When you think of resources most people immediately go to cash. That is true, it is number one, but Chris will help you understand that ALL of your resources matter. And managing them better than your competitor will give you the upper hand. The advantage. So master your resources and you can elevate to the next level.
Chris’ previous episodes: 44, 168
Transcript: (note- this is a new tool I am trying out so it is not perfect- it does seem to be getting better)
Stephen: 00:00:00 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 Gaye, she 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 parse 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: 00:00:46 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.com. She’s part of Andy Slam. It’s group amazing freedom.com. Forward slash momentum. And you’re going to get in the waiting list. That’s all I can get you on right now. You can use my name and see if that gets you anywhere. But what I like about in the uh, 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. Well here’s where an opportunity is, here’s why you want to do this. Hey, be cautious about this, you know, with toys r US coming out, you’ve got to think about this and that’s the learning that you need to do.
Stephen: 00:01:30 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 we 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, four ecommerce.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’ve 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 and I’m like, wait a second. Why did they show up?
Stephen: 00:02:09 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, four ecommerce solutions, the number four e-commerce dot com, forward slash momentum. It’s 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?
Stephen: 00:02:57 Well, here’s why and what they can do. 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, refund. I mean delete a return to us, blah blah blah, whatever it is and it’s or destroy 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 research ourselves. 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 Karen offers. CanNot recommend her enough solutions. Four ecommerce.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: 00:03:45 I’m so excited how many people have been joining her because I see it and I’m excited because the messages I get from people 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 I highly recommend her. Next up is scale and scope and we’ll set it wrong. It’s, it’s amazing. I mean, 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: 00:04:29 You want to take advantage of that, right? I mean, it’s fair to see 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.com, forward slash momentum. It’s going to save you $50 on the 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. The light’s 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.com 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: 00:05:18 And so what do I do? I go to try Godaddy.com forward slash momentum and save 30 percent. So domains aren’t very expensive. You get a few services, it adds up a little bit and I usually buy three years. I usually by privacy, by the way, I recommend that to buy that, you know, 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 use go daddy because what I like is I can pop in and address I’m thinking and it’ll say nope, nope, could try this version or try this extension and then boom, there it is.
Stephen: 00:05:58 Hey, you better hurry before it goes away and the right, you know, and so try Godaddy.com, forward slash momentum save 30 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 grasshopper. I’m like, Dude, did you buy it through my link and save 30 percent? Hello? No, they missed that. So save 30 percent. It’s 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. You’d 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: 00:07:13 Welcome to the ecommerce momentum podcast where we focus on the people, the products, and the process of ecommerce selling. Today. Here’s your host, Steven Peterson.
Stephen: 00:07:27 Welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. This is episode 309. Chris Potter, man, Oh man, do we get to some great places in this episode? Chris is a smart guy, very experienced, has had to lick some wounds and he tells you, he’s very candid about, uh, at his website, lessons learned in business.com. He’ll tell you some of the things that he learned when he stumbled, failed in essence, but he reinvented himself and then he reinvented himself again and now he’s found some capacity of time and it’s for a reason that is very, it’s hard to swallow, especially as a guy, you know. Wait, there are challenges. This is hard. Yes. And sometimes things are forced upon you. And so when you have that capacity, what do you do with it? And Chris gives you like three or four unbelievable examples of what you can do with it and how you can maximize that.
Stephen: 00:08:20 And I just think he lands in such a great place and it’s so cool to see them doing so well with it. Um, and I guess there’s no surprise when you, when you meet somebody like that and they’re able to just push through and then figure it out, push through, figure it out, push through and figure it out. And he’s going to help you too. Let’s get into the podcast. Alright, welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. We’re excited about today’s guest because he return guests and um, I love the two previous episodes and then now the third episode when I reached out to him, I mean I had an idea because I watch people over, I look for consistency. I look for people who were growing, figuring things out, licking their wounds, getting up and doing it again, but this time smarter and just getting smarter and smarter. And I think it’s a great example that Chris Potter. Welcome Chris.
Chris: 00:09:06 Hi. How’s it going? Well, I’m glad to be back on the third time
Stephen: 00:09:09 you are, you are three Peter. Um, well let me, let me read these because I just think this is powerful. His first episode was number 44 way back in 2015 and this is the law lead in. I use, and again I choose these, but this is what I get from each conversation, so it was starting over, rebooting, rethinking, refocus, retraining, reeducation. Then stay focused, work harder and magically you have success. That doesn’t sound fast. That doesn’t sound quick. I don’t see anything in there for a quick. That was a lot of stuff to get you to success. The second time I had John was one 68 and that was in 2017, but early January just after q four and it was at that point where you were taking in converting from a partial drop shipping model to a complete wholesale model where you’re bringing products in, which is what you had before, but you’re completely there. Your wounds have healed. You’re now. Okay. I’ve got this. You had to, you had a swagger about two that still fair?
Chris: 00:10:09 Uh, I, I would think so.
Stephen: 00:10:11 I don’t, I don’t mean swagger in a negative way or whatever. An Ego way. I’m just telling you you’ve got, you had your confidence back.
Chris: 00:10:18 Yeah, I mean just like you said, everything was magic, you know?
Stephen: 00:10:22 Yeah. Magic easy. This unicorns and fairies just click your heels three times and boom, all of a sudden success came. But listen to that again, starting over, rebooting, rethinking, refocus, retraining, reeducation, all those things. That’s not fast. That’s not easy. And yet I bet you have people like, Hey Chris, can you show me what you do? Can I get to $100,000 in three months? I need to replace my job, but I make 100,000 dollars. Can I get there in three months? What’s your answer to it?
Chris: 00:10:49 As a matter of fact, I actually had my, my step dad asked me that this morning. So
Stephen: 00:10:54 in that conversation, right? So what do you say to them? Same
Chris: 00:10:58 conversation. What do you, what do you say? Uh, you know, the same thing I say to anyone that actually asked that says the same thing. Hey, it seems like a super easy what you’re doing. Why don’t you show me how to do it? Um, you know, the first thing I always say to them is you need to do some sort of easy to put yourself out there first and actually start doing something first before I want to take, take you on basically because there’s a lot of people who say, yes, I want to do that, and they see what you’re doing and you think it’s super easy, but they don’t really know until they actually get into the thick of, of actually learning the business and doing it. And there’s a lot of things you have to learn in any sort of ecommerce business and if you’re not willing to put any effort to learn it and actually try some of the downline basics of it, the likelihood of you learning any sort of advanced techniques to really start building out structures or systems are hiring, those type of things.
Chris: 00:11:49 It’s just not going to come. So I usually try to make them actually shows some sort of semblance there. They, yes, they really want to do this. I’m going to put some time into this. So I’ll usually give them a couple of courses to kind of look at first and actually, you know, some, some other free things like the free wholesale course I put out, I haven’t looked over that. Um, if they come back to me after that and say, you know what, I’ve done this, I’ve done this, I’ve done this, then yeah, let’s have a conversation about how we can build out your business.
Stephen: 00:12:14 How many people that you send that way, make it back through it.
Chris: 00:12:20 Extremely slim, extremely slim and well, mostly mostly the clients that I have the coaching side are mostly from a, you know, they’re already doing it. They’re, they’re basically already doing it and they’ve already started their business and they’re just looking to get to that next level and that’s they’re looking for help for. And those are the people I love working with the most.
Stephen: 00:12:37 Yeah. They have figured out what tape to use, right? I mean, it’s a bad example because we all know, let’s be fair. You and I asked that question at one point in her life, Hey, what tape is better than we did? But you know, you can now, in today’s Day and age, you don’t need to ask that question. There’s so many of us that put out so much content for free. I mean, you know, the thousands of hours, millions of downloads, but thousands of hours of content, you can go listen and in there I addressed somewhere in there what tape to use, right? So, so when you get through that, um, and you get to that place where somebody’s like, okay, yeah, I’ve got this working, but I have this logistics issue, or I’m having this inventory and your world inventory level, right? Lead time, uh, you know, drop shipping, drip a drip inventory just in time. All these very serious things. That’s where you get the building. That’s the learning point, right? That’s when you could see the difference
Chris: 00:13:27 without a doubt. And I think when you’re talking about content, there’s a lot of content out there when it comes to, just like you said, starting, how do you sell on Amazon? How do you actually create an account? How do you step in Fba shipment? How do you find stuff at Walmart? Or how do you find things? How you find suppliers, how do you private label items? All of these things are readily available. The things that are a lot of people that don’t really discuss, which is where a lot of people need to help on is how do I deal with working capital concerns? How do I deal with hiring a staff meeting? There’s things out there to talk about how to hire va’s, but there’s also not a whole lot out there that says, once you have five Va’s, what do you do? Or once you have, you know, two, three, four, five, six employees in your warehouse, what do you do?
Chris: 00:14:13 A, what do you do when you get to the point to where you have a 2000 square foot warehouse and you no longer have the space to do anything. There’s a lot of you. There’s plenty of these questions that a lot of times you don’t really. There’s a lot of information out there because there’s not that many people out there that really make it to that level where they have to worry about this stuff. So I think that these course creators, they are spending their time and attention on creating courses for the masses, the people which make sense. I mean they’re trying to sell it to as many people as they possibly can and so they’re looking for the area that tends to have the largest mass of people who would potentially purchased their product. So it makes sense that they would, they would do it in these various areas, which is, which is why I think that when you start looking at some of these higher level things, you know, a lot of times there, a lot of times people are more willing to go on like one on one coaching type things or a asking one on one conversations even at conferences.
Chris: 00:15:09 You know, those type of things.
Stephen: 00:15:10 And I think that’s smart. That’s a good, good conversation right there. I think that’s a really smart approach for somebody if they’re interested in, is go through the free stuff, go through even a paid. If you connect with somebody, how we say it, because there’s so many people and they’re like, oh Steve, well who’s the best one? Who’s this? I’m like, look, it depends on who you are. If you connect with the person that’s the best one for you, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best one for somebody else, but then when you’re ready, when you really want to take this serious, I agree with you. One on one coaching is going to be the best way because then I get Chris Potter for 30 minutes every week. Hey, these are the things, or I don’t know if you do 30 minutes, I’m making it up, but it’s just a, hey, these are the things that are important to me right now. Hey, I did this and then I ran into this. Okay, boom, let’s get through this because that’s when you’re, you’re really sharpening that blade at that point. You’re not just, you know, cutting stuff, you’re sharpening it and ready for the next move and then you can just go forward. And I think that that’s a very smart way to build this business because halfway through you might say, hey, wholesale sucks or private labels not for me. And that’s okay because you’d rather learn that. Then you know, putting in $100,000 and figuring it out. Right?
Chris: 00:16:17 Yeah. It’s not like you necessarily need coaching for a lot of these things. Just having good conversations with other sellers that are at or above your level. A lot of cases. It’d be above your level. Um, you know, if you’re able to strike up those conversations and you can, you can glean a lot of information from a lot of people. But yeah, I mean if you really want specific answers to specific questions, it’s probably not bad. Great. Unless you’re really, really close with someone to randomly walk up to someone at a conference and say, Hey, I hear you sell $50, million dollars last year. I’ve got a really random question about my business. That’s not going to work very well.
Stephen: 00:16:50 Yeah, it doesn’t. That’s not a great way to start a relationship. One of the other piece of advice I give see, if you think this is fair, you go to a conference, so like prosper had their conference. He had 100 vendors. I believe there are some, some huge number. My opinion is that those vendors generally have the answer to almost every problem you have seen or what you have because they have seen it, excuse me, through other customers of theirs where they could send you in a direction and there’s nothing. There’s no cost to that. To me, that’s an opportunity that I don’t know that everybody takes advantage of what’s been your experience.
Chris: 00:17:25 Yeah. What you have to think about that. A lot of youth people who are vendors there are entrepreneurs just like everyone else. Just like everyone that’s starting an Amazon business. They’re an entrepreneur too, and you have to think, you know, why did you start as an entrepreneur to begin with? A lot of people are saying, well, I won’t get my from my nine to five job or whatever, but the reality is is that most people start their businesses because there’s an opportunity and there’s some. There’s something missing from the marketplace that’s caused them to want to this and so if you, if you look, look at it from like an Amazon arbitrage perspective. If someone’s starting for buying like clearance it a walmart, the reason why they’re able to do that is because there is a variance in the difference in pricing and so they’re finding that gap and they’re able to feel like, yeah, now you look at these entrepreneurs who are these vendors?
Chris: 00:18:06 It’s the same type of thing. They basically found a gap somewhere where they said, you know what, no one’s filling this gap and I think I can be the best or at least be pretty close to the best at filling this gap, and so they’ve likely already talked to a ton of people about whatever this problem is and they’re basically solving a problem is what they’re doing with it and while solving this problem, they’ve likely found, you know, all these other things going on at the same time that have caused issues or they have solutions to problems that maybe you haven’t even thought of because of the fact that they’re already. They have a lot of people giving them this information. They have a lot of data and so forth. So I think you’re actually pretty spot on because a lot of people are very, very smart people and yes, they’re trying to sell you something, a lot of cases. But yeah, they’re very smart people and a lot of times they have the information that you need. Does this, I mean, you need to hook up with them and start buying their servers just so you can find out the information. But um, I think that if you’re just picking their brain and just talking to talking to some of these people and get to know them, you can definitely gleaned a lot of good information out of them.
Stephen: 00:19:06 I think a lot of them, I think you said this are entrepreneurs, but I think a lot of them had been sellers and they solve their own itch, right? Um, I think, uh, brandon from somewhere lamps, right? You know, coming up with software to fix his problem. How many people have you met Chris Green, right? How many people have you met that have developed and didn’t program necessarily, but developed stuff because they had a problem with themselves and then it took off. Chad Rubin is another one, you know, Kubota, I mean, he, he’s still wanting the largest vacuum cleaner parts sellers on Amazon and yet he’s got this massive company and Skubana and yet you see them everywhere, right? And those people have fixed their problem and therefore others have said, mine, I’ve got the same problem. Can you help me to. And then I think the other positive thing is the others have helped fine tune it and said, yeah, you know, that’s great Chad, but here could you do this, this, this, this and this.
Stephen: 00:19:55 And then boom, now all of a sudden it’s magic. And so I think that that’s awesome. You know, think about the services you use, right? How many of them buy you time? So it’s like, I agree with, you don’t necessarily have to hook up with them, but if they could solve a big chunk of your time because are you at the place, I mean, cashflows one of the biggest challenges of any of our businesses? It’s absolutely the hardest part. Um, I think once you get to scale, especially, right? It’s a very difficult part because at timing and stuff like that, but outside of that, if you take cash flow out, what’s the next most difficult thing in your business?
Chris: 00:20:32 Cashflow is definitely, definitely the biggest one. Um, and that’s the one that most people struggle with the most I would say after that is probably people management after that because once you start actually getting a staff and you start getting lots of Va’s, you have to, I guess it probably a better way of, of encompassing this entire conversation is saying that, uh, yes, working capitals thing, but also you have people. So if you could look at as a whole, it’s resource management is probably the best way of thinking about it. It’s a matter of figuring out what resources you have and how you can accurately put them in the right place and if you don’t have the right resources to find those resources to, to fill the holes. So whether that’s finding a person to do a job, whether that’s finding the right money to actually take care of an issue, maybe it’s a finding the right resource for your customers. There’s a lot of ways you can look at this, but I think resource management is what boils down to and you can encompass a lot of things into that.
Stephen: 00:21:31 Well, I think that’s the cashflow to so it’s really the way to. I mean, are you saying then, and I’m going to put words in your mouth because I want a title for this, is resource management. The way to get to the next level. I mean those who can master that and figure that out for all the things. Like you’re saying, it’s across every. It’s cash management, it’s people management, it’s space management, it’s time manage, it’s all those different things. If you can manage all those precious resources, what we used to call into the accounting field, right? Precious resources. If you can manage that better than the next guy, that’s a competitive advantage.
Chris: 00:22:02 Without a doubt. I’ve, I’ve talked to a lot of, you know, eight figure and plus upsellers and that that’s the common, that’s a common thread. Once you start getting too high seven figures and above, it’s all resource management at that point. It’s, there’s cashflow problems with people problems. There’s a, there’s competitive problems, there’s all these other issues and when it boils down to is just resource management. Now how do you, how do you squeeze out how you squeeze out the most? You can have every resource that you have before you have to start paying or acquire some of these other resources and that’s the reason why you also see some of these really large companies. Now. We’re not necessarily talking about Amazon business, we’re talking about massive company. That’s why they start snapping up some of these smaller companies, they start buying them because they identify an opportunity that maybe they don’t have the right resource for and they’re acquiring that business either for the talent or the market share that they have or some other reason they’re doing it is because they need that resource to be able to follow up.
Chris: 00:23:03 Their master plan is for whatever their master plan is for their business. You see this a lot in a lot of cases and you know, you can take a look at Walmart, um, you know, they, they’re pretty, they weren’t exactly a great ecommerce. So what do they do? They started thinking, okay, well what can we do to kind of compete with Amazon? And they said, well, let’s just start snapping up some of these smaller companies. They did for various reasons. You take a look at jet, they likely bought jet, not for jet.com. They bought it for the staff. They bought it for a, they bought it for their CEO. Uh, so they, they will be part of it, part of their team. And they started also buying up these smaller companies as well, which gives them diverse audiences. Uh, you know, you have to think that a walmart customer is a walmart customer.
Chris: 00:23:45 You kind of get a picture in your mind of what the Walmart customer looks like. So a lot of people do, and there’s some people who won’t shop at Walmart, but they might shop at Moose jaw, which is one of the sites that they own, um, because they’re like, they’re like an outdoor website that sells a lot of different things. And those two clienteles will necessarily matches a walmart setting. How can we tap into this market? All right, let’s buy this company and acquired his company. That’s how we’re going to acquire that resource for this, this thing that obviously had to have a resource of cash to be able to buy this stuff, which is what they did. They got off of other resource management that they had. Sorry if I’m going like this.
Stephen: 00:24:18 No, I think you’re spot on there. But you know, what came to mind when you said that though about Walmart. It really is gonna come down to execution because remember when sears kmart in land’s end, I don’t hear Kmart, Orlando and knocking it out of the park right now. I don’t hear it. I mean I’ve heard, you know, I mean, Kmart by me has it closed, this one, but the other ones all around me have. I mean like this one’s straggling on a because there’s really no other retailers and that side of town. Um, but land’s end, I don’t hear them killing it like they were before they were acquired. And so that execution, you know, the big challenges, right. Do you bring them in and force our corporate culture upon them or do you bring them in and let their culture flourish and maybe pick something up like a Zappos and Amazon. The way I understand it now, maybe you can correct me if I’m wrong, but you know, but Zappos still is run by the same guy still the way he wants to run it still in I think in Vegas or something like that and they don’t. They don’t really listen too much to Amazon. Right? There’s not that much crossover and yet Zappos is really still successful, so there’s a clue there isn’t there?
Chris: 00:25:23 Yeah, definitely. I think it’s also what we’re talking about, resource management is figuring out what the right path is for these resources as you have. You have to, you know, if you’re looking at at Kmart and sears as a whole, you know what’s one of the reasons why they haven’t succeeded? Walk into other stores and you can see why they’re dusty. They’re dirty. I mean, you have to think about each one of these individual locations as a resource that they had and they could have done a lot of things to kind of keep up with the times with a lot of these stores, you know, you, you think about the best buy, which I used to work for best buy for 12 years and when I worked there, you would watch them continuously reinvent themselves. They would, they would take the stores and they would remodel them. It seemed like almost once or twice, once every year they do a portion of the store almost once a year. And so by the time you got to like year five, they would almost have refreshed the entire store and you never see that. You never see that in kmarts and because they’re, they’re done dungeon during the look the exact same way they did in the 1995,
Stephen: 00:26:23 like a toys r us. And I think that was a great example too, right? They never became a destination. Imagine all our kids love toys, right? Your kids and my kids love toys. They love to go to these places. To play with toys, right? Or all these different places. The big miss there was they should have become a destination, not some big box, a Sam’s club. In essence, that’s what they look like. Is it Sam’s club? And that’s fine if you’re going to buy bulk tuna fish or the cat food. I don’t know why I’m on that mode. I don’t like as much. Um, and it’s not true. Um, but not when you’re going to buy super soaker or Legos, right? You won’t experience it. Right. Or, you know, a trampoline. I want to go jump on the trampoline and you couldn’t do that in their store.
Stephen: 00:27:03 And I think that’s a big miss. And I think, I wonder, I wonder if retailers, and I know we’re going off subject, I wonder if retailers will adapt, but let me bring that. Where I was going to go here was what are the resource management techniques then that you would advise for small sellers? Right? Because we were talking on the big scale where it’s easy, like let’s just have the marketing department handle that and then they have 300 people in there. They can attack it and Chris is Chris Powders Company. He doesn’t have 300 people in his marketing department. So what are the resource management techniques that you suggest for smaller sellers on how they can start fine tuning their business?
Chris: 00:27:39 Uh, I think he had kind of have to look at them individually. So when you take a look at one major resources, you guys working capital is something. We have a annual one that’s done any semblance of business for a while on Amazon, especially an inventory based business like ours. It’s a, it’s a challenge. So I would take, I would take a look at it at that aspect and come up with an actual plan of how you’re going to manage that and then execute on that plan. And so when we’re talking about making a plan, especially let’s say in the aspect of doing, dealing with working capital, we all know that like an Amazon loan is one way of gaining working capital. But one thing they don’t hear a lot of people saying is how do you actually plan to utilize that money? A lot of people, a lot of people will take the money and just start buying stuff.
Chris: 00:28:27 That’s not a good plan, you know, because especially for anyone that’s, that’s, uh, that’s dealt with finance for awhile, you understand there’s a massive difference between the way that Amazon gives you your loans versus let’s say a line of credit from the bank, a line of credit from the bank. Typically you only really have to pay interest on a monthly basis, typically don’t really have to repay the principal until the, the end date comes up, which might be a couple of years down the road or it might be renewable and you never really have to pay it back until he don’t like you anymore. Or there’s turns the market. Those type of things are outside forces. But generally, uh, you have a, you only really have to pay when you have money on the line of credit and you’ll only have to pay a certain interest amount.
Chris: 00:29:08 You have to pay the principal. Whereas Amazon, it’s a structured, it’s a structured deal where you have to start paying immediately the next month and it’s the same amount every single month and so the problem I see a lot of people getting into when we’re talking about working capital is they will get, let’s say a $50,000 loan from Amazon and they’ll be like, okay, I’m going to start spending as much as I possibly can. So they start buying all this stuff. So maybe they spend 40 grand of it. Well the next month now they have, you know, now they have this payment needs to be needs to be do, which if it’s like a six month deal, this might be $90,000 payment or 10 close to $10,000 payment. Suddenly have to pay it out and you have to hope that you sell enough off to keep up with these payments that are coming in.
Chris: 00:29:50 And then when some people do, as they say, all right, well I got a good item. I got, I got, I got myself replan. I need to reorder my replant now. And so they start rebind this replan totally forgetting about the fact that how the hell am I going to pay off? This is Amazon loan. And so they start getting into this cash crunch. We’re typically like, if it’s a six month loan, I see a lot of people get into a ton of trouble when you get into months five and six is typically what you see and when you start getting into months five and six, it’s because they they end up buying the replants and they haven’t appropriately figured out how they’re going to do this. And then what happens is when we get to month five, there’s scrap and to make sure they have enough money in their stuff and now they’re starting to panic and say, well, do I need to start selling off stuff as quickly as I can do I start taking less margins? And then they have to hope that Amazon is going to renew their loan. Which does happen the good majority of the time. But then you start on that vicious cycle of never being able to go have an Amazon loan. And those interests rates are not great,
Stephen: 00:30:46 so it reminds me of the credit card cycle that people used to get in way back, right where they would get into this thing and this loop and they never can get their way out. And that’s a very dangerous place to go. And I’ve seen a lot of people talking about, Oh, I’m hoping they renew it for me. I’m hoping they renew it for me. My heart bleeds for them. Um, I, I really feel bad because I’m just not certain that I’m not bragging. But I turned down all the sponsors that loan money. I mean, I have some guy I’m debating with online, you know, the PR company reaches out to me saying, oh, he’s the best thing since sliced bread. I’m like, okay, I’ll listen. Go ahead. And then he’s telling me about all these structured things and I’m like, that sounds like that, not me.
Stephen: 00:31:23 I’m not that guy. There are guys that do it. They’re better at it than me. I’m not the guy. If I don’t believe in your product, I’m, well, what good am I going to be for you? Right. But he’s debating me, this is not a steve and I’m like, you know, if they don’t pay it back, what happens? Well, you know, so you can call it what you want. But to me I just don’t. I’m not sure that’s the smart way to go. Um, you know, why I would say that because how many of us and it be fair, but yourself, how much of a, how much resource management have you done, you know, all those other resources we talked about. If you get all of them in order, maybe he don’t need that loan. Is that possible?
Chris: 00:32:02 Yeah. Yeah. And, and you know, we’re talking about, because I was sort of bringing it back to the original, the original question which was, you know, how do you manage these resources? I think it boils down to having the correct plans and executing on those plans. And then you can put this in any, any method. You know, obviously went to a big tangent on Amazon loans, but it boils down to if you take the exact same concept and put it onto hiring, planning, staffing, planning, you know, what exactly do you plan on having your staff look like a year from now? Is it going to be three people? Is it going to be six people? If you’re going to hire six people like what people do, you need to be able to operate what parts of the business and if you say you’re going to need this, how you, how are you going to pay for this? What exactly are you can’t have these people doing and how are you going to get from point a to point b and that that’s not a lot of planning. A lot of people do. A lot of people are just saying, well, I think it’s about time for me to hire someone because I’m tired of doing this.
Stephen: 00:32:55 I go into this. I have this long episode coming where I talk about budgeting and it’s. It was almost an hour. It’s a different podcast I’m doing and it was almost an hour and I’m like, who’s gonna? Listen to this because I explained a budget, like every single line item and I’m like, man, and then I mentioned to somebody, they’re like, hey, is it out yet? Do you have it yet and can I have you? And I’m thinking is it, you know, so foreign for people to actually do a financial budget which includes labor and that Labor puts it on paper and then you get the texts and all the rest of that, jess and all of a sudden you see it and you’re like, Ooh, and then you put your seasonality in there and you’re like, Whoa, how are you going to pay for that? And then you start to see that you’re, you’re budgeting unprofitable months.
Stephen: 00:33:34 I worked at a company one time and the lid, the physio lady at that time said to me, Steve, I don’t want to have a company, one of my properties where we lose money on a given day. And I’m like, well, good luck. Yeah, it was, it wasn’t popular, but I’m like, what would you like me to tell you? I can make it up and make you feel better, but the reality is that’s what the. That’s what’s going to happen now. Do you plan for how do you plan for that? That’s exactly what you’re talking about in cashflow projections. How many people are doing those cashflow projections to cover that labor cost that you’re speaking of? Right? Because if you have six people and then all of a sudden that holiday rush comes, those six people might not be able to keep up. So where’s that money coming from? Right?
Chris: 00:34:13 Yeah, and then you also have to think about if you’re going to just throw someone in there, where’s the training? And again, yeah, right. You know how, how are they going to know? What the hell to do
Stephen: 00:34:22 we go back to your starting over, right? Rebooting, rethinking, refocus, retraining, reeducation. Every person has to have that. Well, let’s continue that. What other ways can you improve resources and sharpen your research? I think this is very powerful because I think this is a miss for most people because let’s face it, they’re very small businesses and they’re trying to operate lean and mean, but these things are getting missed.
Chris: 00:34:46 Yeah, I mean there’s. There’s other things you could think about, especially when you’re talking. When I was obviously a lot of people are listening to this podcast or have some sort of ecommerce business. I know it’s. It’s probably heavily slanted towards Amazon businesses, which which means that probably 98 percent of your audience is dealing with inventory, so the question is is are there other ways to generate revenue or income that maybe isn’t tied to that working capital and their gifts to be a point to where there’s an inflection point. You have to think to yourself, okay, well I’m. Am I going to take on more debt? Am I okay with growing the same pace I am right now, which might not be growing hardly at all, or should I do something else to kind of offset these working capital concerns? And so there’s an inflection point that you get somewhere along the lines where you have to make a decision and say, yes, I’m willing to take on more debt, which for some people is just queasy to do.
Chris: 00:35:41 Some people just don’t like doing it. Some people are Gung Ho for it. Um, if you go gung Ho for it and you obviously need to have a plan for that, um, in some cases you have people that are opposed to that, so they have to figure out, okay, well what am I going to do now? Am I okay with growing x percentage when you see everyone else growing higher? I’ve got 30 hours a week, I’m not doing anything now because I have no money to buy anything. So you have to start thinking about, okay, well what else can I do that I can utilize my time with that we’ll potentially gain income or potentially grow my business and other methods? And so that there’s actually a, there’s actually a person named Brian Bowman, I don’t know if you’ve ever had him on the podcast or not.
Chris: 00:36:23 So there’s things, Brian Bowman and there’s a video that he made, he’s the guy that does a lot of marketing for ECOMMERCE, these guys on group which posts a lot of videos in, but there was one video I watched of his that really late this, this, uh, this methodology out and when he, he said was, uh, we’re so heavily invested into our, into our companies and we have so much money into it. You have to start thinking about what are other ways to start making money off of the infrastructure you already have. Or are there other ways to bring in additional money. It doesn’t require working capital that you can utilize your same skill sets with. So when he, when he says there’s basically kind of three prongs to be able to do that, and one of them is, one of them is the physical products business, which we’re all accustomed to doing.
Chris: 00:37:12 Then you have another one which would be the software as a service model, which talks again exactly into what you were talking about earlier where you have all these people who started our businesses. Then they started a software as a service model is very possible that somebody is. People said, yes, there’s an opportunity to Margaret for us to do this, but another reason I may have done it is because they were. They didn’t have a ton of money to be able to grow their ecommerce. Interesting. Good point. And then the third one is education and so it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to start coaching people or Korean courses. Maybe you start doing things for your client, your customers. So an example of this would be let’s say your private label guy that maybe sells garlic presses. We all love the garlic press just like yours.
Chris: 00:37:52 So you’re in the, you know you’re in, you’re in the kitchen niche and maybe you’re your solid ton of them and you’re doing great Amazon and you have. You’re starting to build this audience off of Amazon and you’re saying, you know what? I now have an audience outside of Amazon that is kitchen related. Are there other things I can do that can generate income with this customer base that I have and generate income off? That idea of might be released a cookbook, you know, higher, higher, some people that may be hire someone that can write recipes or find someone who can write recipes for you and put together a cookbook and then give that, sell that to your audience, um, or maybe you have some sort of like recurring subscription model for recipes, you know, maybe maybe you get three new recipes a month or five new recipes a month. This audience need to get people on the subscription model. So now you have this recurring revenue coming in from your subscription model that can now help fund your other parts of the business. And let’s, like I said, a lot of people immediately started thinking of all I got.
Stephen: 00:38:48 You ruined it. It was going to say that because that, that looks a lot easier and it looks a lot attractive to a lot of people. Oh, I see this person’s killing it. These guys are making hundreds of thousands. Generally that’s not the case because as you and I both know, there are some of those course launches that give half of their money away, right? So that means already, if it’s a thousand dollars, it’s only 500 or $2,000, it’s a thousand and then there’s an enormous amount of costs behind the scenes. But that, that’s a different, I my opinion, because Steve doesn’t coach, I’m helping some company right now doing a little bit of trade for a click funnel stuff. They’re helping me to click funnels and I’m helping them on Amazon. That’s what I can do. But I’m not going to coach you. I’m not a coach, I don’t, I don’t have it in me.
Stephen: 00:39:28 It, it takes somebody who’s different and that’s a skillset and not everybody has it. You need to be self aware. Um, and I’m a very aware that that’s not me and that, that doesn’t make me a failure, but that’s real. And I would embarrass myself if I did it. And so when I see some other people come out and just start coaching, I’m always like, well, maybe, maybe, maybe they got it. Maybe there’ll be great at it, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out, you know? And sometimes it doesn’t, you know. And so I agree with you. I think why do you have to go right there, pull back and take a broader view and as you said, you, you have, that’s an asset in your business. I was in that subscriber list. That’s an asset that’s valuable. Right? And we used to call that intangible asset, but there’s market we used to have to calculate that every year. Right? And there’s real opportunity. The other thing you can do is you could sell other products to them, other people’s products, right? Um, so what, what complements a garlic press, right? And if I’m selling a knife set, that would be a great opportunity. Good thinking. All right.
Chris: 00:40:31 I thought here kind of along these lines that the kind of just came to mind here is um, you know, another model which actually I just lost it. Never mind. Go ahead.
Stephen: 00:40:41 Uh, no, I, I was saying I want to stay on the resources because again, I think you’re adding value. Again, I tell people all the time, find somebody you connect with it you think is going to add value to. I think you’re valid point is that, you know, do the free stuff. Take a course or two for the general stuff, but now when you’re ready, you need to get, if you’re ready to go to that next level. Uh, I always say Mitchell lip says this by some time, right? Take somebody by some time, pay him a little bit of money, get you through those pain points because they are pain points for a reason because they’re painful. But if somebody’s been through it successfully and they can demonstrate and they can help you understand it, boom, it’s worth your weight in gold. And I was just at a mastermind and the keynote speaker made the trip worth it. He absolutely got me focused, this and that. Now the rest of it was great. Don’t get me wrong and I’m not taking away from it, but that piece was so worth it for me. It advanced me so much further than I could have on my own. And then to get one on one time. So how do you find that? Well, you got to spend money. It costs me a fortune to go right? And so I just think that that’s an opportunity that a lot of people don’t take advantage of.
Chris: 00:41:43 Yeah, definitely in my thought actually came back. So.
Stephen: 00:41:47 All right, good. I just happens when you get older, dude. Get ready. Yep.
Chris: 00:41:50 Yep. I, uh, I left myself a note here when it came to my mind and I typed in and I was like, I’ll make sure I don’t forget it. So, uh, the other, the other thought here was as you know, how can you leverage your existing resources? Because how, how we talked about one of those three pegs was to a potentially new information. So let’s say for example, you are a company that sells on Amazon and you’ve gotten really, really good, let’s say paper click advertising for your, for your own business. That’s, that’s something that you can potentially do for someone else to say, service you can provide to other people. Um, so the example that would be, you know, brand consulting for, uh, for various businesses, you could, if you’re really good at paperclick and let’s say you’re really good at like writing ad copy on listings, I mean, you could easily go through Amazon to find some really crappy listings and reach out to those brands and say, you know what, I’m a copywriter, I can help you make these listings better and this is a way of, of utilizing your resource, which is your time and skillsets that you already have and be able to leverage that resource and, uh, and be able to gain some additional working capital out of that that you can then use into maybe your longterm strategy of what you want to do.
Stephen: 00:42:53 Like Robin Johnson teaches that and you know, her point is, look, there’s no capital investment on this. This is a percentage that you get of their sales and sometimes it’s a better margin than what you would have made selling their products. Isn’t that true?
Chris: 00:43:06 Yep, without a doubt.
Stephen: 00:43:07 Love it. All right, so, so thinking about where, where the businesses are going, I mean, you’ve done a good job, have you had a five star seller society for how long now?
Chris: 00:43:18 Uh, since 2015.
Stephen: 00:43:19 So it’s a long time, two, three years. That says something as longevity is usually the key. When I looked for, when I say success leaves clues, right? I look for longevity. I always looked for people consistency over time. So that’s really worked well. But because you’re, let’s talk about you and what you’re doing related to this because I think it’s, I think it’s a great thing. I mean we have a big warehouse here and we have a couple clients in here with private label products. You’re now involved in some form of fulfillment service once you talk about that.
Chris: 00:43:50 Yeah. Um, let’s talk about resource management. It got to the point to where I was starting to realize that was starting to run out of money for buying wholesale products. It was literally running out of money. Um, and so the question was that you go into more debt or do you come up with some other solution? And, uh, I was not willing to go and pay more debt because my previous business, I think that was a large part, a large part of the issue is that was to overcapitalized, uh, when it came to a overleveraged because of the working capital they had, um, and I still want to grow with a magnificent pace, but I realized I couldn’t do without taking on more debt and I don’t wanna take anymore on. So I started thinking, okay, well what other things, what are skill sets do I have where things going to leverage?
Chris: 00:44:34 And I’ve been coaching clients for about a year now and I have the five star seller society, which is for sellers over 100, 100 case. I have that going on too, which those are both services I provide. Uh, but I actually had an opportunity with a partner, which is a Wesley Murray. He actually approached me and said, you know, I’m getting ready to potentially go into a larger warehouse. And I’ve been thinking about operating a prep center for, for clients. And they said, you know what, I already actually helped to other prep centers. Actually start in organizing their prep centers,
Stephen: 00:45:03 but you don’t know what you know. Here’s a moment, right? You got to sit to yourself and say, wait a second, this is my, what third warehouse at this point you’ve been through how many of them and how large. You don’t know what, you know.
Chris: 00:45:14 Yeah, you got, you’ve got to think that, you know, that there was actually a, there’s actually another prep company in Indianapolis that started the state probably over a year ago now. And that was their first client in and they weren’t even necessarily thinking of doing a prep center and it was an opportunity that they had. I liked those Taco with them and uh, they decided they were gonna start a registering. I was our first client and I actually helped them through a lot of the, the concerns they had tech, she started to start the business, um, and we kind of worked through all the bumps and we kind of worked out the processes and stuff. So I’ve been through it once there. And I also was, I also went through it again when I was back in I think 2012, 2011. I helped them at our company do preparation services as well.
Chris: 00:45:50 So when he approached me with this idea and he said, you know, I’m thinking about doing this, I said, you know, I have a ton of experience this obviously, so I know how to build systems and structures. I know how to potentially do that. Obviously I have some audience I potentially can potentially bring in some clients too. And he said, well, I would be the one potentially working in the warehouse doing a lot of the work and managing the people and things like that. And I said, you know what, the seems like a really good skillset that, you know, it’s, it’s something I don’t necessarily want to deal with is dealing with the day to day operation of the actual warehouse. I would be much better at creating the systems and processes to actually make things happen. Um, and then obviously give, give advice where necessary when it comes to working capital and all these other things.
Chris: 00:46:30 And so that was a skillset that I had, so I said, all right, well I’ll bring that to the table as long as you can bring to the table your skill set, which is hard work effort and managing people in the warehouse. And that’s kind of where the partnership grew of that. So once we did that, then we started thinking, okay, how are we going to operate this? And we started looking at pricing and what services we’re going to offer and, and those type of things. And then we started building out the correct structures and processes to make it happen. And right now we’re actually still technically are soft watch phase. We haven’t officially done the grand opening yet. Um, but we are taking on clients slowly because we don’t want to necessarily take on too many. We can’t really deal with ’em
Stephen: 00:47:09 well, that’s important to work out the kinks. It’s important because you don’t want to disappoint people. I’ve seen a few people start them and then they stumble and they disappoint people and you’re messing with other people’s business. And I get it. But they had good intentions. They had no intention to mess anything up, but you know, it doesn’t matter. It did. You affect other people and that’s a real bad. That’s a bad thing. Um, I want that in my life. So. So let’s talk about the name of it. You can put it out there. Go ahead.
Chris: 00:47:34 Oh, that’s QC fulfillment. That comment, if you want to remember what that, what that, what that stands for. It’s for Queen City because we’re from Charlotte and Charlotte’s the queen city. So it’s QC fulfillment.com or if you really want to get crazy you can call it a quality control fulfillment back out, which would be useful.
Stephen: 00:47:50 Okay. So either one takes us there. Alright. So it’s in Charlotte, North Carolina. So it’s on the east coast. Are you, are you thinking about offering seller fulfilled prime at some point?
Chris: 00:47:58 Yes it is. It is in the works, but it’s not something we’re doing right away at something Wesley has a ton of experience with because he’s, he’s done it as a seller. I’m so he, he’s already, he’s already aware of how exactly it works and everything that’s involved with it. Um, but it’s not stuff that we’re taking out immediately because we’re trying to make sure we have our correct processes, procedures in place for everything else before we start adding on additional
Stephen: 00:48:18 good, then I’ll reach out to him because I need help with that because it’s one of the things I want to do for ourselves, but I’m just not certain how to do it and I’m not going to launch anything until I’m certain and you know, let’s face it. I love Fba. I mean it works so well, but it would be neat location wise. She’s on Monday east coast too, so. Alright, cool. So, so this again is a good example again where you’re taking, you’re not putting up a ton of money. I don’t care about your relationship, how the partnership works. It doesn’t matter to me. It’s, you’re taking this, this skills that you’ve learned, these skillset over time that you’ve learned and you’re bringing it in and you’re taking that resource, right? We’re back to resource management and you’re saying, Hey, I’ve got some capacity because I’m Adam one, so I’ve got some capacity, now I can work to help grow another revenue stream and really quite frankly, smooth out your business because that revenue stream really allows that cashflow improvement.
Chris: 00:49:08 Exactly. And, and that’s, that’s really kind of what the goal here is. The initial goal wasn’t to say let’s make a million dollars off this prep center. The original goal is, all right, let’s, let’s get a good service that not only can service ourselves obviously, but also service a lot of other clients and um, you know, take those processes, procedures we’ve made to make things as smooth as possible and do that to create the best service we can for our clients. And uh, you know, the goal obviously is to make money off of this. We’re not, we’re not foreigners just like anyone else or goals to make money off that. But um, ultimately that wasn’t the first, that wasn’t the first thing that came to mind. It was, you know, we’re already good at something. Let’s try and offer it to other people and possibly make some money in the long run.
Stephen: 00:49:50 I think it’s smart. We use it to offset our costs, right? That’s what we’re. We’re in a business, not a prepping, not fulfillment. We’re not that company, but for us, we have some other clients in ours for to help offset our storage costs and it’s worked out really well and the people we have just been great. But again, it’s a very. Ours is a very thin in directed group where you’re offering a lot of services, a lot of moving pieces. I that does not attract me because man, that’s a lot of moving pieces. And again, that’s a process person, right? Yeah. Somebody like you who can sit there and say, okay, here are the steps, here’s the tools, here’s the sop, here’s everything that you need. Which is key, right? Because it’s all consistency. That’s that business is consistency.
Chris: 00:50:30 Yeah. That’s basically what my greatest skillset is, is figuring out, figuring out what works and what doesn’t, and then figuring out the right processes, procedures to follow in and point them at the place. Um, I wouldn’t say I’m the best guy at managing a staff. I’ll be fair. My wife tells me that all the time. That’s not the best manager per se. Um, and she’s told me that for years, but one thing I certainly can do is I create a process and say here’s exactly what you need to follow and then put a person in place to manage that process that they certainly can do.
Stephen: 00:51:02 Those soft skills are important. No, but they are soft skills, but those are important. But as long as they follow those techniques, because yours is based on experience and knowledge and let’s face it, a, you know, there are a established procedures in place for these other companies just showing somebody how to do something. They were like, oh my gosh. I’m like, yeah, I don’t get to say Jeff Bezos doesn’t call and say, Steve, what do you think? Should we put this little extra step in here? You know, it just happens and you have no choice. You follow it or else, right. That’s the rule. You follow it or if the shipment has a problem and then the problems compound, and so that’s all really important. Alright, let’s talk about this. When you look at how the world has changed, right? It’s evolving very quickly. Right now.
Stephen: 00:51:41 This inventory health thing has really become a big deal for a lot of people. I’m a really big deal for a lot of larger wholesale sellers. I mean, I see that, uh, I’ve, I’ve had several of them approach us saying, Hey, can we get inventory in your place because they’re looking at some really giant monthly fees because in the past it really wasn’t a penalty, right? Um, it wasn’t great to buy all this stuff and then send it in, but it wasn’t, it wasn’t really a penalty. Now it’s truly a penalty. What are you seeing those larger sellers do to help figure this out? Because it’s a resource management issue, right? It’s really, it’s a big one too.
Chris: 00:52:17 Yeah, I’m in. I would say that the first, the first burst of clients that we got for when we start telling people what we’re doing is people getting stuff out of Amazon and putting it into our warehouse for storage because they didn’t want to get hit with the long term storage fees and the fact that they were offering free removal, which by the time this airs, we’ll probably be a week, a week or so, uh, since they stopped offering that. Um, but yeah, that was pretty much the first thing that we did. And then it’s a matter of figuring out, I think becoming better in tune with your actual inventory because I think a lot of it’s just wearing, are in a mindset of bye bye.
Stephen: 00:52:57 By sourcing is everything Chris. So we’re seeing is it, that’s the skill set. Everything else is easy. Amazon does that for you, but sourcing is the only thing that matters. That’s not really true anymore, is it? No, probably never was. It never was,
Chris: 00:53:10 but Amazon made it very easy for you to be able to ignore these things. That’s fair. The way I kind of looked at it when they came out with the IPI ethic is the acronym for it. Uh, when they came out with that, to me it just looked like a mechanism. Every business probably should have already had
Speaker 5: 00:53:27 place to begin with. No, it’s fair. They forced it on you. If you’re not going to listen, we’re going to force it on you. That’s fair. Yep.
Chris: 00:53:34 Yeah, I mean, the, all those metrics you’re seeing in there are things that you probably should have already been looking at in your business before they even came out with this IPI mess. Um, so these, these are things that I had problems with back in 2012 and my old costume business. A lot of these things we’re talking about like your turn time and how quickly you’re selling through things. How long have stuff sitting there are you replenishing your stuff that way the way you want to do it. I mean, these are all things that you should be looking at irregular basis. So I think that what the IPI did is this taking basic inventory management skills that every large business has its inventory base. These are processes, procedures they have in place to do this, and they’re basically saying, right, you’re a small seller, we’re going to force this process and procedure onto you and if you decide not to follow this, then we’re going to make you pay for it.
Speaker 5: 00:54:25 Yeah, it is a penalty.
Chris: 00:54:28 Yep. So we’re going to make you pay for it by either not allowing you to send as much stuff in a or you know, who knows whether their families are going to put in long term storage is a huge financial penalty to be able to leave this stuff in there and now they’re restricting the amount of storage space you can have if you’re not following the following. And so, uh, I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing. Personally. I think what it’s doing is actually making smarter business people, uh, as, as a whole because it’s making you manage your inventory smarter. What’s doing. Um, so I think that as far as what people are doing as far as these larger sellers, what they’re doing is just forcing them to actually look at all the tools that are around, whether that’s, whether that’s using the velocity reports from let’s say inventory lab or getting something like restock pro to look to look at that.
Chris: 00:55:13 Or even using Amazon’s internal reports like inventory planning reports and just accurately looking at these things saying, okay, well you know, I have x amount of units. It’s going to in theory should last x amount of time. And so when I’m reading, replenishing decide am I need to buy x amount of units to make sure I’m not going to run out of stock and I’m, I’m keeping an ample amount of inventory in there. And if you take a look at the way Walmart works, like one of the reasons why walmart gets stuff so dirt cheap is because their infrastructure for reordering stuff is so on point that I think even use the word just in time inventory. That that effectively is what Amazon wants. They want just in time inventory. And so they’re effectively pushing it to where you have to think like that. You have to think about and say, how can I put a system in place, whether that’s a va, whether that’s using software, whether that’s me doing it myself, if figuring out, alright, I want to make sure that I only have x amount of inventory ready to sell. Then you have a time which, which unfortunately for a lot of people is so difficult to do because imagine you’re, you’re a private label seller who has to order x amount of pieces in from China because it’s going to take three months to make this stuff and get in here. You have to almost hold three, six, seven months worth of product. And especially if you’re thinking about Christmas, oh Lord,
Stephen: 00:56:29 where are you going to hold it to? Now? That becomes the next issue. And you have to get it through customs. You have to get it, you know, all those different steps, right? There are a lot of little pain points along the way where you’re not in control. Right? And, and, and that, that is really something you have to plan. Chris has been helping. Uh, he was giving me some advice on Econ dash that was one of the companies. That’s what I’m, I’m installing in my company right now. And uh, I’ll be, I’ll be talking about it, we’ll see how successful it is for us. Um, so far it’s been so, so far so good. But, but basically it doesn’t matter if it’s a dash or any kind of inventory management, it’s basically you have to get control of it. If you’re going to make this a large viable business, you had scaled. Um, and even if it’s small, you’re going to be, you’re going to be using something to manage it and you’re gonna have no choice because otherwise it’s going to get managed for you. And I’m would much rather us manage it than having somebody force feed it by penalty to manage it.
Chris: 00:57:24 Yeah, I mean, I, I would almost look at it and say, okay, well if Amazon, it’s telling me that this is what I need to follow. Are there other things I can be looking at to even make my inventory streamlined even better than what? Amazon? Yeah.
Stephen: 00:57:36 This is exactly what you were talking about, that resource management, because if this fixes right, if you fix your inventory problem, you might not have a money problem as much. Maybe it’s only three times a year instead of six times a year or what have you. Right. That’s really, that’s real. Yup. Yup.
Chris: 00:57:52 That’s the fact that what they’re doing or if they’re making you resource manager inventory,
Stephen: 00:57:56 this whole circular discussion. Dude, I, it’s very exciting. It’s very exciting to see what you’re doing. I’m interested to watch again, I look for people over time. I look for consistency because, you know, it’s, it’s, we’ve seen a bunch of people and then that pull anybody’s name but come in and offer something. Hey, I’m great. And they are. And then it wanes because to sustain that for a long period of time is tough and I look for people over time and you’ve done a great job with it. I’m very excited for you and your partner. Um, and again, it’s QC fulfillment.com. It’s in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is great because it’s east coast, right? You’re within a day’s drive. I always tell people where I live in Pennsylvania, where within a day’s drive of 80 percent of the US population, and so where you’re located, you’re not far from me, so you’re within a day’s drive of 80 percent of the US population.
Chris: 00:58:42 Yeah. There’s, there’s, there’s a couple other advantages there are to have the specific location we have because we’re literally like 20 minutes away from the, from a clt to which pretty much every shipment that comes out of our place goes a seal,
Stephen: 00:58:54 nice
Chris: 00:58:56 shipping inbound shipping costs are so low. Plus we’re also not that far away from the port of Charleston, South Carolina. Uh, so if you are importing things from overseas that support you typically come in at a. we’re actually working with are actually pretty close to closing a deal with a really large, uh, with a, with a really large company that we’re working with a and they bring in things from a. They were going to things from Charleston and the potential to bring up to us. Then we would distribute it to various places, but um, but yeah,
Stephen: 00:59:26 there again, that’s a resource thing. If you receive their goods, they bring them in and then you send them to retailers. I was at, I had to read a label, something for a friend and I was sitting in a freight forwarder watching inventory come in and it was Sam’s club came in and man, they were sending it to all these multiple different places. Now you would think they’d have their own wild guess what? They can handle their volume. There’s a service there that’s a value. You have a warehouse so you could receive even the piece that you’re going to help fulfill and then help them with their other stuff. Again, there’s a fee for that, right? And you can charge for that. Um, the other thing I want to make sure I point out to people because when they hear, oh, wait, shipping to the east coast right now because we received stuff from Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York.
Stephen: 01:00:04 We’ve received shipments from, here’s the thing to think about. You divide that extra cost because it’s definitely more expensive to ship something to a south or North Carolina. At the end it is to ship to California. It makes perfect sense, right? It’s coming from China. China is A. California is a heck of a lot closer than however, when you divided out amongst a container and you divided by the number of pieces, sometimes you’re talking pennies and the quality of service to save pennies is a fool’s errand. I don’t know if that’s the right term for it, but it, it’s, it’s silly. It’s penny wise, pound foolish. You really got to start thinking about that. You’re talking an extra x number of you. When I send a pair of shoes to California, it’s $4 or $5 for me. Every pair of shoes I shipped to California warehouse, I cry because it’s an extra $5 of cost versus me shipping it, uh, an hour away, which is um, there 20 something cents a pound.
Stephen: 01:00:55 So a dollar. And so do I cry about it? No. I mean, yeah, I guess I do. And I complained about it, but it is. I have to build it into my model. So when you think about that, it’s important for people to think about because I’ve seen that a few times. Wow. It’s too expensive to ship to the east coast if you’re buying 100,000 units and it costs an extra $700, which is usually about the extra cost. 700 bucks divided by 100. I don’t think that’s gonna make a difference. If it does, you might have other problems. So. Alright cool. So five star seller society. I’ll put a link for that. That’s a, your group again, you have to be $100,000 a year seller to be part of it. And then the QC fulfillment.com. I’ll have a link for that if somebody has a follow up question, what’s the best way to get you?
Chris: 01:01:38 Uh, probably either facebook. Um, I mean a lot of various facebook groups. So if there’s a, if you’re in any facebook group when you tagged me, you’ll probably, you’ll probably find me. You can also find a cqc fulfillment.com and you can send a message there. I also have another website which is called lessons learned in business.com, which we didn’t even talk to him
Stephen: 01:01:57 about that and I think in any other number, 44, second one, 68. Yeah. Lessons learned in business, but I’ll put that on there too. Okay.
Chris: 01:02:05 Yeah. We have the full free a wholesale course. That website.
Stephen: 01:02:11 Yeah. I just, somebody was just asking about that and I said they were looking for a free whole circle and I’m like, Chris Potter has one. Um, so that’s there. So it’s lessons learned in business dot and it’s free and it’s completed. It’s very encompassing. So dude, I’m very excited for you. So what I’d like you to do the right and you gave a ton of advice in a ton of helping people, but you know, a lot of the people that listen are stuck, right? They get to that point when this business gets hard right there. They’re selling $30,000 a month. Well that’s not a full time job. Right. That’s not, you know, at the margins you’re not going to be, I guess unless you’re replacing a $20,000 a year job and so there’s, they’re sitting there saying, hey, what do I do? How do I get past this point? What’s your advice that you, well, what’s the advice you would give or you give to your clients on when they hit that wall, because they will hit that wall and the wall was at once. I think that’s the other piece we should qualify. This is the wall of the moment. Sometimes there’s 10 miles a day, but let’s give some advice to get past that.
Chris: 01:03:05 You know, the, the common thread, they cbt between a lot of people that they hit that wall is, there just wasn’t a lot of planning. That’s probably the most common thread between them all is poor planning. So the question is because we didn’t get where we’re at without taking action, we all probably took action to get to this point. So a lot of times the motor isn’t the problem. You know, a lot of us have high motors. We keep pushing and keep pushing and pushing. But then you’re pushing against that wall, you don’t know what to do. A lot of times it’s because they just didn’t step back and actually create a plan and the correct actions to take. Um, maybe they’re, they’re continuously doing sourcing, but ignoring the fact that they have inventory in their warehouse for the last six months, it’s caused, it’s costing them $5 a month for this one product and now we’ve lost $20.
Chris: 01:03:52 It’s one product they were supposed to make $10 on. You know, you can dig into really deep minute details like that. But the reality is that in a lot of these cases, it’s just poor planning or not planning a lot of these resources that we’ve talked about over and over again throughout this entire podcast, we talked about resource management. It’s that planning those resources out appropriately. So if, if I were someone that hitting that wall, the initial thing I would say to do is to step back and take a look at what are your longterm goals are and say, where do I want it to be in six months? Where do I want it to be in a year and write those things down and then start backtracking and start reverse engineering how to get there. So what do I do if I’m going to be doing this at 12 months, what should I.
Chris: 01:04:33 What do I need to be doing in month 11? What do I need to be doing month 10 and so forth and work all the way back until you get it this month. They just keep building on those building blocks and going forward and focus on the one thing. There’s a lot. There’s a lot. There’s a book by Gary Keller to came out. It’s called the one thing and that’s kind of one of the things that they really focus on and that book is focusing on one thing and moving towards that. The end goal of what you want and if I were to say one thing to push through, there is a step back. Take a look at your overall plan to just break it out and come up with a plan that start working those steps instead of just continuing doing what you’re doing today,
Stephen: 01:05:06 regardless of where you are. You can go back and plan. I think you’re absolutely spot on, man. Thank you so much. I wish you nothing but success. Awesome. Take care of you. It’s real bad. Take care. Great Guy. Great Story. Great interview. Such a powerhouse. But um, I just appreciate again, when somebody hasn’t figured out and you know, Chris is going to tell you he’s not perfect or anything like that, um, but he’s smart enough to say, hmm, that didn’t work. Let me try this. Let me try this. Let me try this. And it keeps, keeps swinging, I guess is the right term, right? Just keep swinging until he figures it out and then puts that process in place. You’ve heard him talk about that. It’s so powerful. Standard operating procedures, putting all that stuff in place, there’s value in it. You have learned skills of you have mastered that.
Stephen: 01:05:51 That skill is transferable to others and maybe there’s an opportunity for you. The other thing we didn’t get to, but you know, if you have a warehouse and you have space or your sales are softer, look for the right partner to help you offset those costs. It’s been unbelievably valuable for me. Um, it can be unbelievably valuable for you because let me tell you, when you’re with somebody else who’s another seller and you’re hanging out and then you start conversations, you got that depth and that relationship gets stronger. To me, that’s a very powerful place. So think about that too, but check out Chris’s stuff. Um, QC fulfillment.com. Five star seller society lessons firstname.lastname@example.org. Hey, thanks for listening. ECOMMERCE momentum.com ecommerce momentum.com. Take care.
Cool voice guy: 01:06:32 Thanks for listening to the incomers momentum podcast. All the links mentioned today can be email@example.com. Under this episode number, please remember to subscribe and like us on itunes.