August 2022 Brand Report – $847,889

Welcome to the August 2022 edition of the Brand Report! Each month, we’ll break down our monthly revenue so you can see what’s working and what’s not.

We’ll give you aggregated numbers across the eight brands we own or have significant equity in. In our exclusive Secret Sauce Brand Report, you’ll get our numbers broken down brand by brand. We’ll also give you a 60-minute class each month detailing one particular thing we’re working on right now that you can use to start and grow your own business.

Our next class is on September 14, and we'll break down everything you need to know to save money on shipping and logistics as well as speed up your transit times. 

Get the Secret Sauce for your brand.

Our revenue for August 2022 was $847,889, up from $781,267 in July. This was a bit of a surprise because normally, revenue declines steadily from June onwards due to the seasonality of our businesses. My hypothesis is that it was a bit of a slow start to the summer, resulting in a bit of a delayed end to summer or, more optimistically, people are starting to feel a bit more secure about the economy and are spending more. Either way, we'll take it. If you run an e-commerce business, let me know in the comments section whether your August was better or worse than expected.

What We Worked on This Month

  • Finishing Q3 YouTube recordings. After a frantic month of script writing and editing, Mike and our brand manager for one of our brands spent a week recording YouTube content for all of Q3. Over the next several weeks, we'll edit these videos and drip them out once per week.
  • Rebrand almost complete – One of the employees hired earlier in Spring has been working on a bit of a rebrand of one of our brands. The biggest task is designing completely new packaging for our items. Our first batch of items with this new packaging is nearing completion, and the visual improvement is incredible. My hope is that it will have a big impact on our conversion rate.

Two Wins This Month

  • Huge August. August was a huge month for our Offroading brand with it being up nearly 100% from last year. We did up our PPC spend a bit on this brand, and we were nearly 100% in-stock for all of our products, but overall, August seemed to be a surprisingly good month across all of our summer-seasonal brands. 
  • Amazon incorrectly charging sales tax = big refund. In a previous brand report, I mentioned that Amazon was charging sales tax on basically all fees for over a year due to some new marketplace facilitator tax laws in British Columbia (where my companies are based). This turned into a bigger story than anticipated as it turns out Amazon had been both incorrectly applying the law and applying it months before the enactment date. Thus, most British Columbia sellers are entitled to a big refund (approximately 1% to 2% of the revenue over the last 16 months) from the government, including us.

Two Fails for This Month

  • Employee let go. I had mentioned in a previous brand report that I had hired two new Filipino employees on a trip to the Philippines earlier in the Spring. Unfortunately, I had to let one of these employees go after a series of events, culminating with a pretty nasty conflict with some of our existing employees. There were some cultural/professional red flags that I chose to overlook during the hiring process because this employee had such a strong educational background and was overall just very sharp (not to mention, the hiring process for this position was dragging into several months, and I was just getting worn out). Lesson learned.
  • Product quality issues. One of our new product launches has run into some product quality issues with missing parts. I'm still working to diagnose if the parts have gone missing in transit, if it's a small random selection of products, or most products. Regardless, it's likely going to result in the product having to be relaunched. It's one of the reasons I'm such an advocate of keeping the first order as small as possible to work through QC issues like this while keeping losses to a minimum.

Dave Bryant

Dave Bryant has been importing from China for over 10 years and has started numerous product brands. He sold his multi-million dollar ecommerce business in 2016 and create another 7-figure business within 18 months. He's also a former Amazon warehouse employee of one week.
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