I love sharing advice for Amazon Sellers because there is so much love/money to be gained in the ecosystem.
Below is an email i’ve received the other day, and instead of just email the guy back, i wanted to take stock and document my answers for the next.
Hello, I’ve been following the FBA subreddit for a while, and I appreciate the information you share with the community. I’m a $50k/year revenue FBA seller looking to improve my business by focusing on the skills that have made the most difference to successful FBA sellers. Would it be okay if I ask a few questions?
1. How would you break your FBA business into stages and what stage are you currently in? Were there any big jumps?
Similar to Amazon, we’re pretty clearly at Day1. I have 3 divisions, which are Amazon Consulting, FBA, and Software. We would love to make gains in all 3 but really software is eating the world and thats where we would like to focus. It also helps us create a competitive advantage for Consulting/FBA!
2. How do you split your time across your weekly business activities (5 hours of product research, 2 hours of customer service, 4 hours of accounting, etc.)
This article about being an effective executive is incredibly insightful and hammers home the point that you need to step back every Sunday and think about your big goals and how you can get there.
My time is spent differently every week. I have full-time employees and part-time contractors. They are managed differently. Obviously as things scale, part-time workers become full-time and they become more autonomous.
You need to be proactive with AUTOMATING repetitive tasks and then focusing your time on qualitative stuff. I have a background in software development which helps me realize how many things can be automated. For PL-FBA, product development is the highest-value task you should be working on. For wholesale-FBA its forecasting/logistics/buying.
Figure out how to automate everything.
3. Roughly how much revenue do you bring in per year through FBA?
We have about 2-dozen accounts under-management right now from +$5M/year to +$5000/year. Our FBA Store will do roughly $300K/year.
4. What led you to sell your best product? What’s the story behind the product?
Make things people want. Our best product is protected by patents.
5. Why does it sell well?
Business-101: Solve a need that humans have.
Our product helps people that would otherwise have to pay $1K-$3K to a contractor.
6. What skill do you think you excel at that has made the most difference to the success of your FBA business?
My ability to learn on-the-fly and change. We know that very little has changed in terms of marketing, but Amazon loves to throw curve-balls every week or so.
We have the benefit of seeing a huge amount of SKUs across a large number of FBA accounts/clients, that we know when problems are micro (happening to this SKU/Account) vs. macro (happening to everyone).
Solve problems. Automate them if they happen more than once per week.