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Advice for the Entrepreneur: Lee’s Tip #225

13 Jun 2017 Lee's Tips,Seller Resources

If you are not usually a goal-oriented person, you’re missing out on a useful tool for helping your business succeed. You should break down your goals first by year, then by quarter.

An example of a short-range goal could be to list 200 items per month or 800 per quarter. In terms of income, a medium-range goal could be to net $8000 during the next quarter for a long-range net of $32,000 net at end of 4 quarters. Always up your goals for the next year in order to adjust your business so that your income goes up each year.

Another good thing about this system is that your failures can be short lived; you can get to work on the next quarter and make it successful. Depending on your life situation, you may have to re-work your goals. You never know what might happen to thwart your vision. Don’t fret. Just adjust the timelines and/or the income.

Advice for the Entrepreneur: Lee’s Tip #224

06 Jun 2017 Lee's Tips,Seller Resources

To most people, modern appliances, tools and technology are simply instruments of daily life. They don’t think much about them one way or the other. On the other hand, entrepreneurs have been known to question, refine and generally try to figure out ways to do or make stuff better. This is the part of the entrepreneurial spirit that makes progress happen.

Even if you don’t sell your systems or ideas to others and only use them to enhance your own success, you have that spirit. It’s in the new spreadsheet you made to handle your inventory…or the software you found to do a job that used to take you hours.

Online sellers today are on the front lines of a shopping revolution, and our ideas for change can often be tested at little or no cost. It’s a privilege of being a small business owner in this century. Use your spirit wisely!

Advice for the Entrepreneur: Lee’s Tip #222

09 May 2017 Lee's Tips,Seller Resources

I’m asked all the time about attending events and the importance to an online seller of doing so. I said we should stop calling them events and call them trade shows — that is, until I attended my first eBay Live! convention back in 2003. It was definitely an event. From the food to the parties to the education, it was a party wrapped in a business show.

Trade shows are usually about selling the same widget or service for everyone. At an eBay event, we’re sharpening our entrepreneurial chops: learning new skills and/or discovering new 3rd party tools as well as gaining inspiration. I hope to see you at eBay Open 2017, coming up July 25-28 at the MGM Grand. Registration as well as room reservations are available at http://www.ebayopen2017.com. Vegas babeee!

Advice for the Entrepreneur: Lee’s Tip #221

02 May 2017 Lee's Tips,Seller Resources

Priorities are everything. What is on your “A” list? Here is a simple 3-minute task for each day. First, list all your tasks for today, even the mundane or personal. Then categorize them by levels: A, B, C or D.

“A” items are the must-do’s for today, such as shipping sold items or your 3pm meeting with your child’s teacher. Your “B” list would consist of stuff that if left undone today would result in few if any repercussions; for example, filing your paperwork or cleaning off your file cabinet. “C” items, if left undone, would have little to no negative impact on your business or life.

“D” is for items to delegate whenever possible. This works. Have fun.

Advice for the Entrepreneur: Lee’s Tip #220

25 Apr 2017 Lee's Tips,Seller Resources

Forget the paperless society. It’s not here yet, and chances are you have documents and receipts you need to file. The purpose of filing is to be able to retrieve said document at a moment’s notice. File at least once a week (hint: If you do it every day, it takes 3 minutes or less).

Have a dedicated in-box ONLY for paperwork that needs to be filed. Make yourself a nice cuppa — or a glassa — and file away. I turn on the TV to make it more interesting, then spread all of the filing on a table or desk, put it in order and file.

Seasonal Moments Guide (Downloadable PDF)

23 Apr 2017 Bookmarks,Seller Resources

Download your copy of this free guide to 2017’s seasonal retail moments on eBay:

http://cc.ebay.com/docs/default-source/documents/dmk/global-dmk/ebay_seasonal_moments_guide_2017.pdf

Advice for the Entrepreneur: Lee’s Tip #219

18 Apr 2017 Lee's Tips,Seller Resources

Are you bored with your work? If so, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you haven’t found your passion. For most of you reading this, entrepreneurialism is your passion.

So why are you bored? One big reason: You may not be challenging yourself. One important way to get through this is to keep on learning. I like to mess with new software, so I try new tools for bookkeeping, listing or inventory management. They often come with a free trial period.

Learning also means reading the news to see what’s trending; attending events with other sellers; finding new places to thrift or source products; and generally paying attention to changes in your industry. Part of your boredom could be because you are doing the same thing, with the same tools, for years. Mix it up a bit, and your boredom will ease.

Advice for the Entrepreneur: Lee’s Tip #217

04 Apr 2017 Lee's Tips,Seller Resources

Social media may be robbing you of your profits. Seriously, how much time do you spend checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.? You probably click on them without even thinking.

Try this: remove all social media links from your desktop, task bar and bookmarks toolbar. You’ve made it too easy for these sites to steal your time, which is money. The latest research shows we go to them almost subconsciously, just to see what’s going on. It’s your gateway drug, eating away at your bottom line.

Try checking social media only twice a day — for example, once at lunchtime and once during your afternoon break — and set an alarm. It’s easy to get sucked in.

Advice for the Entrepreneur: Lee’s Tip #216

28 Mar 2017 Lee's Tips,Seller Resources

Entrepreneurs, by definition, are risk takers. You’ve taken risks with your time and money. Maybe you quit your day job to become a full-time online seller. That was an important milestone. Or you decided to rent storage space for your inventory.

Each and every day in the life of an entrepreneur means more risk taking. If you aren’t taking risks, you won’t grow your business to its fullest potential. Everyday risk-taking is fairly benign for online sellers. You can test business theories like using auction format versus fixed price, or try to increase sales by bundling complementary items.

You should be testing your processes all the time to see what works. You don’t have to throw a bunch of money at this; you already have the items and the processes. Go take risks, and grow!

Advice for the Entrepreneur: Lee’s Tip #215

21 Mar 2017 Lee's Tips,Seller Resources

Tt’s true: The best careers are spent living one’s passion. What I wish for you is that you find entrepreneurialism to be your great passion. That means you can sell shoes or shingles, jewelry or jars, with the same gusto.

Newer online sellers haven’t yet reached the stage where entrepreneurialism becomes their passion. Many have an epiphany when a supplier of their “passion” dries up, and they need to switch to another product. Once you realize the spark in you that is entrepreneurialism, you can have a lifetime of independence.

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