Starting an Amazon business is relatively easy. But there are a number of things that can go wrong, and it’s easy to get discouraged. Being able to get past those discouraging moments is the difference between failure and success. So how can you do it?
First of all, you need to get started with the right expectations. Some people think FBA selling is a get-rich-quick scheme. They’re going to be disappointed. It may make you rich, but it takes time and effort to get there. For instance, building your brand, your reputation, and your seller metrics, is going to take time. Getting into restricted categories may take time. Getting good reviews will take effort and maybe some investment.
So, start by accepting that this is going to be a long term commitment. Don’t plan on retiring in six months!
Secondly, some people think they’ll be able to design and source their product, put it on Amazon, and then just let the business run itself. They think it’s passive income. But you won’t get the best out of the business if you treat it that way. You’ll need to manage your advertising and your social media.
That may only mean two or three hours a week, but it needs to be regular. A blog post every week is far better than four at the end of the month. (Of course, if you work smart, you’ll use an automatic post scheduler to help plan your content.)
Some people get a lot further down the road before they get discouraged. They launch a second and maybe a third product, maybe more. And then, one day, they wake up, and they don’t want to get out of bed. There’s too much to do.
Almost always, they’ve made the same mistake of not expanding beyond a one person business. They need help! That’s all they need!
You don’t have to add full time employees to create a team that can help you. There are plenty of consultants and service businesses that you could use, with different levels of service, pricing methods, and responsibilities. You could use freelances for all the following tasks:
• copywriting and SEO
• social media content creation
• product and lifestyle photography
• graphic design
• video content
• managing your ad campaigns
• brand creation
• freight forwarding
• product inspection.
Start by outsourcing whatever will make the most difference. If you know your photos are not as good as they could be, that’s a good place to start. Focus your time and effort on the thing that you’re best at, whatever that is. If you’re best at sourcing new, innovative products, focus on that. Think of yourself as the CEO, not the office gofer!
The other thing that successful FBA sellers do is to treat their mistakes as learning opportunities. For instance, suppose you do your sums wrong and one of your products ends up not making a profit. You could say “That proves FBA doesn’t work”. Some people do say that, and they exit the business, and so they’ve just made sure that it doesn’t work for them.
Successful FBA sellers ask what they can do to change that next time. Maybe redesigning the product to come in at a smaller size could save packaging and fulfillment costs. Maybe the price positioning needs to be higher. Maybe a multi-buy would have worked better. (For instance, selling a single pencil isn’t cost-effective, but selling a box of twelve is.) Or maybe they hadn’t costed all of Amazon’s fees, or hadn’t budgeted for sales taxes, so they have learned a lesson about how the business works.
Accept that you’ll make a few mistakes. Accept that sometimes, things won’t work out. If you still commit to learning your lessons and following through, you’re going to rank with the sellers who make it – and the ones who fall by the wayside.