Financial hardship and bankruptcy are becoming new norms today in the wake of COVID-19. Entrepreneur Scott Bartnick’s journey is no different, but he was able to adapt and overcome, digging himself out of near bankruptcy.
Scott’s journey began as an engineer. After 3 years with a top engineering firm, he decided to become his own boss and travel the world. Scott started with a small, easily-obtainable goal: to make $10 per day. This goal was quickly met and he was off to southeast Asia and the South Pacific. After traveling for one year, he returned to the United States and continued expanding his business and has now grown to consult others in their journeys as well.
Scott and The Five Day Startup’s future were looking bright and he was expecting to reach the coveted 7-figure salary by the end of 2020. That is, until COVID-19 induced the worst recession since World War II. Just like thousands of others, Scott’s business took a hard hit, pushing him to the brink of near bankruptcy. “I over-invested in inventory based on the business’s current demand. After COVID, we had a huge surplus of inventory and no sales, because everyone was losing their jobs,” Scott says. “It was tighter than it ever should have been and I actually had to reinvest a large sum into the business just to keep the cash flow going. I’m not worried though, because I still expect to make it all back.”
The situation presented a unique business opportunity for Scott and another entrepreneur. Scott worked with Jay Feldman and they created another startup, Otter Public Relations. Due to their in-depth knowledge and expertise with marketing and social media, the duo’s firm skyrocketed. “We started providing services to others in need of PR and social media expertise and were able to use this to re-invest in our own brands, saving us both.”
Luckily, Scott was able to use this as a lesson learned and will be putting other safeguards in place to prevent this situation in the future. “The biggest lesson I learned was cashflow,” Scott says. “I already had a cost analysis calculator, but I’ll be incorporating new measures and data to protect my business in the future. I also have other safeguards in place. I have a well-funded 401K, my degree in engineering with corporate experience, and I always make sure I have enough cash to cover any loans.”
E-commerce can be a tricky business, but Scott Bartnick is an expert who refuses to allow the current situation to affect him in the long run. “When you’re struggling in a business such as e-commerce and Shopify, my best advice is to go back to your roots. In the commerce world, you can use this time to focus on the service side of your industry. If you don’t have a solid service structure and can execute it well, your e-commerce is doomed.” Scott advises.
His plan worked well and he’s back on track to recover the funds he’s invested in his business. He used his time wisely and created a new, successful public relations firm helping others to manage their brand and image, while also focusing on the service side of his industry. For more information or a consultation check out his website.