November 2016 Income Report: Reaching My Profit Goal | Employing a VA | Living in Bali
November 2016 Income Report: Reaching My Profit Goal | Employing a Virtual Assistant | Living in Bali
Living in Bali 🏝
I’ll write a full post on living in Bali but in short I loved every moment of living there for a month. Chiang Mai may be the Digital Nomad capital of the world but I really think it Bali will start to getting more popular over the next few years. Here’s a few quick points of why it is so awesome.
- Sunny laid back island life
- One of the best Coworking spaces – Dojo
- Tonnes of beautiful beaches
- Great cheap local food
- Super healthy western cafes
- Great coffee shops
- Stunning nature – rice fields, mountains, canyons, waterfalls
I will definitely come back to Bali soon and I feel it could be a perfect base to come to in Asia. It is a place where I could spend 3 or 4 months a year.
eBay drop shipping 💸
The main focus of this month was to bring on an virtual assistant to help me scale of this business and to free up some of my time to work on other business ventures.
I used UpWork to find an employee that would be able to list items on my eBay store. This would mean that I would only have to working about processing orders and customer service.
This would only take me a couple of hours a day and I could use the rest of the time trying to build another income stream.
September 2016 sales
Gross Sales = £5229.05 ^£2,488.56
Gross profit = £752.26 ^£248.91
Insertion Fee = £15.84
eBay Basic Shop fee = £52.17
Pricematik = £80.57 ^5.85
Virtual Assistant Payment = £84.87
Total expense = £233.45 ^£106.56
Total net profit from eBay drop shipping = £518.81 ^£142.35
I have hit my first financial goal a month early!
I’ve mentioned before that I wanted to earn £500 online in a month by December. I picked this amount as it basically covers your basic cost of living in SE Asia. Once I’ve earned that much my plan is to gradually increase this so that it can allow me to live and experience different places in the world which cost more.
If you want to know more about this business model I recommend you read my review of David Vu’s Udemy Course. It’s where I learned the basics of setting up an online eBay business and fully recommend it to anyone.
Employing a Virtual Assistant 👩💻
Unfortunately a virtual assistant is not your own personal robot which is what my family seems to think it was. It is basically an employee/freelancer that works online that can help you with your online work.
Anyone can start earning income doing this type of work. I used UpWork to find my VA. It is the best known website to find freelancers and also to find work. If you are not sure about online businesses but would still like to earn online income websites like UpWork are great to find work. I know Digital Nomads who solely earn all their money off UpWork by doing freelancing work.
The most common work that I’ve found that earns enough for to travel is content writing, coding and design. If you’ve got any of these skills then you could easily start taking on jobs then building your portfolio and feedback. As the better your feedback the more you can charge more for your work. But there is tonnes of different jobs available so it’s worth checking out.
I wanted to find someone who could help me list items on my eBay store. This task isn’t particularly hard but is very time consuming as it takes up around 80% of my time working. So this was a perfect opportunity to try and employ someone who could take over this responsibility.
I posted this job and within a week I had around 20 applicants. I screened out the 5 best candidates and interviewed them all on Skype. I gave them each a small task to test how well they could follow instructions and how good their English was.
In the end I employed Merry from the Philippines. She has done an incredible job so far.
Philippines is probably one of the most common places to employ a Virtual Assistant for this type of work. It costs less than employing someone for the UK/US and English is their second language. It’s a great place to find someone to help you on your small online businesses.
Although I have met a few people that have exploiting their VAs. Often paying extremely low wages and expecting very high quality of work. I have no respect for people who do this. At the end of the day these a real people with their own lives and responsibilities. It is your responsibility to treat them fairly. Just because it is all online and you cannot see them physically is not an excuse.
Aside from that this responsibility is very new to me as I’ve always been an employee never an employer. But I feel that I have a great business relationship with Merry. My aim is to act how I would like to be treated in a job. So I let her manage her own schedule. She can work whenever she wants and for however long she wants. As long as a certain amount of listings are completed within the month I am happy with that.
So far it’s worked out great.
Kindle Publishing 📖
This month I decided to try to publish a book on Amazon. I really like the idea of this business model as if you create a successful book it provide a completely passive income. Since I know a few people who are pretty successful with this I thought I would give it a try. The basics of this model is that you research to find a profitable niche, you write a book/outsource someone else to write it, design/outsource a cover design, then publish for amazon kindle, you can even get the book published as a paperback through Amazon Createspace.
As writing has never been my strongest skill I decided to pay someone to write me a book and promote it. Since I have a background of design I would design the front cover and add the finishing touches to the formatting.
The whole process took longer than I expected but hopefully next month I should have the book up and ready for Christmas.
Cost to publish a book
Outsourcing someone to write the eBook = £149.76
Outsourcing someone to promote the book = £93.27
Outsourcing someone to format the book = £4.83
Total cost to publish a book = £247.86
Total Expenses/Costs of Living 🙈
Dojo Co Working = £109.14
Room Rent = £208.75
Bike = £44.29
AirBnB Udemy Course = £10
Daily living = £246.6
Total Expenses = £617.15
Income – Expenses = -£98.34
(I’m not counting my book in my expenses as I see it as a business investment rather than an expense)
Final thoughts 🤔
This month has been all about steadying the eBay ship and trying to create other streams of income. I also got to live and work in Bali which has been incredible. I have enjoyed it a lot more than Chiang Mai but I will write a post in the future comparing the two. But I am so happy that I met my goal.
As this has proved to me that all this is actually possible and I now have enough to sustain my lifestyle (in SE Asia at least). Next month I am heading to Australia to spend time with family over the Christmas period. I don’t really expect to get much work done. But it is nice now that everything that I have created so far is semi-automated so that I don’t have to do much work everyday and I still earn money.
Onwards and Upwards