Planning Your Monetization Mix is covered in DAY 4 of the Action Guide. It is a critical GO/STOP step in the C T P M process. Get feedback on your chosen Monetization Mix for your new business; or get tips on which monetization options work best for your niche.

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#1348799 by Wedding Flowers, Inc. from East Nassau
Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:06 am

OK, Ken . . . I went and signed up for Trafeze. Just don't be surprised if I'm not always "all there" because right now the WEDDING SEASON HAS BEGUN!!! :lol::lol:

I also took your advice and called my "stay at home" son-in-law (he lives next door). He was the one who volunteered his basement (well . . . I . . kinda TOOK OVER one room! :roll: )
and helped me pack and ship all my own products the very first summer. (That first "warehouse" was the picture in my Sitesell "Success Store".) It became obviously very quickly, however, that there was no way we could ever keep enough product on the shelves to fill all those orders and grow! I told him I needed help and that he was the obvious choice now that all three kids were in school and that he needed to devote some time to learning how to process orders, etc. in case anything ever happened to me. He AGREED!! YEAH!!! He actually owns a Sitesell site too because I insisted early one so he would understand what SBI was all about and how to build pages, etc.)

That early warehouse where we both packed and shipped so many boxes was what forced me to "pull up my big girl pants" - fight down my fear and fly to Florida to meet with the first wholesalers that began packing and shipping out of THEIR warehouse for me. They were SUPER nice, wonderful people . . and that's when I figured out - they were just people too trying to sell a product. They were as bewildered about the shift to the internet as I was and were awed by my "success" LOL!!!

But God was so good to me. They handed me over to W------, one of my dearest friends now even tho he is several states away. This man had been in the business for over 30 years and knew EVERYTHING about selling and marketing in the flower market. He went way beyond being my floral rep and helped me figure out how much to charge for shipping, flowers, ribbon and so much more. I flew down to Florida every single year on a marketing trip (it's fun to take business trips that take you to the Gulf of Mexico and there are BEACHES IN THE EVENING!!)

I learned so much from these wonderful people and . . in turn . . they learned from me. It took me over 6 years to get up the courage, fly down (like always) and ask for a private meeting with the owner of the business. I told him I had something that was very very hard to tell him. He said I could tell him ANYTHING. I told him that his Computer Tech was an idiot. :oops::oops:

In the length of time I had done business with these wonderful people, I saw this "computer expert" feed them a line and convince the boss to spend HORRIBLE amounts of money on creating an "online store". I was shocked to find out that they had been (at the time I told him this) over 7 years "CREATING" .... this ..... store! Huge amounts of money down the drain for a convoluted bunch of garbage that couldn't "talk" to my own store inventory because it was running on 1999 technology. I was so embarrassed to have to tell this man this - but I just felt this guy was giving him a big line. I also told him that running his multi-$$$$$$$$$ business on computers that this guy bought SECOND HAND because he was running WINDOWS XP was ridiculous . . . but see - nothing more sophisticated would run his fabulous program that 'HE WROTE".

The owner of the business blew a gasket . . . (thankfully not at me . . :roll: ) after I left. The rest of the guys in the business were applauding - because I had told him something that they had been trying to tell him for years. Long story short - they flew out to Miami shortly after I left so some "experts" could take a look at this guy's program and . . . they told him to scrap it. It was antique. It would never work and connect on today's internet. Thankfully they confirmed what I had told him in private.

When my awesome rep retired . . I was passed on to someone else. Unfortuately (because of the computer guy) they started running into huge problems after my rep retired. I was forced to cast my eyes around to a bigger wholesaler that could move up with my business.

My lesson in this is . . . friendship is awesome. I STILL love the owners of that smaller business. But I had to take serious look at my business and finally accept that I had outgrown them. OHHHHH!! That hurt. A lot! But as hard as that decision was (I still send them orders at times) - you have to let BUSINESS BE BUSINESS. I had to accept that I had outgrown them. Doesn't mean I can't still use them. But I had to expand OUTWARD.

Now what I've learned from this is critical . . .

1. Accept that the people you approach with your ideas may laugh at you, scoff at you . . . or just may sit down and grow really interested in what you have to say. This is BUSINESS. Keep telling yourself that again and again.

2. To get yourself into the mindset that this is a BUSINESS - take the step to either create an LLC (Limited Liability Company) or (as I did later) a small Corporation. Sounds important, doesn't it? But it separates your BUSINESS assets from your PERSONAL assets.

I can't remember who it was (sorry . . :roll: ) but this lovely SBI'er got into problems because she was promoting some type of product for some affiliate company . . and was shocked later to find herself unwillingly embroiled in a lawsuit! Seems that the affiliate she was dealing with really didn't have the legal rights to the product that she was selling as an affiliate for them.

PROTECT YOURSELF. If you are serious about creating a business - do the paperwork and make it legal. Separate your private stuff from your business stuff . . . and buy liability insurance. It really doesn't cost as much as it sounds. But it could save your home in case anything like this ever happened to you. Obtain a business license (again, cheaper and easier than it sounds) that allows you to buy wholesale and re-sell as "retail". Just remember you have to charge sales tax for the products that people who live in the same state you do and then pay it into the state.

3. Get the "legal" stuff (disclaimers, warranties, etc) up on your site. Make sure if you sell affiliate products that you are VERY CLEAR THAT YOU COULD MAKE A PROFIT FROM ENDORSING THAT PRODUCT. I TRY to remember to put this type of disclaimer under every affiliate product I sell,

"Note: Following the above links and making a purchase from them may result in a commission paid to the owners of this website"

I have that in an image form and post it under every affiliate products I sell.

4. Be kind to yourself. This stuff doesn't happen overnight. It happens because you methodically take one step at a time. I am a world class procrastinator and delay doing the stuff I hate. But it has to be done by somebody and NOBODY understands your website or what it is all about like you do.

5. Pass off the hard stuff to somebody else. I hated taxes WITH A PASSION! I didn't have the strength or know how to deal with the endless State and Federal corporations requirements. I chose a small business accountant and let her sift thru the endless mail from IRS. My only request from her was not to land me in jail. LOL! She hasn't yet! But my stress level went down considerably after I brought her on to watch over that stuff for me. It's not as expensive as it sounds, because I do EVERYTHING on line with one credit card and one business checking account. Keeping all purchases on one single card helps her easily track all my expenses - same for the one business checking account. EVERYTHING get deposited or paid by these two simple accounts. Bookkeeping for me is a breeze compared to some of her other clients.

6. If you DO learn how to sell something online - hire an answering service and get a 1-800 number. EVERYTHING that involves my website (that involves that 1-800 number) gets routed to this answering service. (This was an amazing tip from my store builder!) They immediately take a message and forward the message to me in a text form. I can choose to either answer the call immediately or know when I can put it off until I'm back in the office. I've generated a lot of sales by immediately being able to call my customer back .... yet my company sounds very professional on the phone because an answering service picks it up. This also keeps you from getting at call at 3:00 a.m. from a bride who needs help choosing what color of rose to pick!! :lol:

OK . . . I'm tired . . and I have to be at an attorney's office in the morning.

Take a deep breath and tell yourself . . if she can do it . . I can do it!!


#1348826 by colin from East Freetown
Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:17 pm
Awesome posts Louann, I've missed your posts so I'm happy to see you back ( or have I just been missing them). It's great to hear you're doing so well and your insights and advice are like gold dust.

#1348864 by ken-admin
Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:22 pm

Your most recent post is superb...

I've posted to Facebook to call out one of the most important points (of MANY) that you made! It's dedicated to you... ... =3&theater

Wonderful post in a series of superb missives! :-)

All the best,

P.S. Question: are you rebranding and selling under your own name, as we discuss in this Make It! article?...

Judd's Case Study was the first to describe this monetization model. I suspect that you are also private labelling, since you have more than 1 supplier. If not, rebranding to your name is another growth move, especially when you have more than one supplier. :-)
#1348868 by Wedding Flowers, Inc. from East Nassau
Fri Jun 03, 2016 12:44 am
I suspect that you are also private labelling, since you have more than 1 supplier. If not, rebranding to your name is another growth move, especially when you have more than one supplier. :-)

Yes - the rebranding for me came when I incorporated under the name of Wedding Flowers Inc.

If you notice - I did start another SBI site under that name:

[Domain Private]/

Why did I do this? Because the very first Sitesell site ([Domain Private]) has grown so large it is cumbersome and slow to build (way too many images in the Image Library). I worked with Support in several ways trying to fix this and just finally decided to buy a second site and interlink them.

So if you go to the above link and click on the top image that says "Free Wedding Flower Tutorials" and has a daisy bouquet - you wouldn't even realize that it actually takes you BACK to SBI Site 1. I will probably streamline my two sites so that the first one with the extremely long webname will eventually redirect all visitors to site 2 (the more updated site). But that is more in the plan when I reorganize my store. When THAT happens - all three sites - the two on SiteSell and the one with Lexiconn (my store host) will all look very similar.

The plan is that the bride won't even realize she's clicking between three different URL's rather than one.

That's why some of the stuff on SBI site one (broken links, etc.) need to be cleaned up - but reworking those pages takes time because it works so slowly. But it's getting done a little at a time.

Working on the NEW SBI site is a breeze, fast moving and I can put up pages quickly. I now know what works, what sells and what kind of pages I want my visitors from Pinterest to land on.

Remember - my first site was a money making machine when AdSense was hot and I was getting 11,000 to 12,000 visitors a day. Making money that way was too easy and I got lazy and preferred writing more content rather than working very hard on my store.

But now my STORE is the money maker and that's what I focus on. My original goal ALWAYS was to sell products - but it was a big learning curve and a lot of work. But that fabulous AdSense money was pouring in and allowed me to have the money to build a store, do upgrades and try all kinds of advertising venues, etc. I got to experiment a lot.

When AdSense dried up, I learned to focus more on my store which was now churning out sales on a regular basis. Having several hundred dollars come in from affiliates didn't hurt either! I learned how to streamline my affiliate marketing and focus on several big high paying rather that tons of itty bitty affiliates.

Those kinds of affiliates come and go on different affiliate programs like clockwork. You would no sooner build pages and promote their products that the links would go dead because they left the program or disqualified themselves in some way. I got disgusted trying to keep up with some of them and just quit wasting my time. I found a few "power affiliates" that a single sale usually generates a pretty good commission. I focused on them and my time didn't get eaten up as much!

I did have a laugh one time when one of those affiliates managers called me (they must do this on a regular basis) and offered to "help me learn" how to promote them better.

I said, "Uh . . before you give me any suggestions . . . could you tell me where I stand with your company? Am I one of your smallest affiliates or one of the bigger ones?"

So he busily told me to wait while he checked and then he came back on the line and said, "Uh . . you're like our #3 top affiliate. . . ."

And I said, "And how long have I been an affiliate of yours?"

He checked and came back and said, "Uh . . you've been with us six months . . "

I said, "Do you REALLY want me to change anything I'm doing?"

He said, "No - I think you've got it figured out!" :lol:

There can be some fun moments along the way!
#1348920 by Fida from Willow Bunch
Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:49 pm
Louann, you are such an inspiration. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing so much about your online journey, success and all. I am tremendously thankful!

#1348938 by ken-admin
Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:46 pm
Great stuff, Louann. I love your stories!

May I suggest that you take a bow over at the post?... ... =3&theater

There are a lot of nice, well-deserved thank-you's from your fans. :-)

All the best,
#1348957 by Mary from Kingston Park
Sat Jun 04, 2016 3:33 am
Louann you are a star and an inspiration. So much talent and so many ideas, so much very, very hard work. You deserve your success may it continue long into the future.
#1348959 by Wedding Flowers, Inc. from East Nassau
Sat Jun 04, 2016 3:54 am
I had already seen the FB post and commented on it. :D

Really . . . one of the best bonuses of this type of business is the people you meet along the way. Friendships are forged at conferences and forums that grow deep roots through the years. I feel so lucky to be blessed with friends (literally) all over the world. We may not get to go to lunch everyday or chat on the phone - but I've never really felt lonely even if I spend so many hours in the office by myself.

The scariest thing that people at the Chicago conference found out so long ago is that I can talk as long in person without taking a breath like I do on forum posts! :lol:

My first conference as a speaker literally ended with laryngitis . . . I couldn't talk for nearly three days after it was over!! :roll:
#1349027 by William from East Islip
Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:53 pm
Claude from wrote:I have been a ham radio operator since 1974. One part of the hobby I most enjoy is building my own antennas and various accessories for my radio station.

Me too. First licensed in 1975, been active off and on as life permits ever since.

I am in the design and planning stage of one of those projects. While taking a break for coffee, I had a quick look at my traffic stats . . . and then it struck me :shock:

Once I will have built a working and fully documented prototype for my own use . . . :idea: why not go one step further: build more units and sell them?

Did you ever get this all figured out and are you selling the product? I have a few ham radio related product ideas myself and would like you know if you've had any success with your products.

-Bill (W2KWD)
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