Dan has built himself a great team and a great life for sure. But be clear, Dan says the team is the reason not the result. The levels of depth with his team members allows him to dabble in other things like PL. But what separates Dan is that he puts his money where his mouth is with training his management team with PL training, not keeping it to himself. You see he realizes he is the limitation in his business and by expanding the knowledge base across the team it multiplies the results. Again, this is why Dan and his team are so successful.
(Hard Work X Determination X Perseverance X Brains) X Team Power = Unbelievable success
Transcript: (note- this is a new tool I am trying out so it is not perfect- it does seem to be getting better)
Stephen: 00:00 I’m excited to talk about my sponsors today, Gaye Lisbey’s million dollar arbitrage group. Amazing, amazing group. This is a teacher. This is a Gaye, was a teacher. She is a teacher. Still. You need to learn. This is the type of environment you want to be in because she’s going to help you understand why, and I think that’s the hardest part of this business is understanding why. Why is the red one popular when the green one isn’t? Well, there’s usually a reason and what gay does is probably parsed that better than anybody and she’ll explain the reasons for those things. I think that’s really powerful. Yes, she puts out a list. You’re going to get a good use of that list if you get in the group. Now here’s the deal. The group isn’t always open, right? So you get on the waiting list and you can join the waiting list through my link.
Stephen: 00:46 Doesn’t cost anything to get on a waiting list and if you like her service, which I find that most people do that, that’s why there’s not so many openings. Um, you’ll be with her for a long time. And so it’s amazing, freedom [inaudible], she’s part of Andy Slamon’s group, amazing freedom.com. Forward slash momentum. And you’re going to get in to the waiting list. That’s all I can get you on right now. You can use my name and see if that gets anywhere. But what I like about it, what I like about what they teach in that group or the things that are going on, you know the current things. I’ve seen a lot of stuff going on about stores going out of business. While here’s where an opportunity is, here’s why you want to do this. Hey, be cautious about this, you know, toys r us coming out, you’ve got to think about this and that’s the learning that you need to do.
Stephen: 01:30 And Gay is better than anybody else I’ve seen. So amazing. Freedom Dot com. Forward slash momentum will get you to the waiting list. Then hopefully I can get you in the group and then you’re going to see me in there and we can chat anytime you’re ready. Karen lockers, group solutions, the number for ecommerce solutions for e-commerce dot com. Forward slash momentum. It’s going to save you 50 bucks. Karen’s our account manager. We recommend her to everyone because she’s done so well for us. I mean, that’s quite frankly the reason we’d been paying her for last few years, but she’s become an important part of our team. Her and her team are so involved in our account. I just see the emails coming back and forth, hey, we did this for you. I just saw two listings today. I’m like, wait a second. Why did they show up?
Stephen: 02:09 I didn’t put any listings up. They got a. They got a set off to the side by Amazon and they reactivate them for me. You know what I mean? That’s the stuff that just happens when you have a strong team and I can’t recommend Karen enough if you use my code momentum. Karen pays me. I don’t want to hide that. Of course we all know that, but you’re going to save $50 and it’s a great opportunity to really, really build out your team with somebody you can trust. That’s why I recommend them. So solutions for e-commerce solutions, the number for e-commerce dot com, forward slash momentum going to save you $50. Oh, and by the way, she’s going to do an inventory health report. Why is that important? Well, guess what fees are going up. Is your inventory health number declining like ours is? Well, here’s why and what they can do.
Stephen: 03:00 What I like is I get a spreadsheet from them and it says, Hey, here’s a bunch of inventory, here’s what we recommend. And I’m like, Yep, re refund. I mean a delete a returned us blah blah blah, whatever it is. And it’s are destroyed and it just happens. That’s what I like. The other thing that I have Karen helped me with a lot is creating new listings. You know, we do a lot of the researchers, we upload our images and then boom, magically the listing goes live and I don’t have to worry about it. Those are the services that can run offers. Can’t recommend her enough solutions for e-commerce dot com, forward slash momentum. Save 50 bucks, use my code. You save $50 a month every single month and it’s a great service. Plus you get that free inventory health report. I think it’s a really powerful way, so I can’t.
Stephen: 03:45 I’m so excited how many people have been joining here because I see it and I’m excited because of the messages I get from people are saying, hey, this is great. I finally feel like I can focus on something else because Karen and her team are watching this for me and you know, I highly recommend her next solar lamps and scope. Then we’ll sit it wrong. It’s amazing. It really is amazing when you sit back and think about, hey, I want to get this product up and it’s similar to this product and that’s what that product does well, well therefore, if that product does well, they have the right keywords, they’ve chosen things correctly, so guess what? You scope and you could see all that stuff and that’s what the most powerful thing in the world is to copy somebody who’s done it right. That’s what you want to.
Stephen: 04:29 You want to take advantage of that, right? I mean it’s, it’s fair a to c and so therefore you can take and apply it to your listing and immediately get that same benefit. That’s what scope does for me. Seller labs dot [inaudible] forward slash momentum. It’s going to save you $50 on service. Oh, by the way, it’s free to try. So sign up, try it and say, oh, this is how it’s done. Boom. And then you’re going to see the lights going to go on and you’re going to be like, man, I can get my products out there. I just can’t wait. Can’t wait. So we’re labs [inaudible] forward slash momentum. The other day I bought another domain. Yes, I bought another domain. It’s almost like A. I’m admitting guilt, but it’s because I had an idea and it was something that was a pretty good idea I think is going to go pretty far.
Stephen: 05:18 And so what do I do? I go to try go daddy.com forward slash momentum and save 30 percent. So domains aren’t very expensive. You get a few services. That adds up a little bit and I usually buy three years. I usually buy privacy by the way, I recommend that to buy that. It’s not that much money, but when you can save 30 percent it makes it that much sweeter and it makes it easier when you’re buying domains and especially if you buy a bunch of domains. I am a domain collector and so I do tend to do that, but that 30 percent makes it a lot easier and I used to go down because what I like is I can pop in an address I’m thinking and it’ll say, nope, nope, try this version or try this extension and then boom, there it is. Hey, you better hurry before it goes away and the right, you know.
Stephen: 06:01 And so try go daddy.com forward slash momentum. Thirty percent. Also want to mention about grasshopper. Who was that? Just talking to somebody the other day and they were like, Oh yeah, use this company called grass. I’m like, dude, did you buy through my link and save 30 percent? Hello? Know they miss that. So save 30 percentage, try grasshopper.com forward slash momentum. No surprise there, but you’re going to save 30 percent. And what the real cool part about that is they’re using it for their private label business and it gives them virtually a second phone on their current phone without having to get another number. They can make up a vanity number. They don’t have to go and do all the grief and sign loan contracts. Pretty easy stuff. And so if you’re creating a brand that you want to identify, you want to look professional, you want to look like a real company. Grasshopper is a great tool. It’s an app you put on your existing phone and boom, you now have a customer service to you. Now have a sales department, didn’t have a manufacturing division. You could forward it to somebody else. You can have it go to different voicemails, different departments, and it’s all included. So try grasshopper.com, forward slash momentum. Save 30 percent.
Cool voice guy: 07:13 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, Steven Peterson.
Stephen: 07:27 Welcome back to the ECOMMERCE marketing podcast. This is episode 297. Dan Wentworth. Now Dane was on the show, episode one 72. His story’s incredible. I mean, it’s just a story of, you know, just being, um, in corporate world rising to corporate management, uh, having a lot of responsibility doing a side hustle it growing to scale to over a million dollars on Ebay. I mean, it’s amazing. But then how growing it or hitting that wall, hitting that capacity overload, um, and this is back when Ebay was even harder than it is today, but he had success at it. So clearly he knows how to run a business. Clearly he knows how to scale. And then he finds out about Fba and the world just changes for him. And in know short version is he’s got three locations, multiple, um, you know, doing many millions of dollars in sales and now grows out into private label.
Stephen: 08:21 And that was the original episode. But now we take it a step further because he’s reinvested in private label. He’s going not all in. I was so, so blown away. By the end of the conversation, you absolutely have to listen to the end because his plan for his business, he’s not running away from ray and I think I’ve heard so many peoples have got to get out of this. I’ve got to get out of this, know what if you could keep it, but you just fine tune the process and that cash then allows you to grow maybe a private label, maybe wholesale, whatever. It’s very refreshing to hear Dan explain what his plans are for his business and I, I think that pearls of wisdom that he offers really are some of the best I’ve heard. If you want to get into private label, we’re into wholesale heavily. The pearls of wisdom, especially towards the end, really will help you get there and get there successfully and be ready when it’s time to focus. Let’s get into the podcast. All right. Welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast. Very excited about today’s guest. He’s a return, a interview episode. <Unk> is the background information for Dan went and worth welcome back. Dan.
Dan: 09:30 Thanks for having me.
Stephen: 09:31 It is great to have you back. Dan and I were just together, um, this past week for a private label conference in Orlando. Um, you know, I was thinking about, I was thinking about this is the second time you’ve attended and I was thinking about what kind of person builds up this huge business pivots as in private label spends the money, you know, a year or two years ago, whatever it was, spends money invested in it and does it, and then decide, you know, what, I want to invest more. I’m going to take two more people and spend a lot more money and send them to this event. What, what, what goes through your mind? What were you thinking that was going to do for you?
Dan: 10:17 As you mentioned? I was pivoting so I wasn’t exactly sure which way I was going to go. Looking into wholesale, I looking into private label and I went down to the retreat last year and it just blew me away. The level of content and the training that we got just fired me all up for private label so we can. We proceeded from there to see which way we’re going to go, private label wholesale and private labels seem like the most viable alternative process. People make an account at wholesale as well, but we call it, that suited us best, but I was having trouble pulling my team because we have a very big [inaudible] out of having trouble redirecting them to focus with me on private label. Plus I was in a lot of it myself, so I have a couple of really strong players in our Home Office in Massachusetts and I wanted to bring them on board and I knew what that retreat did to me and how it fired me up and gave me the tools I needed. So I said, well, it would be a great investment to put them through the same training.
Stephen: 11:15 Thinking about that last year, so it was a year ago, a little more. So thinking about that, how different was this version compared to the other version?
Dan: 11:29 The concept was the same, but the materials were quite a bit different. They just went through different processes. Um, this, this particular retreat they brought in a lot, but in addition to Lee, Ron [inaudible] and doing their usual stellar job, they brought in some specialists. It kind of opened our eyes to OK, once you get your private label than what are you going to do with it. And I would say the difference between last year this year was this year we talked about building a brand where last year was more focused on finding private label items.
Stephen: 12:03 No, no, I was going to say you’re right. I mean that is a very key point that, that has changed, right? It used to be where you find a product, launch it, find a product launch and find a product, launch it, that was the key. And you knew there was a shelf life to that product, right? You knew you were only going to have it for a period of time. The market gets saturated, think barbecue gloves get saturated, then you’re done. But as you said, Whoa, wait a second. Now we’re trying to build a brand. So this is a long game. I mean, how about you? So what does that do for your product? Your product, right? You’ve got a very strong product, you see nothing but opportunity. And what was so cool was that you got better ideas because you brought that idea out to others. You were open and shared. Um, do you think you have a brand potential?
Dan: 12:50 I absolutely think I have a brand protector. Yeah. I was hoping going in that we did, but did not see the, what I envisioned was a lot, not as grand as I call one. One thing come out of the conference, you know, Dan Miller was there, he talked about the licensing part. I’m sorry, Paul Mellon, right?
Stephen: 13:10 We were talking about Dan Miller in the, before the conference. So that’s my message.
Dan: 13:15 Paul was there and he talked about, um, licensing and he looked at my academy so that you’ve got a perfect candidate for licensing. And then between that and the, you mentioned, I did share it with, but if my product was quite a few at the car, at the retreat and they were all very encouraging on the product. In addition to that, there was a lot of great minds there that have that private label mindset, so they weren’t talking about improvements and accessories and enhancements and you know it and the ways to market it. So we come out of there believing we’d definitely have a brand name
Stephen: 13:46 that brings up a question. How uncomfortable was it for you to show your product to meet? Because quite frankly, every one of those people in there can now go and create the exact same product.
Dan: 13:57 Right? Well, yeah, you’re right. You’re right. You’re right. And you know, we did have some inner conversations about that, but going to that group that we went to and knowing the people that are in amazing freedom and uh, and the people that lead and um, there’s, there is, there’s just a trust factor within that group. And even andy was comfortable sharing one of his products for the group. And I said if this guy can share his mega star product, you know, I shouldn’t be hesitant, especially with the, with the benefits that I was able to gain from it. So it was a decision we had to make when we talked about it, but I felt comfortable with that group
Stephen: 14:35 trust, trust factor, uh, the risk versus reward. It’s clearly much the execution is what matters, right? That’s ultimately the thing. And so the fact that you’re already first to market the fact that you’ve already developed it and now you’re sharpening even further really precludes others from coming in and having that quick success because you know, what it took for you to get to this place. Right. Just, I mean, imagine somebody trying to do it. Yeah. Good luck with that. Right? So yeah, and I think this is a good example. You have to find that smaller group of people you can trust minded people who have your best interest because they know you have their best interest. That’s really important, isn’t it?
Dan: 15:22 Yeah.
Stephen: 15:23 OK. So you got this product, you’ve developed it, you’re selling it, you’re now getting ready for your second iteration. Um, how, how, how different will it be the second iteration versus the first iteration? Knowing what you know today?
Dan: 15:42 Yeah, it changed a little bit. What we did at flight test market, you know, we brought a few samples and put them out with potential customers, got some feedback, but now that it’s hit the market with the feedback we’re getting from both the customers and the feedback has made those fine tune it. There’s no major changes, but there’s definitely some, some fine tuning that’s gone on and it’s actually easier to deal with the, the supplier now because I’ve been with him for several months now, so we, we are communication and his knowledge of our expectations is much better than it was.
Stephen: 16:21 That’s a good lesson there because that’s what you’re describing is basically don’t, don’t design it to death to get started, get started and then let the market help decide the fine tuning that needs to go on. So there’s a, you know, of course there’s safety and there’s a, you know, all that stuff. There’s, that’s a given that has to be. But then the final design isn’t going to be the first version and that’s, that’s good, right? Because like you said, the market’s going to help influence it and you get other influencers who have done similar products or similar materials, let’s call it that. And then they’re like, wait, have you considered this? Have you considered this? And of course you can’t. You can’t consider everything, but now, now you’re fine tuning it. And I just think that’s so powerful. What a cool example
Dan: 17:09 as it evolved that will continue to change. I mean, just for an example, views sneaker, they’re coming out with a tailwind. One, two, three, four. The phones continue to advance. So, you know, I think it’s going to be a constantly evolving product.
Stephen: 17:24 I don’t want to beat the horse but, but the peripheral products that you didn’t even think of or now as you start to see, you know, cause again, if we’re talking about amazing freedoms, private label retreat and amazing freedom group, if you want to join an amazing freedom [inaudible] period sponsor my show. Yes, they pay me. So I’m just giving you a heads up. However, Dan will tell you the proof is in the pudding, right? Period,
Dan: 17:48 right? Do not sponsor anything.
Stephen: 17:50 And do what I absolutely endorse someone hundreds. So, so given that, um, the, the peripheral products that you found, especially based on them expanding your boundaries, right? I mean, the minute you start thinking about licensing with Paul, all of a sudden it’s like, Whoa, I could do this and this and this and this. And it’s like, Whoa, I never even thought that way. Right? I mean, that’s what, that’s when you launched, you get through the scary part to bring in something in from China or India or wherever. And then now you’re past that point. Now you can work on your business instead of in Your Business Fair.
Dan: 18:29 When we first went in and we thought, well maybe this could be a potential accessory, but uh, one gentleman that I was talking to [inaudible] was saying like, you can have different models of it, you can have a stripped down version and then you can add this accessory and top seven had this excess, reinstall it and know and have the ultimate package would maybe all at once. So
Stephen: 18:49 yeah, it was silver, gold, platinum, silver, gold, platinum. And it just, you’ve already made the sale. What’s your costume to think of? Shark tank, right? We had this conversation. What’s your customer acquisition cost? OK, now you’ve got the customer, now we’re going to take it to the next level because that’s ultimately where those additional profits, you’re not shipping anything additional or adding a lot of additional pick and pack fees. This is this additional stuff. It has an extra dollar in shipping. OK, yeah, it brings you, you know, $40 in revenue or whatever. Smarter. OK. So, so let’s, let’s talk through some other changes in your business. So your wife has really taken a larger role in your business. How, how cool is that, especially at this point in your life to have your relationship kind of go in your case back full circle because you’re back to that same business, but how cool was that for you?
Dan: 19:46 It is really needed. Just to give a quick summary for those that didn’t have. My original story was on Ebay for 15 to 17 years. It was basically my wife and I. and then as group grew we brought more and more employees. And then we switched over to Amazon or roll step back a little bit. She did have some health issues, so, um, she was a support role but not necessarily involved. But now as we begin to take off, she’s not only back in the, in the thick of things, but she’s also developed a separate merchant account that’s doing very well. So it’s nice. It is nice to have her come up alongside of me.
Stephen: 20:26 It’s gotTa be enjoyable at dinner sometimes, um, because she’s having success doing what she’s doing, building off what you guys have accomplished and you’re having success. And so how about the family, you know, do you think about like your great grandparents, you know, how, how that relationship would have been around a business or maybe even great, great, great. Or you might not have to go back three depending on your family. And now we’re back there. Aren’t we doing. We really are.
Dan: 21:00 I have looked back on my individual one, but the demise of the American family going on at because everyone worked together was, it was a family business. They sat down, they talk about it as they work together out in the fields on the farms or whatever they were doing and um, and it has come full circle. I had dinner table with my wife and my two boys is, it would be very boring to anyone else, but for us it’s on Amazon all the time.
Stephen: 21:30 Speaking of your family, so they’re deeply, deeply involved in your business and when, when, when you think about their future, I mean it’s kind of the carpenter who or mechanic maybe is a good example where they come into the business and they just have that natural ability. Maybe a musician might even be a better example and then you just see that future because you see them start to find their legs and this and that, and then your world mean what a great legacy you’re teaching them, you know, the old, you know, teach him to fish, he can last a lifetime. And so you really have taken heart with that. That’s really added a lot to their lives. Does that, does that sink in for you at all?
Dan: 22:11 It does. I mean, when they were purchased, they would come and help us ship and package. It was probably their least favorite thing to do, but as they get older now I have two boys, one’s a sophomore in college and the other was a junior in college. They start to see the business side of it and how it works and my youngest son is already investing in reselling on his own, his own little side hustle. So it is, it is encouraging, you know, it makes you smile inside today.
Stephen: 22:41 It has to make you smile because. Let me think about your friends though. Right? If they lost their job because they most, you know, they still have a job. If they lost their job, they typically lose the identity and then they lose their identity with their family because that’s all they know. They was the breadwinner and now he’s not. Now he’s unemployed. He’s failed. Right? Because of at a business or whatever. He’s failed. Well, no he didn’t, but that’s the way guys think. At least I’m putting sound. Steve Things. How about that of call it? That is. I don’t know if that’s how Dan thanks, but probably right and so
Dan: 23:17 generalization promos.
Stephen: 23:19 Yeah. And so, so to see your sons or daughters, whichever ones have a plan B and always have that plan, even if they just learned this skill set and go and do their own thing, they always have a plan b. So if they lost their job, it’s like my son always says my older son, he’s like, Hey, if I’m losing my job, first call is to you dad, because I need to scale up something and then I can figure out what I’m going to do. Am I anytime, anytime you need it, that’s a place to get to. And it didn’t exist years ago. It just didn’t.
Dan: 23:51 If I could just share a little bit of the personal side, I, it goes a little deeper with me also. Um, I have a son that I had given up for adoption at birth a, we connect. We, there was no contact for about 30 years. We reconnected seven or eight years ago. Um, he has, since we’ve had a great relationship, it was such a blessing. I’m eating. Not only did he come into the business with me, but now he’s the vice president and he pretty much runs the day to day operations of our business and he was one of the guys that I brought up to a three tree with me, so
Stephen: 24:24 it’s pretty spectacular. He’s clearly clearly a natural leaders. Clearly his dead son. And what’s very interesting to me is to watch that dynamic between the two of you. A very interesting to me, there’s clearly a respect issue both ways. I mean, you must be pretty proud of the young man that he’s become, even with the circumstances being what they were and now I don’t know. It’s cool.
Dan: 24:56 He had a great life, but we were in a while. We’d miss so much of his childhood. He, you know, had a great family. I have a great mom and dad, but I came to know him as an adult. So we talk about that respect because it’s man to man, you know, it’s really not as a father son, obviously there’s that, that same bond there, but it’s also we have an adult relationship and you know, he, as you’ve met, you’ve met him, Steve. He’s a great guy. He’s a natural leader and he’s just really, he’s, we’ve exploded. This business exploded when he came on full time.
Stephen: 25:32 I use your, uh, your story in a couple of times when I speak publicly because it, to me it’s a very cool story, but realized the bottleneck in your business is you in the process, right? There’s the shipping process. Either you explode that out and build out that model or you find another way. He joined ace. Ace helps you, Sam Cohen. They help you really figure out the process and boom, you just take and run with it and run, run, run, run, and you have a incredible success. You Outgrow Sam and now your son comes into business and takes you. I think you know, Brett, I don’t want to downplay the other guy, Brett too, because I could tell. It’s not like they know their place, it’s like you guys almost rode the same way. It’s like you’re a rowers. I think of that, you know, those boats that you see it on the, uh, on the rivers from the colleges. You guys all seem to know the, the, the role you play with each other and it compliments maybe. Is that a better way to say it?
Dan: 26:30 Yeah. That, that, that, that’s a great analogy because what, you’ve got to have somebody steering the ship, all the key components to making that bubble. But we’re all where we are. We’re Pretty Well oiled. We know our opposition, know our role. And I like that analogy
Stephen: 26:47 at a maturity point though too, because you have to step back every so often. Let and Brett somebody take charge. How hard is it for you because you were the district manager, right? Den Stories. Incredible story. Because I think it’s so worthwhile to go back and listen to it. Um, because I think it gives you perspective on what, what has to be very difficult for you to give up that control. I mean, it must be, but how, how do you do that?
Dan: 27:14 It is, as you mentioned, and I did as a district manager with cvs, I probably had 15 to 20 managers and pharmacists that I had to give that control, but that was a much less pro. That was somebody else’s system, so it was easy to. It was easy to plug in, so this one we nurtured I, my wife and I and then Adam, if he came along and nurtured this from, from the bottom up. So it is, it very difficult to give it up. But this past year with me delving into private label, it’s on paper, on purpose on it where sometimes it was painful and sometimes I felt like I shouldn’t do it and sometimes they’ll have bumps in the road where they made mistakes that I know I wouldn’t have made, but that’s just it. It’s like raising a child and you just have to let them make the mistakes on their own and then discuss the, the problems and the alternatives afterwards. And then we’ve met. We’ve had US mags for sure, but we’ve also continued to grow and they have both gone. You mentioned Brett Brett’s, um, Adams number one guy here, the opposite, and he had now adam finds himself and turn needing to do the same thing, step away from certain things and I think seeing me do it and knowing it was difficult for me has enabled him to be able to do a little bit easier.
Stephen: 28:26 I’d like to give practical advice and I’m thinking about people that are saying, Hey, I’m worried about Ra. I’m worried about OK, I need to get to wholesale or private label. I need to invest the time in it, but I’m not sure I can because I’ve got this machine behind me. That’s my cash flow machine. I need to keep it going. And so I think what you’re describing is a very healthy way to get there. So you bring on somebody, you develop them until you gain enough confidence in them. Now they’re not going to be a hundred percent Dan that, that might not be bad. Don’t get offended by that, but that might not be bad because the Olympics,
Dan: 29:00 many of the things they do, they do better than I did.
Stephen: 29:03 Ooh, that hurts
Dan: 29:04 what I did.
Stephen: 29:06 It’s an old guy that hurts, man.
Dan: 29:08 It’s tough to admit, but they, they come in with fresh ideas and some things, you know, I’m not the best technology guy so they can, you know, I took the long way around. They took the slow boat and they come in and say, well, how about we do it this way? And no main main line, you know, so
Stephen: 29:25 you didn’t get your computers. I mean, do you think about this? Right? You didn’t get computers until you were probably in your twenties,
Dan: 29:33 right? You got my first computer as a wedding guest.
Stephen: 29:36 Now think about that
Dan: 29:38 [inaudible]. Yeah. These
Stephen: 29:39 boys girls have seen them their whole life. That learning curve. I tell this story, these are all databases, all the systems, we use it or use our databases, right? Data’s putting a bucket. You just pull the bucket. You just say, hey, pull this bucket, this bucket, this bucket, and do this with it. Right? That’s the whole concept. These guys get that concept. They’re not intimidated by, oh, new software, great. Let me figure it out. Oh yeah, there. That’s how I pull this. That’s how we sit there and say, get our advocates out and sit there and say, well, if you slide this, oh you know, that’s a challenge. That mental thinking and so like you say, when they come in, so where it was going with this was if somebody a heavy and they’ve got a big business, I see this with Perry and his wife. I think there’s a good example too where they’ve got this heavy a machine and they want to expand into these other things. You have to bring talent in or develop that talent and then kind of pull back a little bit because to be fair, if you didn’t get into Ra or a private label or wholesale, either one, you’d be stepping on each other’s toes. Correct?
Dan: 30:43 Absolutely. Yeah. It is a difficult step, but they’re doing the same thing is the not the people that work for you are not going to be able to grow if you’re in doing the exact same thing that you’re asking them so they can grow with or without the hands off.
Stephen: 31:05 So how hard is it? I mean if you’re, if you were starting over again, right? At what point would you bring in help? I mean at what point mean you say you’re doing, you know, a lot of, a lot of people listening to this are doing 20 or 30,000. I always say that it’s not that hard to get to that level in this business in the Ray Charles. Right. And you just find a couple of good products and you just hit it, hit it. You hit a hundred stores and you got it. Right. Now you’re running. I mean don’t get me wrong, it is hard, but you can do it, but to get to that next place, but that $30,000 a month isn’t even a full time living for you. How do you get to that hundred thousand dollars a month? Where it starts to be a meaningful number.
Dan: 31:49 I grew era and my. It’s hard to tell exactly, but my point that I would say it losing money by not hiring is if you’re not shopping because you’re shipping or prepping, it’s a shopping opportunity that you’re not doing. You’re losing money right there because the shipping and then the processing is an easy fix.
Stephen: 32:13 It’s a rope technique. It’s exactly the same thing.
Dan: 32:15 Brilliant. I’ll go back to Adam. When will we will. We will have an IRA. We had built a Ebay up to a million one point 2,000,000 without last year and I’m. Adam said to me, I remember the day was sitting in my garage. He said, you wake, you make way too much money. You’re worth way too much money to be sitting doing emails for eight hours a day, you know, and what he total sense. So we’ve got somebody in there to do the email. Well, unfortunately for him it was him. We replaced, when know we, we brought them into what he was doing. But um,
Stephen: 32:52 that foundational stuff. Downplay that because think of all the painful points that you’ve had to do that made you who you are. So good.
Dan: 33:05 Yeah. Yeah. It was important to Labor at the time, and I say that tongue and cheek because he did need that training, but that was his. He, he kind of replaced me is what I meant and we hired someone to replace him.
Stephen: 33:20 I think it’s the story of the one point 2,000,000 will blow your mind. So go back and listen to episode 72 because get that foundation first and then come back to this and then re listen to this because again, I think that getting past that point, getting to that transition point, so, so back to it again. So I want to hold you to this. So in that 30,000 hour mode, you’re not going to be able to afford somebody or if you’re going to go for it, is that when you go for it and you say, you know what, it’s time. Either I’m going to be successful in this or I’m not. Because you’re proven. I mean if you could do 30,000, you’ve already proven that you can do this and you’re good at it. Right? I mean so that that’ll point is there. So by, by taking the leap and hiring the right person you hope is the right person and bringing them on maybe even in a part time role or whatever it is and let them develop. That’s when you can really cause one plus one if they’re both good is not two. It’s three or four in this business
Dan: 34:17 around 30, 35 hours at the beginning when Adam come on Wednesdays and Fridays and he. So I was able to walk those extra days and do some shopping and bring more product. And so if you can find a local mom, local young pain looking for work, you just need somebody to relieve some of that pressure so you can expand your business so you can get out there and shop or, or look into the software tools and how we help you repress your ride them. So you just need someone to take. Even like I said, even if it’s a small challenge,
Stephen: 34:50 thinking about what you just said makes perfect sense to be hungry and work a full time job and this is a second job for them so they could do it early morning I think of um, in California, this shoe. Oh, I can’t think of his name. Oh, I love him. And his wife, they have a huge billion dollar shoe business too. And he said, Steve, we ship a hundred and 50 orders a day he sent me to college. Could have, could have it done by 8:00 in the morning. That’s our goal every day. And they crank them out. He’s like an hour, hour and a half. Him in a college kid, they can because they’ve built processes in that. So what you’re describing could bring in some help early morning before they start their second job or late at night, twice a week. I think the twice a week is a very, very healthy idea because you’re building on what they started on Wednesday. You’re helping steer them adjust based on what happened Wednesday and if that, if that’s the right term. And then bring them good power stuff. All right, so let’s go a little further. You have a scaled to three locations. Do you have regrets over that at all? I thought about that over the weekend. Didn’t get a chance to talk to you about it.
Dan: 35:59 I think I mentioned to you that when family or friends or family or family of one of my pastors, nephew. So in addition to creating part of a part of this and part of our entire group, everybody that worked with us, we were like, we want to improve the quality of their life as well. So the way I looked at it and we moved them, if we moved him out and broke even was a wind because there’s kids out there running his own business. I haven’t. Fortunately for us he exploded in Chicago is doing numbers that most directors would, would love to do as a business. And then California is also making us money. So my nephew was living out in California, Huntington Beach, surfing
Stephen: 36:44 in the afternoon
Dan: 36:45 and still making less money. So now I don’t have any.
Stephen: 36:49 This is powerful to remember this too, because this was a part of our conversation. One of the things that, you know, we have a warehouse and I’m going to post some pictures this week of stuff that I bought for our warehouse. I’m patiently buying tools to improve what we do in the warehouse. Anytime I can reduce a touchpoint or find an easier way to do a touch point, it’s, you know, and I can upgrade. So I’ve done it and we got to talk to them about seller fulfilled prime and having a location on the east coast. Having a location in the Midwest and having a location on the west coast might be the answer in the future. Now, today we don’t know. I mean logically, you’d be like, Oh yeah, open a warehouse in each of. Yeah, good luck, good luck. You Kit that cost structure is too high at this point.
Stephen: 37:30 However, the way the market’s changing and evolving, you might, especially with your product being a good example because it’s large. That might be an answer, a benefit to having that and having those people fully trained, fully immersed fully, uh, fully. Yeah, I think amherst is the right word into your business, engaged if they have a they care about your success, therefore, because that’s their success, right? That’s a pretty cool place to invest. You might be a visionary way ahead of their time and get that benefit without even intending that benefit is that you get what I mean
Dan: 38:13 part of it because if that works out that’d be fantastic. But it wasn’t part of the planning, but the way fell upon pilled prime looked like it’s going in the additional costs at warehouses. I think it very well may play out to be a great opportunity cause we, we, we actually had a couple of representatives from Amazon at a warehouse last Thursday that come in with to talk to about sell prime and the enhancements and the changes they’re making to sell prime, which encouraged us even more. It looks like that might be a viable option to ship out of [inaudible].
Stephen: 38:47 So let’s talk about that a little bit if you don’t mind. I don’t know what you’re allowed to. What you’re not allowed to.
Dan: 38:52 No confidentiality.
Stephen: 38:53 OK, great. Um, so the, the thing that I’m confused about, because I’m not seller fulfilled prime our warehouse yet we, well you haven’t seen it yet, but it’s big enough. It’s designed enough. We’ve got lots of merchant fulfill every single day, but there are some hiccups and there are some challenges, especially where we’re located because our, our circle is large. I mean we probably get 10 to 12 states and that’s good, but that could also be bad. I could also be bad, right? Because of costs and trying to figure all that out. What were they talking about? Because they realized that there are limitations today, right? There are limitations. What were they talking about where they’re going, you know, they’re trying to build too,
Dan: 39:40 like you had mentioned, you’re on a good central centralized location where up in the northeast so we don’t know much about. So we have some limitations and you have to go in and pick almost by zip code where you can get it to and two days at a reasonable cost you need to plug into Amazon. So they will only show up for those customers. Anyone else can, can buy your product [inaudible], but they cannot see the prime badge so that, that’s a big challenge. And the other thing is, um, we had picked up on that. Adam had picked up that abuse sell after 2:00 on Wednesday. You picked that up Saturdays and shipping day so you can actually shift the different locations. Amazon is aware of that, but also aware of the difficulty in choosing prime. So they’re looking to automate that system. Where were the, their pitch was that they’re going to tell, ask you how much you would be willing to spend. So if you put an average price of $7 or $7 for my time where I want to average or I don’t want to spend more than $10, they can plug that into an equation automatically plugging all the zip codes where you can ship prime, they’ll, they’ll, they’ll handle that end of it for you.
Stephen: 40:57 So basically they, they create a shipping plan that outlines, that says OK, if you’re in the zip codes and especially these three digit, you know, the first three digits which really mad at the Sectional Sexual Center Facility. And so what they do is they say, OK, then you can pretty much use the post office, which is the least expensive. Um, depending on what size product here, because you know, one of the things that I found fascinating talking with you, you guys are using first class a lot for seller fulfilled prime. That option isn’t talked about very much because I don’t think it’s offered very much. However, because you guys figured out after 2:00 on Wednesday, it makes sense where it might not have made sense on a Monday or a Tuesday. Right? So not all week. It makes sense, but a couple of days a week it makes sense. And if it’s the right weight and all that kind of gesture, then it becomes viable. Right? Then it’s financially viable for that scenario.
Dan: 41:53 Well, we all know the post office when I guaranteed two day delivery, they’re pretty accurate. You know where it’s gone through, whether it’s going to get their award in two days, priority mail, they’ll give you an estimated delivery date. Same thing with, with, with first-class mail, you know, generally how far it’s going to go within the two days that they’re allowing it. Or actually as you mentioned that after 2:00 on Wednesday you have that third day to get it there by Monday. So yeah, first class became a very low cost attractive option for our and we do have quite a few small and light items.
Stephen: 42:30 It’s actually profitable. More profitable for you probably when it goes first class, right?
Dan: 42:35 Absolutely.
Stephen: 42:38 When you’re building out and you don’t have a giant warehouse, now you have three locations, so let’s put it in perspective combined. You’ve got a good big giant space, but at the smaller location, have you thought about, you know, limitations does that, does that play into your mind about what you’re willing to do and does that remembrance of running that massive Ebay business run back into your mind? Because those aren’t necessarily terrible memories, but they’re not good compared to Fba Fair.
Dan: 43:10 Probably it might be a hindrance and first of all the size of that, well women, larger products, we would probably have about 20,000 units on hand in have Fba, so there’s no way we can represent all our products even if we did push to itself, but would also be space limited and then and the issue of having to ship every single day in larger quantities. We were much more systemized now though than we were, you know, E-bay was because I was the one doing the emails and I might do the one shipping and I’m going to listing so that it was a little overwhelming. Now we have systems in place where we would have someone specifically in charge of shipping every day in the email communication. Amazon handles a lot of that so we wouldn’t have that back and forth. So it’s a little more appealing than Ebay scaling E-bay, but we definitely keeping that in mind.
Stephen: 44:05 Thinking about that. That’s one of the benefits of having a team like you’re describing because you know one depends on the other. Right? And so important that people understand what you do impacts others. So if I understand what I do and how it impacts you, I can do things to improve that for you. And that team is when it, when it really has to happen, right in that that leadership team has to really buy into each other. And again, that’s one of benefits of having, you know, close friends and close family. Um, the communication. Um, do you see mean when you think about how big you are now? I mean, I know blows your mind. I mean, I know it blows your mind, but we’ve had these conversations, but do you see a limit mean when you really sit back and it’s not an ego thing, you know, it’s not mean maybe money being the limit, taking away all those things. Do you actually see a little bit at this point?
Dan: 45:01 We grew our business. We doubled our first year from e-bay. We double the next year. The next year we didn’t was nowhere near double, you know, it was a 30 percent increase in, you know, we’re running maybe 10 percent of heads as far as scalability for us, I do see a limit there. However, after this weekend retreat and seeing some of the licensing and some of the opportunities where you can do with private label, I don’t necessarily see it. I’m not able to see the limit at this point. It seems like the sky is alignment,
Stephen: 45:35 you know, and to be fair you guys were advanced are a meaning that you guys create massive quantities of listings for products that aren’t on Amazon. You found that and that skill set as and, and I always talk about because I do so much wholesale and that so much of it crosses over so much of that stuff, you know, creating listings, good listings, titles, keywords, advertising, all that stuff crosses over between all those worlds if you do it correctly. So even from an Ra point of view, you creating listings, putting in keywords, getting the right title is an art that once you master it makes private label that much easier. I mean it really does. Is that, is that what you experienced?
Dan: 46:17 Yeah, it is, and that is actually very conscious decision to do that because when I came out of the private label, I knew we needed these skill sets and in same calling once told me if you can create where we’d do a lot of clothing that if you can create listings in clothing, you said that you own the market and so we took that to heart and so probably 20 to 25 percent and growing 20 to 25 percent of our Ra is replenishable items that we’ve gone in and created stops dock standard items for retailers and we’re going to replenish those as needed. So we are creating, we’re creating lists and over and over again and now based on the retreat where we talked about creating listings in keywords and both my guys Bruh and Adam were two of the sharpest guys in the room in my, you know, I’m not, I’m not very active.
Stephen: 47:08 Check him that they were locked in.
Dan: 47:14 That’s exactly what I believe Ron was teaching
Stephen: 47:16 pro tip here. Again, this is an experience Ra who scaled ria to levels that most people would be blown away with. I think this is a really good pro tip. Again, if you’re thinking about getting into wholesale or private label, which you absolutely should, not, not that you can’t do ra and can’t be successful because we all know you’re a good example, but we know so many people, but if you’re looking for the long game, you’re trying to build out a brand or whatever, don’t jump in and take a course and private label. Don’t do all that stuff until you’ve mastered the basics and the basics are creating listings, enhancing listings, photos, contextual photos, all those different things. Master that while you’re doing your raw machine because you’ve got a great machine, a cash machine. Once you master that, then you’re ready and you jump in at a level in that private label course that is so far advanced, you’re able to focus on, now I want to fine tune it for sourcing product of course, and all that kind of jazz, but you don’t have to learn both because I think if you learn both, you don’t do either well right away.
Stephen: 48:13 I think there’s, again, that learning, while we know there’s a learning curve, right,
Dan: 48:23 there were a couple of um, grew our ra groups is to learn flat files. The, the, the amount of people that know how to create listings through a flat file is probably five percent of all Amazon and that’s just a guess on my property. So many people I come into don’t know how to create listings and we probably have seven or eight employees now that I’m very comfortable creating. Obviously, you know, from Adam right down the quality of those listings are going to be stronger with people with more experience, but I’m teaching teaching how to create listings is probably going to be a biggest advantage.
Stephen: 49:00 And how did you learn?
Dan: 49:03 We learned it was getting on the phone with Amazon support. I mean there are some videos out there now, not a lot, so there’s not much teaching out there, but Adam actually learned originally by getting Amazon on, on the phone, Amazon support and he would download the flat file and walk through each is probably 100 columns. It’s very intimidating. Why the hell he learns how to pare down in item, but they will do that. Amazon support will do that on the phone with you, walk you right through it, sometimes going to be an hour, an hour and a half year, first couple of times, but they will teach how to.
Stephen: 49:36 That’s to their benefit. They want their clean database, right? That’s what they want to clean catalog. Again, so this is from the, this is from a giant Ra or experienced or ray or who’s been doing it for a long time. This is a best place if you’re going to launch a wholesale or a, um, private label business, this is where you start and start now. We, before you take any courses way before you get caught up into that, sourcing is really hard and bringing it into the country is really hard and there’s a whole bunch of things that are really hard. But if you have this piece handled, you can focus in on that because again, if you try to focus on them both, you’re not going to do both of them. Well. So a very good tip to Dan. You’re killin it today, man. All right, so let’s look out further. We already said that probably there is no limit. What would your business like in the neck? Let’s just go three years out. What do you think your business is going to look like?
Dan: 50:34 We would like to maintain that we can get, you know, we lose some of the smaller accounts with the smaller brands that we’re selling, what we would like to maintain that very small five or 10 percent of all business, but the P, l three years from now, ideally I would love to have 10 or 15 p items, maybe two or three brand strong brands and going to the licensing show next month in May in Las Vegas to see if we can possibly brand current private label or at least get a head start on learning what we need to be ready for if we’re going to look at it next year. So ideally I would say we could get the [inaudible] array within the next couple of years. It would be. That would be. I’d be happy with that.
Stephen: 51:25 So what’s refreshing is you’re one of the few though that’s saying, I’m not accepting Lower Ra, I’m going to keep that going. 50 50 means I’m growing on the [inaudible] side. That’s very, very refreshing because what you just heard this from somebody else, so like, hey, you know, we tend to do something, have success, and then we move on and start something else. It was a great cartoon. That’s what it was. And it was like, wait, go back to what’s working. You already know that’s a proof of concept. Keep that going. Right. And so in your case you’re saying, hey, Ra works for us. It works really well. We’re going to continue at hopefully at the same level as closely as we can. We’re just going to grow the other side of our business. That’s refreshing to hear because that’s not what most people, most people are saying, I’m moving away from our. It’s too hard to work and I’m moving into this. Almost like you’re running away from something. You’re not running away from anything, are you?
Dan: 52:15 No, not at all. We want to refine it and we’re going to trim off the bat. It was spending a lot of time they they use, they always say the 80 20 rule, but even if we can take the bottom off of what’s costing us too much time to take that time and then she dumped that into the P, l side of it, it will be a big advantage. So we’re definitely reached binding IRA, Ira and maybe trimming down our brands, but there’s no way we’re the cash cow.
Stephen: 52:41 We’d be crazy to do. Say that. Smart. Loving. All right. Somebody wants to follow up with you. Best Way to get in touch with you. Is it facebook?
Dan: 52:51 Facebook? Absolutely. I think as we grow on facebook and then you get in more and more groups, a lot of the listeners will probably know. Do you get friend requests? Quite often? Many times you don’t know if they’re locked or someone trying to get into. You know that for illicit purposes. So I would just say if you send a message to me first and just reach out, say, hey, I’d like to be friends. I heard you on an e-commerce momentum while that’s probably the best way, but I don’t necessarily, unless they see a lot of common friends, I don’t necessarily accept the friendship without, without a message coming in.
Dan: 53:26 One more thing about Dan, um, he’s willing to invest. So he’s going to the AIDS conference in uh, in May. He’s going to boost in um, in uh, New Orleans. And you’re going to, because you’re not busy enough, you’re going to vegas again back in Vegas again for the licensing show. So you’re investing into your business. You just spend a ton of money sending a whole bunch of people to a private label retreat. It is, it is time to get better. Right. And the way you get better is to get around more like minded people and continue to network and get better and better and better.
Dan: 54:04 The Amazon world, most of the time you’re on your own. You might have a couple of close friends that do it, but family and acquaintances in general and the general public really not interested in hearing about how many items you saw yesterday. But when you get in with like minded people know it’s not only are they willing to talk about Amazon, usually come away knowing more about it than you did before you started the conversation. So, uh, last year we went to a lot of conferences this year we’ve actually, I know it sounds like we’re busy for the next couple of months, but we pared down and been very selective knowing either a, the knowledge base that we’re going to learn there as well or the level of that are going to be at these conferences. So
Stephen: 54:47 I think there’s, there’s a time to grow and there’s a time to put your head down and do the work and we’re in that mode too, so I appreciate that. All right man, I appreciate it. Can’t wait to see you in the next couple of weeks again and again in June. I can’t wait because I’m always richer for my time with you. There’s no doubt in my mind. Absolutely. Um, I thank you for your friendship and I thank you for your support and I thank you for sharing because I think that you helped a whole bunch of people say, I’m on the right path. I don’t have to run away from raw. I just have to find to trim the fat, trim the fat. Love it. That’s probably a, your headline right now. Take care.
Dan: 55:24 See, I
Stephen: 55:26 told you, I’m very smart. Individual, just a stick. Wonderful man, a wonderful family. But you know, very giving. If you heard that in that conversation, those are all real genuine things. He believes that he walks the walk, not just talk the talk and I think those couple pearls of wisdom are really the basis for you expanding your business. That’s the place to start because you have to have a plan and this and that, but now you have that plan. Execute, learn how to create listings, learn how to master creating listings. Then move forward to the next stage. And I just think, I just think it’s such powerful stuff, such great advice that I just, I’m gonna use it all the time, you know, just amazing, amazing stuff. He momentum.com, e-commerce momentum.com. Hey, remember, amazing freedom is a sponsor, my show and rerun and nate, they do sponsor my show, but I believe in them because I’ve seen it. You hear Dan speaking about hidden benefit. Um, and yet every one of the things that those guys do, this is the way people are treated in those groups. There’s a lot of free flow of information. There’s a lot of commitment, there’s a lot of follow-through. You actually get to talk to somebody. So amazing freedom.com, amazing. Freedom to take care.
Cool voice guy: 56:38 Thanks for listening to the e-commerce momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be found at e commerce momentum [inaudible] number. Please remember to subscribe and like us on itunes.