Tag Archives: Outsourcing

Overcoming Your Fear of Training Your Competition via Outsourcing

Fear of Training Your CompetitionWe all need help.

Especially when it comes to running an Amazon FBA business, we need help in order for our business to grow. Sure, there are days when I feel like no one can Tetris the contents of an FBA box quite as well as I can, but in reality my business has more potential to grow if I put down the tape gun and let someone help me.

Many aspects of an FBA business can be outsourced or automated in order to free up my time or expand my capabilities. Tasks such as removing price stickers, poly bagging and shrink wrapping, prepping shoe boxes, listing the inventory, and packing shipping boxes can all be outsourced to someone else. Virtual tasks such as requesting reimbursements, fixing stranded inventory, or searching for online arbitrage leads can be outsourced as well.

There’s one task, however, that many Amazon sellers fear outsourcing more than all other tasks. Sourcing. The actual task of going out and scanning the aisles or the garage sales for inventory to resell.

Over and over we get this question when we tell people we’ve outsourced some aspects of our sourcing:

“Aren’t you afraid of training your competition?”

I can tell you emphatically that the answer is always NO. I don’t at all fear training a competitor. I’ll get into the reasons why I don’t have this fear in moment.

scrollAfter your business reaches a certain level of inventory and sales, it becomes harder and harder for one person to go out and buy enough inventory to maintain business at that level, much less grow beyond that level. It can become tiresome or even impossible to maintain that level of sourcing without becoming more than a one-man-show.

Sourcing is a more specialized skill than removing stickers or packing shipping boxes. Sourcing requires analyzing information and making decisions, and those decisions carry with them a certain amount of risk. Part of what makes each Amazon FBA seller able to excel in their business is their ability to make smart sourcing decisions.

Many sellers fear that if they teach this specialized skill to someone else in order to get help with their sourcing, they risk having that person take their newly acquired skills to go out and start their own competing Amazon business. Here are a few more questions we often get about training other people to source for us:

  • What if they see how much money you’re making at FBA and decide to quit working for you to start their own business?
  • What if they go to the stores in your area and buy all the good inventory for Amazon FBA before you can?
  • What if they get to all the garage sales in your town before you do?
  • What if they keep working for you, but they keep all the good inventory for themselves and only give you sub-par inventory for your business?

worry1We get it. Those are legitimate questions to ask and legitimate risks you are taking when you train someone else to do your sourcing for you. But we feel that the benefits far outweigh the minimal risks. We would rather have the help we need sourcing today than fear something that might or might not (and honestly, likely will not) happen tomorrow.

Here are the reasons we do not fear training our competition to source for us:

1. Not everyone wants to run their own business.

If you’ve been selling on Amazon for any amount of time, you know the time, effort, and money required to invest in running an Amazon business. The return on that investment can be great, but it still takes an upfront investment and ongoing effort to actually do the work of running the business. Not everyone wants to go through that effort of setting up an account, setting up an LLC, setting up programs like Inventory Lab, getting ungated in certain categories etc. Not everyone has the money to invest in a few tools and some inventory (we think it can be done for about $500 to get started) – or wants to spend their money that way. Some people really only want to work for someone else and not have to deal with the responsibilities and headache of being the one in charge. They just want to earn some extra money and be done with work for the day. Just because you train someone to source doesn’t mean that person automatically will want to become the boss.

Abundance_624_3512. We have an abundance mindset when it comes to finding Amazon FBA inventory.

This reason is even bigger for us than the first one is. We truly believe there is more inventory to be found than there are sellers on Amazon. We know for a fact that there is more inventory to be found in our geographic area than our own small business can handle purchasing. If we train someone to source for us and they decide to leave and start their own FBA business, we do not at all worry that we will run out of inventory in our area.

We live in the Fort Worth-Dallas area and belong to a Facebook group of local FBAers. That group has over 200 members. Think about that for a moment. That’s almost 200 people doing FBA in this metropolitan area. Our business has grown year over year since I began selling through FBA in 2011, so I know for a fact that the increasing number of sellers in Fort Worth or Dallas is not affecting my business. Each seller has their own business model, their own strengths at sourcing, their own personal preferences for categories on Amazon. If you send 5 resellers into the same store, it’s likely that all 5 of them would come out of the store with a different set of inventory.

I’m truly not worried about my business if I train someone to help me source and they decide to strike out on their own. There is an abundant amount of inventory in this geographic area, from online stores, and from wholesale sources. Whether you live in a large city or a small town, there are abundant sources for Amazon FBA inventory available today.

If you decide to train someone else to source for you, you only stand to gain from the help. Your business only stands to grow from the increase in inventory. But that other sourcer cannot replace you. No one can source like you. No one has your unique gifts and abilities at making decisions for your business. No one knows your own business like you do and your categories like you do.

If you train someone and they leave to become one more seller on Amazon, bless them in their endeavor and get back to your own business. You have just proven that you can train someone well enough to give them confidence to be independent. Get out there and train another person now.

3d-cover1-738x1024(If you’re ready to take the leap to train someone to source for you, we highly recommend Ryan Grant’s book Outsourcing Sourcing. We used this guide when we hired our first sourcing help and found it tremendously useful.)

SAVE TODAY: Use coupon code FBA30 at checkout and save 30% off the price of the book today!

Have you tried enlisting help in sourcing for Amazon FBA? Are you afraid of training your competition or do you have an abundance mindset? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.

Overcoming Your Fear of Paying for Services for Your FBA Business

Paying For ServicesWe’re continuing our series on Overcoming Your Amazon FBA Fears today by looking at another set of fears that we want to replace with truths to help us take our FBA businesses to the next level. Today’s fear has been a big one for me (Rebecca) and Stephen to deal with over the past couple of years, but thankfully we’re working our way out of it.

Many Amazon sellers, including us, didn’t start out with a limitless bank account full of money that we can invest in our business. If you’re like us, maybe you started off finding inventory you could buy at garage sales or thrift stores for a dollar or two that you could sell for great ROI, and you work hard to keep your overhead costs low so that you can use all your profits to reinvest in inventory and hopefully pay a few household bills.

No MoneyThat’s pretty much the situation Stephen started off in. Not a lot of wiggle room or excess cash lying around to use for “extras” in the business. Extras like services that would speed up some of our processes, but would also eat away all our profit. Services like deal lists, feedback removal, prep services, repricers, listing programs, scanning apps, and category approval services.

My goal for today’s post is to convince you that some of the services you might view as extras really shouldn’t be considered extra. Maybe they should be considered essential, if you want to see your business grow.

My goal for today’s post is NOT to sell you particular services. I want to sell you an idea. I want you to take the time to consider whether your business is missing out because you’re struggling to justify paying for services. Please notice that we are not including any affiliate links to particular services in this blog post. We aren’t trying to sell services through this post. We’re trying to help you deal with a very real hang-up that could be slowing down your FBA business.

So, here are 3 fears about paying for services for your FBA business, along with the ways you can overcome these fears:


FEAR #1 – I’m afraid of letting somebody besides me run my Amazon business.

Amazon SuperheroTRUTH – Yes, you are the best person to run your business. It’s yours. And you really should have hands-on experience at running every aspect of it before you hand any part of it over to someone else. But time is money, and after a certain point any business cannot grow unless you multiply yourself, either through outsourcing or through automation. If you continue to spend all your time doing things that anyone can do, then you quickly run out of time to do the things only you can do.

ACTION – As a first step towards automating your business, try outsourcing a task that you really don’t enjoy or that you don’t do particularly well. It’s easier to assign someone else our dreaded tasks than the tasks we don’t mind, even if they’re draining our time.

FEAR #2 – I’m afraid I can’t afford to pay for a service; my business is still too small.

540_293_resize_20130501_7ea4cf0099273a9573e2987cce989e84_pngTRUTH – I hear you on this one. I really do. This has been a huge stopping point for me and Stephen. But the truth is that this logic only works up to a certain level of doing business. You have to look at whether you have more time to spend or more money to spend. Once you have more money than time, then your business just will not grow beyond a certain threshold without spending some money to get your time back. Trust us on this one. We’ve learned it the hard way. There are areas where we wish we had spent the money for services a little earlier, rather than running ourselves ragged trying to get more work in each day.

ACTION – Think about the added cost of a service in terms of cost per item of inventory, and work that extra cost into your cost of goods when you’re making buying decisions. For example, if it costs $1 per item to send your inventory to a prep service, start adding that $1 into your calculations for how much ROI you need before you’ll buy an item to resell. Soon that extra $1 will seem like nothing, but you will have gained a priceless amount of time back that you’re no longer spending on prepping inventory. This concept works with other services too, but it may require doing some math and creative thinking on your part to come up with an approximate cost per item.

FEAR #3 – There are too many services (and types of services) available. I can’t figure out which ones are the most beneficial for me to add at this point.


too-many-choices1TRUTH –
Though it can be overwhelming to think through whether it’s actually worth it to add a service, it can’t hurt you to spend a few minutes coming up with a few pros and cons for a few services. No one says you have to add all the services in all the world all at one time to make your business grow. Just one new service could be all it takes to make a vast difference in your business.

ACTION – Choose one service to try out for a period of time, whether it’s a deal list or feedback removal or a repricer. Most services offer a 7-day free trial, or even a 30-day trial in some cases — or at the very least, they should offer some type of money-back satisfaction guarantee. If they don’t make it clear on their website what their money-back policy is, shoot them an email to ask about it before you sign up. While you’re at it, ask any other questions you might have before you get started. You’ll get a good indication of their customer service and whether or not this is a company you want to work with.

ContentImageHandler.ashxIn the previous post on Overcoming the Fear of Selling Used Items, Stephen gave you some homework to look around your house for a used item to sell. Today’s homework is to take one of the action points above and put it into practice: 1) Identify a task you don’t enjoy or don’t do well that would be something you could outsource or automate through a service; 2) Do some calculations on what adding a service to your business would add to your cost per item when you buy inventory; OR 3) Take the leap and do a trial period for a service you’re curious about. Better yet, do all three action points and see what a difference it could make in your business!

Please let us know in the comments which action point you’re doing for your homework. Or let us know if you have a success story for your business that came from paying for a new service. We love to hear from you!

The 4 Biggest Myths Stopping You From Growing Your FBA Business

self-employedOne of the best parts of running your own business is that you’re the boss. While it’s true that you are your company’s owner, president, CEO, and CFO… it’s also true that you’re the accountant, secretary, intern, and janitor.

Most of the time, when we start out working at home, we start out alone. Once the business begins to grow, it can become very overwhelming to try balance retail sourcing, online arbitrage, preparing, listing, packing, shipping, accounting, taxes, office supplies, returns, feedback scores, etc… You also need time to learn even more ways to improve your online selling skills by reading books, blogs, and FBA related Facebook posts. Oh, and you have a house to keep clean and possibly kids to feed and care for as well.

When we first start out in our businesses, we can be very motivated and energized to do everything ourselves during the limited number of hours per week we have available. But over time, everything we need to accomplish can become too much for one person to manage. Even if your spouse helps out from time to time, it might be a good idea to get some help. 

The 4 Biggest Myths Stopping You From Growing Your FBA Business 

Help Wanted1. I Don’t Need Help

The hardest thing for most small business owners to realize is that they need help. In the beginning, you are in charge of everything, and everything seems to be going just fine. But now, sales are picking up and there is just too much for one person to do. On the other hand, your sales might be stagnant because you are spending too much of your time doing the things that don’t bring you the most profit. All successful businesses have a core team that helps lead them to more and more success. 

2. Nobody Can Do It Better Than Me 

Amazon SuperheroTo many resellers, their online reselling business is their baby. They want to be sure they do everything in the business because they think that anyone else would just do it wrong, or not good enough. Chris Ducker of Virtual Staff Finder calls this line of thinking “Superhero Syndrome.” While it might be true (but not likely) that you could do everything in your business better than others, doing it all will hold you back from growing your business to where it can bring a full-time income. 

I never thought I would ever pay for someone to work for me, but I’ve realized now that it’s a natural part of business growth. Jim Cockrum of The Proven Amazon Course says, “Only do what only you can do.” When you focus on doing the things that only you can do, you begin to realize which aspects of your business you can outsource. 

3. I Can’t Afford to Hire Someone

dont-say-i-cant-afford-it-instead-ask-yourself-how-can-i-afford-it-145536If you don’t think you could afford to hire help, then think about this. How much do you think you currently earn per hour? $15? $20? $30? Take a week or two and log the time you spend on your reselling business. Compare the hours you work to the amount of money you make during that time period. Many resellers might come to find out that they make a lot less per hour than they think. 

Imagine if you could pay someone $10 an hour to do a job that will free you up to make $30 per hour. It’s a no brainer. It will take some time, but it’s important to find out how much you make per hour, and then consider hiring someone to do the jobs that are not absolutely necessary for you to do yourself. These tasks could be business-related (like handling accounting, sourcing for inventory, or packing boxes to ship) or personal (like mowing the lawn or doing the laundry). I wouldn’t mind paying someone $15 per hour to clean my house if I could use those same hours to make $50 per hour at my reselling business. 

4. I Don’t Know How To Find or Train Someone to Help

Yes, this will be a new skill that you will need to learn, but just like learning to sell online, you have the opportunity to learn how to find quality workers and train them to work hard in your FBA business. One way to learn this process is by trial and error. I do not suggest this method. No need to reinvent the wheel.

3d-cover1-738x1024A much easier way is by learning from someone who has found success in hiring and training quality workers for his FBA business. My friend Ryan Grant has released a book called, Outsourcing Sourcing: Create More Profits Selling on Amazon in Less Time By Having People you Trust Source & Ship Inventory For You. This book covers every aspect of finding help, proper training methods, the supplies they will need, how to keep track of the financial aspects, and much more. The book is heavy on actionable steps to help you create a complete system for finding, hiring, and keeping quality workers that will help you spend more of your time on more profitable activities. 

Right now, Outsourcing Sourcing is on sale for 20% off and comes with a 100% money back guarantee. If you are the only one working on your business right now, and you want to take your business to the next level, then it might be time to hire some quality help. Outsourcing Sourcing is a great place to start. In order to grow your business to where you can start bringing home a full-time income, chances are you need to hire some help. Anyone who is trying to do everything all by themselves is on the fast track to burnout. You do not want burnout to happen to you, especially when you find such an amazing job opportunity as being a work-at-home online reseller. If you find the help you need, you’ll soon discover that you’re able to accomplish even more and find a satisfaction in your business that will fuel you to keep on going. 

Which of these 4 myths do you currently struggle with the most? Are you still unsure if you need help? Are you unsure if someone else can provide the type of help you need? Are you unsure if it’s worth it financially to hire help? Or are you unsure how to proceed with finding and hiring help? Comment below to let us know where you stand.