Things I Wish I Knew Last BFCM
Late last week I shared a room with over 300 other entrepreneurs for 48 hours in San Diego at Commerce Roundtable. My biggest takeaway wasn’t conversion rate optimization, or ways to boost your AOV, but a simple one… start being happy with what you have. The sooner you’re content with what you have the sooner you will feel personal happiness.
There’s always going to be a bigger dog. Somebody who has more money. A larger business. More employees. Being able to be happy for them but also happy with where you’re at is key to a life worth living.
Without this perspective you may fall into the trap of renting or buying that big house you can’t afford, buying watches to impress people who don’t care about you, or renting cars to impress girls who still think you’re ugly.
Less is more.
Unless it’s with Chic Fil A, otherwise I’ll always take more.
So what did I learn flying out to San Diego?
My Favorite Learnings from Commerce Roundtable 🧠
The best brands have operators that are 100% focused on their mission. They cut out all the shiny objects and only focus on one thing each and every day. This hit home because I’ve been flying so much I feel like I’m an American Airlines employee. After the next few weeks of travel, I need to stay put, focus on the business, lock in and get ready to end the year as profitable and in the best position as possible.
Nearly 100% of the people I spoke with said that if they were starting a brand today the #1 skillset they’d lean into is getting good at making creative content. The Tik Tok, the selfies, the founder videos. Your #1 job as a marketer is to create views and leave a lasting image about a product or brand to your consumers. It may be cringy or uncomfortable at first, but you have to do it. I’m so good at writing but so bad at video and making speeches. That ends today.
We spend tens of thousands of dollars on Facebook ads, but are so unwilling to invest money into the content behind the ads. I thought more about this because it’s easy to spend money on FB and justify it because you’re seeing money back (hopefully at least at break even) the same day. When you go to create content that’s a 100% gamble on yourself and no cash back until you start running the ads. From there you have to see an increased ROAS on that ad compared to what you were running before and then you can map out how long it takes from that new content to pay for itself.
Holiday shipping charges start in October. If you ship with FedEx they are going to tack on a $7 surcharge. Adding a $7 fee to our current unit economics with our ROAS would break out contribution margin goals. We are looking for a new carrier immediately to get us through the winter.
BFCM PREP ✏️
If you’re still preparing for Black Friday or haven’t even start yet, don’t worry you’re not alone yet. On Friday we had one of our weekly Founders Club meetings where 17 people shared their strategies, last year’s mistakes and things they were thinking about. Here were my favorite ideas.
Set a company-wide goal. Units sold, top-line revenue, and contribution margin were the top three discussed. Last year we didn’t have any of this. It was “oh I hope we do better than last year”.
Make sure your email flows are on point. We just officially moved over to Sendlane 4 weeks ago so making sure that every flow has been copied over the Klaviyo and has the most up-to-date product upsells, imagery, and talking points. Create a holiday email flow if your prices are going to be marked down or you have a special offer. Make sure its as up to date as possible.
Do whatever you can to not give away margin. Can you bundle in a product for free instead to preserve some margin? Offer some type of compelling offer such as a gift card for $50 worth of value for $15, knowing that AOV on your site is $100+
My friend Aaron from Hush went on a rant about how his VP of Marketing forced them to change their strategy last year and instead they gave away their best selling item for free when they bought enough of the Tier 2 SKUS. Most of us as operators want to give away the shitty SKUS, but consumers want to do anything to get the good product they don’t want to spend to get shit
Don’t just assume you can run a 10% or 20% off sale because you did so last year. Look at your updated margins. Freight has changed. Manufacturing costs have gone up. Pick & pack + holiday surcharges. Run every number and dial into a contribution margin you’re actually happy with.
Do as much as possible during the weeks leading up the BFCM to get new potential customers in the pipeline. Can you do a social giveaway? Partner with a brand? Run a competition. These new top of funnel leads are going to be the hungriest to spend money with your brand.
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That’s it for this week!