Work Overload – Hitting The Wall

I’m now at a point, in mid-February, where the amount of work I have to do exceeds the amount of time I have available to work. I was exhausted this weekend, and spent most of my time in bed.

One of my big nightmares (amongst many) was updating the Amazon Pricing Rules via upload. It’s not intuitive how to fill in the feed, and it took me over 10 attempts to get a working version. That version only covers around 10% of my inventory and there’s a lot more to be done. However, I have so much to do with my freelance clients, too, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to revisit it.

From Clickfunnels, to Wix, to WordPress, to Magento, to Shopify – I’m multi-tasking and going full speed. Currently bringing in around £800 a week which will account for around half of my $100K goal if I can keep up the pace until the end of the year.

I’m officially self-employed now, and it’s scary and exhausting. It’s also liberating. I’m looking forward to seeing where the path will take me.

January Recap – Setting the Foundation

I spent January stocking up and getting my ducks in a row. I have potential freelance work that will hopefully take me up to 25 hours a week guaranteed over February, and as I heat up the Amazon Seller Central marketplace, those two streams of income should steady themselves out over the next few weeks.

10 Things I Achieved In January:

  1. Updated my CV
  2. Learned new skills in Amazon Forecast
  3. Made advertising banners for Amazon Services and completed the application
  4. Found out information about New Enterprise Allowance scheme and almost finished the process
  5. Set up dropshipping process in Amazon UK and Amazon US
  6. Started work on my agency website
  7. Helped my friend design his business leaflets (seee the featured image)
  8. Learned more advanced Excel skills – even though I’ve been using it for years, always something new!
  9. Successfully secured my annual customer’s order.
  10. Became comfortable with AWS.

What I Didn’t Do Well In January:

  1. I didn’t get the stock out of the house
  2. I put on a LOT of weight
  3. I didn’t manage my time as effectively as I could have: better than usual but still lacking.
  4. I didn’t manage my money efficiently.

On the negative side, I had one client cancel a contract suddenly, and I’ve put on over a stone. It’s because I’m not getting out much and eating junk, but that’s something else I’ll focus on in the month to come.

I still have a lot of niggly bits to do before I’m ready to settle down and let things flow, but it’s been a good start. With pay day in sight on Thursday, and plenty of plans coming together, I’m hopeful that month two of 2020 will be doubly productive.

Expansion week | international listings & advertising campaigns.

With the full selection of products online on Amazon, my next task is to expand those offers across all the countries that Amazon reaches. Yes, postage costs a fortune – but in hard to reach areas, I figure that people are used to paying the postage. After assessing the demand, I can look at how to ship to warehouses around the world to reduce those costs.

The first things I’m doing, locally, is tripling my advertising spend. My current aCos is 2% – I can afford to increase the aCos to 40% and make less profit per sale if it gets me enough sales. I will monitor it for a week, and see where the aCos is at: then I will either increase or decrease again.

Then I’m creating listings for all the new markets. Sadly the inventory uploader file is different for every country, Amazon aren’t known for making things easy. I’m starting with UAE as its a fairly new market – then USA, then Canada, then Australia, Finally, Italy, France, Spain and Germany. I need a German Tax ID to sell on Amazon Germany, so that’s going to be a bother – and soon, Amazon will be requiring French Tax IDs, too.

My final targets will be Japan and Mexico. Even I’m not cheeky enough to try offering Chinese products back to the Chinese market at a UK price… although maybe I should?

Monitoring the progress of each country is going to take time, to make sure each remains profitable, however once in place & working, the international aspect will provide another income stream.

Iwoca Business Loans – the pros and cons of small business finance.

I have a number of debts I need to kill off this year.

Some debts can be recycled month by month (such as credit card debt being used to pay for backdated bills). Others are not coming back to you, no matter what you do.

One of these that I have to pay off now is Iwoca, as they stopped renewing my rolling overdraft. It was good at the time, and allowed me to get a lot of stock in for my store. However, the stock didn’t sell as fast as I’d hope – and when I went to renew the terms with them, they refused.

The pros of Iwoca are many:

  • Easy cash to help with business flow
  • Very simple and quick approval for your business
  • You can repay your loan at any time, so if you need money to bridge you over for a couple of days, it’s ideal.

The cons of Iwoca are:

  • They can retract their offer at any time, and instead of being a rolling overdraft, you’re left with a standard loan.
  • The interest rate can be hefty if you take a loan over a long period.
  • If you make a big payment in error, they’ll take it to pay off the loan instead of refunding you.

If despite this you want to try them out to see if they can help your business, click here and tell them that Sarah Eaglesfield from TrophyMaker UK sent you. You’ll get an interest free loan for 30 days, and I’ll get a little to help me towards my own debt with them. For now, my repayment plan with them is as follows:

30/01/2020£4.19£481.56£485.75
02/03/2020£395.75£155.45£551.20
30/03/2020£431.80£119.40£551.20
30/04/2020£439.09£112.11£551.20
01/06/2020£456.55£94.65£551.20
30/06/2020£485.29£65.92£551.21
30/07/2020£504.83£46.36£551.19
01/09/2020£525.21£26.00£551.21

It’s one I want to kill off as quickly as I can.

A Life of Win in 2020

My dream is to live a winning life in 2020. This is ground zero.

I’m one for making big resolutions at the start of the year and never carrying through with them. For example, I could resolve to update this blog daily – but I know I won’t. However, I am using it as a way to keep myself accountable, and I hope to provide others with the inspiration to follow through on their goals in the 2020s, too.

My main aim this year is to make $100K working for myself. Everything else will pale into insignificance, probably, as I’ll be so flat out working, I may not find the time to rest. This blog is also here for me to share my goals for a given week; report on whether I’ve kept on track, whether I’m stressed and doing too much, and as a means to organize my thoughts. It’s no lie when I tell you I have 6 businesses on the go, and I’m not devoting enough time or energy to any of them. My aim this year is to balance them all and stop neglecting the ones that have slipped through the net.

Even with that goal in mind, I have to be careful not to allow the simple joys of life pass me by. I have to make time for my friends and family, get out in nature, exercise and look after my mental health.

2020 is a reset year for everyone. A time to start again. A time to welcome a new decade and to let go of the drama and misery that may have haunted you before. Whatever your new year’s resolutions are for 2020, I wish you luck, and hope my blog provides some inspiration along the way.