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Well, here we are. I’ve been bursting at the seams to introduce post about a business I started about 2 months ago.

It’s a new take on an old idea for me – reselling via eBay. But the twist is that I’m also uploading original content I create that is related to my product to YouTube in hopes of eventually monetizing my business through multiple streams of income:

  • Revenue from product sales
  • YouTube ad revenue
  • Patreon revenue from supporters / “customers”
  • Whatever else I manage to find or think of along the way

The business is going through a few growing pains I hope to iron out as I go along. It’s had slow traffic to start (no marketing) and I’ve already had to rename it, but we’re getting there.

For now, 100% of revenue comes through product sales, which will change over time. Using an established marketplace in eBay helps. As I get Patreon patrons, and unlock the ability to run YouTube ads I believe they could replace the bulk of my expected revenue.

But that’s enough intro for now, let’s talk about some strengths and weaknesses the business has…

What I like about the niche I’m in:

  • I am interested in it as a hobby
  • Large potential market
  • Strong future projections

What I don’t like:

  • Relatively crowded space
  • 3rd party risk
  • I’m having to stretch myself past my comfort zones

Let’s go into those a bit more before I talk about the business itself.

What I like

Business as a Hobby

This business was ultimately borne of a problem I had with “leftovers” from a hobby I enjoy.

It allows me to spend time and attention doing what I would otherwise, and make some extra money! Not only that, but it ensures that I will continue to put in time and energy.

Most companies I’ve started that ultimately failed did so because my heart wasn’t in them. It’s one thing to have an okay or even a great idea, but you have to be in love with it if you’re going to be successful in the long term.

Having customers matters a lot in business

Ensuring there is a large available market for people to consume your product is crucial if you want to have a functioning business that does more than take away your time.

In no way does this mean it won’t be hard work even if the potential market is huge. But the goal of course is to eventually have a large enough customer base and scaled systems to be able to work less, not more!

In many cases you can make do with a handful of customers that pay top dollar for a specialized product or service. However the nature of this particular business is not aligned with that model as the typical price point is a little lower.

Looking ahead is important

Nobody knows what the future holds, but every business must be aware of both potential tragedies AND opportunities.

Assessing the prospects of your business against a 2008-style recession or a prolonged period of growth early on will help stack more odds in favor of your success down the road.

Are the customer-base and social media communities growing? Will the overall industry face challenges from globalization or artificial intelligence? There’s too much to consider, but generally you can get a sense if your chosen industry is growing or in decline.

The main idea is to avoid being a horse buggy salesman in a world of automobiles.

What I don’t like

Not a blue ocean

The industry I’ve decided to enter is not a new one, and in fact has many established companies that have been doing it for decades.

Now that doesn’t mean I can’t compete or that there isn’t money to be made, but without creativity and a lot of hard work, it’s a doomed mission.

Relying on others can be disastrous

Many businesses, even “solopreneurs” rely on others – employees, contractors, and other businesses like vendors and software providers to name a few.

However, when you resell products, the popularity of that product can sometimes change. Especially if the company backing it makes a wrong pivot or goes under entirely.

Double-especially if you are participating in a fad-driven trend (remember Beanie Babies, anyone?)

To the extent you are able, building redundancy into your business wherever possible will help mitigate this risk. If there are two suppliers for the same widget, try to start a relationship with both. Diversify your income away from single-sourced products as much as possible. Most importantly, remove yourself as a roadblock to work (if it’s not just you).

Growth is hard

To really make this new business succeed, I’m having to grow in 2 areas.

First, extroversion and community engagement are actually a large part of the unique angle to my business. But I’m skeptical of social media and am primarily an introvert.

By forcing myself to publish creative content I am putting myself out to the world in a more public way than I’ve been used to. Fortunately the relative anonymity of obscurity is working in my favor.

Additionally, there are technical aspects to running this business that I need, but lack the skills to do currently. I’ve never had to use Google Ads or other monetization platforms. I even learned how to upload videos to YouTube to kick this business off.

Not only that, but eventually I’ll be creating a “private” storefront that will use some currently-not-yet-existing technology to automatically adjust the prices of my items relative to the market in “real-time” for those with access to the store.

How is my business doing 2 months in?

So far, okay.

As you can see in the image below, my revenue has been pretty spiky, with most sales averaging around $11 an order. As you can see I had some larger sales for pricier items as well as some days with multiple orders that totaled a higher amount.

Some other notes: I’m averaging about .8 sales per day, or basically I get an order about every 4 out of 5 days. Sometimes though I can go several days without orders.

Also this is entirely via eBay, but without any marketing spend. I have not started or attempted to drive any sort of paid traffic to capture revenue. Obviously there are also additional fees and costs that are not included in these numbers (revenue, not profit).

My new Business

But this isn’t the only part of my business. There’s the YouTube channel and Patreon, as well. While I will happily give a better update on these in a future post, for now, let’s keep it light.

Patreon…well…all I can say is….Thanks mom and dad! I’m still working on making a valuable offer to my patrons to entice people to support me. Hopefully will have an update on that to come.

YouTube hasn’t been MUCH better, but I have a handful of subscribers and my videos are getting some organic traffic. Realistically, most of that is probably friends and family too, but you gotta start somewhere!