Ep. #1085 - Software Tools for Managing Your Amazon Business
In today’s episode of Startup Hustle, we’re giving A-list tips on software tools for managing your Amazon business. Take the time to listen to Andrew Morgans and Marc Jepsen, CEO of ManageByStats, and their advice on utilizing tools. Moreover, these Amazon pros also discuss the value that Carbon6 and ManageByStats bring to the table.
Covered In This Episode
When you’re a player in the e-commerce market, efficiency plays a significant role in your success. That is why looking into software tools for managing your Amazon business is essential.
Andrew and Marc have the best tips to help you if you don’t know where to start. These experts tackle what Carbon6 and ManageByStats do and how your business can benefit from them. They also discuss KPI dashboards and successfully starting with a new product on your shelf.
This Startup Hustle episode is dedicated to assisting every e-commerce business owner. We hope it helps you to help your business grow.
- Marc’s backstory (02:08)
- The story of Marc’s first products on Amazon (04:34)
- On learning lessons the hard way (07:40)
- Getting to know ManageByStats (14:04)
- The answer to improving your business lies in the numbers (16:39)
- Getting around Amazon’s Terms of Service (21:04)
- The ManageByStats and Carbon6 relationship (24:42)
- What can ManageByStats provide to Amazon sellers? (31:04)
- What is Mark most excited about right now? (41:15)
How do we make sure our branding is on point? We communicate that with our customers, and we have a good customer experience.– Marc Jepsen
The beauty of Carbon6 is that it takes all of these tools that an Amazon seller needs. Put them into an ecosystem, but not just combining all the software and making it one suite. That’s been talked about forever.– Marc Jepsen
The requirements for us, on the agency side, number one, is it just keeps everybody honest and makes sure we’re checking the right things. But it really helped me take that step in telling me what to focus on. And I think people [do] not underestimate but undervalue.– Andrew Morgans
Finding the right software developer can be difficult—that’s a fact. This is precisely why Full Scale created solutions to help you build a software development team quickly and affordably. When you use the platform, defining your project needs only takes two minutes. And you will be automatically matched with a fully vetted, highly qualified team of developers, testers, and leaders. Make recruitment easier today!
Did you know? Startup Hustle has partners! These organizations offer various business services to help every entrepreneur.
Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Andrew Morgans 00:01
What’s up, Hustlers? Welcome back. This is Andrew Morgans, founder of Marknology, here as today’s host of Startup Hustle covering all things startups, e-com, Amazon entrepreneurship. Today, we’re going to be talking about some of the software tools that you can use for managing your Amazon business. And I have someone here I’m super, super excited for you guys to meet. Before I introduce him, like always, shout out to today’s sponsor. Startup Hustle is sponsored by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult. Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably and has a platform to help you manage that team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. Marc Jepsen, welcome to the show.
Marc Jepsen 00:45
Thanks, man. How are you doing?
Andrew Morgans 00:46
Good, super glad to have you. You know, I know we went up this one time, and our recording got messed up. So thanks again for getting back on the show. I’m super excited to bring your kind of story to our audience and even talk about managed by six, ManageByStats, and carbon six and everything you guys are doing. I love starting the shows out just by getting to know you and letting the audience kind of know some of your backgrounds, and you know your story there at ManageByStats. And even before that, talk to me about, you know, the first time you started thinking about being a business owner, and entrepreneur is something that goes all the way back to childhood is something that kind of hits you after college. Where did that first start?
Marc Jepsen 01:28
Yeah, so interestingly enough, I was it really started back in 2014, I before that I was doing different, different career paths, and I kind of didn’t really know what I wanted to do, I spent a good time in sales, I spent some time and marketing, and then I kind of took a completely kind of left turn and went into just computer networking and became a network engineer. And did that for a couple years. And, you know, I’ve always kind of been good with computers. So I was like, Oh, I can learn that. So I dived into that, you know, did courses for it, and did that for a few years. But in 2014, my dad got told about how to sell on Amazon and that there was a course to do it. And I was kind of like, well, okay, cool, you know, go ahead and do that. I’m gonna just keep going on with what I have here. It’s steady. It’s working. And six months, six to nine months later, he was making a lot of money. And it was like, Hey, this is doing really, really good. I’m creating software for it. And I think you should start getting into this. So I was like, okay, so I checked out the course. It was an Amazing Selling Machine.
Andrew Morgans 02:55
And you know who’s the founder of that course.
Marc Jepsen 02:59
Matt Clark and Jason Katzenback. Jason is kind of out of the picture right now. But Matt Clark is still there. rolling with it. I think they changed it maybe to like amazing.com. But yeah, so you know, there was a training course they started back in 2015, or 14, or maybe even 13. And so, I did their course to learn how to sell on Amazon and got my products launched. And just kind of dived into Amazon that time. And it wasn’t really real to me at the time that, like, okay, I could do this full time. I could, you know, I could make Amazon take for everything else. You know, my father was having great success. My brands were kind of up and going getting, you know, getting they’re moving along.
Andrew Morgans 03:46
What can? It kind of gives me pause right there for a second. What was it like, just for fun? Yeah. You know, what were a couple of your first products.
Marc Jepsen 03:54
Okay, so my first product was resistance bands. Okay. So that was right before it got super saturated. So I started off. I had, you know, just run-of-the-mill, these little stretch resistance bands. And I did my own marketing and did my own stuff. And you know, I was doing what they said to do on the course, and so it took off, and it did fairly well. I then went into muscle rollers. Yeah. What else? There were different types of stretch bands. So like the loop bands, and so I started going along that route, building out the brand with those kinds of products, and then it got super saturated. So I was like, Okay, I need to kind of switch gears. And so I, well, I’ll save that story for another day. I went into supplements, and that was insane. But it was good overall.
Andrew Morgans 04:50
Okay, let’s talk there because this is the good stuff. This is the good stuff. We’re talking to Amazon, right, and we’re going to talk about software. But sometimes, even knowing the software we’re going to talk about is like the way you guys, come on the stop, but why do we need it, you know? And what’s crazy is I actually got my start in Amazon, in Clearwater as well, in 2013. Oh, wow. So that’s actually where I got introduced. My first startup was in Clearwater. It was actually in Largo. Right there on Clearwater. Yeah, and we were selling car parts online. But I wasn’t doing my own product. I was employee number three, for someone probably like your dad. Basically, that was like a businessman had heard about it was like pushing into it. And it hired two young people, me being one of them. The other guy being on, like, the website, he like hired him for the web, and me to figure out Amazon and eBay kind of thing. And, you know, we’re trucking away when I, someone had chosen the niche for me, though, so it was like, in some ways, a little bit easier, because I was like, not spending my own money on the products. I was like, you know, getting distributors, manufacturers, then we started private labeling telephone covers and things like that. But just was learning a ton. And I just think it’s kind of interesting. You know, I recently was just back there for an event with carbon six and the Rivoli guys, and they’re in Tampa, and it just felt good to be kind of, like, back where I started my Amazon journey.
Marc Jepsen 06:14
I live in Clearwater.
Andrew Morgans 06:17
So it’s like, that’s what I’m getting at. We were not that far away, even where you started and where I started a couple years apart, but like, right there, same city. And I remember that 2015 was really when PPC came out. And, you know, supplements in the gym space, I was also very, very big into fitness and stuff right at that time, too. And so a lot of the brands or like products that we’re working with, in private label, when it came to Amazon, started around me in this space. And so I think it’s just as it being one of the harder categories on Amazon, I like to give a little bit of the details of it when we were talking about it. And you’re like, Well, that’s an interesting story. Was it like a black hat? Was it like, you know what?
Marc Jepsen 07:00
So talk to me, yeah, so Okay, so before we jumped into supplements, we started the software stuff. And we had a bunch of brands. My dad had a couple brands with some partners he had, and I had my brand. And then he had a brand that he wanted to start with me, which was the supplements. So we started the supplements. And we learned the hard way. We basically did everything wrong. We sourced supplements from China, and we had the branding and whatnot done by the Chinese company. It was really good quality. But it’s from China, you know, even if it’s the, you know, the best quality in the world. You know, you have to say it’s from China, and why there, you killing your sales there?
Andrew Morgans 07:48
Yeah, some of it, some of it, I would say, like, there’s a difference between a consumable coming from China and the rest of the stuff that’s all in our house, right?
Marc Jepsen 07:59
Because it comes from there, but there’s something different about them. I think, exactly, there’s a stigma, whether it’s true or false, or bad or good. If there is that stigma of the clientele that you’re trying to sell to, if they don’t want that, you’re not gonna sell it, right. So we did a whole bunch of different things that are wrong in it, we, you know, we the branding, the marketing, the product itself, the lead times, like all of it was just crazy. And we also started off with, like, 20 different products. Okay, wow, that’s a big launch. Yeah, so it was, you know, we only had like 500 to 1000 units of each on our initial, but nonetheless, that’s 20 different things. And okay, so we’re having to now mark each of those, you know, get reviews, get the launch going, like doing all that kind of stuff. And it was just tough. So learning from that, we said, okay, let’s let that brand die. And let’s start fresh. So you started, you know, look local, found a supplier here, you know, just up in Georgia. And you know, we made our start off with we wanted to not have just a generic thing, right a generic product that every other person would have. So we went super niche. We said okay, we want to find something that’s going to cater to certain types of people who are looking for certain things. And we started with two products. And so that’s what kind of got us back on track with the supplements. We did our own branding, you know, did professional branding here in the US, found a really awesome designer, and then made sure our product was just super high quality and did everything right after that basically, you know, how do we make sure our branding is on point we communicate that with our customers, we have good customer experience. We have very fast lead times. So you know, we’re not stocking out on different things. And I’ve just started building up from there, so it was a pain in full, you know, a year and a half of starting off on supplements, but in the end, it was good. It was like, Okay, now we’ve learned all the different mistakes, you know, we’ve learned that there are even some importers who can’t even do supplements, you know, they have to know what they’re doing, right. So there’s a whole bunch of everything that we learned from it and gained from it. But it was hard on the wallet and harder.
Andrew Morgans 10:27
I can say that I came from the services side, like my Amazon journey was, like always doing work for others. So as someone like you got, you know, you and your dad would hire me, even if you were doing it yourselves. You know, to say, Hey, can you help me with my photos, help me with my copy and help me run my PPC. And you know, we’re just figuring these things out. In those early days, they weren’t really like, even like, these buckets of services, you know, around Amazon consultants. But one thing I learned early on was that supplements taught me a ton about Amazon. And the competitors that were in the supplement space, they were just the most cutting edge, they were trying, you know, chatbots and giveaways and all, you know, inserts inside bottles, and they were doing 3d renderings. And you know, they were really pushing the envelope in regards to innovation and creative ideas on Amazon. And I took that to all different types of categories, like, you know, 100% I’m like, they’re doing this over here in supplements, these product inserts these chatbots, like we can do this over here and furniture, or, you know, whatever the case, like it really did teach me a lot. And, as well, on the services side, it is like, I wasn’t putting up 20,000 $50,000 For an inventory run. You know, back then. As far as the pocketbook, I was learning alongside other people right on services. Sighs. So just getting more attempts, more attempts, more attempts. I really saw it as an hour. Come on, it was 12 years down the road. But it’s like, those attempts just start adding up, and you just like, you’re like, Okay, I learned this. I can’t learn this. I can’t learn this. Okay, I learned this. Okay, messed up here. Messed up here, mess up here. Okay, what were our problems here, here, here. And it really just started being like, you know, little journeys, like that of early-on testing stuff, okay? No, Chinese branding is not the way to go, okay? With this product, we need US manufacturing, okay, I need to go, you know, where I need to invest as a high-end designer on this type of product, and you just start getting these like puzzle pieces, you know, about what works on Amazon and what doesn’t. And for me, at least now where I’m at, like those, those opportunities to learn, get me excited, because I’m just like, you know, I’m just like, oh, and then now I’m able to pass that on to others in regards, like, maybe you should try this, maybe you shouldn’t try this, etc. But I think that those experiences like you had with your dad on the supplement launch one and two are what helped, like create that software with like, we’re talking ManageByStats. Right, we’re talking about software that, you know, software that Amazon sellers use to manage their accounts. And it’s in the struggle of those that you’re like this would be this, you know, I need to see this, I really know how we’re doing, I really need to see this and know how we’re doing. Where’s the software at, I guess, in regards to development at the time of, like, the second software launch.
Marc Jepsen 13:24
By that time, we had probably at least three or four tools inside the suite of software. And the main thing was we started off with metrics, being able to break apart your metrics and see those in a lot more clarity. A lot of sellers at the time were downloading Excel reports, and a lot of sellers still do this, but downloading Excel reports. And then, you know, going through the information and kind of figuring out, you know, what the details were based on the different date ranges, and you know, which products were spending more on ads, or were, you know, costing me cost me more on Amazon fees, trying to figure it all out.
Andrew Morgans 14:12
So it was archaic back then. It was okay. It’s archaic.
Marc Jepsen 14:14
What’s funny a little sidenote, a lot of people are still doing that. I’ve talked to a couple sellers last week, and I’m like, oh, yeah, you know, there’s software that will help you with all those reports that you’re downloading. But nonetheless, it’s Yeah, we were spending four hours on the weekends, downloading the stuff, parsing it trying to figure it out, you know, doing our end of month kind of reconciliation to figure out what money did we actually make from Amazon? Yeah, we have revenue numbers and all that stuff, which is great. But at the end of the day, we only get paid out a certain amount. Why did we only get paid out of that amount which products are eating up too much of our payout and and then from that payout, what’s the splits you know? We have multiple brands. At that time we had multiple bro And inside of a seller account, and we have multiple seller accounts. So how do we figure this all out? Right? So that’s really where ManageByStats came about, how can we take all of this work that we’re doing with XML documents, and automate that. And so my dad, he’s, he knows enough programming to be dangerous. So he basically said, Okay, this is BS, let me go create something. So he created his own little, you know, Frankenstein system that would take all these reports, process them all, and spit out numbers that were a lot more clear, a lot more easy to kind of parse than going through the reports, and it did it, you know, in a millionth of the time. So that was the first thing we kind of got that up and running, we’ve kind of figured out okay, we now know which products we need to put attention on. Now we know which, you know, which products are heating up too much profit. And, you know, we could then concentrate more time on launching new products, finding new products, marketing, etc, etc.
Andrew Morgans 15:59
What’s the what’s the saying? You can’t improve what’s not being tracked? Or am I close? Do you remember that?
Marc Jepsen 16:07
Yes, yep. Yeah, if you’re not, if you’re not looking at those numbers, you’re not going to be able to improve it, you just think that you’re doing okay.
Andrew Morgans 16:12
Yeah, and I remember at this time, you know, there was, you know, hello, profit as a tool ManageByStats as a tool, seller board, these weren’t all there, trying to think of what else was there, there’s ManageByStats, as well.
Marc Jepsen 16:27
And there was just, it was Hello, profit. There was one other one that’s not there, I don’t think they even exist anymore. And then there was and then, so we created ManageByStats, Helium 10 started a little bit after us as well, but they were all geared towards, you know, launching and ranking products. So they didn’t have any kind of metrics at the time, as a consultant.
Andrew Morgans 16:49
So like, you know, that’s how I was, that was my journey in the Amazon space, you know, just all these stories weren’t all told, and everything, you know, everything was behind closed doors, what’s happening? And you know, we didn’t really have a community and all these events, and they just didn’t exist like that. So at least, that I knew of, and so but I would get projects, I’m getting jobs, I’m getting brands I’m working with, I’m working with them. And the question would come down to like, well, what’s my profit? Can you break this all down for me? Can you like, you know, and without these tools, it was like, nearly impossible. And it was one of the hardest questions that I’m just like, Listen, I’m just an Amazon consultant, I need you to figure out your own accounting, like, you know, because it was just such a heavy lift, and you almost had to be like a spreadsheet. Guru, like, you had to you know, and I’m honestly more I do think I’m left brain right brain, like, I’m a hybrid person, I’m, I’m, I’m a creative person, I can dream up the idea and do the work. I am that person. But more like, I can do enough programming to be dangerous, you know, type, if I was to dabble, it would be like that. Yeah. And for me, it was like, it was just super hard to be like, Okay, let me think of all the creative ways to grow this brand. And like, you know, thinking about the platform as its like game and trying to gamify it, and then also be like, Okay, now I need to, like break down all of these, like financial reports and the numbers and none of it made sense. There wasn’t really like these blogs out or YouTube that are telling you how to do this. And if you weren’t a pretty experienced, like, business person are just like, really amazing with like, finance. Even myself, I really struggled at that time. Yeah, I really remember that, you know, and now it’s something that’s like, it is required by any brands we’re working with to have like, cost of goods.
Marc Jepsen 18:48
And, you know, I don’t I if someone speaks to, I want to be able to tell them exactly, you know, what profit they’re making, what skews unprofitable and all that, but, well, if this stuff was coming out, when you guys were coming out with this, it was a very difficult conversation about the software, at least on the services side, it’s so true. And it really, it’s funny, because a lot of sellers at the time, were just, you know, hey, I’m making this much revenue, I’m, you know, happy that they’re making this much revenue, but at the end of the day, they’re they’re not businessman, they’re getting into this. They’re an entrepreneur, they’re trying to figure it out. So they’re not putting aside what they should be putting aside for the cost of goods for restocking. You know, they’re not thinking with marketing costs, they’re not thinking with how much can they spend, how much dollars can they spend to get a sale like all this stuff kind of was like new to the community because you know, we weren’t all businessmen we didn’t come from business school right? So yeah, I mean that’s really what our first tool was was basically breaking down all those finances matching it up to Seller Central, but then breaking it apart. So you can actually see in detail because Amazon wouldn’t even give it to you in detail. Right. So that was our first first tool you know, we then added on some other stuff to that like email automation to like have communication with your clients. And then some graphs, you know, so you can see historical trends. Now you can actually see okay, my Am I trending up, am I trending down? Um, you know, and then being able to actually see groups. So like, if instead of just getting a payout from amazon for your whole account, you can see, okay, I have four brands, how are each one of these brands doing? Which brands are getting me the profit, that is the majority part of that payout, right. So being able to group the data and kind of organize it in a way that made sense to you, as you know, just started adding more and more stuff to it. And now, I think there are over 20 different features inside the software.
Andrew Morgans 20:34
Can we go down memory lane for a second? Yeah. So I think the first time and if I get in trouble for this, use, blame it on me. But I think the first time that I reached out to your dad, actually, it might have been a sales guy, but I think it was your dad at the time. Was I think there was a service before it was against Terms of Service, like because we were just innovating after, you know, we were programmers figuring stuff out, we were like tinkerers, we were just like, you know, there wasn’t Terms of Service wasn’t memorized backwards and forwards. We were like, you know, just just go and write and, and I feel like, it was like, email, a pen, or something like that, right? Where it was, like, you’re taking your Amazon customers, and you’re trying to match them up with emails, and it was a service for you service, right, that would say, Hey, we’ve matched up 70% of your customers like, and there’s a couple other people trying to do that that time. But I remember, you know, we obviously did that, with ManageByStats. Back in the day. Something I think, I believe it’s a service that’s retired, right? But yeah, that was what got me to you guys was this, you know, this really what, so anyone that’s listening, what that is, was, if you’re trying to build an off Amazon president’s like a website, or an email list, or social media, or all that kind of stuff, you’re trying to get your Amazon customers, you know, into that full of your, you know, your business family full. So whether that was, you know, email append, or you’re doing inserts, you’re trying different things. And that’s originally like, one of those I know, you said you had like 20 different tools now. But one of the tools that got me there first was email.
Marc Jepsen 22:15
It was great. I mean, it was, it was a way to kind of get around the restrictions that were in place in Seller Central, being able to make those customers your own, build out your own list for your own brand. And really, you know, start up that conversation with them and make them a, you know, a lifelong client for that brand. And, yeah, it was, it was cool.
Andrew Morgans 22:38
It worked well for us. We I think we essentially like because I still own equity, and one of the brands that I remember doing it with, and we did like, you know, any customers that ordered like three times or like because you couldn’t get this kind of data, like you just couldn’t get this kind of data from Amazon, you know, and if you’re an E commerce guy, you know, that all this stuff was so so, so important. And, you know, so we were like, Let’s get the emails of anyone who’s bought from us three times, like, you know, trying to make them VIP customers and things like that. Definitely felt like the Wild West.
Marc Jepsen 23:07
Yeah, yeah, it was. Yeah, we retired in September of 2021, unfortunately.
Andrew Morgans 23:15
Okay, so it hasn’t been that long. Yeah, yeah.
Marc Jepsen 23:19
Yeah, it was unwillingly retired.
Andrew Morgans 23:23
Yeah, I know. So as far as I like, I’m hoping I’m not bringing up a bad subject, you know, because it’s all good.
Marc Jepsen 23:28
Both on, you know, legal end and with our connections with, with Amazon, it’s all good.
Andrew Morgans 23:36
Well, there was no communication, there was no partnership programs, there’s none of this happening. So everything was really kind of like fly by night and figure stuff out as we go.
Marc Jepsen 23:44
It’s funny because now Amazon’s starting to create something similar to that where they’re, you know, you can reach out to people that have subscribed to your brand. And now you can then have your email communication with them. So they know all this stuff. They just didn’t want the sellers to have control.
Andrew Morgans 24:02
Yeah, they’re super tight at the beginning, and rightfully so. I mean, it’s all this stuff coming out of people, like, you know, hacking Amazon and doing fraudulent stuff. And counterfeit stuff is like, in some ways, as a consultant, I liked a fair playing field because I was trying to do stuff the right way. And, you know, so to each their own. I want to take us into like, you know, ManageByStats today and in the carbon six relationship and everything that’s going on before I do shout out to our sponsor FullScale.io. Finding expert software developers doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when you visit FullScale.io. You can build a software team quickly and affordably. Use the Full Scale platform to define your technical needs and then see what available developers, testers, and leaders are ready to join your team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. Let’s talk a little bit about the relationship between ManageByStats and carbon six. How exactly does that relationship work? I know that every company kind of stands on its own because we’re part of this family. Family of companies. I obviously sleeve AMA, carbon six ambassador. You know, I’m using several other tools myself and you know, partner up with a team, different events like the one we were just in Tampa. Talk to me about like, when that happened for you guys like what that looks like now? Yeah, totally.
Marc Jepsen 25:17
So we joined up with carbon six in September of last year. So pretty recent. And it’s it’s been a rocket ride, it’s It’s the beauty of carbon six is that it’s taking all of these tools that an Amazon seller needs, putting them into an ecosystem, but not just not just combining all the software and, you know, making it one suite, right, that’s, you know, that’s been talked about forever. But really keeping the people that are the minds and creators and entrepreneurs themselves who created these companies, keeping these people in these companies to help kind of streamline everything that’s being done between them. So, you know, as an example, we managed by stats, we had the idea in our software of creating a login, and you have all of your tools, right? So we did that for a lot of different tools, there’s many things that we don’t have, that we wanted to build, right? But now, with carbon six, joining up with carbon six, we can easily integrate with these tools that were missing. And we can kind of take the data points that we have between the different tools, and help the seller understand their business a lot faster, be able to find pitfalls in them, and be able to take action on them. So the ecosystem now is basically you have these 20 Different companies that are all tied together, organizationally, with, you know, with the executives, and staff of these companies. And we’re all working together to improve areas where we might be falling in one with data from another or with insight, or coaching or direction or whatever from these other other people. So we have, you know, we have Tim Jordan, we have the people that so stoked, we have data driven, we have so many different tools that are that are innovative right now that have either come about really recently, or I’ve been here for a long time, and people who are coaches, and just people who care, they’re entrepreneurs themselves, and they care about teaching others, how to be successful on Amazon. And so all of these people together are kind of pushing these tools in a direction that is going to be even more helpful or more beneficial for all the clients of the different software’s.
Andrew Morgans 27:53
I love it. It sounds like a heavy lift from the outside, just, you know, I know so many people that are part of the carbon six, you know, family what they were, they were software founders or, you know, thought leaders or coaches before. So, you know, I personally know a lot of the team. But from the outside, it’s like, wow, getting all these brilliant minds. And these independent entrepreneurs working together sounds like a lot of fun. But I’m sure like, that is one thing that I see that’s like, really, really cool is, you know, obviously, like working with you guys in the past. Now you’re part of carbon six, you’ve been acquired, you join that and you’re still there. And so being able to have those relationships definitely definitely makes it feel like it’s still the same company, you know, versus like, they’re changing the name completely. And you’re like, Well, I don’t remember any of that before. And, you know, it’s just nice. It’s a different approach to what I’ve experienced in the past.
Marc Jepsen 28:51
Yeah. And that’s, I think that’s one of the main elements of like, other companies that have kind of rolled up, they’ve they’ve not gone this route. And talking to a lot of sellers, I talked to a lot of sellers every week. There’s an element that is missing in these other tools, because they went that route. And it’s, it’s, you know, it’s the right terms, it’s basically it’s more corporate more business, you know, instead of what an Amazon seller needs, you know, and we just hear that a lot. So, I think that the beauty of carbon six is that it’s keeping this whole system in place where these people who’ve been in the trenches who know this stuff, who have the history, you know, it’s all still there, it’s all still connected. And yeah, I think that’s, that’s what the clients are gonna benefit most from.
Andrew Morgans 29:57
No, I love it. Okay. As we wrap And out here. Talk to me about like, just one takeaway, like, what’s one thing that you think ManageByStats can really help Amazon sellers with? I mean, we’ve already covered it. But, you know, one thing that you’re like, if your name is I started listening to podcasts you like, okay, things sound cool, I guess it makes, you know, troubleshooting reports a little bit easier. But like one solid thing that, if you’re an Amazon seller, managed by SAS can help you with this.
Marc Jepsen 30:24
Yeah, I think they were the kind of the thing that stands out for ManageByStats. between all the different software’s that are out there is really the management concepts that have been built into it that help someone who’s not necessarily a business inclined, or, you know, hasn’t been selling on Amazon for a long time, or someone who is a pro seller, but needs to put their attention on marketing or other things, these management concepts that we’ve built into it. Help the seller basically know that what they’re doing is the right thing to be doing. And when they do those actions, they can see the results on their own metrics. So the elements that we built out are a KPI dashboard, that makes your attention that 8020 thing of like, what should I be putting my attention on this dashboard helps direct your eyeballs into that area. And it was built out in a very smart way, which is from years of talking with sellers, who’ve been using ManageByStats things that they do elements that they look at what they actually look at, when they should look at it, what kind of intervals they should look at these things in. And so this dashboard is built out to help any manager, any professional seller, get a quick view of what area of their business they need to be working on. And then it helps them dive into that area. There’s also smart notifications that are built into these KPIs. So that you can, if you’re going to go to a convention, if you’re going to go on vacation, if you’re going to be away from the computer for any kind of time, you know that you have notifications that are going to be based off of actual metrics, sales trends, profit trends, your reviews, this kind of stuff. So instead of just getting alerts on images, changing title changes, this kind of stuff, hijackers, you’re getting notifications on, yeah, your sessions dipped, you know, your impressions went to zero, right? Getting management type notification. So those are built in as well. And then being able to scale. So taking all that kind of stuff and seeing trends, seeing minute details for what product might be the cause of your profits dipping that week. So that’s really where I think we stand out, there’s probably six or seven management concepts that have been built into the tools that help you just go, Okay, I see this, I see this problem, I go over here, this is this, okay, good. This is what I need to do. And you now have competence and knowing that the actions you’re taking right now, are the most important actions you should be taking on your business, you get that result, you can see the metrics changing from that result. And you can go, you know, work on marketing, new product, whatever it is, Martin, it’s great.
Andrew Morgans 33:10
You’re exactly right. And I think, you know, you can only do so many things. And you know, your brain can only handle so many notifications, inputs, whatever, right. And at some level, at some point, you have to be like, Okay, this area is good enough, I need to move on to something else, and then move on to something else, especially when you’re getting started at the beginning. I think for me, the Amazon events or software like this as scoring me, or these different things like that, for me as an entrepreneur, were more validating than educational. Yeah. So for me, it was like, I don’t have anybody telling me I’m doing the right thing, or I’m working on the right thing, or I’m focused on the right thing. Even if I’m doing a great job. There’s no one telling me that, you know, so that validation, like, okay, are we go in the right direction, because a lot of the changes, a lot of things you need to do on Amazon are not overnight success changes, they’re things that happen over a trend period of time. And what you’re really looking for is the smallest incremental change that continues to change up or down or sideways, right? So, you know, for me, these kinds of tools are almost like a peace of mind thing. Okay, like, like you said, it tells you where to focus. And I think like, I don’t think I’m that unique and compelling comparison to everybody else in regards to like, we all have the things that we like to work on. Right, like we’re good at the back there, we’re good at PPC, or we’re good at you know, graphic design, we’re good at product ideation, or we’re good at PAC, you know, whatever it is, we have our strengths and our weaknesses. And I think a lot of times we can find ourselves like I’m gonna just gonna go check the PVC one more time, or I’m gonna go, you know, like check my inventory levels or like, I’m gonna go back to the warehouse and do a walkthrough or like, you know, these these things we do. And I think that these tools can really help be an accountability partner for smaller teams, right? If you have a bigger team, like y’all kind of like keep each other accountable based on what you’re working on, you’re talking, you have your roles, but when it’s just you, me, myself and I are like you and a couple of EAs, let’s say or like you’re an Amazon seller getting started. I think that those KPI, dashboards and like, the thing is, if you talk about that, like, Hey, we’ve created this KPI dashboard to help you know where to focus on. But like, for me, I can just remember, before that was a thing, you know, I even was trying to use Google Data Studio and all types of things just to be able to be like, Where can I look in one spot to just be like, is all hell breaking loose? Are we okay? I plan on working on this today. But do I need to check through, you know, if you’re looking for like an image suppress or you’re looking at, like all the little things that can go wrong on Amazon in a given day, you could spend a large majority of your day going through every listing and making sure something just perhaps didn’t happen. And if you’re a search on the services, I like an agency. You know, we have account managers, they have accounts, like, you know, we’re not going through every listing and 1000 listing accounts and being like, Okay, did an image get suppressed today? Okay, did we have seven images, now there’s two images, what happened, you know, all these things can happen, right. And it’s like, you didn’t do anything wrong, it just went from seven images to two. But getting these types of things in place, can really give you that peace of mind. Kind of like when you’re just getting started as an entrepreneur, at least for me, and I had, I couldn’t sleep at night, I had all this stuff in my head. And it wasn’t until I started, like getting out of pen and paper. And I’ve never really done that before, where I just like wrote, wrote, you know, in a journal or wrote all my notes down and started getting organized, but I, you know, and you’re just writing it all down. And once it’s just there, it’s just like this peace of mind, right? That it’s like, Look, everything I was thinking about or need to check is right here. At least that I can think of, and that’s kind of what those dashboards do for an entrepreneur that might be losing that might be learning managerial skills for the first time. Because those are completely different skills, entrepreneurship and management, you know, and for me, entrepreneurship has been much easier than management, just as a person. So a lot of these tools. The requirements for us on the agency side, number one, it just keeps everybody honest and making sure we’re checking the right things. But it really helped me take that step into telling me what to focus on. And I think people do not underestimate or undervalue. You know what, what a system like that can do for your business folly.
Marc Jepsen 37:28
It’s funny, because the reason we created the dashboard was because we had all these big sellers, professional sellers, who wanted to be able to know because as a seller, you know, after a couple of years of selling on Amazon, you know, a lot, you know, the basics, if this is, you know, if you’re dedicated to putting your time into it, you there’s so many different things you can be doing on Amazon, and there’s so many things that you learn. But if you look, if you just look at okay, my sales are going down, okay, but why are they going down? PVC, it could be a hijacker, it could be, you know, stuff, right, there could be so many different things. And so I think the beauty of our KPI dashboards is that they are customizable, and there’s a bunch of different elements to them. The beauty of them, it really helps that professional seller go, this is the thing I need to concentrate on. And you might know a plethora of things that you could do. But yeah, they’re gonna have to pertain to this area. So you know that you handle that and now your sales are gonna start going up. It just helps with that mindset. And I think that’s kind of the beauty of it is it just gives you that confidence. Yeah, that’s the area I need to work on. Good. You know, and then back on to whatever it is, whatever it is that you want to do on expansion, even on the agency side, you know, trying to grow a team trying to scale a team, multiple brands, right, like, we’ve got 50 Plus, you know, but you’re training new staff and you’re like, you know, this gives them a baseline for what they should be focused on what they should be working on.
Andrew Morgans 38:47
So even if you’re on if you’re a seller trying to scale out or have some have a VA, check your check your account, or you’re an agency trying to train new account managers, not all of them have 12 years experience, you know, so you know, totally pulling all these excels and cross referencing everything triple checking this and that and everyone has to start somewhere. And this is a great like, to me these tools are great for giving them confidence, right? So even giving, passing it down to other people, if your team and having them becomes you like explaining the dashboard and telling them what’s important. You’re saying hey, these are the things I need you to check every single day. As you can see on this account like this is the show where we can improve or get better. Okay, what are all the areas in, you know, that metric that we could be focused on? What does that say? It was a speech to you and it just gives you a different starting point. You know, for those conversations with your team as you’re scaling out your account team, you know that can Be a team of one that can be a team of 40. You know, they’ve all got their place. So in and as well as you’re trying to be lean as you’re trying to scale as you’re trying to not just have, you know, 40 employees, the checklist things, you know, it’s a way to be efficient. So it’s a way to not just in the Amazon business, but in your team that’s running the Amazon business.
Marc Jepsen 40:20
Andrew Morgans 40:22
That’s exactly right. Okay, so as we round out, Marc, the last question I have for you is, what’s something you guys are working on right now that you guys that you’re excited about? In the business? And then a person as Marc?
Marc Jepsen 40:35
Sweet? Yeah. So I think in the business, the thing that I’m most excited about is something that I’ve had a dream of creating inside of ManageByStats. But now that we’re partnered up with carbon six, we are working on some, there’s some integration that’s going to come about that’s going to help make the metrics way more actionable. So now you instead of just having metrics and having to figure out what area of the business, you know, you need to concentrate on which our tools help you do, you then have to go, Okay, what actions should I be taking? And how are all those things gonna relate to that end goal I’m working on. So there’s some really cool integration that we’re working on right now. That is going to make that super clear, super easy. And yeah, so I think that’s the thing that I’m most excited about. That’s the thing that’s going to help I think, a ton of different sellers, both agencies, professional sellers, the newer seller really helped them kind of zero in on what actions should they be taking each week. So that’s something that’s coming down the pike, and personally, it’s really just spending time with my kids getting out there kind of connecting with nature again. I used to live in California, love the hills and love going on hikes. Love just kind of like soaking that up. Everything that’s out there. So I’m doing that more here in Florida. And yeah, just kind of connecting with nature and not in a funky way. But in a kind of getting out there getting some space I go bike riding and stuff. And so yeah, connecting with nature.
Andrew Morgans 42:24
No, I love that I’m in my 30s, and I grew up in Africa. And it was not like the outdoors was not as though I loved Africa, you know, parts of Africa and all that kind of stuff. It was also like, lots of bugs. I’m a ginger, I get sunburned, like, you know, I’m talking about the bugs in Africa that make you just, like, feel like you’re living in hell, you know, just like very, you know, paths and snakes and just dangers everywhere, right? So there are literally dangers in nature everywhere out there. And we were not living in a city. We were out there. So that was like a, you know, big part of my life. 16 years old, and come back, anything outdoors kind of just felt like at one point, I lived in a seaman hut without screens or, like, just need to put it in perspective. So I’ve been out there, right as a kid, and so not a lot of Americans can say that, you know, you know, so I definitely had this like the perspective of nature in regards to just being kind of tough and not luxurious. And like, you know, so to me, AC is like, luxurious, you know, and, but now I’m in my mid-30s. A pandemic, you know, opened up a lot of eyes to where we had just like more time to be outside because it wasn’t as much to do, and I took a trip to Costa Rica, I’ve taken a couple of trips, like, with friends, that kind of just like reacquainted me with my love of nature, because I really am just this little African boy, I love being outside, and a few traumatizing events, not a whole childhood has been right. And so it’s been amazing. I got myself a kayak in the pandemic, and just like, you know, I found a lot of inspiration. And as a techie, I think this is part of it, too, is that, like, I got so passionate about tech and innovation and an econ because I saw what it could do for my life and my family, you know, that you just go all in and you’re just like, you know, you’re always in front of a screen or a computer because you’re just like creating, creating, creating, building building building. But as I’ve gotten these things in my life, it’s interesting too, because the outdoors didn’t make me money. Outdoors didn’t, you know, really push me forward; outdoors didn’t like doing any of those things back then; it was like leisure time. I didn’t have a lot of it. And a lot of things to do outside that I like to do. They can cost money or take a trip or, like, whatever I say, all that to just say like it’s coming full circle for me as well. Where a lot of the innovation or innovative ideas or creative ideas, I feel like I’ve been inspired with lately are actually coming from nature, which is different for me. Uh, you know, so I’ve been, I’ve been kind of chasing and chasing waterfalls, pun intended, but waterfalls and mountain tops and just anything with a big sky. You know, because it’s like, I’ve had to find ways to be like what, what continues to inspire me, you know, and it’s not usually people, you know, honestly, it’s not always just these destinations. It’s just, you know, there’s something about being connected to water, and you know, being out in the green. So I’m jealous that in Clearwater, I’m here in Kansas City, and it’s cold. But no, I love that we’ll have to link up on a trip, or I know Dane from your team is out fishing in the glade somewhere. Yeah, he’s on a cross-country Jeep ride, I think, or something.
Marc Jepsen 45:45
So you’re an enthusiast. Yeah, he had me super stoked.
Andrew Morgans 45:48
And I was like, well, I’m trying to plan a trip down there too. So no, I love that, you know. Thanks for sharing just, you know, a little bit about yourself, your own journey, and what’s going on there. And ManageByStats, like you guys, is obviously a big player in space, and I really enjoyed you sharing how you guys can help sellers.
Marc Jepsen 46:07
Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure, man.
Andrew Morgans 46:09
Yeah, no problem. I know we ran it back. Shout out again to our sponsor, FullScale.io. They have the people and the platform to help you build and manage a team of experts. When you visit FullScale.io, all you need to do is answer a few questions. Let the platform match you up with a fully vetted, highly experienced team of software engineers, testers, and leaders. At Full Scale, they specialize in building long-term teams that work only for you. Learn more when you visit FullScale.io. Hustlers, thanks for tuning in to this episode of Startup Hustle. We’ll see you next time.