Focus and perseverance are two traits that should never lack in an entrepreneur, and this month’s SMART Spotlight, Brendon Archuleta, proves how essential those two traits are.
Brendon started his entrepreneurial journey back in September 2018.
In the 10 short months that he’s run his Shopify store, Brendon has already experienced the tumultuous highs and lows of running a business.
He went from seeing immediate success to reviving a failing business within his first 3 months.
That alone is enough to discourage anyone from persisting, but that’s exactly what Brendon did.
This past April, I had the chance to talk with Brendon. He told me all about:
Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by YouTube.
You know exactly what I’m talking about…
… You go from watching a simple tutorial and 3 hours later find yourself swept up in the latest conspiracy theory…
We’ve all been there.
And that’s how Brendon landed here.
Brendon’s beginnings in eCommerce are common to most others – being targeted by a YouTube video and taking an interest.
In this case, it was an Interview with Market Hero CEO, Alex Becker.
Alex had impressed Brendon so much that he decided to pivot from what he was watching and went straight to Alex’s channel.
This simple act led him straight to HCOM, the premier eCommerce business education collaboration between SMART Apps and Market Hero.
HCOM an online eCommerce education platform that teaches people how to build a profitable online business right from their home.
Lead by industry professionals who have built, and maintained multiple 7-figure online stores.
HCOM teaches its students the same strategies and techniques that these professionals apply to their businesses.
After watching a few of Alex’s videos, Brendon was adamant on becoming an entrepreneur.
When Brendon started his eCommerce pursuits in September, he immediately saw promising results.
“[My] daily sales ranged from $150-$200 a day. weekends went upwards of $300-$350. On average, my conversion rates were (and still are) 6-7% on my funnel.”
Just for reference – most Shopify store owners aim for a 3% conversion rate – on a great day.
“However, I got shiny ball syndrome and began watching all of these other guys [eCommerce ‘experts’] and trying to implement my own thing, and my sales started plummeting…”
“…By December, I was making no sales.”
Determined to succeed, Brendon took the time to reflect and figure out what he was doing previously that worked, in comparison to what he was doing now during his shortcomings.
Once he figured out the answer, it seemed pretty obvious – just stick to HCOM and focus.
“Immediately after I refocused and began implementing Matts’ techniques, you guys came out with the $100 checklist. The day after I implemented the steps in the checklist, I was at a $100 increase.”
One of the biggest mistakes store owners make at the beginning of their eCommerce career is losing focus.
The amount of information out there is extremely overwhelming, especially for beginners who can’t quite distinguish outdated or false sources from trustworthy ones.
Not only did Brendon welcome his mistakes – but he’s also learned from them, which has provided him with productive structure.
Curious how Brendon is able to maintain a primary 9-5 job, as well as an online store that makes close to $8,500.00 a month, I asked him for a breakdown of his daily tasks.
His one recommendation for staying organized and focused for the day – starting a business journal, a daily log of the previous day accomplishments and what the goals are for the current day.
Brendon typically starts his day at about 8 a.m. and checks his revenue for the previous day.
He then grabs his business journal and notes:
He then starts completing tasks on the backend of his store like sending out emails to customers and conducting product research.
Brendon’s product research consists of learning as much as he can about his niche, figuring out what’s currently trending within the niche, and find out which products are selling and where they’re selling the best.
Then he takes 1-2 hours a day revisiting the HCOM course – rewatching old videos, partaking in the daily coaching calls, and going over notes.
And of course, at the end of the day, checking sales.
“It’s fun. I always keep my Shopify ringer on and my girlfriend always asks me, ‘what’s that cha-ching sound that keeps going off? and I respond with, ‘It’s a good thing.’“
Although Brendon should take full credit for how quickly he’s been able to scale his store, he modestly acknowledges the tools that helped him get there.
Anyone who purchases HCOM gets access to the exclusive Facebook group. The group offers daily coaching calls such as beginner Q&A sessions, custom store design critiques, and expert Q&A sessions. In addition to the continuing education, students are able to post questions and helpful tips for other members, which has allowed the group to become more of an eCommerce community.
“From the start of the course, the coaches tell us that the Facebook group will offer the most value. All of the live events that go on are of great value. Matt’s expert Q&A sessions, Devins beginner Q&A sessions, and your live store reviews go on every week and I still attend. You reviewed my store a while back, but I still watch your weekly reviews because I always catch something that I need to change or adjust. I always think to myself, there’s no way I’m going to be the guy that didn’t make this work.”
“This section of the course really put everything into perspective for me. No one really thinks about how much wasted time they accumulate in a day. Alex talks about how you may have ‘done’ three hours worth of work, but in reality, you’ve only completed 30 minutes of solid work. And I realized, that really applied to me, so I cut out all distractions and really focused. The course is so worth it, it’s more of a community. “
“I use Express every day to fulfill my orders. When I first started out, I didn’t think I needed it that much, but as soon as I started making sales I realized it was more of a necessity for daily business management.”
SMART Express is an automated fulfillment app that allows you to capitalize on time management.
Instead of manually adding products to your store, you can use SMART Express to automatically import products, images, and descriptions straight to your stores’ product pages.
In addition, SMART Express allows you to fulfill all of your customer’s orders with the click of a single button. Instead of separately clicking each order 1-by-1, you can simply auto fulfill them all at once.
“Then there’s the Bundle Upsell app – this app has made my whole sales process so much easier. Just by creating bundle offers, upsells, and discounts I have noticeably been able to raise my average order value.”
SMART Bundle allows you to seamlessly increase your stores’ average order value.
By harnessing thoroughly researched techniques and optimizing the placements of upsells, SMART Bundle is the go-to upsell app for every new and experienced Shopify store owner.
Whether you prefer a standard, incentivized, or post-purchase upsell, SMART Bundle has it covered.
I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Brendon since our interview back in April.
I asked him how things were going and he proudly responded with:
In just two months time, Brendon has been able to scale his business from $8,500 a month to almost $30,000 a month in revenue using the same strategies and discipline he was using two months ago.
“I have friends and family that are always asking me, ‘How are you doing all of this, how are you able to afford it all?’ I live in a pretty expensive downtown area and HCOM has already paid for itself, it pays for my advertising, it now pays for my car – it covers almost everything! I honestly can’t complain at all.”
The community that HCOM has provided has given him the stamina to keep pushing forward.
It’s not uncommon for other group members to post their progression and success in the group, and Brendon is definitely one to feed into the competition.
“Group members like to post their stats whenever they have record-breaking days and I always think to myself, there’s no way I’m going to be the guy that didn’t make this work.”
Brendon took a minute to reflect on the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur.
“In one of the first videos, Matt talks about the highs and the lows. My first month doing eCom I was like, ‘Oh man, I’m making a ton of money.’ And then all of a sudden, it dipped to nothing. Then when I refocused, I began making more money than I was before. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work out the first time around. It’s not a get rich quick scheme, it’s a business model.”
Coming from someone who’s experienced with getting back on track, Brendon recommends two things:
I hope that no matter what obstacles are thrown your way, you can remember Brendon’s story and push through the high’s and low’s.
No business becomes a success overnight, but Brendon’s results and ambitions go to show that a business can find success rather quickly
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Patricia is a self-proclaimed dog enthusiast who also happens to spearhead the content marketing efforts at Skup. When she’s not petting dogs or writing about the industry insights, you can find her on a yoga mat or reading anything that feeds her bibliophilic needs.