July 2022 Brand Report $781,267

Welcome to the July 2022 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 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 August 17, and we'll break down our entire WordPress blog development and marketing strategy. Get the Secret Sauce for your brand.

Our revenue for July 2022 was $781,267. Compared to $850,883 in June, that's about a 10% decrease. Most of this is typical July seasonal decline as June generally is our largest month for our fair-weather brands. It's likely that August and September will follow this same 10%-ish decline.

Revenue will likely decline month-over-month from this point on until the holidays, when we should see another positive seasonality bump.

What We Worked on This Month

  • Setting and beginning work on Q3 rocks. We follow Traction pretty religiously for most of our companies (as I'm sure many readers do), and July marks the start of Q3. A lot of our goals for this quarter revolve around a bit of a brand refresh on one of our brands and designing completely new packaging to reflect this rebrand will be a big chunk of the goals.
  • Preparing CNY Orders. It's scary to even think about this in the middle of summer, but we started preparing for our Chinese New Year orders. CNY is on January 22, 2023, over a week earlier than 2022. Around this time of year, I like to use the feedback we've received during the year re: negative reviews to work on improving our products for the next year. My goal is to incrementally improve a big chunk of our product each year. I'll spend the next month or two working with our suppliers on these changes, submit final POs in September, and hope to have our orders shipped around December when freight rates tend to be the most reasonable (before the huge CNY rush and after the Christmas insanity).

Two Wins This Month

  • Refund on Hacked AWS cloud fees. As I mentioned in last month's brand report, we had a dormant AWS account that was hacked and had just over $3,000 in accumulated fees. Amazon made us go through about 10,000 hoops, but they finally refunded these fees.
    aws refund
    A hacked Amazon AWS account resulted in over $3,000 in fraudulent cloud computing charges being billed to us.
  • Renegotiated 3PL fees. For better or worse, we've utilized our 3PL a lot more during the last 12 to 18 months with Amazon's new storage limitations. Subsequently, our order volume with our main 3PL has gone up significantly, and I used this as an opportunity to renegotiate our FBA pick and pack fees from $3.50 down to $2.50.

Two Fails for This Month

  • Port of Vancouver = Inspection Hell. We have many shipments routed through the Port of Vancouver – even the ones that go to the US. Freight rates often are cheaper to Vancouver than US ports, and it's also closer to our main 3PLs (the goods move in bond to the US, so there's no duty/taxes paid to Canada).  Unfortunately, the Port of Vancouver is also hell for inspections, and we had another container exam for a shipment going through Vancouver (thankfully, it was a smaller LCL shipment, and we only paid a small percentage of the entire exam fee).
  • Longest-serving EcomCrew employee leaving. This one isn't directly related to our e-commerce brands, but employee turnover is always a hot topic for any business, so it's worth discussing here (and giving a shout-out and recognition to this person!). Our longest-serving EcomCrew employee, Abby, is finally leaving us to embark on her dream of becoming a developer, something we knew was coming for quite some time now. As I explained to her, I have a bit of a feeling like a father giving his daughter away at the altar—every dad knows it's eventually coming and hopes that that time never comes. But when it does, he feels genuine happiness. Abby has built an incredible team for EcomCrew in the Philippines, and with her exit comes a lot of opportunities for the other team members there.

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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