Get ready to get emotional. Yes it is okay. What would happen t your world if your business was destroyed by a fire. EVERYTHING! See you build a business, then pivot to a long term model and then….. Fire. Is your plan ready for that? Will your insurance cover you? For everything? Will your homeowners insurance cover you for inventory for your business in your house? Are your receipts in your warehouse where the fire occurred? Do you have an offsite backup?Well learn about Daneen and her families (yes staff) and their adventure rebuilding after the fire. What you can expect and what you can not expect. Note: You need an emergency fund!
Alex’s program: Amazon Listings Demystified
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Transcript: (note- this is a new tool I am trying out so it is not perfect- it does seem to be getting better)
Daneen & Alex: [00:00:00] You’re just waiting on a hazard that happen to ruin you completely. I had not only myself, but I had two employees at the time and their entire livelihood was based on their income. Therefore, I was able to actually continue their payroll during the time that we were down because of insurance.
Cool voice guy: [00:00:20] Welcome to the ECOMMERCE, but we focus on the people, the products, and the process of, here’s your host, Steven Peterson.
Stephen: [00:00:33] Want to jump in and talk about two sponsors today, seller lab scope. Uh, you’ve heard me say it, you know, and, and, you know, you’re probably sitting there saying, Steve, you say this every episode I do because I believe in the product. Um, yes. Uh, sellerlabs labs is a sponsor. Michelle, don’t get that wrong. However, it’s a sponsor of a product that I use, so I’m Kinda lucky they pay me and yet I pay to use the product. And the reason I pay to use the product is because it allows me to, um, get better listings, right? That’s what you need to do, right? If you’re selling on Amazon, you need to understand keywords and you need to figure out what are the right keywords and sometimes it’s confusing as heck. Why does a certain keyword work a certain way? Well, the beauty is in scope as you can pull up your competitor who’s really crushing it and see what keywords they’re using.
Stephen: [00:01:20] That’s the lesson. And then you can find a similar one and pull them up and you’re going to see a pattern and then you do that pattern for yourself and you can get those same results if you get lucky and figure out what the key word is for your product. So take some of the luck out of it and use scope. Um, again, go to seller labs.com, forward slash scope. Use the code momentum, say 50 bucks and try it and see if you can improve an existing listing. I think that’s the best thing you can do is take one of your listings that’s performing and then go in and try to enhance it and see if you see an improvement. Give it 30 days or what have you. And if you see an improvement, then there’s a clue that maybe you can see an improvement on all your listings.
Stephen: [00:02:00] That’s why I use a scope and I just think it’s such a great product because I don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Right? There are much smarter people than I that have done a lot of other cool things to figure out what the keyword is and what people are searching for and using a whole bunch of other techniques. And then you get to take advantage of it and is really inexpensive. And again, you’re going to say 50 bucks. So solar lamps.com, forward slash scope. Use the Kobo momentum, save 50 bucks. Second one is cameron locker and I talk about her a lot. Um, right now they’re reconciling a shipment and they’re sending my note. Steve, you have to send in receipts because that’s one of the big hassles. Now I’ve got to send receipts to prove that I bought this stuff so I can get my reimbursement and her team is all over me.
Stephen: [00:02:40] Like, see, this is your third request. That’s dishonest service. Sometimes I need. I’ve been traveling these last few weeks extensively. I kind of need somebody else. Yes, I could have somebody sitting in my office doing it, but that would be a fulltime employee and we don’t want any full time employees. I’m is my wife, my son and I. and so anyway, um, that’s why I have members of my team in different areas and I don’t want to have to manage them, you know, I know Karen uses some va’s but I don’t want to have to manage that team. And so she does that and her team does actually a team leaders and stuff and they’ve been doing it for me, for me, my wife for I don’t know, two or three years. And we’ve been very, very pleased because the money they save the refunds, they get me the reimbursements, they get me the fixes when I’m on the road and hey, this isn’t correct and they can fix it or I have a question.
Stephen: [00:03:27] That depth of knowledge that I get from Karen because of her experience is so worth the price. So it is, um, solutions four ecommerce. So the, the word solutions, the number four e-commerce dot com forward slash momentum. Okay, so use that code solutions four ecommerce.com, forward slash momentum. It’s going to save you $50 and $50 a month is a lot of money. And what’s really cool is she’s going to do that inventory health report that I talk about. If you’ve not done one, you should, you know, I mean you’re getting a clue every week when they tell you your inventory health report. But if you want to dig deeper, and again, if you don’t want to do the work, that’s the beauty. She’s going to send you a spreadsheet and then you can parse it and slice and dice and then send it back saying, hey, kill this stuff, refund this, donate this Blahblahblahblahblah.
Stephen: [00:04:16] That’s what I do and I don’t have to go through and do the work. And you know, it’s just important to have a person on your team you can trust. And again, I’ve been paying for the service for two and a half, three years. I have to ask her how long it’s been. And I’m very, very pleased. Would think of no one else to be on her team, but Karen and her team, because of what they’ve done, I look for consistency over time. You’ve heard me say that and I’ve gotten it from Karen, so solutions the number four e-commerce dot com, forward slash momentum saved the 50 bucks. Get your inventory health report, get 2019 in order and start this new year off, right? It’s going to be a great one. Welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. This is episode 371, deneen and Alex England, so it’s so cool to sit and talk with.
Stephen: [00:05:00] I’m a mom and her son who have built a very spectacular business and what’s cool for me, first off, his mom recognizes the value of what her son and her brother in law bring into their business. Right? Right there I pause and I’m like, Oh, I love that. I already gets a field of love. You could feel the love in the conversation, the respect from each of them because they. They know the value that they bring. Right? The hard work and everything. It’s just so cool. Second though, this is a story, um, you know, we’re gonna hear this phrase rising from the Phoenix rising from the ashes, the Phoenix rising from the ashes because this involves a real serious fire and lost everything and starting over and would you start over and when she blew my mind, when she fell, as she didn’t know something that could have happened and, but yet wouldn’t change her mind.
Stephen: [00:05:48] It’s very cool to hear that story and I just think there’s so much advice here that you absolutely need to take a look at because we’re doing in our business, how do you make sure that you’re protected for an awful emergency? And she talks about her dad who wasn’t and what happened in his world. So I just think this is a real powerful story of beginning of the year to set yourself up for success in 2019 real powerful advice farmer, really smart group of people. What’s going into. All right, welcome back to the ECOMMERCE momentum podcast. We’re excited about this guest. I’ve been chasing them for a long time. Um, and they’re busy. So you know, it’s, it’s, it’s literally, I’m very difficult to get very busy, very successful people because life happens and I’m in this case, I’m excited to talk about some of the bad things that happen in life and what can come from it and I think we have some great examples of rising from the Phoenix and they’ll.
Stephen: [00:06:48] I do remember that a Deneen and Alex England. Welcome guys. Thank you. You know how many years ago was when we met was it was in Vegas? What was it, three years ago? I believe so, yeah. Three years ago. Go to this party and I sit down at this table. I don’t know if my wife was with me, I don’t remember the story, but I remember going. It was. She was there, right? Yes. We sat down at this party and didn’t really know anybody there. I don’t remember who even invited us and we get there and man, we sat down. We conversed for so long because your story’s incredible. I was so inspired. I mean, it was just one of those things that stuck in my mind and the resilience that you guys have and the relationship. Mom and dad or mom and son, excuse me. And the resilience you guys have is phenomenal. It’s been with me for three plus years. Very cool. That’s awesome. Wonderful. So let’s talk story. So, um, who started the business, how long ago and what did you do prior to that kind of that lead you into it?
Daneen & Alex: [00:07:55] I started the business a little over 10 years ago. I was a computer programmer for about 25 years. I got laid off from my job and I took my severance package from that job and took my part time Amazon and Ebay business and built a nice little, a 1600 square foot warehouse on my property out here in Rockmart, Georgia. And we just started. I started off a retail arbitrage and just did a lot of shopping of course. And um, it was actually a lot of fun. I brought in my son to be my it director and then I was also able to bring in my brother as my warehouse manager a few years after building the warehouse on my property. Uh, unfortunately, uh, it did go up in flames. Uh, however, uh, the Phoenix did rise from the ashes. A, I do highly recommend good insurance. Uh, it has come in handy. Very, very, uh, helpful. We were able to buy a much larger facility in Breman. Jordan was actually able to get a 6,000 square foot warehouse out here and has been absolutely phenomenal. We changed it up a little bit from 100 percent Ra and oh, a. and about three years ago we’re, we transferred over to about 100 percent wholesale and it’s been going pretty well ever since.
Stephen: [00:09:23] Wow. That is a, a lot of activity that has gone on in your life, right? I mean, it’s not your, you know, you shortened the version of it, but each one of those things are, are pretty complicated and I want to unpack each one of them, if you don’t mind. I’m going to go back a little bit and dig into a little deeper when you were saying that. So you started the business a full time. When you went full time, you converted over, you’re doing mostly Ra, you brought your son in as an it manager. And that, that intrigues me because my son has been working with us for the last, uh, week and a half full time and he’s here until March until he finished his school. Um, love them to stay longer. We’ll see what he wants to do with his life. I don’t want them to live my dream. It’s his. What did, what was your vision about bringing an it manager into an APP? Pretty Much Amazon, Ebay business. What was, what were you thinking he was going to do for your business?
Daneen & Alex: [00:10:13] Now? I’m going to step in real quick. Original reason she hired me was to help out with our, a Ah, that she sat there and had not only her suv but a trailer hauling behind it as well. And we would get about 20 to 30 buggies per store that we would hit up all in our areas, in all the stores, and eventually it got to the point of where I’d like to dylan a bunch of the computer things and it went from there. Not Quite as glamorous.
Daneen & Alex: [00:10:47] The business was able to send him to school for Awhile and that eventually turned him into an it guru.
Stephen: [00:10:54] Yeah, he’s, he’s the nerd. I got that earlier. He helped us get the computers working. Um, so. Okay. So, so you do. Okay. So it’s not quite as glamorous as bringing in it because that, that blew me away. Right. So you started with, hey, you gotta roll up your sleeves, pushed some carts, load some boxes, hundreds boxes, pack some boxes, and build up the business to a certain scale. Um, to me that’s a smart move because if you’re doing it worked for the company. So even, even if it’s wholesale, it doesn’t matter. Understanding the flow, you know, it’s just so critical understanding the pain points because you had to live those pain points. Right, Alex? I mean, those are, that’s valuable in I’m in the education to apply technological shortcuts in this business. Make sense?
Daneen & Alex: [00:11:42] Oh yes. I’m very well aware of backward may have our warehouse on the actual land, the, the barn. We created a software. She allowed me to the time to create software that helped us do a shortcut with printing out all the labels that go on every single ups box and saved us hundreds of hours. Yes sir. If it wasn’t for her allowing me to take the time to learn these things, then we wouldn’t have the short we do today that speed up our processes quite a bit.
Stephen: [00:12:16] But denise was a nerd too. She has a computer background we heard about too. So we’re not gonna let her off that he. I’m an accountant so I’m just as nerdy. So we’re all nerds here. But, but what’s cool to me is that Deneen you allowed him that time to kind of, you gave them some rope saying, Hey, what? You know, what can you do with it that, that, uh, what he brought you with that improvement of printing, for example, I know it’s a small version of it. His example is it saves hundreds of hours or it saved hundreds of hours over the years. Is that, is that fair still? Is that statement accurate? Oh, absolutely. So, you know, thinking about, you know, the people that you meet that are working with family or, or looking at this, this stuff, do you have any advice on how to let. Yeah, I’m a control freak. How to let go and let somebody run with stuff.
Daneen & Alex: [00:13:07] Don’t micro manage, especially if it’s a family member.
Stephen: [00:13:11] Does it make it uncomfortable with Thanksgiving dinner? If you’re that micromanager?
Daneen & Alex: [00:13:18] It can, especially if you start bringing it up at Thanksgiving, but I always try to give them great Kudos, especially around the family and let everybody know, hey, you know, I can’t run this without him. He has been a significant added value and I would not be here without him today.
Stephen: [00:13:35] I love the story. So back then you were still ra and the Ra or what have you. And that savings came and now you’ve benefited every single year. I’m, look, I’m going to jump forward to then I’m going to go back again, but I want to jump forward to now that you’re mostly a wholesale business and how, how is the, it, uh, the savings of time coming into your business? Any other examples that you can give us? Any other examples? Yeah,
Daneen & Alex: [00:14:04] he has created an incredible chrome extension that has helped us analyze the back end system for Amazon, uh, on the inventory level. And it lets us know from a keyword perspective
Daneen & Alex: [00:14:20] our listings are doing on Amazon themselves. Yes.
Stephen: [00:14:24] Oh Dude. You got to go a little little more deeper than that now without giving your secret sauce. Uh, you don’t sell this extension, correct?
Daneen & Alex: [00:14:33] Oh, we do. Oh, okay. You have. Yeah. She allowed me to take the time for a couple of months back when we, uh, got the wholesale completely streamlined. We had everything going from getting the products in bundling and getting them out. It us to have more free time on Amazon itself and its platform, how to do the Seo, the paperclick and everything like that. And during the process she allowed me to go off on one of my random tangent rabbit holes schemes of trying to figure out Amazon’s Seo and we actually cracked it and figured out how to get on the first page and what they actually utilized to a combined the keywords on the listings. And from there we created, or I created a chrome extension with her approval that helped us a limit. He factors that, uh, we’re actually hurting the listing.
Stephen: [00:15:33] Can you give us a clue in an example of what would limit a listing?
Daneen & Alex: [00:15:38] Uh, yes. Duplication from the title into the description actually hurts your listing.
Stephen: [00:15:43] Now why is that? I mean, you’re, you’re a computer guy. Tell me why. What does that do?
Daneen & Alex: [00:15:48] There is a specific search algorithm that they utilized within the description using a certain amount of keywords within sentences that if you actually a duplicate, it hurts your listing because of the fact that it’s being duplicated. It’s Kinda hard to explain.
Stephen: [00:16:06] So maybe they give you a 250 characters, that’s all it’s going to look at it, and if it’s an if the word, a water bottle to where it’s a water bottle was in there twice. You just wasted space. Is that what it is? Or is it because it eliminates the sentence because it’s duplicated. That’s. That was my kind of thinking.
Daneen & Alex: [00:16:23] Now when you putting in the 250 keywords, you’re talking about the backend keywords?
Stephen: [00:16:28] No, no, I’m just using it a title. I’m just saying. I’m just trying to get. I’m using my Steve Speak.
Daneen & Alex: [00:16:33] Okay. Well, if you were to utilize that as an example, if you sat there and repeated within the back end, you’re wasting valuable keyword space that could be utilized elsewhere. Amazon tells you not to do this from the get go. If you were to duplicate within the description from the title, it’ll actually sit there and hurt the listing and not being able to be found at all from indexing issues.
Stephen: [00:16:58] So it does eliminate the sentence in essence. I mean that’s kind of a wow. Oh that’s scary. Um, how many people have done that, you know, and so you have developed as chrome extension that would go and look for that, I would assume, right? Do you say, okay.
Daneen & Alex: [00:17:15] So it’s multiple things. It checks for duplications that highlights known and that same fields, instead of having to fill out every single a field on the edit page, will you just focus on the ones that are highlighted green that we know index globally for the listing itself, and then we check for duplication from specific areas to ensure that we’re not hurting our own listing.
Stephen: [00:17:37] And, and when you say indexing, is that done by, is a category specific? I mean, does water bottles index differently than shoes or socks or something?
Daneen & Alex: [00:17:48] Each area its own
Daneen & Alex: [00:17:50] little quirks on certain types of words that will or will not index. For instance, the word year will not index in the search term areas for toys, however, it will index and other categories.
Stephen: [00:18:02] And I mean, let’s think about this logically because many toys go, you know, they’re a evergreen, right? That’s the right term I think. And then, uh, where, let’s think of something that would expire kind of every year. Maybe grocery might be one, right? That would kind of make sense where it would change or a expire maybe. Is that Kinda that Kinda the thinking that’s completely left field. Right? So that’s not the thinking. Okay. Well I’m trying to understand it because it does make sense that each one would index differently. That makes sense to me. But why the word year specific toys? I get it because again, I think it’s because it would carry over, but in other ones, why? Why would be an index term? I guess I just don’t get that.
Daneen & Alex: [00:18:49] Yeah. This, this could go on for quite a while. This in itself could take another hour just to explain the details. Okay. That
Stephen: [00:18:55] get a chrome extension. There’s a lesson and if you’re interested in that, reach out to these guys, reach out to Alex and he could tell you whether he’s going to sell it or not. Okay. Alright. We’re going to move past it. Sorry. You will take me down a rabbit hole and I will go there. Um, I can’t help it. It’s the thinking because to be honest with you is whoever wrote that program has a thought process, right? Or whoever, whatever group they have a strategy, you some, there’s some logic put behind that. Nobody just put that in. There must’ve been some thought and I always just try to understand the thinking. So. All right. Okay. So let’s go backwards. Why didn’t he build a building on your property as opposed to just going to get a warehouse? I was, I was wondering. Or was it there and then you just converted it into your warehouse? A very good question. Um,
Daneen & Alex: [00:19:41] I live in the mountains and therefore in order to find a warehouse close by would have been, you know, pretty hard to find, but I had a lot of property so I looked into it and I determined that building an actual warehouse and the shape of a barn on my property would actually add value to my property. So when I went to go sell the place, there you go. You would have a board they’re on in the mountains was six acres for a person who maybe wants to buy some property with horses
Stephen: [00:20:11] and so when you’re designing that building, you’re obviously you’re designing it because you have an Amazon business or a wholesale business or even an ra, but it doesn’t matter however you’re thinking longterm saying it could be for horses or could be for cars or something like that. So when you’re designing it, you have to think that far ahead. Is that an. Did you do that? Oh absolutely. And so smart. And that’s something as people are thinking about building a business on their property, you’re in the rural areas, so zoning was an issue for you? No. Okay. Okay, cool. All right, so you build this business, you stuff it with inventory, right? You feel it. Life is good. Business is rocking. At this point, were you still mostly Ra? Oh, a. or were you into wholesale
Daneen & Alex: [00:20:59] for the incident at 100 percent. Not True. This was actually a around the 2014 is when it all happened and we injustices done one of our first or major wholesale purchases of $40,000 worth of backpacks and sleeping bags, sleeping bag. I’m of all things.
Stephen: [00:21:27] And so you’ve got these things received there in your warehouse. Now let’s just pause here a second. Okay. Because we are going to get into the insurance discussion, but how important, I mean, and maybe this is you’re going to be like dust Steve. How important was it that this inventory was logged somewhere? Because I’m assuming from an insurance point of view, knowing what you have in there helps assess the value. Correct.
Daneen & Alex: [00:21:50] Absolutely. And it was kind of ironic at the time, approximately a year prior, I had went around the entire warehouse taken absolutely just crazy pictures of anything and everything in the warehouse. Um, I wanted to keep a record of it not knowing, of course at the time. And it came in so handy when I did file the insurance that if I didn’t have a particular record for a particular item, say for instance, you know, I put some personal things in the warehouse. Um, I had my mother’s China in there. We had things all the way down to, you know, air conditioning and heating unit. We had just bought, um, you know, thousands of dollars worth of brand new computer equipment. My husband had just finished installing a solar panel system in order to run all the power we had just finished. I’m closing off part of the warehouse to make it a little section for an office. Um, so we had done so much and I had a taken just as many pictures as I possibly could to that entire process. Therefore, I was able to, when I filed that insurance, if I had a question about, or if I didn’t have an exact log of where I purchased something from, all I had to do was, hey, here’s the picture, here’s the link, here’s the value to that property. And Boom, they would pay it.
Stephen: [00:23:04] No kidding. So if you had to, you, maybe you’ve already done this, so now you have a new warehouse. What’s the process now? I mean, other than taking pictures is, is, is it kind of in your world now when you receive inventory, you’d immediately gets recorded somewhere. So there’s a record of it. Is that kind of a like a. okay, go ahead Alex.
Daneen & Alex: [00:23:26] Yup. Uh, we utilize, uh, the inventory software, restock pro to handle our inventory on a cloud basis. Also constantly keep a backup log on a secondary cloud for our inventory logs. So of
Daneen & Alex: [00:23:44] course I keep a log as well in regards to office equipment, chairs, you know, all the things that I have done for improvements. I’ve kept all the records, all the purchase, or when I first bought the building, I’m a put an additional, you know, 40, $50,000 of my own money into the warehouse for better improvements. And therefore I’ve kept all those records off site to ensure that if anything was to happen, boom, I have proof of what I have done to add value to the property. My father, uh, owned a very, very, very large, uh, musical store growing up and this is a great story to add to this. Number one, before he passed away, I asked my father, I said, can I have your business when you die? And he turned and looked at me and he says, no. I said, well, how come he said, you don’t love music?
Daneen & Alex: [00:24:33] I said, I know. And he says, well, you need to find your own dreams. Open up your own company into a product that you love. I’m like, oh. So therefore, when I did determine the products that I did end up loving, eventually those years later, they ended up being toys. And um, to make the story even more plausible is when he was in a flood zone. And my father knew he was in a flood zone. He did not believe in insurance. And the flood of 92 took his business, took his entire life. And my father and my mother in there six days had to go back to work. They lost the building, they lost the inventory, they lost everything. So therefore, at that point in time in my life, I have bought insurance to an instagram.
Stephen: [00:25:23] So that changed right there because, you know, a couple of challenges here in this discussion, there are a lot of people listening who don’t have insurance, even though you’re required to have liability insurance, right? I’m betting a pretty good you and I know a lot of people and a whole bunch of them probably don’t. So check number one. And I was just, I was with some people over the weekend and we had this discussion by talking about warehousing and they pay about $800 a year for their liability insurance. They don’t have a warehouse that, you know. So that’s the approximate costs to put it perspective, right. Um, for me, who has a good size warehouse, we and we have inventory here. Our cost is about 3,600 a year and that includes our workman’s comp and uh, our liability. What would you say yours is
Daneen & Alex: [00:26:08] for $50 a month.
Stephen: [00:26:09] Okay. So what’s that? Alex? Help us. They’re five grand. It’s about five years.
Daneen & Alex: [00:26:15] About five grand. So 5,500.
Stephen: [00:26:18] Okay. And so, um, uh, maybe a little bit less than that, maybe. Maybe it even went up since then. So approximately four to $5,000, that’s the cost and that’s because you have inventory in value, um, and staff and all the rest of that, jess. Okay. So there’s your perspective. And I would argue, and you correct me if I’m wrong, if you’re running a business and you don’t have that,
Daneen & Alex: [00:26:37] I’m not sure it’s a business. What would you say to that? You’re just waiting on a hazard to happen
Daneen & Alex: [00:26:44] to ruin you. Completely.
Daneen & Alex: [00:26:45] Yeah. I, I had not only myself, but I had two employees at the time and their entire livelihood was based on their income. Therefore, I was able to actually continue their payroll during the time that we were down because of insurance.
Stephen: [00:27:01] That’s so powerful. That statement right there because you. So you’re not just responsible for yourself, you’re responsible for these other people. And if you don’t carry that man that that’s not, that’s not a, I’m all about love. That’s not love for your employees. That’s that you just gave me the chills, like gave me the chills to think about that. I’m serious because I never would’ve thought of that. No. Okay. All right. So, so we, we, we, what would it take for somebody, you know, you’ve been to other people’s warehouses and you know, they got the piles and the pallets steve in their corners and they’ve got an enormous amounts of stuff that’s not listed. That means the good stuff is the stuff that we have listed on Amazon or Ebay, a merchant fulfill. We have photos and we have a replacement values out on Amazon. Right. I could run a report and I can do that. We’re on e Bay. I can do that and it’s kept elsewhere. However, the 60 pallets probably left of stuff was 110 some down to 60. That is still around my warehouse. That’s not logged anywhere. How do you start? How do you, what’s your advice to get started? We have to hire an Alex. do we have to get an it person? Do we. I mean, tell me what your, what your recommendation is because you have the experience.
Daneen & Alex: [00:28:14] There’s already multiple softwares out there that can handle your inventory. You’re going to find one that you feel comfortable with. We can’t sit there and offer you this solution is the best way or it can easily just create an excel file with all this information and do it from the ground up and hire now Alex like that, and do it that way, or just take the cheap way and pay for the convenience of having the software for you, but I advise you to start from one, order the warehouse all the way to another and spend one to three days literally scanning your products, putting them into a system, getting your costs down. This stuff helps you out in the long run, especially when you get on multiple ecommerce platforms. You already have your inventory basis. You already have the title of it. You’d have the UPC put all up in it. You can literally use that same exact excel file that you keep for your inventory ad in descriptions and titles and the image urls in a singular location, and then you can upload all that information onto multiple ecommerce platforms. Not only are you covering yourself, you’re also helping your future self about when you plan to expand.
Stephen: [00:29:20] Dude. All right. Denny and I saw you all. You brought him on. I get it. I get it. No, I, I think you’re exactly right because it’s, it’s, you know, we, we struggle with this. We sit and look at what do we do with all this stuff, you know, how do we get our arms around it because we’re talking tens of thousands of items and it’s like how do you get your arms around it? Well, it’s one bite at a time, right? It’s the old elephant, one bite at a time. But what you’re describing again is you building your barn, you designed it knowing that it would last outlast your business and you know, be somebody’s horse stable or whatever you, you thought that far ahead. So when you’re doing it, it serves that multipurpose and Alex, you just described exactly the same thing, which is basically, look, you’re going to have to bite it. Why Bite it three times, but it once get started with it and then when it comes time, then you can take advantage of it and list that inventory because it’s sitting there. It’s not making any money sitting there, right? No smart, smart, smart. Okay. So, so we build the building, we fill it full of inventory and then life happens. So walk us through what happened.
Daneen & Alex: [00:30:22] Would you like to.
Stephen: [00:30:24] It’s not too sensitive, right?
Daneen & Alex: [00:30:27] Uh, it, it’s not, it’s actually a quite tragic and its own little way. This was one of the first times that my mother had actually stepped away from the business and taken one of her first vacations. Literally when the fire happened, it was me and my uncle there. We had a burn barrel about 40, 50 feet away, the standard regulations, blah, blah blah, but a gust of wind and you know, how that goes. And the whole entire building was up in blends within 20 minutes. Me and my uncle were literally watching our life burned away in front of us and we had to make the phone call. Um, and uh, we did it to her husband first and was like, should we tell her she’s on her first cruise by herself with her, with her sister? Uh, should we tell her her entire life has just very tough and he goes, no, let me do it.
Daneen & Alex: [00:31:27] In the meantime, we’re out in the middle of a mountain. There is no fire hydrant close by. So we have six to seven fire trucks lined up combined together to put out this huge fire that has literally surrounding all of our houses. So not only is the business going up, we’re watching and making sure that nothing else is burning because that could be our entire lives. And yeah, it was, it was a traumatic moment and she gets the phone call. I’m not quite sure how she handled that part of it. Um, I just watched everything I loved and helped to build, go down in flames and my mother’s on a cruise. I’m not quite sure how she handled that part.
Stephen: [00:32:12] Deneen walk. Walk us through what that’s like because, you know, this is obviously an Alex. I don’t, don’t, don’t take offense at this, but deneen this was your other baby, right? I mean, this was something that you birthed, you created, you build top, uh, and with help of Alex of course, and your brother in law, but you’ve built it up. But this is, this is a big piece of your life, right? What happens when you get that call or that message from your husband there?
Daneen & Alex: [00:32:40] Uh, it definitely was very devastating. Um, I was on my very first cruise. It was actually an Amazon business cruise. Therefore, there was a lot of other third party sellers there who actually cut to experience, um, as I got the phone call, um, how was out in the middle of the ocean? He did, yeah. Yeah. Oh, sorry. Yeah, that was quite devastating. Um, when, when the call was made a data first, of course then he was joking. Um, of course there was quite a few tears, lots of drinking at the time. Um, I really, really, really didn’t know how to handle it, how to fathom it. Um, you know, not only was, of course I was thinking about myself because, you know, at the time I thought, you know, I would be okay, you know, I had my husband, um, you know, he, he had a full time job.
Daneen & Alex: [00:33:36] I knew that I would be okay, but the flash of my, my son and my brother, because they are, they were the breadwinners of their families. How were they going to handle this situation? How was I going to handle this? How was everybody going to be able to take day to day life and pay their bills? It was extremely devastating. Um, and of course, as soon as I got into port, I was like calling my insurance agent. I’m like, oh my gosh, how do I handle this? How do we go from there? And it took quite a few months in order to go through the process. And this again could be an entire whole nother podcast of how we handled these months and months of having to go through the process of rebuilding and getting the money from the insurance. Because that in itself was of course a very source of night mayor.
Stephen: [00:34:25] They stay in business by not paying and we all know that and I mean that’s the goal, was not to pay a penny more than what they are forced to pay. I mean, that’s their business.
Daneen & Alex: [00:34:33] Not only that, it turns out that they have no problems making multiple mistakes on every single one of their pieces of paper were one single decimal sits there and loses us tens of thousands of dollars. So everything that they did, we had to double, triple, quadruple check.
Daneen & Alex: [00:34:52] Yeah, they that I found so many errors. I’m talking thousands of thousands of dollars. What’s of errors? A, therefore, I highly recommend to anyone who’s listening to her, a third party contract person who actually, what do you call that? When they come. Then when they come in the middle.
Stephen: [00:35:09] Oh, in orbit or arbiter or an arbitration. Okay. Yes. Higher arbitration. Yes. In order to help out with this process. Let’s start back a bit. First off, okay. We agree we should have insurance. Is there anything specific in your insurance that now is an absolute for you? Because you know, because you’ve been through the testing of insurance, is there anything that you can recommend to people who are in similar circumstances like us, we have a warehouse, right? We have thousand square feet here. Um, we’ve got lots of inventory. Is there any special things in the insurance we should be looking for?
Daneen & Alex: [00:35:45] Absolutely. Make sure that you, if you do have a warehouse, that you have a third party actually come in and value the property itself to ensure that you have full coverage. Uh, also a big huge differentiation is to ensure that you have the correct inventory coverage. So hypothetical, like when we first opened up the warehouse, you know, you’re going to have, you know, what, five, $10,000 worth of value for your insurance, for the inventory. Well, as the year goes by, or the two years go by, you know, you may double or triple or quadruple the value of that infant of what we need to make sure that you call your insurance agent and say, okay, this is the new value of the inventory police up the coverage. Also, you need to make sure that you have your employees covered, you need to make sure that you have seasonal coverage. Um, which was absolutely huge. We had seasonal coverage which helps ensure that the coverage of sales. So therefore, hypothetically, you know, we have, you know, 50 percent of our sales or during fourth quarter, therefore we had to make sure that we had seasonal insurance.
Stephen: [00:36:48] So does that mean, is that cover the value of the inventory or lost income,
Daneen & Alex: [00:36:52] lost income, it makes sure that it covers that you get 50 percent more of your sales during that time as well. Also make sure that you have your records in place because they are going to go back and look at your p and l as well as your, your income tax because they’re going to look back to see your increase or decrease of sales and profit margin because they calculate a lot of your insurance coverage on the sales based on your profit.
Stephen: [00:37:24] Okay? So you, uh, there’s a lot of, uh, a lot of things you just said there. And I think somebody needs to go back and listen to each one of these and then pull them apart and just sit back with your agent and just say, okay, let’s talk a content value, right? Boom, okay, let’s get that right. And this was back to the discussion earlier, is make sure you can support that content value. Right? And so if you can’t steve on a bunch of it, you need to put the process in place, Alex, and get an Alex and to build out this system and get a record of it knowing that there’s, you know, it’s all upside though, that part of its upside there. If there’s not a reason to hire somebody there that in then you got to, you got a bad business. Um, so to me that’s, that’s a perfect opportunity. Then, um, then as you say, you’ve really got to be able to prove your income, so you really need good strong financials. And so he and a hill and I will tell you, you really should be doing your financials monthly and so that really will help support that. That really will show that seasonality. Right? And that’s a really strong thing. Um, when, when it comes to employee lost wages, um, was your coverage strong enough for all?
Daneen & Alex: [00:38:37] No, I pulled it out myself. They covered it for three months and then I personally covered the following three until we were up and going.
Stephen: [00:38:49] And they don’t. This is important to note. They don’t write you a check that day, so you know, you see that on tv where there’s that guy from, it’s all stayed in who’s got a really deep voice and he’s telling you that got your cover, but they’re not writing you a check that second right out of his car. And it’s like, Oh, here’s your first check. And here you go. You have to front. So this is the Dave Ramsey advice is you really need to have an emergency fund for your business. Oh, absolutely. Now you’re, especially in the wholesale world, you were in the cash heavy business. Well, you’ve been an Ra. I mean, it’s a cash heavy business. You’re buying, you know, you’re putting out huge amounts of money and you’re, how do you build up a reserve of three to six months and is three to six months the right number that knowing what you know today, I had to borrow money. Okay. All right. And so that’s real. And that’s legit. Um, was it, were you able to borrow it knowing that the insurance would cover it as a kind of a collateral situation that you can add? I don’t want to get too personal, but I mean, just to help people understand.
Daneen & Alex: [00:39:51] No, no, I’m. The insurance is only going to cover three months of salary. I’m therefore anything above that I would have to cover. And I did just on a personal basis to make sure that I’m going to be there for them because they were there for me and I knew as soon as I can get the money from the insurance company to get the next warehouse up and going on one of them there with me at that time. So in order to ensure that I wanted to make sure and I borrowed the money to continue paying them until the new warehouse was up and running.
Stephen: [00:40:20] And let me ask this question, um, did, were they able to help you then piece together all this stuff and help design the new warehouse and all that stuff? I mean, so, you know, I mean, you’re paying them or were they all just sit at home on the couch drinking beer or were they helping you with the.
Daneen & Alex: [00:40:37] So during those couple of months we still had an inventory at Fba time period. During this process I was trying to get us on multiple different platforms. My uncle’s working on Ebay, making sure that was going well. We were working on getting our listings up and going and trying to get as many organic sales as possible. And not to toot his horn or anything, but my uncle was very instrumental when we did get this warehouse on how it got designed and the layout of it and the prep center area of it. Uh, during this process when everything was down and we were in the middle of the purchasing of the new warehouse, either him or my mother found a office depot going out of business and we all took a trip out there and very key purchases that helps with our entire bundle station with our packing station, like there were multiple areas where it helps and it’s own little way with us having the free time to be able to do these things.
Stephen: [00:41:49] So that investment is paying you forward now every single month. So, so in essence, you made a calculated gamble in theory and now all of a sudden it’s just been paying you back every day. It’s back to the software discussion we had went the beginning of the conversation, right? Yes sir. I love it. Okay. So this is really smart. Um, two, two things I definitely want to get to is the difference of having a warehouse off your property as opposed to on your property and what, what pluses or minuses. And then the second is, and you kind of alluded to it a little bit, Alex, is about, you obviously changed up things based on institutional knowledge. You knew what was working in the old place and what didn’t work and it sounds like you tried to address that and fix that. So can you speak to each one of those separately?
Daneen & Alex: [00:42:38] I can speak to the one about having it on my property and then moving it off my property. So I originally had it, like I said, built on my property to add value to it, but it got to the point to where I was always home and I was always right there and I never got the chance to get out and get away from the house. And that was all of us because we all live on the same mountain. We all live on the same path. Therefore our entire lives were home right there and they got away. Therefore one the building did get burned down. I made the decision of not rebuilding on that property. You know, to get away and actually feel like you’re. You’re not home all the time that you’re actually a true business. I mean, I know that doesn’t sound quite a real, but it doesn’t feel real when it’s right there on your property. It still feels like a home based business. Therefore when I got this new place, which was much bigger anyway, it made it feel like a real business and it just, it put it in a better perspective and it actually people respected business a whole lot more. You can get your, your ups drivers, you can get 18 wheelers out here and they look at you at a completely different perspective as opposed to a home based business. So
Stephen: [00:43:52] I love it. I think you know, you don’t call in sick when the businesses across the parking lot. You find a way to carry yourself over there if everybody else is there, you feel an obligation now. I, you, we just had this discussion again about working from home. I can’t work from home. I was for just a very short period of time and all. I sat there and watched youtube videos, went to the kitchen over eight, did all this, you know, my wife would be like, Hey, could you throw some laundry and could you do. I don’t want to do any of that stuff. You know what I mean? I’d rather come here and hang out. Even if I don’t work, I’d rather hang out. It just gets me out of that mode so I can respect that. I absolutely respect that. Alright, let’s talk. Let’s talk like a planning differences. So what and, and the, the CV and get a little specific. What wasn’t working and what wasn’t working as relative. Uh, I mean obviously you got product through and you’ve got a lot of product, so I don’t mean it that way, but what wasn’t working that you were like, okay, in this new place, this has to, it has to be this way. Can you give us a couple examples of that kind of stuff?
Daneen & Alex: [00:44:51] Yes. We can give multiple examples there. One, our entire layout of how we did the inventory and the barn was too clustered to be able to get things and manage them. In a timely fashion and the new warehouse, each a separate bin has its own location dedicated to it. Each row has its own number. So each section is ABC, a number 14. Easy to find. There’s been locations located inside our software. So when we get sales we know exactly where to go. If anything gets moved we automatically updated. So that makes life tremendously easier.
Stephen: [00:45:30] So hold on, hold on, hold on there. So again, so that are you on your restock pro. Okay. And so you have all your platforms of inventory all on restock pro, correct? Yes. Okay. So, so let’s pause it because this is a big issue for a lot of people. Even in your old warehouse, you could have done that, correct? Yes. Just painful, right back to this pain of counting stuff in organizing it. Right? But from this one you set it up knowing that end, it sounds like in this downtime you, your uncle or you had time to plan for that. Yes, exactly. That’s powerful. Um, is this, is this where you sit back to need as the CEO and sit back and say, man, I’ve got a great team because those two working together to plan for all the pain points to start addressing them is paid off for you. I mean, is that, that’s got to feel pretty good,
Daneen & Alex: [00:46:24] a phenomenal. Uh, I have no questions during the time that I was paying them directly out of my pocket where that money was going. I knew in my heart and I knew from their heart, from their analysis and their research and just them contacting me every day saying, hey, I found a new wholesale distributor. I’ve been able to do more research about this product. I’ve been able to research this new software. Hey, I’ve found this new software called restart pro. I think it might work great with the new warehouse. So I knew that the investment would come back many times over.
Stephen: [00:46:56] She’s smart. All right, keep going, Alex, because I think, I mean to me what you just said was brilliant. I mean, the fact that you put that energy and effort in. I understand that you guys had the time, but still you could have shortcut at it and said, we’ve got to be doing these other things. We’ve got to do this, but you guys set it up, right? That’s a very, very strong.
Daneen & Alex: [00:47:13] Oh, the one of the major, major pain points in our last location was one section was our bundling section, shipping section, prepping section. Here we have multiple areas. One computer dedicated towards shipping out and that folder is one computer area is dedicated towards our ups and our pallets that are going in and out the door. We have an entire section dedicated to building all of our bundles in one location instead of trying to clear out a spot for each area in this warehouse has its own predetermined value of what it’s meant to do instead of, beforehand, where we just threw things here and there. We’ll get to this. Uh, I got to finish building this box over here, but I have 20 amf orders that just came through. Seller fulfilled prime. I gotta handle those first. Well now my uncle has his own area. I have my own area. We have prep station area, we have the office area, each area has its own purpose and it makes life so much easier.
Stephen: [00:48:24] So let’s, let’s Ellis use the bundle one because I think most everybody has the other stuff, but in, for bundle building, you know, and I’m guilty of this where you got bags, right? So we sell some three packs of an item that’s a bundle, right? So just to have those bags and bring them into my office and then do it while I’m sitting at my desk, you know, tom watching a youtube video or whatever, but it’s not efficient. Right. And so when you designed your bundles station, you’re talking tools and products all within an arm’s reach, is that the thinking?
Daneen & Alex: [00:48:55] Yes sir. So we went to office depot and actually purchased one of their, uh, register table layouts, which was about eight feet long, that had shelves and drawers and drawers contain all of our pens, pencils, tape supplies. The shelves, contain our sealers, plastic bags to the right of the station. We have a file cabinet that’s actually dedicated to our overstock, transparent, a suffocation bags. We have a printer located on one of the shelves that is dedicated only to printing out our suffocation warnings and this is a set of the skew of the product that then skews that go on it and this is completely separate from our shipping station that literally has boxes beside it, a layered up nice and neat on its own little shelves with its own real printing station that prints out the ups labels. Each station has the materials it needs that way no station is without what it means.
Stephen: [00:49:56] So a lot of what a good a warehouse manager would do is go in and make sure the product or the tools are necessary that are necessary are there for the staff so they can get things done. And it sounds like by doing it the way you described, that’s what somebody can do. Just make sure that everything’s set up for success. I love it. All right. I’m going to ask you for some photos if you wouldn’t mind that I could throw them a website if you know, secret sauce, but that would be helpful because, uh, you know, for me yesterday was kmarts last day in my town, right. For example, and they are giving away the fixtures. I mean they just give them away at this point because they can’t sell them anymore. And so the, the possible utility from taking somebody else’s a layout that was designed for somebody to stand there and probably like you said, has a million little pockets and shelves and stuff like that.
Stephen: [00:50:40] And then for you to apply it I think is genius. Again, you had the luxury of time and, but that wasn’t a luxury when you were paying them. Right? Me, I mean not so I’m using a bad term by saying it’s luxury because this was a cost. This was an investment. Yes. Love it. Okay, great. All right. Any other things that you would advise about doc layouts? I mean, do you have a way for, uh, you know, inventory flow to come in and did you document all this? I guess I should make sure we talk about that too.
Daneen & Alex: [00:51:13] Now. Part of the warehouse came in a loading dock area and uh, two other warehouse garage door thing.
Daneen & Alex: [00:51:22] Yeah. That was one of the big issues that we have with the original warehouse that was on my property. It was down the hill and being down the hill, the ups trucks couldn’t make it down and sure as heck no 18 wheelers could make it down. We even had, um, when, when we couldn’t talk to ups drivers into coming down the hill, you know, they would end up stuck, had to get home. So that was a huge issue as well. And when you’re also another little quick nugget is when you do have an actual physical warehouse off your property, you’re able to sign up with wholesale distributors much easier than if you had a warehouse located on your own property. So that’s a huge little tidbit in there.
Stephen: [00:52:00] Yeah. That discussion, that changes the discussion, right? Oh yeah. Our warehouse is located at Blah Blah, blah, blah.
Daneen & Alex: [00:52:06] Alright. If the warehouse had to be having a loading dock, we planned on implementing more wholesale and that means more pallets. We couldn’t sit there and unload and load pallet after pallet by hand. It was to constantly. We actually had a shipment, a, an international shipment whole entire trailer completely filled that had to be dropped off for us to hand unloaded back at the old warehouse.
Stephen: [00:52:35] I’ve been through that pain. I understand that pain very well. Let me ask you about this. Where are your vendors? You know, this is obviously, you know, nobody wants to hear about this. I mean everybody stops and pauses there, but by the grace of God go, I, right. We all say that when we hear these kinds of stories, how are your vendors and were they able to step up and help you in any way maybe by storing inventory for you short term or anything like that you can talk about?
Daneen & Alex: [00:52:59] No, we never brought them into the scenario whatsoever.
Daneen & Alex: [00:53:04] I told one of my biggest vendors over there and that family, yeah, we did lose everything in a fire when we did get back up and going, um, she did go to the owner of the company and say, Hey, this lady, you know, lost everything, you know, what can we do to help her out? Do we have this? Do we have that? But other than that, nothing special. Oh,
Stephen: [00:53:23] okay. Nothing special. But would, would you say that would occur now because now that you’re in the wholesale and to be fair, you really, we’re just getting into it at that point. So you didn’t have the relationships you probably have now because I’m thinking about, you know, if, if, because I have a couple of vendors, I guarantee you they would, they would step up just because you’ve been with them for years. So I’m just wondering if that’s different today.
Daneen & Alex: [00:53:42] That’s definitely different today I’m on a personal conversation with a couple of the vendors as well as my mother. We each have our own little people. Yes. But yeah, definitely nowadays I could see a couple of our vendors actually holding our stock for us, helping us get the shipments out that we could not handled. Absolutely. That’s a very good point that you make their stay on. Having that personal relationship with your wholesale in your district. Do your distributors is huge.
Stephen: [00:54:10] Well, I, I sit back and I also, you know, because I’m looking, I apply every time I talked to somebody, I try to apply it to our business, right? I want to learn something that’s my goal and to help you figure it out. So when people come to me I’m like, Oh, here’s a person to talk to. They’ve done this, blah, blah blah. But I’m sitting here thinking about you guys kind of have your own accounts it sounds like, um, were you both kind of connect with, um, can you talk a little bit about that? Having the, having two people be able to do that versus one
Daneen & Alex: [00:54:40] works out tremendously. There are certain peoples that are connect with very well and there are certain people’s. I won’t that my mother will. Yeah, there’s like a, there’s this one young gentleman who is a sales rep from one of our tour companies. He’s very young and his early twenties and I knew from an instant he’s going to click with my son better than I am, therefore I set him up as the account manager for that company and then there’s other companies that I work directly with because I clicked better with them. So it just kinda all depends. Yeah, we both have access to the accounts, but each one doesn’t tread on each other’s toes. It’s absolutely necessary.
Stephen: [00:55:17] And so can you talk about what an account manager is to you deneen you know, what, what is, what does that mean to you?
Daneen & Alex: [00:55:26] Knowing them personally, getting to know them a little more, talking to them on the phone and getting to know them. Being able to determine, you know exactly what kind of deals that you could get a being able to be the first person that’s going to be on their favorite list and be like, you know what? We’re going to have a clearance. I will let you know what I know this a phoenix treasure box. They’ve been really good to us. Let’s give them a phone call to see if they’d like to jump on the first deal.
Stephen: [00:55:52] I love it. I just, the power of two versus one is enormous. It’s not two, it’s three or four or five, right? Most of the time,
Daneen & Alex: [00:56:02] oh, we’ve had a, one of our very large companies that are manufacturing over here in Alabama has went to bat with us, uh, against Disney a and R and is now up to bat with marvel with us. Um, they’ve got. Disney has come to them and said, hey, you know, who’s this phoenix treasure box, you know, we don’t know them or they selling our products on Amazon. It did cause some conflict in the beginning to where we were not able to buy the Disney for short period of time. But I’ll tell you what happened. The relationship that I did with the company, they went to bat force. They fought for us. They let Disney know who we were, uh, and within a couple of months, boom, we’re back at it. And so on, Disney, on Amazon,
Daneen & Alex: [00:56:45] not when that happened, without a personal relationship. That’s right. Relationships. Well, and now you know, it’s kind of cool is that’s a company you’ll want to work with forever because they have your back, right? I mean that’s a two way street. That’s a big deal. Not, oh, I just gave them money. They need me, denise. No, no, no. They don’t take your products online and make sure that everything’s a okay. And we try to do the best we can to portray their products in the best possible life. They know that they’ve seen that for years. Let me ask you one more question, denise. I’m sitting here thinking about this. You’re on the boat, you get this word and you know, first you have to have all the craziness
Stephen: [00:57:27] motions that you talked about, but how do you decide to keep going? Because I guarantee you you had to have a thought like, you know, maybe this is a clue that I just need to pack it up and just do something else. Right.
Daneen & Alex: [00:57:39] That’s a very, very, very good question. And something that I didn’t know then that I do know now as I did not know that the insurance company would have paid me out at the time, a cash basis and allowed to not. In other words, if I would have decided that the time not to open up another warehouse, not to continue, that they would have paid me a certain amount at that time. I’m not that, that would have changed my mind at the time. I doubt it because I was at such a growth factor at the time. Um, however, you know, knowing that information now that if something tragic was to happen, that now that I know that I have the choice between continuing on or just saying, Hey, I’m done with it, that’s a big factor to know.
Daneen & Alex: [00:58:23] I also have to put in two cents here. It was timing as well. We had literally just moved from Ra to wholesale and we had a bunch, a bunch of things, a bunch of ducks lined up pretty much that we knew we could take out. Go on.
Stephen: [00:58:42] But it’s a thinking now. Very good. We’re getting close to the end here. I want to make sure that we give more value because I mean, again, if you please go back and listen to their description of the things that they had in place that allowed them to get through this, um, please go back and listen to that and, and absolutely go and listen to again, the things that you want to make sure your insurance is covering and have this discussion with your agent and make sure I’m, uh, anywhere from 800 to $5,000. That’s the difference. And at $4,200 is going to shut down your business. You want to rethink your business model. Okay? So, and I’m not saying I don’t downplay it because we got to pay it, so I get it. It’s expensive, but man, just to have that peace of mind. Um, so it’s so important.
Stephen: [00:59:24] But what I want to do is just think about, um, the discussions, the planning now that you guys have, because what you’re describing, you know, is that you went from, you were forced to go from x to y, right? You were forced there and you fixed a whole bunch of things in your business. Now how do you go forward from here? How do you plan out? How do you, how do you. Do you get where I’m going with this? Is that looking forward? Um, because is that a one in once and done? Or do you sit back and say, okay, now we want to do this?
Daneen & Alex: [00:59:59] Oh, well, I think I kind of get what you’re saying. Okay. Our, our constant need to find something new that entertains us. Like back in the day, it was back to school supplies because I have four kids myself and that’s what we knew was kids in school constantly. And then it was, well, what about birthdays? What? While I’m constantly going to them. What about your mom? Yeah, yeah? Yeah. Aren’t you tired of shopping for everything? Everywhere. Yeah. Let’s go ahead and make something for. They mentioned the box.
Stephen: [01:00:34] Is that what keeps the passion going and allowed you to make that decision? Denise, do you get where I’m going? Is that, was that part of it? Like you still love what you were doing? So of course you would keep it going.
Daneen & Alex: [01:00:45] Absolutely. And finding that new shiny penny and then that next new thing and going all in, you know, it’s go big or go home. You know, back in the day when we did ra, it was like, oh my goodness, did we go this deep? And that was like 30 to 50 at the time. Now it’s like, do we go deep? Do we get $500, one product? Oh hell yeah, let’s do it.
Stephen: [01:01:04] And we did it, you know, it’s just so exciting to me when you find what you were designed to do in life and clearly each of you sound like you have figured out your role in that and you share that common interest. It’s, it’s very exciting to me and as a family now, how cool was it? You know, to sit back and realize this little mini Walmart Empire, you’re Sam Walton right now, Deneen, right? You’re, you’re, Sam Walton. Build in your version of that. I mean, it’s got to be phenomenal for you.
Daneen & Alex: [01:01:37] It’s, it’s great to be able to wake up everyday knowing that, uh, I decide Monday I decided my work schedule, I decide where I’m going to go. I decided, you know, every little moment, I don’t have someone micromanaging me. I don’t have to answer to anyone. Um, the availability of being able to, for my employees, you know, my brother and my and my son to be able to say, hey, the kids are sick. Okay, well just stay home. Or Hey, you know, the kids have got a function today. That’s great. I’m shutting down the business. We’re all going to go to that kid’s function to go check it out. Well, you know, hey, the kids are getting off fairly well, bring them on up here and we’ll um, put them in the break room, let them place a little video games till it’s done and over with, you know, to be able to have the flexibility, to able to not have to worry about losing your job when you kid get sick. And uh, it’s, it’s absolutely a phenomenal opportunity. And being able to share with that, it’s just a great feeling.
Stephen: [01:02:31] And Alex, could you add anything there because you know, you’re, you have a little bit of a different perspective obviously. Um, what’s that
Daneen & Alex: [01:02:39] even. But he stepped away.
Stephen: [01:02:42] Oh yeah. I’m waiting for a joint ups truck too. Okay. All right. So, uh, I just, uh, again, I sit back and I think that, you know, you hear the negatives of these things with family relationships of that, um, but there’s positives. What you just described. Everybody shuts down to go to your grandkids to function. So I mean, that’s the way it should be, right? Everybody should be able to do that. How do you keep that in check? Give us that piece of advice because he’s also your son, but he’s got a life too, and he’s his own person, you know, how do you keep that in check?
Daneen & Alex: [01:03:15] Oh, you just make sure you’re balanced because, uh, that, that is for kids. Um, and uh, you gotta make that balance work out well in order to determine, determine that, uh, that, you know, you balance Your Business, you’ve balanced the personal life. If you balance all the functions, um, being able to take those sick days when needed, um, it’s just really, really good. Being, having to go back to a nine to five job is, is not even an option for, for any of us ever. And being able to have that flexibility is, is absolutely tremendous.
Stephen: [01:03:49] I think, yeah, you, you have to take his perspective, right? That you have to think of, you know, just from your perspective, you have to think from him because that’s a lot of responsibility for kids and sometimes that’s a challenge. So. Very cool. Okay. So, um, what I always like to close with is something, you know, to help people move their business forward. I don’t want to get there, but if somebody has a follow up question, what’s the best way to get in touch with you?
Daneen & Alex: [01:04:12] Oh, absolutely. Uh, Deneen@Phoenixtreasurebox.com. I’m also, anytime you need to get in touch with me, I’ve been great and be fabulous to meet other people as well and it consulting they need absolutely. Would love to, to meet other entrepreneurs and other sellers. Oh, and here comes Alex now if you have any last minute questions.
Stephen: [01:04:33] Well I know I’m going to close with this is that I always like to see, you know, your advice for helping people who are stuck because you described a lot of moving pieces and to me, I’m sitting here in my biggest takeaway is Alex has conversation about taking, you know, utilizing, seeing that opportunity to list not only protect myself for this, the investment we have in our inventory really taken a different perspective and that’s very powerful. When he said that, it was like a light bulb went on for me to really change the conversation, but a lot of people get stuck and they just can’t get past this because you described a lot of stuff. It sounds overwhelming. What’s the best advice either you or alex would give to help people get past the point of stuck? Hmm, Dun Dun Dun.
Daneen & Alex: [01:05:20] Yeah, focus. Be careful about the rabbit holes. Be careful about that little shiny penny. Uh, we, we have spent countless hours following that little shiny penny and going down those rabbit holes just to determine, you know, oh goodness. But then again, we have found quite a bit of a huge golden nuggets going down those rabbit holes. So no one to focus, no one to back off, no one to go deep. Then when not to, there is no magical big globe in this. It’s a, it is a risk, but to me it’s worth the risk. It’s so much fun, it’s very exciting.
Daneen & Alex: [01:05:52] And even if you are stuck, just take a minute, step back and approach it from a different angle. Don’t sit there and think that it’s going to be all or nothing. Make it or break it. There’s always the nine to five if you really want to go back to the whole point is to get away from it. So take a second step back, take two minutes and go, how else could I approach this? I’m stuck this way. What else can I do?
Stephen: [01:06:18] It’s perspective, right? It’s our perspective. Loving. Well guys, man, I really appreciate you taking the time. They’re very busy. I’m getting ready to go to gift shows and, and different things and uh, so I really, really appreciate you taking the time and especially talking about this painful subject, but man, you are proof that you can push past it with a plan. And Man, thank God you had that strong plan. I wish you guys nothing but success. Thank you so much.
Daneen & Alex: [01:06:47] Thank you. Hey, can I throw in my two cents of a course?
Stephen: [01:06:50] Oh, please go ahead.
Daneen & Alex: [01:06:52] So, uh, made a course and scanner society currently promotes, it’s called Amazon listings. He missed a five and that’s how we broke the seo code.
Stephen: [01:07:01] Oh, okay. And this is tied to your, uh, your app yesterday. Amazon listings. Do you miss them? Okay, I’ll put a link in there. And, um, you have a website or something? Yes sir. Okay. Of course you do. Of course you do. And you also want me some pictures because I really would like to see some pictures of that layout. I think a lot of people would. I think there’s, again, this is all powerful stuff and this is how you, you’re saving time every single time. To me, that’s exciting. I want to save that minute, you know, 100 times a week because in a year you’re talking hours and hours, so phenomenal.
Daneen & Alex: [01:07:39] I’ll give you an example of how just taking the time to figure out the printing solution saves us hours and hours now. They still, we do pallets, each pallet, each product that goes on and has to have its own particular label. Hate it. You hate it. I press two buttons. I type in how many boxes I have and it prints out box one up, blah blah blah on top of the Amazon, printing the label and so I don’t have to do that portion and me or my uncle literally just wait for the printer. That’s the slowest part of the job we don’t drag in or yeah, copy and paste and trying to print it all out. It’s being done by the software. We have the time to sit there and pack up other boxes or take care of orders while it’s doing its own thing.
Stephen: [01:08:25] Is it printing them six up or 30 up or can you get it to go to a demo?
Daneen & Alex: [01:08:29] You dime of ups. Dear God, we’re talking about the zebra printer here. We’re not talking about
Stephen: [01:08:37] this is burden. It’s a pain point for me in our business when I have to do that and print off the. Well, the particular one I do comes in six subs and Oh my God, you’re talking when you’re doing, you know, 400 pieces to print them on six steps. It takes for a and it’s very expensive.
Daneen & Alex: [01:08:52] Yes sir. We’ve got a new solution for you.
Stephen: [01:08:56] I’m excited about that to Alex. don’t let me down. Alright, so you owe me a few things. Um, again, I think people you heard how kind I’m Alex and Jeanine or these are real people. I’ve met him personally. He reached out to them. This is how you, you know, you grow in knowledge just by talking to people that are smarter than you, Steve, and you learn so much from them. Man, I’m so excited for you. Can’t wait to see what’s next. Thank you so much. I wish you nothing but success. I know there’s some challenging, uh, things in that, in that episode, you know, you know, spending money doing that work, like it’s overwhelming when I think about what he was, his, his advice on how to get control of our inventory, for example. But man, Oh man, you know, just understanding their story and send back and say what if, what if, what would you do?
Stephen: [01:09:48] And so, um, the value of what they’ve been able to do when she invested with bringing her son on and look at what he’s been able to do for the business, the value of them working together and building out all these different things. Um, it’s so, so powerful. Um, and to me it’s, it’s a, it’s a, a business that I would like to emulate and I hope you would to reach out to them if you have questions, you know, check out his software, check out that Amazon Amazon listings demystified. I’ll have the Lincoln and the website. Um, that sounds awesome. And again, I want to see pictures of this, uh, this layoff for bundles. So check out the website for that. And ecommerce momentum.com, ecommerce momentum.com. Take care.
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