There is a serious problem in the reselling community that is preventing people from reaching the full potential of their reselling business.
Most of us come into reselling with a powerful desire to make a better life for ourselves. For some of us, an extra part time job can bring a game-changing $300 per month that could help pay the bills. For others, it’s a means-to-an-end for people who need a little more income to get that extra car so they can commute to their dream job. And still, others are drawn to the full-time income and entrepreneurial lifestyle that reselling provides.
Whether you’re using reselling as a vehicle to the next big thing, or reselling is the next big thing, it’s so important to model your business in a way that allows it to grow and thrive. So many of us are so desperate for the hustle that we cannot see past that next sales notification. Each sale becomes a rush of dopamine—and we are addicted.
If we run our businesses chasing that next dopamine hit, the grind becomes simple. Buy, list, sell. As a result, we become but mere employees in our own business. What happens then? We leave our businesses without an owner—without someone in the integral role of seeing the big picture and providing needs to the business to help sustain and grow.
Employees are daily grinders—they do only what they are paid to do. You can find, train, and pay someone to source inventory, list items, or ship sales. You can pay someone to build your website or print t-shirts. If you do not desire or have the means to hire someone, then you can easily fulfill those roles and function as an employee. No problem. But be aware that though those daily operations are important, if you only operate as an employee, you're not proactively preparing your business to survive the inevitable obstacles that come with ownership.
Running your business like that will get the sales, don’t get me wrong. But when the market changes (as it inevitably will), your normal sourcing resources become dry (as it inevitably will), or other obstacles happen (as they will inevitably will), your employee mindset will be ill equipped to solve these problems. Your sales will plummet and you will be left thinking “maybe reselling isn’t a plausible operation for me”.
The worst thing that you can do at that point is find like-minded individuals to
agree with you and confirm your problem and the fact that there is no solution. If you’re really in the deep of it, someone may come around who offers a solution, and in your struggle, you might find yourself getting defensive and determining any solution as an excuse. This is the beginning of the fall of your business. Your mindset towards reselling has changed and unbeknownst to you, you have become uncoachable. Unfortunately, you simply cannot sustain your business if you’re just struggling to stay afloat. If you do not change courses quickly, it’s only a matter of time before this ship sinks.
Maybe this hasn’t happened yet for you, and if that is true, I’m so glad. Maybe you’re noticing the beginning symptoms of this process. There are many people out there struggling to adjust past the pandemic lockdowns and the economical strain that has resulted. But if you’re reading this, there is still time. If you’re reading this that means that there is some part of you that still has some fight and is willing to do the dirty work to get there. And for that, I offer you this:
Develop your business owner mindset:
After learning the basic operations of your business, you should get to the point that you can operate as an employee. But can you operate as a business owner?
Do you know your business plan?
“Buy, sell, ship” is not a business plan.
“Get as many listings done as I can” is not a business plan.
- What are your financial goals?
- How much time do you have available to accomplish those goals?
- Do you have the time, space, and capital to help you reach those goals?
- If not, how can you get what you need?
If you're not thinking like a business owner yet, let's talk about some practical tips to start you thinking in that direction:
Write your big goals down first.Determine what you want to get out of running this business. Keep them available so that when the hard times come, you can be reminded of what you are fighting for. Read them, often. Read them with your morning coffee, or at the very least, before your working shift every day. Starting your working shifts with a reminder of what you're fighting for you can put you in the right mindset to work through the struggle.
Don’t neglect the weekly goals.What do you want to see in the next week?
Are there obstacles in your way to be able to reach those goals?
For example, say that you want to list 50 items per week, but you’re consistently only getting 30-35 items. Why is that? Do you not have enough time to list those items? Are you taking too long to get your inventory listed? If you’re having a hard time reaching your target, then something needs to change.
Evaluate how much time you have to reach your objective. Is it enough time? Do you need to add more? Or maybe your next weekly goal will be working on making that time you already have allotted more efficient. If it takes you an average of 9 minutes to get an item listed, then how many more listings can you get in the time allotted if you brought that average listing time down to 6 minutes? Could you reach your weekly goal then?
Weekly goals are important because they can help you iron out the wrinkles in the bigger picture and help you reach them. Employees typically work within the parameters and training offered to them by their bosses. Business owners make those parameters. Are you stuck adjusting to obsolete ways, or are you constantly looking for new solutions?
Take an honest look at the culture you’re creating around you.There are things outside of our control that keep us from being able to do our jobs effectively. And if that’s the case, and we truly cannot control it, then we have a choice: adjust the one thing that we can control (ourselves), or… don’t and fail.
Many times, the obstacles are something we can control, but it’s not something that is necessarily comfortable for us to look at. We can be our own worst obstacles.
Our attitudes create the culture of our business. If we maintain a poor attitude, then that attitude becomes the culture of our business. What we cultivate becomes our brand. It is up to you to decide what you want your customers to think of you and your brand.
What are you offering to the world?Customer service is something that makes most people cringe. And I can understand that, being in customer service most of my working life. There are so many hurt and broken people walking around out there that can treat you like muck on the bottom of a shoe.
As someone who values their self-worth, I receive messages that make me want to throw my phone at wall. But, how I want to handle a decision and how I actually handle it are two different things. I may go to Joe and vent to get it off my chest for a second. I may wait a day to respond. I may even write the message I want to send out, and then erase that message. But every time, I am sure to choose the response that I want to represent my brand, regardless of what anyone else is choosing to do. I may not be able to control anything, but I can control me. No one can take that away from me.
Here’s the bottom line: No one owes you anything. They do not owe you their money, their business, or good feedback. You are not running a business as a favor to other people, and if you are, then you’re not going to make it. If you are running this business for anything other than to see your own goals met and to offer quality goods to others, then you will not make it.
That means that when you get those messages or you have to “customer service” someone with your tongue in your cheek to be able to get the sale, then do it. Or don’t. That is entirely up to you.
But if someone decides not to give you their business because of the way you responded, then you determined that when you sent that response, that was an acceptable consequence for you. You determined however that affects your bottom line, the culture of your business, and the reputation of your brand was worth the response.
Weigh that carefully.
Know what you’re offering.
Determine if it’s worth it.
The word “entrepreneur” is a fad word and everyone wants to be able to call themselves one. I think that everyone should have the opportunity. But, bear in mind, to embody the culture of entrepreneurship is to say “yes” to the idea that you’re going to have to do some really difficult work. You’re going to have to look deep inside yourself and weigh your goals and whether the work that comes with it is truly worth it to you.
You’re going to have to see all the ugly parts of you that you work so hard to hide from the rest of the world, because entrepreneurship will bring them to the surface. The heat is on, and like silver in the hands of a blacksmith, all your impurities are coming to the surface.
The question is, do you allow the impurities to rise?
Do you deal with them?
Or do you turn the heat down and get comfortable?
What is it worth to you?
Choose and accept the consequences that ensue.
Happy selling, my friends!