Forex Tester 1.0 Build 12 – Best Forex Store, Trading ...

Roughly 2 years after creating a company in China at my kitchen table, we’ve pivoted, tripled our staff and opened new offices. We’re changing the way e-commerce manufacturers import from China. Here’s how I did it.

I started a sourcing company that focuses on helping e-commerce sellers get products manufactured. Selling on Amazon is a popular topic these days, but I want to focus on the growth of my business and how we got where we are today.
I love reading about the growth of companies, both small and large. So here is me giving back.
Ask whatever questions you want, I’ll try to be as open as possible.
TL;DR My progress in building a company where I can act as an operator and not a micromanager
The Beginning
22 months ago I updated /entrepreneur of my minor progress in quitting my job at a product development company where I set out to help businesses get products manufactured from China.
You can read about it here: 14 Days in, and what started as an idea, is becoming a global business.
After starting the company and hiring a small Chinese staff working out of my apartment, in Shenzhen, China, we began getting a lot of clients by word of mouth and basic networking. The business model was simple, we act as the eyes, ears and boots on the ground in China for our customers. Our customers ranged from medium and large scale Amazon/eBay sellers, to brands that you can find in Wal Mart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Tesco and Target.
Our profit margins were pretty good, because we were acting as the middle man and paying factories with our clients money, our revenue was much higher than our profit. But our risk was minimal as we were never holding inventory. It wasn’t before long before where we had multiple millions of dollars in sales, which looked nice, but our profit margins only ranged from about 1% - 10% per order.
I realized we needed to scale, as my goal was to create a company, bring in talented operators and oversee operations without having to micromanage.
Trying to Scale Attempt 1:
Traditionally, Chinese companies scale via internal growth. The more employees you have, the bigger and more profitable you are. Our competitors have teams of 100+ people working in single offices. I don’t like this idea. Too much management, too messy and the overhead is too high. I tried to switch my clients over to a recurring revenue model. Nobody was biting. We tried to increase our profit, but the market was too competitive. The only possible option I saw to grow was to add a sales team and add more sourcing agents. - Again, an idea I did not love.
Trying to Scale Attempt 2:
China works based on scale. The higher the order quantity, the better it is for everyone. Because of this, we would often get weekly requests from small quantity e-commerce sellers who we’d constantly turn away because their order sizes were too small, and the work wasn’t worth the reward. I never liked turning people away. I had a client come back to me and tell me that there are no services out there who understand the business model of an e-commerce seller.
I decided I was going to find a way to help these types of e-commerce sellers.
A serious gap in this industry was identified. The only services out there for e-commerce sellers were training courses teaching new sellers how to make millions on Amazon. These were just courses, nothing different from the affiliate marketing, forex trading, work from home courses that new age entrepreneurs are seen creating as a way to earn a quick buck. Sure, some of this stuff was helpful, but there are still a ton of people out there who were actively selling online, they’ve surpassed the beginner mark and they are struggling to grow their business and deal with China at the same time. Having identified that group, our target customer was created.
The Problem:
We know that manufacturing works based on scale. So the larger the order, the lower the price, the greater the profit. Accepting to work with small sized importers was too dangerous in the existing model of sourcing suppliers, offering product quotations and hoping the client bites. There is way too much work involved just to offer a quotation, and hope the client was serious enough to place the order.
The Pivot:
We created a new service, outside of our existing website where the goal was to guide importers through the entire process of working with China. We’d act as the project manager, offering our purchasing office and resources in China in an outsourced model where we’d become a part of our clients company. We built an a la carte menu and offered our existing services to anyone who wanted them in a buy it now, productized fashion. They could purchase a sourcing service where we’d provide them with a list of qualified suppliers for a product they wanted to manufacture. They could purchase our negotiation service where we would negotiate for 8 days on their behalf. Clients could even have multiple samples shipped to our office in China, and we document them and ship them all together to them, saving them hundreds of dollars in shipping fees.
This service took off! We got tons of orders as a lot of people began talking about us on various forums and groups. But apparently this was not good enough. Everyone said, can you guys just do everything for us?
At this point, I had hired some marketing consultants and had close friends following what I was doing. Almost everyone was telling me to just create a full package and offer everything. I was reluctant at first, I told them all it would never work, there were too many unknown variables.
Eventually I caved it. I stayed up for 48 straight hours planning the restructuring of the entire business model. Previously, we were using Chinese sourcing agent who we’d train and have them work from home to source suppliers for these e-commerce clients. This process was great, as the overhead was much smaller, but it was not super reliable.
I stuck with the idea and built a service where clients could come to us with their product idea, we’d give them an idea of its feasibility, cost, etc. and then we’d get moving acting as their purchasing office. Total transparency. The client would know who the factory is, something most sourcing companies keep as a close secret. The goal was, for the client would be in the loop with everything, but would rely on a single representative at our company to handle all aspects in China for them.
The Marketing:
We built a list of 300 email subscribers we found via three Facebook groups. These 300 people were going to be our beta testers. We started a drip series email campaign that would educate them about the pitfalls when dealing with China, scare them of the risks, and sell them on our service. The day to launch was near. We were hoping for a 3% conversion rate from this list. That would have been enough for us to validate the new service and let us know whether or not to continue down the road of offering a service to this type of importer.
Five days after the launch our conversion rate from the drip campaign was roughly 30%. We were not equipped to handle that amount of sales. Frantic, I shut down the site, emailed all customers and informed them our site is down so we can focus on their orders.
In the weeks to come, I transitioned from half of our sourcing staff working from home, to a full staff in our office. Then we began interviewing and hiring like crazy. Brought three new sourcing agents on, left our small office and rented a new office which provided us more room to grow.
Rebuilding:
Once the shock wore off, reality began setting in. This idea was not only validated, the problem was not demand, it was supply. The past couple of months we’ve been building training programs, adding a management team and structuring our company to fit the mold of my original goal, operating and not micro managing.
Now, I have two strong managers. One manages the sourcing team and the other manages the account reps. We were able to build team leaders who are responsible for solving day to day problems, leaving me to focus on growth. All work is based on metrics, each employee is graded on their work, and the bonus structure is set up according to the monthly performance metrics.
We have a lot planned in the near future. It is definitely exciting to be paving the way in an age old industry with a modern approach. We are starting to see competition, and as an MVP in an arena of this size, that is to be expected. Our main focus is on continuing to strengthen our core, come out with new services and make sure all of our early clients are heard and their problems get solved. We’ve been approached by some pretty large companies both in our industry and outside interested in investing in us. I am still the sole owner and we’ve yet to take a single investment. That time may come, but I am going to be picky with who we choose.
It is an exciting time for us, we’re not perfect by any means, I 100% work by the philosophy where you need to be ashamed of your initial launches and attempts, anything you’re not ashamed of, you took too long to release.
I purposely left out our company name as I’d love to focus on the business growth, and I’m not interested in plugging anything at this time.
Some things we’re working on now:
submitted by archer48 to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

Auto-trading fun with Bollinger bands [Novice level].

Whilst we have a fair few 'novice' posts about TA and Global Macro (aka "Fundamentals"), there aren't too many involving auto-trading. Seeing as I'm in the middle of teaching myself MQL4, I thought I'd throw this out there as discussion prompter.
By "novice", I mean someone who has moved beyond complete beginner ("what's a FOMC and a NFP?") but still not deploying robust and market ready strategies ("how does market structure affect news event response?"), so constructive criticism, informed commentary or taking the ideas and developing them further are very much the point of sharing in the first place. It's not meant to be a showcase of code, because the code is a mess!
This post got me thinking about how relatively trivial it would be to implement a Bollinger Band mean reversion autotrader.
Project Goals
My interest in the project was as a way to begin development of a skeleton EA that would use a custom indicator to implement trade signals. The point of this would be to allow for faster prototyping of visually based autotrading before taking it to the testing environment. The key advantage of this is that you can see on your charts which entries are being missed, something that is much more laborious to do via visual mode in the strategy tester.
Concept Development
So to begin the project, I sketched out the concept.
One way to trade Bollinger Bands is to trade the reversion to the mean. Intuitively, we expect that wider deviations from the mean will result in more reliable reversions to the mean. To explore this we could enter when price breaches the second SD band and then returns back inside it.
Here's the default Bollinger Band on default settings in MT4, demonstrating this sort of behaviour:
http://i.imgur.com/dK2oDO7.png
Prototyping
I want to use the indicator, and not the EA, to generate trade signals, as this is the point of the project for me. Because I'm lazy and grew up coding in basements, I opt to fiddle with the default indicator code rather than build up from scratch.
My first goal is to add two things.
Firstly, I want to add another layer of bands, because I saw a set up like that a while ago and liked it. (This is not a very good reason, and I think it costs me down the track).
Secondly, I want to add in a way to visually indicate the trade signals before we pass them to the EA.
Adding another set of bands is just a copy and paste of the existing bands. My learning point here is that I need to adjust the amount of buffers to match the number of bands I want. This comes into play for adding the trade signal arrows, as they need to go in the same sort of structure as the second lot of bands.
[I know from reading about the project goals in advance that EAs access custom indicators via iCustom(). This function can only receive the contents of one of the first 8 indicator buffers. Thus the idea will be that the buffer that marks out the trade entries on the indicator will later be used by the EA to mark out where entries should be. It's possible this is not the best way for EAs to access custom indicators , so input from more experienced coders is welcome!]
#property indicator_chart_window #property indicator_buffers 8 // <---- have to set this to match your copy and pasted buffer amount #property indicator_color1 LightSeaGreen #property indicator_color2 LightSeaGreen #property indicator_color3 LightSeaGreen // hack in (make 'em colourful. Turns out I didn't understand how the numbering worked, and indictator_color4 is never visualised) #property indicator_color4 clrWhite #property indicator_color5 clrWhite #property indicator_color6 clrRed #property indicator_color7 clrGreen #property indicator_color8 clrRed //--- indicator parameters input int InpBandsPeriod=50; // Bands Period input int InpBandsShift=0; // Bands Shift input double InpBandsInnerDeviations=1.0; // Add in for our other Band input double InpBandsOuterDeviations=2.0; // Bands Deviations //--- buffers double ExtMovingBuffer[]; double ExtUpperBuffer[]; double ExtLowerBuffer[]; double ExtStdDevBuffer[]; // hack in buffers (these buffers will store our trade signals) double SellSignalBuffer[]; double BuySignalBuffer[]; // these buffers will hold the additional bands. apologies for the naming, I didn't originally intend to share this double ExtUpperUpperBuffer[]; double ExtLowerLowerBuffer[]; //+------------------------------------------------------------------+ //| Custom indicator initialization function | //+------------------------------------------------------------------+ int OnInit(void) { //--- 1 additional buffer used for counting. IndicatorBuffers(8); // don't forget to adjust this to account for the new buffers IndicatorDigits(Digits); //--- middle line SetIndexStyle(0,DRAW_LINE); SetIndexBuffer(0,ExtMovingBuffer); SetIndexShift(0,InpBandsShift); SetIndexLabel(0,"Bands SMA"); //--- upper band SetIndexStyle(1,DRAW_LINE); SetIndexBuffer(1,ExtUpperBuffer); SetIndexShift(1,InpBandsShift); SetIndexLabel(1,"Bands Upper"); //--- lower band SetIndexStyle(2,DRAW_LINE); SetIndexBuffer(2,ExtLowerBuffer); SetIndexShift(2,InpBandsShift); SetIndexLabel(2,"Bands Lower"); SetIndexBuffer(3,ExtStdDevBuffer); //--- Copy and paste from above, and just change the number! Upper outer band is INDEX 4 SetIndexStyle(4,DRAW_LINE); SetIndexBuffer(4,ExtUpperUpperBuffer); SetIndexShift(4,InpBandsShift); SetIndexLabel(4,"Bands Outer Upper"); //--- Copy& paste, lower outer band is INDEX 5 SetIndexStyle(5,DRAW_LINE); SetIndexBuffer(5,ExtLowerLowerBuffer); SetIndexShift(5,InpBandsShift); SetIndexLabel(5,"Bands Outer Lower"); //--- remind myself which is which so I don't forget later: sell signal is INDEX 6!!!! SetIndexStyle(6,DRAW_ARROW); SetIndexArrow(6,218); SetIndexBuffer(6,SellSignalBuffer); SetIndexShift(6,InpBandsShift); SetIndexLabel(6,"Sell Signal"); //--- buy signal is INDEX 7 !!! SetIndexStyle(7,DRAW_ARROW); SetIndexArrow(7,217); SetIndexBuffer(7,BuySignalBuffer); SetIndexShift(7,InpBandsShift); SetIndexLabel(7,"Buy Signal"); //--- check for input parameter if(InpBandsPeriod<=0) { Print("Wrong input parameter Bands Period=",InpBandsPeriod); return(INIT_FAILED); } //--- SetIndexDrawBegin(0,InpBandsPeriod+InpBandsShift); SetIndexDrawBegin(1,InpBandsPeriod+InpBandsShift); SetIndexDrawBegin(2,InpBandsPeriod+InpBandsShift); // hack in our additional buffers, so they also start at the corect point SetIndexDrawBegin(4,InpBandsPeriod+InpBandsShift); SetIndexDrawBegin(5,InpBandsPeriod+InpBandsShift); SetIndexDrawBegin(6,InpBandsPeriod+InpBandsShift); SetIndexDrawBegin(7,InpBandsPeriod+InpBandsShift); //--- initialization done return(INIT_SUCCEEDED); } //+------------------------------------------------------------------+ //| Bollinger Bands | //+------------------------------------------------------------------+ // all of this code is from the default indicator int OnCalculate(const int rates_total, const int prev_calculated, const datetime &time[], const double &open[], const double &high[], const double &low[], const double &close[], const long &tick_volume[], const long &volume[], const int &spread[]) { int i,pos; //--- if(rates_total<=InpBandsPeriod || InpBandsPeriod<=0) { return(0); } //--- counting from 0 to rates_total ArraySetAsSeries(ExtMovingBuffer,false); ArraySetAsSeries(ExtUpperBuffer,false); ArraySetAsSeries(ExtLowerBuffer,false); ArraySetAsSeries(ExtStdDevBuffer,false); // hack in to make sure our custom buffers run in the same direction ArraySetAsSeries(SellSignalBuffer,false); ArraySetAsSeries(ExtUpperUpperBuffer,false); ArraySetAsSeries(ExtLowerLowerBuffer,false); ArraySetAsSeries(BuySignalBuffer,false); ArraySetAsSeries(close,false); ArraySetAsSeries(high,false); ArraySetAsSeries(low,false); //--- initial zero if(prev_calculated<1) { for(i=0; i1) pos=prev_calculated-1; else pos=0; //--- main cycle for(i=pos; i After a bit of tweaking typos, the indicator now displays two sets of bands, one at 1x SD and one at 2xSD from the mean (moving average). It also has two buffers that will use the DRAW_ARROW style to mark out potential trades.
Adding trade logic
I still can't decide if it's better to isolate the logic code in the Custom Indicator or the EA, in the long run. There seem to be performative, stylistic and redundancy issues, but for the moment the project is to put the logic in the Indicator, so that's what I did.
The fastest way to prototype this idea seems to be identifying when price closes outside of the far band.
This is trivial to achieve. We compare the close to the two outer bands, and if it's outside them, then we set the relevant trade signal buffer.
//
 double tempclose = close[i]; if(tempclose>(ExtUpperUpperBuffer[i]+10*Point)) { SellSignalBuffer[i] = high[i]+(20* Point); } else { SellSignalBuffer[i] = 0; } if(tempclose<(ExtLowerLowerBuffer[i]-10*Point)) { BuySignalBuffer[i] = low[i]-(20*Point); } else { BuySignalBuffer[i]=0; } } 
It works!
http://i.imgur.com/Ak3UkkK.png
Green arrows successfully mark out possible sell entries where price closes above the top band, and red arrows mark out possible buy entries when price closes below the lower band.
The logic can be a lot more complicated than this obviously, but the point of my project is to develop the iCustom technique, rather than make a good autotrader.
Now it's time to switch to the EA.
part two to follow
submitted by alotmorealots to Forex [link] [comments]

Of Wolves and Weasels - Day 228 - Weekly Wrapup #26

Hey all, GoodShibe here!
This was your week in Dogecoin.
Last Week's oWaWs
Announcements
Top Images/Memes of the week
Cool Dogecoin Projects
Looking for Help
Dogecoin In The News
Good Reads
Did I forget anything? Of course I did! Please let me know in the comments and I'll add it! :D)
It's 9:56AM EST and we've found 90.49% of our initial 100 Billion DOGEs -- only 9.51% remains until our period of Hyper-inflation ends! Our Global Hashrate is steady at ~50 Gigahashes per second and our Difficulty is up slightly from ~807 to ~856.
As always, I appreciate your support!
GoodShibe
submitted by GoodShibe to dogecoin [link] [comments]

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