Asim Akhtar's Journey

Asim Akhtar's journey on his progress with marketing, e-commerce, and making SAAS companies.

5:04 PM

Going to shut down UK store and try to scale hard on US store.

Asked for refund from supplier so I can deploy more capital to US store + hammer hard on ads.

Idea emerged partly from podcast a few days ago –

People don’t make as much money as they can… because they don’t want to.

Example given was $100k/mo biz fully autopilot, great customers, great margins.

And also $400k/mo biz but didn’t like the customers, more work, lower margins.

To make $$$ long term the solution was simple… go all in on the $100k/mo biz, invest more time + scale it up.

Kinda what’s happening here except with cashflow issues.

My UK store margins are almost identical to US store margins (since I have to pay VAT), except…

  • UK customers ask for more returns/size exchanges
  • UK logistics takes large up-front stock ordering to remain profitable

With US store it’s 90% less work since I don’t have to bulk order + sizes are fairly consistent.

US store:

  • Scale quicker and larger (as 5x larger population than UK)
  • No cashflow issues
  • Less returns/size exchanges issues
  • No logistics issues

If US store dies out… then I can always turn UK store back on. But I doubt it.

US store with current cashflow is making decent money.

UK store is not, since I don’t have enough stock (yet)

Only recently started doing the bulk thing so yeah.

SO anyway, if my supplier refunds me, then I should be able to deploy 100% on US store and scale fast + hard.

$5-10 profit/order pre-tax etc etc

Maybe it’s possible that I’m able to do [a lot more] orders/day once I’ve got my customer service SAAS setup + automate 90% of the stuff I do…

Will probably have to get some new designs out to maintain profitability though

Main focus still SAAS.

Capital will be re-deployed to US store as/when possible.

Scale hard. Scale fast. No limits.

EDIT: PayPal might be annoying (hold money) if I scale fast, but I’m going to do it anyway… let’s see if it backfires —

If PayPal holds are too long (60-90 days), I’ll disable PayPal on the store. Problem solved.

10:03 PM

Figuring out Facebook’s API and making ‘workarounds’…

Fun times…

E-com’s going smoothly as a side note, just turned on US ads…

Bumped up prices by 25% (post-purchase fee).

Fee is before checkout so they still see the price.

Still got same conversion rate.

UK ads fine, remaining steady margins if I move fully to bulk order.

Will have to experiment with ways to increase AOV over time

Will do that AFTER I’ve got logistics sorted with every color/size for hoodies, then expand out.

Last thing I want to do is over-order in bulk, then enter a slow month + have capital locked up.

But if US store is doing solid (which I suspect it will) then I should have nothing to worry about (for now).

I’ll have to test a lot of stuff to make more money with e-com

BUT main focus is SAAS now as I like the challenge + the opportunity is ridiculous for making billion $$ companies with infinite scale.

16:25 PM

Finished basic Shopify layout, made the tags part look nicer… gonna move on to the social media integrations

Will postpone adding ‘cancel subscription’ buttons etc for later

18:05 PM

Practically finished Shopify integration apart from ‘Edit subscription’ stuff – reserving that as a later feature.

Doing Shopify css + sorting out the layout so it’s compact – after that will begin making social media integrations…

 

I’m packing my information down a lot better. Even the best competitor app requires more scrolling to see the same amount of information.

You may not care, but efficiency is important.

Speed > pretty stuff

Although I should add some headings e.g. Shipping address, which makes stuff a little less compact

I’ll figure it out + will likely re-vamp + re-compact stuff over time.

12:31 AM

Finished edit shipping address button

Might do edit subscription button later

Day 132

7:07 PM

Did edit order yesterday + cancel button stuff today, all working fine for 99% of use cases.

If it doesn't work for some people/use cases then I'll just edit it as they request it etc.

Gotta do edit shipping address button soon as well.

In-app subscription editing might be a future thing idk I'll probably have to manually create subscriptions and edit etc myself n see

Would be a very good feature to have though as it'll save agents time... so I'll see if I can do it.

1:42 PM

SAAS update: still WIP.

Got the refunds, duplicate + create order setup currently w/ Shopify

Massive time savings here for customer support agents + e-com stores at scale.

Have only seen 1-2 companies that have this. Still combining features from best companies.

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7:53 PM

Did 95% duplicate button + UI.

Order create should be almost identical to duplicate button so will do that tomorrow.

Order edit should be somewhat similar to order create.

Order cancel should be fairly easy to do.

Been looking at competitors + pricing etc...

I've gotta build my app so it's better for “teams” + have a much more integrated approach across all the channels.

Atm it does the job but I wanna launch it as one of the worlds best customer support apps so I'll have to do less work in future + will be able to move quicker when building next SAAS.

Gotta do fb integration + tiktok etc etc later

So I'm gonna make it in full, which might mean it'll take an extra few weeks

But we'll see, shouldn't be too hard

Quite funny seeing how these companies have $10m+ funding but I'm just out here figuring it out as I go along with $0

Time will tell how good my product is

But 100% going to take the best of all the customer support apps + make one of the best ones.

I think my shopify integration's already identical to one of the companies

Better than 2 others

Just gotta get better at everything else too

7:15 PM

Did refund button yesterday I think

Had to re-organize the refund layout so it's 1 click instead of scrolling

Did 20% duplicate button + UI

Duplicate/edit button is somewhat complex since I'll need to take in more inputs from the user but should be fine overall

Might eventually create “duplicate in another size/duplicate in another color/duplicate in another variant” buttons... but that's for a later date

Create order button will be similar to duplicate button.

After all this I'll have to setup some form of ticketing...

but also gotta integrate the other social medias first

so all in all shopify integration is slowly being done, might take another week to do it

we'll see how long the other stuff will take

it's just getting the initial queries/apis + user interfaces sorted out, once I've got a few requests I can just copy/paste + edit CSS

It's actually looking half decent now which is nice

Will do major CSS at end though.

8:24 PM

Making swift progress.

Just gotta keep the focus

Sorting out shopify stuff 1 thing at a time

Doing 50% of CSS along the way but nothing too fancy

Then I'll move onto facebook integration etc etc

At the end I'll make it all look nice and function smoothly, just gotta get it down and sorted first

Gonna be very good once it’s done, will then be able to create new saas companies much faster.