Client Turned Team Member Interview: Shane’s Journey To 7-Figures

Daniel Audunsson

4 years ago Shane joined my previous training program, Infinity Code. Shane had just graduated top-of-class with a MSc in Finance but didn’t find a “regular job” that offered what he wanted.

So he took matters into his own hands and started his own business selling private label products on Amazon.

Fast-forward 4 years and Shane is now approaching 7-figures with his business. He’s also found his “zone of genius” within the business, which are the advertising systems & more broadly, operations.

At the start of 2021 Shane joined our team here at IntoProfits, where we are currently hard at work behind the scenes building “the next generation” of Amazon PL systems using automation technology, predictive analytics and AI (more on that later this year).

I sat down with Shane and we discussed his journey so far, what he’s doing differently and main lessons learned. Check it out, you’ll learn a lot!

HERE’S WHAT WE COVER:

  • Shane’s unlikely path into Amazon PL after graduating top-of-class with MSc in Finance
  • Why Shane resonated with my scientific and predictable approach to business
  • How Shane hit a ceiling with 3 - 4 products at ≈ $20,000 p/ month and struggled to scale
  • The point of confusion as a solopreneur with plate full and not knowing what to do next
  • How Shane was able to predictably get to the next level with clear systems & operations
  • Why hiring a supply chain manager and dialing in that part of his business was critical
  • How Shane has been able to crack the “holy grail” of entrepreneurship which is hiring and building a team with an A-Player culture
  • What roles does Shane have on his team now that he’s approaching the 7-figures level
  • How applying predictable full-scale Amazon advertising systems was a game-changer
  • The surprising synergy between Shane’s MSc in Finance and Amazon PPC processes
  • How Shane is growing to 7-figures without “external marketing” and by focusing purely on product strategy + listing optimization + PPC
  • Why there’s still massive room for improvement within Amazon Advertising and how Shane has joined forces with IntoProfits to continue to develop even better systems & tech for Amazon PPC
  • What we are working on currently at IntoProfits and building to take things further...

Check out the interview and then join the conversation by sharing what you think in the comments below?

Wishing you success!

Daniel Audunsson & the team at IntoProfits.com

(00:04):

Everyone. This is Daniel Audunsson here. And, uh, today I have Shane here with me and I'm going to just have a conversation with Shane because Shane has an awesome story that I think will be really, uh, inspiring and valuable for you to hear about learn about Shane started about four years ago, um, selling private label products on Amazon, and he since grown his business to, uh, seven, the seven people level is approaching the sound figure level with his business. Um, and he's a really smart guy. He's got a lot of unique talents. And, um, one of the things I find fascinating about Shane is, uh, a lot of people talk about keeping things simple and sort of being minimum. Uh, minimalists Shane is one of the few people I've met that actually is a minimalist and it keeps things simple like by nature, which is really cool.

(00:54):

So his perspective on things I think is very valuable. And since starting, you know, Shane and I have known each other for four years, uh, he started, um, early on in one of my programs. And, uh, this year he actually joined the team. We have that into profits and we're doing really cool stuff, which we'll talk a bit more about, uh, more things that are coming out this year. Talk about that at the end of the interview. So Shane has come in and sort of an operational role, uh, he's focused on advertising PPC. So he's got a lot of great insights on that. It's we can talk about the first of all, just wanted to, uh, cover the same story, his journey as an Amazon seller, what he's been through, always been able to reach the seven figure level now in a short time and build a great business, great lifestyle business, uh, self-made entrepreneur. So Shane, welcome to the call.

(01:45):

Thanks for that introduction, Daniel. Very flattering.

(01:51):

Cool. Cool. Yeah. Um, well I guess I just have a lot of great things to say about you, so, uh, we'll have to bear with me on that. Uh, hold on, uh, barriers you too much, but, uh, but yeah, so let's just dive in, you know, I think the first thing, uh, people would find really interesting is basically how you start it, you know, it goes to know you were, uh, just graduating college, right. Uh, finance degree. So maybe just kind of like, it was a quick introduction, how and why you got started.

(02:22):

Yeah, that's right. Um, I studied accounting and then done a master's in finance. Uh, no, uh, no plans to be an entrepreneur. I was just in of, particularly with accounting, I was doing something, not just making money and then really know that it's dealing, uh, but look the finance side of things. So, so I'd have to stay on, I'm doing a and doc and I'm pretty well. Um, those was looking for a job in treasury. So essentially a cashflow engine of a buying or a business. It's a pretty specific role. What's it must have five or six months I'd finished at other graduated. And I still hadn't had any luck. I got to my final interview as soon interviews of like directors and buying some and things like that. But fortunately I never got it. Or fortunately I should say, um, because I could be working in a bind now and after doc, like seeing, uh, someone talking about Amazon and Amazon business and I was pretty hooked from dental, you know, and then came across it yourself.

(03:33):

Awesome. So you joined my program, infinity code. Was it about four years ago? Something like that?

(03:41):

Yes. Like. So I think was at the first or second year was pretty aired. Actually. It was, it was four years ago and I sure does seems long though. It seems like a long time, but

(03:55):

Yeah, a lot has happened since then. Um, and so was that the first course you joined, like the second or third or

(04:04):

So that would have been the second and I had joined sort of the original guy I had seen talking on YouTube. Uh, he had a course that he could was a couple hundred dollars, nothing really detailed, but I joined that and it sort of validated that this was possible that it was a hospital to being successful on Amazon. Well, it's me being me. I always want to have that like maybe an edge. Um, um, as soon as I'd heard you talk in a referral on a, on an E a webinar, I heard you talk and mentioned, I want them to get involved in what you're offering.

(04:45):

Cool. What was it that, uh, I guess attracted you to, to me or what makes sense made sense to you?

(04:56):

No, it was in, I think it was the scientific approach. Um, uh, you talked about getting from a, to B with predictable results. And so that was exactly what I wanted to hear having been, let's say, in academia or studying for many years, that sort of resonated with me straight away that, um, there were certain things we could be working on certain methods, certain, uh, techniques we could use that would get us the result they're looking for. I'm not as successfully getting the product on Amazon, you know?

(05:29):

Right. Instead of like kind of vague details or, or more like a, uh, hit and miss approach.

(05:38):

Yeah, yeah, exactly. It was a, I think it was just the clarity that you had on it. A lot of people didn't talk, you know, and a lot of people are talking in sort of very ambiguous and you were very clear in what it was we needed to do is actually get open, so, right.

(05:58):

Makes sense. Um, okay. And so you joined infinity code and, um, and yeah. Talk us through, like, what happened then? Like how did you go about like finding your first product and how long did it take and sort of first year or so?

(06:15):

Yeah. So, and then it didn't disappoint. I, the infinity code and it helped me get open room, uh, particularly some of the techniques about launching products and trial new products were particularly good for us because that was exactly what do I do on and on. Then we got to a certain point where we had maybe three or four products, but we sorta hit a seal. I think that would have been around the 20,000 Mark. We would have hit a ceiling and couldn't start to get past that scale-up because everything was a little bit, um, all over the place. And I didn't really have a grip on anything. Um, things were working and there was nothing there that I could say, I need to follow this path to get up to the next level, after that, you know, right,

(07:03):

Right. To get to like 20,000 a month. Was it a year or two years? Like how long did it take you roughly?

(07:13):

Well, that's a good question. And I think it would have been about a year. Well, it's probably a little bit less than that because it takes a long time to get the product up. We can get it kind of going, you know?

(07:27):

Yeah. Yeah. And then, uh, is it accurate to say that you were kind of like stuck at a certain level, like you were saying with Corso products and things kind of felt chaotic and messy and you weren't able to really gain traction to go farther?

(07:46):

Yeah. We just are all I should say. I just didn't know what to do next. And in terms of like playful and I didn't, I know it's like add products, add products, but I was doing too much of the business that I didn't know. I didn't have the time and I wasn't able to dedicate the time to other products. Well, after Joanne and or after talking to you other than the consultation, you said explaining that they're sort of systems and operations and things we can put in place or things I can put in place to predictably get to the next level by following set steps, you know, based on it, the beautiful thing about it as well is based on my circumstances.

(08:27):

Right, right. I remember you sent me a third message on Facebook, I believe. And, uh, I was just, you know, just in the process of launching and building APAC seller, uh, which isn't in the program you, you joined. Um, so, so yeah, so that program gave you exactly what you needed in terms of like the structure, the systems, things like that. Yeah. Cause once we

(08:56):

Were at the dilemma in the systems and as far as opportunism, as far as operations, and then it gave me the ability to hire people or help and to get great people on board that would take us, take us up another level, you know, cause then we're was able to dedicate time, um, uh, increase revenue people to the business.

(09:23):

Right. What would you say or someone like the major transformation that happened for you, um, after you joined or when you joined apex cellar?

(09:36):

Um, I don't think it was, there was any major transformation that happened up that flick the switch per se bullets. And I was always fairly content because I knew what I was doing. Then I was building up the work flows. I was building it systems for support, for advertising, for the supply chain. Um, while I was writing down essentially my best practices that then someone else can come in and take over that and then make that their own, you know? Um, and that was the, I think that was the key, you know, to be honest, when I purchased apex and I think I've purchased maybe one or two 30 smaller courses outside of that, but I felt since then that like apex is the course to end all courses for me because now I really know what I'm doing have priority. And, uh, it's still as applicable today as it was. What is it going to be two years ago now? Yeah.

(10:33):

Yeah. That's because it's mostly the fundamentals that don't really change. I was in a certain components that have all like the PVC systems, but a lot of the same things are just the same two years, three years from now four years.

(10:48):

Yeah. That's a good point. I think a lot of people in the space we're talking about like gimmicks and tricks to increase sales or to get reviews or to sort of game the system. Whereas apex is more about the business from the mental it's the predictable teams we can do as far as support supply chain, marketing sales and product selection, things like that, that are the actual core fundamentals of business that are not only great for mail and getting to the next level. But like when you learn these things, you have them for the rest of your life, essentially. So I knew it sounds like an attack, this and that, that sort of stuff, but that was, this was the right choice.

(11:29):

Right. So it sounds like it gave you a lot more like clarity and confidence in what you were doing.

(11:36):

Yeah, exactly. Um, I didn't have confidence in what I was doing before. I didn't know when we were going to reach the next level. I didn't know how to get there not far. So it probably was a little bit touching goal at that stage. I could have very easily started going downwards, just the quizzes and predictability of everything, too many extending flights. So, uh, thankfully it was a right place right time.

(12:00):

Right. Okay, cool. Let's talk about some of the more specific things that, um, helped you. I will say one thing to not, you know, for people watching this as a, you know, at this point you have a pretty cool lifestyle, you know, you live in Indonesia, you're able to spend time with the beets and do whatever you want this essentially. So it's really kind of worked out well from that perspective. Um, and one of the big things you're doing is that you have kind of like a unique supply chain and product range and things like that. So, uh, I know, remember, you know, um, when we were having conversations through the program, you know, Q and a sessions and things, uh, initially it was a lot about like hiring a supply chain manager and getting your production sort of dialed in. So maybe share a little bit about that experience, like how that sort of, um, transformed a very, very fundamental part of your business.

(12:59):

Yeah. Um, our sort of industry we're in involved with Minecraft. So a lot of our products are, so the supply chain is a crucial elements to our business. That's maybe a little bit different than say traditional China production. So it meant the value of supply chains was huge. Um, being able to implement things through quality control and even, even like the world was quality standards. I had never heard of that before. And so that was huge. And it gave me and an understanding of how a supply chain should work as far as the inventory plan. And as far as cash flow and with that, then as you mentioned, um, I was able to go all air, the supply chain manager on someone that was good at their job because I'll even understood what I was hiring for. Whereas before I didn't understand them all, Aaron's, uh, tricky enough as it is, nevermind when you're hired for a position, you know?

(14:00):

Right. Yeah. And that's another thing that, uh, I mean, I think you're naturally also very good at this, um, yeah. Working with people and things like that, but at the same time, it's also a skill set that you had to learn. So we obviously did cover hiring. Uh, we do cover that in apex. And so would you say that that part of it, like, just understanding how to create the systems, the clarity, the structure, and then hire the right people, train them, coach them, work with the team, like that's, that was a big transformation for you in terms of how you're running your business now versus before you joined apex.

(14:36):

Yeah. Hiring as, as you mentioned, there, there is, the gate does add on harm within apex, which is really helpful. And, uh, using that to identify to your own personal situation and build your systems to air was hugely important. And it started to come full circle as well as in, after hiring. Now I'm true to coaching through what I've learned from apex on Ableton and coach my employees, and they're actually going out and building these amazing systems themselves and other news slowed operations, which is not most proud of is the relationships I've developed with people. You know? Cause I think everyone, everyone wants to live up to their potential. And if you can leave everyone a little bit better than you found them, and then you're going the right way.

(15:24):

Yeah, exactly. It's kind kinda like the whole, the grill of business I guess, is, is the people component and actually being able to build like an organism and a proper organization that can kind of grow naturally through the people.

(15:39):

That's true as well. You know, it's, uh, to be able to go from, let's say a solopreneur to have a real company, um, is it's a big staff and it's one less necessary if you want to take it up to that, to that next level. You know? And because a lot of people get stuck in the solopreneur doing everything themselves, and it's pretty much impossible to get to a big level, uh, with that, with that, uh, set up, you know,

(16:08):

It's not as fun either. They're doing everything yourself.

(16:11):

No, no, no, it's not. I think that's the best part of the, as I said, is like the, the relationships, whether, or not said your own employees, like your internal team or, or my employees know, I always refer to everyone. That's a partner of ours. He has our extended team and that's the currency, that's the thing that you want to develop. And, uh, yeah, that's, that's the fun part, you know? Yeah.

(16:36):

And it sounds like you have been able to create a pretty cool culture, like in your team where people are really enjoying what they're doing.

(16:44):

Yeah. Huge, huge is a culture. I'm Sam I'm setting the tone. And as a, as a leader, you know, you're only able to do that when you fully understand the business, you fully understand what you're doing and then you can set an example and set standards for the rest of the team, you know, because obviously the, the beautiful thing is when you hire someone on baby, come in and be better than you at that particular role, you know, and that's the fun part, then you're relying on them there to go. Is that know what they're doing on support and Dan essentially. And, um, yeah, I think that's, uh, I think that's a beautiful thing. Yeah.

(17:23):

Uh, I think if I'm not remembering incorrectly, um, like it took you a little bit of time to get the right person for the supply chain manager role. Right. But it's a bit of trial and error, but once you got the person, like it's so valuable and, and he's brought some experience to the table. Right. I think it's like that.

(17:42):

Yeah. Yeah. Took, I think three attempts, I think is one of the hardest things in business. If not the hardest thing is getting people. Right. Because everyone can work with like numbers and, uh, things like that. But when you're working with people, it's not, it's not numbers, it's biology, it's a it's personality. So yeah, it took it, it took a while, but I knew what I was looking for. You know, it had that clarity about the sort of character I was looking for the values. We want you the company. And then not only that, but then the road itself. So I was able to, uh, our people realized they weren't, the right people are also milked on and then eventually got the right person, you know, just through perseverance. Yeah, yeah. Identity. That's a game changer as you know yourself when you can get in someone that is, uh, yeah.

(18:36):

That, that, that lives, the company values, uh, some of the ones we have in an ownership, uh, setting the right example. And so these are, these are the things you want and it's not only for, uh, like you mentioned an apex, it's not only for delegation. I think that's the wrong way to look at it. It's give them ownership of that. It's that department, you know, they're, they've got the business owner hat on as well. So then everything's, doesn't come back to you because again, you're getting back into that solo preneur start to set up and it's a, it's a complete bottleneck it's completely falling.

(19:10):

Yeah, exactly. And I think this is one area of the business. A lot of, especially Amazon sellers, miss understand, just because I guess there's not much information on it. I know it took me a long time to figure it out, not a long time, but it took me trial and error, like serious pain to figure it out. Um, because, uh, a big thing that I see is like, people will hire like a VA let's say, in the Philippines. Um, and then they put them in some project management tool and basically lay out every single task they're supposed to do. And just basically micromanage the heck out of the person. And nobody likes that. No, one's gonna enjoy that stay for long. And it's still like, everything's still gets back to you. So you're still like the center of the bottleneck of your own business. So that is not, that's completely different. You can do certain things like that, but it's completely different to building like an actual company, like an actual organization with people that have ownership and stuff.

(20:07):

Yeah. I think, uh, I think it's so true. I think a lot of people, maybe it's a, um, it would have been me myself before this, you know, it's not that this has never happened to me. It's happened to me as well in terms of not understanding that business fundamentals, not understanding the roles on there, boy, hiring like a VA tries to do everything, but no one can do everything. Right. You know what I mean, to be able to hire someone, whether it's a support manager, supply chain managers, I'm in marketing. I don't understand, uh, the role and understand that. I understand why we're in some people and, uh, yeah. Slowly but surely you do get there, you know?

(20:46):

Yeah. And guess it takes those take, like you said, that clarity on your business first and foremost, yourself, like, and really understanding what you're doing to be able to get that across to other people and get them to come into that structure and do the right things. And if you're, if things are a mess, you're not clear, you don't have structure, you don't have systems like then obviously it's just going to add to the mess to bring people into that.

(21:09):

Yeah, exactly. It's sort of points to the fact that like before I didn't really have my personal operations in check as in how many routine, not a schedule and or if I did, it was very basic. So to be able to come into apex and pick up some of the stuff that you've been applying for many years, but are not sure what are not scheduled there and, or time oddity. And these are crucial because as a leader, as if you do want to get to like the company level, you're going to be the leader of that. And all of your team pick up on your behaviors while you're doing, and you've got to lead by example. And if you can't get cheer about what you're doing, then you see very little help. I don't think you've given people a clarity to come into the business and help, you know? Yeah.

(22:03):

And if you're not organized, then you take two days to respond back to things and et cetera, like people are going to take on that culture themselves and they're going to become sloppy and slow and it doesn't build a good company.

(22:18):

Yeah. Yeah. I think so. Um, the, the owners should at least the ownership, the last person to leave worker for not to come to you later.

(22:28):

Right. Right. One thing I think people would really find interesting is, is currently cause you're, you know, you're getting to the seven figure level. Um, I would argue you're already there. I know you've done. Maybe agreed, but it's, it's, it's, it's going really well, uh, to say that and growing, you know, I think most people would, um, and, and sort of growth and thinks you're up, you're having, and it's been very consistent for you. Um, and you, you know, you, you, you have a clear path, but like right now, what does the team look like? What roles do you have and, and that kind of stuff.

(23:02):

Yeah. So we have supply chain manager full-time and the support manager full-time on the other marketing exec full-time as well.

(23:12):

So since it was three, like key people.

(23:15):

Yeah. Yeah. Um, I always try to take people in like a Hoyer, let's say contractors up to the point that it there's a full-time role there. And then it ends where really where the magic happens, because when you can get somebody in, that's going to be a, full-time dedicated to the role on it's a, it's a defined role. The has, and then it gives them empowers staff to go on and do good things. You know? Whereas I think if you, I think if you've got people on there and then they're like 10 hours and they're doing a bit of everything, they're not really developing their craft and enabling change. And it's quite frustrating. I think if we look at ourselves and we have to do everything, it's not going to be a, it's not going to be fruitful. It's not going to be enjoyable. You want to create a, uh, an, a born music culture. That's fun. You know, you work hard, but at the same time we could all be doing [inaudible]. So we're going to be working together. And as a team that Tufts in front, along the way.

(24:19):

Exactly. Yeah. Couldn't agree more. And this goes back to, I think, uh, you know, where you're naturally very strong. Like I mentioned in the, when I was introducing you, uh, like you, you keep things simple. You're a minimalist and Nate by nature. Like, so you're really good at not overstretching things. And, uh, which I think is unusual for entrepreneurs. Usually entrepreneurs are more kind of, you know, go fast, go big, go kind of sloppy. And, uh, I was guilty of that in my business. You know, having a team that was too big for what we actually should have been able to do what we were doing with fewer people, essentially. So, you know, like you, you have three people, I suppose, a short form with yourself, uh, you know, and, and businesses sizable at this point, I think few businesses could reach this level with that small of a team, but that's a really good thing and something you've been able to do, um, and, uh, not overextend the team, like instead get really quality people. And this, I think it comes back to also something that people tend to mess up in Amazon business is hiring like a bunch of different VA's instead of focusing on the quality of the team and having fewer people, but really, really great people that take ownership. And that's really the key to have like a healthy, uh, like really good business.

(25:37):

Yeah, yeah, exactly. I like to, I like to hire people, let's say early stage, I speak especially important for Amazon, as well as that there's often roles that people have never worked before, you know, and I'm like, it changed a little bit now in the last couple of years, but often there's these roles that are, uh, that are new and you have to coach people. So, and you're able to coach them comes to my knowledge actually coaching them the first place, but yeah, they can go on and be great.

(26:10):

Yeah. Awesome. So there's one more area. I think that will be fun to talk about. Myths. I know has been a huge, um, thing for you, your business, and also, I guess, an area that you really like personally. So you've personally like focused, there is the advertising, like Amazon PPC advertising systems. So, uh, I would be very curious to know. I've never asked you this question actually, like what were you doing before apex? And like, how did those systems change your approach to, to that like the sales generation?

(26:45):

What was I doing before I teach them is probably a, maybe two or maybe three or four campaigns. So probably not a lot is that there's a right answer to that question. But when I joined apex and realized that the reserve, you could use both files and XL on deploying predictable systems, and that was a game changer and it's actually full circle there because when I was doing studying, we were doing, we were on XL 30 daily, particularly for it and finance like financial models and equations, all of this, I had actually been so well versed that, that when I got to it and to apex, uh, I was, I was pretty satisfied with that because it was a little bit like skill you're dealing with these sorts of things. Like, I'm never gonna use this again.

(27:39):

And then you stack isn't that. And then I, obviously, I was very familiar with it. So, um, enabled me to go on it and not only applied assistance, but then start changing the systems and making them better. And I think what's evident in apex is you're not just giving people like a tricker duty skill from a to B you're more teaching people and coaching people how to take and given them a new perspective on things. And so that obviously resonated a lot with me and I'd often think about how can we improve things, how can we improve the opportunities inside of things and being quite on medical that slowly but surely, um, start playing around with spreadsheets or changing things, uh, let's start seeing the results. And, uh, yeah. Then Dan, when you said there may be a position here in Africa is in the offices is something that I could, I could do very well.

(28:35):

Yeah. It was cool. You know, cause we were starting to talk a bit more on OCA, you know, if you don't have a cute group in apex, it's, it's more of a, an exclusive group. So we have a lot of interactions and I know everyone pretty well in the group. Uh, but yeah, I remember I was like, Hey, this guy is actually much better at this than me. So he would be a perfect person to come join our team on this in particular, because you have the backgrounds, I don't, I'm just like a ghetto person coming into XO with no training on it and, you know, building things out, but you brought the expertise, like you were able to see ways to improve things further with your analytical skillset and all that kind of stuff. And I guess it really found your sown as well. Like while I really liked this, you know, this is really fun to do.

(29:24):

Yeah. It was, it was natural to me at that point, you know? And so it gave me, um, I would just say I could see things that we were doing. Let's say when we were analyzing stocks on stock market and can look at them, the analysis, I could see like a sea change on a new tools with Xcel that we could start to manipulate that a little bit and change things up. Um, so yeah, it's sort of, um, yeah, it was, it was good in that sense.

(29:58):

Yeah. And um, so, so one thing I think we should clarify this with people and understand as well as, um, you know, there's so much talk in Amazon in the world about all these different marketing things you can do, you know, giveaways and all that stuff. Um, is it correct that by now and I guess for the last couple of years, PBC plus your listing optimization, like that's been 95% of your marketing efforts.

(30:25):

Yeah. That's, that's true. I think, uh, once you have a good product and you have a product that has a, let's say strategic advantage, or you have an angle on it combined that with PBC and a good listing, that's enough to launch on to, at, to be successful on Amazon. I think it's, I think it's feeding Amazon what at once and because they're increasingly the Coleman a to play, um, as in a, for the ads to get visibility. And we've seen that with other areas, particularly on social media, on Facebook, whereas before you'd get all this organic reach and now it's not the case yet the pay for ads and Amazon are essentially printing money, doing it as they're just having an auction for their own website. So I imagine this will be the work direction is going, it's going to become a bigger portion of their P and L and they will favor people that are spending a lot of money on ads, you know, and from my perspective, we have to take that sort of their priority, their perspective, and then utilize that in a way that said the fan pages for us.

(31:39):

So that's the grease in revenue, efficient litter stand, but yet still got the gas pedal all the way down. And, uh, yeah, from my experience, Amazon pick up on that and, uh, yeah, you get obviously organic ranking. Okay.

(31:58):

Yeah. It's, it's, it's amazing how it works now. Uh, it actually is much simpler than before in terms of being able to use the SIM systems to drive your growth and support your sales and everything. Uh, and it rewards more, the people that actually have great products and a great strategy with their products and just the basics, the fundamentals, the things that actually should be important because that's kind of how it should work is that people that are providing great value in the market is a Protestant things. We're not versus people that are relying on gimmicks and hacks to game the system. And also one thing that I is is, is, is really interesting from an operational perspective. There is that, um, you know, when you try to do like five different things to market your products, you know, you, you spread yourself thin, like you're only 20% effective at any one thing, especially when you're small and you don't have the resources of the team to focus properly on its thing. And then, uh, you know, that's a huge disadvantage, like PPC is only at 20% of the potential, but if you just did the most impactful thing, what's this PBC and listing optimization and did that at a hundred percent, you would get much better results.

(33:14):

Yeah. You can spend a lot of time trying to do, uh, external, uh, still fixed there in a wealth. Amazon would I find the best results are on Amazon. Okay.

(33:26):

And cool thing about PBC as well. I guess we can kind of, uh, talk about a little bit here. Um, as well as, um, that there's a lot of improvements. Like we were finding so many things that are, we can still do to improve things and do things that other people aren't doing like to gain an advantage with BBC there's more and more options. Like the video ads are pretty new, pretty amazing. Um, and so I guess that's really an area where, you know, you become very involved in terms of figuring things out and building out more systems and more structure and improving the existing systems and things. You still see a lot of opportunity within those systems.

(34:06):

Yeah. It's a, it's a case of probably too much opportunity. And I try to focus on getting one done at a time because I have a richness of ideas and improvements that we can, we can implement on an increase, our spend, or increase our revenue and make our stand more efficient. So, um, yeah, I think there's a, there's a lot on the way, um, to, yeah, I'm pretty excited, pretty excited.

(34:35):

And it's, it's the power of the data, like being able to really dig in on it and, uh, you know, fine tune. Like it's sort of like, you just kind of go into this, uh, thing that there's always more, there's always more to do, uh, to improve things. Uh, and, um, yeah, like you said, is this almost like two months opportunity, but it's exciting though, because it means there's a lot of things that haven't been done and we're able to improve results, uh, significantly because of it.

(35:06):

Yeah. There's that, there's a lot of that on top potential and we're seeing, but Amazon recent more ways to advertise. I should mention that like video ads and display ads, so, and expect to be more on the way. And I guess, uh, I guess my job is to keep up to date and keep everyone on top of the current changes, you know?

(35:27):

Yeah, exactly. And the cool thing is you're able to do this because you have such a good team with your private label business that frees you up and you're able to focus on the things that you really enjoy doing and, and really master, you know, some of the most impactful things in this business, like the advertising. And again, like you're able to do the things I want to be able to do, and it's not a given to be able to do like, take things really far and improve things. You need to have the right skillset, the right interest in a lot of people what's in this probably would never want to do anything with PBC themselves. Uh, it's like the least interesting thing. So it just it's really like, yeah, it seems, you know, I would say you found your soul and with that and, and, uh, and that's really cool.

(36:14):

Yeah. I think I'm pretty lucky to have been able to, to get a great team together, um, and have almost leaders in every department sit there, boy, it frees me up, um, to focus on, um, advertising and taking things to the next level.

(36:34):

Yeah. And then I guess the final thing we can mention on that because, you know, people watching, um, might be, you know, interested in curious to hear what we're working on sort of high level to take things further. Obviously one of the things that separates or makes our systems really good is the fact that we use the bulk operations we use, um, uh, you know, we're able to do things at scale and go much deeper on the data, fine tune. Uh, and you know, we've taken that really far, but then, uh, you know, it starts with getting into like things like technology and automation and different things that have to be built off, you know, from the grant to, to be able to do certain things like faster and more, even more effectively and efficiently. And so it keeps going.

(37:20):

Yeah. And there's just so much data, especially when you download both floods, you're like, ah, except that to be able to, for the indicators to look up right analysis, to run and to get insights on your own data, to realize where you're going wrong, realize where you're going. Right. And I guess the 80 20 rule applies is, did you want to do more of that liquid stuff and yeah. Less, less of the method of wasteful spending. That's it

(37:49):

And interesting as well. It's I think a lot of sellers don't realize there's, um, you know, you can apply simple logic and formulas to certain things just to kind of blindly do it or execute different things. But at the same time, that can be a treacherous path because that can also lead you in the wrong direction. There's some like discretionary thought that's required to really optimize like first of all, for the right thing, which is not just like the eight costs on your campaigns, but overall profit in the business, more like the ACO Ts taking in comps rink and stuff, but also like being able to make this or decisions, um, like the logic is suggesting this changed, but I know better because these ads are actually doing this, you know, having this impact on ranking. So that's, I guess what makes it trickier than just like simple automation, if you want.

(38:45):

Yeah. It's, uh, it's situational, you know, you want to be able to, um, determine the Oakland based off what you need at that moment. You know, and if you're having, for example, uh, out of stock issues, which we had, so with the shipping crisis this year, you want to, you probably want to optimize more for profitability versus if you've got a steady stream of stock and everything's good, you can probably push the odds further and attain a more organic ranking or revenue. And, um, yeah, that will, that will be the thing that increases the business secrets or sales, where it's not always the case. You know, you gotta, you gotta sit down and look at your supply chain, which American and decide what strategy you want to take, you know, cause it's not going to be, it's not going to be a one size fits all, you know, and you can get lost in looking at costs and predict it doesn't correlate.

(39:39):

Uh, often it doesn't correlate with the, let's say the total advertising cost of sales. And so being able to know the right numbers to look at, uh, at any given time is important, you know, and I think as you've already built in apex, there's a lot of this, uh, ready-made templates, ready-made analysis that is, uh, exactly what you needed to make decisions. You know, I make decisions at scale as well because the fact that we're using files, the fact that we know what analysis to look at and for not only one campaign or, I mean, we've got hundreds of campaigns and to be able to be able to get through all of those campaigns and quick, efficiently, and then make decisions about orders and make decisions about advertising. And that's, I think that's hugely important.

(40:32):

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And, uh, comes back to some of the obsess about an APR seller was just being a systems thinker. And so we've taken a holistic view. Like if you're looking at your ads, you're not just looking at drafts, you're looking at your goals. Like you're looking at what you're trying to accomplish at this point that you're looking at even things from your supply chain. And then we have things, you know, like the key performance indicator tracking and the OKR system. And, and then when you have a team, like how do you bring them into the table for decision making? And, and so, um, all those things are critical as well. It's not just PPC on its own, it's PBC in connection to everything else that's going on.

(41:13):

Yeah. They're all usually connected. As you said, it's a, it's a holistic thing. And oftentimes I'm having discussions with our supply chain manager or advertising as in, I can't put the gas pedal down because we haven't got this consistent flow stock. Now, obviously you would have shipping crisis. It's not always controllable, but I can't push down on the ads just trying to increase their revenue. And I mean, my personal strategy is the break even one, whereas I'm pushing out to the max because if we can, we can increase revenue, increased amount of units for ordering while still maintaining quality. And we're going to have economies of scale and economies of scale, meaning that we can order units for better costs, more efficient [inaudible] products that are not shipping. If you can do like 24 containers, 44 containers, and the higher up you bill in that say, it's not as simple as top line revenue, but generally that could be the target. Then the easier it's going to get, you know, it's, it's not, I don't think it's linear the whole way. It tends to get, you have more options. Let's say the higher up you get the more, uh, scaling it.

(42:27):

Yeah. You can leverage the economies of scale and the benefits that this there's a lot of things that emerged from that when you have a lot going on.

(42:38):

Well, to do that, I mean, you have to have a, you can't be just running around and trying to do everything you have to know, know your business, know the systems are. Cause if you're, if, like I said, you're increasing, you're putting the foot down on the, or let's take from the very start, just got a beautiful stream of stock in there on putting the full pedal down on an advertisement. Isn't this going up a level. We don't have a quality control systems. And if we don't have their support systems in place, this has got to separate them down. You know, because if you're ordering a lot more stock, you could potentially have more issues and it's just going to hold him to like them at a bigger level. So to be able to, let's say, sharpen the saw, uh, before you put the foot down on the scale and makes all the difference, you know, but otherwise you're just going to a big issue. That's cashflow quality customer issues and the list is the list is endless.

(43:34):

Yeah. Spot on. So that's a good point. And most people don't realize how this all connects like this.

(43:42):

Yeah. Yeah. So these are like, these are like the things that, and that makes the, the, I think it's really fun. I obviously we're still quite small, but he, that makes it really fun because your employees are, are like owners in their own. Right. Putting their armaments. So, and they get an understanding for all this. I lean on them. They remind me, yeah. I'm planning to do like a, a team event now, uh, early next year where we're gonna on the company, of course we'll meet open. I had to get a hotel and, um, have some activities and stuff. So I'm looking forward to that too. It's going to be a lot of fun. I say, hopefully, hopefully COVID permit and that's nice. So,

(44:26):

Um, it's credible, it's uh, this is the, uh, joy of being an entrepreneurs is like, you know, being able to do these things and, uh, have some fun as well.

(44:36):

Yeah.

(44:39):

Yeah. Look, this has been a great conversation, um, can go on for awhile. Um, and obviously, you know, again, um, yeah, uh, full disclosure, you know, you're also a part of into profits and, uh, and we're working together at this point, but I still want to ask you, you know, and, uh, you know, very honest guy, uh, you don't beat her on the boost. So I just wanted to ask you like objectively, uh, from your perspective as apex seller, um, you know, who were, would it be a good fit for like who in your view, uh, should really consider or would really benefit from that? Like, like what situation would, would, uh, be a great fit to come through this and sort of really be able to scale your business because of the systems and the structure and everything.

(45:26):

I like the tink and I think anyone confusion about what to do next and it's the perfect fit because I know we've said it a couple of times, but it gets great clarity, you know, as an only have not only understanding of what's working now, but I know as we scale where the pain points are going to be, where we need more help, where we need new systems and that will enable me to then go up another level to help.

(45:58):

Nice. Yeah, for sure. I mean, you're definitely on track to this. I mean, we had been growing and it's going to continue.

(46:05):

There's no question. Yeah. I think, I think they have to, they have to have the desire to want to do better. You know, that's real business and it's real. It's real. It's still fun. I don't think everyone, everyone likes to, I think, yeah, actually I think people often don't gel with that. Some people just want the easy thing.

(46:23):

Yeah. A hundred percent agree. Um, it takes work to go through this and implement then total dedication. Like you also have immersed yourself, your entire life in your business. That's really what it takes in reality. You know, it's not a side hustle. That's not going to go very far.

(46:41):

Yeah. At least I assume I don't know any other. Right, right. I think that's the most predictable way anyway, is if you're all in, you know,

(46:52):

Hey, simply the most enjoyable way, you know, if you're, if you like what you're doing, then it wouldn't wouldn't have it any other way,

(47:00):

Dedication, isn't it. And that's even for us as people's wellbeing to control yourself in something. And then, uh, and then she had some great things, you know, like there's nothing better than setting targets and uh, you have to go out there and do it, you know?

(47:16):

Yeah, exactly. So, uh, yeah. Any final words or lessons or suggestions you want to share with people?

(47:27):

Well, that's a big question. I don't know if, than you lessons to give people and yeah, I don't know. I just think, I just think do it, you know, I'm not saying that that's a apex or whatever it may be, but oftentimes you have these things on our minds, things you want to change or, uh, we don't go out there and do it. I'm spending a lot of time talking about it, thinking about it on at the end of the day, none of us is getting out of the bar.

(47:57):

Right. Well said, thanks for, uh, for your time. And, uh, hope everyone enjoyed this conversation. Uh, so that's it. Bye for now. Awesome.