It has been a little while since I last posted about the different projects I am working on, so I have a bit to tell.
I’ll start with my ECommerce brand, which is currently selling on Amazon.co.uk. Things are going well, although because of inventory issues I have leveled off in sales because I am doing no promotion. I am still selling around 6 units per day which by my calculations should just about stretch out my current inventory until my new stock arrives.
In my last update I talked about how Amazon was really messing me about with shifting my inventory between warehouses. They basically took my units of the shelves, stuck them on pallets and then left them sitting around for a week. It took several phone calls and emails to establish exactly what was going on. I feel I was basically lied to at the start, always being reassured that things were fine and stock would be in warehouses by the next morning etc.
What ended up happening was my listing on Amazon said not in stock, and even though people could order (with an estimated delivery date a week later) it really impacted on my sales. I wanted compensation for missed sales along with the way I was messed about by Amazon, but instead I was quoted policy and nothing happened. I decided to let it go, my products are now in stock again so I will focus on working on my business and not getting too wound up with Amazon.
So, I have my one product currently selling and I have agreed to have 4 additional products manufactured to add to the range. These are all completely new products but fit in nicely with my 1st product. I needed a minor modification on one of the products (a stronger puller on a zip) but overall I am very happy with the quality of my new products (based off the samples I was sent). So the two main things that needed sorted were the packaging and the logos on the products themselves.
Two of the products are fabric and two are hard plastic. On the fabric products I am going with woven labels because I feel they look better, so a few back and forward emails and Skype chats and we have the woven label designs sorted and agreed on the locations of these logo labels on the products. One thing that is not 100% agreed on yet is whether they can add material to the zip puller with my logo on, which would look cool. It depends on if they will charge me more for this, and if so how much. One of the solid plastic products will have the logo printed on it, while the other will have an adhesive sticker with the logo on (that sits behind a clear plastic cover).
The packaging took a while to get arranged, it’s still not totally finalised but we are just about there. The process worked like this. I got sent templates of the packaging in a .PDF. I also got sent lots of photos of the products that the supplier had taken.
I then edited these using GIMP to create mockups of how I wanted my packaging to look. The supplier then got their design department to create 1st versions which were sent to me. I tweaked these (mainly correcting spelling) and sent back. We also chatted a lot over Skype. Most of these conversations happened around 8am for me, which is 4pm in China where my supplier is. Eventually we are just about there, so the packaging is now sorted.
Hopefully manufacturing is starting very soon, so I dropped my freight forwarded an email to tell them I would shipping more products over to the UK in a month or two. This was just to warn them and check there are no issues. I got a reply saying all good so I will update them nearer the time.
OK, away from Amazon I have also completed my online course. You can check out the course signup page here if you’re interested. I now need to see if anyone is going to take it so I am experimenting with Google Adwords. I am reading (again) Perry Marshall’s book on Adwords which is giving me lots of ideas. I’ll update on this later.
My app that I am working on with a developer at C4DI (my co-working space) is not making much physical progress but the concept has evolved into something I feel is a lot better and robust. I need to do a bit of market research to get a feeling of what (future) customers really want and find important so we can shape how we move forward. In the short term this may start as a website based application, but may also migrate into a standalone app.
Things I need to do.
I need to arrange new content for my affiliate websites, I need to arrange content for my ECommerce website (along with outreach), and I need to drive sales of my online course.
Also, I was contacted by a WordPress forms plugin company wanting me to use and create videos on their new plugin. I have been given a full license to their plugin and need to start using it to see what it does and how good it is. I will then come up with a title for a video (most likely a simple tutorial), and then see if they are happy for me to do this.
I do not really want to do one-off jobs like this but turning down money is always hard. Also it will add value to my YouTube channel and also my website in terms of more relevant content. So for these reasons I am happy to move ahead with it.
Finally I have ideas for several more courses that I want to create. But these can wait until I have got these other things sorted out.
OK, that is just about it. Hopefully I will have exciting news about sales of my course and shipping of my new products soon. And also that I have got the wheels moving on new content for my various affiliate websites. It is hard to stay focused on these because my other ventures are potentially bigger in terms of money generaton, however these affiliate websites are important. They bring in a regular income that help fund my other ventures, so making sure they continue to grow is vital.