If Amazon Seems Harsh And Unfair, That Is Intentional

Over the years I've talked to more than a few Amazon third-party sellers (or "3P" sellers if you're into the industry lingo) and they all have one thing in common - a continuous and occasionally paralyzing fear of suspension. They dread the "you've been suspended" email which can come at any time and with little warning. In fact, I am still trying to find an Amazon seller who has not been previously suspended, been threatened with suspension, or at least invested time in fearing suspension.

Fun way to do business, don't you think?

Amazon has succeeded beyond all expectations because they have delivered on their promise of an online retail experience that is second to none. Customer experience is the only thing that matters to Jeff Bezos, so it is the only thing that matters to Amazon.
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Search Engine Optimization: Demystified

Search engine optimization is, without question, the most misunderstood concept in all that is the world of digital marketing and online retail. There is not even a close second.

To this day, I still encounter more than a few digital business owners who believe effective SEO is about keyword stuffing and inbound links from worthless internet directories. SEO was a game. The most manipulative players were the most successful. Google, Bing, and the other search goliaths put an end to the game long ago. They punished the manipulators and leveled the playing field for everyone. Unfortunately, not everyone got the memo.
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Outsourcing Your Authenticity

Four Six Commerce is a legitimate small business. Always grinding and looking to keep the workflow going. We participate in a variety of forums, belong to e-commerce focused social media groups, get a fair amount of leads from the organic traffic that hits our website, and of course we get referrals courtesy of past and current clients. I never know where our next client or project will come from and would not change that for the world.

A couple years ago, as we were ramping up the business, I stumbled across a website called Outsource.com. It's a simple platform that connects small and mid-size business owners with freelancers that offer all manner of services. Those seeking help post ads - for free - detailing their needs. Freelancers and agencies - like us - spend a few bucks to respond to the ads and bid on the work. The Outsource.com platform delivers Four Six Commerce maybe one solid client lead a week. To find that lead we sift through dozens of eye-opening emails.

Why should you care? Why share this with you? Because these emails present the perfect opportunity to hammer home a lesson about the importance of authenticity.
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Four Hours To Sharpen The Axe

Abraham Lincoln once said, "If you give me six hours to chop down a tree, I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." Lincoln, known for never rushing into much of anything, was onto something. Preparedness.

We emphasize to clients that the best way to be prepared is to be self-aware. Know what you know and know what you still need to learn. (We say this a lot!) It is sound, albeit old-fashioned, advice. We know. It is an attitude largely ignored in today's fast-paced digital business world, unfortunately, but that's not stopping us from spreading the message.

With millions of underprepared entrepreneurs in mind, we have crafted an extensive list of 88 questions for new and aspiring digital business owners to go through. The magnitude of the list itself is meant to be a not-so-subtle reminder that you should not dive into any business casually. It is time to get serious!
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A Different Kind of Agency

They say every great business idea is simply a solution to a problem. Identify a problem, offer an innovative solution, and make money.

Prior to founding Four Six Commerce I was not seeking a problem to fix, but sometimes it presents itself anyway. By the summer of 2014 I had finally heard, and read, enough stories from struggling small business owners to finally identify the problem I was destined to fix.

Whether it was fellow conference attendees, friends launching e-commerce ventures, or perfect strangers I encountered online - the story always had the same elements. There was a brilliant idea or a clever new product, a beautifully designed webstore selling it, lots of money being poured into marketing, and a passionate but frustrated entrepreneur wondering where it was all going wrong.
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