Thursday, April 24, 2008

Final Blog Update on Push-Start

This is the last post for the semester on Push-Start. This semester has been highly valuable in teaching me what is needed to start a venture and not to underestimate the amount of work and effort needed to get something off the ground. In this semester I started two blogs, Grab Your Controller and Push-Start. Between GYC and Push-Start they have developed into two different beings and mentalities. GYC represents the way too technical aspects I didn't want to get into and did anyway since I was working with a friend. Push-Start is my own controlled blog where I made all the decisions and decided to take a different stance then the one used with GYC. Unfortunately I will not be working on GYC as it is officially dead. Push-Start will be put on hold because I need to focus all my attention on my job as Marketing Manager for the comic book company, Dabel Brothers Publishing. I will be revisiting Push-Start in 6 months or more when I have a chance to really sit down and focus on getting it where I would like to be. That being having a team of people who will be working with me, being able to cover more games and be able to branch out into not only video games but comics, movies, etc. Its been a good semester and really valued one especially with this course. :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Garden Artisans LLC

It has been a while since I posted, so I will try to bring everyone up to speed with that latest on Garden Artisans. My brother and I decided to hold off on the SBA loan and take more of a conservative step this year since we are both still in school. Two out of our three employees came back from last year, which was positive so we could avoid the whole training process. Our number one priority for this year was to hire a truck driver. Since our biggest flaw last year was my brother or I having to drive the crew around and not having time to do all of the other important business activities such as estimating and selling. We hired a driver for three days, but then our insurance broker ran his driving record and found that it was not good, so our insurance company would not cover him, so the search for a driver continues. We were able to secure about 90% of our maintenance and lawn contracts from last year, so that has given us a solid start to the year. We have also been getting many new leads on potential clients and have been able to lock in a good amount of new work. Our basic advertising approach of passing out flyer's in residential neighborhoods was very effective. We are starting to feel over whelmed with the amount of estimates and work we are securing. We are also starting to land some larger more technical projects that are taking taking much more time to estimate and finalize. We have been having conflicts with obtaining permits and working with other contractors. We have sold a design and installation for a pool area, pond & waterfall, blue stone patio, and seat walls, which is exciting, but stressful. Currently we have three employees, but still no truck driver. Our biggest problem is getting these larger projects complete while keeping up with our regular maintenance contracts. Running your own business is definitely not a 9 to 5 it is more like a 7A.M. to sometimes midnight.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Push-Start Update

Hey everyone, I officially launched Push-Start on April 1st. I have only been posting on there once a day at the end of the day so I can sum up the day of news. Last two weeks have been kind of hectic with graduation coming up and papers and planning for a convention with the company i work for. So its been hard to keep my site updated. I look forward to hopefully being able to do so once all the craziness dies down and I have time to breathe. :)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The New Move - Fashion At Its Best

The month of March proved to be and experimental month, yielding great rewards. In addition to selling my usual litany of couture items, I ventured into selling used items that were in mint condition. These items, are items of little to no sentimental value. The idea popped into my mind after searching throughout eBay looking for any new trends in the fashion market. I noticed that there were many items that were selling for large amounts that were marked as used. This gave me an idea. I figured that if I was able to find used items that I could sell, I could use the profits from these items to put back into my business. I happened to stumble across a few items in my wifes closet that I knew would sell for a pretty penny. Since she is now an avid collector of Coach bags, I noticed that she no longer used her Dooney & Bourke handbags, allowing them to collect dust on the shelves. After searching eBay to examine what used sales for this bag looked like, I saw some pretty intriguing figures. Thus, I quickly listed two of the bags. They both sold for about $90!!! In addition, I was able to utilize a promotional sale on eBay ( $.01 listing fees) to decrease my overhead. Thanks to the success of these items, I can now use these profits to got towards purchasing more inventory. Another experiment that I embarked upon came to me after doing research and a subsequent report on eBay Powersellers (Elite eBay sellers that have reputable reputations, yield high selling amounts, and behave exemplary within the eBay community). I noticed that eBay Powersellers who were selling similar items that I was, were selling these items for a lot more. I hypothesized that because of the highly esteemed Powerseller status, buyers felt more comfortable buying from sellers within the ranks of this exclusive tier. My hypothesis proved to be right on target. I purchased a pair of jeans (Rock & Republic) and gave them to a business aquaintance of mine that attends Rowan University. He recently attained powerseller status, and has subsequently saw an increase in his selling profits. These jeans, that I usually sell on average for about $85 sold for $124, a very significant increase. Because we frequently do business together, I received the cash from this transaction, only paying for the listing fees that he incurred in reference to the jeans. This strengthened my resolve to swiftly move into the Powerseller ranks!!! In other news, I have really started to see the effects of eBay raising their final value fee prices. The jump, from taking 5% of your final selling price to a wopping 8.75% has started to, cut into my profits. However, this months promotional penny listings helped to balance this inflation out a bit.