How to Start a Business (Going from Zero to $1 Million)

How to Start a Business (Going from Zero to $1 Million)


– Anybody can call themselves
a great entrepreneur, but not many can afford
a bad boy like this. (engine starts) Today, we’re going to be
interviewing a guy named Joe, you guys saw him in the previous episode where we interviewed him
about his coffee shop. Today, we came back, we’re going
to show you something else. (upbeat music) Oh jeez. Oh my gosh! Can you imagine being like taller than 4 feet
getting out of this car? If you wanna start a successful business, today’s episode is gonna for you. (upbeat music) – Customers tell you
what they want, you know? And if you suck, they’re not
going to buy stuff from you. It’s pretty simple. So you just try to provide
value to our customers rather than providing value for yourself. As long as you help customers
go into your website, clicking on that send
your item, or buy button, then you’ll be in business, you know? It doesn’t really matter
where you’re located. One of our philosophies is to be able to provide
fast service to our customers to then make lifetime customers. We wanna make sure that
customers are back for life. When something sells, you
pull it from inventory, assemble it with the parts and
ship it out within 24 hours. – Yeah, 24 hours, that’s nuts. ( upbeat music) Joe went from working
completely on his own, to hiring over 35 employees. That’s nuts! I’ve no idea how did he did this. We’re literally in the middle of nowhere. (birds chirping) If you’re looking to do the
same thing, stick around. We’re gonna give you a
step by step process, of how Joe went from 0 to hero. All right guys, this is
where the magic happens. Check this out. Uh, there he is! The man , the myth, the legend. – What’s up? I’m Joe. Welcome to my crib. – (laughs) Yes. MTV cribs, I love it man! Hum, tells us about yourself. – I’m Joe, I founded this company, Joe’s gaming electronics. Where we buy, sell, repair
brand name electronics. (energetic music) – So, electronics, what
led you down this path? – Like any great business idea, it’s all by my stake, of course. I had a Game Cube and
my buddy gave it to me and I tried to sell it at Game Stop and they only offered me 5 bucks. So, I knew for a fact that
I could get more for it, so went home made an Amazon account, with my parents account
information, of course, I was 16 at the time and I went
ahead and sold it overnight. And I just got hooked on the feeling and being able to sell something. – How much you sell it for? – I sold it for about $45. – Oh jeez! – And I want to the shipping and I paid about like
30 bucks in shipping. So I basically didn’t make any money, but was addicted to the fact
that I could sell something and that online, e-commerce
my door is always open. And I love waking up to getting up a bunch of
payment notifications. – I love that. Wait, what year is this? I mean, Game Cube is like, pre-historic. – Yeah, basically it’s
nearly dinosaur age, but for me it was in 2012, I believe. – 2012?
– That’s when I started, in my bedroom, but that’s
mainly where it came from. Just went on Craig’s List
in the middle of the night, bought a bunch of Nintendo stuff
and just sold it on Amazon. And before you knew it,
within about 2 years, I was able to quit my job, I was able to drop out of college. I don’t have a college degree or anything and I really needed to be able to invest more time in my business. That’s mainly what I wanted to do and that’s what I’ve been doing. Yeah, so I think that’s
a huge misconception to say that college is bad, is bad for people that
wanna be entrepreneurs, because entrepreneurs is selling things, in order to sell things,
is not sitting in class. Selling things is be
able to be a merchant, buy something for less, sell it for more, to be able to sell something
for a greater amount. You know, to be able to be a merchant, you have to practice on real life. Through Craig’s List, through Facebook, all that stuff and you’re
going to learn to negotiate, gonna learn to sell things, you
can’t learn that in a class. Entrepreneurship classes
are a bunch of shit, because, no really, you
can’t teach this you know? You have to do it and I think
being able to understand that you’re never gonna
get where you wanna be, you’re just constantly
trying to get better, I think that’s a good
mindset with selling. (upbeat music) – Could you give us a
little tour of your place? I’m looking around, my
eyes are just exploding, there’s so much to look at. – There’s a lot to look
at, but it’s pretty simple, when you think a bit. If you look from the very top, is just a couple different departments. When we look here is
where our shipping cells, through the shipping cells,
we ship about 3000 packages and we do that by making
sure everything is in place and I’ll show you guys the
inventory really quickly. – Okay, yeah! – How everything is built
out, where we stand, everything is on wheels. – Okay, so no sitting. – No sitting. Not acceptable. – Okay. – Perfect. – You guys gotta like a
stand-up toilet, or something? – We’re working on that. (both laugh) What you see is a bunch of
different parts, for earbuds, headphones, speakers,
along with accessories and other inventory that’s
been repaired as well. And you see our stations here,
as you can see our station, this is my station right here. This is always changing, as you can see, I got my bag there on a
hook, I got my laptop, everything in front of me, making everything really
simple and easy to use. – Check this out. Everyday I’m hustling, love it! – And over here, we have more parts. So we have 8000 components inventoried and we have about 2100 skews and we’re basically going to
be about around 5000 skews so far about 5000 unique things. The best thing about it is if you start to organize right away, it’s much easier to go forward that way. But if you have to work
backwards, like we did, we didn’t start organized, we started like doing the
easiest, simplest way to do it, but without organizing. But if you start organized
and you stay organized, it’s much easier to maintain that way. So we’re paying for our sins right now. Just organizing the last couple of years. – Still? (laughs) (upbeat hip hop music) You go from selling, you know,
Game Cubes on Craig’s List. When does the light bulb
go off in your head, that you’re like: Okay,
maybe this can be a business? Did you have a goal in mind? You’re like, okay, wait a second, I probably shouldn’t be going to college. When did that switch happen for you? – So trying to be a
practical person, you know? I was doing everything
on the side, you know? I was going to college,
I was doing high school, things like that. I was working construction,
but before I even started this, you know, I started mowing lawns as a kid and I sold crispy cream donuts at school. I’ve always been selling things, I just didn’t know it was
called entrepreneurship. I was just selling
things and making money. I was kinda of, oh this
is cool, I can do this, now I can buy a pack of gum, you know? And so, I’d always do things like that and I didn’t know it was a viable option, until more and more people
decided to do things. And where the repairs came
from, is we saw an opportunity, we fix the Xbox 360. – That’s your first repair? – That’s the first repair we ever did. And we fixed the Xbox 360. – Was it the red ring of death? – It was, we got pallets of
that stuff, in my parents- – Pallets of broken Xboxs? – Yeah, we did.
– What? – When we were still working
in my parents garage, when the inventory
wasn’t so clean looking. – (laughs) Yeah. – But we threw a pallet in
there and we were fixing Xboxs, different things, Nintendo stuff, so we tried to be an opportunistic and see what’s on the market, what’s broken and what can we fix? That’s really what it comes down to. Customers tell you what they want. – [Cameraman] Exaclty.
– You know? And if you suck, they’re not
gonna buy stuff from you. It’s pretty simple. So you just try to provide
value to our customer, rather than providing value for yourself. You know, if you focus more
about what the customers want, less about what you want, you’re gonna have a viable business. ‘Cause you’re actually focusing
on people that are willing to spend money in your company. So that’s really important. (energetic music) – So Joe, we’re basically
in the middle of nowhere. Where are we actually? – Basically in the middle of
nowhere, is just about right. – We’re in Maple Falls, Washington, that’s a town about 300 people. – 300 people?
– Yeah. – In this specific town. Kendall has about 3000, but this specific city
has about 300 people. – You employ like 50%
of those town people? – About 10% of it, yeah. (both laugh) – Jeez, that’s crazy. Does location matter? That’s my question. So, we don’t have any walk-ins, so it’s not important
for e-commerce company, it’s really that you just have a location that’s near your team and a location that you can expand into. And that’s the most important. Doesn’t matter if you
have a huge office space, or a small office space,
or if it’s nice or not, you can make as nice as you want and the location doesn’t really matter, as long as you have customers
going to your website, clicking on that send
your item, or buy button, than you’ll be in business, you know? It doesn’t really matter
where you’re located. So you can see all the stations
are a little bit different, right?
– Yeah. – But the idea is, everyone standing, the computers are in front of you, you have all the tools in front of you, you’re making a small cell, just to be able to do everything. We have all the parts
here, as you can see, these are all just BeatsX parts, right? All these different parts,
more parts, more parts, all these different components, these are all the parts that
we source directly from China and then when we get them from China, we assemble them on to, you
know, just be able to save cost. So here is just kinda like
an average repair station, right here. Everyone’s station is
a little bit different. – So every employee has their like, own customized station
that they build themselves? – Based of their height and needs of what they’re working on. Yup! So everyone has a surface,
that’s connected to our website, connected to everything. Each individual technician
talks directly to the customer, so they’re their own customer
service representative. So we have 18 or so,
technicians, I believe. (energetic music) In this room here, a
lot of the things we do is we pack this just
in time manufacturing, so when something sells,
we pull from the inventory, assemble it with the part and
ship it out within 24 hours. – Yeah, 24 hours, that’s nuts. – And over here is just
our customer service area, we have 3 different stations here, these are all the packages come in to our customer center
from around the world. They come in through here,
they get inventoried, then put into 2 different rooms. We have our earbuds, smart watch room, headphones, speaker room and that’s where the repairs get started and then technician
starts working his magic. The idea is to be able to
centralize all communications, to make sure that we can
actually track it, you know? We wanna make sure that we respond to
customers within 24 hours, I wanna make sure the customer
never reaches out to us after one message and we
wanna make sure that’s at 75%. So we track all these different metrics just to make sure that our
customers after one response, they don’t respond back to
us, because we fulfilled all the different questions that they had. – All right, so were here with Matt and Matt is in charge of… – Customer Service and kind of an Operations management stuff like doing all the
writing and creative work. – Matt, I’m gonna ask you a question. I want you to be
completely honest with me. How’s it like working for Joe? – There’s some things
that get on my nerves. I’ve worked here almost 3 years and 3 months ago I
started working remotely, but like as I’ve spent
time away, like I miss it, every time I come back it’s really cool, the energy is awesome and just like, I really like organization, I don’t know if that’s because
I’ve spent time working here, or if that’s because I actually do, but it’s really nice to come
to a place where everything is in it’s place and organized and like there’s a flow
and things are moving. And so, for the most part,
is just nice to be here. (upbeat music) – You can see our garbage
cans, they’re all on wheels, everything is on wheels, you know? Let’s say you wanted to learn how to tighten this
garbage bag here, you know? It’s very simple, we scan
this, but they’re stupid stuff, but things that people actually ask me, we hire people a lot. You get so many questions
asked again and again. – System, look at this.
– Yeah. – It’s like a little, even the freaking trash
bags have a system. (both laugh) – Processes, processes, processes, right? Going through here, bunch of parts, that we’re always replacing. These are very common things
that break all the time. We’re running pretty low
on some of this stuff, but we have a batch coming in from China, because of this system
that we have in place, is called Conbon Cards, inside
each box you see right here, there’s a little card,
that’s the reorder point, so once we get past
inventory, you open that bag and inside there’s a card and inside the card there’s a barcode, inside the barcode, you scan the barcode, send it to the vendor,
vendor sends it out, you get it in, you never run out of stock. That’s kind of I’ve been working on the last year and a half,
it’s all these barcodes, I’m already up to 2100 barcodes and that’s all have to been done from raw. – How much?
– 2100. – But we have another
about 2000 to 3000 barcodes I gotta finish. – Okay. – But if you look over here, there’s kinda more of the parts, that we’ve been selling more. A lot of Fitbit screens,
a lot of motherboards, batteries, things like that. Things that are breaking,
that people need. And we wanna make sure we have them. – My question is: Okay, let’s say you’re
running out of Fitbit screens, how does someone know? – Let’s say you have 100 products. – Yeah. – At the 25 point, you’re
gonna have to reorder, because it’s takes you
like, 2 weeks to get it and so based of the usage rate, you put this certain amount
of stock you think you need for that time, the leap time to get it. So that way you’re never out of stock. – Okay. – In theory it’s an awesome thing, but it’s all about
resetting you’re Conbon, so if you have 100 and you put it at 25 before you got the product,
you may run out of stock. You have to reset it at 40 next time, that way you don’t run out of
stock, so you reorder sooner. (upbeat music) – Who’s your inspiration for all of this? Like, this system, we
walked around your business, we saw how organized it is, like, where did you get this from? – Yeah, so when we originally
started at the garage, we had no idea what we were doing, we still don’t know what we’re doing, but we take influence
from different countries and what we do is practice Lean, and Lean we got introduced
to Lean the last 3 years, through Paul Akers and 2 Second Lean, that’s a resource that we all listen to, before anyone comes to our company. You gotta listen to that book. – Yeah, for sure. It’s actually free on YouTube, so… – Absolutely.
– Take a look. – Paul Akers offers all his books and we’re able to learn
about the magic of Lean, constant improvement, eliminating waste. And that’s what we try to
focus on, every single day. How do we remove all the crap
that happens in our company and how do we improve all the things that just happened yesterday? And the idea is, every single
day, when you come in here, something’s gonna be different, something is gonna be better. I think the easiest
way to determine people that are not willing to learn, is to give them a book. Listen to this, and I can
tell based of how quickly they come back to me with a response and how well they’re going
to be in the company. If it takes somebody to come back, they’re not going to be a good fit. If they come back in 4 and a half hours, that’s how long the book is, you know that they’re
excited about the company and they’re willing to
dissect the information and I’ve had people that said
no, I won’t listen to this. I want a job. This is not a job, this is an
opportunity for you to grow, it’s opportunity for you to get better, opportunity for you to be
able to learn the stuff and implement it in your life. And some people are not willing
to learn, to get better, you can’t belong in our culture. – That’s golden guys. (upbeat music) – So we’re here with David, an employee and a close friend of Joe’s. What is it most that you
enjoy about working here? – Probably working on different products, like everyday is kinda different. – Yeah. – ‘Cause my main focus is
kinda, figuring out new products that we can bring on board. That way we can continue bringing
on more and more products and teaching other guys
to kinda take that place and kinda move forward, you know? – Always something to do, right? – Oh yeah! – You don’t like doing the
same thing over and over? (laughs) – I do a lot of that, I
still do support, you know, if we get too busy, like just
now, we had Black Friday, Cyber Monday, I had to, I
still have to, you know, carry the load a little bit. – And, I mean, with your
guys’s like response and shipping times, it
seems pretty quiet already. I’m guessing you guys took care of… – We have to do everything in 24 hours. – That’s nuts, Cyber Monday in 24 hours. – Yeah. – That’s unheard of. (upbeat music) – On here you guys see the
TV, every morning, see, if you guys came here in the morning you could see how everything runs, but there’s a huge list
of different inventory that gets added by David. – Is this the McDonalds
thing, where you… – Yeah, exactly! (laughs) – You have an app and on the
app, you go ahead and check-off or mark what you’re working on. This generally tells us what’s
needs to be done that day. Basically what’s not in stock. Whatever is in stock, they check it off and then it gets shipped out. – Okay. – And then 99.9% of the time, we ship out a product within 1 day. Within one day.
– Jeez! it’s all going out. – The idea is to make sure
that everything is going out. And we’re pretty good. I think we’re 0.07 in
terms of like, out of 100, only 0.07 orders don’t
go out within 1 day. (blows air out) That’s a pretty good metric.
(claps) We’re going through our shipping area here and this is where we
ship all our products, along with all inventory
that we have on hand and right here we have a
pretty robust security system, about 25 different cameras, just to make sure we can
stay on top of everything that goes on here. – Like, security cameras and stuff? – Yeah, a couple security cameras. – Ah, yeah. I’ll catch up, one second. – Okay, sounds good. So, inside this room, a lot
of different things happen, this is where all new projects
come to one centralized area, along with all defective
boards going to one area. So over here we have different things that we go ahead and repurpose. We have specialist that go through them and figure out what’s wrong with them and we’re also working on repairing a bunch of Apple Watch screens. We have tons of huge boxes
of Apple Watch screens that we’re trying to refurbish right now. Based off our principle is to trying to repurpose as much stuff as possible and that gives us the chance to do that. – You might not be able to like, fix it but you’re trying to
figure it out in this room. – Yeah, a lot of it can be fixed. – Yeah. – But that’s kinda what makes us special, we’re always looking for the next thing and also trying to improve
what we’re already working on. (upbeat music) – You got a lot of space, man. You’re definitely using it well. – That’s the idea, man. We’re trying to maximize. This is our media room, right here. We have our YouTube station, if you guys wanna see how a
proper YouTube station is done. Very easy, you just scan
this, it tells you exactly how to operate the whole
thing, where the cameras, the camera’s right here, teaches
you how to use it properly, along with the script and how you need to use all
the equipment that you need. And when they make videos,
we have our TV right here, it links up with that thing, right there, so you’re looking, if you
need a script of anything, is right in front of you. We have our podcast stuff in here as well, along with a little A/C machine. Then shots are created
by each individual person that’s doing it, so if someone
wants to make an improvement, I wanna make sure that nobody
ever asks me this question, you make a YouTube video,
you take that YouTube video, you connect it to our QR code, that when you scan it on your phone it takes the YouTube
video, explaining the steps and how to work on that thing. And so you guys can see
the tools are right here on the side, I made that
small little improvement so it wasn’t falling off. It’s all magnetic, yeah. And then if you wanna
power the station on, you just come underneath
here, hit the power button and everything should
come on at the same time and that’s kinda the idea, making these efficient is super important, because that’s gonna drive
success forward, right? – Yeah. In terms of like mindset
of starting a business, before they even think about an idea or a concept that they wanna pursue, what needs to be in their head before they start all of this? – Gotta understand the consumer, what are they willing to pay for and how much are they
willing to pay for it? And once you determine that number, it’s gonna be a lot easier for you to be able to know what value
you have in the marketplace. And you have to stay in
it as long as possible and make long term decisions. So if you’re going to be able to take care of your customers, if you’re going to be able to
build really good processes, then you’re gonna be able to
be around for a long time. But if you’re going to be
making a bunch of shortcuts and you’re not going to be
able to be focusing on quality, I bet it’s gonna fall apart pretty easy. – Yeah, you’re always
thinking long term, I mean, even with your clients, your
customers, you’re thinking, okay, if I fix this, if I do this, if I provide this service, will they be running
back to me 5 years later? – Yeah, so one of our philosophies is to be able to provide fast
service to our customers, to then make lifetime customers, we wanna make sure that
customers are back for life. And I think the last most important thing is to have a really good team. Have people that you’re
willing to invest time into, because they’re the ones that are gonna make all the work happen. You gotta make sure that
they care about what they do and they’re going to be able to do it, for whatever you’re willing to pay ‘hem. It’s really important to make
sure that you have a team, you can’t do anything
by yourself, you know? And it’s really difficult
to delegate things, because we all wanna be able to control and our control fixes us up,
the people that are founders, because we started it.
We know how it feels like and wanna make sure… – It’s a baby.
– Yeah! – You wanna make sure each
customer has the same experience. And how is William going
to be able to take care of this customer better than I can? And it’s to be able to do your best, to be able to delegate those things and then to be able to trust ‘hem that they’re going to do a good job. And guess what? They’re going to make
mistakes, but you do as well, but if you’re doing 50 different tasks and you’re putting about 5%
of effort into all of them, that’s not gonna work out as
well as someone doing one task and putting all their effort into it. It’s still going to be a better result, if you build a really good team and you can delegate
all your tasks to them. (upbeat music) – But when you’re starting
this business, was it hard to, basically, eliminate your
pride and actually start, you know, getting feedback
from other people? – Yeah, I think getting feedback
is crucial, but I think, actually, understanding that’s feedback and not someone trying to
punish you or put you down, is different, you know? It’s a mindset. So being able to have an
improved mind so you understand that everything you’re doing today is crap and tomorrow is going to be better. You gotta be okay with understanding that. And then being able to
empower your employees to be able to make those
improvements, is even better, because you get feedback from them, but when they actually improve
the things that are bad, they don’t have to give me a feedback, they can just make it better. And we always, I love wise counsel, proverbs talks about this often, you need wise counsel in your life. And so, I always look at people
that been in the industry, I ask them questions and
I really try to do my best to learn from the people
that been here and done that. – How did you hire your first person? That’s something that so
much people struggle with. – Hiring your first person
is hard, but it’s also easy, because if you have enough business where you have to hire more people, you just give them a task
that you can handle yourself. So, you know, it is easy, but it’s also hard to be able to manage and how do you then teach
someone to do something that you know how to do better? – Yeah.
– Right? And that’s always difficult, but I hire them based out of a need, I don’t hire them because
I was trying to scale up. I hire them because I had too much work, and I needed people to help
and I hired all my friends. – Yeah. – And that’s what I end up doing. Is it good working with your friends? Or is tough? – It’s tough and good, I have to fire some of my
friends and that’s tough. But at the same time, when you
bring them into the company, tell them, this is a
performance based business. If you don’t perform, you
cannot be a part of the team. This is a family, but it’s also a team. If the left tackle on a football team is letting the quarterback get sacked, that left tackle won’t have the job. – Exactly, yeah. – And we can see the film,
because we see results and we track everything. And so it’s really important to make sure that you’re not just
producing for the team and if you do produce for the team, you can be a part of the family, but if you don’t produce for the team, there’s going to be a second stringer that comes in there, gets more practice and they’re going to be our
first stringer right away. (upbeat music) – Guys, thank you so much
for watching this video, if you stuck through to
the end, make sure to like, subscribe, maybe drop
a comment down bellow. The previous video, actually, where interviewed Joe
with his coffee shop, if you’re interested
in something like that it will be down bellow in the description, so you can go and watch that. Also, make sure to like
that video and yeah!

21 Comments

  1. UpflipTV says:

    Thanks so much for watching! Share your biggest takeaway in the comments below. And let us know what business you would like us to film next?

  2. andrew belous says:

    Great job. Your guys videos are getting better and better each time

  3. Toxic says:

    This is very helpful how do you not have 100k subs?

  4. Tara Wagner Coaching says:

    Just watching you climb out fo that car was the best part of my day. 😂

  5. Ali Nowak says:

    We all have side hustle in beginning.

  6. Paul Bulanov says:

    Love the video and content

  7. luda Belous says:

    I’m impressed 👍🏽

  8. Makeda Andrews says:

    Love the energy 🙂

  9. Daniel Ford says:

    haha getting out of that super car was hilarious! You editing that video yourself? or are you hiring someone?

  10. Daniel Ford says:

    So you have cameras huh "slowly puts back the tape xD lol

  11. Sergei Belous says:

    I'm impressed with Joe building a multi-million dollar business being so young!

  12. Project Dream It Achieve It says:

    Really love the content my man! Riches in Niches! Money is everywhere, you just gotta find your ideal customer! As John Paul Dejoria says, "you need to be in the reorder business!" Great job!

  13. Olivier - Life Hack Training says:

    Thanks for capturing this insight for us. Really helpful to understand the mindset required and how Joe started out. Could capture some stories of how some independent consultants started out and how they got clients?

  14. Jane Stoller says:

    What a cool company! No wonder why people love working there

  15. Elisabeth Naber says:

    It's so great to hear local stories. Thanks for sharing! Love how someone here is using Paul Aker's Lean and seeing such good success. Great job on the business Joe, and the video UPFlip.

  16. Evan Hoeflich says:

    Really interesting video, thanks for sharing!

  17. Lana Dyachenko says:

    Noticed how much your video has improved compared to the previous one. Great job guys!

  18. TwoHeads says:

    Great video! He's so right, you have to start organized right off the bat or its a mess going back and trying to organize after the fact.

  19. Modern Web Media says:

    Videos are definitely getting better and better !

  20. Marian Rakosi says:

    Bahahaha that gracious car exit 🤣👌🏽

  21. Dennis Semikin says:

    Great video!

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