On Thanksgiving Day, my husband walked into my office, looked at my computer screen and asked, “Don’t you ever stop?” I said “No, because there’s always so much to do!”
Rather than relaxing, I was spending the holiday morning chasing down a $3.00 mistake from my October Balance Sheet. After that, it was studying the Black Friday ads in between washing dishes while he cooked the turkey.
Sometimes I’m just amazed at how much time Amazon FBA takes up in my day. There’s sourcing, listing, prepping, shipping, bookkeeping, sales tax, repricing, tracking returns, removing old listings and real life!
I thought that writing down everything that I do as a Seller is a good idea to help me see what I can eliminate or become more efficient on.
Keep in mind that every task shown below can be broken down further and that these are my tasks. Each of you may have a different system of doing things.
At this point, I do mainly Retail Arbitrage. I’m more efficient than before as I have a system going that includes a to-go bag full of supplies and snacks, a set of stores that I rotate between and now I usually find profitable products during every trip. When I first started, I often left the stores empty handed.
Then comes processing new inventory items and shipping them to Amazon. I’m pretty quick at list, label and prep, but very slow at packing boxes. I’m not quite ready to hire a prepping company though.
Then comes the numerous Seller Central tasks to keep your account healthy. Stephen Smotherman’s book, The Reseller’s Guide to a Year in FBA is full of Seller Central Tips. Plus I recommend getting a copy of Cynthia Stine’s Suspension Prevention book as she shares what to do to keep your account healthy to avoid the dreaded suspension.
I do enjoy bookkeeping and it’s actually relaxing for me. Plus, it’s good to know if you’re making any money or not.
I’m not sure where it all fits in, but I also go into BQool (my repricer) to setup my min and max selling numbers.
On top of doing everything that Amazon FBA selling involves, there is still real-life. Here’s what else I do:
Last summer, I joined a toy coaching group and since then have focused mainly on toys. I learned a lot but now I want to expand into shoes as I believe it’ll raise my average net profit up.
In terms of monetary goals, I don’t focus strictly on Sales and Net Profit. I’m more concerned with how much money I can pay myself and save every month because that’s “real” money to me that I can spend or use later for retirement versus just seeing a number on a report.
Out of all of the books and educational materials that I’ve read, the Profit First book had the biggest impact on my business.
Yes I know that paying myself $100.00 a month isn’t much, but I’m starting out slow. I don’t need to take a big paycheck from my business right now so I’m using most of my profits for new inventory and to build up my savings account.
There are always new things to learn and new goals to shoot for. But as I write this post, I’m sick with a cold because I pushed myself very hard in November and didn’t get adequate rest. So more relaxation is in the schedule for next year. I plan on Reading Stephen Smotherman’s book, Married to Reselling to see if it’ll help me balance my time better.
Jim Cockrum of the Proven Amazon Course and his partners are big into outsourcing almost every task so you can concentrate on growing your business. I’m not at that point yet, but figure I can start out small by maybe hiring a housekeeper and a bookkeeper.
Also selling shoes will help if I can get the same or higher profits while processing less items. Plus I believe packing shoe boxes will take less time than packing a shipping box full of random sized objects.
The life of an Amazon FBA Seller is full of many job positions. Right now, I do all of them 100% on my own and maybe I always will. At this point, I’m not interested in renting a warehouse, hiring employees and doing a million dollars a year in sales.
My big goal is to match my old paycheck from when I was working 50 hours a week and then have my husband leave his six-day a week job and come on board too.
I hope each of you have a great 4th Quarter and I would love to know your thoughts about outsourcing and what your goals are for 2016. Pleae leave me a comment below or on my Facebook page.