About Ed Soehnel

I am a startup and growth company expert: sold 1, built 5, and crashed 2. I develop, launch and grow consumer products through uncommon methods that can lead to more sales – faster – and can make a company and its products more appealing to consumers and resellers, with less risk. More about me here.

What are some barriers of entry to running a successful eCommerce business?

2018-06-13T21:17:08-06:00By |Categories: Finance|Tags: , , , |

This is a Quora question I was asked and my answer is as follows. My sense is that a minimum qualification for “successful” is profitable on an EBITDA basis (net profit or earnings before interest and taxes, depreciation and amortization) such that your profits will pay back your original investment in a defined time [...]

What is the cost to revenue ratio of an e-commerce infrastructure in the retail industry?

2018-06-06T11:55:08-06:00By |Categories: Finance|Tags: , , , |

This is a Quora question I was asked and my answer is as follows. For my P&L’s, I break cost up into 3-main buckets: COGS (cost of goods sold) Marketing Operations I compute COGS based on landed costs, which includes the complete costs to produce a product so that it is sitting in your warehouse [...]

The top 3 marketing SaaS tools for consumer product startups I would recommend

2018-06-03T11:54:07-06:00By |Categories: Systems|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

This is a Quora question I was asked to answer.  My answer is as follows. I have outlined my complete technology infrastructure for consumer product companies here. Pulling from this visual, my top three are as follows. Content marketing, organic SEO and ecommerce. I use a Wordpress website. This platform is very conducive to creating and publishing content [...]

In Guy Kawasaki speak, “jump to the next curve” to become a more valuable consumer product company

2018-05-24T16:39:47-06:00By |Categories: Outlook, Uncategorized|

This video tells us how Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google have become so valuable and integral to our lives. In a nutshell, their offerings get better every time someone uses them because they collect data that allows them to feed back into improving their offerings. This is in stark contrast to a consumer product that offers [...]

How much (in % of revenues) does a food and drinks wholesaler/distributor spend in logistics, meaning, paying a 3rd party to pick up and deliver the products to the retailer’s warehouse?

2018-05-17T12:01:11-06:00By |Categories: Production & Logistics|Tags: , , , |

This is a Quora questions that I was asked to answer. Here is my answer. That will depend on a lot of factors - your volume, distances, consistency, speed of delivery, does the product require cooling, how is it packaged (case and pallet configurations), carrier, etc. For 8+ figures in annual sales, I have gotten [...]

How I use my customer data to help me retain my customers and maximize customer lifetime value

2018-05-20T16:06:33-06:00By |Categories: Marketing|Tags: , , |

In general, I have found that it is at least five times cheaper to retain a customer than acquire a new one. But often that multiple is higher. I know this because I maintain detailed customer transaction records and track my marketing campaign activities, costs and conversions. As a result, I work hard on my [...]

Creating and using a production log for producing a consumer product

2018-12-08T14:21:50-06:00By |Categories: Downloads, Production & Logistics, Visuals|Tags: , , , , |

I want to use this post to run through how I encapsulate all key information for a product production run into a Google Sheet.  You can use Excel, but I prefer Sheets as it is easier to use when cross-linking, as I explain in this post. You can access the template used in this [...]

My ecommerce sales funnel results

2018-01-14T12:36:41-06:00By |Categories: Marketing, Visuals|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Background on my ecommerce sales funnel Ecommerce sales funnels are designed to guide a consumer through the purchase process and present them with value-added offers that compliment their existing purchase before they checkout. I architected and had developers build my ecommerce sales funnel.  Rather than use an existing solution, I went this route because [...]

How relevant is TV as an advertising medium for FMCG/CPG marketers (brand managers)?

2017-12-08T12:23:26-06:00By |Categories: Marketing|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

This is a Quora question I was asked to answer. Absolutely yes, but I need to qualify my answer with more details to back that up. First, my focus is building consumer product startups, not managing large brands. So, I really have no clue if brand advertising is relevant or not because I have almost [...]

Marketing campaign goal metrics model: a simplified version of the most important financial model for any consumer product company

2018-12-08T14:21:41-06:00By |Categories: Downloads, Finance|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The ultimate goal in any company... ...is to acquire AND retain customers where costs to acquire and retain are less than expenses, which leads to profits. Boiled down to this single statement, then the most important variable in the finances is the marketing spend. Even if your other expenses are high or way out of [...]