Hey, thanks for tuning in to another Partner Interview at EcomBalance. At EcomBalance, we’re all about creating win-win partnerships where we are able to grow with other companies in the eCommerce space.
In this exclusive interview, we interview Will Tjernlund from Goat Consulting, an eCommerce consulting firm dedicated to building, protecting and developing commercial company brands on Amazon.
Will Tjernlund is the co-founder and a managing partner at Goat Consulting. Will is a notable figure in the e-commerce industry, speaking at conferences around the world, including the United States, Europe and Asia. Will started his career at his family’s 80+ year old manufacturing company with the goal of expanding the e-commerce and Amazon presence. The efforts by Will quickly made Amazon the number one sales channel for his family’s business which now grosses tens of millions of dollars annually. Will uses his background in economics, experience selling on Amazon, and insights gained from speaking with businesses around the world to help brands and manufacturers have a clear strategy for success.
We hope that you enjoy the interview and that it brings value to you as an eCommerce business owner.
Connor: Hey Will, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. As a company, one of our goals is to highlight our partners so that our clients can benefit where it makes the most sense. To get started, can you give us a high-level introduction to Goat Consulting and a little bit about how the company got started?
Will: I started selling on Amazon in 2013 with my older brother. We were quickly able to grow our business and soon we were featured in press, podcasts, and spoke at conferences. Eventually, a few different companies asked me for help and Goat Consulting was born in 2015 with the goal of helping as many brands and manufacturers as possible sell on Amazon.com
Connor: Thanks for sharing that! Can you dive a bit more into the products and services that you offer to help Amazon sellers grow? Our audience is always looking for reputable companies that they can lean on for specific parts of their eCommerce businesses.
Will: We work with lots of B2B companies who are trying out B2C for the first time. So this not only requires a lot of changes to their current processes but also changes to their work culture and accounting practices too. We consider our services to be holistic in that we help companies with every part of the process on Amazon.
Connor: Jumping off of that…when you’re thinking about your ideal customer, who is that? Where are they selling online? Where are they located in the world? How much sales do they typically have in a year? If there’s any other qualities, please include them as well. We’re all about making introductions where it benefits both parties.
Will: Our ideal customer would be the best company within their niche. We love working with a multi-generational family who have a great brand name within their industry. They can be located anywhere in the world but because of time zone issues, North America is preferable. We suggest a company has an opportunity to do at least $30,000 a month in revenue. That way there is enough money for cost of goods sold, advertising, amazon fees and our fees. We work with a ton of businesses in Minnesota since that is where we are based!
Connor: For our audience to truly understand what makes you stand out from other Amazon account management and advertising agencies in the space, can you share a story of how Goat Consulting truly helped one of its customers?
Will: We work with a multi-generation owned skate company. When they came to us, they had multiple third party sellers on their listings and their entire catalog with not uniformly merchandised. Over the years we have been able to mange the Buy Box, standardize their catalog and optimize their listings and ads. This will be our 5th year working with them and we look forward to continued success.
Connor: As you and your company think about the next year ahead, what does it look like? Are there any specific initiatives that you’re working on as a team to better your product or service for your customers?
Will: We are excited for this next year as we sustainably grow. We can be picky with who we work with and want to only work with the best. So we will continue to follow our processes and do what we do best, which is delight our customers.
Connor: How about this…everyone loves a company’s growth story. We all naturally go through ups and downs as a company. What was one of the biggest challenges that the company faced in its growing stages?
Will: Our biggest challenge like many others was the very beginning of the pandemic. It may sound counterintuitive, but a lot of our clients decided they no longer needed Amazon help as soon as the pandemic started in March. We had to, like many other companies, figure out how we would get through this rough patch. We were able to get through it and now are double the size of our pre-pandemic peak.
Connor: Thanks! Let’s talk some eCommerce! Where do you see the industry heading in the next 1-2 years? Any big changes that you’re predicting for the industry? How can eCommerce companies prepare for it?
Will: I think Amazon and Shopify continue to dominate. Amazon continues to do well due to its vast fulfillment network and large customer base. Shopify will dominate because of their developer ecosystem always innovating and their new fulfillment center acquisitions. I do not see how the smaller ecommerce website builders compete against these two. The best way to prepare is to continue to use each Amazon and Shopify in a way that takes the fullest advantage of their strengths.
Connor: Changing gears a little bit…When it comes to bookkeeping and accounting, what do you think the biggest pain points for eCommerce business owners are? Feel free to speak from personal experience as well.
Will: There are two things that tend to be pain points. One is nexus/state tax. It is pretty complicated for some accountants to wrap their heads around the idea that your inventory travels state to state depending on which fulfillment center is most efficient. The other issue sends to be reconciling inventory when you are doing an omnichannel approach. Tracking down what has sold and what has not and getting a clear picture of net income can be very tough if you sell on multiple platforms.
Connor: Okay, here’s an open mic opportunity. If there’s one thing that you’d want the EcomBalance community to hear from you, what would it be?
Will: If you are a company that wants best in class management of your Amazon account, reach out to us over at Goat Consulting!!
Connor: As we close this out, I just have one more question. Where is the best place to find and follow you and the company online? Also, if you have one, is there any special offer that you’ll be offering to the community today?
Will: GoatConsulting.com is a great place to start. I am easy to find at [email protected] If you fill out a contact form and include EcomBalance, I will do my best to personally reach out and give you an audit of your account.