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429 : Paul Retherford Scanpower – Don’t lose your bread and butter focus when scaling your business
3rd April 2020 • eCommerce Momentum Podcast • eCommerce Momentum Podcast
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Get ready for some great advice from someone who sees a lot of successful (and some not so successful) Amazon businesses. It is has been a long time since I had Paul on and Scanpower has advanced so far since then. We catch up, catch up on Scanpower and then Paul gives us advice on taking action steps. Especially useful in these uncertain times. He does give me a special offer (message me to save 20%) but in my no pitch series I will leave that here.

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Paul's contact

Paul's previous episode #29

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Transcript:

Cool voice guy (00:00):

Welcome to the e-commerce momentum podcast where we focus on the people, the products, and the process of eCommerce selling today. Here's your host, Steven Peterson.

Stephen (00:14):

Welcome back to the e-commerce momentum podcast. It's episode four 29 and Paul Rutherford from scan power. And I've had some Paul on before and we talk about that. Um, as part of my, no pitch a series here, I'm doing a no pitch series because you know, we've got enough challenges going on. I've recorded this awhile ago, but we, it wasn't really happening, um, this full pandemic thing, but we, we, we had some reference to it. Um, they, they have a great program and it gives me a discount and you get a longer money back guarantee, but you know, you shouldn't be buying these things unless you're ready to advance your business. Now I use it because it could do my cost of goods. It can do our inventory. I can see profit and analysis by shipment, by product, by all the things that, um, that you can find from inventory lab.

Stephen (01:00):

I've used inventory lab two. I ran in parallel and for me, um, just because I've been with skin power forever, it didn't make sense for me to move. Um, they didn't offer anything that scan power didn't. So, you know, if you have a home and stay with it, whatever, you know, but if you're interested in it, um, just message me and I'll have that for you. But I'm not, I'm not going to pitch in this one. It's a really good, interesting, uh, some of the things that he gives us ideas about how to get through challenging times and, and action steps. Take advantage of them. You got some downtime or you're struggling. Like we are just looking at TV in the news all the time. Pull away from it and work on your business. Work on yourself also. So let's get into the podcast and Paul Rutherford and we'll come back to the eCommerce momentum podcast or excited about today's return.

Stephen (01:47):

Guests. We are both a lot older because we have not spoken. Get ready Paul. September 28th of 2015. Paul Rutherford from scan power. Welcome back, Paul. Hey Steven, thanks for having me. I can't believe it's been that long. I can't believe it blew my mind. I was like, ah, it's been a been a year or two. I mean literally cause I've see, uh, you know, every conference or whatever. And I'm like, Oh, it's been a year or two. Yeah, we got to get together. Blew my mind. Well, you must have a thousand podcasts. Nah, I'm up to, I'm getting closer to the 500 number. Not, not quite a thousand. I appreciate that. I will get to a thousand last time. Chris green and I talked about that. I said, yeah, I can see episode 1000. I'm like excited about it, you know, and it's, uh, it gets to be a grind sometimes just because of time. Cause life happens and, and that part. But man, it's just, you talk to people, I get enthused. It's like the conference we were at, right. Both of us were down at the unconference. It wasn't really a conference. Right. Um, but how enthusiastic are the sellers that were there? I mean, think about that. Oh, they're, they're just excited to have, you know, this incredible business.

Paul (02:59):

You know, Amazon love them or hate them. They've created a marketplace where, you know, millions of people can get involved in starting and running and growing small businesses. And a lot of them, especially those that we met at the unconference have large businesses. So it's just an exciting time to be working for yourself and kind of going after opportunities that you might not have and you know, your previous professional life or whatnot. And um, even though, you know, the weather didn't cooperate as much as we liked, it was a little cool down there. It was still just so good. See everyone and everyone's positive and everyone is there to help. So, um, yeah, it's, it's, it's a good, it's a good time to be alive.

Stephen (03:50):

Yeah. You were definitely one of the men of the hour. Um, I never saw you without a crowd. Um, which is pretty cool because I know, I mean, it's funny as in a pre conference call, we were talking a little bit about this. You, you're not far from the bottom and not far from the top, right. I mean, you're like, you know, you could Chris have the company and yet people have access to you. You know, that to me is so rare today, you know, there's so many layers to get to somebody who can literally make a decision and any, you know, and I find myself, I need help. I mean I'm, I'm at a place I need help, I can message and boom, I actually get a reply. And it's like, Oh my gosh, uh, unlike my podcast company, which I've had trouble with, the massive trouble and the owner's a friend and it's just like you fight through their system and it's, it's just, it hurts so much. So as a seller, when you can actually get somebody a year and say, you know, these are the challenges I'm up against Paul, you know, and then you sit back and you're like, huh, let me see if I can figure what, I mean, how many times have all the improvements that you made to scan power? I mean, you're probably going to say every time come from sellers.

Paul (04:53):

Well that's, that's what I was going to say.

Stephen (04:56):

Yeah, Steve. Yeah, thanks.

Paul (04:59):

First of all, um, and I set this last year at the unconference because, um, Elizabeth Thompson wanted me to meet with a group of people who, um, had similar needs to theirs but weren't using scam power and had some concerns. And so we sat down in a room and, you know, they ask questions and I, you know, gave honest answers about what we could do, what we couldn't do. Um, but my introduction was, you know, scam power initially could come up with some of the best and brightest features for sellers because, you know, we, we knew the marketplace almost as well as some of our customers, but that hasn't been the case for a very long time. It's no longer possible for me or my staff or, you know, to come up with the best features for our products because we're not in the trenches in the same way that the sellers are.

Paul (05:59):

And so a lot of those little powwows that you saw me having down in Florida were, you know, groups of sellers who have a feature request or have a better way of, you know, solving the problem. And so, you know, I'm, I spend a lot of time listening to feedback and then trying to massage that into a good feature that works with all their existing features and isn't going to impact customers who don't want it and whatnot. But yeah, it's been a long time since since we had the best ideas about what makes what makes our products great and what features they need.

Stephen (06:37):

To me that's kinda cool, isn't it? Like, uh, I heard this from Dan, uh, when were says that to me yesterday. Ah, the student is teaching the master on something silly that we were chatting about. You know, and it's just so neat. I mean, you've gotta feel good is that you guys have helped developed those people or many of those people into the sellers that they are by making it easier, by giving me the capacity right now, I'm an old seller who'd been with you guys a long time. You gave me more capacity. You gave me time. You bought me time, Paul. I couldn't do it. You were the silent employee. Two didn't call off. That's a big deal because, Oh and you didn't give me grief and you didn't eat all the food or you didn't leave your water bottles half filled across my warehouse, which is making me insane right now from these boys. But it's the truth though, you guys have helped develop our business. That's got to feel pretty stinking cool.

Paul (07:29):

It does. And you know, like a lot of business relationships, it's hard. It's hard to measure it. You know, if you're, if you're looking back and you kind of visualize it, it's, it's really just a whole bunch of people kind of walking hand in hand that, that sounds kind of kumbaya. But that's not my intention. It's, it's, you know, people learning, people growing together and you know, here we are, you know, 10 years later to talking about 10 years later, six years later, and it's just, you know, it's humbling cause you, you know, how much work it took and you know that some, some people fell off the chain along the way. Um, but to see so many of us still around and you know, mostly happy and you know, just profiting from each other, you know, so, and I'm not trying to make it sound too touchy feely, but you know, that's, I think we're all grateful that, you know, we, we had a chance to do this at this time and, and it's worked out well for a lot of people.

Stephen (08:34):

Those of us who used to do the 30 up labels off of just doing them off of Amazon, I'm telling you, I was telling the boys, so we have a whole bunch of new employees and I was telling him, I said, guys, we would print these 30 up labels in my living room and we'd spread them out and we spread out with the merchandise and we were buying onesies, twosies back then, you know, all the silly stuff and trying to read the seven characters and then to match it up. And we would, we would do it by, we would narrow it down, right. The ones aren't, we're not sure. Let's leave it aside. And we just keep narrowing it down. Ah, this has to be that one and we, it would take forever and forever and forever to do it. And we're so spoiled. I mean spoils relative.

Stephen (09:11):

But we've been paying for the service. We, we've been so fortunate. I guess that is the right way to say it. We've been so fortunate to be able to, you know, to be part of it and have that, that and that ride along with you. So it's funny, um, um, uh, doing something different in my podcast now, and I told you in the pre-call is I'm endorsing certain, um, certain things, certain, um, certain groups I'm in because I've watched over time I pay for, there's a whole bunch of groups I pay for it and a lot of them they give me for free and I don't hide that. They give it to me for free. They want me to look at it and ideally they'd let me to promote it, you know, be honest. Right. I get those all the time. Hey, could you promote this?

Stephen (09:45):

Could you promote this? And generally I don't, or if I don't or if I do, I'll let you promote it yourself and I'd be just like, you know, sure. Go right ahead. I don't want anything. I don't want your money. Just go right ahead. I'll let you, and I always tell the listeners if you're, if it's a good fit for you, that's awesome. You do well with it. Whatever. But skin power, you know, I'm endorsing it because I'm a user. It's funny, we went back and I just pulled to go back and look and you said on this version, so it could be earlier, but at least we'll just call it this January of 2014 I've been paying you guys for that long pole. I have put kids through college. I have paid for car payments. Paul, I have, but you have bought me a beer here and there or Chris has.

Stephen (10:23):

So there is that. Well we appreciate that and I think, you know, we didn't always know kind of what we were going to look like five or six years down the road. But, um, it's, it's these longterm relationships that, that really work. And um, yeah, I mean SBA in 2014, you know, it's kind of like looking back to your childhood when you come home from school and play outside and it seemed like it was four or five hours of just, you know, uninterrupted. Uh, so on times, I mean that's, yeah, FBA has changed a lot since then. We were, we've been FBA since 2011 cause we still, we have, we have that secret daily payouts that they talk about. So we've been there, so imagine all that time in between there and I was doing it the really hard way. And so it was like magic, like unicorns and rainbows and stuff when I found this and I'm like, Oh, they're printing my labels and this action.

Stephen (

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