Asim Akhtar's Journey

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

10:59 AM

Got rug pulled.

Great motivation to work quicker.

Main % of e-com sales come from UK.

Problem is VAT is 20%.

Therefore, for any e-commerce business with net profit margins less than 40%, the government makes more than you make per sale.

Ha... ha...

ha..

Absolutely fucked.

My margins are less than 40%

COGS

12.50+1.70+2.90 = 17.1

TRANSACTION FEE

2

TOTAL FEE PER ORDER = 19.1

REVENUE = 43.98

43.98-19.1 = 24.80 === $32.82

AD COST == $20-25

$7-8 profit per order, yes?

No

VAT 20%

Now we're losing money every sale

Include VAT in price?

Sure sure, now conversion rate decreases.

Cost per purchase now $32

Which idiot came up with VAT is beyond me.

Is 20% of net profits w/ corporation tax not enough?

You can reduce it slightly with subtracting VAT from suppliers but that's not even close.

Solution:

Don't sell in the UK.

Sell digital products in the US. Subscription. Repeat purchases. As I was planning on doing...

Edit:

Solved VAT by including VAT in price. Will only have to pay £6.60 ish and then I’ll figure rest out by increasing average order value by upsell/cross sell.

Day 115

8:36 PM

Making progress, but I gotta go quicker

So many features/improvements too

gotta go FASTER

50% Shopify integration done. gotta finish the rest of it.

then do facebook. then instagram.

then I've got outlook + imap/smtp to do

then I'll finish it off with tiktok + twitter

fun times...

but once it’s all done though… that’ll be very nice. then gotta do website/offer etc try to take it to 7 figs… and of course make another saas.

3:15 PM

Gonna become a billionaire through SAAS then use crypto/real estate as a store of value (like Michael Saylor).

Gonna GO FOR SPEED ON SAAS

GONNA TRY TO BUILD THIS WITHIN WEEKS/DAYS.

LFG

7:03 PM

Figured out how to do Shopify API thing, now I gotta make all the buttons and connections n functionality

... so overall I didn't figure out much

But I did from a noob perspective

But anyway once I've built this I can re-use it + make more SAASes in whatever I want so that's nice.

Shouldn't take too long.

Shopify API, then Facebook + Instagram API, then TikTok (maybe) – Twitter (in the future) – SMS (future).

+ Macros (templates) for 1 to 2-click replies

Then that'll be the MVP

Although I'll likely have to add support for multiple users/customer support agents in the MVP

Anyway getting 1 problem done at a time.

  • 1 click refunds,
  • cancel,
  • duplicate,
  • returns,

exchanges etc here we goooooo

Was actually neglecting creating this shopify api connection since I thought it was the hardest part (as I'd need to create a Shopify app)...

Turns out I've worked around it fairly decently, so should be able to keep everything under 1 website.

I know that this is a simple thing to do. But doing things for the first time isn't always simple.

Anyway it's done now + future stuff should be much easier to do.

Any time I do things in the future, I can just copy/paste it or remember what I did before + do it. “experience”.

7:41 PM

Figuring out how to connect Shopify to SAAS... might take a lil' longer than expected.

Got 1 hacky method working, gotta figure out how to implement it.

once that fully works + I setup the shopify integration then that’ll be a major bit out of the way

after that all I need is facebook, instagram, tiktok integrations…

then should be able to launch

and then add live chat etc etc later

3:26 PM

Thinking bigger —

People anchor monetary values (£30k = car) in their minds.

This prevents them from both spending and making money.

E.g: Having a business making £100k/year.

Instead of thinking wow, I'll never be able to take this to £1m/year...

Run the numbers.

If you're in a multi-million £ industry...

Then you can get to multi millions.

To go from £100k to £1m, you need to 10X your business.

That's different to making £900k/yr more.

10xing your business is possible.

You simply need to:

  • A) get 10x more customers/year.
  • B) switch to a better recurring/% based model.
  • C) charge 10x more
  • To get 10x more customers, you need to run 10x ads. Or get 10x referrals. Or so forth, as per your business.
  • To switch models, you need to have a business that continually provides money/security/health benefits/value etc to your clients.
  • To charge 10x more, you need a better offer/package that's incomparable from the competition. $100M Offers by Alex Hormozi should sort you out there.

Money is a numbers game. Plain and simple.

Once you simplify it down, it becomes easier to make more.

You can do basic math.

% based pricing model + running ads = $$$

  • The more you make others,
  • the more value you give,
  • the more you're able to charge,
  • the more freedom you have,
  • the more risks you can take,
  • the more rewards you'll get,
  • for yourself + everyone else.

People buy stocks because they think there's an asymmetric upside.

There might be, but to make gains... you have to have a large enough timeline (decades) to make significant returns.

Even Ethereum 5xed this year. Clearly other opportunities exist.

Those 10% stock gains only make sense if you're playing with billions.

You have to take tactical risks to reap rewards.

Otherwise you’d never learn to walk — you’d always be afraid of falling.

The human tendency though is to watch others do something before you.

This will slow you down.

To be early/have an advantage, you have to see AND do things before others do. Before they become common.

If you do the same things average people do, you will remain average.

5:54 PM

Trying to remove the auth stuff from SAAS, it ends up breaking some stuff due to the order in which operations are done.

I'll have to fix it now though, otherwise doing it at the end will take too long.

9:58 PM

Making solid progress on SAAS now that it's most of what I'm doing.

I swear this gif makes it feel slow. Gonna add hotkeys or whatever to make this 0-click emails.

This is just my SAAS since it’s annoying to send 100 emails/day, for everyone – customer service agent or not.

Most platforms have 4-3-2 click emails.

I.e. gmail –> click on message, click on reply, type message, press send button. click on next message…

With this: type message, press send button —> automatically goes to next message.

You might not care but efficiency adds up over time. Especially when you have to tab back and forth, instead of 1 min/email you can do like 10s/email, maybe 5s.

Going to have automated responses/’macros’ to popular emails you send (customizable).

practically everyone has messages they send more than once if you work in most jobs.

i.e. in e-commerce it’s refunds, returns, exchanges, shipping info etc.

in other biz it might be asking for docs, signature, ya de ya…

anyway that’s that.

8:54 PM

Reduced US store prices yesterday. Somehow makes more profit that way.

Only way to make more money is to either bundle product or make new ones entirely.

As highlighted for the 100th time, SAAS has a better model.

High ticket. Subscriptions. Recurring revenue. High LTV.

Gotta stop getting caught with short-term plays.

Even if I 3xed e-com store, wouldn’t be comparable to making 2-3 different SAAS companies, testing landing pages & all the advantages making + selling software brings.

Ability to see patterns AND act on them is what matters.

Knowledge is not enough.

Action itself is not enough.

Consistent action is not enough.

Consistent, specific, directed action towards the best business model. That is enough.

Even though others might think they’re better, it doesn’t matter.

If limited by skill, hire people with skill — or learn.

We are born to learn. Then taught to follow instructions. This is not the way.

There are no rules to this game.

There’s only you, the player — and the outcome you desire.

You can maximize your likelihood of success. Reverse-engineer it. Start from the outcome, then work backwards.

This is theoretical. Was once told by a guy to not listen to people who haven’t done it before. This is a weak model.

Before you act (long-term), thinking helps narrow your focus.

  • I want to have a 10 million/mo SAAS company to start off with.
  • I must operate in an industry where businesses already pay at least 10 million/mo. Bigger the better.
  • I must be able to solve their problems with software and/or automation.
  • I must solve them effectively. And then some.
  • To do this, I ought to have the same problem.
  • 2 biggest problems/factors I currently have are advertising + customer service.

VERY BIG INDUSTRIES.

7-8 figure+ SAAS companies already exist here —> product validated.

Can’t currently think of anything else, so I’ll work with that for now.

First principles thinking will also help in the future. And now.

Sort out cashflow, more freedom to think/test BEFORE creating product.

This is key. Saves month of product creation by simply running ads to see how many people convert.

Yes, I know, I’ve already been creating the customer service app.

Just trying to refocus. Must have 90%+ attention on SAAS creation.

Easier to solve a problem if it’s the only problem you’re focusing on.

5:00 PM

Increased US store prices earlier in the day.

UK store doing fine.

Scaling on both.

Going to make bulk order in 4-5 weeks if necessary, or just keep it as is and focus on SAAS.

Probably SAAS. We'll see.