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  1. #1
    Newbie SKR312's Avatar
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    Jack of all trades overload - merchant POV
    I started my first biz Nov 2013, which means my budget is exceptionally tight. It's taken a lot of work, as many already know, just to get it up and running (e.g. building a website, finding suppliers, listing inventory, etc.). Even though I have two exec officers, I am doing all the work, including social media marketing, maintaining the website, sales, accounting, etc. etc.

    Being a Jack of all trades means I'm checking into every aspect of the biz throughout the day and night. It's hard to focus on one or two important aspects because everything needs my attention in order to run smoothly.

    I do use social media tools to manage posts so that I'm not having to monitor those sites 24/7.

    Also, I recently added an affiliate program (I'm using LeadDyno software). I'm spending a lot of energy trying to get the word out about this program, hoping that affiliates will boost sales.

    In addition, I've become an affiliate and have embedded banners on my site. (Every little bit of revenue helps, right?).

    As I'm new to all of this, I'm really learning as I go through the process. It's fascinating to me. Yet, overwhelming at times.

    I wonder if anyone here is or has been in the same position I am. What general advice do you have to share from personal experience?

  2. #2
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKR312 View Post
    I wonder if anyone here is or has been in the same position I am. What general advice do you have to share from personal experience?
    Be organized...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  4. #3
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    It's hard to focus on one or two important aspects because everything needs my attention in order to run smoothly.
    Yup, I'm in the same boat. I've been having discussions lately with friends who own businesses on when I should take the plunge and hire staff in a real office. I have a net profit number in my head that would spark the transition, but I haven't been able to get there due to changing markets & business relationships. I'm on my sixth year of running a business full time and 10th year of doing it part time.

    Automation and outsourcing are the things that currently work for me. So for instance, I recently cut out 60 days a year of work by figuring out how to automate it in code. I also recently wrote some code that automates a task that consumed 2 hours every week.

    I think the trick is to use your time for the really important stuff that grows the business and to delegate/offload any tasks that don't grow your business. By business growth, I do mean big growth, not nickel and dime stuff.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!


  5. #4
    Newbie SKR312's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Be organized...
    [Refraining from sarcasm because I'm new here]

    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff View Post
    Automation and outsourcing are the things that currently work for me.
    I've been looking into options for this. When the time comes, I plan on outsourcing customer service and accounting. Have you heard anything good about Bench.co (outsourced accounting).

    I agree about considering the benchmark for when to hire actual employees. Such benchmarks help to motivate because you know you'll be rewarded (in terms of getting help to run your biz). But, I think additional headaches come with having actual staff as opposed to outsourcing (i.e. employee taxes and healthcare costs, hiring, training, etc. etc.).

    What do you think will be the benefits to having actual employees instead of using outsourcing to its fullest potential?

  6. #5
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKR312 View Post
    What do you think will be the benefits to having actual employees instead of using outsourcing to its fullest potential?
    That's easy. You can sell your business. You can make sure your family can still have income if you get hit by a bus. You can take an extended vacation and unplug for the most part.

    My biggest motivator is the potential to sell the biz. You will get a much higher multiple if you have "franchised" your procedures such that your business can survive losing a couple of people, including yourself.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  7. #6
    Newbie SKR312's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff View Post
    That's easy. You can sell your business. You can make sure your family can still have income if you get hit by a bus. You can take an extended vacation and unplug for the most part.
    Well when you put it that way... now I have a motivator!

  8. #7
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKR312 View Post
    Also, I recently added an affiliate program (I'm using LeadDyno software). I'm spending a lot of energy trying to get the word out about this program, hoping that affiliates will boost sales.

    In addition, I've become an affiliate and have embedded banners on my site. (Every little bit of revenue helps, right?)
    Maybe I didn't understand correctly, but you're a merchant and you've added affiliate banners on your site?

    If so, that's considered a "leak" by affiliates who would join your program. Not a good thing.
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

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  10. #8
    Newbie SKR312's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoyUnltd View Post
    Maybe I didn't understand correctly, but you're a merchant and you've added affiliate banners on your site?
    Yes, to both.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyUnltd View Post
    If so, that's considered a "leak" by affiliates who would join your program. Not a good thing.
    (Expanding on the word "leak" so that I understand...) By leak you mean distracting potential customers from buying products on my site. So, an affiliate's referral would become a wasted effort.

    (Processing this understanding....) From an affiliate's perspective, my actions as a merchant aren't in their best interest.

    (Conclusion...) I need to stop this practice.


  11. #9
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKR312 View Post
    (Conclusion...) I need to stop this practice.
    Yes, unfortunately. Well, you can pick the most profitable avenue and go with it. If you think affiliate sales is your biggest revenue source, then yes, need to get rid of leaks.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

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  13. #10
    Newbie SKR312's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff View Post
    If you think affiliate sales is your biggest revenue source, then yes, need to get rid of leaks.
    Looking at the big picture, I want to grow my profits through on-site sales. That's more important to me than earning income from being an affiliate.


  14. #11
    Newbie SKR312's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Be organized...
    Convergence, I want to apologize for my snarky response. It's not how I wanted to be introduced to this forum.


  15. #12
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKR312 View Post
    Convergence, I want to apologize for my snarky response. It's not how I wanted to be introduced to this forum.
    Hey, no problem - I'm the master of snarky...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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