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No longer to "give away"...

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sadly, Ankle Biters is no longer available to "give" away as we had originally hoped. We are required to sell it, and if we are unable to do so, the trustee of our bankruptcy will take over and do it themselves. :( It is a long story, but basically, it is now out of our hands and we need to "advertise" that the online business is for sale for the amount of $10 000. Stock will be sold at the actual wholesale value if it is required.

It absolutely sucks that the thing that I personally put all of my energy and love and soul into can't even be passed on to someone in the same manner, and that it instead has become a commodity that we must demand money for. This is so not what Ankle Biters was supposed to be about but we are now at the mercy of our personal insolvency and the matter is out of our hands.

The sale inclusions are as follows:

Going by the figures to date, we have had the following turnover (we can verify all of this by showing you our accounting software and also by linking you to the back-end of the website which will show you the orders that have come in through the shopping cart system):

May-Dec 2008- approximately $25,000 (website only)
Jan 2009 – Dec 2009 - $77,000 (website only)
Aug 2009 – Dec 2009 - $25,000 (physical store)

So, if we use these figures as an indicator of growth (430%), and if we were to maintain the presence both online and in the physical store that we currently have, we could expect that in 2010, the growth would be slightly less but similar, and that the projected turnover for the year, should amount to between $300 000 - $350 000. This is not profit, but turnover, as we have not yet recorded a profit.

Inclusions:

The $10,000 contribution for the business changeover will therefore include the following:

1. The legal transfer of the Registered Business Name of Ankle Biters Australia over to the new owner. It is currently registered as a Sole Trader entity.

2. All artwork, banners, logos and copyright of all of these items, pertaining to the Ankle Biters branding. We relinquish all rights to this work, all of which I have personally designed and completed myself during the past 2 years.

3. Ankle Biters 2300 x 50 outdoor vinyl banner – suitable for trade shows and markets.

4. The main Ankle Biters e-commerce Website and registered domains as follows:

(i) The transfer of the following domains which are currently owned by us:

- www.anklebiters.com.au
- www.anklebiter.com.au
- www.anklebiters.net.au
- www.anklebiters.co.nz
- www.ecodisposables.com.au
- www.steinertoys.com.au

All of these domains are just parked at the moment and we have been meaning to set up dns hosting and point them to the main Ankle Biters site when we had the chance. The domain names are registered with Crazy Domains, and there is a fee to transfer them to a new owner/registrar, which is a few hundred dollars in Australia. I am not sure of the exact process, but we will arrange it if/when the time comes.

We also own the domains of www.waybasics.com.au and www.waybasics.net.au . If you look at http://www.waybasics.com/ you will see this is an awesome range of eco-furniture. We had made initial plans with the company to become their exclusive distributor here in Australia to the point of ordering in a pallet of stock and registering the domain name and posted about it on our blog. They are an awesome company to deal with, and wonderfully environmentally conscious and forward thinking. Of course, as it was all in the works at the same time as the internet scam came to light, we were left with no funds to place an initial stock order with them to begin the distribution. We have had a number of customers contact us and there is definite interest in the product in the market in Australia. If the new owner had the financial backing, it is a product that could very quickly see you to a great financial position, providing you can afford the costs of bringing in large orders via container from China and have the warehouse to store the pallets of stock. We have our shop fitted out with the stock that we initially bought in and can happily show it to interested parties if interested...

(ii) The website itself, which is hosted with Wahm Shoppes in the USA and the shopping cart software called “Feature Cart”. Ongoing costs of the website shopping cart hosting is only about $10 per month. Well, it is usd$7 per month, paid via paypal, and so varies with the exchange rate. There is also domain renewal fees which is about $24 per domain name, per year. There is nothing more to pay, except for your own Paypal fees if you decide to have paypal as a payment option through the shopping cart. Currently, we no longer use paypal and have credit card as a payment option on the site. The shopping cart offers a secure credit card collection service for this purpose, which we log into and then simply enter the customers details into our EFTPOS machine when we are processing orders.

(iii) The website has been fully optimised and installed with both Stat Counter (http://www.statcounter.com/ ) and Google Analytics (http://www.google.com/ ) to give full, comprehensive stats of hits and visits to the website, keywords used to search etc. This blog is also included in the Google Analytics to check the statistics for visitors to it too. We are currently averaging between 3500 and 6000 unique hits to the site per month:

(iv) The Ankle Biters website has a current very respectable Google page ranking of 4.

5. The Ankle Biters blog that is hosted here: http://anklebitersaust.blogspot.com/.

The blog is in the Blogger format hosted through Google. I worked for many, many hours, customising the template of the blog to come up with the final design so that it ties in really well with the appearance of the main Ankle Biters website and branding. I have also designed the layout in such a way that it allows you to enter in banners if you like so that you can sell off advertising spots on it in future. The blog also has links back to the main Ankle Biters website pages, the online community forum and also to the Twitter and Facebook pages too.
The blog is accessed through the Blogger Dashboard, and we will transfer log-in details to the new owner if/when the time arises.

6. The Ankle Biters online community forum that is here: http://www.anklebitersduds.proboards.com/

The forum is almost completed. There are a few bits and pieces to finish up on it with regards to setting up the categories, posting rules, tips and instructions etc. we have not launched this forum yet, although there is a link to it on our main website. It was something we had planned to build and market this coming year. The forum is hosted with Proboards and is free, but charges I think about $15 per month if you would prefer to have the ads removed from it. It looks MUCH better without the ads.

We really think that the forum has great potential for becoming very popular as whilst there are many parenting/mother/pregnancy forums on the net, we have yet to find one that is a GREEN parenting/mother/pregnancy forum. Going by many of the loyal and purist customers that we have had come into our shop, who are never short of voicing their opinions, we really think that this forum could prove to be a wonderful haven for parents wanting to source advice about living organically/eco-friendly and raising their babies/kids with this kind of outlook on life.

7. The Ankle Biters Facebook page that is here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ankle-Biters-Duds/12751612209

Currently, we have 902 “fans” on the page and it is growing steadily, following on from the success of the recent Facebook Garage Sales we have been having. The Facebook page is an integral, and hugely important factor in the Ankle Biters online presence and branding. It is a great way to announce sales and promotions and every time I post on the wall, it is guaranteed to receive a great response. After all, it goes out instantly to 902 live News Feeds, and is then seen by all of their “friends” in their News Feeds as well.

8. The Ankle Biters Twitter page that is here: http://twitter.com/anklebitersaust . We currently have about 450 followers and this increases noticeably when we are using Twitter regularly, and remains constant when we haven’t used it for some time. We have also now linked our Facebook and Twitter accounts so that when a post is made via Facebook or Twitter one updates the other. This is a really great cross-promotional tool as it allows us to ensure that all of our followers on all platforms are kept informed of our activities.

9. Ankle Biters profiles and banner advertising that is listed on the following directories and listings:

http://aussiewahms.gotop100.com/index.php
http://connect2mums.com.au/
http://www.oz-e-wahm.com/topsites/
http://essentialbaby.com.au/
http://www.kidsstylefile.com.au/
http://www.usenature.com/
http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/
http://www.kidspot.com.au/
http://www.stylecollective.com.au/juniorstyle.asp?dir=1&iddir2=40
http://www.kidsfashionreview.com/stylefile/company/ankle-bitters
http://www.usenature.com/babyproducts.htm
http://www.mumzone.com.au/
http://www.topbabyblogs.com/
http://www.truelocal.com.au/
http://www.hiplittleone.com.au/
http://www.ministylista.com.au/

Most of these are paid listings that will give the new owner at least another 6 months worth of advertising before needing to be renewed. There are more listings than those above, they are just all that I can think of off the top of my head.

Another point that you may benefit to know is that many directories and listings are done in alphabetical order. So, by default, with having the name “Ankle Biters”, you can pretty much always guarantee that the listing will be on the first page, due of course to “a” being the first letter of the alphabet! This has worked in our favour many, many times.

We have also been recently featured in Studio Bambini magazine and on websites such as http://www.growingupgreen.com.au/ , http://www.babyology.com.au/ , http://www.mumsgrapevine.com.au/ , http://www.kidsinaustralia.com.au/ .

10. The Ankle Biters Newsletter subscriber list. We currently have about 700 newsletter subscribers. The management of our newsletter is through http://www.verticalresponse.com/ and you pay for it as you go. Currently it costs us about $15 for each mail out that I do – it is worked out on a “per subscriber” basis, so increases nominally as the subscriber list increases. I think it is about .05c per person, per newsletter, or thereabouts. This software handles all subscriptions via the signup form on our website, and also ensures that unsubscribes and bounces are handled accurately. It also offers great statistics about each mail-out, with it telling you how many emails were opened, deleted or how many links were clicked on in the emails etc. Very handy tool to have.

11. A full spreadsheet of all suppliers and the products that they distribute. We will also include an additional file of new products we had planned to add to the Ankle Biters range over coming months.

12. All website passwords, user and account names etc associated with all of the above.

13. Continued promotion of the AnkleBbiters website through advertising/signage on our car for a 12 month period from the date of changeover.

14. Goodwill & a loyal, growing customer base that has come to love our unique products and personal customer service.

Stock:
We also have to advertise the sale of our current stock for $7,000. The $7,000 for stock includes all of the items listed in a stocktake spreadsheet that we can show to prospective buyers, with the true wholesale value of approximately $14 966.80. The items on the list are not guaranteed to all be included at change over, depending upon sales from the business in the meantime, but are given as a rough indication of what is available.

And that's about it! 2 years of our blood, sweat and tears, many sleepless, hardworking nights, and more, reduced to now to a cold, hard figure of $10,000. If any one is genuinely interested after reading the above, or knows of somebody who may be, please email us on shop@anklebiters.com.au as time is running out for us. The $10,000 figure is, unfortunately not-negotiable, and if we don't secure a buyer soon, it will be out of our hands and who knows who might end up with Ankle Biters? :( Certainly, it probably won't be somebody with the heart and passion that we have, but rather an astute investor who can see the amazing potential that our business has, and that would be the biggest injustice of all.

Worse still, it could be totally lost, never to be seen or heard of again, and how heartbreaking would that be?!

tan.x.

1 Responses to No longer to "give away"...

  1. ~Sally~ Says:
  2. I'm really sorry things haven't gone as planned xxx