 00:57:59 And you know it basically has you as you gain Syrians your experiments just get a little bit bigger .
Raun: 00:58:06 You know a little maybe a little more complex maybe a little bit wider range . But it’s just an experiment . And if it works you keep going . If it doesn’t you re-evaluate and do another experiment . So you said earlier you know I’ve tried a whole bunch of them . And some of it I knew right away it was not a good thing . And some of it took a while . I know that some stuff is and that’s very rewarding isn’t it .
Stephen: 00:58:37 I mean again we’re back to that guy recommending your product .
Stephen: 00:58:41 God that’s that’s got to give you tingles . Yeah . OK believe it . I mean to me you know one thing leads to another . It’s all these things that have led you to this place it’s all this intentional living it’s intentional and keeping control of what you have and not jumping out you know experimenting onward but controlling your environment be a controlled experiment is the right way to describe it . That’s what it seems like to me . I think that’s the right term controlled experiment like that . OK so if somebody wants to follow up what’s the best way for them to get in touch with you .
Raun: 00:59:24 Send me a PM on Facebook Facebook friend request .
Stephen: 00:59:31 Man I will put it out there dude . I am I am beyond blown away because again you have definitely figure something out that a lot of people struggle with and I think quite frankly you just taught a whole bunch of people a whole bunch of people are going to be like wow I have not thought about a laboratory and in my interest and my interest is like I said crocheting not mine but my wife’s crab whatever it would be I’m not that there’s nothing wrong with that .
Stephen: 01:00:01 There guys a crochet but but that is such a brilliant thing to do and the fact that you’re keeping your customer data that’s a smart move . I like it . I like what you’re doing . Man I wish you nothing but success .
Raun: 01:00:12 Thank you so much Ron Bradbury .
Stephen: 01:00:17 Now now now I’ve talked to 275 people before Ron and very few people have figured that out that they have access . You know everybody wants an Instagram influencer . Iran’s got 17000 in his group now somebody in that group is promoting his product for him because he’s delivered and to be fair and he’s brought them value and he’s delivered he asked for permission . This is cool . This is a skill set . You have all learned that skill set . Don’t miss it . Then I think 106 for example of somebody who’s done it . He covers momentum dot com . Hey don’t forget my sponsors you know silver labs in scope . Man oh man that would be a perfect product for Iran right here right is to find out what the keywords are on that to ask him if he’s using that for his his thing . Don’t want to say a category 10 and be careful there . But so our lives would help because all he’d have to do is find his competitor find out their keywords by using their product scope . So it’s Sellar labs dot com forward slash scope . Use the code word momentum and get some free stuff .
Stephen: 01:01:21 E-commerce MMN of dotcom . Take care .
Cool voice guy: 01:01:24 Thanks for listening to the e-commerce momentum podcast all the links mentioned today . Found that e-commerce momentum dotcom under this episode number . Please remember to subscribe and like us on iTunes .