šŸ›©ļø

Issue #41 - The AeroDrawings Debrief šŸ›©ļø

Publication Date
Dec 18, 2020

Welcome to TrashPandaThoughts, a newsletter written by Mr. Trash, the Founder of Trash Panda Capital.

image

Just a brief update about our newsletter - we are moving to bi-weekly publications on Friday now.

On to todays topic - a debrief about AeroDrawings, where I am going to share what the store was like when I bought it, changes I have made so far, and what the future holds.

Number Problems šŸ’¹

Quite honestly, I screwed up on this one. While I asked the questions about revenue, I didn't ask the right ones.

Monthly revenue was lower than expected, mainly because I missed the critical step of asking how much the store made monthly, assuming that it was I asked how much it made total and made a error in assuming that it was making $3500 a month in revenue after looking at the numbers.

Ask the right questions about the numbers, don't assume. šŸ¤”

Monthly revenue is closer to $500-700 per month, which means I am losing between $300-500 a month, due to the monthly payments required for the purchase (which last until December 2021).

I'm glad I learned this lesson now, rather than when I am dealing with six or seven figure purchases. If needed, I can turn around and sell the site for a quick buck due to the assets value, but for now, I am going to hold.

Steps I have taken to correct this include decreasing abandoned carts, reactivating old customers, offering discounts, marketing, and working to improve the conversion rate to drive the bottom line.

Marketing is king šŸ“ŗ

If people don't know your store, product, or business exists, then it is destined to fail. šŸ“‰

One of the good things that AeroDrawings has is more than four years of history. This helps immensely when working to improve SEO and organic traffic, which is one of our largest sources of traffic.

With that though, there has been no marketing ever for the website.

Nothing, not even an email. āœ‰ļø

Social media accounts were setup (Pinterest & Instagram), and I was able to get a good email list of 160 individuals, but I was shocked that none of this was leveraged.

Pinterest posed a massive problem also. Due to issues with the transfer, the seller and I were locked out of the account. I spent about three weeks getting stonewalled by customer support, before getting access by literally harassing the CEO and Global Head of Customer Success over email.

Don't be afraid to contact the C-suite to get a resolution to your problem āš ļø

Some of the solutions I have implemented to help improve marketing has included: Email Marketing Campaigns (especially for Holidays & with discounts), relaunching the Pinterest site, creating a Facebook page, and opening a blog.

In the future, I'll be ramping up Social Media Marketing (especially on Instagram), launching discounts in sync important aviation events (First Flights, Wars, etc), testing paid advertising on aviation websites, and creating a regular cadence with the blog. āœļø

Making it easier for customers to convert šŸ›’

When I got the store, the products were a mess. There were at least 200 products, some of them separate versions of the same one.

The titles were garbage, and descriptions were full of jargon that made no sense. It made me sad as an aviation geek to see such poor taste and care for the store. šŸ˜¢

I had some products listed that I didn't even have in my possession, due to them being in the microfilm format.

Overall, the store had the look of a Chinese drop shipping site, with terrible images, logos, and formatting that made it atrocious on mobile and in some cases even desktop. šŸ‡ØšŸ‡³

Conversion was a massive issue, and continues to be one. Conversion rates when I got the store were under 1%, but have improved to 2%. My goal is to get it to 5% or higher as time goes on.

Make it easy for the customer to purchase products, not hard šŸšµ

The first thing I went and did was to deactivate and delete all of the physical products.

This makes it easier to get customers to one product with multiple variations (DVD, USB Drive and Digital Download formats), and made it so it also took full advantage of Shopify's digital download functionality.

I also went through each product and added better photos, titles and descriptions. This is key, as having titles that make no sense, descriptions that are meaningless, and terrible photos makes the customer experience subpar. šŸ˜¶

Additional changes to make things easier for customers purchase included a total site redesign and adding discounts, popups and coupon banners. These help to improve conversion and make the website more trustworthy than before.

Plans for the future involve more work to decrease abandoned carts, increase conversion, tweaking product listings, selling via Shopify on other platforms, and also begin listing products I have that aren't being sold right now. šŸ›’

I'm also evaluating selling printed products and apparel with aircraft diagrams on them to widen the customer base.

Am I happy with the purchase? šŸ›ļø

Absolutely.

Even though I sometimes get upset, stressed and tired of the issues with the store, the improvements that I have made in two months have been awesome. I'm beginning to see that customers are returning and getting engaged with the site, which is a massive sign that there is potential for it to grow. šŸ“ˆ

It's been a huge confidence boost to myself, and has proven that I am capable of making a name for myself in the Private Equity industry. It's also helped to spark my interest in other revenue streams.

I know that I made some mistakes, and learned some lessons along the way, but overall, I'm excited to move up and on to bigger and better deals. šŸš€

Other TPC News šŸ—žļø

I've also been hard at work with other Trash Panda Capital Related developments, such as:

More to come on this and other developments, but in the meantime, enjoy the holidays, and I will see you in the new year!

Until next time,

Mr. Trash šŸ¦

Catch me on Twitter @mrtrash757 ! šŸ¦

Click the buttons below to share the post or subscribe! šŸ‘‡