Posts tagged ‘Automation’

Book Review: “The 4-Hour Workweek: Expanded & Updated” by Timothy Ferriss

January 4th, 2010

We originally reviewed “The 4-Hour Work Week” here. As we said, the three chapters on “Income Autopilot” are probably among the best, concise step by step guides to building a successful, profitable, automated internet store. But this book is more than that — it’s how to reboot your life. Reading this book is like taking the red pill and discovering you have been living in The Matrix. It’s about escaping the rat race, yes, but — to use another movie metaphor — “You’re no longer part of the System. You’re above the System. Over it. Beyond it…. We are” the New Rich (NR), as Ferriss calls it. The author says: “How is it possible that all the people in the world need exactly eight hours to accomplish their work? It isn’t. Nine to five is arbitrary.” This and other “rules” are just so much software that has been plugged into our brains. Ferris teaches you DEAL (or DELA if you are currently employed), which stands for Definition, Elimination, Automation, and Liberation. The new expanded edition has over 100 pages of new content, including updated resources and more real word examples and suggestions from members of the NR.  It’s about how to use technology more effectively, but it’s also about making more effective decisions — i.e., applying the 80/20 rule to everything, ruthlessly. Topics include outsourcing, mini-retirements (rather than waiting until you’re older) and the concept of geoarbitrage. We recommend you take this red pill. Here’s the link to Amazon:  The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content.

(Reviewed by Rich Dog Millionaire.com)

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Musicnotes.com Hits $1 Million Sales Per Month (Update)

December 1st, 2009

As reported in Internet Retailer, www.musicnotes.com  has hit sales of $1 million for the month of Nov, a 25% increase over last Nov; with annual sales of $11 million. Musicnotes sells licensed sheet music of nearly 110,000 songs that can be downloaded — no shipping or handling necessary. This is the kind of business we like — finding a niche  and designing an automated architecture, with repeatable sales. The company was founded in 1999 and is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Is privately-held, and currently has about 40 employees. The site now reaches about 120,000 visitors per day and 20% of its sales are international.

UPDATE: A reader just advised us of a possible scam related to musicnotes.com. We do not know if it’s true.

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Book Review: “The E-Myth Revisted”… And Why Most Internet Businesses Will Fail

April 8th, 2009

“The E-Myth” books by Michael E. Gerber are not generally internet-biz oriented but the series has been among the best-selling business books in years. Do you know what the “E-Myth” is? Basically, it’s the fatal assumption that many, if not most, entrepreneurs have, in starting up and running their business. The assumption is that: knowing the job equals knowing the business. In other words, consider a character that Gerber introduces to us, in “E-Myth Revisited”: Sarah, who is an expert at baking pies. She assumes that, because she knows the techincal side of the business — baking pies — she knows the most important part of the pie business. But she doesn’t, not even close. Just because you know how to set up a website, or you are pretty good with Adwords, doesn’t mean you know how to run an internet business. Another point Gerber says: “If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business, you have a job.” This is also what Tim Ferris was saying in his great book, reviewed here, about the importance of automation.

The way Gerber explains automation is through the model of franchising. Eighty-percent of all new businesses fail within the first five years, 75% of all business-formatted franchises SUCCEED. Franchises concentrate on building a business SYSTEM that can operate automatically — and autonomously — without you having to be there, and it can be expanded — and duplicated — which is what empires are made of. Consider Sarah’s pies — and consider the McDonald’s Big Mac. Is McDonald’s Big Mac the best, tastiest hamburger ever? Most would say no — but McDonald’s is a $40 billion a year business, with nearly 30,000 restaurants in 120 countries.

So look at it this way, whether you are a blogger or internet retailer or any other internet entrepreneur: If you want to grow and build a successful business, what can you learn from McDonald’s and others? Nobody else is talking about this today in “cyber world.” For these reasons, we recommend: The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

 

(reviewed by www.richdogmillionaire.com)

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Automation: Pro-Selling on Amazon Made Easy

March 23rd, 2009

We’re big fans of automation — it’s all about maximizing your profits and minimizing your labor and expenses. There are a lot of small — and not so small — businesses selling on Amazon. (Ever see the option to buy used copies of a book you’re looking at on Amazon? — there’s a substantial business there.) It’s time for our inaugural “Automation” post : SellerEngine specializes in third-party software for entrepreneurs who sell product on Amazon. Here is info on “SellerEngine Plus” (quoted from their site):

**If you are an Amazon ProMerchant selling books and media, SellerEngine Plus offers the tools and the speed you need to price competitively and keep all your listings up to date.

**Enter your listings quickly and accurately by downloading your listings directly from Amazon, scanning them in using templates, or importing from files. SellerEngine Plus automaticaly retrieves the available information for the items from Amazon as you enter them, saving you hours!

**Our customizable, information-packed interface makes it easy to see at-a-glance not only all the details for your listings, but also what the competition is up to. When you need to make the same change to many items, you can edit them all at once in SellerEngine Plus!

**The proof is in the pricing! Use our Reprice Rules Wizard to create pricing strategies for the different segments of your inventory. Run price checks in real time, and use our price check status flags and the retrieved competitive information to be confident you have priced your items for maximum profitability!

**SellerEngine Plus puts you in control of your listings. Create your listings locally, and then upload directly to the Amazon Marketplace through SellerEngine Plus, when you are ready! Our orders retrieval system keeps your listings synchronized, so that you won’t accidentally create double listings.

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