Entrepreneurs can fall prey to the worst circumstances that we’ve all seen time and again: a less-than product, the wrong team makeup, or a business overwhelmed by forces unseen. To weather these storms, there needs to be the strongest of foundations if a business is going to survive, and the odds can’t always be in everyone’s favor.
For entrepreneur and engineer Scott Bartnick, starting several businesses like The Five Day Startup and Otter PR didn’t come easily. Without help or a consultant of his own, Scott cut his teeth on e-commerce, learning enough to beat the curve and build his own brand in service to others like him.
On his first entrepreneurial attempts, Scott says, “it was painful–everything was new and overwhelming. There are so many tools out there…it’s easy to get scammed.” Today Bartnick is beating the curve and using just the right tools to serve others while building brands with the right partners and knowledge.
Here are Scott’s “secret seven” steps to e-commerce success, all of them well-tested!
1.Set Realistic Goals
Starting out, Bartnick encourages young entrepreneurs to start small and make sure you can afford what you’re doing. What takes months at first will eventually take weeks (and then sometimes only days), which is something that most people lose heart in learning. Part of Scott’s success is that he became the service he wished he had, and that all came from setting weekly goals that let him work while traveling and eventually build several services and brands.
2.Find a product you want to sell
When Bartnick finally chose products that he wanted to sell, he had already gone through a few that didn’t bring in great interest or ideal revenue. The most important thing is to find a product or niche that you know about or have dedicated yourself to in some way. Interests wane when choosing products just to get into the game, and customers and clients can tell when you’re not selling something you’re passionate about.
3.Ensure the highest level of quality
Nothing beats quality, and it always shows–not just the product, of course, but the professionals behind the product or service. A large part of Scott’s success is in working with clients every step of the way, and being available for one-on-one mentoring. His diverse background and vast network allow him to be an asset to every team, whether he is providing PR services or walking new clients through the necessary steps of the e-commerce platforms.
4.Get your finances and cash flow inline
Through strong e-commerce goals, Scott was fortunate enough to be able to self-fund all of his businesses, creating a brand around a product and doing custom manufacturing orders, along with private label selling. There has to be a certain standard and cost of living that may not always be there every step of the way, and professionals can’t be easily shaken. Along with realistic goals for basic foundations, there have to be conservative principles surrounding finances and cash flow.
5.Master one sales strategy at a time
For e-commerce and PR work, Scott has found, “that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one product or brand may not work for others…you have to find a mix that works best for you and leverage each channel properly.” This comes with each strategy, whether a team is working on manual outreach, marketing, or dealing with funding. Scott has taken everything he’s learned and “created a playbook…I’ve really broken down this process, step by step, and depending on where you are in that process, I’ll create a customized playbook for every client.”
6.Look for a good mentor
At first, Bartnick didn’t have any interest in being an entrepreneur–he was a full-time engineer and in a few years he realized that his heart wasn’t into the advanced climb to the top. While a large part of his initial inspiration came from books like The Four Hour Workweek, Scott had no mentor to teach and push him. That became a driving force for The Five Day Startup, in that Scott acts as that mentor and lays out all the strategies that he never had coming up.
7.Don’t go for a home run your first time at bat!
Be ready to go round the bases–at practice, that is, and not always in the big game. Through his travel and work with different companies and brands, Scott has seen that there are enough “games and innings” to teach anyone what strategies and markets work, and which ones–like depending on festival season during a pandemic–aren’t going to work right now. While everyone hopes for success earlier than later, professionals have to keep moving and always be adaptive.
Today, The Five Day Startup specializes in online offerings for entrepreneurs around the world who are growing their brands. Scott manages the full supply chain and analytics process, with 300% YOY growth, all built on the foundation of professional online eCommerce and Amazon private label selling. Scott assists new entrepreneurs in setting up third-party eCommerce platforms, complete with private consulting, video classes, and project implementation.