…I’ve sat down and written a long post.
The weekend was a slow weekend and by slow I mean that I only had 62 orders on Saturday and Sunday. So I’m done packing my shipments for the night and it’s only 1am. I have time to sit down and finally write about stuff that’s been on my mind.
But a quick recap for the month, 19 days into December and I have almost 700 orders and over $70k in revenue. It has surpasses my previous best month two months ago. I know that’s insane. But there are a few reasons for these sales which I will talk about more further below.
This may surprise some of you but I took a vacation last week. I went to Mexico. I mean who takes a vacation during the busiest season of the year? Well I guess I do. Below is a photo of me ziplining through the trees of Mexico. I thought about the time away from my store for a long time before booking the trip. But what it came down to was that I wasn’t going to let my business dictate what I could and couldn’t do. I wasn’t going to miss my friend’s birthday trip to Mexico because I had to pack boxes.
However, I did make some sacrifices. I came back a few days earlier than I wanted because I felt I couldn’t be away that long. But going on the trip was a lesson learned. Next year, I’m not going to let my business determine my vacation duration. I will have an employee by then so I can stay 2 weeks in Mexico in December.
Getting Down to Business
It’s good to have good partners in business. In my case my dropshippers are gold. I have very good relationships with them and I feel perfectly comfortable with them shipping my orders.
This year I was offered some decent preferred pricing by my suppliers that allowed me to lower my prices to match the competition. With that in hand, I launched a PPC campaign advertising my super low price. I’ve never been a price competitive person, but competing on price has definitely boosted my sales. I believe this pricing will last only until Xmas.
A few weeks ago I had a shipment arrive short. I signed for the pallet and when I was doing inventory I found out that I was missing 2 boxes. They must have fallen off the top of the pallet. I signed for the delivery but I really had no way of knowing how many boxes were suppose to be on the pallet. The pallet weighed 500 lbs and it looked like there was 500lbs on stuff on there. Anyway, I told my supplier and they credited me the missing product which was worth about $1200. Then they filed a claim with the trucking company which was denied. This forced them to eat the $1200. I defiintely felt bad and I offered to pay for half of the loss. This is the sign of a good supplier and a good relationship. In my eyes, they could easily say that I signed for it so I basically accepted the pallet and that I should bear the full extent of the $1200. But they chose to credit me and file a claim and also refused to take my money.
This is the part of business that I like. People who aren’t motivated solely by profit and money. It makes me feel good to sell their products because the owners are good people.
Over the weekend I have had many orders that if shipped on Monday, will not be delivered by Dec 24th. I just went ahead and upgraded all those orders to 3 day shipping for free. These people probably won’t ever know that they got upgraded. They’ll just figure they were supposed to get their order that fast.
I know that some people don’t understand how I can just basically give money away like that. But it’s alot better to do this now than to answer a bunch of calls on Friday with people asking where their order is. And it’s definitely better than having to tell them that their order will arrive on Monday and that their kid won’t have anything to open on Christmas.
I think I may have timed my stock correctly this year. I will run out of a couple things but I feel like I will be able to fill 90% of orders this week. The buying season is really only until Thursday, so I have 4 days left in which I’ll hopefully make 160 sales.
In talking with my friend today he came up with the idea of selling gift certificates on Dec 24th. Because it’s physically too late for anyone to buy something on Friday and get it on Saturday, the next best thing would be a gift certificate that they could print out. This way, they could at least put something in a box or envelope to give to someone. I think I’ll give a 5%-10% discount also to make them even more enticing.
I’ve never sold any before so I need to test this out before hand.
So in preparing for next year I am looking at a few options. The one thing I’ve realized is that if things don’t slow down, I will definitely need to hire help. I don’t want that help to come to my home, so I will need to move my business out of the house.
I looked at a couple options over the weekend just to see what the costs are and real estate is very cheap right now. I found a stand alone building with 2000sf, 40 parking spaces for $275,000. I could run 3-4 businesses out of there. There are also 2000sf industrial park condos for only $200k. And these are in Scottsdale!
If I went to other parts of town we are talking $100,000 for 1500sf office/industrial condos. I just don’t know if any of these will appreciate.
My friend suggested I just buy a single family residential and run a business out of there. I think chances of appreciation are better that way.