On this week's episode, Coran talks to former client Marcin about the business he sold including sticking to a target audience, systemizing his business and the handover process after selling.
- Brands & Target markets
- The Handover Process
- Talking to your Staff
- Life after the Sale
- Positivity, Happiness & Mindset
Mentioned in this episode:
We're live. Okay. Today I'm very excited to welcome to the show my friend Marcin, who was also a former client of ours. Marcin was actually, I'm not sure if you know this mate, you were our first client that we sold when we started the FBA broker.
Brilliant. Yeah, I know that it's was great to kind of be in the beginning and going through that process with you guys.
Yeah, absolutely. Cool. We'll just jump straight in. It'll be a little bit different. We've done a few client interviews and more interested in learning a little bit more about you and what you're doing now. We will talk about the sale process as well to close that loop. Would you like to introduce yourself and maybe just start with what you were doing before you started the brand and started selling on Amazon?
No, problem. My name is Marcin Chaszczewski. Chaszczewski it's a weird sounding Polish name cause I'm originally from Poland and I moved to Ireland 12 years ago. I am what you would call normally a serial entrepreneur. Which is basically somebody who always has new ideas and starts new businesses. The whole business and entrepreneurial thing wasn't new for me at the time of starting and selling the Amazon brand. I had had a few businesses, some of them failed, some of them are still going today. At some point when I had my last business kind of streamlined and systematized in a way that I found I had more time on my hands again I decided to start looking around for some new ideas and opportunities. I think the timing was right as well because I kind of got into a like product design. I was always kind of a designer type but it was always like flooded design which will be web or print. While at the time I got excited about 3D design, which you like coming up with product ideas and all that. I didn't even know about the Amazon at the time and the private label opportunity. I think the timing was right because then at the time when I was considering designing some products I learned about the FBA private label Amazon kind of concept. I dove right into it. I could say that I got obsessed with the whole concept with the whole idea. My wife will tell you that I was listening to everything I could I hit my loud speaker system in my car broken so I put my phone between my chin and my shirt while I was driving so I could listen to more podcasts. I was really going crazy there. I dove right in because I loved the idea.
There's a couple interesting pieces about your business that I really want to dig into before we go into the sale process real quick. As always there's NDA’s in place so we can't talk about the specific products or niches. We'll just talk in generalities. Number one of the amazing decisions you made was to create a brand and a product suite that served the same target market. How did you come up with that as a concept? What led you down that path? Cause it played a part when it came time to sell the business.
Yes, absolutely. That was definitely a good decision. Let me start by saying that although I really you know explored the whole idea of like Private Label and the whole Amazon selling thing. I didn't believe a word they were saying on those podcasts. I basically, I came from this traditional ecommerce world where you build your Magento store for 12 months and then you make it live. You then will wait six months for your first sale and then you wait another two months for another sale and then maybe things will pick up while here. These guys are saying like you know you just put it up there and you start selling was like, Nah, that's not possible. I decided I wanted to do a test. Right, okay, let's see if it's even remotely true. What I did was some really quick product research not going like crazy, just a few days of product research, quick decision and sourced a product from Alibaba that basically just look slightly nicer than the rest. It wasn't special at all. I did that only for the purpose of checking if it was actually true about the sales being generated on Amazon after that trade. I made the listing, took some pictures at home and literally sold my first unit the second day of making it live. At this moment, I was like okay this is real and now I started to believe in all that.
The moment I sold my second unit, I already knew what was going to happen. Okay. I'm not in the business you know the first day. I know how market works and it's obviously if the opportunity is good, competition will arrive very quickly. Okay. It wasn't as bad as it is now, obviously, in terms of like people being aware of the opportunity. I already knew that day that I need to do something differently. In order to prepare myself for all the competitors that will eventually come. I started to do what I really wanted to do initially, which is designing a product. I took that initial Alibaba product and completely redesigned it. Went into custom moulding, creating a brand. It took a while because I had to learn all that myself.
I wasn't an expert in product design or manufacturing and injection moulding and all that at all. It took awhile but an interesting thing happened. You need to imagine that the moment that new custom designed product arrived on Amazon and I started to sell that one all the people that sold the initial product, the Alibaba one started to sell the same product that day. While they were fighting for my initial choice for the initial Alibaba product, I started selling the new one, the custom one. In a way you could say that I was one step ahead and I literally didn't have to worry about them fighting. They aren’t going crazy in terms of bringing the price down. I knew this was the way to go. Like it was way less stressful because I wasn't competing that much. From that moment I decided, okay, every next product that I will ever put out to the market will be custom made, custom designed, custom moulded, basically brand new and completely different. I think that was the good decision.
Oh, for sure. There's so much in that just simple story that you just told them. I'd like to highlight a couple of these things that I think there's nuances in a story like that that people may not pick up on. I'll just mention a couple of them from my perspective. Obviously, this is where investors or buyers see value in a business as well. You're playing defence from day one. You learnt about selling by Amazon but you didn't take their word you dipped your toe in and tried it for yourself. You didn't go all in at the beginning just because someone else told you to do something. You also realized very quickly that if it was that easy for you to do, it's going to be that easy for everyone else to do. Sometimes we talk to entrepreneurs in the space that it got started and then they're surprised when people also find their niche.
It's just a of time with the amount of software tools and things you can use now. I think you were really spot on that shows entrepreneurial maturity and from my perspective to be on defence from day one and say how do I build this? It's more sustainable. You may or may not have known but more valuable when it came time to sell. That was a really good decision. I'd also like to talk about a key piece that you mentioned as well, which helped us and we can kind of skip forward into the sale and handover process. This goes hand in hand. You mentioned that your other business was systematized and virtually running without you with minimal time investment from you. Where did you first learn about that and when did you start implementing systems into your Amazon brand?
Sure. Generally, you could say that I was maybe always slightly systematized in a way that my brain works but it's not. It doesn't come naturally to me in a way. If you ask my mom if I was systematized she would literally laugh at you. I think it was more from the sides of things like, okay, how can you arrange things so you don't have to do much so you can start something new probably you know do something else. I think it just came from this passion and need for doing more things, new things that means that the first thing that you're starting must be somehow organized so it doesn't need you anymore. Of course, I've learned from the masters of the fields it all started with E-Myth the book and then went from there and I tried to implement some kind of systematization in most of business that I did. One of the businesses that I have was a manufacturing business. We had like proper manufacturing plant with warehouses and machines. What I've learnt is that when I got introduced to the whole manufacturing process, I saw how un-systematized it can be if you don't utilize the current technologies. Okay. The manufacturing was you know, fairly streamlined. But when I came into the business and I started to implement the new technologies, the internet all the it stuff that business was literally transformed.
I learned a lot of that in that business as well in terms of Amazon the story is that every time you start a new business as an entrepreneur you have this idea that this time I will make it perfect. This time I will learn everything and this time we'll be perfect. I thought, okay, I'm starting a new thing. This is looking good, this is promising. Let me do it, literally according to the book. I started doing that from the get go. I think again, that was a very good decision and that sort of led to the perfect transition that. I have to say I started from the very beginning of building that business to put all the systems in place that I did.
Absolutely. Okay let's switch gears and move forward in the process a little bit. The high points of this brand and this business, why we eventually got a great offer, which was essentially what we asked for which is great. Was due to three things. One, the brand had products that served the same target market as we mentioned at the start of the call, which is awesome. There was a lot of room as well to expand into other product offerings. It had a good brand name. That's one of the things that the buyer mentioned was this is a great brand name. He had some products in mind that he launched under your brand name immediately, which is awesome. That was a nice little win but also the systems that you'd set up, the staff that you had in place running this business, he could actually leverage for his existing Amazon based business.
He was newer to Amazon although already selling there, his products are mostly outside of Amazon. He was looking to leverage the systems that you'd created and the staff to his current business. I've spoken to him since then and it went pretty well.
That created a lot more interest in closing on your deal than any other option that was on the market at the time, which was awesome. We got the offer, once we negotiated everything, everything is verified, we got to the purchase agreement stage and then there was a handover process. Because of your systems in place, the handover was much smoother and the buyer had more confidence in that going through. But could you just give us a quick snapshot of how that actually worked from your perspective as the seller doing the handover with those systems in place?
Sure. You could generally say that the business was pretty ready to be taken over. I had in place all the foundations and that I often talk about which is basically a company Wiki Wikipedia, which stores all the information that may be potentially needed by somebody who is running the business or somebody who's helping in the business. Just to give you an example to the listeners in Wiki, you could have all the all the customer service templates and canned responses to other questions. Our Wiki was heavily developed. Okay. On top of that we use task management systems. He also took over that. I'm also probably the, the nice part of the handover was that and I had a agreement with my own VA virtual assistant and that when it comes to selling the business, she will be happy to work with the new buyer for a set amount of time.
I think we had like three months. They're in the agreement and she did that which also was like very helpful for the buyer from what I know, because literally nothing changed, right. She he had a person who's already doing most of the daily day to day activities. He took over that as well. On top of that, I'm sure he learned a lot by just seeing how we do things and you know, how the system the task management is organized and how the Wiki looks and how all the files are organized and all that I'm sure. Now here. I really want to say like one thing about the virtual assistants and that transition because I think that's kind of important. Many of you guys that are listening to potentially have already a virtual assistant and what I would suggest is to really be open with them about your potential idea of selling the business.
Okay. You don't want to end up happening is you talking to Coran your broker your potential buyers about selling the business and then one day it happens and then you have to inform your team that you spend so much time building that, okay, this is your new guy. You hopefully you'll stay and help this guy out for a few months and would you mind doing that? That's not the right thing to do it and right way to do it because first of all they may not agree. They may feel betrayed, they may feel basically not great about the whole idea because you basically didn't share that idea with them. I guess that may not go too well with the buyer. Okay. Because you talk when you sell the business and as we had our calls with Coran, with the new buyers, potential buyers, they ask those questions, you know, do you have VA's? Will they work with me during the transfer period on that? You may say yes and then your VA's may basically disappeared the moment you sell the business. That probably may be dangerous to the deal I would say maybe. Absolutely. Yeah. What I really want to like stress that honesty is always the best policy or anything. Do that with your VA's and have some incentives. My VA got a very nice bonus because I believe she was the part of the team, part of me building the business. That bonus was there for her as well. From what I know, she actually does few hours still to the new buyer. I think that's brilliant.
Awesome. Yeah, I think that's really good advice to when appropriate, prepare stuff for the transition and just let them know that you're thinking about it. Oftentimes, a lot of our clients that do this realize that their staff want to stay on, in some cases they really love the brand they're working for or in other cases they just like their job and they want to keep that job. It's not always doom and gloom but obviously when I work with in the timeframe you're not talking about it too early or talking about it too late. I'd definitely talk to your advisor and loop them in at the best time would be my suggestion cause that could vary greatly. No that's really helpful. Just going back to the systems before that you mentioned I wanted to jump in but you went off on the staff tangent, which was actually very helpful. I let you go but I wanted to just close one loop in my head, which was on using your processes procedures. During the handover I saw a couple of times in emails where you were actually referencing sections of the Wiki and linking directly to there. You were kind of helping the buyer find his own answer and then because he had that link, oh, it's in there and pointing back to the systems and processes made it a lot easier. Right. Because then he realized, yes, there they're all there. That was a good reminder.
Yes, exactly. I mean, that transition periods. Again, it depends but for a seller it may be like a stressful period, right? Because in a way, you're handing over your business and you're not actually a hundred percent sure of like how maybe educated in the Amazon selling space is the new buyer. You never can kind of imagine how many questions they may have during the period and the transition period. How will that actually look? In our case, I think you could definitely say it was, it went very smooth. We had literally a handful of, of calls or video calls that I went through a few things with the new buyer and yeah as you said the other thing was just exchange of emails where I generally would point them back to either Wiki or some kind of procedure or process that was already there.
Yeah. And that was awesome. I loved seeing that. Of course we will link to this in the show notes absolutely. But you actually run a training program to help people systematize the Amazon business as well. Would you like to tell us just a little bit about that?
Sure. Basically when as I said, I started to do the whole thing properly from the get go and I kind of got myself into the Amazon community, like in Facebook groups. It turned out that people were kind of impressed with like the way I have. It's kind of laid out and systematized. They were asking me questions. I decided to help them out initially. Then from that basically I've created a training program. I live under amazingworksystem.com and that's where I kind of write about those things. I do occasionally shoot videos about the subjects and the Wiki is the virtual assistants. Generally on top of that, there is a full kind of big program that takes you through the whole step of like how to go from zero to a systematized business. It's really kind of directed to Amazon sellers because the whole thing is based on my examples of that brand that eventually got sold.
Awesome. Yeah and after going through the whole transfer handover process, I can highly vouch for Marcin's systems. Definitely check that out and you've got some free training there so people can see what it's all about before jumping into any sort of paid program.
Absolutely. If you just go to, to the, to the amazingworksystem.com and there's free stuff that you can download. There's actually a very nice sample process because some people may not even kind of imagine of how, what the process actually is and how it may look in the Amazon business as you can download that free process. From that you can, see some of the free training counts it's all there for free initially. Yes.
Awesome. No, that's great. So definitely check that out. We'll link to that in the show notes as well. I will I'm not quite done just yet. This is actually our second attempt at recording this. I had a total meltdown with my audio equipment last time we tried to do this but it was a happy accident because we got talking about multiple streams of income. I know that you have a pretty interesting setup. Let's dive into what you are doing now, what you focus on and if you'd like to share the story that you mentioned at your child's school with meeting some of the other parents. If we could get to that at the end, that would be pretty cool. It was a, it an interesting story.
What are you up to now and how many different streams of income or business businesses are you operating at the moment? Sure. Basically after, after selling the brands I kind of took it easy for a few months and then a concentrated more on the system of training. I do have that going and the course and I do a little bit of consulting that and on top of that I did start a new Amazon brand. We calling it Amazon you know brand in quotation marks. I did that but again this time I went even more crazy in terms of customization and making it harder for people to jump in on the niche, on the product. Again, it took longer than I anticipated but as I was explaining the harder it is for you the harder it will be for others.
I don't see any disadvantage of it being hard. I'm launching that and at the moment on top of that, I do a little bit of a marketing consulting as well. I do have the previous businesses that I mentioned before. I mean what I probably maybe should have mentioned before is that I'm currently back in Poland after 12 years in Ireland. As I said in the beginning, we eventually move back home and to Poland. Generally you could say, I have a nicely set up work life, which basically I work from home. All the businesses are run online and I generally enjoy my time with with my daughter and my family. I really appreciate too for everything what happens including the sale of the business, which, which helped with the whole thing as well.
But I'm just always still open for learning from other people. I was telling a story to Coran was that we have a new school for our daughter in Poland after the move and we're meeting new People, right? You're meeting new parents and luckily many of them are again, in an entrepreneurial space. Some of them are even like big business people and investors and stuff like that. I'm always like open to hear what they have to say and learn from them. But what I kind of find is that those people want to learn from me about the setup the fact that I work from home the fact that I feel that I'm not stressed as much and I do have time to spend time with my family and my daughter. It's kind of funny where I would expect to learn a lot from them but they keep asking me those questions about the setup. I think that is kind of interesting and I guess it's a sign that I guess I'm doing something right.
Yeah, absolutely. And I kind of I'm not sure if we mentioned this too much on our last call but one thing I was really impressed with you from the beginning right the way through is you've been at your level of happiness and general happiness in day to day life stays very consistent. It's never super high but it's never super low. It's just always happy always smiling when I talked to you which is awesome. Even when things we're kind of bumpy through the sale process or whatever was happening. You just have this ability to stay positive no matter what's going on. How would you suggest people or do you have any tips or frameworks for how someone could stay positive and stay happy? Often people think that an exit is the way to get happy and once the money hits the bank they'll be happy. But what we were discussing last time is it's a choice to be happy and you can be happy right now regardless.
Yes, definitely. This is a subject for a huge podcast there. But I will I would start with the fact that everything is a choice and everything. You can prioritize everything as well and you should prioritize your happiness as well. In a way, when you look at other people and people's life, you could generally say, okay, you just don't make the decision to make happiness or free time or time with your daughter or generally a less stress as your priority. Your kind of choosing that yourself. I'm not saying that those people are choosing it consciously, they may be doing it unconsciously because it's always been like that. To get to that level of like, okay, how can I get out of the unconscious decision making in my life to conscious? I think again, it will always come back to what we would call self-development and you can do it different ways. I can tell you how I do it. I always listen to audiobooks for example. I never listened to a radio. You can ask everybody I know there's always audible playing in my car and I play it at 2.2 speed sometimes so I can listen to even more. I'm in a constant kind of education and self-development. On top of that, I do have like proper morning routines where I try to incorporate meditation there as some journaling and all that. Not saying that I do it because people always think that, oh Jesus, he does it every day. Really. I tried and didn't work for me. It doesn't work for everyone every day you need like you need to know, okay, so if everybody says I do meditation, they don't mean they do it every day. They mean they tried to do it their best to do it every day. Just to clear that up because I don't want to stress anybody instead of, you know, helping. I tried to do that and again happiness, free time with my daughter is like literally on top of my list.
Absolutely. No, that's a really big help there. I think a lot of time to think, oh, I've got to do a hundred things each day to be happy. You can just start with one or two things and layer on top of that. If you don't hit it one day with us, it's travel. When we're traveling, sometimes I miss meditating and miss my morning routine and that kind of throws me out for a day or two sometimes. But then you jump back on the horse and get straight back into it. Right? We're big fans of audio books too. We just did a massive drive to my wife's family's house where back in Australia at the moment and we almost finished an audio book on the drive up there and back. That was pretty cool. It was my second time listening to it. My wife's first time a book called Wealth Can't Wait, which I think I mentioned this to you last time. Amazing book. A lot of that is mind set and choosing what you're doing as well. I'm right there with you mate. I think that mindset is key number one, skillset to build. It's something that you need to, you need to put in the reps too to make it work. You can't just read one book, listen to one audiobook, listen to podcasts, meditate once in your done and it's something you need to constantly work on. You will see those results over time. Absolutely. I hope people got a lot of value out of the call today with you. I know I did and I love anytime I get to talk to you as a good time, I always end up smiling at the end of the call. Thank you for that. Thank you for being a mate and a client as well. Is there any way in particular other than what you've already mentioned, which is amazingworksystems.com that people can reach out to you and see what you're up to and maybe, connect with you?
Sure because of my surname is kind of hard for me to like even guide you somewhere else. I think if you know, amazing work system that come itself, you would maybe want to, you know, reach out directly to me. You can email me again. It's Marcin, it's m, a, R, C, I, N. It's like Martin would see instead of t @Amazingworksystem.com so you can email me there and if you're in Facebook groups, if you google Marcin and systems I'll probably come up somewhere there. Definitely feel free to reach out. I'll be happy to help in any way I can.
Perfect. Well thanks so much brother. Thanks for coming on the call and you know, like I said, we'll link to everything in the show notes and highly recommend checking out much and stuff and uh, yeah, thanks once again and have a great day.
Perfect. Thank you. Thank you for having me on the call. Cheers.
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