eCommerceFuel

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Running a brick and mortar store has its challenges. Today's guest has figured out how to create both an open and warm store environment with an innovative and successful online presence. For this episode, Andrew heads down the street from his office to sit down with Paul Decker of Musicvilla who's at the helm of a musical institution here in Bozeman, MT. He shares how he navigates the challenges of keeping a brick and mortar business running, his approach to managing an effective team, and how Musicvilla leverages an eCommerce site to generate additional income. Subscribe:  iTunes | Stitcher (With your host Andrew Youderian of eCommerceFuel.com and Paul Decker of Musicvilla.com) Andrew: Welcome to the eCommerceFuel podcast. I'm Andrew Youderian. Today on the show, I wanna bring you a company that's been on my radar for a long time. I live in Bozeman, Montana as you may know, and actually went to college here, and in college when I was playing a lot more guitar, I was a frequent visitor of the store called Music Villa right on Main Street. I spent way more than I probably should have on guitar equipment, and over the years, I've just kind of followed them and they've really impressed me, especially as I kinda get more into e-commerce, because they've built out, not just a great eCommerce presence online, which they have done well but, the way in which they've built the business. Paul specifically the owner, who I'll be chatting with, created such a interesting, fun, dynamic, open culture for his company. A lot of people talk about building company culture, but most of the time, it's just that, just talk. But what he's been able to do in Music Villa, both in the brick and mortar store, the feeling you get when you go in there, as well as the presence online with their videos that are funny, they're interesting, they've got a lot of uniqueness and character to them, it's just really...It's really impressive. So, I wanted to sit down with Paul, and understand how he was able to do that. So, left my office, walked down the street a block or two, and had a chance to sit down with Paul over a beer, and find out exactly how he did it. In our bed fast asleep. Andrew: Paul, thanks for coming on. Paul: Any time. No problem. Thank you. Andrew: We got the 87 mic, the beer that you graciously offered me. Paul: We're doing good. Paul's Background in Music Andrew: You've had the store since '97, right? Paul: Yes, '97 is when I came back. I was living out in Seattle, and I kind of moved back. My dad had the store, and so I kind of came back and started there. He was done and I walked in and took it from there. Andrew: Perfect. And so were you doing the music thing in Seattle or what were you doing there? Paul: I was, yes, I was playing in bands, and just left high school in '89. Right after high school, traveled with some bands for a while, ended up in Seattle. And one day, I'm like, "I think I'm ready to go home." So, I came back to Bozeman. Andrew: And what was the name of the band that you were playing at when you were in Seattle? Paul: Oh, gosh. Many bands, who knows. I got to play with the Jimi Hendrix cover band, and, you know, all kinds of stuff, but yeah. Andrew: And did you...You didn't have a business background coming in to run the store, did you? Paul: No, I didn't. I had... After high school and I never went to college and I didn't have any business background necessarily, but I did work for a corporate company, Musicland Group which was CD's and, you know, and that definitely taught me a lot about some business stuff. And then I just remember before I left Seattle, I went to a guitar center grand opening, and it was pretty eye opening too. I was like, "Wow." So, you know, I always kind of was in this marketing, you know, that... I enjoyed that aspect of it,

Direct download: EP164ECOMMERCEFUEL.mp3
Category:Entrepreneur Profiles -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

New post from The eCommerceFuel Blog:

Could there be benefits to going old school and connecting with people out of a physical store? Tony Rodono of City Prints Map Art and, more recently, MapShop.com did just that. Tony transitioned to working out of a brick-and-mortar shop, and shares his ups and downs of the shift, including interacting face to face with customers and managing a brand new team. Subscribe:  iTunes | Stitcher (With your host Andrew Youderian of eCommerceFuel.com and Tony Rodono of MapShop.com and City Prints Map Art) The Full Transcript Andrew: Welcome to the eCommerceFuel Podcast, the show dedicated to helping high six and seven-figure entrepreneurs build amazing online companies and incredible lives. I'm your host and fellow eCommerce entrepreneur, Andrew Youderian. Hey, hey, guys, Andrew here and welcome to the eCommerceFuel Podcast. Thanks so much for tuning in today. Today on the show, bringing you a discussion with community member, Tony Rodono, who is the longtime owner of City Maps, an online site selling beautiful map art, and who recently purchased a brick and mortar store in Charlotte, North Carolina with 8 to 10 employees, a pretty big acquisition for him. And I think in our space, we definitely have people that have those storefronts, but I'd say the majority of myself, the majority of our members in our community are probably online only. And so just a fascinating acquisition from my perspective. I wanted to talk to Tony about how it went, what was the rationale behind doing that, how's it been going, what are some of the challenges and some of the benefits of getting that brick and mortar business. Interesting discussion, so I hope you'll enjoy it and we'll go ahead and dive right in. Tony, so congratulations on closing your first brick-and-mortar purchase. April 1st, right? Tony You got it. Now, thanks so much, Andrew. Andrew: Yeah, that's fantastic. And the name of the brick and mortar that you purchased was mapshop.com, or at least that's the website, but it also has a corresponding physical building, correct? Tony: Correct. Yeah, everyone in town just refers to it as "The Map Shop". Andrew: The Map Shop, that's so cool. But before that, you were running a business called City Prints, right? Tony: That's correct. Andrew: Okay. And can you give us just a real...obviously both deal with...or The Map Shop deals with maps, but can you give just a quick overview of what both of those businesses kinda do? Background of Tony's Businesses Tony: Yeah, so City Prints, we launched that about four years ago and we make map art. So our pieces kinda look like modern, abstract art, but represent the places that you're most passionate about. The Map Shop is more on the traditional map space, so wall maps, folded maps and then we do, you know, a lotta custom maps too for businesses. Andrew: Got you. And you've been running it for four years and that was a lot of print-on-demand, you didn't necessarily have a storefront, it sounded like it was a pretty lean operation, right? Tony: Absolutely. That was kinda, you know, what my mentality was at the time, you know, really lean staff, mostly outsourced, no people problems, you know, work from home, no commute and hang out with the fam whenever I want. You know, complete freedom, low overhead, t-shirts and jeans everyday, you know, like you said, print-on-demand 100%, carried no inventory. So yeah, The Map Shop is none of those things. So it's definitely been a transition, but I'm having a ball with it. Andrew: So it begs the question for a lot of people, it sounds like their ideal situation. And it's not like you did...I mean, it's not like, you know, the reason I got into drop shipping was because it's not proprietary. It's got some great benefits of a lot of the things that you had where you don't have to deal with inventory, these kinda things,

Direct download: EP163ECOMMERCEFUEL.mp3
Category:Lifestyle & Growth -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

New post from The eCommerceFuel Blog:

Bill and Andrew resume last week's conversation to finish looking at how current trends in technology will have an impact on the future of our economy. Although these shifts may be a few years away, understanding the how these change can impact your business will help you prepare and not be caught off guard. This week, we speculate on what will disappear and just how these shifts impact the economy and thus your livelihood. The predictions we propose have the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with the economy. Tune into this final segment of our two-part conversation to find out how you can get prepared. Subscribe:  iTunes | Stitcher (With your host Andrew Youderian of eCommerceFuel.com and Bill D'Alessandro of Rebel CEO.) Andrew: Welcome to the eCommerceFuel Podcast, the show dedicated to helping high six and seven-figure entrepreneurs build amazing online companies and incredible lives. I'm your host and fellow eCommerce entrepreneur, Andrew Youderian. Hey, guys. It's Andrew here. Welcome to the eCommerceFuel Podcast. Thanks so much for tuning in today. And today, we're going to be continuing our discussion that Bill D'Alessandro and I...that we started last week, specifically talking about the massive world-shifting changes that are going to be headed your way in the coming years. And last week, specifically, we talked about robots and artificial intelligence. We talked about widespread virtual reality. We talked about negative interest rates and an extremely low-interest-rate environment for the coming future. And that's where we left it off. So what to dive in today is particularly about things that are going to be disappearing in the future that are going to have a big change on your life. So I'll go ahead and we'll pick it up right from where we left off last week. Enjoy! The Two Party System So moving into things that will be disappearing, the first one on here, and this is something that's really interesting, Bill, because we have different opinions on this. The two-party system. You and I were prepping, and we were like, "We've got to make sure that we do not turn this into just a political mock-fest," because I think you and I could go off for hours about what a nightmare elections... And apologies to people outside the U.S. This will be U.S.-centric. But most people would agree it's been a very unorthodox election campaign season. And I think this could be the final straw to break the two-party system, but you don't. And I'll let you maybe make the argument first. Bill: I would like you to make the argument first, and then I will rebut because I think... Andrew: Oh. Bill: Well, because I have not heard your angle on this, so I would like to hear it. Andrew: I think the two-party system in the U.S., of course, Democrats and Republicans, I feel like has been... It's kind of anachronism. And you have, I think, a lot of people our age, Bill. Not just like, you know, late 20s or early 30s. But going out 10 plus years in both sides, you have a very large portion of the population that is far more centrist, people that are maybe economically conservative but socially liberal, people that don't identify with the very extreme fringes of the Democratic and the Republican Parties. And for a long time, I think, traditionally, the two-party systems, they weren't quite as extreme, and so maybe that larger or kind of social norms were a little bit more divided. But I think that the parties historically weren't as extreme, and so people were able to relate to them more. But I think in the last 10 to 15 years, they've gotten so extreme on both sides. You have a lot of people that don't feel like they don't belong to any party at all. And I think this is the first election where you have just open rebellion in the Republican Party, and to a much lesser degree, in the Democratic Party.

Direct download: EP162ECOMMERCEFUEL.mp3
Category:Lifestyle & Growth -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

New post from The eCommerceFuel Blog:

Bill and Andrew pull out their crystal balls to peer into the future and predict how technology will usher in massive shifts in the economy. These shifts may be 5 - 20 or more years away, but they can potentially have a huge impact on your business. From self-driving cars to negative interest rates, large pools of employment sectors could face the chopping block as our society embraces the next generation of technological advances. Tune in to join the conversation so you can prepare your business for a future that may already be upon us in this two part series. Subscribe:  iTunes | Stitcher (With your host Andrew Youderian of eCommerceFuel.com and Bill D'Alessandro of Rebel CEO.) Andrew: Welcome to the eCommerceFuel podcast, the show dedicated to helping high six and seven-figure entrepreneurs build amazing online companies and incredible lives. I'm your host and fellow ecommerce entrepreneur, Andrew Youderian. Hey guys, it's Andrew here and welcome to the eCommerceFuel podcast. Thanks so much for tuning in today's episode. Today on the show, gonna be...do something a little bit different. Obviously, we focus on ecommerce and business here but from time to time, like to mix things up, and want to talk about massive world shifting changes headed your way from kind of a macrolevel, both because it's an interesting to talk about and also potentially because, you know, could have an impact on your business. So here to kinda peer into the crystal ball with me, mister Bill D'Alessandro. Bill, how you doing buddy? Bill: I'm doing very well and I did bring my crystal ball today. I'm excited. Andrew: Oh yeah, you got one of those crystal ball, or are we talking, like, the magic eight ball you shake and look into it? Bill: Yup, yup, exactly. After every question you ask me, I'm just gonna tell you what the eight ball says. Andrew: It's interesting, the original notes that we put together here, we had to par down because we had so many different things that we're like, "This is gonna be, like, an hour and a half discussion." Not that that necessarily means that we'd be any more accurate. I don't know, I think it's pretty safe to say, maybe everyone throughout history's already said this, but I feel like there's like a lotta change on the horizon. Bill: I think there is too and the topics you have picked for us today are all topics upon which I have very strong opinions. So this should be a good, good episode. Andrew: And there's a couple that I thought we'd be in agreement on and was not the case. So hopefully we can keep it civil for people, what do you think? Bill: I think we can try, yes. We're just screaming at each other by the end. Robots Will Run the World Andrew: Yeah. All right, let's dive into it. So Bill, the first prediction that we have, thing that's coming, and I'm gonna break these down into things that are coming and things that are disappearing in terms of massive shifts and kinda the world in general. And the first one is a pretty broad category and it encompassed a lot things that I thought about, that you thought about, and we kinda talked about it. It's really what I'm gonna call it, the robot in AI revolution in terms of just robots, but smart computers, so much automation. Automation has been a big part of the last, you know, 100 years one way or another, but just the rate at which it's gonna accelerate, the rate at which it's going to really make a lot of jobs and occupations that we have now completely unfeasible. It's got some really huge implications on in terms of just the convenience side of things, the efficiency side, but also in terms of social aspects of what do you do in a world where, you know, a good percentage of people, they don't have the skills to be meaningfully employed. So that's kind of a high level thing, a lot that we can unpack about that,

Direct download: EP161ECOMMERCEFUEL.mp3
Category:Lifestyle & Growth -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

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