By the time 2020 kicked off I had two new product ideas ready to go, so pushed ahead with the first of these. By the time we headed off on our road trip in February 2020 I had reviewed samples, chosen my supplier and placed my first inventory order. I had also found a new supplier for an existing product who could produce a better version, and this was ordered too. It would be a few months while they were closed for Chinese New Year, and then producing my products, so I had other things to be getting on with.
Early in our road trip, the travels took lots of time and I didn’t have a lot of time for work. Here and there we stopped for a week or so where I was able to get some work done – a week in Melbourne just before COVID shut the country down; a few weeks in Woodgate, QLD during lockdown; and a week each in Townsville (QLD), Mossman (QLD) Coen (Cape York Peninsula, QLD), Alice Springs and Darwin (NT). In these windows of time I made progress on creating my new product listing, shooting some videos on the new products and then all the work with editing and producing these videos, plus the product listing work.
COVID meant everyone had to stay home, so lots more people were shopping online, which meant sales jumped considerably! (This is why now is a great time to start an Amazon business – click here to find out how. But I digress). This, coupled with a successful launch of my new product, and a pretty UNsuccessful relaunch of my old product), meant it was a good year as far as sales went:
As you can see, things grew quickly – in the end revenue for 2020 was over $US300k, which is a considerable jump from previous years:
- 2017: $129k
- 2018: $178k
- 2019: $140k
- 2020: $313k
The 2020 growth was partly due to the COVID effect, and partly thanks to the additional sales from my new product.
But all was not well.
You see those dips in sales around May and September. That’s because Amazon introduced inventory storage limits which meant I was unable to restock to the degree I wanted to, meaning I ran out of stock a few times. This really limited our ability to get consistent sales. I also found being on the road full-time made it difficult to get a routine as each day was different, and I really wasn’t sure what to be spending my time on.
You might look at those revenue figures and think all’s fine and dandy. And when I look at those I think the same thing. But there’s a lot more to the story than just revenue figures. Some costs had increased; we had a new product to service which needed more cash available; and also we were living off the business now, so it was having to support a family of five full-time. Further, we decided to extend our road trip by another six months. I still faced a number of challenges in my business, many of which I didn’t even know about other than a dull feeling of something not being right, everything being too busy and life in general being out of balance. I’ll touch on those, and how I’m starting to improve those things, in the next post which brings us up to date, into February 2020.