How Ashley Got to £12,000 GBP Per Month in One Year With His Fast Growing Private Label On Amazon FBA UK
Ryan & Daniel student Ashley has always been extremely hardworking and intrinsically motivated. But he became quickly tired of his hard work not directly benefiting himself, his own life, in a more sustainable way.
So he and his best friend and business partner decided to try their luck at selling on Amazon, and has within just over a year reached £12,000 GBP per month.
We wanted to know how he got started, and what exactly he’s done to reach this great success in such a short period of time. To make the process easier and the chances of success higher, here’s one piece of advice that Ashley shares with us:
“You have to love the products and love the niche you’re in. You have to be like, ‘I want to live and breathe this,’ because you’re going to get a lot of questions and problems around that niche and specific product. If you really know it, love it, and understand it, it’s going to benefit you so well.”
Here’s What We Cover:
1. What made Ashley dive into this business, and did he have a direction at the start?
2. Why did Ashley decide to focus on this specific program, versus all the others out there?
3. What aspects of the product – data or otherwise – really spoke to Ashley?
4. From where did Ashley source his product? What issues, if any, did Ashley have with sourcing?
5. What has the process until now been like for Ashley and his business partner? What major obstacles did they have to face?
6. How did Ashley partner with people to make a better product that addressed a key global sustainability issue?
7. What key moments or lessons have really helped define Ashley’s business, and what’s really been the paramount of their success?
Follow along in the interview to find out what other great tips and tricks Ashley has for fellow or prospective students of the program.
Want to Learn How You Can Get Results Like Ashley?
Ashley’s great achievement of reaching £12,000 GBP in sales per month selling private label products on Amazon FBA was made possible by joining Ryan & Daniel’s training Amazon FBA training program. (And he’s not the only one…see how William, Ivan & Sasha, and Dan did it, too).
The Infinity Code training program is our flagship Amazon FBA training program designed to show you step-by-step everything you need to know so you can start your own Amazon private label business.
Interested in learning more about the Infinity Code?
To learn more about the program click here.
Daniel: Hey everybody. Daniel here, and I’m excited because today I have Ashley with me, who is student of [inaudible 00:00:07]. He has been off to a flying start with his business partner. I’m really excited to have a chat with him. You can hear his story as well and his perspective, what he’s learned, things like that. Ashley, welcome and thank you so much for taking the time out.
Ashley: Thank you very much Daniel. It’s great to be here.
Daniel: Yeah, I really appreciate you taking the time out and I know everyone watching this as well. To start off, I just wanna ask you … and I like to ask this to everyone that does this business. Why did you get into this, what made want to build your own business?
Ashley: That’s a really good question. I guess I’ve always worked for an establishment or for a business myself. And I’ve always found myself very, very, hard working, very intrinsically motivated. I’ve been someone who’s always strived for success. But always at the ultimate success is the people that I’m obviously working for. And I wanted to take that hard work ethic, I wanted to take that understanding, that intellect, and use it in a way that’s gonna benefit me. Benefit me in my life, and benefit me in a more, I suppose, sustainable way. A way that I can govern exactly how my week goes. If I want to push it and work hard, I can. If I wanna back down, I can, and it’s all up to me and it’s still within my control.
Daniel: Gotcha. Makes sense. So really, you wanted to feel that you’re in control of your destiny. You can actually have a bigger impact on your results and success.
Ashley: Yeah, that’s exactly right, yeah.
Daniel: How long did you work for others and then did that frustration build up, like you didn’t feel like you were getting what you deserved, kind of thing?
Ashley: Yeah, I guess. I worked for quite a big company. It was very much a reward basis of a promotion. And you always felt like, “Okay, I’m getting a promotion, that’s great.” But actually, the promotion was never really linked with the amount of work I’ve done or had done. I felt a lot of frustration towards the fact that perhaps members of staff that I worked with, didn’t put in the same effort, but were getting exactly the same benefits, exactly the same salary structure. So to me, it was about, okay, what can I do? Myself and my best friend, we got chatting and we had a few ideas. We had a few things that we started with. And the Infinity Code wasn’t something we completely went with straight away. We actually had a few other projects we were starting with. Then nothing really stuck until we met [inaudible 00:02:40] at Infinity Code and the training course and that sort of was something we kept with and have since.
Daniel: Nice, nice. And you had started, is it about a year ago or, do you remember the month?
Ashley: Yeah, I do remember the month. We started in April 2017.
Ashley: And now we’ll see how we’re doing in 2018 so it’s just over a year, 14 months we’ve been in business.
Daniel: Nice, nice. And maybe talk to me about the way you guys started. Did you go through the program step-by-step, did you have an idea of what you wanted to do, or not at all? When you started?
Ashley: To be totally honest with you, we had no idea of what we wanted to do to start with. We had no idea of the niche we were going to go into, we had no idea of the products we were going to offer. We literally threw ourselves at it, but had no idea of where that was going to take us. We listened to the advice and went through the modules, we printed all of the slides, we watched all of the videos again and again. We’d ask ourselves questions, it was great having a business partner because if I didn’t understand something, I was able to communicate that. And he was able to do the same. So we were able to sort of talk about stuff, have meetings, do process meetings, process talk, strategize some of the stuff that we’d done and then start to implement it. So the beginning phase was very much planning and that was really important to us, that we got it right from the start. That we planned meticulously, we didn’t just run something at it and start spending money or start throwing ourselves at things we weren’t too educated in. We wanted to get the education first, listen to the course, follow the modules, and then start implementing.
Daniel: Gotcha. That’s very wise because what you do really, as you now know, is really everything. You have to choose the right product, it has to be a good opportunity. So that’s really, really good to hear because I think if you make the wrong decision early on it can really harm you and derail you and take your motivation away. You think it’s not going to work, but it would have worked if you had just done it differently, perhaps. So that’s cool and congrats on taking this step, that’s something most people don’t do is actually taking the step. And you mentioned you had a few other programs you were interested in as well or methods, what made you actually decide to finally just focus on this?
Ashley: I guess it was the relatability to our personal hobbies and personal benefits because of the fact that it’s private-label, because of the fact that we were able to choose products within a niche that we were particularly interested in. That really appealed to us. And that’s one bit of advice that I’d say- you have to love the products and love the niche you’re in. You have to totally be like, “I want to live and breathe this” because you’re going to get questions, you’re going to get a lot of, I suppose, problems around that niche and around that product and if you really know it, love it, and understand it, it’s going to benefit you so well. So that’s what appealed to us, because we could do something we really loved.
Daniel: Yes, fantastic advice because now you’ve got a lot of energy, naturally, towards what you’re doing, you’re passionate about it. So you were able to find something that you both really were passionate about and were passionate about before you decided to make it a business.
Ashley: Oh yeah, yeah, exactly. And don’t get me wrong, over the last 14 months, if I was to say that there haven’t been problems, there haven’t been times that we felt demotivated or stressed or almost like you may be doing the wrong thing, I’d be lying. But having the fact that you love that product and believe in it gives you the strength to push through those days and then you get to the success where it’s normally just after that.
Daniel: Yeah, yeah, exactly, exactly, so that’s really fantastic. And you guys are based in the UK, right? So you’re selling on Amazon UK? Is that right?
Ashley: That’s correct. Yeah, and across Europe now.
Daniel: Cool, cool. Yeah, I really think that’s one of the best places to start, I always tell people because it’s a great opportunity. Obviously yours as well, but the UK is my favorite store. So did you guys truly put a lot of thought and effort into the product itself or when you thought about what to sell, right? You went through the steps, did the validation and everything we teach, but did you guys really– so you did that, right? You did the validation and everything on a few ideas, maybe?
Ashley: Oh yeah. We did absolutely everything that the module teaches. Our product that we chose in the end was based, to be honest with you, on about 50 or 60 products that weren’t right. We went through so many products and just, you might get through to validation stage, you might get al the way to the end, and then you’re like, “No, it’s not working.” The important thing for us was to keep, in our heads, that we would find the right one and not settle for something that was okay or something that might do, but to try and find something that really, truly had potential. And once we found it, it became obvious. When you’ve done the validation steps so many times for different products, and you do find the right one, it is so glaringly obvious and it’s so clear to you that it’s got to be the right one and that’s the wise choice for your business.
Daniel: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Because spending that time and money on that front will pay massively. Because, when you have the right thing, everything changes, like now you’ve got something that can really be tremendously successful and profitable for you. So that’s fantastic, I mean, 60 products is a lot, so you guys didn’t give up which is really amazing, you were really persistent. So was it really the data that spoke to you when you found that product, like it just popped?
Ashley: It was a number of things, it was the data, it was the fact that we were able to leverage our own spin on the product. And I think you talk about that a lot and that’s very important. Seeing a gap where you can change a product, potentially, and make it your own, make it something that people are perhaps going to be able to buy, but, more importantly, addresses a problem. So because we were doing a niche that we love, because we were using products we knew and had experience on, we could leverage a problem that we’ve come across in our personal lives and we could address that with a product that we helped developed. And then by doing so, address problems for lots of other people, which seems to have worked really, really well, to the point where some large organizations have actually said, “We could probably use your product. It might help us in our particular field or our particular business.” And that’s been paramount to our success.
Daniel: Wow, that’s fantastic. That’s really going beyond what most people will do, but I think, honestly, and you know this now, the product is everything, right? People tend to forget about that, they think it’s about the tactics and the marketing, but really what you’re selling is everything. That’s the most important thing, that’s the product you choose to sell. Did you guys- so you’re doing private labeling, right?
Daniel: But you were still able to kind of customize it a bit.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. I mean, we’ve versified a lot, we’ve been doing private labeling, but we have done other stuff. We have done building revenue for our brand that we’ve created through the private labeling, we’ve got a few different strings. Because of the education with Infinity Code, it allows you to open up and see, potentially, more opportunities within other fields. And that’s pretty helpful, I mean, my business partner’s been absolutely fantastic, he’s great with data and he loves looking at product opportunities and strategies and he’s been fantastic at identifying some great opportunities for us. And the more he’s been doing it, the better he’s been at doing it, and we’ve been able to get better products and interfile that into our inventory, which has helped for our capital, if I’m honest.
Daniel: Yeah, yeah. Nice.
Ashley: And I think with the private label, you have to believe in it and you have to believe in your brand. And I think one of the key things was writing down what were our things we wanted to be known for, how did we want our brand to translate across to customers. And, for us, it was all about the high quality, it was all about maximum impact, all about–but the downside to that is that it takes a while to get going. It didn’t happen right away. It wasn’t like our product hit the market and then within a month we were selling in at two or three hundred units, I didn’t happen like that. It happened very slowly, but luckily we were able to see the long game and see the long board and I think that that’s going to benefit us in the future.
Daniel: Absolutely. Absolutely, one of the biggest secrets that I’ve learned is that everything compounds, right? So, over time, the work you’re doing now is going to pay off a year, two years from now. Really, like the big results are going to come then, so that’s so important to keep that long game in mind. And that’s why doing something like you’ve done is so powerful, because now you’ve got something that’s going to last, that’s going to grow, if its unique, if its somehow better. And like you said, it solves a problem, that’s even more powerful. So its really great to hear. So congrats on that. I’m curious, did you source this from China, or from the UK?
Ashley: Yeah. Yeah, we stuck to the advice. We sourced it from the UK. If I’m honest with you, we looked at sourcing it from the UK but the problem we had was a lot of the companies for our particular product claimed to be from the UK, but they were actually sourcing it from China, too.
Daniel: Yeah, yeah.
Ashley: And they were earning tax on it, and then they were charging us. And honestly, al to of UK companies don’t want to deal with you unless you want to order ten thousand, a hundred thousand units. And, in honesty, we weren’t able to do that. How many people, when they first start up their company, can commit to that kind of buy?
Daniel: Yeah, exactly.
Ashley: So we found [inaudible 00:11:53] to be the best for us. We actually flew to Switzerland to meet our manufacturer, and that was a massive benefit. You talk about it a lot, Daniel, and it’s really true. If you’ve got a chance to meet them, you cover so much more ground than you ever can do with phone calls or Skype or emails.
Ashley: And just having a sit-down chat with them, we were able to establish terms, commitments, payment, we were able to haggle a little bit. And we made a really a good relationship and they seemed very upstanding with that, even to this day.
Daniel: Fantastic. Yeah, yeah, relationships are everything, right? In business and, yeah. So they flew to Switzerland to meet you or they were there doing something else?
Ashley: So we really searched in our niche the fairs around the world and the biggest ones to go to and one of the biggest ones was in China, and then the second biggest was in Switzerland. And the one in Switzerland was literally three weeks away from when we were looking. So we made a last minute like, “We’re going to do this, we’re going to fly there, we’re going to just go.”
Ashley: And it was so worth it.
Daniel: Nice. Yeah, I love how you guys just take action. That’s the kind of moment that can really define your journey, like do you say yes, follow your instincts, or not? So that’s awesome. I’m really curious about this, so you found the supplier, you were able to kind of tell them what you really wanted for the product?
Ashley: Yeah, the product they had was very similar to what we wanted anyway, and the problems we had, we just couldn’t find anyone that was offering it. So the [inaudible 00:13:31] through the work we chose, that was our big sort of model for choosing the right manufacturer, was to find a manufacturer that could do what we wanted for our product the way we wanted it. And we found one that as and they weren’t saturating the market and they were very, very undiscovered, if you like. So we felt like we had a bit of a goldmine with it. When we met up with them and showed what we wanted from the particular product, they were like, “Yep, we can definitely do that.” And actually, they offered us more in their catalog which we could then later add to our brand which would strengthen our original problem and our original solving of that problem.
Daniel: Nice. So basically they were already kind of innovating or creating solutions to this problem and then you were able to come and say, “That’s exactly what we want to do as well. Let’s partner up and private label.”
Ashley: Exactly that, yeah, exactly that. And they’ve been great with it, they’ve, in honesty, like I said, the first couple of months were quite rocky, but they were emailing us, “How’s it going? How are sales? What’s going on?” They were really into how we were doing in the UK and I really feel like they felt if we could represent their product in the UK under our label, we were helping them as much as they were helping us. So it was a mutually beneficial relationship. And I think they see it that way, and that’s been great.
Daniel: Yeah, yeah, because they’re going to be more flexible with MOQs and probably more eager to be fast when you’re ordering and things like that.
Ashley: Yeah, little things like what they write on the customs forms can save money, what sort of information they give you can save you money, they can help you with imagery, they can help you with marketing, promotion. They can be really helpful, and that’s really helped us, but we’ve helped them as well. We had one product we bought and if we bought it by a certain time, the woman we were dealing with got a promotion and she got a bonus with her manufacturer. So we were like, “Yeah, you know what, you’ve helped us out, we’ll do that for you. We’ll buy it by this certain time, you’ll get that promotion.” And that’s really helped us, because she’s kept in contact and she’s actually leaving the company, but she still wants to keep in contact, which I think is really nice.
Daniel: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So you’re helping in a lot of ways, right? On your own, as well?
Ashley: Exactly, yeah.
Daniel: And that’s fantastic, So did you have any-because obviously, now you’ve kind of found this supplier through a bit of a different approach. You guys actually met them right away and things like that? A lot of people are just looking for them on Upwork and stuff. So I think a lot of people have issues, in some ways, because it can be tough to find someone and source and everything. Did you guys have any issues with sourcing, or not really?
Ashley: We actually got a sourcing agent. We hired a couple of sourcing agents.
Ashley: We went outside of the Infinity Code which, if I’m honest, was maybe a mistake. We went for Upwork and we hired a couple of sourcing agents and in honesty, we couldn’t validate the hours they’d claimed against what they’d actually done. And when we went directly to the manufacturers, we actually got a better deal. And I felt like, obviously, what the sourcing agent was doing was adding their own tax on the situation, which is bound to happen. So I guess the trust is the biggest issue, right? So its trusting someone you’ve never met, someone who’s in a completely different country to source a product for you or a manufacturer who you’ve got nothing to do with to produce the product and then ship it to you. Trust was our biggest thing and that’s why we felt that we needed to meet them, we needed to go there. And we did the Alibaba thing, we sourced it all through that, but then when we actually found the right manufacturer, and we knew they were going to be at that fair, we were like, “We need to go and meet them just to get a scope of the situation before we place this order.”
Daniel: Yeah, exactly. No, that’s really good. Because obviously I think the sourcing agents, they can do that kind of stuff, so I think it’s always important that you are ultimately dealing with the manufacturer and the sourcing agent is just like a bridge to bridge that gap and help you connect with them and find them, but not, ultimate, like who you’re placing the order through. So you have to have some line of communication directly with the manufacturer yourself.
Ashley: Yeah and that’s exactly right, that’s exactly right.
Daniel: Yeah, but awesome, so, I guess if– I’m curious, how well is it going? How well is it going now? How many units are you selling? How has it kind of grown from day one, did you hit obstacles, did it take a long time to really kick in? What has that process been like?
Ashley: Its been stressful, if I’m totally honest. It’s not been easy, its been hard work. And I think the biggest problem that you may find, and even people watching this, even people in the course is, some people just are looking to buy a course and then get a really big selling business straight away. And it doesn’t happen. And we’ve found that out and it takes a lot of hard work and it takes a lot of heartache and the first few months of trying to sell our product were really difficult. We went down the brand side of things, we built websites, we’ve got trademarks for our logo, for our imagery, we really threw ourselves at it and it just wasn’t converting and we just couldn’t understand why and the only way that we could get it to convert would be to lower the price, but then you get– it was kind of a catch-22 because if you’re not selling, its hard to get customer reviews, if you haven’t got customer reviews, it’s quite difficult to sell. And that’s where the whole giveaway kind of works because you give them away for obviously, if you can afford it, free, if not, a very, very lowered price like you recommend, and then you can build the customer reviews.
Once the customer reviews are there and people are happy with the product, the sales start to come in. And what we found was we’ve made a couple of key relationships with partners who have boosted our product so they’re within our [inaudible 00:19:23] and they actually add value to our product. As soon as we did that, we saw sales really go up, we’re talking one product we have wasn’t selling anything for 30 days, we’re now selling two to three a day of that product. Which is not mega, mega amounts, but its good for what it was. And it’s in a very competitive market but it’s something we needed to add to our brand. So it’s trying to look for avenues. If you’re not selling, if you’re struggling to sell that product, for any number of reasons, mostly it’s just down to people not trusting the brand, not trusting who you are.
I mean, if you’re going to buy something, if I go out tomorrow and want to buy a phone, there are certain manufacturers I know I can trust and I can buy that phone. As soon as a new phone comes out, it doesn’t matter how great they may seem or the technology behind it, you don’t have that trust there. So that was really important for us, once we started building that trust, now we’re starting to see quite a significant amount of units go through to the point where we’re now starting to come to restock and we’re trying to make sure our restocking period means we don’t run out of products before we restock. And that’s been difficult as well.
Daniel: Yeah, yeah, that’s the challenge of itself, just to stay in inventory, because it starts to grow, it can really happen fast and when you’re a young, new business you need to manage your cache and then even the biggest sellers have that issue because as you’re growing, it will be a challenge, at times, to manage that. Okay, so maybe elaborate a bit, if you don’t mind, on that– how you were able to partner with people on helping you better the product, that’s really interesting.
Ashley: Okay, so with our product in particular, it’s very, very keyed in to sustainability and global problems and we were able to find a cause which actually helped what we were trying to address within our problem. So they added massive value and we negotiated a partnership whereby we gave a set amount of money per product sold. So a charitable organization that we’ve established a relationship with and if you buy our product, we donate a certain amount of money per product to this charitable organization who are actively trying to help around the world. And they’re really well-known within our country, and that’s given us a tremendous amount of kudos and a tremendous amount of trust from our customers that we’re trying to do the right thing. We set out and our mission statement was to have products that were of the highest quality and addressed some form of sustainability issue. And being able to do that and then find someone who’s an organization who deals solely with that and work together with them has been paramount to our success.
Daniel: That’s fantastic. That beautiful, I love that. So you also were able to be creative and kind of think outside the box on your particular product, what really was needed, but I think it’s clear to me that you are able to put yourselves in the shoes of your customers as well and really look at their needs, their problems, and then obviously in completely the same way, look at why would anyone buy our product? Like, if I were them, why would I choose to but this product versus another one and, like you said, you need that trust, you need that credibility or something, it doesn’t have to be much. A couple of reviews help a lot, but something, some reason– and you need to come away to the customers a reason to buy and pick your product. And now you’ve got some good reasons, it seems like, going on with those partnerships, with reviews, things like that that you’re building up.
Ashley: Yeah, exactly. And I think the problem is you’re always, unfortunately, you can’t believe everybody, and when you do get in a situation, you may get a bad review, you may get someone who’s not happy for some reason, and we’ve had some obscure reasons for people not being happy. We’re talking things we can’t even understand. But the important thing is to address it. The important thing is to take action very quickly. Try to establish what the problem was for that person and how you can remedy that, if possible at all. Sometimes people just want to complain or just want some kind of a reaction, and we get that. So its trying to establish how much effort you put into that and how much you don’t, but try to, as best you can, treat every customer with exactly the same quality in the customer service. And I think that’s paramount to us as well, and our success is the admin side of it. It’s very easy to look at the product, look at the selling, look at the statistics, look at the model of continuously, every two weeks, evaluating.
But one of the key pushes that we had was we were going to drive a really customer-centered kind of business where the customers felt part of something. They felt part of a movement, they felt part of an action, part of an idea, part of creation. A lot of the things we do, social media-wise, is to get that engagement, to get them to be part of our business, where should we go next? What products should we offer next? Where should our business take us? And I think if people feel part of something and they feel like they’re moving with you, that works in your benefit.
Daniel: Absolutely. So you guys have been able to use social media or maybe other influencers or something like that to kind of build that base of it.
Ashley: Yeah, exactly that. We’ve been really lucky in the sense we’ve met a couple of really key influences within our niche and they’ve been able to review our products and it’s always scary when you ask someone to review your product, right? Because you don’t– I asked them to be honest, they were going to be honest, they write for fairly big blogs and they were honest and it came back glowing, and that was really, really positive for us. And that was a big step for both of us in the sense it gave us the confidence what we’re doing is right, but a big step in the sense that we were then able to celebrate that and tell our customers about it and say, “Look, we’ve got people who know the brand, they know the niche, they know what they’re doing. They’re telling us it’s a good product.” So that’s good.
Daniel: Yeah, yeah. Know you’re getting the reward right from right at the beginning, really creating a product that’s good and people will like and not just sourcing it, whatever, to make money, you’re really looking at helping people. That’s, ultimately, is what’s going to give you the rewards too, by helping others, right? So that’s beautiful to hear and people recognize that influences can see your product and say, “Wow. This is really cool, this is amazing.” And you’re providing a lot of value that way. Yeah, I wanted to, I asked you, if you don’t mind, kind of sharing some of the numbers that you’re starting to see now?
Ashley: Yeah, sure. So we had around about, I’ll take you through December all the way through to today because the growth has been astronomical. So we worked really hard all of last year up to December, we were seeing something around 300-400 pounds in sales a month which, anyone can tell you, is not enough. That’s changed from February, we got about twelve hundred pounds, March we broke five thousand pounds, April six and a half to seven thousand pounds, May, 13 thousand.
Ashley: And this month’s looking up as well. So you can see there’s a definite growth pattern there, you can see what we’re doing is actually starting to work but I think you said it earlier, it’s doing all the back-work, the backend. At the start of the business it’s pushing all of that work. We didn’t see the rewards straight away, but that’s now reaping this year and we’re seeing that come back round.
Daniel: Absolutely. And that’s a common thing, anyone who’s truly successful long-term has done something extra like created a really good product or found a real problem, and then you’re building a brand around that. You mentioned, do you have more than one product? Or just one?
Ashley: Yep, yep. We have two products in our brand but we also have a deal with another company who develops a range for our brand as well and they charge a bit on top. So we completely offer on our website around sort of six to seven pretty quality products there that we’re making money on and it’s sustainable and we’ve actually had sales come through on. And that’s been the key for us has been going a bit wider and trying to offer slightly more and a higher range, and then that’s been able to see a bit more growth on that.
Daniel: Nice, nice. Yeah, you really–looking at your market and seeing what problems to solve and things like that, alright.
Ashley: Yeah, exactly. Within our niche in particular, the problem was quite obvious, the problem was obvious. But it was whittling that big problem down into something we could tackle because the big problems, unfortunately, are out of our scope. As much as we’d like to solve that, that’s not something we can do but on a much more minimalistic level, we were able to address something that we could directly solve, right here, right now. And I think that’s important, I think it takes thousands and thousands of ideas before you get that one thing that goes, “Yes, this is what we’re going to do.” And myself and my business partner, Ryan, have been very good at that, I mean Ryan will sit there for hours and hours and hours planning and planing and planning and then we’ll word-storm it and we’ll loo through it and go, “Yep, no, that’s where– that’s the one golden nugget.” For every a hundred bad ideas, there was one good idea.
And that’s been important. It’s important to not get demotivated by that because when you’re trying to be creative, and when you’re trying to think about your product and think about your brand, or even when you’re doing the validation and the research, it’s very easy to get downhearted, to feel like the market’s saturated, there’s no way I can do this, there’s no opportunity there, there is. You’ve just got to keep going through it and you’ve got to keep believing in what you’re doing.
And that, ultimately, comes through. And I think what’s really helped us, and Ryan says it a lot. Ryan, obviously, your business partner, in the sense that reading the right books, educating yourself with the right people, affiliating with the right people, talking to the right people who can help you grow and having the right ethos and the mental attitude has helped us so much. And it was something I was very dismissive of, but my business partner, Ryan, was like, “We need to read these books. They’re going to help us.” And, to be honest with you, they have.Some of the key things that they teach have definitely given us strength in the times of definite darkness.
Daniel: Yeah, yeah, and it’s the compounding effect again, I think, you read a book, and then you’re like, “Oh, nothing has changed. Nothing has happened.” But it will serve you down the line and it will make you more money, going to make you more successful, going to make you do better things and make better decisions down the line more so than right now. So I think that’s the truth of it with knowledge and your mindset and things like that. That’s fantastic. You guys really have understood what it takes, I think, and now you’re starting to reap the rewards and its exciting to see what happens and how this continues to grow and how you’re able to manage it all because now you obviously have to continue to learn and continue to grow and evolve and then there’d going to be things that potentially [inaudible 00:30:38] once you’re a big seller, too, that you guys will encounter. But I’m excited for you, you’re obviously, you’ve done the hardest part now, which is to get going. And now it’s starting to be really fun, I assume, for you guys to see this happening.
Ashley: Yeah, it still feels like hard work, if I’m honest. Every day we make up, we have the motivational quotes that I think everybody reads and [inaudible 00:31:02]. But yeah, you’re right, you can start seeing what you’re doing is working, and I think it was important– one of the most important things for us was we wrote a list of things we’ve achieved in the last 14 months to look back, retrospectively and go, “Okay, 14 months ago, we had nothing. We had no business, we had nothing. Now, what have we got?” And, when you look back and realize how much you’ve achieved, it’s incredibly motivating and it keeps you going because we are there. And I think you’re right, a lot of the hard work has been done. Now for us it’s about scaling, its about trying to employ staff, trying to outsource as much as we possibly can so we can run a business and not work in the business, is what we’re trying to do.
Daniel: Yeah, yeah, exactly. So I guess you feel even more juiced up, even more motivated at this stage than you were 10 months ago.
Ashley: Yeah, exactly, yeah. And I think at this stage now we’re sort of looking at our targets that we set last year and sort of, almost, laughing at them, going, “Well, wow, we’ve achieved that, and what’s next?” And Ryan’s really keyed in to setting goals and objectives that– and there’s a lot of schools of thought, some people really believe in it, some people really don’t. All I can say is it really works for us, having, on our desk, the goals that we want to achieve by three months, by six months, by nine months, by a year. Having quarterly goals has really helped us.
Daniel: Yeah and I think the key, like you said, is believing in it because if you write it up and don’t believe in it and then you don’t really follow that and aim for that, then obviously it’s not really going to matter, but if you really are dialed in and then that’s really what you’re going to do, and now it’s critical to know where you’re going. So, yeah, its just an exciting time for you guys because, getting to where you are is probably more work, in a way, than doubling or tripling from this point out because you have the momentum. And you’ve been creative, you’ve done whatever you had to do to come up with something great, find your place, and now you can really build on that, brick by brick. It’s, yeah, just really proud of you guys, it’s amazing to hear this.
Ashley: Well we thank you and yourself and Ryan, as well, thank you for all the training you’ve given us and thank you for being there and we sent a couple of queries in and you were very quick to get back to us and we really appreciate that. You’ve been really helpful.
Daniel: Yeah, you’re welcome. I really– it makes my day. This is why we do this, is because it is so enjoyable to help others create value in this world and build something for themselves. And they way you guys are doing it is something that I’m really proud of because that’s really the best way to do it, so kudos to you guys on that. And I don’t want to take up too much of your time this evening, you’ve been on here for quite a bit, but I want to still maybe ask you, like, 10 more minutes or something, but I want to really ask you, is there any key–obviously you’ve shared quite a bit already, but are there any key moments or key lessons that really helped define you guys? That have been big things that you think people should be aware of?
Ashley: I’m trying to think now.
Daniel: Yeah, I’m kind of putting you on the spot, sorry about that, but if there’s anything you can–
Ashley: Because so much happens and you kind of roll with it, you kind of– daily things happen. I guess understanding Amazon’s policies, understanding Amazon’s restrictions, understanding Amazon’s listing, how they work, and understanding Amazon as a whole was really key for us. And, in honesty, we did make a mistake and it did cost us, and I think–sorry, that’s my phone going.
Daniel: Yeah, no worries.
Ashley: I think that’s the problem with that is that it can cost you if you don’t understand how Amazon fully works and their operations, understand how to sell, but understand how they work and everything that goes on within that.
Ashley: And that’s been important to us.
Daniel: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah because I think that’s something people underestimate is that relationship with Amazon and how important that is and to understand that and work with them instead of just assuming that it’s– that they don’t care what you’re doing because they really do care and you need to play- it’s their building, it’s their house, you need to play by their rules and understand how that all works.
Ashley: Yeah, exactly. And I think, as well, picking who you listen to is really important because when you start your business, when you start anything within Amazon, people will try to give you all the advice under the sun. You’ve got, obviously, the training course, but obviously you will source external factors and external people and societies as well, so different groups that are available for Amazon sellers that give you information. But you have to be selective into what you listen to and selective as to what you chose to action because it can cost you if you action the wrong thing.
Ashley: Follow the wrong advice, it can cost you, for sure.
Daniel: It does, yeah, because after time, this is the most valuable asset you have in your business and I think that’s the thing, it’s mostly about not wasting your time. If you know what to do, you can do that and then get the results or just spin your wheels and that really drains your motivation and your belief in what you’re doing and that it actually works, and that kind of stuff. So that’s key, I think. Anything else you can think of? Like anything that has come up or anything you’ve learned, perhaps, with marketing or something?
Ashley: Yeah, I guess with marketing, its difficult because obviously you’re selling through Amazon with the campaign manager, we found test and test and test again, split test as much as you possibly can. One of the biggest pitfalls with the campaign manager is your costs can go through the roof if you don’t understand fully how to properly leverage the campaign manager within Amazon. And that was a big thing for us. We found just by subtly changing a couple of things, subtly changing the title every now and again, split testing that, subtly changing some of the images and rotating that, subtly changing some of the bullet points in the description listings, and then running campaign managers around that, just seeing [inaudible 00:37:24] change drastically from something in the region of sort of 5%, 4%, all the way up to 268%. So once its at 268%, we obviously shut it down pretty quickly, because we’re obviously losing money, but it was a good test of what didn’t work and what did work.
And I think the lessons we learnt through that were worth the money lost, if you like. It was only two units, and we learnt a load about how to campaign manage correctly.
Daniel: Yeah, yeah, it’s all about learning at the early stages what works. So I’m assuming you’re using the KPI’s and stuff to look at that.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah, of course. We use KPI tracker, obviously, and that’s obviously been paramount to us as well, but I think we’ve learnt a few different hacks as well, a few different things that you can kind of do to kind of leverage Amazon’s automation system, because I know, obviously, within the KPI’s and within the Infinity Code, it’s very much about manual, and only using the search terms or the key terms that are particular to your niche, but we’ve found that, actually, by using Amazon’s automatic campaign listing in a certain way, you can leverage a lot of sales and the A cost drops a lot just by doing a few different things and being a bit clever with how you structure it.
Ashley: And Ryan was very good at that. Ryan would come up with this idea and he went with it, and our A cost was 4.9% on the units we sold for that. So that was really well done.
Daniel: Awesome, yeah, that’s really cool. So you were able to figure out how to leverage the automatic campaign to get more IDs and things like that?
Ashley: Exactly, yeah.
Daniel: Yeah. And [inaudible 00:38:59]. And you have to be creative and you have to be willing to try things, right, and every market is different, every product is different. But that’s fantastic. Really good insights.
Ashley: Yeah, sorry, just the last thing I’d finish on is just, one size fits nobody. I think that’s important. You have to be flexible and adapt your own model, your own size, take the Infinity Code as guidance, but shape your own business model to your particular niche and your particular demands and your customers.
Daniel: Exactly. Yeah, I think this gas been extremely insightful, actually. I really appreciate the time again and I think there’s a lot of key takeaways here. But what I love the most, personally, I would say is really how diligent you guys were, persevered, you really looked at what you were doing at took it seriously, looked at your customers, actual problems, having a really great product that solves a real problem better than something that’s already out there. So you really have done those things that really matter in the long run and now you’re starting to see the rewards, which is so exciting. And I think, obviously, you’re going to be rewarded really well now in the coming months and years, if you continue to take this approach and expand, so congrats, again, and thanks so much for taking the time, is there any last words? I know you’ve said a few things, but is there anything else?
Ashley: No, we’re all good. Thank you very much, Daniel.
Daniel: Awesome. Okay, thanks Ashley, I really appreciate it and I’ll talk to you again soon.
Ashley: No problem. See you soon. Bye.
Daniel: Bye bye.
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