Shop America’s Gerjo van den Berg on Efficiency and Systems (episode 085)

Gerjo van den Berg is the owner of House of Fine Foods, a series of websites including Shop America that brings food items that are hard to get from America and Britain to Europe. Gerjo has been on the eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast before, and is now back to share what he’s learned about efficiency in the past year.

Listen to podcast 35 at to hear Gerjo’s first podcast interview with eCommerce MasterPlan.

This is the fifth of our ‘2017 eCommerce Growth Series Sponsored by Veeqo the Number 1 Inventory Software’. The series will be running throughout January and is packed with insight and advice to help you make 2017 your best year yet. Find the full series here.

It’s a bit of a long one – so we’ve split it into two episodes for you:

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shop america podcast
About the business

  • eCommerce Business Structure – Online Only
  • Product Range Scale – fairly niche
  • On a Lightspeed platform
  • Turnover €300,000 annually
  • 1 full-time and 5 part-time employees, in the process of hiring a personal assistant
  • Based in the Netherlands
  • Sells to countries in the European Union
  • Key Widgets


After spending 14-15 hours a day, 7 days a week on business, Gerjo realized he had reached the limit to live his daily life. He was overwhelmed, stressed, and his health began to deteriorate. He listened to the Kate’s Take podcast from Kate Erickson and read [easyazon_link identifier=”0887307280″ locale=”UK” tag=”ecommmaste-21″]The E-Myth Revisited[/easyazon_link] by Michael Gerber, which helped him get back on track.

Listen to hear more about Kate and EOFire.

Advice for Becoming more Efficient

Gerjo makes two lists of tasks, one for one-time tasks and one for repeated tasks. He writes down the steps for repeated tasks, using trello and links to Google docs. He uses Screenflow and hosts videos on Vimeo to help teach his employees.

Listen to learn how determining the time of day that he was most productive helped Gerjo be more efficient.

Productivity Questions

  • Is this redundant?
  • Can I automate this?
  • Can I outsource this?
  • Can I batch this?

Listen to learn how to use these questions to become more efficient.

To help stay on track, Gerjo recommends:

  • writing things down,
  • trial and error,
  • taking baby steps,
  • joining groups of entrepreneurs,
  • getting a coach,
  • having accountability,
  • and listening to podcasts that keep you in the mindset.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Pop ups and remarketing

Listen to hear about this marketing strategy

Tool Top Tip

  • Hotjar – for tracking website visitor behavior

Start Up Top Tip

  • Think it through carefully, then start.
  • Don’t wait for the perfect moment. There is no perfect moment.

Interview Links

  • For Dutch listeners, find Shop America at
  • For English listeners, find Shop America at
  • Dutch listeners can find Shop America on Twitter, Faceboook, and Pinterest using the handle ShopAmerica.NL
  • English listeners can find Shop America on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest using the handle ShopAmerica.EU