Last week I had the pleasure of being a speaker at the Invisible to Six Figures Retreat hosted by Nicole Diedrich. It was an awesome educational event giving the attendees a 360-degree view of entrepreneurship with the goal of helping them excel in their business and ultimately their life.
And while I myself was on the virtual stage as a speaker, I couldn’t help but learn a few things along the way and that’s what I’ll be sharing with you today!
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Last week I had the pleasure of being a speaker at the Invisible to Six Figures Retreat hosted by eCommerce Badassery’s resident FB expert and my biz bestie, Nicole Diedrich of Diedrich Marketing Strategies.
Initially, it was supposed to be an in-person event at a kick-ass resort in Lake Tahoe… but mother nature had a different idea. There were two wildfires happening at the south end of Lake Tahoe and a lot of the area was being evacuated. This resort was miles away from the fires and not really at risk of having to evacuate, but we canceled the in-person event to ensure everyone’s safety and, frankly, not to impede the emergency teams.
That was 4 days before the event was supposed to happen.
Welcome to entrepreneurship, right?!!! One of the biggest lessons this experience taught us, was that one of the most important qualities a person needs in order to make it in this entrepreneurship space is to be flexible, to be innovative, and able to pivot at a moment’s notice.
And I have to give a HUGE shout-out to my girl, Nicole Diedrich the host of the event because she handled it all with such grace, and to the attendees who were so supportive throughout the uncertainty and who still showed up to participate in the virtual event with total gusto.
It was especially heartwarming to see how the attendees responded to Nicole’s live video, where she shared the decision and even broke down in tears. That moment reminded me why I hold her in such high regard as a business owner and friend. Vulnerability and transparency are the way to find long-term success in this world of online business. And why having a circle of other kick-ass entrepreneurs is VITAL to our survival.
If you are not already surrounded by a supportive circle of biz friends, you need that. Whether you find it in a mentor, a group program, or even a free Facebook group. Start getting out there and connecting with other business owners. Be intentional about maintaining those relationships. It’s so easy to fall into patterns and get caught up in all the day-to-day shit, but don’t forget to nurture those relationships.
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Common business hangups
We covered a lot of different topics, everything from business foundations and marketing psychology to email marketing, branding, and even our own health.
I loved how well-rounded the topics were, a 360-degree crash course in entrepreneurship if you will. The best event of all was the open Q&A at the end of the retreat, where the speakers and attendees all gathered together on a zoom call to connect and answer the attendees’ questions.
Showing up on video
Interestingly, the first thing most of them said when we got on the call was… “it’s so nice to see everyone’s face.” The trainings throughout the retreat were live videos where the attendees could, of course, see us, but they couldn’t see each other. If you don’t already know… VIDEO is so powerful. It brings a connection that you just can’t get in other forms. So if you’re not already using video in your business, you’re going to want to start sooner rather than later.
Do what feels right
Another message that kept coming through was that we all got into entrepreneurship to carve our path, to create businesses that not only serve our customers and clients but serve us as well. We get to do what feels good for us and just because you see one person doing something one way, doesn’t mean you have to do it that way, too.
Entrepreneurship can be lonely
Your friends, family, and acquaintances might think you’re crazy, they don’t get what you do; they don’t understand this lifestyle you chose… and that’s OKAY.
You’ve heard me say this before, but I’ll say it again. If they question you, don’t support you, or make you doubt yourself… don’t talk to them about your business. Unless they’re your ideal customer or successful in building businesses, what they have to say holds little to no weight and you don’t have to bog yourself down with their negativity.
Remember, even as a grown-ass woman, I didn’t tell my Mother I was quitting my job to go full time in my business until it was already done because frankly, I didn’t want to hear what she had to say about it.
We’re all going through it
Whatever you’re feeling right now about your ability to be successful as a CEO, your business overall, your hesitations to show up and sell your product, your skillset, your confidence… all of it. There is another entrepreneur who is feeling the SAME thing. You are NOT alone.
When I did my presentation about email marketing strategy, I opened with a question… how many of you feel icky when you try to sell your product? 90% of the attendees answered YES.
When we talked about the hesitation to be on video, most of them struggled with that too.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. I know it feels like you’re the only one that struggles with certain things, like everyone around you has it all together or has it all figured out. But we don’t. Even the speakers at the event, who all have successful businesses—some of them multiple successful businesses with partners and all the things—we all are going through SOMETHING.
Don’t forget about the legal side of your business
From your business structure to partner agreement, taxes, and more. If you haven’t gotten all your ducks in a row, make that a priority sooner rather than later.
While we’re talking about legal things, a quick reminder about sales tax for eCommerce. This is no longer only required in your home state but is based on how much you ship to other states. If you need to learn more about this, check out episode 36 of the podcast where I walk you through it.
How to grow your business
When is the right time to invest in ads, or should you focus more on organic methods? This was the question for newbies and established businesses alike.
If you’re wondering the same thing, start by asking yourself, do you have more time or more money? If time is your biggest asset and you want to go at business growth the organic way, then you’ve got to go ALL IN. No excuses. Find your platforms, likely Instagram or TikTok because they’re best for discovery and do the damn thing. If you need help strategizing, or learning how to create great content, invest in that help.
If you’ve got money to invest, and you want to grow fast, consider ads. It’s the quickest path to growth. Now I don’t necessarily recommend that you go it alone because you can definitely waste money if you don’t know what you’re doing… find a course or an ads expert to help you. Even if it’s just a 1:1 strategy session to get you started.
Investing money in the right places of your business
When it comes to spending money in your business, remember it’s not SPENDING money, it’s INVESTING.
This was a hot topic of the entire event. And one that even I need to be reminded of regularly. I was recently looking over my numbers for the year and I’m pretty proud of how much my business has grown since I went full time. But my overall profit margin is lower than I’d like it to be.
Of course, I started looking at my expenses and trying to figure out what I could cut out. Do I really need this tool, what about that tool… or maybe I should cut back on the hours with my VA. And while there is definite value in keeping your eye on your expenses and not spending frivolously or on things you no longer use in your business… so is increasing your revenue.
Many of us worry about spending money in our business, but that’s usually because we don’t think of the long-term growth that investment will mean for us. Maybe it just means you’ll have more free time, or be less stressed. Maybe it’s a connection you’ll make with a mentor or an attendee at an event. Maybe you’ll see explosive growth when you finally decide to invest in ads.
Think big picture and use your most valuable resource, your time, to think of ways to grow your business instead of getting bogged down in every little detail about your expenses, trying to cut corners, and then ultimately either wasting your time all together or ending up making your business more complicated because you got rid of that tool you thought you didn’t need.
Overall business growth
During the retreat, an eCommerce business owner asked me how to get more sales on their website. When they sell at in-person events, they do great. People DM them on social, but how do they get more sales? They recently redid the website to make it more user-friendly, but they don’t know what else to do.
The first thing I asked was how much traffic she was getting on average each month and what was the conversion rate? The goal of this was to first confirm that she didn’t have a conversion problem and second, to calculate how much additional traffic she would need to hit the goals she wanted to reach.
Unfortunately, she didn’t know the answer. And that was the first problem. It is SOOOOO important to know the numbers in your business. If you don’t know your numbers, you can’t possibly make educated decisions about where your weaknesses are and what you need to improve.
I talk more about understanding your numbers in episode 7 of the podcast, so take a listen if you haven’t already. Even if you have listened to it, if you’re still struggling in this area, go listen again.
Reverse engineer your business growth with a quick calculation
I’m going to use nice round numbers to make these calculations easy to follow.
- Monthly Revenue – $9000
- Average Order Value – $60
- Number of Orders – 150
- Website Conversion Rate 2%
- Traffic is 7500 visits per month
Let’s say your revenue goal is $15000 per month, how can we get there?
There are only 3 ways to make more money in your business:
- You can acquire new customers
- Get your existing customers to come back more often
- OR just get them to spend more when they’re already shopping
It’s harder to quantify them coming back more often, so for today’s purposes we’re going to focus on getting more traffic and increasing AOV.
How many more purchases a month we would need to hit our revenue goal if our AOV stayed the same?
Currently, we are doing 9k, and we want to do 15k, so we need 6k more. At $60 AOV, that means we need 100 more orders. And with a general conversion rate of 2%, we’ll need 5000 more sessions on our website.
To calculate that, take the total number of orders you want and divide it by your conversion rate. So in this case, the calculation was 100 divided by 2%. That gives us 5000.
How much more would we need to make per purchase to hit our revenue goal?
If we were 100% focused on raising our AOV and we want an additional $6000/mo, with everything else being equal, we would need to raise our AOV by $40. For that, I just divided 6000 by our number of orders, 150.
Either of these on their own seems really hard, right?! So the idea is to accomplish your goals with a blend of both. Depending on your business, one or the other of these is probably going to be easier for you. If you sell low-priced products, adding another $40 to your AOV might be difficult. Same if you sold something that people didn’t buy a lot of or didn’t need to buy often.
On the other hand, if you’re a super niche product, it might be harder to get traffic because your product doesn’t appeal to as many people. Of course, there are so many variables here, but if you think critically about it, you should be able to identify where you should focus more.
Break down what you’re going to do to accomplish those goals
Once you have all these numbers down, you can start to play around with them and say, okay, if I can reasonably expect to raise my AOV by $10, then I only need this much more traffic.
When it comes to traffic, maybe you look at where your traffic is coming from now and double down on that for 90 days and see how much you can increase it. This might also be a good time to invest in ads.
And then, for increasing your AOV, you can get your cross-sells added, and raise your free shipping threshold. Tune into episodes 4 and 49 for more support around this.
If you determine that you really need to focus on growing your traffic, and especially if you’re going to invest in ads, make sure you have your AOV boosters in place first because you’ll want them there when you drive all this new traffic.
Hopefully, there was something in today’s episode that resonated with you and also something that inspired you. Remember, if this journey was easy everyone would do it so you’re already winning.
Listen to the Episode
Episode 4. Quick Wins For Ecommerce Success
Episode 7. The #1 Reason You’re Not Able To Pay Yourself
Episode 36. How To Charge Sales Tax For Your Ecommerce Business
Episode 49. Increase Your Ecommerce Revenue With Cross-sells & Upsells