This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Kirk Cooper. Kirk is the founder of Ecom Automation Gurus, a company that creates turnkey Amazon stores for entrepreneurs. He is a former high school teacher who looked to entrepreneurship to fund his dreams. He loved teaching, but it wasn’t going to pay him what he knew he could be worth.
In 2013, after succeeding in flipping some real estate, Kirk started investing time in Amazon and selling online. He spent his evenings tinkering and eventually created an almost $50k per month business on Amazon. He perfected his model over time and started Ecom to help others do the same. And now has done so with clients all over the world to the point where his business is now worth over $50 million.
I bet you can guess why I asked him to come on the show. I’m excited for him the share his secrets and process of how he built his business and create a fully automated online business.
@KirkCooperCEO on Instagram
Kirk loved teaching and coaching. He came from those roots. Many family members were teachers, and it was what he knew. He enjoyed it, but it wasn’t fulfilling his entrepreneur spirit. He wanted time freedom. He also wanted to help others grow and succeed. And doing what he does now, he is still teaching, coaching, and inspiring.
What did you figure out on how to succeed on Amazon?
- Failing was a big part of it.
- He tried a number of different businesses while working and wasn’t that successful.
- He had to find something that allowed him to hold onto his security blanket (job) a little longer and build the business.
- He decided to dedicate his evenings to the Ecom space, and it didn’t take that long.
- But, as individual, he worked himself into another job as he had to maintain his store and keep up with everything 24/7/365.
- He knew he could not sustain it, so he put together a small group of contractors and over the course of several months taught them how to run his store and eventually turned it over them to run full time.
- He actually made more money and spent a lot less time in doing this and that is where the idea for Ecom was born.
- He started small and focused over the course of a couple years with a small number of clients to perfect the model and then started to exponentially grow the business.
At the 12 min mark, Kirk takes us step by step through how his business works.
- 90-95% of his clients have no idea how to operate an ecommerce store.
- 90-95% choose to do drop ship vs. fulfilled by Amazon.
- They are looking for a more hands off business where they provide the capital, and the income is passive.
- Ecom does all setup, research, product listing, customer support, order fulfillments, etc.
- Clients outsource the end-to-end business to them
Talk to us about selling on Amazon, what should people know?
- And what is the difference between drop shipping vs. Fulfilled by Amazon. Nothing about it is guaranteed. Like any investment there is risk and reward.
- Amazon makes the rules, and they change them, so Ecom has to pivot and keep up to stay successful.
- Nothing is 100% guaranteed, but Ecom has a great track record.
- Amazon is the biggest third-party marketplace out there.
- The drop ship model is appealing because clients don’t have to hold inventory and pay to do so, so it is much less capital intensive than Amazon FBA.
- You also can be more nimble competition-wise.
- Drop-shipping has smaller margins, but it allows you to capitalize on many different products based on what is popular and needed at that time.
What is it that a client is responsible for in working with you and Ecom?
- To bring capital.
- You are paid every two weeks from Amazon, so you have to have capital (credit) to be able to buy and ship to customers while you are waiting the short time to be paid.
- Amazon takes 15% of the gross and Ecom takes 35% of the NET profit.
So, what is the risk? There has to be some.
- The biggest risk is keeping up with Amazon, especially when it comes to fixing account issues.
- Sometimes, Amazon AI flags accounts and will put them on hold and not payout while an issue is resolved, so this causes delays.
- It doesn’t happen all the time, but it can and does happen.
- Amazon has a lot of scammers working them all the time, so their systems are always on the lookout for anything that may look like one, even if it isn’t.
- Ecom is experienced in working on these things, but they have to be worked through.
Can you explain the benefits of buying an existing store?
- This is where you located an age store that has been around for awhile and has good reviews and a solid track record with sales.
- It helps you to start off on better ground, so you don’t have to build up the account.
- They are also able to be scaled much faster and get cash flow for clients vs. waiting 6+ months on a brand-new store.
Anything else on the topic of selling online?
- If you are not going to invest the time to do it yourself, do your homework on companies like Ecom that you can outsource to.
How has your teaching/coaching background helped you succeed as an entrepreneur?
- It is your job as a teacher/coach to be a leader helping growing children with the learning and being a person, they can trust to come to and help with that.
- That strength has helped Kirk in building his business.
- A teacher and coach helps somebody and there is no great feeling in the world than helping people.
At the 31-minute mark, we discuss the little things being done in the business and how they allow it grow and scale. Best practices?
- Don’t be afraid to outsource
- Put yourself in a position to be most successful by putting others in the position they can be most successful.
- Automate, automate, automate.
Principles to build a great business?
- Being available for clients Great training and coaching
Craziest thing you’ve seen on your journey?
- In the arena of ecom, the sky is the limit. It’s possible to make 10’s of thousands of dollars per month outsourcing your business.
- It’s amazing how many ways and opportunities are out to create income streams to change your life.
Best Quote: Put yourself in a position to be most successful by putting others in the position they can be most successful.
Kirk's Misfit 3:
- It is Ok to fail in whatever you do. Failing is a part of creating your path and being successful.
- Outsource, build a team, and grow and scale. Build your foundation first and go from there.
- Always be looking for additional streams of income. Look at it them like legs on a chair, if you lose one, you can still stand, so create as many as you can.
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