Tue, 14 May 2019
1 Million Per Month On Shopify Alone: How I Started Selling Online Without Touching Amazon w/ Garret Akerson #BrandBuilderPodcast
Today’s episode is a keynote by Garrett Akeson on the company he bootstrapped with his wife: Kindred Bravely. He shares a mountain of examples on how they company managed different aspects of growing a business out of Amazon.
Tune in for some practical tips on how to run a remote team, why culture matters and how much money you need to actually run ads!
[2:58] Garret introduces himself and his brand Kindred Bravely.
[4:54] Launching a business can have a clear path but it’s rarely smooth, this talk will cover 7 areas to help you navigate growing a business:
2. Telling a story
7. Remote teams
However, Garrett’s overarching advice, will always be focus.
Brand [6:10] it matters from the very beginning, but don’t be afraid to change if it doesn't feel right — Kindred Bravely was called Davy Jeans for the first three months!
Story [7:56] is what you use if you and to get out of Amazon, and that story is how you connect with your customers and how you build that relationship. So the first thing you have to do is get to know your customer, the numbers are there: use the information and identify the core values your customers resonate with.
Communicate your story and your values everywhere you can. Use imagery to create emotional connection and make sure all of your copy is brand coherent — you can outsources ads, but you have to keep your content in-house, no one can talk about you better than you!
Vision [13:08] is how you shape what’s to come, build a vision for your company that projects far into the future, make it detailed and share it with the whole team so that everyone aims in the same direction.
Timing [15:11] means that there are never any guarantees. So getting off Amazon may not lead to greener grass. Garrett shares some indicators that the timing may be right for you.
At less than 200k per year on Amazon, don’t bother with anything else, focus on increasing sales. When you hit 100 to 200k a month, now might be the time to start thinking about building your off channels.
You will need deep pockets for Facebook and Shopify ads, Garrett recommends no less than 100k dedicated in cash. Acquiring a new customer on Shopify averages 23$, you will burn through money to test your funnels, and your ads, and get your target audiences right. Let Amazon foot the bill for that, launch all your new products there!
Hiring [23:22] people that love what you do will ensure they require less management! When Kindred Bravely posted their first job application, it was a flood of their own customers that came, a flood of moms.
Garrett shares some tangible tips on hiring practices:
1. Use long form questionnaires that get really specific, this will enable you to screen out people that are not right for the job — Kindred Bravely uses a google form they developed in part from Topgrading questions.
2. Do skill specific testing — Kindred bravely does typing and phone typing tests since most of their work is with social media online.
3. Do group interviews to see people dynamics and immediately compare and grade applicants — Zoom is a good tool for this.
4. Don’t be afraid of hard questions, they give you insight on the type of person you are meeting — Garrett shares the last question he always asks and what kind of insight it gives him.
5. Keep your 2nd, 3rd and 4th choices as potential employees on future positions.
Culture [28:39] ties in to vision and core values. By attracting applicants that identify with the brand it’s much easier to build that internal culture and brand. Empower your employees to embody the vision and values both at, and outside of work — Garrett shares the Kindred Bravely monthly giving program initiative.
Remote teams [30:27] means that people rarely get a chance to meet, so you have to pay extra attention to building and fostering connection, support and growth for your employees in order to drive success.
Garrett shares how he adapted Ryan’s TRIBE 5 into his own company culture and rembraded it BRAVE (Body, Relationships, Assets, Vigilance and time, Expansion) as well as integrated The One Thing’s “One Thing” to implement quarterly 90 day goal sprints for his employees. Kindred Bravely also uses GetGuru as a way to centralize all company workings information including, vision, mission and values so that the employees always have something to measure up against.
[39:06] Garrett wraps up with details on Kindred Bravely’s progression and talks about SBA loans — have a business plan and remember it’ll take about 4 months to get the loan, Amazon lending — with high enough sales, and after having 3 years of financial history, you can get a traditional Bank loan.
Q. How do you figure out and reconcile salary ranges for full-time and part time positions in a remote setting?
A. Ask how much the applicant would expect to make for the job! Set yourself up into a negotiating position by asking 2 simple questions:
1. “How much would you like to make now or?”
2. “How much would you like to get in a year from now?”
With the answers to these, you get a range to work with.
Mentioned in this episode
Book: Double Double: How to Double your Revenue and Profit in 3 Years or Less by Cameron Herold
Book: The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan