Building a Community: Trina Small of Supermom Culture Tells Her Story

Emmanuel: Welcome to the Journey to an Eight Figure E-Commerce Podcast. Today's episode, I'm excited to be co-hosting with my sister and CEO and founder of, Grace. And we have a prolific, powerful, precious, and magnificent guest today in Trina Small, CEO, founder of Supermom. Welcome to the podcast, Trina.

Trina: Thank you for having me.

Trina’s Background/Starting Supermom

Emmanuel: Yes, can you tell us about your business and what you do?

Trina: Okay, I'm Trina Small. I am the founder of Supermom Culture. It's a lifestyle apparel streetwear brand for moms, and dads, and kids. So we added them in there. But it's a brand that celebrates parents in this parenthood journey. And, you know, happy to be here.

Emmanuel: Nice. Good to have you. Well, the whole goal of this podcast is to tell people, show people at different stages of the growth journey from just getting started, making e-commerce a side hustle, to hiring their first employee, to hiring a full-time team and executive, to hitting that seven figure month or eight figure year business. So would you give us an idea, a sense of where you're at with your business and how far you've come?

Trina: Uh, well, in this economy, but we circle back, but you know, I started out, um, I started out as a blogger, influencer if you will, that name has changed um over the years. I did, I started 13 years ago and I had a blog. Well, I still have it's called Hey Trina now, but I had a blog where I shared like motherhood, like things that worked for me, fashion with my kids and things like that. And I knew I wanted something to kind of spin off. I had built this community and I'm telling them, everybody's looking at me for what to buy and I just wanted something cool and cute for moms to like kind of throw on while they're doing their mommin' thing and so that's kind of how I got started with Supermom Culture. The first pictures that we had on the site, which I didn't even have a website when I started. So I started from the bottom for real. I put it on a blog post. My daughter, that was nine at the time, took a picture of me in a t-shirt and I posted it and then people were like, I want one and so that's just kind of how it started. And then during the pandemic, a couple of years ago, it just kind of took off, had some viral videos, viral photos, you know, we're all at home trying to homeschool. So, you know, we had to kick in those supermom powers like real quick, you know, we weren't planning on that. So I think everybody felt it and they wanted to be part of that. It was like an affirmation because it was tough times during that time. So things were going well and being, I just posted, ended up doing the website finally so it had its own entity. And then I got a call from, or a message from someone that works with Good Morning America. Then I ended up on Good Morning America. Actually, I've been on there four times and over the last what, three years, it was the pandemic, whenever that was. So yeah, three years. So I've been on Good Morning America and the rest was history. But now I think we're in a trying time and I think that's where I'm at a point right now where I gotta go back and kind of reevaluate and look at some things and, but it's been good. It's been a good ride. I've learned so much. Definitely have brought in some great money but you know, wanna keep that going, you know? So we gotta kinda stop for a minute, pause, kinda realign, reevaluate what's working, what's not. Because it's hard times, it's hard for everybody out here right now, you know? You're trying to hold on to every dollar if you don't have to, so I understand that. But we still wanna look cute, so you know, I'ma be there for you.

Grace: Yeah, I love it. Yeah. What did you do before you started Supermom?

Trina: Okay, so before Supermom, like I said, I was a blogger, influencer, stay at home mom, so that part. But my career career, I have a background in marketing. I did supply chain, logistics and transportation for 15 years like in corporate. So I quit. I stopped working about eight, nine years ago, almost nine years ago, and just was a stay at home mom, but I had my blog. The blog was doing pretty well. I was working with a lot of brands, worked with Disney, Walmart, Cadillac, all types of stuff. It was a great, it's been a great journey. I can't complain. And then I did the shirts and that just kind of took off and I didn't want to do the shirts. I wanted to do like little easy stuff that I could just one size fit all. But the shirts was calling me and so I finally answered. So that's how we got to this point. But yeah, my background was in trucks and trains. Wasn't nothing glamorous, nothing fun. It was, you know, it was crazy. I worked with a lot of men and so the blog ended up being my outlet after I had kids. And that's kind of like, I needed my little fashion and you know, I needed a community because when I go to work, it's all men and they used to be like, babies are bad for business because it's like, I'm like, how do they get away with that? Look, I might need to call somebody, call Big Al or something, you know, see, get them on the line. But yeah, no, it was like a very, it was a very hard job, lots of hours, very demanding. And, you know, it just like, it was like the blog, I had to give up one. So it was either give up the blog or work or one or the other. So we took a chance and I quit and I don't want to look back. So, but I'm okay with it. I did like what I did, but it's very demanding. But now, I mean, I'd rather be demanding with Supermom. You know, once you start working for yourself, that hustle is different. You know, I can go a week without sleeping and I'm happy. But at that job, it was like, I had migraines every day and you know, just stressed out, you know, so.

Grace: Yeah. Yeah, definitely one of those like, choose your hard kind of moments for sure. 

Trina: Absolutely.

Grace: Yeah. How many kids do you have?

Trina: I have two girls, Peyton is 13, Harper has just turned 8, so I got two of them. I'm done.

Grace: Aww. Okay. Awesome. You're still supermom. Okay. 

Trina: I'm still a supermom.

Grace: You're still a supermom. 

How Trina Scaled for GMA

Grace: I, I want to take it. I want to walk through the journey of you actually getting to your first manufacturer and all those things. How did you go from blogging influencer to selling your first product? Did you, and basically how did you sort, I would start with how did you source the product?

Trina: So, me and Google and YouTube was going together real bad. So that's really how I started. You know, I had built so many relationships with the blog that I was able to tap into people. And that's like my thing too. I'm a relationship type of person. Like I'm always looking now, you know, whatever, connecting the dots. So I just Googled everything. I saw somebody either had a t-shirt line or they did something. And I just asked some questions. I said, if you don't wanna tell me, it's cool. But if you do, whatever. And so I talked to some people and a lot of people were like, hey, try this, try that, and this is what I did. So that helped out a lot. A lot of Google, trial and error. Like I said, I have a marketing background. So I was big into research. That was like my favorite part of marketing. So I just, you know, I bought 10 different t-shirts, which one did I like the best and how to do it, you know, cost effective, cause I didn't have any money. I was a stay at home mom. So it wasn't like somebody just like, here, here's $10,000. See what you can make out of it. It was like, no, I built it shirt by shirt, sold one shirt for like 25 bucks. Then I bought five more shirts. So five more shirts, then I bought 10 more shirts. So that's really kind of how I started. Now I'm in this space with all types of stuff in boxes. But, you know, so that's really how I got started. And just a lot of Google, a lot of prayer and YouTube.

Emmanuel: Of all the products that you could have done, you even mentioned how you wanted to do other stuff, not even shirts. How did you land on shirts and know that the market was going to buy those shirts and that was going to be successful?

Trina: Um, I just think, you know, I feel like graphic tees have been like the thing for a while. Um, I know I was a big graphic tee and then I was posting my outfits on the blog and I would always wear like cool t-shirts. So I think that was the thing, you know, I think fashion was the first and foremost of what I was sharing and I think people just resonated when I had something that they could buy that was what I was wearing. I mean, of course I had links, I did affiliate stuff, but I think me wearing the shirt and styling the shirt and the message of the shirt, it just resonated and it just like took off. Cause I'm telling you, I tried aprons, I tried bags, I was trying to do everything. And the t-shirts is what like, okay Trina, we got you now. We don't know about that other stuff. You know, I think people was buying them cause they felt bad. Like, oh, let me go ahead and buy a little bag, you know? And so I had to like, pivot a couple times and then I was like, you know, I'm gonna put this shirt out here. I don't want to deal with those sizes, but oh well. Here we are.

Emmanuel: Nice. It's sophisticated what you did because it almost sounds like you, you didn't like, basically the blog was your way of doing like a focus group, a long-term focus group where you were testing what resonates, what's working. And then even though you had your idea, I want to make this product, those didn't work. And I feel like a lot of people fall in that trap. It's like, I want to sell this, therefore they should buy it. And it's like, no, sell them what they want to buy. That makes it easier. And then once you finally gave into that, all of a sudden Supermom was born. It took off.

Trina: Yeah, absolutely. And I tell other people that you got to listen to your people. A lot of people, like you said, they just want to put out that this is what I want to do. This is easy for me. Just buy it. But no, you got to listen to what the people if every time I post the outfit, I get 25 comments. And then I post a bag and nobody comments. They check it for the outfits, you know, and I knew that but I was just fighting it. You know, so I finally came back to it. But yeah, you just gotta ask the questions, listen to your people, pay attention.

Grace: And then how did, so you said that you've been on GMA three, four times now. So how did it, from the journey from making the two or three shirts all the way up to getting on GMA, what was that journey like?

Trina: Whoo, let me tell you. Cause you've been on Good Morning America. Well, I think we were on there at the same time once, maybe. Yeah, or even the same week. 

Grace: Oh, probably one of the like one of the deals and steals. Yeah. Mm hmm.

Trina: Yeah. I did that. So that journey was crazy because I was sitting at my old house in my guest bedroom and she was like, yeah, you know, can you get, you know, 10,000 units? And I was like, sitting here looking at t-shirts folded on the bed on a cardboard box and you know I'm like uh yeah uh I can do that. Had no, I didn't know how to scale up. Cause at that time I was actually making my shirts and you know, people know it now, but they didn't know it back then. I was pressing the shirts. Like I had strong arms. Like I was in there like, you know, I was in the lab for real. And I was pressing the shirts and I got that call. I was like, yeah, I can't press 10,000 shirts. Like, I don't know how this is gonna work. Like I will never sleep again. I'd be looking like a rock. It was a so much, I was like, okay. So let me figure it out. I just said yes, right? Then they started sending over contracts and you know, ABC and stuff. I was like, whoa, it's getting real out here. Okay. And guess what? I didn't even have my LLC, like I wasn't even incorporated when I got the call. I did have, I did just start getting my trademark. So that was already in the works. But like, I was sitting there like, wait, what I gotta do? And then they had this, you know, the whole checklist and you know, it's like going through college to get on there. Like it was the first time. So it was like, you had this checklist of all this stuff. It really forced me to level up and it showed me that I could do it. That was, I think the biggest thing. Like I can't believe I've done it. Not once, not twice, you know, three, four times. Like, whoa, like I'm really doing it. You know, you know, you got to dream big, but I ain't even dreaming that big. You know, I was like, okay, all right, God, you know, this is what we're doing, okay.

Grace: Yeah, yeah. So how did you do it? How did you? Right? So how did you do it? How did you get the 10,000 units? You know, you said that you didn't just press you didn't become Hercules. So yeah.

Trina: Right, right. No, I did not. So I just, you know, I got off the phone and I had to like sit there. I was like, what did I just get myself into? And then, you know, everything kicks in like, oh, you can't do it. You're going to fail and you don't, but I'm going to tell you. So when the shirts kind of took off this before GMA, when like things are going viral, and sales were really good, you know, God put it on my heart. Don't touch any of this money. Like just stack, stack. So when it came time, I had my cash to be able to invest. So I went around, I called people and I had a friend that actually did screen printing, but she was doing it out of her garage. And I was like, can you handle this? And she was like, yeah, I was like, you sure? You need me to come over there and help? And she took on that task. So it was like a big thing for them too. And so we was just like grinding it. We grinded it out and that's pretty much what it was. And so...And you know, and it's very, it's scary. You know, you put, I had like big 53 footers full of t-shirts backing in to drop off these pallets in her driveway. It was just wild. And so, you know, you see all your money, like all the work that I did is in this truck and you, you know, you don't know if you're gonna sell one or thousands. So, you know, you take those chances. So, yeah, yeah.

Grace: I love it. That's so cool. 

Lessons Learned/Building a Community

Grace: What are some of the biggest lessons that you've learned along this journey thus far?

Trina: Oh Lord, I guess I would say I need to do better at being ready. Because you can't always get ready because you don't know where you're going, but just be ready for the next like just thinking big. I think because when it came, yeah, I felt like I was holding on to a train. Like the train is moving. I'm getting there, but I'm hanging on the back. You know what I'm saying? So that's how I felt during this process. And then what else would I do? Don't be afraid to ask for help and don't be afraid to ask people. You know, try to use your connects first. You know, don't be just blowing up somebody's DMs that you never talked to or even follow. I get a lot of that. Um, ask a question, but yeah, just use your network as best as you can. And, you know, and just do your research really.

Grace: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Have you found, what are the difficulties that you found other than, you know, of course, like finding your manufacturers once you had to scale to 10,000 units? What are some of the difficulties that you've found have been really challenging for you along this journey?

Trina: Right. I think what's been difficult is just like kind of learning as you go. Um, if I had the money, it's like you either you got money or time, um, just kind of having somebody that could help me do other things, cause I was like a one man band when I got that call, you know, and I kind of still am, I outsource certain things here and there, but you know, I'm the main person, uh, what else was there? Say the question again, I'm trying to think. It was something that's, 

Emmanuel: Challenges.

Grace: Just some, just the different challenges, yep.

Trina: Challenges. Yeah, and I think too, I think as far as being like a black owned business, we're not taught about cashflow and finance in the business. And I think that part right there could help a lot of us because we don't have access to capital. We don't, nobody's teaching us these things. We're not a corporate fight. It's me, you know, it's Trina, you know the blogger trying to do this and you know you do the best you can then something else comes up and you're like wait, what's this? You know, you got taxes for here. You got taxes. You got city, state, this, that like it's like god lady. How many people getting in here? Like where am I in this peak? You know, and you trying to manage cash flow and things like that and you know even getting loans. What's the best way and things like that. So I think that's the hardest part of doing that. The biggest challenge, yeah. I think that part is the money part. At least now, especially with this economy, because you're trying to figure it out. I'm like, now where'd all that money go? You know what I'm saying? It's how it is.

Emmanuel: And one of the things we're going to be doing here at this episode, be ready, you can feel free to ask us. We're calling it our Founder Rounder, where we do a roundtable. The three of us are founders of companies, right? So if there's any challenges that we want to workshop, I love giving people the opportunity to see how do we solve problems together, troubleshoot when we get together. So we'll do that here in a second. But I am curious. And so, yeah, just be thinking of a challenge you'd like to have us dissect that you're struggling with in your business right now. I know we've got a couple to trade notes with you on. But I'm curious, going back to the beginning, a lot of people don't want to take the time to do what you did, which was build an audience. And I'm curious, A, was that, I mean, I think we've established there was a benefit to that. But I'm wondering if you were to start over again, would you take that much time to do it that way or would you just launch your e-commerce business?

Trina: Well, now that I have the experience and I have people that will come along with me, I'm good, you know what I mean? So I've done it once, I know I can do it again. Like I did my personal blog, grew that. And then I grew Supermom, you know what I mean? So like, I'm a community builder now, like that's on my resume, you know? So like, that's my thing. So I was actually listening to a podcast this morning and the guy talked about like, you know, it's a marathon. Everybody want this, I'm starting this store. I need sales now. Who are you? You're not talking to nobody yet. It's possible, but it's gonna take some time. You build that community. I feel community first, and I think people just forget that. They just wanna do that. Like, unless you got some, you know, super innovative, futuristic, yes, that probably could take off if you get one person to shout you out. Yes, that helps. But...people forget about that place. Cause there's people that you buy from and places you buy from just because you like being a part of that community. You know what I mean? And I think that that's a stronger relationship than just that transactional. Like I just want to get, you know, get in and get this sale and let me find some folks that, you know, and now you think about it too. Facebook stuff ain't doing what it's doing unless you got the coin to put behind it. Cause before, you know, I could put $20 on a three-day ad and bring in at least two, $3,000 with that $20. That $20 used to work hard. Now you put $20, you might, I feel like I'd be losing money when I turn on an ad sometimes. Like you, it'd be like, you done spent $200, you only made $50. You know what I'm saying? I'm like, hey, golly. Like I thought I was about to turn that $250 into, you know, $25,000 or something, $2,500 but it's not like that anymore. So that's where the community comes back in. You've got to build that foundation and it's going to take some time. You got to start talking to people, do your research because it is hard. It's hard just coming out the gate with nothing to take, but it takes time. So if you don't have an audience or community, you got to be ready to build it as you go. So the sales might not kick off. Of course you got a big product, but then I guess, you know, you also have influencers and things like that you can tap into, but that's going to cost you. See, I didn't have to tap into influencers because I already had the audience. So I was talking to my people. They knew me, they loved me, they trust me. So I was good. So you can do it two different ways. It's just, they're both different. One is going to cost you more money.

Emmanuel: And so this is my, oh go ahead, Grace. Go ahead.

Grace: How did, yeah. I was just gonna ask, how did you build that trust with your community?

Trina: I think I've always, I'm just being, I've been myself, authentic. I talk to them, I engage with them. A lot of people don't engage, you know. They drop a post, they leave Instagram for a couple of days and come back. Like, you know, I'm talking to my people. I think the engagement and consistency, they know I'm gonna show up. They're looking for me. It's like that call, like where your girlfriend, hey girl, you know. It's me, I'm here, it's your girl Trina. So that's kind of how I think that, you know, I have people that really support me and support what I'm doing.

Grace: Yeah, I love that. Go ahead, Emmanuel.

Emmanuel: Love it. 

Founder Rounder

Emmanuel: And this is my found rounder question for you is because I'm, I'm trying to build community. Like we, you have done it so magnificently. Well, I would love to get your advice like Eleyae systems. We'd like to, like we're putting out content and we're putting out social media stuff and we do courses and trainings and things, but, uh, and we, we started this membership program too. But the idea, I don't feel that I'm an expert when it comes to managing a community or even good at it. So do you have any advice if you were me starting a community for Eleyae Systems? Any advice you could give me to help me build a community?

Trina: I think I would start with the people that are checking for you now and start pitching off of their community and get up right there go live on Instagram sometimes you got to go because it's hard to get people off those apps like they got us in a chokehold right now like even me I'd be like I got work to do like no you know I'm fighting with my phone I gotta put it down so I think you have to, you got to get on there, you know, we can go live like start using the people that rock with you. I always tell people that because people be like, oh I want to get on Gary V's live, like Gary V ain't gonna let you on his live like if that's your business plan you're not, that's, he might but I mean more than likely no, you know what i'm saying? So just start and then people if they like what you got to say they'll start coming engage, you know, engage with your audience. People miss that part, they don't engage with them. They don't talk to them. And then go rap, do your thing on social media. Um, and actually it's funny cause Gary V said this. I came across it years ago. Uh, he calls it a bird dropping, bird droppings all over the internet. Leave comments. Like for real, like you just go and like kind of poop on this one. Like if you see something that resonates with you, get in there and say something profound cause you got a lot to say. Cause you done schooled me on some stuff. So you get in there, put one little liner, and then you know how people be liking the comments and then they start replying back. When I start seeing somebody that says something that's dope, I'm clicking on their page. I'm like, okay, what's this mother talking about? Is he legit, is he official? And then when I like what I see, I'm gonna hit that follow. Now I'm engaged, you know what I mean? So like, that was our little introduction. So go around, leave that bird poop. Yeah.

Grace: I love that. Hahaha. Yeah.

Emmanuel: I love that. Leave bird droppings. Thank you for the advice. I appreciate it.

Trina: I was already doing it, but when I heard him say it like that, like I, I kind of do stuff like automatically, cause I think it's just my nature and my marketing background. But like what he's saying, that way I was like, that makes sense. So I go around, I leave comments. I have, um, I don't follow a ton. I guess I followed quite a bit, but I don't follow like crazy amount of people, but I go in there and gauge. I spend, you know, spend, well, I spend way more than I ain't going to tell you how long I spend, but say 30 minutes. Scroll through your feed, leave some comments. Go down. If a post is like taking off and like you one of the early adapters in that post, leave a great comment. People reply back, people start liking it. The person that posted it might even pin it. That's like a little trick, I guess, if you will. I was born in my accident. It wasn't my plan. But you know, you know like how Twitter is. You gotta think about Twitter. You know how those people leave those like cool little you know, funny or fun sayings or something, and everybody retweets it or they screenshot it and post it. You kind of got to do stuff like that. Just be real smart, just say something that makes sense. And people will be like, okay, who is this person? And they start going and just nurture that relationship. You got to talk to them.

Emmanuel: I love it Trina, but man, that sounds hard. Oh, that sounds so hard. Especially like I'm an introvert and I'm the grumpy old man. I don't need this social media, but it's just social media for it. That sounds so hard. Any advice in that scenario? Or do I just gotta get over it?

Trina: It's not. You just gonna have to get over it. Cause to tell you the truth, I didn't even like taking pictures when I started my blog. You know, I'll be in front of the camera like, you know, I did not want to take pictures. I had to get over it. If I want to, I mean, I love clothes, I love fashion and I like doing it, but like I still to this day don't want to take it. But now it's like second nature. I was like, let me get up, try to put my face on, try to lay my little edges down. Like, let me get on this camera. I don't wanna be on camera either like you know but I'm gonna show up and that's just what I'm gonna do you just you really got to get over it but you behind a computer how you gonna be an introvert at the crib you at the crib just get on there leave your little comments you don't have to say no you be like thanks hey check out this if you want more information I got a lot of stuff on my page you know whatever and that's really all you got to say you ain't got to be they BFF like hey let's meet for coffee you ain't got to do all that.

Grace: Yeah, so it sounds like it's, yeah, it just sounds like it's the more you do it, the more, the easier it becomes.

Trina: You just gotta talk to them. It does. It does. That's it. What she said. So just start doing it.

Emmanuel: And also that's a great piece of feedback that I've heard too, especially if you're an introvert, people think I'm an introvert. I don't want to put myself on camera. It's like, that's the best way if you're an introvert to put yourself out there is on camera because no one's in the room with you when you're recording. And actually surprisingly, I heard something that a lot of introverts are a lot of, uh, influencers out there are introverts.

Trina: Let me tell you i'm thinking like because they do they're sitting at home and they're like hey guys And then I meet them and you know, i'm a super extrovert right like i'm in your face like This is you getting all of this like i'm like boom i'm in here. So And i'm like hey girl, you know i'm Trina or i follow you or whatever and they'd be like I'd be like my bad and I even said something to somebody like after the fact because they're like that so I had I think I just actually learned about this introvert extrovert like in my 30s. So like this is all me to me I was like, well, I just thought they was b's or something, you know or a holes so I didn't know what it was so when the girl did that and then like she came on my page leaving comments I was like girl when I saw you looked at me like I had boo-boo on my face. So you know, I had this thing. She was like, oh, I'm an introvert. I'm this I just love it so now if I run into her at like a blogging event or something, she's all now it's like, hey girl but at first it wasn't like that and then I didn't understand I was like girl bye. It ain't even that serious, just trying to speak, you know, but we cool now, but yeah, you just got to do it. Yeah. Yeah, they did

Emmanuel: Yeah, that's interesting that, yeah, introverts get on the camera. Do it. You can do it.

Trina: Yeah, like they got more of me and like even public speaking, like I mean, I could freeze off. I'd be like, oh, yeah, okay. You know, like I don't like doing that either, but I do it. I have to push through. I just be like, well, eventually I get there. Once I calm down and get to running my mouth, then we good, you know, but I'm usually pretty nervous. Y'all didn't give me time today because I was over here like, you know, so I didn't have a choice.

Emmanuel: Good. So we're in the Founder Rounder. So any questions you might have for us, even stuff we can help you with, or even just things you're curious about, feel free to fire away.

Trina: I would like to take because I said right now my biggest challenge is you know the economy we're in a recession, everybody, you know everything's expensive. I think people are spending but it's hard to get that dollar. Have you seen any way like what would you suggest to navigate through this time? 

Emmanuel: Navigate in what way?

Trina: And to try to make money or like or sustain like what would you recommend to other entrepreneurs like because it's, I'm not the only one feeling it. I know it's like kind of across the board. So, yeah, like, you know.

Grace: Yeah, you're not the only one on that one. I think...

Emmanuel: Yeah, not the only, so I have an answer, but I don't think you're going to like it. 

Trina: Go ahead and give it to me. Give it to me straight.

Emmanuel: Yeah, it's funny. Yeah, lower those expectations. Just imagine what if it doesn't get better? What if I don't make more money? What would I do then? And plan accordingly. Because what I think a lot of people are doing...sales have come down not from pre-pandemic levels, but from pandemic and quarantine levels. And they don't realize that was artificially high. We could not set our expectations, right? Like it was wild. Everything was going too good, but we thought the good times gonna keep on rolling. It's like the real estate market back in 2007. It was just like, oh, this is never gonna stop. This is gonna be great. In fact, we're gonna grow like this next year and the next year forever. No, in the e-commerce game? No, it just needed to reset. So imagine back, going back to then and revenue was before quarantine. Stick there. Because this is what a lot of people did too. The revenue went up, they started hiring more people. They started trying new things with marketing. They started buying all kinds of extensions to their product lines, stuff that they had no business buying or trying. They knew their audience didn't want it, but it was cool. Let's just try it. Why not? We got cash. Right? Like, no, cut all that. So here's the focus. Instead of focusing on top line growth, focus on bottom line growth. Why? Because cost cutting to me is the simplest way right now to make it through this time. Batten down the hatches, cut all unnecessary marketing spend. If you have head count that you know doesn't need to be there, make the tough call and fire them. Let them go, right? Let them, lay them off. It's not firing in that scenario. Just lay them off, give them severance if you need to, but you need to protect your income statement. You need to protect your profit right now and focus on increasing profits, even if revenue doesn't go up, it might stay the same, it might even go down. But as long as your costs go down faster than revenue goes down, you're still in the game. You have cash you're putting in your pocket. The way to look at every dollar right now that goes out of your business is that's a dollar that could be in your pocket, could be putting money on your table, the food on your table, could be putting gas in your car instead of going into an employee's pocket or going into an agency's pocket or going into Facebook's pocket, every dollar look at it that way, just so we can stay in the game. Cause guess what? These things do happen in cycles, right? We had post pandemic, we had the housing crisis, we had the Y2K, but like we have cycles. We're down right now. So just batten down the hatches. Everybody hunkered down, protect your profits, make sure you can get through this storm and then when the inflation and all this crisis stuff is fixed that's when it's time to come back out and get to work. But if you're sitting here trying to talk about, I need more revenue, need more revenue, you're gonna start pouring on more ads, you're gonna start trying to buy new products, you're gonna pour in all your cash, and then you'll be talking about bankruptcy next year. And we don't want that.

Grace: Yeah. The biggest thing is to make sure we're because again, like you said, Trina, you're not alone. We're also experiencing the same thing. And so many other businesses are too. The biggest thing is just making sure one just to keep going. But like Emmanuel said, you have revenue coming in. That means that blood is still flow. Cash is like the lifeblood of the business. That means blood is flowing through your business right now. And so there's life that

Emmanuel: Oh, give that pancreas example, Grace that pancreas. Yeah.

Grace: Yes, I can. Yep, I've just started following this natural remedies woman on TikTok and she was talking about her workshops that she has and she had somebody come to her and say, you know, a doctor just told me that my pancreas is dead. She interrupted him at that moment and said, is it gangrene? She's like, if there's blood flowing through your pancreas, then there's life. So, and if there's life, that means that it can actually come back into function. And so all that to say, if there's blood flowing through your business, then there's life. And so keep going. Like Emmanuel said, there's going to be some drastic measures that need to be taken. I should say there may be some, but you have the story. What I love about your, the part I love about your story is how you said the Lord just told you, save, stack your coins, save for a second. And that's how you're able to hit 10,000 units. And so there's gonna be strategies that I feel like the Lord's gonna give you for this moment too, but in order to get you through, you know, so just keep going.

Emmanuel: Yeah. How's that? How's that sit with you, Trina?

Trina: Right, Yeah. Thank you. Yeah No, it's it and it's like crazy because it's already coming in motion. Yeah, give me everything but so I was in a warehouse like a third-party warehouse and that was like kind of draining me. So I moved out, I got my own space, I started cutting back on a lot of stuff. So I have already started that cycle of cutting back on cutting costs where I can, you know. Now sometimes like I'm doing like maybe pre-sale for higher ticket items. You know, I'm just getting creative sometimes because yeah, you know, you don't wanna spend, cause you don't even know what the inventory like, you know, I used to sell 200 sweatsuits in a day, you know. Now it's like I'm fighting to sell 200 period for the, you know, for the fall or whatever. So. It can be rough, you know, so I'm definitely trying to set it up so I can sustain. So that was good to hear. And definitely, you know, I know a lot of people can't hear me. Yeah, yeah, definitely. But we here, we're going to be back.

Grace: You're on the right track. Yeah.

Emmanuel: Yeah, and I can tell you, you know us, Trina, we're an agency. So we've worked with over 100 something folks and we are, like Grace said, we're hearing this across the board, right? So you're not alone. So that's the first thing. But my hope is I can convince folks you're also not helpless. Like this is not a bad scenario. This is just a season, right? This is just an economic cycle. There's a downturn. We can make it through. You know, the majority of the Fortune 500, if you look at it, was born in a recession. So there's opportunity even in the downtime. And what I like, trying to convince people just to get that idea in your head, not that hey, I need to get sales up, I need to get sales up, negative. You need to cut costs to increase cash flow and profits. And if I can get you believing that idea, you're going to be even more successful than trying to figure out a new Facebook ad strategy or a new marketing angle, and you'll be able to weather the storm. Right? And so I believe in it so much that we literally put together a course that's absolutely free. We literally are giving it away. It's a cash flow course.

Trina: You're right.

Emmanuel: So I'll definitely get that over to you and I'm gonna give you some strategies too. Like for example, customer service, people don't realize customer service is your most profitable department and activity in your business, right? If you think about it, the only reason somebody reaches out to customer service is because they have a problem ordering or they have a problem with the product that you can solve and they will either finish ordering or buy another product. So teach your customer service people how to sell. Just have them upsell, would you like fries with that? Something simple like that. We lose out on that all the time. Or if you solve a problem for them with a website issue, like, hey, by the way, would you like a discount code for a purchase of that product that you were looking at? Just get them selling. That is the, by far, a simple, easy way to get more profits without more ad spend. Another way, I have so many of these. Let me, for you, you said pre-selling. Pre-selling is massive because if you think about it, you're asking your customers to finance your business instead of getting a loan or equity financing. We sleep on...that type of financing. But our customers do it. Why do we sleep on it? Because we're afraid. We're afraid they'll get pissed off if we ship late. But everybody's rocking with you. They're riding with you. That's the whole reason you built up an audience. So they'd be willing to support you. Just be transparent about it. The thing that people hate is not getting their stuff late. That's what we think it's gonna be. They do not hate that. What they hate is when you don't communicate that it will be late. So as long as you're communicating, hey, we're having some issues, just to talk to them at least once a week. People just hate when you ghost them. You take their money and you ghost them. That's what they don't like. So it's okay to pre-sale, because guess what's amazing about that? If you buy your product for $10 instead of for $50, you have a 5X markup. That means you need one order at retail price to buy five products, right? Like that's a cashflow win. You're getting $50 in advance and buying it for 10. Wow, you have no cashflow problems. That's...a powerful thing to do, right? So yeah, there's a bunch of those things. We can't get into all of them today, but there's a lot of cashflow strategies that we just need to know and implement to be successful.

Trina: Yeah. Right.

Grace: Yeah. Sounds like you're doing a lot of the right things too, Trina.

Trina: Oh no, that's amazing. And I feel like I am, I mean, trust me, I'm over here. I be, you know, racking my brain. I be like, let me get back into my, you know, textbooks. Like what did I learn in school and econ? You know, I'd be trying to like do the best I can what makes sense because I mean, at that point I really have no choice, you know, like if your back is against the wall, I can't spend, you know, 20 grand in China to get it manufactured. And I ain't got one sale yet, because now I'm 20 grand in the hole and crossing my fingers, hoping I move all that product to recover my costs. So, I've definitely tried to work a little smarter and figure it out, shift gears on how I do things, even though I don't really like presale, but my presale is only a week. So it's not like two months, like it'll be spring when you get your sweatsuit, you know what I'm saying? It's really a week. So.

Emmanuel: But you could try it. You could try.

Trina: You know, I got it now. Yeah. Ha! You say, yeah. I should have. Yeah. So, but no. So, no, that's good. That's awesome that you did a free ebook for that. That's great.

Emmanuel: Absolutely. It's a full training. It's all our best cashflow training. A bunch of other ideas. Like for example, a cashflow scrub. Right now, I guarantee there's almost every business can save themselves a hundred to three hundred dollars a month right now at a minimum. Just go in, look at all your services that are charging you recurring and cancel like five of them. Done.

Trina: Listen, that's crazy. I just did that too like two months ago. I got an invoice I'm telling first of all, I think Apple is stealing because every day they come through with a 999 charge and I don't know what it's for okay and then Google you know, you got the Google Suite the Google Voice and dadada all that stuff was coming in I was like, I know I just paid this and I started looking I had stuff I had like six lines on it. Why I got six lines? So like I started, I slash everything. I don't have all those users anymore logging in and doing stuff, but I'm paying per user. And I didn't know Google charges you like $20 something a month per user. And I'm just paying the invoice all happily. Well, I ain't paying happily, they taking it cause it's automatic. I ain't even happy. So I was like, I gotta shut this down. Let me go do some digging in there. You know, they don't make it easy for you to figure it out. So you know, you gotta do it now. I'm trying to cancel everything and I see another charge come through and I gotta get somebody on the phone. That's exactly what I've been doing. Exactly, so no, you right.

Emmanuel: And think about it this way, every single one of those dollars you just saved goes straight into your pocket every month instead of

Trina: Yep, absolutely. Yeah, because they take it from, you know, you bleed, you know, because like right now, you know, a lot of us are just trying to keep the lights on this to make it because we do have those overhead expenses. I got a whole, you know, office space now and I got to take care of that, even whether I sell a shirt or not, period. You know, I got bills, so you definitely have to cut those costs. That was one of the first things that I was.

Grace: Yeah. And it's, and it's really easy in, in seasons of, of growth and cashflow positive to allow things to slide. And so that's why it's so important like you to do exactly what you just did, which is go through each thing. Like, wait, when did we start subscribing to the iCloud for 9.99 a month? You know, like, when did I? When they take, right? They take me. They take it every day. Like it's almost like, what's that movie where they were taking like pennies, like decimals or pennies? Like over time and it ended up being like, 

Emmanuel: Office Space. Yeah.

Trina: Yes, Office Space. Yesterday they ended up taking all this money. Like I feel like that's what Apple is doing. You can't tell me otherwise. They pulling it on us. I'm like, look, I ain't even got no Apple stuff. What are y'all charging me for? I don't get it.

Emmanuel: That's hilarious. Yeah, so we're gonna get, we wanna know how we can help in our audience, our members, how we can put more dollars in your pocket, support you. We wanna share this with you. We wanna thank you for jumping on the podcast. Trina, this has been an amazing episode. How can we support you? How can we put more dollars in your pocket? What have you got going on?

Trina: Well, y'all can support me by following Supermom Culture on Instagram, Sign up for our emails cause they get to know everything first. And you can follow me personally at Hey Trina, actually Hey Trina Small, I'm trying to figure out this Hey Trina thing. But it's @HeyTrinaSmall, that's my, it's wild over there, it's a good time. But Supermom is a good time too though. That Supermom page is lit, like it's lit. I got the moms, we ready to do a cypher because I was talking to her. I had this funny meme about how kids grow up, especially nowadays, and then they become rappers and they talk about they ain't got nothing. And then we say we as moms are going to band together and do a diss track when our kids try to say they ain't grew up before or they ain't have nothing. We was like, wait a minute, wait a minute, we just going to eat to them, you know? So that was fun. We were talking about how we was going to drop some bars and stuff. So what is a good time over there? It's a great community, it's non-judgmental, it's a place where you can feel safe and seen and celebrated.

Emmanuel: That's wonderful. We will definitely be doing that. Thank you, Trina for joining us. All right. Take care.

Grace: That's awesome. Definitely. Thanks, Trina.

Trina: Thank you. Thank you guys.

Grace: Bye.


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