Before you can ship products off to Amazon’s fulfillment centers, you of course first need to have inventory. As you might have correctly assumed, choosing the right product is probably the most important decision you will make as an Amazon seller. So the ultimate question for this type of business is, “How do you find a winning product?”
A winning product will have some variations depending on which Amazon seller that you ask, but before we get into my process of how this will be determined, there are at least a few basic guiding principles worth noting.
Again, we will go over these guiding principles in much more detail later. But once you have achieved that magical experience of sourcing a winning product, the whole system of success on Amazon all of a sudden becomes much easier. Not only that, but the excitement grows and your desire to replicate the process builds on itself. Once you have sourced a winning product, you have 2 main jobs:
1) Source more winning products!
2) Ensure that your inventory levels don’t diminish!
If you choose to take advantage of Amazon FBA, they will store, and ship all of your products. And unless your product requires you to actually construct it by hand (not recommended for the sake of simplicity and time), then there really is no more “work” in the conventional sense; just building a bridge between the product a customer wants and the product itself, and collecting a toll, so to speak, each time someone crosses your bridge.
Once you’ve sourced some winning products and you begin to build some momentum, the one weekly task that you can’t afford to mismanage is maintaining your product inventory levels. There will probably be some weeks (or months early on) when you do not need to reorder inventory, but you at least need to be aware of where your current inventory levels are, as well as how long it takes for each product to be manufactured, shipped and restocked upon arrival at the Amazon distribution center. If your product is coming from China, most of the time, this process takes about 3-6 weeks, therefore future sales forecasting is extremely important. I spend about an hour or so at the beginning of every week monitoring these numbers, and I use an amazing tool that I would highly recommend called ManagebyStats.com for this function as well many other statistical elements of my business. Typically, the most difficult aspect of inventory upkeep is knowing your numbers. From there, making a reorder is usually as simple as sending a couple of emails and wiring some funds over to your established supplier. But aside from inventory upkeep you can really neglect your business for a few weeks without many repercussions. However, if you’re motivated to grow, there are always ways to improve! My weekly upkeep and maintenance tasks look something like this:
If you’re motivated and you want to grow and improve, there is a plethora of tasks and resources to help you improve and achieve whatever it is your goals might be with this business. However, the beauty of this business is its flexibility, and if you have a season in your life where you’d prefer to focus on other priorities (like I do coaching high school soccer in the Spring) then be aware of that fact! Some days, I’d rather watch a UEFA Champions League game mid day, or the weather is absolutely brilliant, and I’d rather go on a hike with my huskies! Making money is important of course, but once you have a baseline of savings and income, then it probably needs to take a backseat to other priorities in your life. Stay true to your priorities, and allow yourself to take advantage of the benefits this type of business has to offer!
This concludes the free lessons.