Welcome to the April edition of 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 either 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 May 25 . It's one I'm especially looking forward to as it's all about getting your products produced for the lowest costs and the fewest problems. We'll share with you how we're finding factories outside of Alibaba (hint, there's one website that all Chinese trading companies use), how we consistently save 10% on our first orders (especially important right now with inflation), and our quality assurance strategies we use to minimize returns and bad reviews. Get the Secret Sauce for your brand.
Revenue for April 2022
Revenue was relatively flat for April. Our revenue for April 2022 was $742,927 compared to $754,656 from March.
More interesting is looking at year-over-year numbers. About half of our gains have seen relative gains. However, if you break down our brands that fared well during COVID (Tac9er, BTG Gear, and Offroading Gear) revenue is down 25% from April 2021.
In my opinion, the revenue for most of our brands are likely to normalize now with the COVID ecommerce/outdoors bump officially being over. More disconcerting is that Amazon just reported another year-over-year decline in sales themselves (3% decline compared to Q1 2022). With soaring inflation and potential recession nearing, it could be some rocky roads ahead for ecommerce entrepreneurs and people in retail in general.
What We Worked on This Month
Here are some of the things we worked on in April:
- 20 Videos Scripted and Recorded for the New Brand. We've spent the last couple of moths scripting our first set of videos for our newest brand launching soon. The videos are informational and instructional (product videos will come soon). Our process currently is for our brand director to write the overall outline of the script, one of our Filipino employees to turn them into something conducive to a teleprompter, and finally our video editor in the Philippines to edit the videos. The end results have been great, but salaries along with travel/recording costs, it's working out to close to $1,000 per video. Far too much. Long term, we need to figure out a way to reduce these costs.
- Lowering Insurance Costs. Our Offroading Gear brand has astronomical insurance costs. Over $10,000 for under $2m in sales. Why? It's painted in the automotive category. I personally don't equate brake pads and a rooftop tent as being equivalent, but the insurance companies do. Unfortunately, there's been almost no progress here. In Canada, it turns out there's basically one insurance company willing to insure ecommerce companies in the automotive space, a company by the name of Unique Risks.
Two Wins for Our Brands in April
Here are a couple of things that worked for us in April:
- Tactical.com New Design Launched. We finally launched the new design for Tactical.com, working with a freelancer. The overall cost was about $3,500. The Tactical.com design has been a major headache over the last couple of years as basically we've cycled through a handful of designers/developers who either do a great job of design and terrible job of development or vice versa. Overall, we're quite pleased with the latest rendition. Go check it out for yourself.
- Final purchase orders submitted and production arranged for newest brand's products. We've finally started to receive samples for our first batch of products that we're working on for our newest brand launching in Q4, and purchase orders have been submitted. Things have been about a month behind schedule (see below) but we should still be on target to hit our internal deadline of delivery by September barring no unforeseen difficulties (re: COVID lockdowns).
Two Fails for Our Brands in April
Here are a couple of things that didn't work for our brands in April.
- Slow going for new product development. Mike and I are working on collaborating for a new brand we're aiming to launch in the fall, in time for the holiday season. We're aiming to get a minimum of five products developed. We've basically been working on this since February. The development time has been way slower than I want.
We're just now getting to the point of submitting POs for orders and entering production. If we're lucky, production will be finished by the end of June for the first batch of products, which is pushing things pretty tight for August delivery. It's leaving little margin for error. In my ideal world, I would have preferred to have orders ready for shipment a month earlier than they are.
- Pricing Errors = Big Losses. Late one night, I got into Seller Central and started adjusting the pricing of some of our items. The result was mistakenly mispricing an item from $199.99 to $19.99. Thankfully, in the morning, I quickly caught the error but not before approximately $2000 in inventory had been sold. Regrettably, this isn't the first time I've been guilty of a late-night repricing oopsy-doopsy. The lesson here? Put a max-order quantity on all your items (the two times this has occurred it has resulted in 1 or 2 people swooping up most of the inventory) and don't play with your pricing late at night.