Bernie’s multi-million dollar electronics company has grown every year since starting in 2009. He is the author of Flywheels and Feedback Loops: A Guide to Success for Sophisticated Amazon Private-Label Sellers and the CEO of Efficient Era, which provides tools to automate these Amazon strategies.
Click to tweet: Fire Nation, Bernie shares his incredible journey on EOFire today!
Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [01:04] – Bernie is a software engineer who started 5 companies
- [01:19] – His first main business, Plugable Technologies, was an electronics brand
- [01:38] – Bernie partnered with Amazon to outsource his sales
- [02:28] – Plugable has grown to a company with a hundred products with more than 20 full-time staff
- [03:03] – One BIG and Unique Value Bomb: With the same skills and techniques, entrepreneurs can build companies that compete with everyone else, including global brands
- [03:47] – Digital manufacturing now allows entrepreneurs to manage a hundred units that can be completed in a few days
- 03:58 – Proto Labs is a US-based digital fabricator
- [04:37] – There’s never been as good a time as today to scale a business that can compete globally
- 04:44 – The Freedom Journal and The Mastery Journal are both on Amazon
- [05:43] – “Amazon’s search algorithms reward your past sales”
- [06:16] – If Bernie didn’t push all their traffic to Amazon, they wouldn’t have been able to push their listings as well
- [07:23] – Bernie developed a lot of software so that he could distribute to Europe, Canada and Japan easily through Amazon
- [07:33] – They hook into Amazon’s APIs and send products over foreign Amazon distribution centers
- 07:52 – There is also an Amazon Global Program that allows sellers to sell to other countries
- [08:59] – The UK offers non-entities to register their business with the UK government
- [10:11] – All plans are modeled into spreadsheets before Bernie executes them
- [10:51] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: Bernie was performing well with Amazon from 2009 to 2013. Their top-selling product was USB Hubs. In 2013, Amazon launched their own line of USB Hubs, which were sourced directly from Plugable’s supplier—meaning they were competing with them directly
- [11:45] – Bernie called the supplier, but they were clearly not going to pass on a deal with Amazon
- [12:08] – Their sales plummeted by 50% over the next 4 months
- [12:37] – Since they could not face Amazon head-on, Plugable diversified
- [12:47] – Diversifying has helped them grow ever since
- [13:20] – “We can’t beat the house, but we can live alongside them”
- 13:54 – AmazonBasics started the same year Plugable did
- [14:37] – “It’s healthy to recognize reality”
- [14:55] – Even if Plugable sees amazing success, Amazon could take that away in a second
- [15:14] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? “Amazon customer reviews…with Amazon, the reviews reward the better product and better customer service”
- [16:09] – Bernie and his team identified all the key actions between customers, sellers, and Amazon and closed those feedback loops
- [17:07] – Bernie’s biggest moment was realizing they needed to offer a competitive advantage over other sellers
- [17:18] – They created Efficient Era, which is software that assists other sellers
- 17:41 – Sign up with Efficient Era
- [18:19] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Really nothing… I did wait until I had few stars aligned”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Lead by example… being nice is more effective than being tough”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “I use the Getting Things Done System”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Trello
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy – “It’s a fascinating prediction of the future”
- [20:54] – Use today’s technology to learn
- [21:10] – Get going, get big, and don’t let anything to stop you
- 21:13 – Connect with Bernie via email
- 21:22 – 2 FREE Gifts to Fire Nation: Get a Free Chapter of Bernie’s book here and an Amazon Discount Code for four of Plugable’s items here!
3 Key Points:
- Today’s technology enables entrepreneurs to outsource more easily and offer their products globally without having any physical establishments.
- Don’t rely on just one product or service for your business – consider diversification.
- Recognize the realities that your business must face and adjust accordingly.
- Trello – Bernie’s small business resource
- Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy – Bernie’s Top Business Book
- Flywheels and Feedback Loops: A Guide to Success for Amazon Private-Label Sellers – Bernie’s book
- Audible – Get a 30–day free trial of fantastic audiobooks!
- Efficient Era and Plugable Technologies – Bernie’s website
- FireUP – Turn your website visitors into leads and paying customers!
- How To Finally Win – Learn how to create your dream life one step at a time!
- Organifi: Organifi Green Juice is packed with 11 energy-bumping superfoods and herbs, which means you’ll get long-lasting energy throughout the day. See for yourself: visit Organifi.com and save 20% with promo code FIRE!
- UPS Store: The time to promote yourself to Business Owner is now. Visit TheUPSStoreFranchising.com/fire to get started today!
1) The Freedom Journal: Accomplish your #1 goal in 100-days!
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