Chances are you are reading the Full-Time FBA blog because you’re interested in the same topic as us: how to turn part-time hours into a full-time income via Amazon FBA. We (Stephen and Rebecca) have spent the past several years fine tuning our FBA business to the point that we truly only spend part-time hours sourcing inventory and running our FBA business, yet it produces a full-time income for our family.
It wasn’t easy getting to where we are, though. We’re spending part-time hours now, but in the early days we worked a lot more hours per day. We still work hard during the hours we work, but we’ve been able to reduce those hours drastically year over year, while still increasing our sales.
When we get in the thick of busy times of the year like Q4, the main business activity we want to focus on is sourcing for inventory and making sure that inventory gets to Amazon as soon as possible. Sometimes, though, normal life responsibilities can get in the way and cause us to miss out on hours and hours of sourcing.
You want to source for more inventory, but you still need to get housework done. You wish you could send more inventory to Amazon, but you need to go grocery shopping and make dinner. The list of things holding you back from focusing on your FBA business could go on and on.
So how do we get more time to source and ship inventory to Amazon? Sometimes you have to get creative with engineering more time in your day. Here are some of the strategies we have implemented around the Smotherman house and have found success with:
1. Outsource Sourcing – A great way to have more time to source is to outsource some of your sourcing. Imagine if you knew of 5-10 items from Walmart that you knew were profitable. See if you can find someone to hire to go to every Walmart in a specific mile radius and buy all of those items for you. Maybe get a prepaid MasterCard for them to use to buy inventory for you. For more training on outsourcing sourcing, I recommend the book, Outsourcing Sourcing.
2. Outsource your Prepping, Packing, and Shipping – There are dozens of prep services across the US that will do all of the prep, pack, and shipping work for you. They will (for a fee) take off price tags, poly bag, pack up the boxes, and ship your inventory to Amazon for you. If you do RA (retail arbitrage) then you can just drop off your finds with a prep service, and they’ll do the rest. You can also send your OA (online arbitrage), wholesale, and/or private label items to a prep center to do a lot of the manual labor for you, which will free up your time to do more sourcing! To find a prep service near you just google “Amazon prep service” with your hometown or state.
3. Hello Fresh – When we are in the busiest times of the year for our FBA business, one way Rebecca and I try to stay healthy and sane (while still saving time) is by eating right and cooking at home. We’ve started using Hello Fresh to have meals sent to our house, ready to cook, and it’s a huge time and stress saver. It saves the stress of meal planning and of trips to the grocery store, and we’re able to eat some really delicious, fresh meals at home instead of having to rely on take-out. If you want to try out Hello Fresh, be sure and go through this link so you can save $40 off your first box — that’s free food! You can choose from the classic, veggie, or family (kid friendly) plan. Check it out, free food!
4. Hire a Cleaning Service – Which would you rather do – find more inventory to send to Amazon via Online Arbitrage or clean the house? If you’re like me, you’d rather be working on finding profitable inventory instead of cleaning the bathtubs and toilets. As far as earning potential goes, your time is much more profitable if spent working in your business than staying home and cleaning house. There are many services you can find online that will send you a qualified and screened house cleaner to clean house while you’re taking off price stickers, poly bagging, listing, and shipping inventory to send to Amazon.
5. Get Creative – Think of other ways you can free up time to source and ship inventory to Amazon. If you have a lawn to take care of, hire a yard crew to do your regular mowing and trimming. To save time on grocery shopping, see if Amazon Fresh is available in your area, and order online for your groceries to be delivered to your door (new users get $25 off with their first order). There may be other grocery stores near you that will deliver, too. If delivery is not an option, perhaps some grocery stores nearby have shopping services with curbside pick-up. Rebecca loves to order groceries online at our local H-E-B grocery store and just pull up to the curbside pick-up area to have someone else load the car with our groceries. It saves us so much time. (Side note: Curbside grocery orders can also save you money and calories because you aren’t tempted to make impulse buys of foods you don’t really need. This is especially helpful if you typically need to do your shopping with your kids tagging along!)
6. Use TaskRabbit – Websites like TaskRabbit offer ways to connect you with people you can hire to complete one or more tasks for very affordable prices. Do some searches on these sites to see if you can find more ways to hire help to free up more time for you to source inventory and ship to Amazon. Click here to save $20 on your first task on TaskRabbit.
7. Use Fiverr – If you have any online or digital work you need completed, then Fiverr is a great place to find someone who will do the work for you for around $5 (hence the name, Fiverr). If you need someone to make your Amazon sales page images with a white background, do some keyword research for you, or so many other possible jobs, then check out Fiverr.
Think outside of the box and find ways to hire or outsource parts of your business and your personal life to others who are more than happy to help you out for a fair fee. This will free you up to spend more time finding more inventory and getting it to Amazon as soon as possible for faster sales and profits.
If you’re in the early stages of your business it might seem like you need to cut corners and pinch pennies when it comes to paying for ways to free up your time, but if you truly want to make a full-time income with only part-time hours via Amazon FBA, you need to find ways to leverage your time to maximize your profits. Trust us when we say we’ve learned it the hard way – trying to do everything in your business all by yourself will lead to stress, burn out, and other unhealthy results.
Now we want to hear from you. What are some steps you can take TODAY to prioritize your health and your family’s health as you work on your FBA business? Is there something you need to let go of in your business to prevent burn out? Is there a time and sanity saving technique that you’ve found helpful as you build your business that we didn’t mention above? We would love to hear from you in the comments!
Working from home sounds easy, but if you’ve done it for any amount of time, you know it can be difficult. In Married to Reselling: Balancing Family Life with Your Online Business, my wife Rebecca and I will walk with you through ways we can all find success in balancing our time with family while working from home. We’ll tackle both the business and personal sides of life as a reseller, and we’ll help you explore a system that works best for you and your family. If you’re looking for ways to balance your family life with your online business and find success with both, then this book is for you.