Goal Update – February 10, 2017 (Amazon FBA, Twitter, YouTube, Podcasts)

Goal Update February 10, 2017
Check in for a Goal Update from February 10, 2017

Starting in 2017, I began publicly sharing goals related to building my Amazon FBA business as well as growing The Bootstrap Boutique. I set quarterly goals and do a check in on YouTube every two weeks to keep you updated on my progress and to hold myself accountable to working consistently towards meeting these goals.

For the first quarter of 2017, I set the following goals for myself:

 

  1. Sell all 500 units of my Private Label Product
  2. Launch a second Private Label Product
  3. Gain 5,000 Twitter Followers
  4. Send out 1,000 Tweets
  5. Earn 200 YouTube Subscribers
  6. Post 20 YouTube Videos
  7. Review 3 books on YouTube
  8. Appear on 3 Podcasts or YouTube Channels

 

So how did I do?  Let’s check in!

Sell all 250 units of my Private Label Product

0 / 250

So you guys know that I’ve got my first product live on Amazon, I am super excited. It just went live yesterday, or maybe the night before, but anyway. I haven’t sold anything yet, which is fine. I’m running PPC so just waiting for that to kind of kick in and find me some good keywords to focus in on.

But do you notice anything different about this chart that I’m showing on the screen right now? Give you a second. Ok, look at that top number. 250. What did that say last time we checked in? 500. I got my shipment in and it’s 250 units, not 500 units. And at first I was like, “uhh, what happened?”  So I went back and looked at my purchase order and nope, Megan you ordered 250 units. Not 500 units.

And on one hand that’s ok, You know it’s ok, its less to sell and I’m glad I don’t have 50 boxes in my house because they are kind of sizeable. The problem is that my product cost is double what I thought it was. So it is going to be almost impossible for me to make a profit because my product cost is actually right under $13, actually $12.92 and I thought it was going to be more like $6.50 so I have almost no margin. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m probably taking a hit on profitability on this first product.

So, I am very upset with myself. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. Maybe another time.

Launch a second Private Label Product

Let’s move on to the second product, I’m still in the research phase, still using Jungle Scout.

What I’ve actually done is I took a sheet of paper, I’ve got it around here somewhere, but I said I’m not even going to start pricing and sourcing until I can fill up this whole sheet of paper with good ideas and so I have been spending lots of time in the bowels of the Amazon search engine trying to uncover some good opportunities.

I do have 2 or 3 things I’m pretty excited about but I’m really just, I think the problem might be with this first product is that I didn’t go deep enough, so I’m trying to go super deep this time and just make sure I’m on more solid footing with what I am trying to source.

So, I’m still working, I’m working really hard on this one actually. Like my two main focuses right now are optimizing the listing for product one and really digging deep on product 2. That’s where I am right now.

Gain 5,000 Twitter Followers

4522 / 5000

Moving over to twitter, I am so close to my goal of 5,000 twitter followers as of today I am at 4,522 people following the @MegLoftin handle which is just incredible.

I really enjoy Twitter, I hadn’t really been on it before, I’ve had this handle for a long time but I just kind of grabbed it a while back so I could get my name, but I hadn’t ever really used it until the last 8 or 9 months or so.

But I really enjoy twitter, I enjoy checking in on it and interacting with people so if you are on twitter make sure that you are following me @MegLoftin come say hi.

Let’s be uhhh, twitter friends, I don’t know what that’s called.

Send out 1,000 Tweets (GOAL MET)

1061 / 1000

Ok the second goal related to twitter at least is to have over 1,000 tweets on my @megloftin handle, I have surpassed that now as of this morning I was at 1,061 and you know that just continues to keep happening because like I said, I enjoy Twitter.

I enjoy interacting, I enjoy being there , so I have definitely already hit that goal with really just a month in, 6 weeks in maybe to this quarter so that number is just going to continue to grow because I like tweeting.

Earn 200 YouTube Subscribers (GOAL MET)

288 / 200

Wow, you guys. YouTube subscribers, we are up to 288 on this channel.

So that is amazing, thank you, and you know I’ve been adding about 20 a week or so and I just hope that continues I think I’ve got some really good videos coming up that I hope appeal to people and make them want to hit that subscribe button so we can continue to grow and learn from each other and help each other.

So again, if you think these videos are worth watching, maybe you think they are worth sharing too and you can tell your friends that are interested in Amazon about it and we can just kind of all grow together. Let’s do it.

Post 20 YouTube Videos

15 / 20

The next YouTube goal was to have 20 videos at The Bootstrap Boutique channel, I’m up to 64 videos now from 49 so well on the way to hitting, I’ll actually hit 20 here pretty soon.

Probably by the next goal update or the one after that. So I’m not worried about hitting this goal, I’m definitely going to exceed it, doing the 2 videos a week plus the one every other Friday definitely puts me in the ball park to hit 20 in the first quarter so that’s awesome!

Review 3 books on YouTube

2 / 3

The next goal was to review 3 books at The Bootstrap Boutique channel in the first quarter so you guys know I did Eat That Frog!

I also did 5 book reviews in 1 video but they were only 1 sentence each. So it’s really what is the essence of this book. And I just did classic books that everybody that is interested in running a business should absolutely read, there’s no doubt about that for any of these books. Got some good feedback on it, people seemed to enjoy it.

I don’t know that I’ll do it again because I’m just trying to fill out one more space which I already have the book ready to go, I’m really excited to share it with you for my last one for this goal, but as things come up in the future, especially if I can kind of find a theme, like this one I was calling the “classic business books” so maybe we’ll do a productivity one or something like that. I don’t know. Stay tuned.

Appear on 3 Podcasts or YouTube Channels

1 / 3

And then the last goal that I have was the 3 appearances and/or collaborations on podcasts on YouTube channels, on whatever and I still only have in the books Be Moving Forward with John Lim that is coming out March 7th.

I’m super excited about that. I do have a meeting on the books this afternoon to talk with another creator about doing some collaboration stuff so I’m super excited about that.

Of course I will keep you guys posted. And then we would just be looking for one more opportunity.

If you know somebody that you think I would be a good fit for and mesh well with and you want to see me pop up on their podcast, on their youtube channel, on their blog, whatever, just let me know. I am open.

Wrap Up

That’s going to wrap it up for this 2 week period. As you can see, there’s a lot of work to do still on the Amazon stuff, the YouTube, the Twitter, we’re making progress there. But let me tell you, my focus is really going to be on marketing that product. I’ve got some fun ideas and things I’m trying out to drive traffic to my Amazon listing. So more to come there, I will be sharing it all along the way, of course. And I will talk to you next time. Take care!

You can watch this video on The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube Channel here.

You can see all The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube videos here.

Goal Update – January 27, 2017 (Amazon FBA, Twitter, YouTube, Podcasts)

Goal Update January 27 2017
Goal Update Report for January 27. 2017

Starting in 2017, I began publicly sharing goals related to building my Amazon FBA business as well as growing The Bootstrap Boutique. I set quarterly goals and do a check in on YouTube every two weeks to keep you updated on my progress and to hold myself accountable to working consistently towards meeting these goals.

 

Goal Update January 27, 2017

For the first quarter of 2017, I set the following goals for myself:

  1. Sell all 500 units of my Private Label Product
  2. Launch a second Private Label Product
  3. Gain 5,000 Twitter Followers
  4. Send out 1,000 Tweets
  5. Earn 200 YouTube Subscribers
  6. Post 20 YouTube Videos
  7. Review 3 books on YouTube
  8. Appear on 3 Podcasts or YouTube Channels

 

So how did I do?  Let’s check in!

Sell all 500 units of my Private Label Product

0 / 500

Alright, first goal was to sell out of all 500 of the products that I’ve ordered. This…wah wah…is still a big fat zero but did you see my video from yesterday?

Because all my products have arrived from China they are in my house, I’ve just now got to work on getting them out of my house and into Amazon. So that is going to be a big focus of mine over the next few days.

Launch a second Private Label Product

The next goal is to launch another product at Amazon, I’m still kind of looking at some stuff in Jungle Scout, I’ve got a few ideas.

But I think I want to try Aliexpress this time and just order like one or two things and see if something sticks, so just want to try out and experiment with a different way to do this so …more to come.

Gain 5,000 Twitter Followers

4243 / 5000

Ok, moving over to Twitter, that’s my @megloftin handle and when I started on January first I had 2679 twitter followers and wow guys, we are up to 4,243 just 27 days later. So, that is just a function of showing up, spending time on twitter, finding other people that I’m interested in following, talking to them.

I’ve been making an effort to just @ reply people or just @ tag people, I don’t know the technical term for it, but reaching out to people and saying “Hey, I appreciate what you’re sharing online” and especially if there is something particular that they have shared that I liked, I am just really trying to say hi to people on Twitter. So if you follow me there, say hi to me. That would be awesome.  I will say hi back, I promise.

Send out 1,000 Tweets

939 / 1000

My next goal was to hit over 1,000 total tweets on my @megloftin handle.  I’m currently at 939 so this is one we are definitely going to get to, like I said, I just make time every day to go to Twitter and post stuff.

I am really trying to do it to reach out more, I also really like to retweet content and to share it.  Because I feel like that’s how I find the best stuff on twitter, is through other people retweeting things to share so I just try to pass that along.

Earn 200 YouTube Subscribers (GOAL MET)

250 / 200

Youtube subscribers. Guys, come on. You’re awesome. Thank you so much for being here, again. Can I say that again? Yes. Will I say it again? Yes. I appreciate you guys so much. I had a  goal of 200 and we’re at 250 as of this morning which is amazing.

I’ve got a question.

Do you think we could hit 500 in this quarter?

That feels crazy to me, that feels like a really scary goal actually to even say it and put it out there. I was talking to my husband about it last night, and he was like, “You might hit 300, you might hit 400.” And in my mind I was thinking, “I want 500.”  I think I want to hit 500.” But I didn’t, I didn’t say it. I chickened out. But I will tell you guys. You know how I like to share things with you guys that I don’t really put out in my real life.

But that would be well beyond my wildest dreams of what I even thought I would ever do on this channel, so if you think that what I put out is worth watching, then maybe you think it’s also worth sharing. And if you share it with your friends and with your communities, then that would just mean the world to me.

Post 20 YouTube Videos

10 / 20

So YouTube Videos, when we started this in the beginning on January I had 49 live on Youtube and as of this morning I have 59 live on Youtube.

I’m not sure if that actually counts the product update video I posted yesterday because that was like a 10 minute thing I just kind of put together and threw up there because I was so excited.

But yea, 59 or maybe 60 videos so we are right on track to hit 20 in the quarter and don’t worry they are going to keep coming at ya on Mondays and Wednesdays up until the end of March.

Review 3 books on YouTube

1 / 3

These are the last two goals that I have to share. The first is books reviewed. I did a review of Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy, which was, you know. A little lukewarm, right?

Brian Tracy is a well known management professional guru and he has a lot of things to say, I just don’t know if that book was my favorite.

There’s a lot more to him that Eat That Frog! so don’t let my tepid review of that book put you off of him, he’s got a lot of awesome value that he shares through several of his books.

Appear on 3 Podcasts or YouTube Channels

1 / 3

And then finally appearances & collaborations.

So like I shared with you last time I did a podcast interview with John Lim who hosts Be Moving Forward, which is a really fun podcast. And it’s not very long, that’s a good think about Be Moving Forward. It’s very bite sized you can listen to it on a commute or something like that and you’re going to get a lot of good knowledge from people doing a lot of fun stuff. So I definitely recommend you check it out.

However, since that time I have not done any other appearances or collaborations with anyone. I’ve got a couple of opportunities sitting in my inbox that I need to reach out on.

What I really wanted to share here was that I pitched somebody to be a guest on their podcast yesterday and they came back pretty quickly and said, “no thanks, we’re not doing that right now.”

And here’s why I wanted to share that:

One because I should be pitching a lot more and hearing no a lot more. Because that means you’re trying a lot more things.

But 2, there was a time when, if someone had wrote me and said almost immediately, “no thanks, not interested.” I would have thought that was something that I did wrong. I would have thought that I wasn’t worthy. And I was really happy about my reaction to that “no” yesterday because I just thought, “oh, ok.”

They are saying it’s not right for them right now. They’re not doing that right now, that’s fine.” And I just went on about my day. And I can’t tell you how different that is for me, than where I would have been 6 months ago. Where I would have thought it was my fault and I would have felt bad about it, all day. And I just didn’t.

And I was just really proud of that response that I had and that’s what I want for you guys too. It is important that we go out and that we try things and that we fail and that we hear no. You got to go through a lot of “no’s” to get a “yes.” If you’ve ever been through sales training for your job, you hear that over and over again. But oh my gosh, it is so true and hearing no that time is just setting you up to get to a yes down the road.

So 2 lessons from that , 1 I should be pitching a lot more, I should not just be waiting for things to come to me because it doesn’t really work like that in the real world, but 2 that hearing no and being ok with it, is a really good place to be, it actually feels pretty good.

It’s been a great couple of weeks and I can’t wait to share what I’ve got coming up next. Stay tuned!

You can watch this video on The Bootstrap Boutique YouTube Channel here.

You can subscribe to The Bootstrap Boutique YouTube Channel here.

 

Goal Update January 13, 2017 (Amazon FBA, Twitter, YouTube, Podcasts)

goal update report january 13 2017
Goal Update Report for January 13, 2017.

 

Starting in 2017, I began publicly sharing goals related to building my Amazon FBA business as well as growing The Bootstrap Boutique. I set quarterly goals and do a check in on YouTube every two weeks to keep you updated on my progress and to hold myself accountable to working consistently towards meeting these goals.

 

For the first quarter of 2017, I set the following goals for myself:

 

  1. Sell all 500 units of my Private Label Product
  2. Launch a second Private Label Product
  3. Gain 5,000 Twitter Followers
  4. Send out 1,000 Tweets
  5. Earn 200 YouTube Subscribers
  6. Post 20 YouTube Videos
  7. Review 3 books on YouTube
  8. Appear on 3 Podcasts or YouTube Channels

 

So how did I do?  Let’s check in!

Goal Update January 13, 2017

Sell all 500 units of my Private Label Product

0 / 500

Regular watchers will know that my product is currently in China, so I haven’t been able to sell any units yet.

Launch a second Private Label Product

I have a few good ideas for my second product and am using Jungle Scout to validate them.

Gain 5,000 Twitter Followers

3546 / 5000

I started the year with 2,679 followers and have seen a steady increase as a result of being active on the platform.

Send out 1,000 Tweets

814 / 1000

I started the year with 722 tweets and have been tweeting regularly.

Earn 200 YouTube Subscribers

211 / 200

I started the year with 182 subscribers and am humbled by the fact that there are now 211 of us here on The Bootstrap Boutique.

Post 20 YouTube Videos

4 / 20

I started the year with 49 videos and now have 53 live youtube videos.

Review 3 books on YouTube

0 / 3

I have a book review ready to go, but it’s not posted yet.  Coming soon!

Appear on 3 Podcasts or YouTube Channels

1 / 3

I’m excited to announce that I will be on John Lim’s podcast, Moving Forward, in March!

 

It’s been a great couple of weeks and I can’t wait to share what I’ve got coming up next. Stay tuned!

 

Amazon No Longer Allows Reviews For A Discount. Now What?

no more reviews for a discount at Amazon
Amazon no longer allows sellers to offer discounts in exchange for an honest review.

Watch the video at YouTube here.

Well this changes everything.  Or does it?

Hey welcome back for another episode of The Bootstrap Boutique where beginners build businesses.  My name is Megan and I just wanted to put out a quick video because yesterday Amazon dropped some really big news.

No More Reviews For A Discount

And that is that they are no longer going to allow incentivized reviews on product.  Here’s the background on why that’s important.

There are a lot of people online teaching you how to launch private label products on Amazon, which is one of the reasons I don’t really get into that to much.  I’ve told you before, you can listen to Scott Voelker he does an awesome job telling you how to launch a private label product on Amazon.  But pretty much everybody follows a step by step by step process.  And one of those processes is the launch process, by which you give out a number of free or substantially reduced products to people in exchange for their honest review.

So why is that important? Because reviews are social proof.

They help people make buying decisions, one product versus the other. And these discounted products have never been a problem, there’s just a few requirements that you have to follow.  One is that you cannot offer a product at a discount in exchange for a four or five star review.  So you couldn’t say, “hey buyer, I have this twenty dollar product, I’ll sell it to you for one dollar if you leave me a five star review.”  You couldn’t do that, you could in no way influence the way that people review your products or the star rating that they give you.

Now on the reviewer side, you had to give an honest review and you had to disclose that you had received the product for a discount.  So a lot of times at the end of these reviews you will see something that says, I don’t know, like, “I received this product  for free or a discount in exchange for my honest review.” Simple enough, right?

And there’s a ton of groups that you could use that would give you those reviews, so you could have anything from a free group on Facebook to paid services like ReviewKick (now called JumpSend) or GetBSR.com.  Here’s the problem with those reviews: Amazon was noticing many customers, and I’ll be honest, myself included, didn’t really trust those reviews, because when you are incentivized through a free or discounted product, studies have shown that you are much more likely to give a more positive review than you otherwise would.

So I know when I would shop on Amazon, and I always look at the reviews, I would kind of scroll past the top five or six or so because you know that those are going to be the discounted ones.  When you have these overwhelmingly positive reviews that don’t seem very well rounded it does create a lack of trust.

Amazon takes issue with that because Amazon is an extremely customer focused company.  I don’t know if they were coming under criticism for allowing this type of review system or what, but at the end of the day, they’ve decided they are just no longer going to allow it.  Of course they are still going to allow you to use Amazon Vine which is their own internal review club basically, but this is their sandbox, we’re just playing in it.  That’s what they are going to do.  Ok, we’ll find another way.

How To Get Reviews on Amazon Now

So what does this mean if you are an FBA seller or thinking of becoming an FBA seller?  A few things.

Number one, Amazon has said in a Tech Crunch article I read this morning that they will go back and delete prior reviews if they are deemed excessive.  Now who knows what “excessive” means or if they’re actually going to do it, or if they are just going to get rid of anything that has that disclaimer in it.  But at the end of the day that is going to help established sellers with established products because even if they have a thousand of these reviews, if Amazon doesn’t deem that excessive that means they are still going to be there while you as a new seller or a less established seller are going to have to kind of claw and scratch your way back up the review chart.

Number two, it is going to be more difficult to launch more products.  Everybody that I have read that’s talked about this new policy has said that yeah, it’s going to become a lot harder to get new products launched.  And that is because its going to be harder to get that social proof.  You have to rely on people that are not discounted or not incentivized buying a product, using it, coming back and reviewing it.  The conversions for that are very small.  So it is going to be a lot more difficult to get those reviews going forward.

Review Request Emails

There’s a couple of pieces of software that can help you with that, one is Feedback Genius another is SalesBacker, I’m sure there’s others, but they will send out auto-response emails to people that purchase your products and ask them to come back and leave you a review.  So I predict that those two companies are going to become a lot more popular going forward.  And I’ll put links to those down below so you can go check them out if that is something you think you need to start using now.

We’re also just going to have to find other ways to market.  A few ideas would be Facebook ads, blogger outreach, have bloggers do reviews of your products and link back to Amazon, youtube marketing could be a new way to do that.  I’ve seen someone say that they used to just back in the day write thank you cards to every person that purchased their product.  That’s a little time consuming but its not a bad idea, I like real mail.  Could be fun.

But at the end of the day we’re going to have to find new ways to do it because this incentivized review program is no more.  And here’s the main thing that I really want you to take away because I have read this in a lot of different Facebook groups over the past 18 hours or so.  Do not try to find a way around this and continue to offer discounted reviews.  Amazon is going to go Liam Neeson on you.  They will find you, and they will ban your account, and then you’re going to be really sad.

My Launch Strategy

Can I tell you a secret.  I was never planning on using reviews in order to launch a product.  I know.  I know that sounds kinda crazy when this has been in the past a proven way to do it, but I just wanted to try something different.

You’ve been watching my videos for a few months now.  You should know, if you don’t know anything else about me, that I’m a little bit hard headed and have to kind of do things the hard way.

My plan was always going to be to use a mix of pay per click within the Amazon platform and also YouTube marketing.  This is a big part of why I’ve been doing these videos, is because I want to practice getting better on camera.  Still needs a lot of work.

The challenge now is that a lot of other people are going to be using these tactics also, and so that’s just going to make it a little more crowded.  However, I think there’s also going to be a lot of people that just drop out, hands up, “This is a step too far Amazon, I’m just not going to do this private label thing anymore.”  See ya.

Here’s the thing guys, it is important in business to be optimistic.  Haven’t you read Good to Great by Jim Collins? What is one of the most common traits among those successful companies? Undeniably optimistic leadership.  So when the game changes, change with it.  It didn’t go away, its just, yeah some of the rules have changed.  But is there still opportunity? Yeah, there is.  Is it going to be harder?  Yeah, it is.  But that’s life.

Leave me a comment in the description below let me know what you think about this new policy by Amazon.  Is it totally screwing you up or are you excited about the opportunity that is to come?  And hey, it can be a little bit of both, we’re not so black and white here, right? But I look forward to hearing what you have to say, I look forward to seeing what changes are going to come and what new innovations people are going to have.  It’s just a new opportunity guys, let’s grab it.  I will talk to you next week, take care.

You can watch this video at The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube Channel here.

You can watch The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube Channel here.

Jungle Scout Tutorial: How To Find Products to Sell on Amazon

jungle scout tutorial
In this Jungle Scout tutorial, you will learn how to use the tool to evaluate potential private label items.

*Updated: Jungle Scout has a new look, check out the facelift here.

Jungle Scout Tutorial

Get Jungle Scout Here (affiliate link, obviously)

Today we are going to do a walkthrough of how to use the Jungle Scout pro Chrome edition. This Jungle Scout tutorial will help you understand how to use the tool to find private label products to sell on Amazon.

How To Use Jungle Scout

Jungle Scout Pro is a Chrome plug in that you use with the Amazon.com website.  It allows you to easily see the “behind the scenes” sales data for products sold on Amazon to help you make decisions about what you would like to sell.

Jungle Scout gives you estimated sales volume over the prior 30 days, as well as the fees that Amazon will charge to sell your product.  You can use this data to understand if a product will be profitable for you to sell.

Data Tracked in Jungle Scout

  • Product Name
  • Brand
  • Price
  • Category
  • Rank
  • Sales
  • Revenue
  • Reviews
  • Rating
  • Seller
  • Fees
  • Net

 

999 Trick

The 999 trick is a way that you can figure out Amazon sales volume manually, without buying Jungle Scout Pro. It is actually the method that Greg Mercer, founder of Jungle Scout, used before he created Jungle Scout to automate the process for him!

If you have a product that you are interested in, you would need to track it over the course of 30 days and see how many products it is selling each day.

You’re able to do this by adding 999 units to your cart at the same time each day.  Because of a quirk in Amazon’s system, as long as the seller has less than 999 units in stock, they will tell you “Sorry, there are only XX units available.”  This is the number of units in stock.

You record that number in a spreadsheet and do the same thing at the exact same time the next day.  The difference between units is how many were sold the prior day.  Do this every day for 30 days and you will have the number of units sold that month.

This isn’t a foolproof method, a seller could send in more stock half way through the month! But if you want to track a product at no cost, you can get an approximation of the number of sales using this method.

Get Jungle Scout

If you don’t have the Jungle Scout Pro extension yet, what are you waiting for?  Jungle Scout makes your product research time more efficient and productive. Get your copy today (affiliate).

Can I Start an Online Business with No Money?

Can I Start an Online Business with No Money?
Can I Start an Online Business with No Money?
Can I Start an Online Business with No Money?

Watch the video on YouTube: Can I Start an Online Business with No Money?

Online Business – 2 Ways to Make It Happen

Hey guys, thanks for coming back. My name is Megan and this is episode two of the Bootstrap Boutique.

Today I want to talk about something I see asked all over the internet all the time, which is “How do I start a business online with no money?”

And if you really want to start a business with no money, there are some things you can do. I’ll give you two ideas really quickly.

The first is start a blog or some sort of content, authority based website. You can go to Blogger, you can go to WordPress, you can start that site in five minutes and you can be in business.

The second way is you can go to Kickstarter if you have some sort of product that you want to create. So you are probably familiar with Kickstarter already, but if you’re not what you do is you go to Kickstarter, you create a video, similar to this, and you say, “Hey Kickstarter! I want to make this cool thing.” And you explain what that cool thing is and if people are interested in your cool thing, they will pay you money for it. You hit your funding goal, you get money, you go out and create that cool thing and you send it to everyone who already told you they are interested.  It’s a great way to test a market and see if there is interest in something that you want to do before you go sink thousands of dollars into production and then you can’t sell it, it’s just sitting in your garage.

E-Commerce Online

So let’s talk about how to start a retail business because that’s what I’m kinda leaning towards as review my options. So there are two different types of retail stores as you know.

There is your traditional retail store where you have rent, you have labor, you have to have everything that you are going to sell right there in the store, otherwise you really can’t sell it. There’s a lot of barriers to entry and that is definitely going to cost you money.

The second way and what I’m looking at more doing is going to be an online e-commerce site. So, with that, still going to cost you some money. You still are going to have to have a domain name, you are going to have to pay for hosting, you are going to have to have some sort of shopping cart on the site, and you are going to have to have a way to accept credit cards. None of that is free, you are going to have to pay for it all.

But we want to look at ways that we can minimize those expenses and get the most value for it at the same time.

So again, how do you start a business with no money? Well, you probably don’t, unless you are in a couple of specific areas. Otherwise, you spend where you have to and you do the work yourself where you can.

Progress Report

Ok so I want to give you an update on what I have done so far in starting my
business. And honestly, its not a lot. So I think I probably jumped the gun, but the reason I did it is because I wanted an EIN (or an employee identification number) to set up whole sale accounts so I can start looking at products with distributors, and I thought that I had to have a LLC to get an EIN. Now that I have looked into it a little bit more, I’m not convinced that that is true, but I’ve done it now.

So, I’m looking at that as my first investment into the company. $250 I know. But even with paying the $250, I did manage to find a few ways to save on expenses.

Legal Zoom is really good for walking you through step-by-step what you have to do to register a LLC in your state. And what I found is that they also offer some services, that if you didn’t want to do them, they would be happy to do it for you. Obviously for a fee, they are a business.

But there are things that I looked into and are things that I can do myself. First is, when you open a business as a LLC, you have to have something called a Registered Agent. Best I can tell, what that means is someone who is available at your office, or at an office, during business hours to accept legal documents or something from the government. I can do that without much problem so I just decided to be my own Registered Agent and save that fee.

The second thing that I found that Legal Zoom could do for a cost that I can do at no cost for myself was get a tax identification number or that EIN I mentioned earlier and they will go out and they’ll do it for you as part of their process but I was looking around on the IRS website and found that you can get an EIN at no cost. It doesn’t appear to be a very difficult process so I just opted to go ahead and do that myself. There are also going to be a couple of state filings that I am pretty confident I can handle myself and opted out of those too. But, if you are someone that doesn’t feel comfortable doing that research, you can absolutely let legal zoom take you through step by step and just have them do all those things for you, just know its going to cost more than $250.

So there is one other thing that I have done this week is set up a free wordpress blog just like I mentioned earlier. Its thebootstrapboutique.wordpress.com again it’s free, we are bootstrapping and we aren’t trying to spend a lot of money to start. So I really don’t plan on doing a lot of blogging there but I wanted one site where the YouTube videos and the few blogs that I may do here or there can all be housed in one place. So if you need one place to find me, that would be it going forward.

So feel free to check that out, please subscribe to channel, like the video, share it with your friends, and I will look forward to seeing you next week. Thanks!

You can watch this video on The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube channel here.

You watch more videos at The Bootstrap Boutique YouTube channel here.

The Bootstrap Boutique – An Introduction

what is the bootstrap boutique
what is the bootstrap boutique
What is The Bootstrap Boutique?

Watch the video on YouTube: The Bootstrap Boutique – An Introduction

What is the Bootstrap Boutique? How do you start a small business and what does the “hard work” involved actually entail? Join me as I try to figure it all out!

The Bootstrap Boutique – Transcript

Hi everyone, my name is Megan and you are watching the first episode of The Bootstrap Boutique.

And you’re probably asking yourself, what is The Bootstrap Boutique? And to answer your question right now, this is video one, and it’s just me, hoping to start a small online business.

This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time, and you know in all the years I’ve thought about starting a small business, I’ve done lots of reading of business books, I’m just a reader by nature.

What is ‘Hard Work’?

What I find is that entrepreneurs and small business owners, they always talk about the start of their business, by saying, “I did a lot of hard work.” And, I always thought, “well, what does that mean?” I always wished people would dig in a little bit more and do a little more explaining of what kind of hard work they had to do to start a business.

I know it’s going to be hard just to 1 – to take action 2- to find paying clients 3- to keep those clients and to grow but you can pay some lip service to that but I just wanted to go through what that actually looks like in a week by week process.

So I hope that this is something that you will find value in, and that you will want to follow along with. I plan on covering every step that I take to start a small business from deciding what I’m going to even do, because I don’t have that wrapped up yet, to business structure, to how do I build a brand online, all of these things are things I want to talk about in this series so we can learn by doing and you and I can go through that together.

Stick with Me!

Again, hopefully that is valuable to you. If you think it will be, please go ahead and subscribe to this channel so I know you’re watching or leave a comment and I will look forward to reading those.

If this is something that you are interested in, come with me, take some action of your own, and I will look forward to seeing you next week. Thank you!

You can watch this video at The Bootstrap Boutique YouTube channel here.

You watch more videos at The Bootstrap Boutique YouTube channel here.