TMBA 260: The Long Road to Mid 5-Figure Months

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We put Taylor Pearson in charge of our Portable Bar company in its infancy, and he helped us grow our business 527% in the first 18 months, to the point where we are consistently having healthy mid 5-figure months. This week, Bossman is back and we are chatting with Taylor about what it’s like to evolve from a small business that is just keeping the lights on to a real significant source of wealth. We’re talking about the old-school tactics we used to grow our business, and how we have used the advice that we give in this show in real life situations.

Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • 5 insights that we had about the marketing process for our portable bar company.
  • How we got into selling portable bars.
  • The history of the cold call in our business.
  • Why it can be more important to get feedback from customers than to get another sale.
  • How we used technology to create transparency when other players in the industry couldn’t.
  • What “Marketing Stamina” is and how you can cultivate it.

People on this episode:

Mentioned in the episode:

Silver Moon's Brewing Semi Permanent Bar Setup

Silver Moon’s Brewing Semi Permanent Bar Setup

Listening options:

Thanks for listening to our show! We’ll be back next Thursday morning 8AM EST.

Cheers,

Dan & Ian

Published on 09.04.14
  • Pat D

    Holy mole. Favorite episode ever. Real talk, insightful, actionable and funny. I’m just curious why you were sitting on $50k in inventory early on? Minimum order from your manufacturer? And how much did you hold nowadays? (inventory and cash management might be another great episode) Thanks guys!

  • Ian O’Brien

    This is so, so, good. I really appreciate this!!! Probs my favourite episode. Not only are you giving really good and actionable ideas and strategies but you’re talking about the real world fundamental stuff that gets glossed over in favour of more sexy type online stuff or whatever. Thanks guys. Really : )

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    thanks Ian I really appreciate that, it’s hard to have a bad conversation when Taylor is involved… he’s a rare mix of great implementor and strategist.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    thank you Pat!! I’ll forward your question to bossman, my sense is that he took the risk on the inventory b/c he had high confidence in the marketplace and in the product (and the supplier for that matter), but you’re right, that’s a high number… let me ask

  • Chris

    Great episdoe guys! Being new to ecommerce I definitely took note when I heard Ian multiple times say that when you guys started The Portable Bar Company you didn’t know anything about the products or anything about the market/customers.
    So how did you even find yourself/get started in this business? I didn’t see a previous episode where you guys talked about this; did I miss it (I do have a lot of catching up to do) or is there a blog post? I’m just really curious how one stumbles into this industry since it sounds like you guys weren’t even remotely involved before starting. Was this just Rip, Pivot, Jam at its finest?
    Great work as usual; another episode, another list of items I am taking back to my new business.

  • http://taylorpearson.me/ Taylor Pearson

    Yea Chris, it was pure rip, pivot and jam. One of the customers from the valet business called us and said “you guys should sell portable bars” so we poked around and saw an opportunity to move the industry online like we did with valet and took it.

  • http://mioduski.net/ Mikey Mioduski

    Loved this episode! Hey, when you were looking for a candidate to run with the Portable Bar Company, what traits were you specifically looking for? Was this more of a sales hire? Marketing? An internet marketing generalist? Curious what kind of experience you wanted to see, or what it was about Taylor’s background that impressed you enough to make the hire? Thanks as always!

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    hey Chris thanks for listening! You can hear the backstory here:

    http://www.tropicalmba.com/profitable-niche-selection-rip-pivot-jam-redux/

    We are always looking around for products and industries that would benefit from our core competencies…. actually bossman just identified one a few weeks ago, excited to share it on the podcast in the coming months.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    hey Mikey thanks for listening…. we specifically hired Taylor to be “Online marketing” focused on SEO, PPC, sales funnels etc. He quickly unleveled himself himself in the organization to drive overall strategy.

    Taylor was working at an internet marketing firm at the time so had a working knowledge of the types of tactics that we wanted to pursue for PBC (basically everything he laid out in his post here: http://taylorpearson.me/527/

    We’d been in contact for about half a year before he came on board, it was obvious that he was a guy who got things done.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    shout also to the unsung hero of this episode Alasdair Plambeck…without him PBC wouldn’t exist.

  • http://taylorpearson.me/ Taylor Pearson

    +1 to A!

  • http://www.TropicalMBA.com/ Ian

    Hi Pat. That number was probably a little higher than the initial order qty to get in the game. At the time we had brought Taylor on we had a few products already in the line. For sure we should do an episode on inventory mgmt and cash flow management, it’s a huge point of focus in this type of business.

  • Ben Cameron

    Been at this since you guys started, I wonder if I will become a grey nomad before a digital nomad.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    :D

  • http://www.linchpin.net/ Damian Thompson

    Timing is a weird thing you know? Makes me almost believe in serendipity, I said almost Dan, not getting too “granola” in my old age.

    Damn if Taylor wasn’t both committed and correct by moving back stateside “just to make calls.”

    Been building our business to be location independent, but the brunt of our customers, team, and the future opportunities are in the US and the night-shift I am pulling from Asia to make calls and generally be available is crushing me.

    When you’re on that weird schedule your day just feels like “work, sleep, work, repeat” and even after 6 weeks haven’t gotten used to it.

    So what’s a “lifestyle design location independent CEO” to do? Design a better life, and in my case that means heading back to the US of A so I can focus on growing the biz AND be outside when the sun is out occassonally.

    Just because you can build a business from anywhere doesn’t necessarily mean you should. So watch out “Muricah here I come!

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    yeah Taylor and I have talked at length about this, very excited to talk in person about it in just a few days!

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/sholaabidoye/ Shola Abidoye

    “Just because you can build a business from anywhere doesn’t necessarily mean you should. So watch out “Muricah here I come!” Why not move to Europe? Check out Berlin seriously (like the Valley 30 years ago, but with your American background you’d stand out), the vibe there is on fire! There’s a happy medium between Asia and America for those who prefer the expat lifestyle. Plus the rents are cheap – won’t last long though! I feel the Euros are better at having an international perspective and having a US centric biz won’t cut it in the next 10+ years….oh and the deep house music :P
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzX3YVyxSx8

  • http://www.linchpin.net/ Damian Thompson

    Shola my sister from another mister! I wish I could but taking on a new challenge working with a startup building their North American business unit.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/sholaabidoye/ Shola Abidoye

    Wow – that sounds fantastic! Just have this feeling like we’ll be losing someone special to the dark side …..LOL

    Having said that who knows what opportunities will pop up. I imagine it is an opportunity of a lifetime if you’re going back….

  • http://essentialsoftheonlinebusiness.com/ Chris (Krzysztof) Trynkiewicz

    I got a lot of notes from this episode, thanks. I would love to hear about the beginnings of the portable bar company too. Like how did you ship the first batch, how much the initial setup cost, how did you manage to get someone to build you only a few models at the beginning etc.

    Great work, Taylor. This was very informative :-)

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    cheers thanks :)

  • http://www.marketfit.net Gregory V. Diehl

    I hired Shola Abidoye, founder of Converport last April to help me create, publish, and market a bestselling book for $5,000. Unfortunately, after delaying everything six months past the due date, she decided to cut off all contact with me without delivering what I paid for.

    I have yet to receive even a partial refund for what I paid, and Ms. Abidoye publicly denies that I hired her to do these things. She has taken a very insulting and condescending tone to me or anyone who questions her about this incident.

    I know these are strong accusations I am making, and I am prepared to support them with emails and recorded calls if necessary. Please let me know if you have any questions or any suggestions for getting Shola to reach out to me so we can resolve this dispute.

    Because she has ignored all my attempts at peaceful resolution, I don’t see what other choice I have but to start warning others about her fraudulent behavior before I gather to evidence necessary to take her to court and try to get my money back.

    You can read the full details of my experience getting ripped off and scammed by Convertport here: http://www.borderlessblog.com/shola-abidoye-scam-inspired-me-write-self-publish-first-book/

    Gregory Diehl

    livefreeretiree@gmail.com

  • http://www.marketfit.net Gregory V. Diehl

    I hired Shola Abidoye, founder of Converport last April to help me create, publish, and market a bestselling book for $5,000. Unfortunately, after delaying everything six months past the due date, she decided to cut off all contact with me without delivering what I paid for.

    I know these are strong accusations I am making, and I am prepared to support them with emails and recorded calls if necessary. Please let me know if you have any questions or any suggestions for getting Shola to reach out to me so we can resolve this dispute.

    Because she has ignored all my attempts at peaceful resolution, I don’t see what other choice I have but to start warning others about her fraudulent behavior before I gather to evidence necessary to take her to court and try to get my money back.

    You can read the full details of my experience getting ripped off and scammed by Convertport here: http://www.borderlessblog.com/shola-abidoye-scam-inspired-me-write-self-publish-first-book/

    I have yet to receive even a partial refund for what I paid, and Ms. Abidoye publicly denies that I hired her to do these things. She has taken a very insulting and condescending tone to me or anyone who questions her about this incident.

    Gregory Diehl

    livefreeretiree@gmail.com

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