Mastermind

Think about how the knowledge you’ve gained already, that you take for granted as obvious, could be the piece of gold that turns the key for someone else. When you share wisdom you acquire it.

Hello Friends. I thought I’d talk about the power of mastermind in creating our success.
Just about all the great success stories and leaders in their fields of any kind will attest to the fact that they had mentors and/or were part of a mastermind group.

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It must make sense when we think about it, learn from others who are achieving what we desire to achieve.

“Deliberately seek the company of people who influence you to think and act on building the life you desire.” ~ Naploeon Hill

In our Book Arb community, we are supremely blessed to have a huge Book Arb super-brain and mastermind group built in already. I absolutely love this. But this mastermind effect only takes effect when we plug into it, utilize it and contribute to it.

If I may, let me share an example of how this played out for myself and Tom.

Pre the August textbook peak season last year we were having a conversation with one of the other mentors. We were discussing how we were getting ready for August season. He said something to us that stunned us in it’s brilliance, simplicity and yet it had not occurred to us.

He asked us what our goal was for selling inventory during textbook season and we said ‘Oh, about 40% would be great, in one month,’ that was our expectation.

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He said, ‘why not 100% of your inventory?’ I was stunned because as obvious as it was, it had not occurred to us. So that one conversation changed our approach and our results.

You may well ask, ‘did you sell 100% of your inventory?’ The answer is no, we sold 80.5% of our inventory. The cynic may say that’s nearly 20% off your goal but we were thrilled because we doubled what we previously thought was possible.

Our vision expanded with one conversation and now our sales are superior on an ongoing basis because our expectations have expanded.

So today, I am encouraging you to consider the value of this mastermind principle found in our community.

For me it’s like a massive sleeper asset that comes alive when we use it and contribute to it. This is what is in place already. We all have a wealth of experience and knowledge together which is powerful and unique to our niche market. We have world class support and answers to questions.

We are forging new highways of success in easier and faster ways by sharing our successes and we can elevate ourselves and one another in our collaborative approach to success.

I love how Richard Branson put it,

“Two heads are definitely better than one and by sourcing ideas from each other, you have a better chance of coming up with a strategy that will allow your business to overcome a setback or challenge.” ~ Richard Branson

Think about how the knowledge you’ve gained already, that you take for granted as obvious, could be the piece of gold that turns the key for someone else and share it.
When you share wisdom you acquire it.

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So if you approach the mastermind group going to give rather than going to get, magic happens and you will receive more than you ever thought possible – I promise.

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Hot Hot Summer

It’s our favourite time of year again. Textbook season. Textbooks sell all year as you know but it’s bumper time again.

“Summer time….. & the living is easy.”

August/September is a very hot time to be in the book business. All the wonderful students are starting or returning to college.

We know what they are looking for (textbooks) & we know when they will be looking for them (supply & demand) because of the research we have done on our KEEPA charts.

It’s like knowing the upcoming trend for Christmas season, if you were a toy seller, & you have the toys ready for sale! In fact, it is Christmas in summertime for booksellers.

So what are we doing at the moment to get ready for textbook season? We are buying as much inventory as we can, more than usual.

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Our search criteria is a little different too at this time of year because of the spike in sales and book sales price.

Often coming into textbook season a book could be selling at $30 making a small but healthy profit but by the second week in August that same book can be selling at $55.

With that in mind sometimes the KEEPA charts may show a sales price today of $25 which we would typically pass over because our criteria is to buy based on today’s market i.e. if I bought that book today & sold it today would I make a profit?

But because within a couple of weeks there is a significant bump in that sales price we are buying books outside our standard criteria.

We have been through a number of textbook seasons now so we understand the trend. We make a lot of sales. We may not sell every book right away but we can still make a profit over the next couple of months.

Worst case scenario we would have the book for the next bumper textbook season in January so we can’t lose.

“The first rule is not to lose. The second rule is not to forget the first rule.” ~ Warren Buffett

We also went through our entire inventory & removed any books that are no longer profitable so our Sales Account on Amazon is in optimum health.

This serves two purposes. The first & most critical, our IPI (Inventory Performance Index) i.e. Sales Health number will be at optimum health which will ensure that Amazon expose us to the maximum number of customers.

Second, we do not waste any time repricing books that won’t sell. We can focus all our energy on making profitable sales.

During textbook season most of our time is spent on repricing i.e. selling our books. The market is extremely dynamic & competitive and there is an art to selling books at the maximum price, not too early or you leave profit on the table or not to late or you missed the peak price.

It’s a glorious dance that is exhilarating. By the end of season, booksellers are typically pretty tired & pretty happy. Think of the end of day on the stock market on it’s busiest day & you are in the ball park except this lasts for about a month.

Because we source great quality books at great prices for our customers we love providing students with excellent books on their budget. We pay extra when we buy the books and extra to have them cleaned up to ensure quality for our customers.

“Customer service should not be a department. It should be the entire company.” ~ Tony Hseih

What we hold dear is that no matter how many sales can be made, we only deal with quality books to ensure that our customers are happy with their books & that they have a positive experience with us.

We remember a time when we were on a budget. It doesn’t mean that people on a budget should receive an inferior product or experience, in fact quite the opposite.

Quality always rises to the top. Our intention is to provide top quality products & experience no matter the budget. We would like our company to be more than about the bottom dollar.

Our mission is to be contribute to the world through every interaction & exchange and that is why we are becoming so successful.

So there you have it. That’s how our business thrives in peak season.

Next, I will discuss the excitement of mentoring others & helping others achieve phenomenal success.

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Return On Investment Today

Repricing (selling our books) is part of our daily work flow. When we reprice our books, it keeps our books competitive and ensures more sales, if you do it right!

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, thank you for that, I really appreciate your time, you will have heard me mention the term ROI i.e. Return On Investment. Everyone has at least heard of ROI.

How is it then that I have been speaking about ROI and hearing about it since Day One on our Book Arb journey and only now am I really starting to apply it properly?

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It’s funny how we can think we know something and still not apply it or think we are applying it.

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” ~ Peter F Drucker

Let me explain how that plays out in Book Arb. Of course I have been familiar with the concept of buying and selling books and making a profit, I run an online bookstore after all.

However, I was applying the concept in a micro management way thinking that I was being “penny wise” i.e. looking after the profits on each book and that would take care of the overall profits.

Repricing (selling our books) is part of our daily work flow. When we reprice our books, it keeps our books competitive and ensures more sales, if you do it right!

“There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.” ~ Warren Buffett

Now obviously making a profit on each book is important but because we were focused on getting as much profit out of each book individually we squandered time, momentum and compound interest.

Over the past year and half I have spent countless hours repricing our books daily. It’s part of the business and also shows Amazon, Big Daddy, that you are actively selling your stock as opposed to using Amazon as a warehouse for products that may or may not sell. This brings other benefits other than profits alone such as more exposure to more buyers thereby increasing your market share.

However, we were way too focused on holding onto our books to get a better price as opposed to selling as much stock daily for an overall ROI. We forgot to think about ROI on our overall investment monthly.

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it…he who doesn’t, pays it.” ~ Albert Einstein

The chart below demonstrates how the same $10 compounding with only 20%, 25% & 30% profit over the course of a year way out performs holding out for a 100% profit every 8 weeks.

COMPOUNDING at 20% 25% and 30%

When I think about how much time I spent ‘nursing’ books i.e. repricing every day but not effectively I scratch my head. When I think about how much compound money I left on the table by not selling and turning over profits I am astonished.

For the record we have found that the longer our books are on the market, unless it’s a textbook season, the more inclined the price of the books are to decrease over time unless they are year round books. Hold that thought in your back pocket when repricing as it will serve you well. If you can sell for a profit today, sell.

Our strategy was ineffective on both a profitability and time wise front. Man, I didn’t really get it until recently. This business is about turning over as much inventory every month to compound the money for a staggeringly high year round ROI.

Can you see how ineffective our strategy was? We thought we were doing it right but man were we off?

Remember, it’s not about being busy, it’s about being effective. We have still made a lot of sales over the year but this one strategy slowed our progress big time.

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I would add that it’s not to say that it’s not possible to make 100% profit on most books, it’s just don’t delay holding out for it. A bird in the hand philosophy in this business will serve you much better.

It’s just all about buying the right books at the right price at the right time. When and where to look for these books and knowing how to read the Keepa charts makes this easy.

Do not be the bottle neck in your business by being ineffective. Buy and sell books every day. Compound your money by selling as much as you can as quickly as you can and you will be astonished at your progress.

Now that we have corrected our approach to repricing our profits are already increasing exponentially and we have more time back to ourselves. Repricing used to take me hours every day. Now, it takes a lot less time. Less time and more money, who knew?

Next, I will discuss the power of streamlining daily tasks & how we are doing it in our business.

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Compounding Money

If you think of a business expanding 8 fold in 7 months in its first year of business it’s pretty unbelievable and it is growing because we are rolling all our profits back in. The bigger the inventory the greater the speed of expansion and the more powerful effect of compounding.

“The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of.”   ~ C.S. Lewis

At the time of my writing this blog we are over half way through our current peak season for textbooks. As I have stated before, textbooks sell all year round it’s just that there are 2 big bumper seasons (January & August) and one mini one (May) as well. It’s like Christmas comes three times a year in terms of a sales boost which is pretty awesome.2018 08 30th Sales Screenshot

 

As you can see creating over $2,000 a week is a substantial boost in profits and that figure will only continue to rise.

For our first textbook season we had an inventory of 54 books and sold 22, so nearly half our inventory. Roll on 7 months later and we have an inventory of 400 books which is almost 8 times the number of books we had in January and we are making weekly sales of $2,000 and more. Remember too that we have been selling books nearly every day in between.

If you think of a business expanding 8 fold in 7 months in its first year of business it’s pretty unbelievable and it is growing because we are rolling all our profits back in. The bigger the inventory the greater the speed of expansion and the more powerful effect of compounding.

If we were to open any well known franchise for any other kind of business we would never have been able to begin with just $1,000 and create this level of success (one of our community members started with $100 in the pot and has grown that into a multiple 5 figure business in 18 months or less). Not to mention we don’t have to deal with the hassles that come with running that kind of operation (franchise) with employees, insurance etc.

So, we are growing our own business that we can do from anywhere in the world. Our business is growing in a predictable and powerful way. We are continuously honing our  skills for working smarter and not harder. We are becoming wealthier.

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Our money works for us all day every day. The boost we get from sales in textbook season further accelerates our book buying power and therefore book profits so by the next peak season we will be hitting even juicier numbers. What’s not to love?

Next, I will share the value of great customer service and how that adds to our bottom line personally and professionally.

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