What has happened to cause this? Well, let me look at a number of factors and comment.
Feyma going to Alaska
When Feyma went to Alaska in 2017 to work in the Seafood Processing industry there, it left me alone, wife-wise. I mean, some of my kids were still with me, but my wife was gone for an extended period. I used the time to refocus myself on business, to make some changes to the way I was doing business and other such changes. It was good for me. I missed my wife badly but given the fact that she was working hard in a far-away place, I felt that it was my responsibility to step things up and focus myself on growing our businesses during my alone time. I did that.
During the time of Feyma’s absence, there were some problems it developed here within the family. I had a couple of employees working in our businesses who were our nieces. I really don’t understand why, but somehow they got upset, got lazy, and really didn’t do much to help. That is a different topic for another time, but, it opened my eyes. Both of these girls had been working in various businesses of ours. These girls had been living with us for years. However, when I started seeing the way things were going, I decided that it was time for them to leave, both the home and our businesses.
Making this move, actually helped business. It forced me to refocus, it also shook things up in a way that was good for business. Getting more involved personally caused great gains in business, and it turned out to be a very good thing.
One of our businesses, WowPhilippines, which is a gift delivery service in the Philippines experienced great growth in the second half of 2017. Our two busiest times of the year are December and February. December, because it is Christmas time, and a lot of people are sending gifts. February, because of Valentine’s Day. A large percentage of our annual sales are done during these two months. December was one of our best Decembers in many years. February followed suit and was fantastic. We are making many changes to improve on things that are already going great.
We have found some new suppliers, gotten into some new product lines, streamlined operations, and in general improved our sales, our profitability, and the way we do business. Really, I think in every aspect businesses improved over the past year. I see great things ahead in this business.
For a number of years, I have been offering an online course, and also a course which can be purchased through my own website, and also on Amazon. I have focused on the Bisaya language, which is the language that is spoken in the area where I live. I learned to speak Bisaya starting 12 years ago, and it has served me well in life here. I never started learning the language with a thought that I could somehow profit from doing so, but that is how it has turned out. My Bisaya courses have done very well over the years, but in the past six months or so this has really exploded.
Firstly, in 2017, I renamed my course. I thought of kind of a catchy name and decided to switch to that, Bisaya Buddy. Then, I registered the domain name BisayaBuddy.com and moved my course there. Both the online course and sales of the off-line course as well. The name really caught on, and sales have been fantastic. Right now, language courses have become one of my primary business focuses. I’m coming out with many new products in this field things like videos, textbooks, and that sort of thing. I have also changed the delivery method for my course. In the past, I was selling my course on a DVD disc to be used on the computer. Now, in addition to the DVD, I have it on USB. Since many computers no longer have DVD drives, this has been a good way of increasing sales.
In addition to my Bisaya Buddy, I am also coming out with a Tagalog Buddy course soon, which I believe will only serve to keep my increase going.
This is a very exciting time these language lessons, and I’m going to keep riding the wave as long as I can.
My book sales, like the other businesses that I’ve mentioned, have real experience an upsurge in sales. It is hard to say where I attribute this upsurge toward. I have been making a number of changes over the years, and in some ways, I feel that the changes I have been making are finally starting to have traction, and increasing the sales of my books.
Mailing List Activity
In the past year, I have set up a lot of automation sequences for emails going out to subscribers of my mailing list, for which I use MailChimp.
Additionally, in the past, I use the MailChimp free service, but last year I upgraded and I’m using their paid service instead. Using the paid service offers me more options of things that I can do with my mailing list. One of the things I can do now using the paid service is doing these automated emails. Setting up this automation has helped, because it is an ongoing thing, and I don’t have to constantly be worrying about sending out a new newsletter. Having at automated keeps newsletters going out, with less work on my end.
With the paid service, I can also track sales that result from these mailing list campaigns, through MailChimp. I have two different lists that I’m paying for. One is a small list, which cost me only $10 per month. The other list is a large list, for which I pay $30 per month to MailChimp. However, in combination, using this MailChimp automation has increased my sales by more than $200 per week. So, you can see that paying a total of $40 per month for the mailing lists has paid off nicely. It was really a good move to do this.
Keep Moving Forward
So, this gives you a little update on things I have been doing and the effect that those things have had on my sales, and profitability of my businesses. It’s been very good, and my intention is to keep moving forward. Keep doing the things that I have been doing, and also more innovation to increase the progress that I’ve been making. I see great things down the road.