When most people start selling on Amazon they have visions of creating a sustainable income stream that will last them a long time, but few ever actually achieve that goal. In this episode, we are going to share our three keys to Amazon FBA success, plus some game-changing tips and tricks to help you with your Amazon business.
The bulk of this episode is focused on the main tips that have helped Rebecca and I work part-time hours in order to make a full-time income via Amazon. Not only will these strategies help you when you start an Amazon business, but they will aid you in setting up your Amazon business for long-term success.
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Key points from episode 40:
- How the first key to success with your Amazon FBA business leads to finding more inventory.
- How the second key to success will lead you to quicker and better results.
- How to practice “just-in-time” learning.
- The importance of reading emails from Amazon and reading the guidelines on the website.
- How the third key will help you make more income while working less.
- The bonus key that most Amazon sellers don’t focus on – but should.
- The biggest game-changer to success on Amazon FBA.
- And more!
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
- All courses from Full-Time FBA
- The One Thing by Gary Keller
- Outsourcing blog posts
- Full-Time FBA Facebook Group
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If you’re looking for a step-by-step process on how to finally turn part-time hours into a full-time income with Amazon, then check out our course, Next Level Amazon: Make a Full-Time Income With Only Part-Time Hours via Amazon FBA.
You see, successfully running an Amazon FBA business doesn’t just happen on accident. In fact, there are six proven steps to finally making a full-time income with only part-time hours via Amazon FBA. If you’re tired of not seeing the growth you expect in your Amazon business, then I highly recommend our book/video course, Next Level Amazon.
In Next Level Amazon, I outline everything you need to know in order to work less, but make more take-home pay. It’s a strategy that has helped so many people go from working 60-hour weeks just to make ends meet… to truly only working 20 or so hours each week, while still bringing home a full-time paycheck. Find out more here.
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Episode 40 Transcript:
[0:00:01.8] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Full-Time FBA Show. In each episode, it’s our goal to help you turn part time hours into a full-time income, selling almost anything on Amazon. Now, your hosts of the show, Stephen and Rebecca Smotherman.
[0:00:21.4] STEPHEN: Welcome to episode number 40 of The Full-Time FBA Show, and it is an exciting episode because this week we are celebrating our seventh bloggiversary. A lot of people know that The Full-Time FBA Show, it started off as The Full-Time FBA Blog, but that was seven years ago this week. We’re really excited. With me is the one who was there from the very beginning, Rebecca, how are you doing?
[0:00:44.7] REBECCA: Doing great. Just so everyone knows, The Full-Time FBA Blog is still a thing, it has just expanded to The Full-Time FBA Show, it didn’t change into it.
[0:00:53.0] STEPHEN: That’s true, yes, we’re just expanding, we’ve expanded the YouTube, and podcasts, and all sorts of good stuff but, man, if you’re ever looking for an answer to a question you might have, the blog, man, it’s got so many blog posts and walkthroughs and helpful tips and tricks to help you with your Amazon business. Be sure you look at that because the answer that you’re looking for might be there waiting for you.
But, today we’re going to talk about, because it’s our bloggiversary, we want to talk about the three keys to Amazon FBA success, because you’re an Amazon seller if you’re listening to this, most likely, or you’re interested in becoming one, and you want to get those keys, so we’re going to talk about that today on The Full-Time FBA Show.
[0:00:53.0] REBECCA: All right Stephen, today, you have for us three keys to Amazon FBA success. Let’s just jump right into it. What is the first key to success with your Amazon FBA business?
[0:01:42.6] STEPHEN: Everything with your Amazon business comes down to this: Always be sourcing. I mean, we’re in a reseller business, we need inventory to sell, and so always be sourcing. Inventory is the key and we want to make sure that you understand that, and that you always have that mindset of sourcing. I mean, you can find inventory everywhere, you got garage sales and thrift stores, you got retail stores, you can find stuff online, you can find stuff wholesale, you can look on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Free Cycle, I mean, the least just goes on and on.
You can find stuff in your closet that you’ve never even opened or used before, you can find stuff at grocery stores, you can find stuff at the airport, yes, even overpriced items at the airport.
[0:02:22.4] REBECCA: We have totally sourced at the airport before.
[0:02:25.2] STEPHEN: Yes, you can find stuff, it’s still selling for two to three times or more on Amazon. Now, the way you find more inventory is to always be looking, always be sourcing. Now, I do want to say, okay, not during night, if you’ve got date night going on.
[0:02:40.6] REBECCA: He’s got the glare coming from me over here. Take a break.
[0:02:44.9] STEPHEN: Want to make sure, yeah, not with date night. Not when you’re spending time with your kids or something like that, but just try to always have that in the back of your head to be looking for inventory, because you need that inventory to sell on Amazon so always be looking for it.
[0:02:57.3] REBECCA: Yeah, I think the key to that is, like you were saying, it’s not just about always spend all your time sourcing but always be thinking about places to be sourcing.
[0:03:06.8] STEPHEN: If you want to make sure that sourcing gets done, one of the best ways to do that is to schedule your sourcing. If it’s not a habit right now, then putting it on the schedule as a way to make sure things happen. Someone once said, if it’s not scheduled, it’s not going to get done. Take that perspective too with your sourcing, so if you want to make sure that you’re putting the sourcing time in to grow your Amazon business, make sure you put it on the schedule and stick with it.
[0:03:31.3] REBECCA: All right, moving on to the second key to Amazon success, what do you have for us?
[0:03:36.5] STEPHEN: The second key is always be learning. Now, you might start to see that there’s a trend here, always be sourcing, always be learning is the next one. It’s said that learners are earners and so if you want to earn more, you need to learn more. It’s really implant when you’re thinking about learning to make sure that you are doing focused learning. Let me give you an example. If you’re wanting to grow your Amazon business and you’re like, “I’m going to learn about retail arbitrage on Monday, and online arbitrage on Tuesday, I’m going to look at wholesale on Wednesday, I’m going to look at this other strategy on Thursday.”
Who do you think is going to be more successful? Someone doing that strategy or someone who is like, “I’m going to look at wholesale on Monday, and wholesale on Tuesday, and wholesale on Wednesday.” You want to make sure that your learning is focused, that’s going to lead toward more results and faster results.
Another thing that makes learning even more powerful is just-in-time learning. There’s some things that you might – could learn today that you could apply some time in the future, but always think about what can you learn right now that will have the biggest impact on your Amazon business and focus on that. The book, The One Thing by Gary Keller, says that exact type of statement: What is the one thing you can do today, such that by doing it, everything else becomes unnecessary or not even needed, you know?
You want to make sure that you find something that can help you the most right now. That will help you decide what it is that you need to learn and we got courses, you can go to fulltimefba.com/courses, look at our courses from Full-Time FBA, because there’s a lot of great information, both free and paid out there in the world. But learning and taking action is the key. Always be learning.
[0:05:13.4] REBECCA: Yeah, just to kind of jump off of that for a second, I love the phrase just-in-time learning, and that’s something that I’ve really had to use for myself, as I’m prioritizing how I spend my time on our FBA business. There are different methods that I’ve wanted to learn, strategies that I’ve wanted to learn, things about seller central that I’ve wanted to learn more about and things like that. That I’ve had to tell myself, you know, actually, with all that I have going on right now with our business and with just life in general, I don’t have the bandwidth to learn that right now.
I’m not going to spend the time learning it until I have the time also to put it into practice because I know for me, if I take a course or read a book on something, if I’m not able to put it into practice right away, it’s almost like the learning wasn’t – it wasn’t as effective as it ever would be and it’s – I don’t want to say wasted, but that’s kind of what I’m thinking is that it’s almost like that learning was wasted.
I might have learned some interesting tidbits or found out some interesting information but I didn’t really learn as far as learning a new skill, or learning a new method that I’m seeing success from. I love that idea of just-in-time learning and that’s something that I know you and I have talked about when we talk about – you know, we sit down and have a business meeting. I know that might sound silly to some people but, even though it’s just the two of us in our business, we sit down and a have business meetings to plan and to strategize. We’ll be talking about different things that we need to focus on for this quarter, or this month in our FBA business, and I’ll say, “Well, you know, I want to learn about this thing that I just heard about but I’m going to wait until September to look at it because, right now, I don’t have the time to really give it what it needs and I want to wait, and actually take the course when it can be just-in-time learning.”
[0:06:56.5] STEPHEN: Yeah, what’s going to happen, if you take the course or you learn about this particular strategy, and you’re not ready to implement it, I mean, what are you going to do? You’re going to go back to learning again or refresh yourself so it’s like – you want to make sure things are fresh so that’s what just-in-time learning is all about.
[0:07:11.2] REBECCA: Yeah, because then, you end up spending that time, let’s say it’s a 10-hour course or a 5-hour course, you end up taking it twice or I know that’s what I’ve done. I’ve gone through it and I’ve gotten really excited about it and I’m like, “I love this, I really want to try it, but we’re going on vacation, or we’ve got this big project that we’re trying to wrap up,” or whatever it is and I can’t put it into practice. Then by the time I get around being able to do it, I have to just watch the course all over again and spend that 5 to 10 hours on the course all over again.
[0:07:40.5] STEPHEN: Yeah, kind of going hand-in-hand with that is one last tip about learning. Learning can be so much fun that we forget to actually put it into action. A lot of times, people can get addicted to learning, they love taking the courses, they love the idea of what it’s going to do with their business and they’re just soaking it in so much that they don’t ever actually start whatever it is that they’ve learned or start their Amazon business.
There’s people in our Amazon group that have been learning for over a year and haven’t even started their business yet. I encourage you, if that’s you, put that learning into action and you’ll start to see some results.
[0:08:14.1] REBECCA: I know you said that was the last thing on learning, but I did have one more thing that I thought of when you were introducing this whole topic. Something that’s come up in our group a few times recently, in addition to learning from other people, courses, or even just doing experiments, or learning things in your own business, be sure that you are always reading your Amazon emails and reading the guidelines.
I think in some ways, that’s the most important place that you need to be learning from as you’re running an Amazon FBA business. There are blogs and courses that try to help distill the information from Amazon and from what it takes to take an FBA business down into easy to follow steps that are – it’s not different, but it’s not the same as reading straight from the Amazon website.
If any of you have done any amount of reading on the Amazon seller essential pages with the guidelines and different terms of services and whatnot, it can be difficult to wade through and their emails are not known for getting to the point. They love to bury the lead, but it’s so important to read that. So please, as you’re spending time learning and growing deeper in your knowledge about what it is to run an FBA business, do not forget to read your emails and read the guidelines.
[0:09:28.8] STEPHEN: That’s some good stuff right there.
[0:09:31.0] REBECCA: All right, so that brings us to our third key to Amazon FBA success. What would you have for us for the third one?
[0:09:36.9] STEPHEN: So, guess what? You are going to have another thing that I want you to always be doing. So the first one is always be sourcing, and then always be learning, and the last one is always be outsourcing.
When we start our Amazon business, it is really good for us to be involved in every aspect of our business so that we get that experience and we tweak things, so that we know how we want to do things, but if you really want to see growth and success in your Amazon FBA business, you need to start outsourcing. You need to start letting other people or other tools that you can use, save you time and energy, and help you focus on the things that you need to be doing. So that is everything from hiring someone to help you with prepping your inventory, or outsourcing your stuff to a prep center, using tools that you can pay for to help save you a lot of time, and help streamline your process of getting things done.
A lot of different ways to outsource and so to help you get a really good idea of what you can outsource, I want you to answer three questions. Think about this, what are things in your Amazon business you don’t like to do? That can be something that is outsourced. I mean if you don’t like doing it, see if you can find someone else who could do it.
[0:10:44.0] REBECCA: I don’t like boxing up shoes into a box to go to Amazon.
[0:10:49.6] STEPHEN: And that is why we outsource that.
[0:10:50.9] REBECCA: Right, I’m just giving examples.
[0:10:52.5] STEPHEN: I like that. Yeah, I don’t like doing any type of prepping or shipping at all that’s true. What is something you don’t like to do? A second question to ask yourself, “What is something you don’t know how to do?” You know again, we’ve talked about just a second ago, always be learning, but is there something that you can outsource to somebody who is a specialist at something so that you don’t even have to worry about learning it?
You can hire a firm, or hire a team, or use a tool to do something that will help you do something that you don’t know how to do. So that is an opportunity. Like, I don’t know how to do advertising right now. It is something I want to learn, but you know what? There is tools out there to help you with advertising on Amazon and so it is something that I should look into. In fact, it is on my list of things to look into.
[0:11:36.1] REBECCA: As you are saying that too, I was thinking about, there’s certain aspects of updating listings and creating listings that I don’t know how to do. I mean I sort of know how to do it, but I don’t know how to do it very well. Let’s put that in that same category. I know the concepts, I know how to do certain parts of it, but I am not an expert in that. You know, we have a service that we use sometimes that will say, “Hey, we need help with this listing. Can you help us with it?”
[0:12:01.1] STEPHEN: Yeah and I am the same way with advertising. I have played around with advertising so I can get some of that done, but I am not an expert and I am not maximizing my time and effort by doing that right now.
The last thing to think about when you are deciding is, what you can outsource is what should you not be doing? I mean, what is something that you are doing that you should not be doing? And when you ask that question, think about this: “Could I pay someone minimum wage or a fair wage to be able to do this job for me?”
I mean, think about this, you want to make sure you have the CEO mentality. Is the CEO taking the trash out? Is the CEO boxing up shipments? Is the CEO taking price stickers off of inventory? No, that sounds like something that you can hire someone to do. With your Amazon business, that is an opportunity for you to find ways to outsource and there’s different people and different websites.
We’ll put them on the show notes page on how you can outsource some of your activities with your Amazon business and I’ll even go a step further: What in your personal life can you outsource that you either don’t like doing, don’t know how to do, or should not be doing? You know, if you are able to hire someone to take care of your lawn for you, and you are able to pay them a fair wage, and you are able to make more spending that same time working on your Amazon business, then it is probably a good idea to outsource that so that you can spend your time growing your Amazon business, doing the things that you’re best at.
[0:13:24.0] REBECCA: Yeah, I love that one. That’s always one that we are talking about constantly. There is times where we challenge each other, why are you spending time on that? That is something that you could easily hire somebody else a really good amount that’s fair and they would love having the work, that you could then be freed up to do something else, so that you wouldn’t be spending the time on that. So we are always looking for those both in our business and around the house.
[0:13:48.9] STEPHEN: Yeah and if you are looking for more stuff about outsourcing, we got a couple of podcasts. We’ll put them in the show notes that you could listen to, so that you can hear even more about outsourcing. You can find that at fulltimefba.com/40, which would be show notes for this episode.
[0:14:03.0] REBECCA: All right, so we’ve got three keys to Amazon success are always be sourcing, always be learning, and always be outsourcing. Stephen, I know you. You have a real hard time stopping at the number that you set out to give people a number of tips or keys or whatever. So what is your bonus for this one?
[0:14:22.4] STEPHEN: Bonus tip, this one is free because the other one’s you paid money for, you know?
[0:14:27.2] REBECCA: No, you didn’t. They’re all free.
[0:14:29.0] STEPHEN: The last tip here is to always be thankful. I think it is really good for us to gain some perspective sometimes when we are trying to grow our business. Sometimes we are so focused on, “How can we squeeze out an extra dollar? Or, ”How can we squeeze out more output in the time that we put into it?” But just taking time to slow down, and get some perspective and be thankful, I mean I am thankful that Amazon FBA is out there.
I am thankful for the opportunity to outsource to different types of services out there. I am thankful for the opportunity to work at home and make a full-time income with only part-time hours with Amazon. However frustrating Amazon might be sometimes, man I can’t imagine our lives without selling our stuff via Amazon FBA. It just helps me gain that perspective and helps me maybe have a little bit more patience with the seller essential wrap or more patience when it comes to sourcing struggles.
Just having that thankfulness and just re-centering my perspective, it really helps my overall Amazon business even though there is no dollar sign I can connect to that. Overall, it does help tremendously.
[0:15:37.1] REBECCA: Yeah, mindset is a huge key to success on Amazon FBA, and thankfulness is definitely a great part of a growth mindset that will lead you to success.
We’re also very thankful for all of our listeners at The Full-Time FBA Show, and we’re so glad that you are with us every week. If you want to check out any of the links that we mentioned, be sure and head over to the show notes at fulltimefba.com/40 and that will give you everything you need to know from this episode.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:16:12.4] STEPHEN: So one of the ways that we want to show our thankfulness to you, the listener, from Full-Time FBA is our bloggiversary sale. Like we said at the beginning of the episode, right now we are celebrating our seventh bloggiversary and we’ve got a big sale going on right now. We’ve got every single one of our Amazon FBA active courses and e-Books on sale right now. They’re from 30 to 50% off and you can find out more information about that on our show notes page, fulltimefba.com/40.
It will take you to our bloggiversary page and you will see all of the courses that we have, and the sales that are going on for those courses, and this can help you with always be learning aspect of your Amazon business and will help you save some money. So we have some good coupon codes to help you save 30 to 50% off of our courses from Full-Time FBA.
[0:17:03.7] REBECCA: All right, well thanks again for being with us this week for this episode, and we are excited to be back with you next week. Our episode will be about how to deal with returns when you get a return on your FBA business. You want to know how to deal with it in a way that it doesn’t ruin your business, doesn’t ruin your day even, and we have some advice for that for you next week and we will see you then.
[0:17:28.4] ANNOUNCER: That is all for this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show. So head over to fulltimefba.com/podcast, where you will find the show notes and links from this episode. While you’re there, subscribe to our newsletter where you’ll get several free downloads of our popular and helpful Amazon FBA resources. Now, take action on what you have learned today so you can find success at turning part-time hours into a full-time income with Amazon FBA.
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