The CRUSH Files: Winning Strategies for Today

1) They choose a channel and become excellent with it. You can't do it all, so instead of being mediocre on various platforms, successful entrepreneurs choose to be the greatest at one, maybe two. For example, they aim to be a priority Amazon merchant or a leader on eBay. Some decide to just sell through their own website and work hard on their search engine optimization. Don't spread yourself too thin.

2) They get help. See above.

3) They lean on technology to be data driven. They use applications like Avalara and the fulfillment, payment, and marketing tools offered by the platforms they're on. They automate and get alerts. They rely on technologies like Avalara to help them comply with local tax and regulatory laws because they understand that the costs caused by the risks of ignoring these laws will significantly outweigh any benefits they're seeing over the long term. They are regularly reviewing their metrics, understanding which products are selling best and which are most profitable. They are looking at their customers — where the orders are coming from, what features customers prefer, what demographics are most suited to their product. They rely on these technologies to not only save time and reduce overhead, but also to focus on where the money is coming from.

You’ve spoken with a lot of Avalara customers. What have you learned?

I've learned that the more you learn about state and local taxation, the more you realize how much you don't know! The requirements are vast, complex, and always changing, and if you're selling products worldwide, you have two choices: hiring a full-time tax manager who can try and keep up with these changes, or rely on an application like Avalara to make sure you're in compliance. I've seen what can happen to companies who ignore these requirements. They become subject to penalties, back taxes, and loss of markets. It's just not worth it. Avalara customers sleep better.

Join Gene as he moderates the CFO Panel on May 2. For more information on CRUSH AUSTIN 2017, visit our website that includes all conference sessions, speaker bios, location information, after-hours activities, and more!

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