Welcome back to another monthly report! And what a different month July was. We gave up our home, sold most of our possessions and hopped on a flight to the other side of the world. The plan: to work and travel full-time. Living out of hotels and working from cafes and co-working spaces. To become what is known as a digital nomad.
I think that even with all the life changes, it was a fairly productive month. I didn’t spend much time actually at my laptop working, but I have felt much more creative and managed to get a lot done while actually working. I started a new project and have a new mini-business in the pipeline (no hints yet). Plus my table tennis businesses had their best month since Christmas. I also read three books of The Wheel Of Time, which is an achievement in itself.
But all the travel means my normal way of recording my time is thrown upside down, what do I categorise a long-haul flight as? Wasted travel time? Or work because I managed to edit a few podcasts on the flight? What about a tour around some temples? Time with my wife? Well kinda, but maybe I need a new category like sightseeing or culture.
Either way, please take the below pie-chart with a pinch of salt.
Ok let’s start the actual report.
In July we went to four countries. Croatia, Thailand, Singapore and Bali. Four is too much and in August we are going to stay in Bali, slowing down and trying to get some work done. I have met loads of interesting people and been having non-stop ideas, but now need to settle in and actually do them.
In the intro, I mentioned a new project to try and become an Instagram celebrity (yeah I know, how cliche). We created a new Instagram account to journal the digital nomad life. But as with everything we do there is a dual purpose. It is a place not just to get famous and experiment with Instagram, but also to journal our trip. A place where friends who want to see what we’re up to can, without spamming our normal feed with non-stop travel and food picks.
If you’re an Instagram expert, please reach out. We need all the help we can get.
Also we are really up for meeting interesting people, so if you happen to be in the same country as us then reach out and let’s meet up.
Pipehouse Gin is our craft gin business.
View this post on Instagram
Have you seen that we’re currently gin of the week on @theginguide? 🍸🙌🏻 Check out their review of our gin and the ‘meet the makers’ blog post! . . . . . #tunbridgewells #tunbridge #tonbridge #drinklocal #lovelocal #ginandtonic #ginlover #gingingin #prettycocktails #earlgreyandcucumber #pipehousegin #ginoclock #ginguide #flavouredgin #smallbatchgin #fridaygin #botanicalgin #ginbotanicals #ginlife #kentlife #ginlove #supportlocal #floralgin #garnishgame #garnishart #gintime
We made a decision back in November about the future of Pipehouse Gin. You can hear our discussion in Episode 4 of The Lazy Entrepreneur Podcast – When should you go all-in on a new business?
It was recorded at the time that the business was really starting to take off. We were getting a lot of interest and it was growing quickly. But we were torn and knew we wanted to go travelling instead. Should we go all-in on the gin business, and try and make it huge. Taking on investment and staff and committing to staying in England? Or should we turn it into a more lifestyle-esque business and go travelling?
We chose the latter. And the business is in very much a lifestyle mode now. It is making about £2,000 a month gross profit and I think we’re happy with that. A mixture of trade and online sales.
We do have some ideas that we are working on that work well with travelling. One is a franchise model for market stalls. Markets are where we make the most money, and as we’re travelling we can’t do them ourselves anymore. So franchising it out makes a lot of sense. A very easy low risk business for someone. And extra publicity and profit for us.
The second is international expansion. On our travels, we are trying to line up meetings with distributors and importers in different countries.
We just recorded a podcast coming out next week on doing business while travelling. Most businesses can be run remotely, just a bit worse than they would if you were in one place. But just because you are missing out on certain opportunities, doesn’t mean there aren’t other ones that open up from the travelling. International expansion is an obvious example of that.
If you want to support us please buy a bottle of our gin from Amazon. And if you like it please leave a review!
- Starting a Gin Brand Episode 1: Doing The Research
- Starting a Gin Brand Episode 2: Creating The Recipe & Branding
- Starting A Gin Brand Episode 3: Delays & Legal Schmeagols
- Starting A Gin Brand Episode 4: Labels, Packaging & Marketing
- Starting A Gin Brand Episode 5: We Have Finally Launched Pipehouse Gin!
Table Tennis Brands
I run two table tennis brands. Mid-range Palio & high-end Eastfield Co. They are my biggest businesses making 5-figures a month and sell all round the world. With the vast majority of sales coming from Amazon FBA.
These two brands are a good example of how to do Amazon FBA right. It is not about creating a cheap product and hoping to profit short term. But actually finding a gap in the market and creating a really good brand with market-leading products. Our bats are hands down the best in the £30-£100 range. A market segment that was really underserved when we launched in 2013. It speaks for itself that even with the increased competition from copycats we’re still doing well six years later.
July was our best month since Christmas with increased sales in most territories. Honestly, I don’t really know why. We have been plagued by fake versions of the Palio bats showing up everywhere for the last year, and the increase in sales may be due to some of them slowly being removed. If you want to buy a Palio bat make sure to only get from here or from Amazon seller TT Trading Co (or Mellonta Sports in India).
August should be another good month as we have a new range of Palio bats coming out. They are quite a bit better and will sell for the same price, so I am expecting some good reactions from the table tennis community.
We are also in the process of launching in Australia and Mexico, but having some problems. If anyone knows a good freight forwarder for Mexico please get in touch!
The Lazy Entrepreneur Podcast
We released four episodes in July. Where we have been trying to find our feet with recording while travelling. We only have hand-luggage so our mics are very small and the audio quality is suffering. But hopefully I will get that all sorted out. My editing is getting better and I can remove most background noise. But it still ends up a bit echoey.
In terms of traffic, I neglected the podcast quite a bit in May and June and traffic dipped. But July was back on the up with a little over 1,000 hours of podcast listened to compared to 900ish hours in each of May and June. Still off from the peak of 1,800 hours in March. But on the right track nonetherless.
Episodes in July:
- #47: We Are Going To Become Instagram Celebrities!
- #46: The More You Earn, The Harder It Is To Start A Business
- #45: Our Viral YouTube Video – The Stats, Strategy & Long-Term Impact
- #44: I’m Now A Digital Nomad, Again…
I haven’t done any more monetisation on the podcast. Been too busy…
Listen to The Lazy Entrepreneur Podcast now:
From the best month ever in May (£7,525 profit), the blog has now dipped to the worst month in the last three years in July, (£2,126 profit).
Traffic hasn’t really changed, so why is profit so low? Well, there are a few reasons. But one of them is that I made a big change to the structure and re-did the front page. Instead of it being a chronological blog, I have tried to transform the site into a bit more of a reference site with set how-to-guides and easier navigation for new readers.
With 200+ posts, creating a good structure is really difficult. And I wanted to remove the pressure of having to constantly produce new stuff. Most of my content is ever-green and I would like people to find those older posts rather than just the new stuff. Some of them are really good!
I also wanted it to be more clear. If you are here for matched betting, there should be one professional gambling section where you can get all the blog posts. Likewise if you’re here for Amazon FBA, there should be one cornerstone article you start at and can get to all the other Amazon FBA posts from there.
The problem previously was that all those articles were mixed together along with lifestyle stuff and monthly reports.
It also doesn’t help that in June and July I only wrote one post (which doesn’t have any way to make money in them):
- Start A Blog In Under An Hour – A Step-By-Step Guide
- What It Takes To Create A Successful Blog – Including how I market the blog
There we go, another monthly report. Same businesses, but written from the opposite side of the world. It is going to be interesting to see how my productivity is impacted by all the travel. I have high hopes and am excited by the new ideas and some fresh enthusiasm.