Optimized Ecommerce EP 055 – BGS Ecom Insider Success Story
This week on The Optimized Ecommerce, Carrie Newman joins Tanner Larsson to talk about how she built a 7-figure ecom store with the help of the BGS Ecom Insider program. Listen to this week’s episode as Carrie shares her journey to success in building an ecom store from zero to millions. All that, through
Welcome to Episode #055 of Optimized Ecommerce – BGS Ecom Insider Success Story. I’m your host, Tanner Larsson, CEO of BGS.
BGS means Build Grow Scale! It is a community that we founded where eCommerce entrepreneurs and physical product sellers come to learn how to take their businesses to the next level.
Carrie Newman is one of the long-time members of the BGS Ecom Insider Program. She is the Owner and Director of Operation at Cerus Gear—an ecom store that specializes in creating innovative systems which promote gun safety, skill-building, and gun maintenance, they believe that “a clean gun is a safe and accurate gun”.
From day one Carrie believes in what we do and supports the other family members at BGS. She has gone from scrapping a business she thought was good to building a new one from the ground up — doing exactly what we teach. Carrie is also branching off into wholesale and has started to manufacture her own products. We’re glad to have her on the show and talk more about her success story.
Here’s just a taste of what we talked about today:
First, we dive into how Carrie Newman started her Ecom business.
Carrie described herself as a business fan girl. Growing up, she always admired how his father ran his business. She has known from a young age that she will go into the business world.
Carrie followed everything that was written in the book and got on every single call at Ecom Insider to guide her through the process.
Then, we talked about Carrie’s journey in building her business from zero to millions of dollars.
Because of COVID, Carrie has to push through with the B2C side instead of focusing only on wholesale. The foundation was there, but she had not really focused on running paid traffic and email. So, they decided to cut bait because they had no idea what COVID was going to do.
Carrie threw a whole bunch of money for Facebook ads, which were set up by a BGS member, and started running them. Then, it immediately took off! Her wholesale died down for a little bit but in 2019 and 2020, she enjoyed a 63% increase and her BTC side matched almost exactly in sales revenue within a year. Carrie went from 2% retail sales to 50%.
We also discussed a few other fun topics, including:
- What was it like when Carrie received her 7-figure award?
- Carrie’s perspective about Revenue Optimization.
- Finally, what is Carrie’s best advice on building an ecom business?
But you’ll have to watch or listen to the episode to hear about those!
How To Stay Connected With Carrie Newman
Want to stay connected with Carrie? Please check out her social profiles below.
- Website: CerusGear.com
- Facebook Profile: Facebook.com/Carrie.A.Newman
- LinkedIn: Linkedin.com/in/Newman-Carrie
Also, Carrie mentioned the following items on the show. You can find that on:
Tanner Larsson 0:07
What’s up, everybody? Welcome back to the Optimized Ecommerce Podcast. I’m Tanner Larsson, your host, as usual. And today, we’re gonna do some a little bit different. Normally, you’ve been hearing us bring on different BGS team members, and having them share different expertise in different topics and really just bring pound you guys with revenue optimization knowledge. And that’s great and everything. But we’ve also had people asking like, hey, what about people who use this stuff? What about people who are following BGS, or customers of BGS, or people who just are successful in e-commerce? What about them? And when we started the podcast, originally, the intention was for it to be a way for our team to get into the limelight and share their expertise. And from our side, we accomplish that, but obviously, from our listener’s perspective, they’re like, hey, we want to hear more, we want to hear more stuff from other people and people who are owning their stores and doing it. So we’re gonna start bringing a bunch of those people on and one of the groups that we’re going to be bringing on first and foremost is our seven and eight-figure award winners. So at BGS. On our education side, we have programs like Ecom Business Blueprint, econ Insider, Amplify, things like that. And in those programs, we teach all the stuff that we’re talking to you guys about in a much more condensed and intensive fashion, like a business accelerator. Now, people who use that stuff are members of our program, part of our family, when they build that seven-figure store, or that eight-figure store, we actually ship them and make them a custom big award. It’s like, three feet by two feet, it’s big, it hangs on their wall. And we award them on stage at our live events, and we mail it to them and they have a copy, they can hang it on their wall. And then we have one at the office as well. So we said what better people to bring on first, are people who are literally having success using everything we’ve been, shoving down your throats in the podcast for the last year. And just kick us off, we are going to be talking to one of my favorite people in the Ecom Insider world and the BGS family. She’s been a customer for a long time, but a family member that entire time as well. We consider anybody who’s in the Econ Insider world, a part of the family. And we call Carrie the mama bear. Her name is Carrie Newman. And she’s definitely a ride or die, she believes in what we do and supports the other family members. But the cool thing is Carrie has been with us since pretty much day one or just shortly thereafter of the Ecom Insider world. And she’s also gone from having one business that she thought was good to scrapping that business and coming up with a completely new one from the ground up and taking that company from zero to millions of dollars doing exactly what we teach. And then also branching off into wholesale and a whole bunch of other stuff. And she manufactures her own product, not some dropship thing. So very, very cool to have her on. So Carrie, thank you for joining us.
Carrie Newman 3:08
Thank you, Tanner. I’m really excited to be here with you. I love to talk with my BGS family.
Tanner Larsson 3:15
Absolutely, we love having you on. We were just talking offline about the event because in 2020 we didn’t get to have the event and we’re kind of all having withdrawal from seeing each other. Right?
Carrie Newman 3:28
Yeah, pretty much. I really have missed seeing everyone. It just felt like the family reunion that I didn’t get to have. I didn’t care so much about missing my own family reunion, but it was the BGS family that really made me angsty for a while for not being able to go.
Tanner Larsson 3:43
Totally, that’s exactly how we’ve been feeling. And we’re excited to hopefully have another event this year and get everybody back together. But let’s go ahead and dive into basically you. Why don’t we start with just a little bit so people can kind of get to know you like how you started the Ecom, the whole thing like that. And then what your company does.
Carrie Newman 4:03
Okay, I guess I would probably describe myself as a business fan girl. Growing up my dad. I saw him in business and how he interacted with people, and I just always loved it. And I always admired how he worked with people. And I knew I always wanted to go into the business world. And when I was in college, I actually went on a business trip, where we visited a whole bunch of businesses and I met my husband on the business trip. And we actually even got engaged on the business trip, which is a whole story for another day, super short. But we were at Nike and they had a saying that said without risk, there’s no reward. And so that was kind of like a mantra that had been in our marriage all the time is without risk, there’s no reward and we went on, he worked and did different jobs and side hustles and things and I kind of was a stay at home mom and with my kids and I have four kids. But we kind of got to the point that we wanted to live in a certain area, and there wasn’t work for him in that area. So we decided to start our own company, we had looked at a lot of different options. And one of those was buying an existing e-commerce business. And the entire time I was a stay-at-home mom, I always was reading marketing books and self-help books and learning what was up and what was going on. And doing a little bit of consulting for people on the side some graphic design work in different things and we were going to buy this e-commerce business, and I think it was on Volusion. And it was built in 1998. And it was an optics store. And we looked at it and I’m like, this is awesome. But I don’t know very much about e-commerce, I know about a lot of different things. So what I do is, I go to Amazon and search for e-commerce books, and e-commerce evolved came up. So I bought the book, read the book decided to do this, I just followed the funnel like a true customer hook line and sinker, follow the funnel, bought the extra chapter or the audio book, I can’t remember in the back what it was and then from there, I joined EI, Ecommerce Insider. And a couple of months after I joined Ecommerce Insider actually had kind of a complete rebrand redo where they changed how everything was going. And I want to learn everything I can. I was the sponge. I just wanted to absorb everything. And so I was like this is great, this new program, and they have all these different calls. And there are all these resources. And I literally got on every single call. I was on every jam session and was on every Tech Tuesday and everything and I just have notebooks of notes and I’d watch them over and over again. And my kids, my family knew hey, I got a meeting here. And I would just do everything.
Tanner Larsson 7:06
I remember you even hopping on when you were sick. You were sick and in bed and you’d still hop on and we pull you up and you’re like, oh my god, I’m dying. But you still did it.
Carrie Newman 7:15
There was one, I had actually come to the event in Reno. And it was my first live event with everybody and half of us got this horrible sleep. It was the worst thing ever. And we were kind of doing a follow-up call after it. And all of a sudden, you guys put me on and I’m laying in bed and I had been quarantined for my family. And it was hilarious. Sort of. I’m glad very few people remember that visual. So in learning so much, I realized that purchasing this e-commerce store was totally not right. And it wasn’t the correct thing for us the margins weren’t there, it was a higher price product. The repeat purchases would be a lot harder to do, and different things like that. And plus, it just was horrible. The amount of SEO work and changing the back end would have been a nightmare. And so I said to my husband, I’m like, look, these are the rules that we need to have, and what ideas do you have? And he has been in the firearm space and he works as a firearms designer for years. And at the same time, we found some existing gun cleaning mounts that were printed made in China and then shipped over. But what was funny is a lot of them are incorrect. The crap on it was wrong, it just wasn’t that good of a quality. And so with his skill set, we learned that we could manufacture these in the United States, and tie in a custom option for our customers. And have that for them where we could serve the smallest little firearms trainer who did a class every quarter, and he could greet customers for himself up to serving some of the top firearm companies in the industry. And so that’s where we went. And I was really blessed because from the ground up, I knew the right foundation to set for my business. And so when I did the website, it was really funny because like I said, I have some graphic design and some marketing and Kickstarter and fundraising backgrounds and stuff. And I would have never designed my website, the way the BGS theme or with the BGS principles because it was just different from what the Google searches will tell you to do. And even now I’ll have some people say stuff to me that these massive marketers will be like, you should do this on your website. And I’m like, actually, I shouldn’t and I know why. And do you know why? And they’re like, no, and I’m like, well, because of this you spend so much money to get someone to your website. Do you really want to turn around and then refer them back to Facebook? No. And so anyway, so I was just really blessed. But the bulk of our business was wholesale for a long time. And then we really ramped up with retail and our b2c. And that’s just blown up like crazy. And it’s so nice to know what to do. I don’t have questions. I don’t have to be like, well, do I do this? Or do I do this? It’s kind of, no, this is what we do. Because this is what BGS says, and we’re going to try this first. And if it doesn’t work, then we can test it and see what works for us.
Tanner Larsson 10:32
Yeah, and that’s actually a really good point. That’s to derail your story. But we teach so much stuff on here. And the thing is, it doesn’t mean that it’s always going to work every single time in every single store. Like people think, oh, I get it, and it didn’t work. Well, that’s okay. Let’s say we give you 100 things, we fully expect that 40 to50 of them aren’t going to work in your store. Because every site is different. What Carrie’s gun cleaning map site is gonna be different from someone’s supplement site or whatever. So the idea is not that every single thing works, but we’re giving you all the best principles, and then you can test them against your demographic in your store, as long as you implement them correctly, you’re going to very quickly find out what works and what doesn’t, versus having to guess what even to try.
Carrie Newman 11:20
Yeah, and then that really has made all the difference. And it’s been really fun to grow my company and to now bring on team members that I can think, okay, start doing this. And because for so many years, I was in survival mode and just starting up mode, and it’s a really hard place to be in. And there it really tests your mettle.
Tanner Larsson 11:44
We had lots of conversations about that.
Carrie Newman 11:46
We have lots and lots of conversations about that. There are days that you kept me from going absolutely crazy. But the thing is, it’s really fun to bring people on and be like, okay, let’s implement these things that I know are BGS principles I haven’t had a chance to do yet. But, but we’re now starting to implement them. And it’s just kind of like the slight edge principle where a little bit is adding more and more and more each time and the business is growing. And it’s rolling and getting bigger and snowballing. And that’s been a lot of fun. Because once you get that momentum going, you get through that part. The momentum just really moves you forward and you move forward and much faster and better, more sustainable with less energy. That is just amazing.
Tanner Larsson 12:31
Yeah, you are not working as hard for every single bit that comes in. It snowballs. So I want to talk a little bit about the ecom struggle of going from the back against the wall to having a 7 figure award for a very short amount of time. You’re way beyond that now, talk about that, what that was like from the ecom side of things.
Carrie Newman 13:11
So like I said, we had primarily been focusing on wholesale, and I had just let go of my sales guy. And COVID hit and we kind of were just sitting here going well, great. Here goes a bunch of our revenue, because we have people who go to shows and events and sell our mats as dealers. And so we’re like, we really need to push our BTC side, the foundation was there. But we hadn’t really focused on running paid traffic and email and all that kind of stuff. I mean, we had a couple of basic flows in and everything’s that way. But we just decided that we just had to really fish or cut bait like, we’re really going to make it or not with this business because we just had no idea what COVID was gonna do and no one knew what was gonna happen. And so we just really threw a whole bunch of money at Facebook ads, and part of it was I had a contact through BGS. But one of the best things about BGS in Ecom Insider is having the resources and if there’s something I don’t know, there’s someone who I know to ask and I had someone kind of mentor and help us set up some evergreen Facebook and we just really, really started running them. And it just immediately took off, it just completely launched and our wholesale died down for a little bit but we still increased 63% more over 2019 and 2020 and my BTC side matched almost exactly in sales revenue in one year. Not even in one year. It was really like nine months. That just completely does exactly what I had done at wholesales. So I went from, like 2%, retail sales and ecom sales to half 50%, and it really blew up. The thing was, is I was always afraid I’m in the firearm space. So every time we submit something, it’s rejected. And it’s a very emotional space online, we get a lot of hate messages. And it takes a lot of work to get stuff up and kind of fight the process and stuff. And too I didn’t feel like I had the time to really sit down and watch the ads and make sure I wasn’t losing money and all that kind of stuff. And so it was always a big scare for me. But when I trusted the process, and finally just went in and found people who could help me, and really help it grow and really set us up for success. It just took off and we prove that we can definitely, really, really exceed and do very well. And we’ve really increased before when we weren’t doing much, our average order value wasn’t very much, but we really increased our average order value, our conversion rate shot through the roof, a whole bunch of different things, it was really just this massive factor of all different things finally coming together, which was so incredible.
Tanner Larsson 16:14
It was fun to watch and loved, loved, loved, loved when we saw your name, come up for the award, and got to see it printed in the office ready to ship out to you. Talk a little bit about that? Like, when that showed up in the mail? What was that like? What did that do for you?
Carrie Newman 16:35
Tanner Larsson 16:37
You don’t have to cry, I’m not trying to make you cry.
Carrie Newman 16:39
You’re gonna get me emotional here. It’s crazy because I had been to multiple events. I had been a member for a long time. So I had seen people come in, after me, or before me, that got their seven-figure award, like right away their following year, right really quickly. I just knew I was just plugging along and plugging along and plugging along. And when it came, it was just like, almost surreal. And still, in ways, it’s really like it’s hanging up in my office where I can see it and stuff. And it’s really cool. But it was really emotional because it’s a plaque that hangs on the wall, which is awesome. But the emotion and the effort and the energy and the work that went in from so many people that went into getting that it was a team effort. And, and we all put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to make it happen.
Tanner Larsson 17:40
And the family sacrificed. And it was a win for the family.
Carrie Newman 17:44
It was a huge win.
Tanner Larsson 17:46
The whole family did, you guys were struggling through it and pushing and starting a business off your shoestrings. That’s just how you do it. And I couldn’t have been happier when you guys hit that. And guys, it’s not so much like Carrie, she says, yeah, I threw it on my wall. It’s awesome. I can look at it. But as entrepreneurs and Carrie’s has a big issue with this as well, just like I do, but we don’t let ourselves celebrate our own successes or our own wins. As soon as we achieve something, it’s like, okay, that’s not enough, I gotta go on to the next thing. And we realize that’s why we started doing these awards. So it was like, Hey, stop, take a second, like, realize that you deserve some recognition for this, you deserve to be okay, and be happy. And just give yourself a little bit of gratitude for what you’ve accomplished. And that is their milestone. But the thing is, is that before we started doing these awards, we started giving them out, almost every single person had that same thing of like, yeah, you know what, I never really gave myself a pat on the back or even like, didn’t even watch McDonald’s for dinner kind of thing for accomplishing something. And this is a big deal. So it definitely was for Carrie and everything else.
Carrie Newman 19:01
Well, to be fair, I did take my family out for a really nice steak dinner. Because we’re vegetarians like Tanner. Our vegetables come to our steak. The cows eat vegetables and we eat steak.
Tanner Larsson 19:15
Carrie Newman 19:16
Yes, exactly. And so I did take my family out for a really big dinner. And it was really fun. Because it was good to be like, this is you guys, you earn this too. And my kids felt that that was really special. And we had a really good time with that. And then I got on to the Ecommerce Insider group. And I shared it and I thanked everybody because when you’re in those down and out places, you have to have a support system. And I know if I have a question about one thing, I can list off my head, you need to go in the group and talk to this person and they can help you with this answer and you should ask this person and I have a small accountability group that every day love my girls. We Message each other and we say, what’s the one thing we had to do? And that the three of us have met.
Tanner Larsson 20:03
And you met those girls through Ecom Insider.
Carrie Newman 20:08
Yeah, So Svetlana and I are really close. And it was funny because we had never met, but we shared a hotel room in Reno, we were really good friends online. But then I was like, hey, now I’m actually really meeting you. And now we’re sharing this hotel room. And so it’s been a lot of fun. And Ane is just a rock star. She just knows so much. And when you’re down, or when you’re struggling or your celebrations. I mean, it’s so fun when we have those little daily things that we accomplish, or that we do. It’s fun to have people to celebrate that with. And that’s what has been so awesome to me about this is having the group, I don’t think I would be successful if I didn’t have that support system built-in. Because when it’s hard, when I have a question, when you need to celebrate when you need to rant you have people there who get it.
Tanner Larsson 21:02
And when you’re stuck, right?
Carrie Newman 21:04
Yeah. And I have friends all over the country that I just love, and it’s just so fun to know that I’m going to Florida in July. And so I reached out to Mark and I’m like, Hey, I’m gonna be here, you should come and see me and it’s just really fun. When he’s at gun shows in Florida. He sends me pictures of my map being sold by a customer and it just really is family. And what’s funny is my family knows people in the BGS group by name because I talked about them a long time because they’re my family. And so when a boy broke my daughter’s heart. My girls were like sending her messages of encouragement. And that’s just what’s so awesome about having a great business community. For sure.
Tanner Larsson 21:50
For sure. So I gotta give you credit and throw Ane under the bus because you know she’s gonna be listening.
Carrie Newman 21:52
Because you always do, because you always tell her.
Tanner Larsson 21:57
I do, I have to. So Ane and I have a very special relationship. She’s my younger sister. But she’s not. But she is.
Carrie Newman 22:05
I’m gonna say, did she claim that?
Tanner Larsson 22:08
No, so Ane, she’s been with us for a long time. She’s a great friend. She’s an awesome businesswoman, a mother, she’s probably the woman I look up to a person I look up to most in terms of how to live for your child and manage business and life around her. She’s Rockstar at that. So that there’s the good part by Ane but the part under the bus is that she was actually supposed to be the first podcast episode for the seven-figure and eight-figure award winners because we were like, who can be who should be first? Well, Ane has been with us the longest. And then also she designed the eight-figure award and everything else. And so we tried to schedule it, and we got her on the schedule, and then she chickened out.
Carrie Newman 22:52
Tanner Larsson 22:53
Yeah, so she’s like, Hey, I’m gonna see Tanner next week at the wedding. Maybe we’ll just do it in person. And I’m like, yeah right, that’s gonna happen. But I’m still gonna make fun of her there. And I know she’ll listen to this episode. So she’ll hear that as well. But anyway, you got to be first because you have more courage than she did on that one because she gets super shy but she has no reason to be because she’s a rock star.
Carrie Newman 23:13
She’s like, I mean, you could jump on any column she’s on every call. So now, and I’m like, kudos to you because I just struggle to find the time to get on the calls because with manufacturing and managing and raw materials and all that stuff. It’s kind of crazy but the gold that she gives on the calls every week, whether it’s the copywriting call to the ask me anything call. She’s just amazing.
Tanner Larsson 23:41
Absolutely. And we actually pulled her up. We had a challenge call on the last day of the challenge. We pulled her up at the last minute and she didn’t know it and that was fun.
Carrie Newman 23:52
She may or may not have mentioned that to me.
Tanner Larsson 23:54
Yeah, may or may not. She did. She’s great. And it was funny. We got to tease her about it a little bit. But so anyway, I had to throw her under the bus I had to but now moving back on to you. So how many years have you been in EI?
Carrie Newman 24:13
So I think it’s been four.
Tanner Larsson 24:16
I was gonna say, yeah four years.
Carrie Newman 24:17
It was April actually. So probably right about four years right now. So instead of your one-year anniversary, you can celebrate Carrie and Cory’s four years anniversary.
Tanner Larsson 24:28
Cory his husband. So anyway, guys, the cool thing about them as Carrie said, she had nothing knowledge-wise about how to do e-commerce. And it wasn’t like she came in with a successful store already. And then it made it more successful. She literally went from ground zero and built serious care, but she also had to dig her way out of that previous almost buying a business and getting all locked into that. And then things were good. They were making money on wholesale focusing on that category, COVID hits, she has to shift her focus again. And then, blows up her ecom stores, just a testament to sticking with it and then pivoting. And also, realizing that you can have two sides of your business both making money, which would be kind of nice, right?
Carrie Newman 25:20
Oh, yeah, it’s been really nice, because when Facebook ads are really bad, I got my wholesale still. And I can put a little more effort into that. So it’s definitely nice to have multiple sources of revenue and ways to do different things. So that’s super awesome.
Tanner Larsson 25:38
Going and building off that for a second. This entire podcast is about what Build Grow Scale does, and that is revenue optimization. Talk about revenue optimization for a minute, in your perspective of it? Why is it important? All that kind of stuff.
Carrie Newman 25:58
Well, revenue optimization, to me, is super important, because it really is what moves the needle. Like in all honesty, you can put up a pretty site, you can be involved in wills, and effort, day in and day out. But if you don’t really focus on what drives revenue in your business, and then optimizing that, then why are you in business. We’re all in business to make money. So to me, revenue optimization is taking what you’re doing, refining it, improving it, and growing and just building brick by brick success. So that you have the revenue so that you can grow your business and have new products and do different things, and all that kind of stuff.
Tanner Larsson 26:40
Would your store have been able to grow without it?
Carrie Newman 26:43
Absolutely not. It would not at all. And I actually have a specific story I can give you sometimes I hate coming on these podcasts because I feel like, well, I’m not an honor. Or I’m not a Devin. I mean, these guys have so much value, like they open their mouths. And it’s like they’re vomiting value everywhere, right? And, and I’m not like a statistics or numbers girl, I’m more into the big concept ideas and the strategy and planning and stuff. But, 2020 for us was once we decided to get on the e-commerce thing. It was like I had got on one of those old like metal merry-go-rounds, you spin around really, really fast. And everything’s a whirlwind, and kids are flying off left and right. It’s just kind of how 2020 felt for me. And what happened was, I was so busy. And we were coming in Q4, and I knew that there were things that I needed to do to improve my store and just take up the next notch to the next level. I knew I really wanted to do a site revamp, but I didn’t have the time for it. So I’m like, okay, what are the two things that are going to move the biggest needle? And at this point, it wasn’t bad. I mean, we were doing really great in sales. Our conversion rate was like 4.8% or something around there. So I mean, it was decent. I mean, that’s better than most of your e-commerce stores and stuff for sure. Right?
Tanner Larsson 28:04
Totally, I mean, we always joke about that being like, a bad day for e-commerce is 4%.
Carrie Newman 28:10
Yeah, exactly. And so we were doing really, really great. But I just knew there were certain things that needed to be done. And one of our businesses, we have a lot of products, because there’s a lot of firearms out there. And everyone wants their specific firearm. It’s like, the Ford versus Chevy versus Ram. You have your diehards for that brand, that firearm that whatever. And we did not have a way for people to filter and search for easily. We had a divided by like the size of the gun and different things, but we didn’t have a way to filter it. And so we decided to do two changes to our website. We redid our banner with a clear, unique selling proposition. really clear on what it was we had a really awesome picture of a guy cleaning him out, but it was like, what was the focus? And was that the gun? I mean, the gun always attracts everybody’s eye because all of us gun people are like, Oh, dang, that looks so hot. You know, we love those. But people weren’t seeing the mat. They didn’t know what it was. And so we changed it to really focus on the mat. Of course, we had to put a really cool gun on it, because that’s just what we do to everything. And then we added the filter to the website, and it literally blew our conversion rate up. There were a couple of days in December that our conversion rate was at 12%, which is mind-blowing which is awesome. So I talked about business. Literally you grow and you have a problem and you solve that problem and you grow into the next problem. And so we were selling so much that we couldn’t keep up with the demand and we ran out of raw materials like two weeks before Christmas. And we had like 300 backorders of people who can fulfill the orders to which is the worst place to be in an e-commerce business at Christmas time. And all that kind of stuff, we did have one thing going for us. And that was the fact that it was COVID. And so everyone was having issues right and getting materials, we were supposed to get materials, but they weren’t delivered and everything else. But we individually reached out to every single one of those people. And we were like, Hey, we’re really sorry, this is what happened. Would you like us to refund your money, we offered to ship what we did have in stock. And out of like the 300 people, we only had like 10 to 15, who wanted a refund, and the rest all decided to wait, which was phenomenal. That was really great.
Tanner Larsson 30:35
It’s because you made that effort.
Carrie Newman 30:36
Right, you have to make that effort. And it’s funny how we just make that effort on customer service, to really show people that we are who we say we are. And we play a lot into our brand story as far as the fact that my husband is a firearms person, we’d love to shoot, we love to do all this kind of stuff. We’re very patriotic.
Tanner Larsson 30:57
And people buy from people, right? So they want to see you guys, they don’t want to see some corporate sterile thing.
Carrie Newman 31:05
Right. And people are understanding, it’s really nice because when you do communicate with people, they are very understanding. And for the most part, I mean, every now and then you always have those lovely people that have an issue. But that is not your issue. It’s their issue when they’re that mean. But for the most part, we’ve just had amazing customer service. And people really love that. And so you build the foundation by having an amazing store, but then you follow up with great customer service and tell people your story and why they should buy from you. And I had an amazing testimonial on Monday morning. I showed up in my office and this guy, he asked a question when we were getting a certain mat design in and I told him I was like, Yeah, I know, I’ve been watching that one too. I want it. We’re working on it. And it’s on the list. And he emailed back and just gave us the most raving review and just said, I want you to know that. I love your brand. And I have told all these different people about it. And these guys have bought it. And I love how you reach out to people and how we know who we’re buying from that you’re making them yourselves and all these different things. And it’s just made a huge difference.
Tanner Larsson 32:12
Yeah, that’s awesome, that’s great. So, guys, you’re listening to Carrie’s story. And obviously, you’re listening to what she’s saying. So her saying that she has no value to deliver, we know that that’s BS right? Because she’s got gold coming out of her mouth right now. And she’s talking. And if you didn’t pick up on that she even gave you the two tweaks that she did, which are both big wins on any store. But so she’s definitely got a lot of value. But the other thing is, just from a totally random left-field thing. She’s also the luckiest damn person I’ve ever met in my entire life. Okay, so I’m the guy who buys all the raffle tickets like there could be 100 raffle tickets, and I own 99 of them. I’m not going to win. Not even the secondary consolation like thanks for participating in the prize. So it doesn’t matter where I go silent auctions, whatever, I buy the raffle because I want to win. Then Carrie wins everything. Guys, like legitimately. So not only BGS live, right? What do you win at BGS live?
Carrie Newman 33:22
A 100 bucks cash.
Tanner Larsson 33:24
Yeah, a 100 bucks cash of just a quick giveaway. And then, was it the year before that one? Or is it that same year that you won a truck?
Carrie Newman 33:33
Yeah. I won a truck.
Tanner Larsson 33:36
Not just a truck.
Carrie Newman 33:38
It’s my dream truck. Yes. It was awesome.
Tanner Larsson 33:41
So tell that story real quick, cuz that’s a cute little story. And I’m just ridiculously jealous.
Carrie Newman 33:47
Well, my husband and I love rodeo. We’re all American, small town, rural people. So we go to the rodeo every year, and we’re leaving the rodeo. And they give that ram rodeo trip truck away every year. and I said to my husband has really been like, we should just go into her and he’s like, Sure. So we walked over and I first walked up to the guy and I’m like, it was for a $70,000 voucher to build the truck that you wanted. And I said, Are there really trucks that cost? $70,000? I found out very quickly that yes, you can add 3000 really quickly. And so and we were just talking to him, and I entered and then, they called me up or like you won. And my husband’s out of town. I’m like, are you giving me a track? And they’re like, yeah, and I’m like, Are you shitting me? And they’re like, No, you really won and they’re like as long as you send us your ID and all the different things and so I told my husband he’s like, it’s a scam, don’t do it. So I do all this research on the company because of a price that big. They have to have an independent company that manages that. And so I did all this research to find out that it was a legit company and before I shipped off my social and signed my life away and notarized papers and everything, and then I had to go to the dealership to pick out the truck. And so I get Cory in the car. And meanwhile, I’ve been totally geeking out like researching the packages, I wanted everything that I wanted. And then we get there and they’re like, welcome and helping me pick out and I knew exactly what I wanted. And Cory had no idea because he thought this whole time I was being scammed. And so finally came down to him like, well, dear, since you want anything else, what color do you want? So he picked the color and I picked everything else in the truck and then we get in the car, and he’s like, I’m really sorry. And I’m like, why? He’s like, I totally thought you’re getting hosed. He’s like, I was expecting to have this conversation with you going home with like, it’s okay. People get tricked all the time. And, and anyways, he’s a very happy man, because he’s the one who drives the truck.
Tanner Larsson 35:56
Yeah. Awesome story, though. Carrie wins everything. So if she’s ever around, you don’t enter.
Carrie Newman 36:03
I’ve also won a box of ammunition. Like there was a huge box of like nine millimeters and two to three. And you had to guess how many rounds and I won that, and I’ve won concert tickets. And
Tanner Larsson 36:14
Keep running it in, it’s cool.
Carrie Newman 36:15
I won a bag at the NFR. With the truck we took a trip to the NFR which is awesome.
Tanner Larsson 36:22
Carrie Newman 36:23
But you know, in all honesty, Tanner, this goes with business, too. I’m gonna just hold you to the fire here a little bit. How many people hold you to the fire Tanner? Carrie will, I guess. So, the whole thing is that if you believe that you’re not going to win, you won’t win.
Tanner Larsson 36:37
You definitely won’t, very true.
Carrie Newman 36:38
If you believe that you’re not lucky. I hear people say all the time, well, I’m just not lucky. And like, well, yeah, well, you’re not because you don’t believe, you don’t believe you have the ability to do it. And sometimes in business, I’ve just really learned that I don’t wanna say believe but I have to do all that I can and then believe that it will work out and I’m a religious girl. I’m a Christian. And so I believe in God. And I know people believe in the universe or Buddha or whatever. And that’s totally fine. But there were so many times in my business starting out that I literally had to be like, okay, Lord, I’ve done everything that I can. I don’t have enough money for payroll on Friday. I need you to make up the difference. And every time he did, and so but I trusted him and I knew that he would.
Tanner Larsson 37:25
Carrie Newman 37:25
You have to believe that it will work and you have to believe that. I remember days and days, just wondering, will Cerus Gear really make it? But looking back on it, I can see that just the constant effort day in day out of showing up, having a belief in it, doing what you can do, and just believing that the rest will work out and the rest will come to you. It will and it does. It happens all the time. You’re planting seeds. And you will get the harvest if you keep planting. But the problem is, when you get sweaty and uncomfortable, and the ground is really hard. You don’t want to plant the seeds. You want to drink your lemonade or get distracted like oh, there’s some weeds over here. I should go plant. I should go pull instead of planting. You have to plant day after day after day. Show up. My dad told me when I started this business, he’s like the hardest part of starting your business is showing up every day. It’s true. That’s really true. And so believing and showing up just what you got to do. You know, trust in the process.
Carrie Newman 38:28
Tanner Larsson 38:30
So that’s awesome. I think that’s actually where I was gonna end it, but I can’t. So I’m gonna ask you one more. So with all that you’ve said, which is powerful, you could reiterate a piece or you could give new advice. But if you could give the people listening, one tip one piece of advice. What would it be?
Carrie Newman 38:49
Oh gosh, I don’t really do well with ones I could give you like 20 right?
Tanner Larsson 38:54
Just pick one additional one. You’ve already given a bunch just give one additional.
Carrie Newman 38:58
I think the number one tip that I have, and I learned this from you to be completely honest, is there’s that book called Ready Fire Aim. I love that book. It’s a really good one. You’ll never be 100% ready, like I said if I had the RO team look at my website right now they could give me a list of four pages long of things that are wrong with my website. But am I waiting to have all those in place before I’m running ads or before I’m selling before I’m doing stuff? No, I’m not, things will never be perfect. There’s always stuff you can do. There are always systems to implement. There are always products to add. There’s always more Facebook you can do, there’s always more analytics you can do. Just do it anyways. Like just do it anyways. Just get in there, send it, I don’t know if you guys watch that guy on YouTube that just gonna send it, just send it to get ripped, worn drunk, and get on a snow bill and hit that 40-foot jump. I don’t know. Just do it. Just do it. And like I said earlier, and that last question is when you just get in and send it, and you do it smartly. I don’t drink. So you know, I wouldn’t go on a snowmobile, 40 foot drunk, but you just got to go out there. And if you have some basic knowledge and skills which you can get on this podcast, I mean, this podcast is a wealth of information. I was even listening to it this last week and I’m like, oh, yeah, I should do that. That was awesome. That was such a great idea. And there’s so much information you can constantly learn. So you take those little tools, implement a little bit at a time and send it, improve it, send it, improve it, send it, don’t wait to be perfect. Just get out there and do it and start. And then it’s easier to make more changes as you grow. And it’s easier to hire people to help do things as you grow. And it’s easier to expand as you do those things. But don’t wait to be perfect. And don’t be afraid of hard work. This is hard. I think people think I’m going to make this million-dollar company and it’s going to be easy. It’s not I mean, you want the crash course and personal development, go start a business.
Tanner Larsson 41:13
Carrie Newman 41:14
You have to improve yourself so that you can grow your business. It’ll test you to everything you’re worth. But again, the same thing with yourself, you’re not going to be perfect. You’re not going to do things perfectly, but just do the best you can just everyday show up and send it.
Tanner Larsson 41:31
Absolutely. That’s great. Honestly, guys, that’s a perfect way to wrap this up. Carrie, thank you so much for this, guys, if you’re listening, take action on any one of the things that she said today, she’s giving you a bunch of different tips. And if you are struggling or you’re not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, like just kind of replay what Carrie just said and tell you her story. Because there were times where she couldn’t see light at the end of the tunnel either. But she kept after it. She kept plugging away, kept doing it, kept planting the seeds every day. And now she’s got the business that she wants to build. It’s growing and she’s not going to give up now she’s gonna keep taking it on to the next level. So Carrie can do it. You can do it, we can all do it. Right. It’s not beyond what you can do. And Carrie, I really appreciate you sharing your story and being so vulnerable. Just blunt. I knew you wouldn’t be but I do appreciate it. I wasn’t expected otherwise. Very, very grateful for that. But everybody, those of you guys listening right now, what I need you to do is make sure you are subscribed, whatever platform you’re listening on, subscribe to it. Also, head over to the YouTube channel, subscribe over there. This is a video podcast. So a lot of times we actually share stuff on the screen that you’re going to want to be able to see as well. So you could listen to it and then go jump over to YouTube and check it later. So subscribe there. If you need links, go to BuildGrowScale.com forward slash podcast and you can get the show notes, the videos, the links to all the different platforms and you can just stay in touch. Plus, if you haven’t been over to the BuildGrowScale website, you might want to check out the blog over there as well. Because every week we’re also releasing in-depth case studies and articles and things like that, that are all built around the same stuff we’re talking about on the podcast just in a deeper format. And again, it’s free for you guys, you just head over to BuildGrowScale.com. And with that, we’ll see you in the next episode. Thanks for listening.
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Ecommerce Store Audit
Want us to do an Audit on your e-commerce store and show you how you can make some quick changes that will dramatically increase sales and profits without increasing your traffic?