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Mark Sancrant is the Founder & CEO of Blue Ash Capital, an M&A advisory and corporate strategy firm. He has over 20 years of experience & $3 billion worth of transactions under his belt. 

Mark began his career in investment banking with Prudential Securities in NYC and has extensive experience with consumer products, eCommerce, and media businesses. He has also worked for technology firms and has recently taken an interest in brands that are selling on the Amazon channel.

 

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [01:58] What does it mean to be a firm that manages the buying & selling of brands that sell online?
  • [04:19] Information Mark shares with prospective buyers who have no background with online-centric companies
  • [06:10] How Mark bridges the gap between founders who wish to exit the operations of the business and buyers who have no online marketplace experience
  • [07:20] Why Mark decided to start his own business
  • [10:10] How do you know that the time is right to strike a deal?
  • [11:33] What makes a deal exciting?
  • [12:43] Mark’s view on firms doing Amazon-centric brand rollups
  • [15:23] How to develop a brand that actually has meaning vs a regular trademark brand
  • [17:07] The importance of connecting with people with experience in brand building when launching in Amazon
  • [18:50] Mark shares his early mistake in business that has left a strong impact on him
  • [23:34] The best advice Mark has received from mentors
  • [26:14] Common things that buyers look for that sellers aren’t aware of

In this episode…

Online marketplaces are all the rage these days and for this reason, a lot of prospective business buyers are looking to purchase a company or brand that sells online despite their lack of experience in online-centric businesses.It’s not a walk in the park, it’s definitely challenging, but for Mark Sancrant, it’s a business risk that actually pays off if you close a good deal well.

On this episode of BUy Box Experts, James Thomson is joined by Mark Sancrant where they talk about how Mark began his venture into the merge and acquisition of different brands that buy and sell online, what it’s like to sell on Amazon, and how to develop a brand that sticks out in a pool of businesses that seemingly offer quite similar things.

Tune in for a great discussion on business opportunities both for business sellers and prospective business buyers.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Buy Box Experts applies decades of e-commerce experience to successfully manage clients’ marketplace accounts. The Buy Box account managers specialize in combining an understanding of clients’ business fundamentals and an in-depth expertise in the Amazon Marketplace.

The team works with marketplace technicians using a system of processes, proprietary software, and extensive channel experience to ensure your Amazon presence captures the opportunity on the marketplace, not only producing greater revenue and profits, but also reducing or eliminating your business’ workload.

Buy Box Experts prides itself on being one of the few agencies with an SMB (small to medium-sized business) division and an Enterprise division. Buy Box does not commingle clients among divisions as each has unique needs and requirements for proper account management.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:17
Welcome to the Buy Box Experts podcast with your host, Joseph Hansen. We bring to light the unique opportunities brands face and today’s e commerce world. And now here’s your host Joseph Hansen.

James Thomson 0:33
Hi, I’m James Thompson, one of the hosts of the Buy Box Experts podcast and a partner with by box experts and formerly the business head of the selling on Amazon team at Amazon, as well as the first account manager for the Fulfillment by Amazon program. I’ve co authored the book the Amazon Marketplace dilemma, and co founded the prosper show, one of the largest continuing education conferences for Amazon sellers in North America. Today’s episode is brought to you by Buy Box Experts, Buy Box Experts takes ambitious brands and makes them unbeatable. When you hire by box experts, you receive the strategy, optimization and marketing performance to succeed on Amazon. We are the only agency that combines executive level advisory services with expert performance management and execution of your Amazon channel strategy. Our guest today is Mark Sam, current founder and CEO of blue ash capital. Mark is a career m&a professional with more than 20 years and $3 billion of transactions under his belt. Mark has worked with technology firms and recently taken a particular interest in brands that are selling on the Amazon channel. So welcome, Mark. And thank you for joining us today on the Buy Box Experts podcast.

Mark Sancrant 1:39
Thanks, James. So happy to be here and looking forward to chatting.

James Thomson 1:43
So let me start by asking you for those of you who aren’t familiar with the type of business you’re in. Could you walk us through? What does it mean to be a firm that that manages the buying and selling of brands that sell online?

Mark Sancrant 1:58
That’s a great question. Because there’s a A number of different levels to selling a business. So I refer to myself as an m&a advisor. So I advise clients through the entire m&a process, particularly when they’re selling but I also work with clients to help them acquire businesses. But what that means to me is I’m there from the beginning all the way to the close. So I advise on finding buyers for businesses I advise on helping them business put together the right marketing material to attract potential acquirers. Yes and then you know once once we do find that acquire you know, I help clients negotiate lol wise, get through the due diligence process, and that’s a very important piece. And then I also work in conjunction with counsel to document transactions as well.

James Thomson 2:55
So there are a number of companies out there that would define themselves as brokers of online businesses, you have an extensive m&a background. So I’m curious how all of that additional experience you bring to the table, how that makes things different for your clients.

Mark Sancrant 3:11
Yeah, I take a much different approach than I think most of the brokers and I can’t speak for all of them because they all operate a little bit differently. But generally, my approach is one, it’s, it’s more proactive. So when I start a process where I’m selling a client, I began with trying to identify who the likely buyer of that business is. So my goal is to find someone that wants to buy that specific business. And then once I develop that list of prospective buyers, I go out and contact them so it’s much more proactive process than a kind of reactive or passive process that I think most of the brokerage take, where they might simply list a business or posted on their website or other deal sites, and then wait for the interest to come to them.

James Thomson 4:01
So you obviously represent companies that are looking to sell but you also would have a Rolodex of a number of prospective buyers companies that may be potentially doing roll up strategies, or may have expressed an interest in potentially buying companies that have online marketplace experience. Tell me a little bit about the kinds of knowledge that you’re having to share with prospective buyers, companies, companies that may not otherwise have extensive experience or awareness of what’s going on with with online centric companies.

Mark Sancrant 4:36
Yeah, that’s a great point because that’s an education process that I continue to go through with, with buyers. But as you can imagine, I think particularly in the private equity world, you have a lot of capital that’s looking for a home one, so that’s always a good thing. And then I think that a lot of people are looking at the Amazon channel saying, you know, we see nothing Growth and Opportunity with Amazon, but they don’t really understand what it means to sell on Amazon or where the value really is. So the educational process that I’m having with buyers is helping them understand whether it’s for their own benefit or for portfolio companies benefit, what the opportunity with Amazon is. So you might have a brand that does not have an e commerce presence or an Amazon presence. And part of that position or part of that process is really helping them to understand it is simple level, hey, if you’re not selling your products on Amazon, somebody else will be. And that’s a process that you want to control. And if you’re not on Amazon, in some cases, it might be easier for them to buy an existing amazon seller and then begin selling their products as opposed to starting with a brand new fresh account.

James Thomson 5:51
I can imagine that some of the companies that you’re representing for sale, some of these, these people actually want to exit the operations of the business. Yes, some of the prospective buyers may not have a lot of that Amazon centric or online marketplace centric experience. How do you help close that gap so that everybody’s happy?

Mark Sancrant 6:10
Yeah, that’s also part of the education process, right? Because if you look at a lot of the sellers, on the Amazon side, a lot of them are more or less one person shops, right. And they’ve developed a team that they kind of outsource everything to, but there’s not a lot of infrastructure. For many buyers, particularly on the private equity side. They want to see that infrastructure because it’s it highlights one of the risks that buyers see when they look at it opportunities and that risk is dependence on the owner. And so when it’s one person kind of orchestrating all these other moving parts, it feels like there’s a lot of dependence on that person. So it’s a challenge in a role and part of my role to help the buyer understand that what the owner has built is not Just a system of outsourced individuals. It’s it’s a process. And you can take the owner of that business and replace them with someone in the acquiring team to manage that process. But all the pieces are there and it’s a process. It’s not necessarily completely dependent on the seller.

James Thomson 7:19
So so let’s let’s shift gears here a little bit. I want to talk with you about your own experience doing what you do. You’ve worked for a number of different companies early in your professional career. When did you know you wanted to set up your own business? Basically, you know, how did you awaken the entrepreneur and yourself?

Mark Sancrant 7:36
Yeah, that’s a great question, because this is actually kind of my second act. it being a solo m&a advisor. I began my career in traditional investment banking in New York. So working with large public companies doing capital raising and also m&a advisory work. And then as my career progressed, progressed, I kept me Kind of downstream, which I actually enjoyed. So I just working with smaller and smaller businesses, and where my passion kind of came in is really helping entrepreneurs and advising entrepreneurs and helping them grow their businesses, I found that much more fascinating than working for very large companies that are professionally managed. And it’s just a process you don’t have a lot of impact or a lot of ability to add value. So, earlier in my career, I’d say probably eight or nine years into my investment banking career, I went out on my own in New York, eventually moved back to Ohio, which is where I’m from and continued to do kind of the one man shop m&a, advisory type board. And then I switched to the corporate side and joined a very small online media company where I was leading their overall corporate strategy and acquisition strategy. So I developed their strategy went and executed that we acquired approximately 10 Companies, and then ultimately suited to a strategic. And then I spent some time managing corporate strategy with a media agency and then also a brand holding company that I co founded. And ultimately, it came full circle about a year and a half ago when I was at age 46. And kind of took a step back and said, What do I want to be when I grow up? And I realized what I was lacking was, again, that passion of working with a lot of entrepreneurs and really helping them figure out how to grow their businesses or monetize their businesses. So I made the decision about a year and a half ago to come back to the advisors.

James Thomson 9:38
Yeah, yep. So tell me a little bit about you know, we start working with entrepreneurs, the the timeline of getting them to a point where they’re ready to do a deal. I would think that that timeline is extended from what you might have otherwise done when you were working in you know, big corporate m&a. How do you how do you figure out How much time is enough time to invest in a prospective buyer or prospective seller, versus you’re just the the finance expert who’s giving away all this advice.

Mark Sancrant 10:10
So that’s kind of interesting because it falls into one or two camps. On one hand, it’s you have to invest a lot of time building a relationship, and I’m really relationship driven. So I’m okay with with investing time in a relationship, but part of my role is advising them on what it looks like and feels like essentially to exit or sell a business. So I need to start that conversation as early as possible. So in some cases, in an ideal case, it’s well in advance of them actually wanting to sell so that you’re right, that process can take a while and I’m happy to make that investment. The other camp, it’s kind of interesting, particularly with first time entrepreneurs that haven’t been through the exit process. The only kind of analogy they have is selling a house right and it’s It’s kind of like the same thing. It’s like they wake up and decide I want to sell my house and they’re ready to go. Yes. And they’re just ready for offers to come in. And it’s like, well, it can work that way. But I think that it also makes sense to take a step back, realize it’s not a house. And there’s a lot of things that you can do with your business into your business to make it more attractive. So let’s, let’s start with that, and then go to market.

James Thomson 11:23
So mark on your Twitter site, you post a lot about deals that have gone through deals that other folks have done. I’m curious what makes a deal worth calling out or what makes it exciting for you?

Mark Sancrant 11:33
Yeah, so the the main thing that I find exciting is when it’s an entrepreneur, and we can share and applaud entrepreneurs success stories. So that’s kind of one of the first filters I have. I also like success stories that otherwise don’t get a lot of press and what I mean by that is, you know, particularly with recently with companies like we work, you get all the constant Press around the unicorns and the companies that raised a ton of money. That’s great and everything. And there’s a place for those successes to be celebrated. And also, but I like when you bring it back down to the kind of the main street business owner or entrepreneur that doesn’t have outside capital that bootstrapped and put their heart and soul into a business and grew it and they had success. Those are the ones that I really, really like.

James Thomson 12:27
For those of us who are looking to do a deal and take 10 or $20 million off the table. That’s pretty life altering. That’s exciting. And I’m glad that you’re using the opportunity to talk about some of these smaller deals that still are big deals for the folks doing. Oh, yeah, transactions. So talk to me a little about what you make of these firms that are doing these Amazon centric brand roll ups. This is a new development that we’ve seen in the last couple years and I’m kind of curious about what you what you think of this process.

Unknown Speaker 12:58
Yeah, it ultimately

Mark Sancrant 13:01
Depends on what two things one, what’s the ultimate strategy and then to what’s the ultimate goal. And if the goal is to cobble together a bunch of stuff and pray that one plus one equals three, that’s a perfectly fine goal. I think there’s a bit of a challenge to that. If the goal is to focus on maybe underperforming or under managed businesses and bring tools and and services to the table to help them scale and create value, I think that’s a much more interesting story. So I can’t spit them all. But I think that some of them have different strategies and goals. I think in some cases, it’s, hey, we’re starting with a lot of under manage businesses, let’s build an infrastructure and start putting those businesses into this infrastructure that’s kind of a shared services model, and really leverage that to help these businesses scale. I think that’s a great strategy. But ultimately, it also comes back to you got to think about her, you’re here, too. And so that’s one area where I have a question of who do these brands that are cobbling together or rolling up Amazon centric businesses, who are they going to exit to? And I think that’s where the strategy piece comes in where I don’t think it can only be about scale. I think it has to be about things like diversification, and looking into different channels, and brand building, not just selling stuff. Exactly. I think a lot of Amazon sellers kind of get caught up a little bit and let’s focus on selling stuff. And you’re not creating a lot of value there. But when you can shift the focus to let’s build a brand, that’s where value gets created.

James Thomson 14:44
A lot of the companies that I see who are building brands, if their focuses primarily on Amazon, often there isn’t much channel diversification that they have what they call a brand because they happen to have a trademark. Yeah, but do they really Have a brand in the sense that someone’s going to say, oh, x, y, z logo and name put on a product brings with it some set of brand promises that consumers are prepared to pay more for, than your standard generic. How have you coached prospective sellers on how to develop the brand? So that actually means something versus just a simple trademark?

Mark Sancrant 15:23
Yeah, that’s a great point also, because there’s, there’s kind of two two ways to look at brand as it relates to Amazon, right? You have Amazon brand equity, and that manifests itself in ratings and reviews. Yep. Then you have, you have things that are more traditional brand, elements, like you know, the brand, promise, loyalty, things like that. How are you engaging with the consumer. So I always advise to any extent possible if you’re able to actually develop a relationship with your consumer, that’s the best way to start building a brand and it’s all For these Amazon sellers, right, because the vast majority of their businesses coming through Amazon, Amazon owns the customer, not them. So it’s hard for them to interact. And it’s also hard for them to justify, hey, I’m going to put a lot of money and time and effort into building a website and doing social and doing all these other things that might help develop the brand. But it’s important, and I think that’s where they have to start is start looking at ways to convert an amazon customer to your customer. And I’m not talking about anything that violates Terms of Service there, but you need to be out there and you need to be selling your brand, not just again, like I said earlier selling stuff, but it’s not easy.

James Thomson 16:42
So talk to me a little bit more about, you know, the early days of you being in business for yourself. You’re out there advising companies, you’ve got existing relationships that you’re leveraging, but how do you eventually transitioned to a place where you’re helping brands that have this Amazon perspective? Amazon is certainly a still a fairly new concept relative to your decades of experience.

Mark Sancrant 17:07
Yeah, and yeah, that’s one. And I’m still trying to figure out the secret to the success. But it doesn’t have to be me anyone, I strongly urge any amazon seller from the start. You know, and I’m not talking to you three years into it, I’m talking the day that they start selling on Amazon, start talking to people that understand brand building, and start talking to people that have experienced with other channels. And, you know, I’m, I always try to advise when I can, but it’s it’s hard to get a lot of entrepreneurs to really want to take my advice early on. And I say that kind of jokingly, but let me tell you why is my the challenge that I have as an m&a advisor is I think a lot of people when I interact with them, they think I’m not ready Sell yet, so I don’t really need to talk. Yes. And that’s I’m not a pushy salesman, I like I said earlier, I’m a I’m a relationship builder, but if I can get in early, and start having that conversation about things that you can do to really build a brand, or people that you can talk to that can help you build a brand, I that that’s really the goal, but it’s, um, like I said, it’s I haven’t mastered the secret to that success yet. But it’s an ongoing conversation. And the more that I can talk to people, the better and, and like I said, I’m always willing to invest time early on into relationship.

James Thomson 18:37
mindset. Share with us a story about a pitfall or a mistake that you made early on when you were in business for yourself, that you were able to learn from that in a big way and make you better at what you do today.

Mark Sancrant 18:50
Yeah, and you know, I can kind of take a look at my business now compared to the first time around that I mentioned that I had some And she loves to speak. So early on, and again, I had just moved back to Ohio from New York. So I had a bit of arrogance, if you will. And I thought, Hey, I’m coming back to Cincinnati, I have Wall Street experience, I’m going to be able to do whatever I want. And I also thought, hey, there’s not too many people in town that have my resumes. So I’m going to focus on Cincinnati, and it’s going to be great. And on top of that, I don’t want to miss any opportunities. So I’m going to be a generalist, okay. And that that I learned real hard, real fast and real hard that that that was the recipe for something other than success. So this time around, what I’ve done is said, Okay, one, I want to focus on markets that I know and I want to focus on markets that I’m passionate about. So I’m probably not going to be having a client anytime in the near future. That’s a manufacturing company for instance. But I what I chose was consumer products, ecommerce, and then media And in my mind media is anything that kind of supports consumer products and e commerce and the ad tech, the agencies, those kinds of things. So I’m very focused. I’m also not geographically focused. Now. I go where my network takes me. So for instance, I have a client in Austin right now I have a client in San Diego, I’ve had a client in Tel Aviv,

Unknown Speaker 20:24
talking to a company

Mark Sancrant 20:27
in South Africa. So I, my network is taking me where my client is. So I’m not geographically focused anymore. And it’s really feeling like this. This time around, I figured out what I need to do.

James Thomson 20:40
Talk to me about, you know, through through the many years that you’ve been in business for yourself, talk to me about a moment you’re particularly proud of where you realized, you know, I’ve actually I’m onto something good here.

Mark Sancrant 20:52
Yeah, so a couple of things. One, when I went decided a year and a half ago to go back back into business for myself, I kind of got pulled into it, I was somewhat reluctant because I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do. So, you know, my wife and I were kicking around a couple ideas of little things that we might start. And I thought, let me just see if I can get some consulting work to kind of keep me busy while we run with these ideas, right. And I had a very specific role in mind. It wasn’t necessarily helping companies buy or sell, but it was more involved on the due diligence side, helping them get through the due diligence, or if they were a buyer, helping them understand what they were buying. So I was really focused on those areas. And I kept talking to people and they kept saying, well, can’t you just help me with the whole process? Like Well, yeah, so I kind of got pulled into it. So the fact that it happened organically one that felt really good and it felt like what I’m doing was right. And then one of my early clients was a it was actually software company, so kind of out out of market, but it was a family friend. And she had been trying to sell her business for the past three years and hired an advisor ran an exhaustive process and wasn’t able to find a buyer. I came in started helping her, we started with taking more of a strategic planning approach. So what I kind of figured out was the people that were looking to buy her business, were focused on all the wrong things, they were focused on all the risks and all the history, they weren’t focused on the future. And a buyer has to get excited about the future, right. But this company had been run the same way for the past 20 years, and never really talked about strategic planning or planning for the future. So they didn’t have a story to share. So I worked with them on that and we got lucky and we were approached by a buyer so that the process got streamlined a little bit. But I think having that strategic planning process under the under their belt now really helped with getting them to talk to the buyer about the right things. So after about six months, we were able to close the deal with him. And I felt pretty good. The fact that, again, knowing that they had been on the market for quite some time and couldn’t find anyone to really get them across the finish line, and then we came in and helped him out.

James Thomson 23:17
I’d like to learn a little bit more about some of the best advice you’ve received from mentors throughout your professional career.

Mark Sancrant 23:24
Yes, so it’s funny, because a lot, and I think back to, you know, some of my mentors, a lot of it’s almost kind of common sense stuff. And what I mean by that is, you know, so I come from the Midwest, my dad was in the military. Both my parents came from farming families, I was just kind of raised with a strong work ethic and you work hard, and that’s a good thing. And when I got to New York, and now all of a sudden I’m interacting with a lot of people with a lot of you know, differing backgrounds, it was kind of eye opening. And I never, I would never ever tell you that I’m the smartest guy in the room, but I will tell you, I probably will work just as hard as anybody else. Right. And so when I found myself in positions with really smart people, I was kind of doing all the right things from the hard work side, and then I would have, you know, managing directors over me that would see that and they just love the fact that I was willing to the hard work and I didn’t bring an attitude to the table. And so, you know, some of the advice that I got from them was just around the fundamentals of of success, it which is hard work, do the things that you know, you need to do focus on those things you can control and all the other stuff, right and, and that that’s really where I’ve kind of always focused is I want to be the guy that’s going to work the hardest, and I want to be the guy that’s going to do things that might be uncomfortable early on in my career that was you know, making fun. Close rate. And I’m dating myself now. But we didn’t have email when I started or we had email, but it wasn’t really a business tool as much as it is now. So if we had a client that were selling, I sat on the phone all day calling CEOs of businesses asking if they had an interest. And I didn’t know any better. And I didn’t know I should be nervous about that. All I knew was my boss told me to call these hundred companies. So I’d make the phone call. And that really impressed them because I didn’t complain about Right, right.

James Thomson 25:34
So, couple more questions. Um, you, you work with brands, helping them position themselves for sale, but at the same time, you’re getting a lot of feedback from prospective buyers. I’m curious, you know, what, what are the two or three pieces of advice that you specifically get from buyers to help your prospective sellers better position them selves so that buyers don’t have to deal with so much confusion or so much risk initially. What what are some of those common common things that buyers look for that sellers have no idea the buyers are looking for?

Mark Sancrant 26:14
Yeah, so part of its infrastructure, right. We talked about buyers are used to buying stuff for like black move better words, conference room tables, and computers and equipment and tangible items. Yeah, there’s always goodwill, but there’s all these processes also. They want to see that kind of stuff. And so when I tailor my marketing material, I focus pretty heavily on the infrastructure that has been developed. Now with Amazon businesses. It’s not internal infrastructure, they don’t have warehouses. They don’t have a lot of people, but I try to create the are trying to position the business such that the buyer will actually see the processes and start to ideally Think, hey, we can plug someone in to manage this process, right? As opposed to it just being a black box that only the business owner understands. So one is focusing on the infrastructure. And then also focusing on things that are valuable that if they were to go do it on day one on their own, they would have a hard time. So what I’m talking about there is, you know, it takes a long time to find a manufacturer, particularly if you’re going to China, and then it takes a long time to get comfortable with that manufacturer, and make sure that you have the processes in place to do quality control, things of that nature. But a lot of times, and I’m kind of surprised by this, I’ll have clients that have multiple manufacturers lined up and it’s like, well, that’s great because you’re reducing risk, and that’s what the buyer wants to see. So let me rephrase everything I just kind of said into more of a simple answer. buyers are concerned with risk and That’s where they all focus, my role is to try to position a business to such that I can say a lot of the risk that you would normally see has been addressed or is being addressed. Let’s focus on the opportunity, because that’s where I want the buyer to focus. Some advice I would give the Amazon sellers and this is the real easy stuff. It’s real simple, is invest in a good bookkeeper. I’ve seen too many businesses that still don’t use bookkeepers and aren’t using QuickBooks. You need to actually use it and not just start using it right freecell because it’s if you can get that that part of the process into your business operations that really helps the buyer, because that takes away a level of risk. If I start asking questions about your cost of goods sold, or your inventory and you don’t have a good answer because you don’t have the system in place. I started seeing a lot of risk there. And that That means I’m gonna, if I’m still interested, I’m going to offer you a much lower price.

James Thomson 29:05
So a final question for you. What What, what would you tell prospective clients today that they things they need to go and do immediately in order to be in a position that it makes sense for you to start working with them on a potential sale at some point.

Mark Sancrant 29:23
Yeah, so, and again, this can go back to day one, if you’re a entrepreneur that’s not out there selling yet and you’re starting and even if you have the three year old business, I would start looking at Channel concentration. So diversifying your channels even if even if I’m making a lot of headway. Let me take a real quick step back on that. buyers are used to seeing marketing material that lists the exact same growth opportunities right international expansion product line expansion team expansion. Okay, that’s great. We can’t change that those are real growth opportunities. But from the buyer standpoint, I would sit there and go, okay, they three obvious things are those really growth opportunities because this sellers not doing any of them. So I’m going to discount that. But if I’m the seller, and I can go, Hey, international is a growth opportunity. And I recently started selling in the UK and from the UK, depending on what happens with Brexit, I may be going into Germany, France, Spain, Italy, if I can show them that I’m making progress that makes the opportunity really start to feel real. Okay. And, and product line expansion, if I can show them a pipeline of products that I ideas that I have, or, you know, logical product extensions that are out there that are in a pipeline, that that kind of stuff really helps. So I would always focus on the Probably the main thing, so channel concentration, start diversifying those channels on day one, or if you’re in your three, start diversifying it, even if it’s going to be a slow go, product concentration, if you have one skew that’s driving 60% or new revenue, you know, that’s not going to be a good things to start expanding your product line.

Mark Sancrant 31:22
You know that that will always help

Mark Sancrant 31:25
start to try to define what a competitive advantage is for you that that’s a real key here, especially with Amazon, we have a lot of private label sellers where in some cases, it might be kind of look like products that somebody else, figure out a way to say, here’s how I’m different and maybe it’s Yeah, I sell on Amazon just like these guys do. But I also have an email list from my website that has 60,000 email addresses. Yes, there’s there’s value in that. So you need to start differentiating yourself. Your product doesn’t have to be differentiated, and your competitive advantage doesn’t have to be around the product. There are different ways to build that that competitive advantage outside. So you know, that’s something everyone can do and number and start thinking about

James Thomson 32:09
mark, very much appreciate you joining us today. For those of you interested in learning more about Mark’s business, go to blue ash capital.com thanks for joining us today on the buy box experts podcast.

Mark Sancrant 32:22
Thanks James.

James Thomson 32:25
Fantastic that was great mark. I appreciate your time today. This yeah go over really well with the with the brand listeners. So thank you. I’m expecting we will probably air this in. It will be probably for maybe five weeks. I have to double check the schedule but we may end up holding off until early next year because nobody wants to listen to a podcast

Unknown Speaker 32:46
here.

James Thomson 32:47
So this is fantastic. Thank you again for sharing your expertise with us and no thank you look forward to chatting and soon. I for some reason. I knew you were in Ohio. I forgot you were in Cleve are sorry in Cincinnati. actually get to Cincinnati couple times a year. I should I should let you know when I’m coffee. So thank you again for your time and have a safe holiday week.

Mark Sancrant 33:08
Thanks, James. Take care. Bye. Bye Bye.

Outro 33:12
Thanks for listening to the Buy Box Experts podcast. Be sure to click subscribe, check us out on the web and we’ll see you next time.