April 4, 2020
How to start a food business series: Managing multiple online stores

How to start a food business series: Managing multiple online stores

– Hey guys, it’s Damian
from Marketing Food Online. So I had a great question
from one of my subscribers, and let me get my light on really quick. I’m here in our shop. It’s actually really, really late. I’ve been out with the family, had some dinner and all that good stuff. So really quick, the question was, when you’re selling on multiple platforms, when you’re on Amazon, if you’re on Etsy, if you’re on Ebay and all
of these different channels, how do you keep track of the orders, and what would be a good method to make sure that the
orders get out on time, and then how do you basically
keep track of all of it, was the gist of the question. So in this video I’m gonna
actually show you how I do it. As you may or may not know, we actually have six online stores, and we have listed over 700
items on our Amazon store, we’ve got over I think it’s 300 on Etsy, and it goes on and on and on, so it’s a lot of stuff that we offer, and a lot of different
variations of products. So I wanna show you, take
you through the routine of how I actually keep track of them, and how we fill the orders
here on Marketing Food Online. Take care. Guys, all right, so I got
the camera set up here on one of our shipping tables, so I’m gonna do a really,
really quick video to show you how and explain to you how we actually keep track
of our six stores online. It took quite some time, of course, to build up these stores, and
if of course you don’t know anything about who we are, what we do, I started a small candy
business from our home. We started selling locally with my wife, nearly about 11 years ago now. Before that I owned and operated an Italian bakery and cafe. We had gelato, we did panini
sandwiches and breads, and then we transitioned to being online and selling a lot of our cookies, and a lot of our desserts and such and chocolate covered items online. So we started with a small Ebay store, then we got into our commercial facility, and then began to sell
online through Etsy, and then Ebay, and then
eventually onto Amazon, and then our own website. And we do quite a bit of business, we make a very good living
doing what we do now, but it’s taken quite a while
to build up our business. I’m not gonna lie, it’s
been quite a few years, but we have been working day in and day out for quite some time, and we have a great business now, and over 11 years of
experience being owner and owning my own business. I now have our channel here on YouTube, so I kinda bring you guys
all the tips and tricks, and show you how we do what we do. Our business is 100% online now. We do not have a retail storefront. We sold our bakery, we
got rid of the bakery quite a few years ago, and we are online. So with that being said, really quick, so you understand who I am and what I do, I’m just here in my office,
and I’m gonna show you how we do this. So our business is of course,
like I just said, online. So how does that work? Well, if I get an order, here’s what I do, I offer items through
these different platforms, Amazon, Etsy, and Ebay. So we have our products up there, and we offer most of the
websites that we sell through, we’ll give free shipping
on all of our items, and we do economy shipping, so it gives us a little bit of a window, a timeframe to fulfill the orders in a certain period of time. So here’s how it works, so for an example, on a Monday, let’s say on a Monday you bought something from me, you placed an order on Monday morning. We have a, it’s a 2-3 day window, so let’s say it was January 1st, this is just an example, okay? So on Monday, January 1st,
you place an order with me, now I have to print the shipping label and get the product out, normally by about Wednesday or Thursday. This is gonna be based
upon how you have chosen to offer shipping. We don’t offer a two day shipping where you purchase it
and it’s part of Prime. We do have some products that
are on Prime through Amazon, but the bulk of our items
on Amazon, Etsy, and Ebay are actually just free economy shipping. So there’s a window of a timeframe once you purchase it to
the time you receive it. It’s not something, again, that it is turned around time is Monday and we ship it on Monday
the exact same day that you placed the order. We have a couple of days
to fulfill the order and get it physically to the
shipping service that we chose. And most of the time
it’s actually gonna be the post office, USPS. So on Monday, every single day, of course, as you may or may not know, I’m of course logged in,
I’m online to our shops literally every day except for Sunday. So Monday-Saturday I am on the computer probably about 10-11 hours every day, sometimes it’s longer than that. So I’ll log into all of my accounts, and for that day I’ll
print up all of the orders that have to basically
be made and get packaged, and sent out that day. So I’ll come over here to
our handy dandy computer. I’ll show you really quick. Okay, there it is. So in the morning I log
in, I go onto my laptop, come over here, I print up
all of our shipping labels for orders that have
to go out on that day, so that I physically will
have that label printed. So this is the technique that I use. I’ll grab that label, it comes over here, now the bulk of what we sell by the way are items that we make. There are some items that I do not make, and let me try to adjust this really quick and open this up. I’m on a tripod here, so
let me just open this up. So the bulk of what we actually offer, like I said, is stuff we make. There’s an 80/20 rule
that I have in my business where 80% of what I sell is
products that I actually make, 20% are products that I just flip, things that I turn around and sell, and they’re food related,
I don’t do technology, I don’t do any of that stuff. So we print up the orders, it’s normally early in the morning. I get up every day between 6:00 and 6:30. My day gets started and I go down to get down to our shop, it takes a little time to get there, so once we get there
it’s about seven o’clock. So I’ll start printing up the
shipping labels for the day, and then it goes onto our board to do. This is the handy dandy board. I just used an old box here on the wall. It’s very simple. But I’ll print up the label itself, and it’s a shipping label,
like a shipping label here, and we get it up on the board and it’s kind of that’s the to do list, that’s the day’s inventory, if you will, or those are the day’s orders that need to be made and shipped. So how do I keep track of,
again back to the question, the original question was with all of the different channels? So I log into all of the
different accounts that we have, different stores, and those
orders that are due that day to be physically shipped and made, print ’em up, put ’em on our board by our shipping table, and this
is our shipping table here. So put it on our board,
and then we get started. I have bakers that come in, my wife is here most of the time, and then we have our helpers that come in, of course, and work with us. So candy making and cookies and all that, so there’s a set amount of orders, no matter what the sales platform is, it’s basically done the same way. We print up the shipping labels, get it on the board,
it’s almost like the idea of you operating a restaurant or a cafe. So if you just think about this, so if you came into my
bakery, for instance, and you ordered a panini
sandwich and gelato ice cream, which we made all this stuff from scratch, we did gelatos, we did fresh breads, we did cookies and pastries, and you ordered an eclair,
you ordered a panini, and a scoop of ice cream, so you’d place that order with me, and then we would go ahead
and we would fulfill it, and then that order’s
done when you pay for it, you eat it, you consume it, you’re done. It’s kinda like a restaurant in a sense, your order’s filled, you
get it, and you’re done. And then you can move
on to the next order. Same concept, but being online 100% and really offering as
much fresh stuff that we do when we have cookies, and bundt cakes, and chocolate pretzels, and oreos, the turnaround time, the window, like I mentioned in the
beginning of the video, that is so key for our success is that it gives us that time
frame to make the product. So on Monday I have to ship it by like Wednesday or Thursday. Monday I have two dozen cookies, let’s just use it as an example. So that order comes in
for two dozen cookies, so between Monday and Wednesday I have to make sure I get these baked, packaged, in a box, and
labeled, and out the door. So normally what happens is is that I’ll get the order on a Monday, I’ll probably fulfill it on Tuesday. If it’s a cookie that has to be iced, or depending on the product, if it has to sit for overnight, because the icing has to set and harden, we can’t ship cookies with
icing that’s dripping off, so it depends on the product. So a lot of stuff will go the same day. Some of the stuff will be made, and then baked, and iced,
and has to sit a few hours, and then we can box it, but it gives us a great minimal to almost zero waste. If you can conceive the concept of having a product that
can be paid for in advance, the customer purchases the product, we make it, fulfill the order, ship it, and then we move
on to the next order. So it’s a very smooth flowing business that every single day
we’re getting orders in. We get between, it’ll average
between 40-50 orders a day. Sometimes it’s more than that. Holidays it could be anywhere from 75-100 orders every
single day coming in, and it may not seem like a lot, but our average customer
spends around $24-$25 per transaction with
us, that’s the average, and also this is not accounting for corporate orders and
our wholesale accounts. These are just for those six
online businesses that we have. They do not account for our
corporate, and like I said, our wholesale and bulk orders that we get from quite a few other companies. Those orders are filled
in a different manner. So get the order, print the label, produce the product, put it on the box, get it shipped, and it’s out the door. So the turnaround time is between 2-3 business days at the most. Sometimes it’s faster than that. But this way is actually, compared to our business model when we ran the bakery, when
you have a retail storefront, you gotta have product available and people have to see it. But the bad thing is if you don’t sell fresh cookies or pastries
or gelato ice cream even, within a certain window of time, you have to throw it out,
because it’s not fresh. We don’t use preservatives, we
don’t prolong the shelf life any way, shape, or form, so this type of a business
model is phenomenal. The profit margins are much, much higher, the overhead is less, because of course you’re not dealing with the public. There’s a lot less
insurance and other things that we have to use. Of course we do have insurance, but it’s a different type of
insurance for food production as opposed to it as
when you have customers coming into your place,
sitting down and eating, that’s a whole different
type of ball game. So this method is something that has worked for us nearly 11 years now, and it’s given us an opportunity
to have very low waste. We don’t throw out hardly anything, because everything is
really just made to order, and as our resources, supplies go down, like ingredients and such, we just buy it and get it in bulk, and we
keep it constantly flowing, so it’s also extremely fresh. Cookies are made and shipped within a matter of 48 hours or so, and then they’re out the door, so cakes are the same way, chocolate pretzel rods and everything. So this is kinda how we
balance six stores online. It’s not as overwhelming as some people may think it may be, because you’ve got so
many different items, and they’re in so many different places. Basically it’s just a
repetitive, very structured, but very, it’s habitual, it’s a habit. So every day I make it a habit
to login to the accounts, of course, I gotta be online
and run the business every day and be present here, so printed out the labels, going to Ebay, Etsy, and Amazon, all those orders that are due, let’s say, on a Monday, print the labels up, put ’em together, put ’em on the board, get ’em prioritized, and make the product, and ship it. And that’s just the same
thing we do every day. And that could work with anything. If you’re not making your
own products to order, if it’s not fresh, that’s fine. If you have a warehouse, if you got a big commercial facility, and you’re stocking a large
amount of food products, and maybe you’re just reselling foods, the same method could be used for that. It’s just a matter of
taking the orders online, printing your shipping labels, making sure you have a notation. I put it on the back. I’ll show you really quick. So for instance the label here, I gotta make some cookies,
this is a notation, you may not be able to read it, but this is a notation of a
type of cookie that we make. It’s two dozen, so it’s 24 cookies, I make a note of the flavor,
I put it on our board, our bakers get it done, put it
in a box, it’s out the door. Very simple. So to answer that question in 11 minutes, that’s pretty much the gist of how we operate from day to day. Of course there’s a lot of other things that go on throughout the day. Believe it or not, the
other thing that we do, as I mentioned in one of our other videos, we have a lot of different
sources of income that we’ve created over the years, which is something that I
have learned over the years, because like many of you, I had a job, and I only relied on that paycheck, but I wish I knew 20
years ago what I know now. That would’ve been much different, but that’s okay. So what I mean by that is that not only do we have six stores that we operate, but we have multiple YouTube channels. My son and I actually, we have
a handful of kids’ channels that are very, very
successful on YouTube as well, so we do a lot of filming videos of those, as well as marketing food here, and of course I have
the consulting business where I work with some of you through the email consultation, and even the one hour phone consulting services that we offer as well. So I stay very, very busy, but it is what I do, and I
love to do it every single day, so that’s what drives me to do what I do. So all in all that is how we operate it. So if you have any questions
about how this works, and how it can work for you, just let me know down below. I’d be happy to answer any questions, and of course, if you need
something more in depth, we of course have the consulting available as I just mentioned, and I could work with you directly on that as well. So if this was an informative video and helped you out, please do as always, give me a big thumbs up, and I appreciate you guys’ feedback, whether it’s good or bad, honest feedback is always the best. So I’ll see you guys on the next video.

3 thoughts on “How to start a food business series: Managing multiple online stores

  1. I am interested in wholesale. There is a company here in Maryland that is all dessert and sources from independent companies. I want to do that!

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