In this interview episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle podcast, Anton speaks with Drop Ship Lifestyle community member, Isaac Smith.
The two talk about how Isaac saved his store after seeing sales decline, the importance of in-person masterminds and why bookkeeping can be a headache for dropshippers.
Isaac also gives us a look at the mindset needed to be a successful entrepreneur and shares his story on selling his store for a 30x multiple!
Anton: What's up, everybody? Anton here from eCommerce Lifestyle. Today we're doing a another interview episode. Today is a ... It's really a special one. We are with Isaac Smith, if you're part of Drop Ship Lifestyle, you might've met him at a previous retreat. You've definitely seen his name in the Facebook group and the forum probably back in the day. That's because I actually, before we got on this call, I checked your email address.
Anton: I was like, 'When did Isaac become a part of this whole thing?' The exact date was actually January 1st, 2014. Yeah, you were, ... I was looking at like the price range that you got in for, and that was within the first 200 people of the program.
Anton: Yeah, really cool. You've been around for a long time now. I'm sure you've learned so much and have a bunch to share.
Anton: Yeah, thanks for hopping on the call.
Isaac: Yeah, well thanks for having me on. It's funny to think I have always kind of wondered like how early was I in this? How many people were in there before me? So that's pretty cool.
Anton: Yeah. The way I gauged it was by price points. We had an introductory price, then after a hundred people, we went up a bit. Then after almost a hundred people, we went up again. You were like right in that third tier. Based on the data, it must've been super, super early because I only started this thing, probably mid 2013; so six months later.
Anton: Yeah, yup. Yeah, I guess people probably have seen your name, or maybe they haven't and they'll start to see it now and it'll stick out more when they're in the Facebook group. But you want to introduce yourself to everybody? I guess how you even got started [crosstalk 00:01:32] and what your journey's looked like?
Isaac: Sure. Yeah, absolutely. So as you mentioned, it's been a long journey. I started, ... I used to be an architect back in, ... Well, it was a while ago now. But yeah, I was looking for something else. I would listen to podcasts on my way to work every morning. Eventually I stumbled on one thing that stumbled on another thing, You know how that that chain goes. I think it was a 'Terri Lynn Build my Online Store' podcast. I don't even know if he ... I don't think he does that anymore.
Anton: No, he doesn't. Yup.
Isaac: Yeah. He was interviewing Johnny and I heard that.
Isaac: I went, "Oh, well that makes sense." So anyway, yeah, I started going in the rabbit hole on like what is this Drop Ship Lifestyle thing? I was so determined. By the end of that, I guess it was 2013 I was like, "Yes, let's do this." I made myself ... January 1st, this is my big new thing. I'm going to hustle, I'm going to do it. Yeah, that's what I did.
Anton: That's awesome. Yeah, and I mean that's obviously like a lot of time. I know through the process and meeting in person, you've been through different stores, right? There's been obviously a ton of learning and a ton of trial and error, because it's funny to even think like back then what Drop Ship Lifestyle looked like as far as the content structure, and how in depth we went. It was like a totally different thing.
Isaac: Oh, man. Yeah.
Anton: [crosstalk 00:03:04] Yeah. It's night and day.
Anton: I'm curious though, from your first store up until now, especially like as we get closer to the current date, right? For everybody that that is building, that is growing, any lessons you could share, like big revelations that [crosstalk 00:03:20] can benefit people? So many, right? I know we could probably talk for like 10 hours about it.
Isaac: Yeah. Well I mean, it's exactly that. It was a journey and it's still going. I'm somewhere in the middle. It's like I have big dreams, and they're off in the distance. Where I came from, I've come a long ways and I have a long ways to go.
Isaac: Yeah, I mean that's one thing is just persistence and patience with yourself and being forgiving. I'm on in the Facebook group a lot. I see a lot of people commenting, and a lot of their attitudes are ... I can see myself in what people are saying. They're like, 'How do I make sure that I do this first store right?' Or, 'How do I make sure that I don't fail on this thing?'
Isaac: That was my attitude, too. The first store I did was RC cars and trucks, and drones, and helicopters, and things.
Isaac: I was like, "Yeah, let's do that." At the first retreat ... I went to the first retreat, which by the way guys, if you're listening, go to the retreat. I'm not kidding you, that was a ... I'm not exaggerating, life changing moment for me. Being around all these people who are doing this thing, what I'm doing. We all have the same attitude. I fell into a group of guys that we really connected, started a mastermind. That was five years ago.
Anton: Right, yeah.
Isaac: We're still talking. It's still strong.
Anton: Yeah, it's amazing. Yeah.
Isaac: Everybody is doing so much better than they were. So it's like yeah, do that. So anyway, yeah ... I was pushing, and pushing, and pushing on my first store. Eventually, it was the mastermind guys who told me like, 'Hey, this isn't working out, man. You've got to stop'
Isaac: I was like, "No, I can make this work. I can do it. I haven't tried this yet, and that yet."
Anton: They were referring to your product type, right? To your niche. That's what they were saying? [crosstalk 00:05:30]
Isaac: ... It wasn't the right niche. I couldn't see that. Eventually they were like, 'You've got to ... You just got to stop.' Finally I listened. That was a painful moment, and it was painful for a while. It's like 'I failed, you know? Like crap.'
Isaac: But hey, you look around and you see people who had success, or who seem to have it all together. You don't know the whole story actually. I think actually for most of these people, that success wasn't their first try. It wasn't even their third try, usually. Like Joe who was the last guy on the podcast, he's done huge things; but this is what? He said his fourth store?
Anton: I think so, yeah. Third or fourth. Yep.
Isaac: I mean that's huge is just the willingness to get up and try again, you know?
Anton: Yup, and that's so true. Even with the success stories you see, whoever it is, you don't see behind the scenes. Even if their business is successful in the sense that it's super profitable, and they were able to quit their job, and they're making more money than they ever did, there's fires to put out every single week.
Isaac: Oh yeah.
Anton: There's something happening. It's never just like you make it, and then you put your hands up, and you're done. It's no matter what stage you're atm one month in, one year in, 10 years in, there's always something new happening that you deal with. That business. That's a great point.
Isaac: Yeah, and it goes ... Even if you do have a quote, unquote successful store; everybody has their own version of success. What means success to me is not the same as you. Like you said, there's always challenges. For my most recent store, it was profitable, it was doing great. I was very happy with with it, but there's huge ups and downs all the time. You've got to just be able to just keep going forward no matter what, and deal with it, deal with whatever you're facing.
Anton: Mmhmm, and I know before we started recording, before we clicked that button, you said ... Because you sold your store, so congratulations on that. That's awesome, yeah. But you said before that happened you were experiencing kind of a dip in sales. You were going through a struggle of somebody that owns a successful store. You had to not just throw your hands up and say, 'Okay, what's the next one?' You had to jump in there, and change things, and get it back on track.
Anton: Maybe people are experiencing that, or maybe they're still trying to get some momentum. The things that you did to kind of take something that was declining and get it back on the rise, any major things that you would think would apply to the majority of people listening or building these businesses?
Isaac: Yeah, yeah. This is tough. I have learned this ... As I've been trying to sort of emphasize, it's more of a head game than you think it is. It's more of a head game than I think. I think that's the primary thing, even more than the technical side or whatever. But yeah, I had this store. I started it ... Geez, I don't even know. It was four and a half years ago from now, whenever that works out to. I sold it in March. It was 2017. It had been growing for over a year. 2017 was a huge year for me. I was so excited. Like, 'Yes, this is what I'm ... this is on my way to my dreams.'
Isaac: At the end of the year, I hired a really great VA who was going to do the customer service. I spent a lot more than I was hoping for her, but she's amazing. She's well worth her money, especially compared to the other losers [crosstalk 00:09:27] that I was working with before.
Isaac: Yeah, I was going and going. Then January comes, 2018, and it just like slump. Crap. Now I have this VA that I'm spending a lot of money on. I can't just have these low months anymore. Okay, well I've had low months. Keep going. February, really a low month. Actually, march was a huge month, but then April ... It was just like a continuous slide.
Isaac: I'm starting to feel really bad about myself. Like, 'Oh no,' you know? I'm four years into this at this point, and what do I have to show? I have a store that seems to be dying. Yeah, for one, like I said, it's the persistence. You got to know to get back into it. So one thing is ... you sort of alluded to how do Drop Ship Lifestyle has changed from the beginning. I'm guessing the version that I saw at the beginning was like the very first version, right?
Anton: [crosstalk 00:10:41] I would assume ... Maybe like a minor tweak here and there, but yeah pretty much.
Isaac: There wasn't all this, ... I mean Drop Ship Lifestyle now is huge. You have so much stuff in there. There's a full on course just on Google Ads. I know that back when I started there was some ... You showed how to do it, but it wasn't anything like it is now.
Anton: No, it was like a high level overview of like here's the process. Then a lot of it was kind of left up in the air to ... You'd figure out as you're in there instead of the step by step that it is now.
Isaac: Yeah. One big thing is guys, don't be like Isaac and just like fall off. Go like, 'Oh I got it. Okay, I'm good.' You know like, 'Hey, I'm having success. I don't need to pay attention to what's going on,' because that's actually what happened. I look back and I go like, 'Oh, I was so arrogant.' Like 'I think I've got this.'
Isaac: I'm having these huge sales. I can just go off and do my own thing without paying attention to the rest.
Anton: It's funny you say that because that is the normal way to think. When I first saw success, I did the same exact thing. I was playing golf every day. And I was like, 'Oh, we'll respond to these emails when we get a chance because everything is perfect.'
Anton: Then you realize you have a lot more things breaking than you expected. I think everybody goes through that. That made me think of maybe a few months ago somebody actually posted in the Facebook group. They said something like, ... I don't know. They found out that there was something they had to do.
Anton: I think when I talk about like auditing your ad accounts every couple of weeks, and they were like, 'Wait a minute.' They were serious. They were like, 'I thought I could build my store, have it be successful, and then sit on a beach.' That was like the word, 'sit on a beach.' You can, but it's gonna [crosstalk 00:12:26] ... Yeah, you do have to be actively monitoring things.
Anton: I mean it sounds like a few months went by, and you were watching the numbers and kind of thinking like it would have those down and bounce back up. But when you realized they were more down than up, what was your like plan of action? Where do you go from there? Because obviously you turned it around.
Isaac: Yeah. Well, I didn't know what to do. I think here's ... let's lay out the problem first. ... I thought, 'I've got it, I'm going to go do my own thing.' I went off and did these great ideas I'd have. I'd listened to a podcast, 'Oh that's a great idea. I'm going to go do that.' Well, then I'd spend a month or two like just ... One thing that I'm good at is just focusing on one thing and ignoring everything else. I'm not saying I was ignoring customers or anything, but I would focus on content. The very first time I did this actually was, ... I forget who it was at the first retreat.
Anton: Brandon [Nolte. 00:00:13:28], he gave ... Yeah, Brandon Nolte.
Isaac: How did you know that I was going to bring that up?
Anton: Because I love that talk and we implemented a lot of stuff from it, too. Yeah.
Isaac: Yeah, his content marketing. He laid out this whole thing. I was like, 'Oh yes, this is it.' I spent three months building out ... I had blog posts going up twice a week. A team doing this. I'm not doing anything, but it wasn't resulting in sales. It turns out I spent like three months that I could have been dedicating to fundamentals. I didn't actually know really how to do it.
Isaac: I repeated that thing, chasing this great idea over and over. When I look, I do ... I keep a journal. This is another tip, guys. I keep a journal, and it shows me what I've done. At the end of the year, I review it. I'm looking through and I'm going, 'Oh my gosh, I wasted a month there. The next month I wasted there, the next.' It was like spending all this time on things that don't make ...that aren't proven can make a difference to your bottom line on a dropshipping store.
Isaac: Yeah, these things are great. It's Drop Ship Lifestyle. Yeah, you can have this lifestyle. So go off, have a VA run your customer service. Go off for a week or two or a month. I went to Costa Rica with my family for a couple of weeks last year. It was taken care of, but you can't just neglect it for months at a time. It starts to drop. That's one thing that I want to say. That's not really a tip that I think people are hoping to hear, but that's my truth.
Anton: Yeah, they need to. Yeah.
Isaac: Yeah. How I solved that is getting back into like ... going back into the Drop Ship Lifestyle course, I watch the whole thing again and was like, 'Whoa, there's so much more in here now I had completely ignored.' I reached out to people asking like, 'Hey, what would you,' ... just becoming more active in the community again, focusing on the fundamentals. That's critical.
Isaac: So what did I actually do that made a really big difference? I'll tell you. I actually now, after watching this and experiencing this all this time, I really think the most important thing is having the right product. That's critical. ... I mean that's like 80% of it right there is having the product that people are searching for, that want to buy. If you have that product, then you have to communicate that you have it, and you have to communicate that this is a great place to buy it; what your offer is, and then getting in front of people with the advertising, the tiered advertising campaigns that's in the course, that it shows you how to do that.
Isaac: What I did was I had this, ... I mean this is just my experience. I had this supplier who I had a few different brands through. I had one top seller that was doing really well. I had some other top sellers, but there's one brand that I just sold a ton of. One day, I was talking to the suppliers. So tip number ... the next tip is talk to your suppliers. Have a good relationship with them.
Isaac: I was talking to this guy and he said, "Hey, you sell a lot."
PART 1 OF 3 ENDS [00:17:04]
Isaac: ... Relationship with them. So I was talking to this guy and he said, "Hey, you sell a lot of this brand. Why don't you sell this brand?" I was like, "What, really? I don't know."
Isaac: "Do they sell well?" He's like, "Yeah, of course. Yeah, they're huge." I was like, "Oh, okay. Well, okay, sure." So this is the other critical thing I asked him, "What are their top five sellers?" And he told me this, this, this and this. So I spent a few days and I actually had those products on the website already, but they didn't look as good. They weren't optimized in a way that I would normally do my products. So I spent a few days and I just sort of went over what they were. I adjusted their... I have a list.
Isaac: I sold my store and I wrote how to do everything for the buyer. And I sort of have what I thought was an 80 20 of what you need to do. And this comes from your course, it comes from all kinds of people. But basically have a keyword rich title, not super long and spammy, but just if you know that... I have a desk in front of me, if you know that you have... if you want to sell a desk and you know that people are looking for white. That's a popular trending color or standing desk or whatever. And sure you can say white standing desk, that's what people are searching for. You don't have to do this fancy keyword research but just use some of your intelligence and common sense.
Isaac: And if the customers are calling and they're talking about certain things, use the words that they say and put them in your titles, put them in your descriptions. Another thing that I do is I want to make sure that I have a great offer, a freebie in every everything that I want to sell, even if it's not exclusive to me. If other stores aren't telling people and advertising that they're getting this free thing. For example, I had this chair that I sold and it came with another thing and I would put that image in the main image, in your image. Put all of those little freebies and also if you can, spend $60 bucks and give them something really cool also with it. So you have these other smaller items in with the image. Then when they're looking on Google shopping, they see all these things, they're like, "Oh, wow, that one has more."
Anton: Yeah, I actually like that a lot. Yeah. You're taking things, again, like you said, they're already there, they're already included. The customer's getting them, you're just letting it be known and you're making it look like a better offer. And people are going to click through more to your site and when they're there it's going to stand out more. So yeah, that's a really good tip.
Isaac: Yeah. I was selling really expensive things. I might make $600 or $1,000 dollars on an item that I sold. If you spend $100 bucks and you give them something nice with that, that nobody else is doing.
Anton: Do that all day long.
Isaac: Yeah. The other thing is sort of, this is a little bit more technical. For my feed manager, I would use the Meta titles and Meta descriptions instead of the long ones. So when you're in your Shopify product page, you can scroll down and edit the SEO titles and descriptions. Look, if you're selling something that everybody else is, they're all going to have the same looking thing, same looking titles. Even if they wrote their own titles, it's going to say similar things. So if someone searches for, I have a white standing desk in front of me right now.
Isaac: If somebody searches for white standing desk and the Google shopping comes up, or even if they put the brand, this is Ikea. So Ikea white standing desk, I don't know if anyone else sells Ikea, so maybe that's a bad example, but let's go with it. There's all of these listings for Ikea white standing desks. Well, I don't do that. I put all caps at the very beginning, free lamp or whatever my freebie is, or free chair, dash, hyphen, Ikea white standing desk. And I put a picture of that in the featured item.
Isaac: So who wouldn't click on that? That way I get a leg up and if you can make your offer really cool, sure, I'll give away a little bit. As everybody knows, we don't like really revealing our niches and websites and stuff, but I sold it and I want to respect the new owner, but I can tell you a little bit is it was a B2B furniture kind of thing. Tables and desks is not unusual for me to sell, very specific to a specific kind of business.
Isaac: So everybody would sell this table and maybe it would be a table fit for three or two. I would give them three chairs for free. And that cost me a lot of money. But I've made so much money when people bought that. And people would call up and they'll say, "Are you serious? I get three chairs? No way. Really?" Yes.
Anton: Just to give people an idea, again, not about the product, but the amount of money, let's say net profit you would have made without giving the chairs, then after giving the chairs, what do those numbers look like?
Isaac: Oh, it's hard to remember. But I mean, I might've made $1500 bucks without the chairs and then each chair costs me $60 bucks. So I'm at $1200 or $1300 at this point. So it's a no-brainer.
Anton: Yeah. Exactly, yeah. That's why people get scared sometimes, thinking of these bonus offers and how's that going to affect my profit? And I mean, the thing is you said the word common sense before, the term common sense and it's so true. Do it where you can and the best places that we found it to work is exactly what you've done, which is those huge ticket products. Because that's where somebody has already, they're about to drop a lot of money, they're going to buy something. And they know in that scenario they would need three chairs or they would need two chairs to go with it and they're going to buy that regardless. So just saying, "Hey, you're going to buy it anyway. These are on us. They're whatever dollar value and they're going to ship when you buy this from us." That's so massive.
Isaac: [crosstalk 00:06:41].
Anton: And yeah, the common sense thing, everybody should think through that while they're auditing their own sites. But it's easy to get technical and be like, "Well, what's the best practice for every single little part? My description and my images and my Apps that I use." And more so, just look at your website as if you were actually looking to buy the thing you have there and then just try to think through the buying process that a real consumer would have. That's what gets the best results in terms of conversion optimization.
Isaac: Yeah. My website, I had 2000 products. It was huge. It becomes overwhelming if you start going, "Oh, no, I have to come up with an offer." But no, just one product at a time. If there's one that you think you can sell, maybe a supplier has told you you can sell it, it's a best seller, think about that one and focus on that for awhile. See what happens and repeat the process on the next one.
Anton: Yep. Awesome. Yeah. Another thing that I wanted to talk about that I know you've done a lot of that definitely helped with the sale of your store, something you've shared about too in the Facebook group, which is your process for actually keeping records of profitability. Because that's another thing that people seem to slip on. Again, when you're new, it's easy to kind of overlook it and just look at top line and not actually know where your money's coming from, how much you're keeping and kind of using that information to make decisions. Where should you invest more? What should you try to sell more of? What should you turn the ads off for? So you kind of created your own system for this. So you want to talk a little bit about that, how that, I guess how you had the idea to even do that to begin with and where you took it?
Isaac: Well, it comes from pain. And I didn't want to create it, I didn't want to do my own bookkeeping, but I had no background in business. I think most of us in your community don't, that's why we're here. And so, when my business started taking off, I realized, "Oh, crap, I'm going to have to pay taxes and I'm going to have to figure out what this is. It's not coming out of my paycheck automatically." And then you're looking at your bank account going, "This doesn't make any sense." It's either way too high or way too low. And you're just like, "What? I just don't get it." So my first response was, "Okay, well, I'm going to just hire someone to do this for me. I don't understand any of it. I don't know what's required. I don't know." So I hired a bookkeeper on Upwork, worked with him for a few months. That was a disaster.
Isaac: Then I go, "Okay, well fine, I'll hire somebody real. A real professional. A US-based accounting firm." And I hired them and I worked with them for, actually it was over the course of a few years, a couple of different firms, sort of long story short, but it was never, I always felt like, "Ah, I'm missing something." They would give me these reports at the end of the month and they just didn't make any sense. I thought they were wrong, but I just couldn't figure out why. I'd spend hours going through each, like "Wow, this really seems wrong, but how?" And trying to figure out where did these numbers come from and why do I think it should be different? They'd give me these other reports, just made no sense at all to me. And I'd try to ask them questions like, "What does this mean?"
Isaac: And they'd just go, "Oh, well this report should give you an overall feeling of the health of your business." I was like, "How, what does it mean?"
Isaac: Like a balance sheet. I've Read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and I sort of understand what that means. But for a dropshipping store and I don't get it. But there it is. And they were just so unhelpful and they couldn't answer the simplest questions. I see there's money in the bank, it's a exciting number. Like, "Wow, that's great!" But I've learned through experience, not all of that is mine. I mean, I have to pay some of that to my suppliers, but I'd like to know how much is mine.
Anton: Right. Right.
Isaac: I don't know how to figure that out without spending hours. Can you just tell me? And I don't know why they couldn't do that. Or if they did finally after months and months of like, "This is important to me, guys. Help me out" Then they would go, "Okay, okay, I got it." And so I would ask like, "Okay, can you tell me?" They'd spend a week and then tell me. Like guys-
Anton: The number doesn't matter anymore. Yeah.
Isaac: Totally irrelevant.
Isaac: I mean, I could go on and on. And they wouldn't go into how much am I making per order? Which that's absolutely critical for those listening, if you're running a dropshipping store, you need to know how much you're making on every single order. Because that's how you know, you might say this item sells well, it's bringing in lots of money, but is the shipping too high? Are there lesser... How much can you afford to spend on ads? You can make lots of great decisions in your business if you have information that answers your questions. That's really what it came down to me, I realized this is not about just paying taxes, it's about answering your questions and solving your problems.
Isaac: So after three years of this with these accountants, I had two different accountants, and I decided, well, the reason I changed my perspective is because when I sold on Empire Flippers or when I listed, they said, "Hey, what's your?" They wanted me to fill out a profit and loss sheet for all four years of this store. I'm like, "Crap."
Isaac: That's a lot of work.
Anton: It is.
Isaac: So, I had all these numbers, but they didn't make sense and I wasn't confident. I went back through them all, took me a long time and finally I added it all up and "Okay, I'm confident in these numbers. Here you go. Empire Flippers." But what was amazing to me was when I looked at those numbers, I couldn't believe it. That terrible year that I thought I'd just had, wasn't bad.
Anton: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Isaac: All of this time, I didn't know. I just didn't know. And I just saw that top line Shopify report just going down and down, but my profit margin was getting greater. So it wasn't so bad. And all this time I had been telling myself this story, "Isaac, you're an idiot. What are you doing?" I mean, we could go really deep like I just had a family I'm trying to provide for, I have a wife that's working a full time job that I'm trying to eventually replace.
Isaac: Like, "Isaac, you've done this for four years now. Why can't you? You promised your wife certain things." It can go really deep and it feels really bad. Your self confidence starts to shake. But then when I saw those numbers I was like, "What? No way!"
Anton: That's amazing. Yeah. And just yeah.
Isaac: It's declining but not so bad.
Anton: But, right, more profitable with less top line. And it's just so important, to make any kind of decisions, that's what you need to work off of. It's almost always, it's a numbers game. I mean, that's what it comes down to. And just having that confidence, no one likes to look back and regret or anything and still you sold your store, that's amazing. You're building a new business. That's amazing. But just to think, you had that confidence all along. Or if you're learning early on that, "Hey, this thing is not what I thought it was. I didn't realize shipping for this thing is eating another 10% of what would be my profit."
Anton: That's how you grow. That's how you build a better business. That's how you have more profits. That's how you sell at a higher multiple. That is really cool though that you had that experience of, not just starting, but actually going back. And I do think anybody that listens to this and checks out what you're working on, they probably should do the same. Go back in time, look at those historical numbers and maybe you'll see what you saw, that things were better than you thought, maybe they were worse. But regardless, either way, it's better to know than not know. I hate going to the doctor, but I go because I'd rather know something's wrong sooner than later. Same a same type of thing.
Isaac: Yeah. And then you can address it. If you know what the issue is, then you can solve it. If you don't know what an issue is, you just have this fear or something's not going right. You can't solve that problem because you don't know what the problem is.
Anton: Yeah, exactly. So I'm just curious though, based on what those two accountants did and the bookkeeper from Upwork. Then you taking over and saying like, "I'm doing this myself now. That's it." What things did you look at that they weren't? What made the numbers clear to you that you weren't getting from them?
Isaac: Well, yeah, I mean, basically I had all these questions. I had major problems. So the way I see the, I mean, accountants and bookkeepers, there's millions of companies and accounting and it's its own standardized thing and that's great. But most companies, bigger companies, they have a CFO or somebody else at that level who's interpreting all of this stuff and can turn that into something that makes sense to the other people who are leading the company. Well, I don't have that. So all I have are problems and questions. So my questions are how much am I making on each order?
PART 2 OF 3 ENDS [00:34:04]
Isaac: ... Questions. So my questions are, how much am I making on each order? Actually, I had been calculating that along with the bookkeepers over time, which is why I thought what they were giving me was wrong, because it didn't even come close to what I had. I would just add up my net profit for all these orders in a month, and go, okay, that should be roughly similar to what they're telling me my gross profit is. And it's wildly different, like tens of thousands of dollars. How do you solve that? So there was that, but also I had these questions like, it comes from these fears. Okay, suppliers. I've agreed to pay them this much. This may be a new idea to some people, because when I talk to people, sometimes it is. Are the suppliers actually charging you what you think they are?
Isaac: Because I've had it where they've accidentally charged me a different number, or maybe they ran the card twice and they charged me double. That doesn't happen very often, but it does. Then there are other times. This is more common for me, but it's almost equally as huge of a problem. I have some suppliers that are big companies, and their accounting departments and payable, it runs pretty slowly. So I would approve an invoice, they go ship this order. I think, okay, you're going to charge my card within the next few days. Well, come to find out two to three months later, they send me an email. Okay, you owe us this, this, and this for these orders. And I'm like, what? I spent that money. And it's thousands of dollars. Oh my gosh, I haven't accounted for that.
Isaac: What I found out was all of these little fears add up, and there's just a low to mid level anxiety that I had. I think talking to other people, a lot of us have this, and we think that that's just what running a business is. So when I actually did the numbers, I was trying to solve these problems, and they're easy to solve if you can figure out how to do it. Did your suppliers charge you what you think they did? Well, go back and look at your credit card statements. Takes some time, but you can do it. It's pretty easy.
Isaac: How much money is in that bank account that you can keep? Well, just go through and look. It's similar. How many orders have you taken money for that you have not paid for yet? It's a similar process. I just started doing this on my own and then thought, wow this is great, but this is taking a lot of time. So how can I slowly, one step at a time, automate some of this? That's what I recommend for people who are in my situation or similar situations where your store is growing but you just feel at some point like I don't have a handle on what's actually happening. Sit down, and what are your actual questions? Be very specific. What are the questions? And then find out the answers. It might take you an afternoon, but you can do it.
Isaac: Then once you do that, go okay, well what can I do each month? And then once you have that laid out, you've done it a couple times, you have your numbers there, you can see the whole picture and you go, okay, well this is taking me a bit of time. How can I automate this step of it? I know you talk about automation.
Anton: Oh yeah.
Isaac: Talking about it lately with Zapier and all of that, which is amazing. And so if you take those ideas, apply it to your spreadsheets, you can automate this stuff. So that's what I did.
Anton: That's awesome. Yeah. Any of these processes that are repeated and that are extremely similar over and over, they're not hard to automate. Once you get a handle on the system, I shouldn't say they're not hard, because that makes people think five minutes later it's all set up. Like there's a learning curve, like anything, but I'm not technical and I can ... We have hundreds of automations that do all different things for business. Figured it out. That's really cool to hear that. I guess after putting that in place, you now had those systems, right? You had optimized your website, you actually knew how much money that you were making. I know you're not a big like talking about numbers guy and I'm not either, but you were able to, I'm sure, get more money than you thought you can get before that process took place. You had a clearer picture of your business, and then was it a higher multiple than you originally expected?
Isaac: Yeah. Well yeah, I think so. I don't really know, because Empire Flippers, they just tell you what the multiple is. I don't know exactly what it would have been, what it wouldn't have been, but I sold for a 30X multiple, which is much higher than I thought it would be.
Anton: That's respectable. That's great.
Isaac: But that's for everybody else, hey, it can be done. I had thought maybe it'd be 20 to 22 or something.
Anton: Yeah, that's a big difference. Nice. So for everybody listening too, we've been talking probably for three weeks, maybe four weeks now, a couple of times about a new project you're working on. I think it's awesome. I think that there's definitely a need. That's why I wanted to have a conversation, let people know about it. Everything you've been talking about, you've put together kind of the first run of this, right? How you can actually help people and manage this whole process for them. I know you have a website up, you want to talk about the URL so people could find it, and then kind of get into what, what you're offering over there?
Isaac: Yeah, sure. So I'll tell you the URL. truvuebookkeeping.com. I've done that because, and I'll tell you sort of the background is, after I sold the store, it was just like, wow, so awesome, now I have this time. But I remembered that it actually took six months between the time I listed, and that was at the point where I decided I'm going to do my own numbers, six months from there until when it actually sold. So I was looking back and remembering, wow, what an a tremendous stress and anxiety relief this was for me to figure this out. I have all this free time now. The community has helped me so much along the way. By the way, Anton, you've put together such an amazing community here, helpful people. It's amazing.
Anton: We got lucky with how many good people we have in there. But yeah, thank you for being a part of it.
Isaac: Yeah, it's been great. We want to help each other, build each other up, and that's unusual on the internet, to say the least. So I have this free time, I've been helped along the way, I want to give back. I just started putting it out there in the Facebook group, like, hey, I figured out this bookkeeping thing. If anyone needs any help, just let me know.
Isaac: People said, oh yeah, I'm struggling with that right now. I would say, sure, let's do it. So we'd have these Skype calls and I would teach them what I did. Their response blew me away. I thought that this was a good thing and I remembered how great it felt for me. But doing these video calls, I can actually see on their faces, whoa, you mean that I can know that ... I didn't even know I had that problem, but it's been stressing me out. I didn't know you could solve it so easily. After helping a whole bunch of people this way, they were telling me, saying, Isaac I think you've got it. You just got to help more people do this. I can't believe you did this. And I thought, well yeah, it was cool, but I didn't think it was that rare.
Isaac: So what I've done is I've just decided that the best way for me to help the most people is to offer a done for you service. Like I said, the experience ... There are these tools out there like QuickBooks and Zero, they're software things, and people think, okay, well this will solve my problems. But then that's another learning curve. These things are built with for big companies, with HR departments and payables and all. It just makes no sense. It didn't make any sense to me when I was using it. I've heard similar things. And it takes forever to learn, and actually it doesn't make things much quicker than a spreadsheet.
Isaac: So that's, it's okay, but it's not really the solution. And my experience with the accountants were, they don't really know us, so it's not very helpful. And by the way, I was paying them a lot of money each month. So I decided I'm just going to do a done for you service. As far as I know, this is the only service out there that is specifically tailored to drop shipping stores, and it's going to answer all of those questions and a lot more that I talked about, and you can just stop worrying about it. All your questions can be answered. We can relieve that stress and anxiety for you. We can tell you, here's the bottom line. Here's your exactly the profit for each order. You can use that to make decisions. Here's your profit and loss statement each month. Then at the end of the month you can just give that to your tax accountant and just be done with it. Don't think about it, don't worry about it. We'll do it for you. That's it.
Anton: No, that's awesome. So just again, it was truvubookkeeping.com?
Isaac: Almost. T-R-U-V-U-E. [crosstalk 00:44:55]
Anton: We're going to have a link to that in the Facebook group when we post this, and then I'll also post that on the eCommerce lifestyle website so people can be sure to find it. I don't want to talk about the pricing for it. I know the pricing now and I know it's super affordable, but someone might listen to this in two years and be like, oh wait a minute, I thought it was that. So we will get into that. But it's super affordable and I think that if anybody is running a successful store, you're up in your running and you have orders coming in and you're in a situation like we've been talking about for what, like 45 minutes now? This is something that could definitely help you.
Anton: At the very least you'll have more insights to your business, and at the most you'll find that all these suppliers have overcharged you and that you actually owe one supplier 15 grand and that one product is making most of your money. So just the insights you get from it are obviously things that you can use, just to put fuel on the fire where it's working and to cut back where the money is just non-existent. So I'll just say one more thing, anybody that is part of dropship lifestyle or anybody that listens to the podcast, you know we don't promote stuff. I talk about Shopify like crazy because I love them and that's about it. So yeah, Isaac is definitely a good dude. Been around the community like I said since since the beginning, and I think it's a great opportunity. So if you're up, you're running, you want to have better insights into your business so you could focus on the ad side, check it out. Literally you have nothing to lose and there's a big upside to it.
Isaac: Oh, well thank you so much. I appreciate that. I will say I do have the ... I want to give back and I do have a special offer for the first 20 people, so if you want to go there, check it out, be one of the first 20 people. It's still great without the special offer, but that's a really good offer, for the first 20. Also, if you find that this seems like a great idea but you're just getting started or you're not quite ready to have somebody else help you out, I do have ... I did give away the order profit tracker, which is that one that I was telling you, you can keep track of each order and exactly how much you made. That spreadsheet I put in the Facebook group a while ago. I suppose we could link to that as well.
Anton: So you can use that, and also I wrote up instructions on exactly how to automate that part of it. So that can be just done for you. You can set it up yourself and that'll keep track of at least that portion of your books, and that's free. You can just do that. And I'm happy to answer any questions about it or anything else.
Anton: Awesome. I'm sure everybody is saying thank you Isaac right now. So yeah, thank you as well. We will get that linked up when this is uploaded. I'm just checking if people again ... With podcasts, people go back in time, so this is being recorded right now on Wednesday, July 31st, 2019. It's going to go live August 1st, which is insane, it's August already. August 1st, 2019, so if you're listening to this or watching this around then and this sounds interesting, go to Isaac's site now to check it out. Again, it's truvuebookkeeping.com. We'll have links to that and to the free worksheet that Isaac provided as well, below this podcast. Anything else you want to say, Isaac, before we sign off?
Isaac: I don't know, man. If you're listening, just go do it. Whatever your goal is, just be focused on that and just so it.
Anton: I love it. Do the work.
Isaac: Yeah. Do the work.
Anton: Awesome. Yeah. Thank you again, Isaac. Appreciate the time, and I'll speak to you in Prague for the retreat.
Isaac: Yeah. Thank you so much.
Anton: Thank you.
PART 3 OF 3 ENDS [00:48:56]
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