It’s time for a quick recap of October!
Whoever tells you that building a business is not an uphill battle has probably never built a business themselves.
I was really pumped after last month’s update, but then, a few days into October, my assistant left us.
Sometimes it feels like all the pieces are finally getting together and you’re getting really close to a breakthrough… Then crap hits the fan and you’re pushed back 10 miles away.
But keep in mind that what defines you is not how you handle things when everything is going fine. It’s actually how you react when things start going wrong.
Here’s what happened in October
I had been raving for the past 2 months about how good my assistant was doing and how fast she was learning. It was great because I didn’t have to worry about fulfilling orders anymore.
Unfortunately, she had to stop working for me a few days into October for personal reasons. I didn’t dig too much into it since there is nothing I can do about it, but I was a little disappointed since she was a friend before she worked for me.
Maybe it was a mistake to hire a friend in the first place…
As the holiday season is just around the corner, I had a mild panic attack for a day or two, then started working on a plan to make things work until the end of the year.
What I’ve been focusing on
Things are going to get busy pretty fast as we come near the end of the year so I don’t think I will have time to train a new assistant to handle my previous employee’s tasks.
When she was still working for me, we streamlined the tasks she had to do every day, so I had a good idea of how I can manage it by myself for a few months.
I’ve been putting tasks into 2 categories: the tasks that are essential to keep the business running, such as fulfilling the orders every single day, and the tasks that I can leave on hold for a while, such as the whole accounting of the stores.
Instead of doing the accounting daily, I will simply do it weekly, or even monthly if I run out of time.
Regarding the order fulfilment, I spent a few days coming up with a fully automated system that require very little oversight.
I had a pretty good idea of how sustainable these new processes can be by the end of October, and that should do the trick until early January, when I will start building a team again.
Taking a look at the numbers
Unfortunately, putting these new systems in place has been a major distraction at the beginning of the month and I wasn’t able to keep improving the advertising campaigns. That resulted in more losses.
The situation has not been as bad as last June, so I guess there is a silver lining to this whole situation.
I managed to keep increasing the average order value with a mix of upselling, cross-selling, and some better email marketing campaigns.
Unfortunately, my lack of attention on the paid advertising campaigns resulted in an increase in cost per sale that negated all my efforts on the other front.
What about the money?
Here is a breakdown of the money flow for my various projects.
To make this report easier to understand, I’m using a simple color code: green numbers are positive, red numbers are negative.
Please keep in mind that these figures may not be 100% accurate due to various factors such as refund requests and network adjustments. The terms for each payment may also vary. As a result these numbers may differ from the actual payments issued and received.
|Niche Sites||$464.73||▼ $141.01|
|Customer Service||$42.96||▲ $527.81|
|Facebook Ads||-$66,114.95||▲ $29,149.51|
|Cost of Goods||-$12,748.67||▲ $6,720.90|
|Payment Fees||-$3,539.05||▲ $1,986.42|
|Email Marketing||-$215.00||▼ $20.00|
My niche sites are now reaching numbers I’m not comfortable with anymore. I am planning to spend a few days or weeks working on these sites in November to get them back on track to higher profit.
As you can see, the gross volume decreased again by almost 30%. It was a combination of one of our best sellers slowly dying off, as well as me stopping more advertising campaigns while I was putting everything together for the coming months.
This decrease in volume was actually a good thing as it meant I had more free time to organize my plan for the holiday season.
What’s happening next?
The holiday season is almost there… Christmas shopping is going to start during the second half of November so I’m going to focus on building some advertising campaigns specifically for these shoppers.
The angle will be slightly different since during this time of year most people are shopping for gifts, and not for themselves.
This will be my first holiday season with some ecommerce projects so I’m quite excited to see hwo it will go…
See you next month for another update!