Sunday, December 23, 2007
Traffic continues to be steady as I receive between 4,000-8,000 hits per day. We have some plans in 2008 to increase the traffic. One of which is to create a Member Rewards program. This would act similar to a Credit Card Rewards Program where the more activity members have, the more points they earn. And the more points a member earns, the more prizes a member can redeem. I will have Official Sponsors that will contribute prizes for this program and I already have about 2-3 companies on board. In addition to the Member Rewards Program, I intend on helping SportsFanBase.com's natural search by changing the code a bit in the site so it is more favorable for search engines to read. This way, the search engine ranking should increase slightly.
The last update I had talked about the 2008 Calendars and the merger with My World of Sports.com. Well - Both of which have not panned out the way I planned. While the calendars were successful in that most people like them, they have not been that successful in promoting the site and in making me some money to go towards development and promotion. The merger is most likely not going to happen at this point, but I am still associated with My World of Sports.com and a solid business relationship could come out of it.
But, I do have a new development that could end up being something really special - Not only for SportsFanBase.com, but for me as well. I will be appearing on ESPN Radio in the Maryland, DC and Florida areas during 2008! I am partnering with a company called Sports Journey Radio that broadcasts on ESPN radio 5 times per week. I will be going on their show as "Ari Bluestein from SportsFanBase.com" every Thursday night starting January 10th and every 3rd Saturday morning starting January 19th. I will be promoting the site as well as talking about sports topics - college basketball for the most part.
So this is very exciting and I do not have to pay to be on the radio show. If anyone wants to check it out, go to this link: http://www.sportsjourney.com/NetworkShows.html.
Click this link then go to the first show - "The Sports Journey Radio Show with Lake Lewis." Then click the 'Listen Live' link. I will be on every Thursday night from 6:40-7 PM talking about college basketball (starting on 1/10/08). I am not sure on the Saturday times, but it would most likely be somewhere between 9-10 AM.
I will post another update this Summer! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
First, we will be producing a 2008 Calendar with the theme, "Girls and the Sports They Love." The calendars should be printed within the next few weeks and they will be sold on SportsFanBase.com. Also, we have already made contacts with purchasing departments from 3 well-know sporting goods retailers across the country. They have asked us to send them a sample of the calendar to potentially put them in their stores.
This effort should not only help in promoting SportsFanBase.com, but we will be making a good amount of profit to put back into the business to help promote the website.
Second, a huge new development may be occurring with SportsFanBase.com. A bigger company called My World of Sports has taken notice of our website and we are currently in early negotiations to merge our two companies. Nothing is 100% definite yet, but they certainly seem interested as our logo has already been placed on their website.
With this merger, My World of Sports will buy SportsFanBase.com, sync up our two sites as to basically create on entity, and the company will be hiring me full-time as their Head of Promotions for the entire East Coast.
This is certainly an exciting development and I will be keeping everyone posted about this new potential merger.
Check out their website if you would like. It is currently not fully launched, but click on the link below and you'll be taken to their Beta site that is currently available to the public.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
OK, now for the updates ...
Well, SportsFanBase.com reached its 1,000th member! As of April 26th at 4:30 PM, SportsFanBase.com had 1,029 members. Traffic continues to be pretty high as we are getting into the thick of baseball season. For April, SportsFanBase.com should reach over the 160,000 hit mark for the 2nd consecutive month. Also, unique visitors have been pretty high and I am not sure of the numbers at this point, but April may be a new high month for unique visitors.
The promotions I am running have not shown too much benefit thus far, but it is still early in the year. On Saturday May 19th, I along with the "Jenns" (who are the spokesmodels of SportsFanBase.com) and some other volunteers will be going to a Wilmington Blue Rocks game to promote SportsFanBase.com. This promotion comes with the marketing package that I originally paid for at the beginning of the season. I have bought a banner and photos of the Jenns for them to sign as souveneirs. I will be putting together a little brochure that will be handed out to fans at the game. So hopefully that promotion goes well. I am doing something similar on June 29th at the Bakersfield Blaze stadium in Bakersfield, California.
For the near future, I will be looking into "beefing" up SportsFanBase.com a little bit more by expanding on some current features and adding some new features that should increase traffic to the site. In addition, I will be looking into starting my Internet Marketing Strategy by using Search Engine Optimization. I should be earning some extra money that I will put into the business to start my SEO campaign. This should increase traffic and new members. The SEO campaign will last about 6 months.
As far as advertisers go, All Sports Connection just signed up for 3 months for a side banner and horizontal top rotational banner. I am currently in talks with 2 other companies that seem to be interested in advertising.
But another new big development has happened - I have started a marketing internship program run through Rider University and I will have 2 summer interns that will be helping me with selling advertising space and gaining sponsors. I am highly looking forward to this program and it should help me bring in more advertisers and sponsors.
Looking at the long-term, I realized that SportsFanBase.com can really become something special. With only doing minimal promotion and really not having much time to put into SportsFanBase.com, I really feel it can go a lot further. Using SEO and the college campus tour I plan on doing (which I am probably year or two away from doing), SportsFanBase.com can reach new heights. And with the help of these interns, selling advertising space and getting sponsors will be a lot easier.
So although SportsFanBase.com is not generating a whole lot of revenue at this point, the long-run return can potentially be very favorable.
To sum up, I just want to say thank you to Rider University, Dr. Cook, and Dr. Chaganti for helping me in this effort to grow my entrepreneurial spirit and to grow SportsFanBase.com.
Friday, April 6, 2007
It has been a few weeks now since I last posted an entry on the blog, so it is past due that I update readers on the status and vision of More2Cell. Many aspects of the business have evolved of changed after being in the industry for a little over two months. These changes have resulted from both successes and failures of the original aims of the business plan for More2Cell.
More2Cell's focus has shifted the following ways:
· Offering wholesale lots of ten items or more as one sale to retailers and distributors of cell phone accessories vs. just offering individual items
· Using CRM to retain customers who bought wholesale lots in order to produce repeat sales in the future vs. Relying on high-volume retail purchases online
· Avoiding auction format listings to minimize costs vs. Relying on auction format listings to generate sales and promotion for the eBay store
· Setting up a domain name (www.more2cell.com) for easy location of the eBay store
· Utilizing personal selling to friends, family, and others on campus vs. selling only online
Still, after implementing all of these changes, More2Cell LLC is not producing as much revenue as expected, but there are definitely reasons for this. First, promotion and exposure on eBay is not as easy as it was thought to be when the business plan was created. Listing on eBay costs money and with that investment, no sale is guaranteed. Additionally, other methods of promotion include pay-per-click search engine advertisements, which also cost money.
Even with a solid marketing strategy, gaining exposure to the number of people originally expected is not possible. Promotion on eBay specifically is a bit of a “catch 22” because posting items as fixed price and auction style listings is great for getting the customers to buy the items, but the cost of posting this way outweighs the benefit of promotion.
Fees on eBay and PayPal are becoming a major cost to More2Cell. In fact, the bulk of our costs have been attributed to fees paid to eBay. Each time a purchase is made from More2Cell’s eBay store, eBay receives a final value commission (usually about 5% of the price of the item) on top of any listing fees and other fees. These fees cut into More2Cell’s profits, along with the 3% commission that PayPal takes on credit card purchases through the store.
Another reality that More2Cell did not foresee is that not every item listed will sell. In the business plan, there was no mention of what percentage of the items posted actually sell. It was assumed that 100% of the items listed would sell, based on the financials, which is completely inaccurate and caused all the numbers in the initial report to be skewed. From the six weeks of experience, More2Cell’s store seems to only convert about 12% of the items listed into actual sales. Even still, this percentage is lower that the “worst case scenario” that I would have expected, especially since that the items are priced competitively. Based on the counters on each listing, I know that people are viewing my listings, but the listings are not converting as often as I would like. I may need to focus more on the format of the listings and add some more information about the items.
More2Cell has been utilizing drop-shopping for any non-inventory wholesale orders of 12 or more items. This means More2Cell simply takes the orders, processes them, creates a purchase order for the wholesaler, notifies the wholesaler of the need for a blind drop-ship, and pays the wholesaler. No packaging or physical contact with the goods ordered occurs, taking a lot of the hard work out of More2Cell’s hands. A number of successful drop-ships have been made and More2Cell plans on continuing to use this feature.
With the idea of becoming the online wholesaler for those resellers purchasing online, More2Cell has opened up the ability to create a strong CRM model. Each time a customer purchases from More2Cell’s store, the user’s email address and name are given to More2Cell. With this information, it is More2Cell’s intention on retaining that customer, especially considering that the customer will probably re-order the same item or similar ones in the future when their inventory needs to be replenished.
This method of CRM will work much better than the CRM model proposed in the original business plan, one of which each sale is liquid and no repeat sale was expected. More2Cell has already established a business relationship with two retailers, both of whom plan on purchasing from our eBay store in the near future. Maintaining these business relationships will guarantee More2Cell future business and help the store attain its sales goals in the months to come.
Of course with a drop-ship scenario like this there are some drawbacks. One major drawback is that my wholesaler takes on average about four days to process and ship orders. When buyers want tracking numbers as soon as possible, this is a bit of a problem, but I have simply told the buyers that my “shipping department” is still processing the order, and no major discrepancies have resulted. Another drawback is that since my wholesaler requires a minimum purchase order, I can only ship wholesale lots of 12 items or more to buyers, so retailing on eBay using drop shipping is not possible. This has created a situation where More2Cell can only complete wholesale orders online using drop shipping and retail orders in person or using the inventory that the company has already purchased.
As of late, More2Cell has been listing in larger lots (50 items and 100 items), hoping to capture the reseller who is looking for bulk discounts. Although 12 items may seem like a lot to some people, serious resellers want to buy in bigger bulk in order to cut the cost per item down. Using two 100 item lots as "guinea pigs", More2Cell has taken advantage of eBay's 25% discount on what they call their "Featured Plus!" upgrade for listing. What this means is that More2Cell has listed two 100 item lots for about $20 each for 30-days, but these listings will be placed AHEAD of regular listings (this is the "Featured Plus!" upgrade).
So far, more traffic has been generated using this method of promotion, and I am considering adding "Featured Plus!" to some more store inventory items. On the topic of traffic, More2Cell's traffic has jumped up a lot in the past few weeks. For the first few weeks of business, More2Cell averaged about 20 to 30 hits per day; now More2Cell is averaging about 100 hits per days with a total forecasted number of hits of about 3000 as opposed to the 600 or so that we had in March.
Looking into the future of More2Cell, the company needs to minimize costs, elevate sales and resolve many other issues that have come up. To accomplish this, More2Cell’s new vision is to create a separate e-commerce website adjacent to the eBay store. Using the domain name that is currently registered (www.more2cell.com), this additional e-store will provide users with the ability to select the phone model for which the accessory being purchased is going to be used.
This method will save More2Cell time and money while also providing for more potential revenue. For example, instead of listing 1000 car chargers for 1000 different phones on eBay, I will list one car charger on eBay and have a link in the listing for the buyer to click. Upon clicking, the buyer will be sent to my non-eBay store, where they can select what kind of phone that he or she has and purchase the car charger for that phone without using eBay to purchase it. This will open up new opportunities to my store along with saving the company money on final value fees and listing fees for all the different models of phones’ accessories.
Recently, More2Cell has looked into using an eBay affiliate, namely ProStores, which allows eBay stores to customize their store fronts using hundreds of templates provided by the company. The cost of the service is $20.95 per month, on top of the $15.95 per month fee for eBay, but a free 30-day trial is offered. After using the service for about one-week, I feel that the cost outweighs the benefit and More2Cell will probably look for a more reasonably priced service that is not subscription-based.
Additionally, other methods of promotion have been tested, including using a Facebook Flyer, advertising on Shopping.com, and posting listings on Google's Base service. The Facebook Flyer got our company's name out on campus, but no sales have been generated from the flyer specifically. Advertising on Shopping.com cost More2Cell $25 for about one week, but it seems that more traffic has been generated by doing so. It is unclear whether or not any leads from Shopping.com have generated sales or not, but $25 per week is a bit too expensive for More2Cell's promotion budget. Lastly, Google Base, a free product promotion service by Google, has helped More2Cell expose itself at NO CHARGE to the entire Internet community. Considering the data that has been collected, Google Base looks very promising as becoming an effective method for promoting More2Cell's items at NO COST to the company.
Lastly, other methods of promotion will be implemented in the weeks to come. For example, I plan on posting on cell phone and cell phone accessory forums, making sure to include a link to my eBay store to generate more targeted traffic. Additionally, I plan on advertising on MySpace through bulletin postings and on Facebook by sending a link to all of my 750+ Facebook friends. My logo is still in the works, but I will be developing a flyer with some general information and pictures about some of the products I offer. Also, business cards with our web address and business phone number will be printed and handed out to everyone I know. Lastly, wholesaler directories will be sought out to find a place to list More2Cell as a cell phone accessory wholesaler in order to target those interested in purchasing in bulk.
Like Ari, I have so many ideas and my to-do list for the business keeps growing, but there are only so many hours in a day. I have realized how much time and dedication is needed to run a business, even one that I originally thought would run without so much intervention. This semester has become a great learning experience for me as a young entrepreneur, helping me learn to balance my personal life with running a business and going to college. No matter how profitable my company is at the end of the semester, I am determined to pursue the business in the future, implementing my ideas and progressively improving every aspect of More2Cell.
Thursday, April 5, 2007
In terms of promotion, The Wilmington Blue Rocks and Bakersfield Blaze promotions look to be headed down the right path. In fact, I, along with some helpers, will be at the Saturday May 19th Blue Rocks game in our SportsFanBase gear to promote the website. Then, on Saturday June 29th I will be out in California promoting at Bakersfield. So these two promotions should really help increase customer awareness on two different sides of the country.
I have also been looking into Search Engine Optimization, which would help SportsFanBase.com by placing the website higher when Internet users search for 'sports' or 'fan' or 'sports fan.' This is a somewhat expensive operation, so I am going to wait to do this some time in the near future. I may decide to do it once the football season starts and as my baseball promotion at the ballparks ends.
Advertising revenue continues to be a little bit slow, but I still have some solid leads and I locked up my sponsor of the Predictions contest for the month of May. I am looking into recruiting Marketing majors from Rider University that would work as an intern on commission basis to sell ad space on SportsFanBase.com. This would help me since I am basically running the website myself at this point.
In terms of ways to cut expenses, I am thinking of eliminating Rommel's Rant from SportsFanBase.com, which is a section where I have a paid columnist write a new editorial every week. This part of the website doesn't seem to be that popular and because of it, I am losing money right now since ad revenue is slow.
So things are still going fairly well and my business is surviving. The members on the site love going on, so I have a decent loyal customer base. As long as I can continue to keep the site up and running and continue to develop it (I have more ideas than there are hours in a day), SportsFanBase.com could really be something special.
Monday, March 19, 2007
I am also currently working on acquiring a few new advertisers. It has been slow so far this quarter so I am hoping things begin to pick up.
The Nike deal I had wrote about previously has been put on hold and we can hopefully pick something back up later this year. The company I was dealing with was too busy to start a partnership with SportsFanBase.com at this time, but I will certainly keep in touch with him and continue to pursue that deal.
Baseball season is almost upon us and I am excited for the promotions I am running in Wilmington, DE and Bakersfield, CA. I've started making some payments and I have delivered the t-shirts I will be using as the giveaway prizes for the contests at the baseball games.
So all is going pretty well for SportsFanBase.com. Traffic continues to increase steadily and hopefully advertising revenue begins to increase a bit.
Keep checking back for more updates!
Thursday, March 8, 2007
First off - Traffic is still pretty solid with 121,776 hits in the short month of February (the most hits in a month thus far). March started off a little slow, but now has started to pick up with nearly 28,000 hits through March 7th.
Right now, the big development is with the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - SportsFanBase.com will be having a bracket challenge where the 1st prize will be $100 in merchandise from my sponsor, Sportsopolis.net. 2nd prize is $50 and 3rd prize is $25. So with that coming up this week, I am beginning to send out e-mails to current members to have them participate and this weekend, along with the beginning of next week, I will be going to some discussion boards to promote the contest.
In terms of advertisers, I got a new advertiser - KoolPitcher and I have invoiced them and I am awaiting their payment. I am currently working on a few other advertisers and over Spring Break I will be doing my fair share of selling to potential advertisers. Right now I am about 2/5 of the way towards my goal for the first quarter, so I have my work cut out for me in order to reach my goal.
One new development I am working in terms of selling to potential advertisers is the angle of becoming "The Official
Right now, the focus is on promotion to get traffic higher and getting advertisers to maintain a decent cash flow. It will take some time and effort, but I know I can take care of business.
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
First the good:
- I have made almost 10 more sales (both lots and individual items) totaling about $400
- I have been emailing "clients", developing business relationships with them in hopes that I will act as their supplier on a regular basis
- I have received some more exposure on eBay by using all three methods of posting (auction, fixed-price, store inventory)
- I have a $1200 sale pending, waiting for the buyer to situate some things with his PayPal account
- I made my FIRST person-to-person contact with a sales rep. at my supplier's warehouse to sort out shipping times and drop-shipping options
Now the bad:
- I'm waiting for payment from one buyer, who I talked to on the phone. The main problem is that he has not paid and his phone is "temporarily disconnected". A bit fishy, but the unusual part is that the same buyer purchased another item from me and qualified for combined shipping. I'm thinking he is trying to "buy time" so he can sort out his financial issues.
- Another buyer, who has purchased 50 items from me and plans on purchasing another 75 or so, is having issues with his PayPal account. I have had correspondence with him, but none on the phone. I requested a phone number, but no response yet. Hopefully I'll be getting one soon.
That's all for now, but I'll keep the blog posted on the status.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
After looking back on the week, I realized that it's going to be difficult to sell the number of items I thought I could originally sell per day. Instead of listing items as SINGLE items, I am going to list most of auctions at LOTS of 10 or more of the same item, targeting retailers and distributors. If this method of selling works better than single item selling (which I hope it will), I may continue to be the middle-man for the retailers.
Additionally, I feel that personal selling is going to help me a lot. I made a sale on Saturday night to my friend, selling him a case and car charger for 10 dollars at a cost of less than 3 dollars. It seems like my friends and family are more than willing to support my business and help me get started, so I will encourage them to spread the word for me also.
In my Internet Application Development class, I have been working on a survey to determine the best accessories to invest in based on the demand of those people who complete the survey. I'm looking to have the survey released in about two weeks and gather the data for about two weeks thereafter. The survey will help me launch my business into the summer and help me determine whether or not I want to pursue the venture or not.
I will be posting the LOTS of items starting tonight and continuing throughout the week. Another idea I have is drop shipping. If I take orders for LOTS, I can have my wholesaler directly ship to the buyer's location, eliminating the need for me to do any shipping at all. First I need to get rid of the items that have been sitting around and then drop shipping is something that I definitely want to look into.
Promotional materials are also becoming necessary. I will be having a logo designed this week and using it on my letterheads and eBay store. I plan on making a flyer with some of the items I currently offer on it. The flyer will be handed out to friends and put on bulletin boards with my web address on it. Remember it's http://www.more2cell.com/
Lastly and probably most importantly, I have integrated my business into the QUickBooks Pro 2006 software, which I will use to manage my "inventory", vendors, customers, and sales. The reporting on the software will automate my financial reporting needs and make things run very smoothly. I will be importing my expenses YTD into the software and I have already entered my first sale.
This week can be summed up real simply: failure brings change to BETTER tactics and strategies. Let's hope for the best.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Well I have now signed contracts with the Bakersfield (CA) Blaze, a Single A minor league baseball affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, and the Wilmington (DE) Blue Rocks, a Single A minor league baseball affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, to sponsor contests at their games this upcoming 2007 season.
I will be sponsoring an on-field Trivia contest at Bakersfield and a 'Lucky Logo' contest at Wilmington. So for those of you live around the PA, NJ and DE area, you should check out the Wilmington Blue Rocks games this season to see the SportsFanBase.com contest.
In addition, I have also reached an agreement with a new advertiser, Kool Pitcher, Inc. Check out their website at www.koolpitcher.com - Their product is pretty cool (literally - go the website to see what I mean).
I have also started to use Google AdWords, which has helped my traffic a bit so far and it should continue to help as the SportsFanBase.com ad is passed around along websites associated with the Google programs.
Lastly, I have added a new feature to SportsFanBase.com. There is now a live sports ticker courtesy of ESPN.com at the top of every page on the website. This gives you updates news, scores, stats, etc. on every sports ESPN covers.
The one down side I have to update is that traffic has gone down just slightly over the last week. But I expect that traffic to increase with the Google AdWords, the new promotions at the 2 baseball stadiums, and a new word of mouth promotion push I plan on starting this week and/or next.
But overall, everything seems to be going fairly well and I seem to be on pace to hit my traffic and revenue targets for the 1st quarter of 2007.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Things are finally moving along for More2Cell LLC. The first order has been placed with our wholesaler of choice, and the shipment is coming in from Texas later this week. I should have the order of 500+ items by Thursday and begin selling by Sunday. Based on my research, Sunday is the best day to begin listing auction items since many users of eBay are online and browsing for products.
Last week, I decided to obtain a membership at Sam's Club for More2Cell LLC in order to purchase my office supplies at the best price. I purchased a paper shredder, 10 reams of paper, and some notepads for the business. The shredder will be used to destroy any confidential data, the paper for printing out labels, and notepads for jotting down my ideas for the business. As for the labels, I plan on using PayPal's built-in label printer, which ties right into eBay's system. This makes it very easy for the seller to print multiple labels at one sitting. The only item I still need to purchase would be clear mailing tape, which I will pick up when I make my next visit to Sam's club this week.
The link for my store is http://www.more2cell.com/
The link will take the user to my actual eBay store, which currently exists in a "beta" stage. By the end of this week, I hope to have invested some time into adding the soon-to-arrive products to my eBay store and making the page a big more appealing to the eye. Stay tuned for more updates on the store.
Lastly and maybe most importantly, as for the financial outlook on how the business will be doing, I'm a bit worried but still confident. My forecasted average cost per item was $0.90. For my first order, the average cost ended up being $1.30. This was largely due the fact that my wholesaler is charging a huge shipping fee of about $140 for a 29 lb box of products. I will be contacting the wholesaler at my earliest convenience and talking with someone about possibly trying to get a better rate for future purchases. It's worth a shot even if nothing changes for future purchases.
Also, I no longer plan on making a transfer from my business credit card to my business checking as I originally planned. I have been able to invest some of my own money into the business and have also made a few sales on half.com, depositing the money into my business checking account. I’m on track to already have investing about $500 into the business with NO sales made yet, so I don’t need to borrow anymore money before I make some first.
In my opinion, this is the best way to get the word out since you grab the target market's attention. At this time, other methods of advertising, such as radio, TV, newspaper, magazines, billboards, etc., will not be cost efficient at this time. Promoting at sporting events is probably the best way to go.
I plan on having people at the game representing SportsFanBase.com and telling the fans what the website is all about. In addition, I am considering making a small flyer/brochure to give out at the games to have some actual tangible information about the website.
So I will keep you posted on the development with this new promotion push.
In addition, I am looking to have an article published in The Rider News talking about SVE, SportsFanBase.com and More 2 Cell. So I will keep you posted on that as well.
In the mean time - If anyone wants to check out my site, here is the link:
February 1, 2007 4:44 PM
Ari Blue said...
Well, it's been my first 2 weeks participating in the SVE and a lot of developments have occurred. January 2007 turned out to be the best month for SportsFanBase.com in terms of traffic, with over 110,000 hits and 1,100 unique visitors. Also, we got one new advertisers and are currently working on getting 2 more advertisers. In addition, I currently have a deal in the works that could potentially be a partnership with a licensed wholesaler of Nike apparel.I will put up another post as some of these awesome deals occur!
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
In order to manage my business finances, I have installed Quicken 2006 on my computer. This software will automatically update all my business and personal financial data, allowing me to click one button to see the status of my accounts.
I have also applied and been approved for a business credit card account. I plan on using a convenience check in the amount of $1500 to match the loan of $1500 that I will be receiving from Rider. The money that I will be borrowing from Chase, the bank of the credit card, is 0% APR for the first 6 billing cycles, so I will be sure to pay that money back before the summertime.
As for my eBay account, I have officially setup a store under my More2Cell username. Since I originally had a 0 feedback score, I needed to pay $5 to IDVerify in order to verify my identity. Once that was complete, I was able to open a store for a charge of $15.95 per month. I posted a “test” listing in my store inventory for 1000 Palm Treo 700 Leather Cases just to see what the listing looked like online. Although I do not currently have 1000 cases on hand and never plan on having even 20 on hand, I will use this technique to make listing items in my inventory easier; buyers may also believe that my store is that much bigger and this may even create some more credibility in my store. Additionally, the benefits of the store inventory listing is that it lists indefinitely and costs me only $0.02 to post with no final value fee of selling the items.
I purchased two e-Books and a cell phone case for my girlfriend in order to gain some feedback score. My score is now a whopping 2, but I plan on buying some more eBooks at least until I reach a score of 10, at which point I earn a blue star which notes to buyers that I am a trustworthy seller.
Lastly and most importantly, I learned a technique from one of the $0.99 e-Books that I purchased that will pay big time. The technique is a trade secret and will surely save me hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the long haul.
On that note, I want to possibly use foreign wholesalers/manufacturers but I want to get some inventory to work with in the interim. Although the prices seem to be cheaper for the products coming from China and Hong Kong, the shipping time is upwards of 3-4 weeks. I can't wait this long for my first order because I need to begin selling as soon as possible to start turning the profits that I was hoping to bring in when planning for this business.
I will post my success with purchasing from the wholesaler that I plan on using. By Monday I will hopefully have some money deposited into my business account and I will be purchasing about 400 pieces of cell phone accessories once that money is available. I hope to sell at least 200 of those by the end of the first month, putting me a little behind schedule for my sales but still bringing in a good amount for just starting the business.
Let's hope for the best. Ari, I hope your website is doing well. I actually was curious, did you design the site yourself or did you have someone else design it? Also, what technologies do you use for maintaining the site? I'm interested in web design so I'd appreciate your feedback.
Like SportsFanBase.com, my business is solely online, but it is a bit different than Ari's. The primary focus of my business is selling cell phone accessories at a competitive price via eBay. I will be purchasing the accessories at a wholesale price and then reselling at an "eBay retail price" (eBay tends to sell cheaper than in stores).
My status right now can be summed up in one word: development. I have been exploring the market and trying to find the best products to invest in at this time, as the most marketable products are always changing with time. So far, I have contacted over a dozen wholesalers and plan on doing business with a handful of them. Some are domestic and some are foreign, but I will rely on my domestic wholesalers to get me started because the shipping time for the foreign wholesalers is very long.
As you can tell by my username, my business is called More2Cell LLC. I obtained my LLC online by searching on Google and being directed to the NJ State Small Business registration site. I also completed all my IRS registrations online and paid for everything with an e-check. It's truly amazing what the Internet now allows us to do!
Once I successfully registered my business, I setup a business account at Commerce Bank, which will be the account to which the loan that Rider is giving me will be deposited. With the money that Rider is loaning me, I hope to purchase products that will turn a large profit for me.
One of my biggest challenges is determining what phones are coming out soon and what phones are popular. Additionally, I need to research and determine what phones have the highest demand for accessories and invest in those accessories specifically. If anyone who reads this has any ideas on what some of the newest phones are or anything of that nature, I would greatly appreciate your input.
The next step would be to begin creating the templates that will be used for the listings that I will be posting on eBay. I have some experience with posting effective auctions on eBay, so this shouldn't be a problem.
I look forward to working with all those who read this post to maximize our success as young entrepreneurs!
Monday, January 15, 2007
Now, as an MBA student, I am participating in the Student Venture Experience where I am receiving mentoring from the professors in the Entrepreneurial Studies along with a small business loan from Rider University.
With my website a little over a year old, I am now ready to take the next step and really make a push towards promoting the website. Currently, SportsFanBase.com receives about 20,000-25,000 hits per week and I want to increase that and become a highly trafficked sports website.
The SVE program is definitely going to help out my business and I look forward to participating in the program this Spring semester!