Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards.

Downsizing – not really a word I would use to describe a business moving forwards but is that the wrong attitude?

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Above you can see the back of one of the warehouses I was using up until recently. It’s 8000 sq ft and at about £2k per month including council rates and electric, was costing me a fortune to run. Looks like a lot of headache right? I was using it to house bankrupt stock and assets, in the photo you can mainly see some of the 37 pallets of kitchen units and doors that I bought from a bankrupt company in Darlington and Exported to Nigeria in Africa.

This exercise of buying this kind of stock in bulk can sure turn a profit, on the job I mentioned above I probably turned over £12k from a £4k outlay but it is always difficult and timely work which often means logistical costs and headaches. I’m keen to remove one of these headaches by downsizing from such a large and costly warehouse. This will reduce monthly overheads, promote sensible buying of stock and motivate us to turn stock over quickly as we won’t have the room to let it build up month on month.

I have downsized the warehouses and now have reduced overheads and gained some great flexibility to boot. The unit below shows one of the new warehouses and at £600 per month it’s a real saving. In addition to this I have come across a great Fulfilment warehousing service that I’m thinking of using for the bulk china stock when things get going.

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For those of you who might not know what fulfilment is its basically a dream come true for people like me who want to work from an iPad on a beach some day. Your stock is delivered to them via container and they unload and re pallet it accordingly. It is then warehoused and allocated stock barcodes. When you sell items you simply email or fax the orders, they then pick and dispatch them for you. Put simply you never need to see or touch the stock you import. This will allow me to travel to various suppliers globally and spend time doing what I am good at while letting a professional company carry out the day to day logistics.

This sounds like an expensive premium service right? Well no you would be surprised. I was quoted prices from around 70 pence per item which when you take into account the low shipping rate they can offer due to there volumes thats a pretty good deal.

So by getting myself into a downsizing mindset I have found a way to seriously reduce my overheads, promote quicker stock turnover and found a way to potentially improve my stock handling and dispatching. Doesn’t sound like a business moving backwards to me.

10 day countdown

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As I sit here in my home office – that I only just decorated and moved a PC into a few days ago, I wonder if my last minute spontaneous “It’s new year I need to make a change” idea was a good one.

In ten days I’m moving from Darlington, North East England to Shenzhen in China to see if I can build a new business.

I guess we all have something we think we will do one day but never do, I suppose I don’t want the never do aspect to bug me anymore.

I have been importing and selling online since about 2003. I owned and ran a successful business importing from Taiwan, Germany and the USA until about 3 years ago when the market changed.

I have been toying with a few things since then but I have been putting off making any real life changing moves perhaps because I’m human and that’s what we tend to do.

So this is my grassroots documentation of a young man looking to make money in China, you can follow my steps over a cup of coffee while you too may sit there deliberating some changes.

Oh, I hope you like my new logo…… YMC4Life :)