My success at online sales and what can you learn from my mistakes

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Who am I? My name is Bohdan and I have been selling online since 2009. My roommate and I started on eBay, selling with a dropshipping company. Dropshipping is when a third party company prints and distributes the product on your behalf. It is designed for companies that don’t have the money to buy and hold inventory. We had different products that we sold and when someone bought them the drop shipping company printed and sent the product on our behalf. It was our side hustle. When my full-time work got too busy, I left the drop shipping hustle behind.  

I came back to online sales two years later.  

I just couldn’t stay away. I knew it was an excellent opportunity to make money and when opportunity knocked, I responded.  

One of my friends asked me to become his business partner selling auto parts for Land Rover. At the time, he sold them out of his basement. He had it going as a side project and he was at the point where he wanted to make it bigger. He wanted to turn it into his full-time job. He needed someone to invest some money to expand the inventory.  

I took a small personal loan. At the time, it was big money for me. It was a stretch for me but I believed that there was a real opportunity, so I took a leap of faith. I invested and we got the inventory.  

We sold products on eBay for a month before we applied to open an auto parts store on Amazon. I didn’t know a thing about the process when we started. They asked us for a lot of information and they seemed so strict I was sure they would reject our application. They approved us. And we expanded again. 

We signed an exclusive distribution contract with one of the auto part repair kit companies based in the United Kingdom. After a couple of years, they sent us a contract to become their exclusive partner in the USA. We accepted happily.  

Eventually, my business partner and I went our separate ways. It was the end of an era but the lessons I learned about selling online have continued to serve me.  

I started a new online auto parts store a few weeks later.  

I enlisted a couple of my friends as partners and we started the store Ukarauto. We spent a year setting up the business. We had to find new products to sell and suppliers to supply them. We spent a lot of time researching. It took time. I had learned a lot from my previous experience, but we were starting everything from scratch.  

After tons of research, we got our first shipment of goods delivered to us. I remember the day well. We were so excited about the new business. We excitedly opened the small box and went to work.  

The next 6 months were spent listing products on eBay. I created all the designs for our store. We did everything ourselves. We didn’t have the money to automate or subcontract the workout. I knew that we needed a website to go with our eBay store. Amazon would never have accepted us if we didn’t have a professional online store. They are very strict on who they choose to sell their auto parts. I learned how to work with them in my previous business venture and so we expanded to Amazon

We expanded several more times over the next year.  

We moved to Amazon Canada, Amazon Mexico, and various eBay platforms. From there, we expanded to Walmart Marketplace. A short while later, we were offered exclusive distributor rights on a new line of car detailing products one of our distributors was launching. We could not say no.  

One of the biggest challenges I have had during this journey is tracking and managing inventory. We used spreadsheets but they didn’t provide insight into consumer trends such as busiest months, returns, product history. And they were time-consuming. At the time I was doing all of the website development and management. I was a software developer before I ever started selling online. I also managed all of our inventory myself. Once I got too busy, I knew things had to change. I hired someone to manage the website and I set to work looking for better software to manage our inventory. I couldn’t find anything that worked. They were all too expensive, too difficult to learn or had a ton of features I didn’t need.  

I finally gave up and created my own inventory management software.  

I took my experience as a web developer and my experience as an online store owner and created a comprehensive software program that is designed to work for small to medium online stores.  

Byteconn. My online software is now available for others. I figured that if I had these challenges with my inventory management software, then other small companies must as well. My main goal with this software is to help as many small business owners as possible. I know how hard it is to start a business from scratch. It is time-consuming and overwhelming. There is a lot of work that needs to be done even before you get your first sale. I designed this software to help with that process.  

ByteConn is an inventory management system that simplifies and manages your inventory. 

I know that with my experience and the tools that I have built to help myself, I can also help others. Byteconn does all of the stuff I needed as a small business owner and none of the stuff I didn’t.  

Register and check out ByteConn to make your small business inventory management easier.  

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