Feeling a bit overwhelmed by managing your Amazon FBA business? You’re not alone. Because of how easy it is to get started with Amazon FBA, some people often forget to make use of some essential practices in the excitement. This could lead to plenty of frustration down the road and potentially negatively affect your progress. In this article, we want to share tips with you on how to do a better job managing your FBA business and getting it back on track.
Get obsessive about numbers
Many Amazon FBA sellers make the mistake of not making highly detailed bookkeeping a part of managing their business. Sure, they use the seller tools provided by Amazon from time to time and keep a general record of profits and losses, but that’s not enough to ensure success on Amazon. You need to be able to break everything down into its smallest constituent parts.
Amazon is all about the teeniest tiniest of margins. 10% referral fee, a dollars per cubic foot of storage space, your delivery costs, the average rate of return, etc. All of these add up on a large scale to have a significant effect on your bottom-line.
You need to be aware where every single cent of your money goes to and where it comes from. This is the only way you can feel confident that you are making smart, informed decisions and that you have an idea where you are headed.
Ideally, you should have started doing this as soon as you began selling on Amazon. However, it’s never too late. Although it might seem daunting to tackle it now after you have already grown somewhat, it’s never too late nor does it ever become less crucial.
Start using repricing tools
If you are still relying on yourself to reprice your items continually, feel free to sigh with relief that you no longer have to torture yourself like that. As a matter of fact, there are many things that computers aren’t yet smart enough to do. Nonetheless, sifting through hundreds of thousands of results and making decisions based on calculations is one thing they are much better at doing than us.
Unless you are selling in a tiny niche, it’s challenging to always stay up to date with what each of your competitors is doing. Depending on how many competitors you have, the challenge increases daily. Nevermind then having to adjust your own prices accordingly.
Today, there are plenty of widely trusted and very popular repricing tools out there that do exactly this. Repricing tools frequently scan your competitor’s prices and either gives you updates or suggestions. Sometimes, they may also reprice your products for you.
It’s essential that you don’t rely solely on an automatic repricer. It can only do so much based on the rules you give it. A repricer can save you a lot of time by collecting and collating data and making small adjustments when you are unavailable. However, in any long-term strategy, your input will always be vital.
The Basics of Intelligent Repricing for Amazon Sellers is an excellent read to get you started with Amazon repricers and will help you choose a strategy.
Define and stick to your Amazon FBA business strategy
Many people that sell as 3rd party individuals on Amazon may not be able to answer you if you ask them about their business strategy. Besides, you might be wondering why a strategy is so important, seeing as how we always say Amazon sellers should be flexible. To be successful, strategizing plays an important key.
A strategy isn’t necessarily a set of rules that you have to stick to dogmatically for the rest of your life. Many people assume this too often. Instead, it’s a series of short-term goals with a possible path to reach them. Depending on the short-term goals, a long-term vision may or may not result.
Ask yourself some basic questions about how to better manage your FBA business
You can start by asking yourself these simple questions:
- Do I want to run a low-quantity high-profit-margin or a high-quantity low-profit-margin business?
- Would I want to expand into many niches or dominate my current niche?
- What is my primary business model? Retail arbitrage, white labeling, own product?
It’s best to ask yourself these questions. Choose one or the other to prioritize perfection. It may be tempting to take on everything and hope one of them comes off, but this often leads to failure. Think about the results of multi-tasking versus finishing one task at a time. Doing this self-check will help you build a solid base from which to work. This leads to healthier outcomes for your profits and the management of your business.
It’s all about the little things
Running a successful Amazon business and rising above many people who didn’t make it is rewarding. It’s like becoming a gold medalist. What separates the winner from the loser could easily be a few seconds. In terms of Amazon FBA, this largely comes down to efficiency. The more efficient you are, the more time and money you’ll save. Additionally, the likelihood of a successful business that you run increases.
If you are starting out with Amazon FBA, it’s fair to assume that you are still operating on a much smaller scale than big corporations. In fact, sellers who make a significant income using Amazon FBA don’t function on the same scale. The reason- Amazon takes much logistics off your hands.
Comparatively, increased efficiency is a matter of removing frictions from the business processes that are within your hands. However, these frictions can show you what needs to be improved or worked on. One big friction for new small businesses is preparing their inventory before sending them to Amazon FBA. Amazon has certain prep requirements that must be taken care of. Not fulfilling the requirements can result in an “unexpected handling fee” charge.
Based on what type of item, be informed that packaging and labeling are required for your inventory in a certain way. If you want some practical tips on how to easily handle your physical inventory, read If I Had To Start My Amazon FBA Business Over Again With Only $500. Here, a Full-Time FBA shares what items he wishes he had to help him manage his inventory when he started selling on Amazon.
Get a Pro Amazon Seller Account
There are plenty of operational benefits to having a pro seller account. If you are serious about selling on Amazon to improve your business management, you’re likely close to (or already) selling more than 40 items per month. In this case, the ‘Professional’ account is already more economical than the ‘Individual Seller’ account.
Plenty of benefits are available when using the Professional seller account; here are some of them:
- Manage your inventory using spreadsheets
- Manage orders using reports and report-feeds
- Access to the Amazon Marketplace Web Service to upload and manage reports and feeds via the API
- Set your own shipping rates for products
- Create your own promotions, gifts, and specials using Amazons tools
- Your items will become eligible for the Amazon Buy Box
- The ability to calculate taxes on your sales (the U.S. only)
- Able to manage various users for your Amazon profile
These benefits can help you make higher profits and improve your efficiency, making it easier to manage your business. Instead of creating product listings or sending orders to Amazon on a one-by-one basis, you can upload entire spreadsheets. Additionally, feeds can also be uploaded. Amazon is able to take care of either automatically.
Furthermore, it’s also convenient that you can set up multiple users on your Amazon account with various permissions. Incorporating employees into your business structure makes things easier for you. Giving multiple people the means to manage the seller account is also helpful.
Once you start making money, it’s highly crucial that you start keeping tabs on your taxes and file them accordingly. The Amazon tools that help you carry out these specific actions decrease the time from your bookkeeping regarding taxes.
Learn from others’ mistakes
Many people just like you have continuously tried, failed, and tried again, until they succeeded in running an Amazon FBA business. Realistically, it can be frustrating and a huge amount of perseverance is needed. Of course, it’s very rare that someone managed to turn their very first venture of entering the realm of Amazon FBA into a full-blown success story. Nonetheless, when it comes to Amazon FBA, all the clichéd sayings about failure not being final are quite true.
Luckily, we live in an age where everyone can find like-minded individuals and share their experiences online. You can find many blogs and podcasts where people document their Amazon FBA endeavors and share tips, success stories and encourage new sellers.
We have written articles about our favorite Amazon FBA podcasts and success stories to get you started. Another great place to learn from Amazon FBA experts and your peers is from Amazon FBA training events like the free events that are on offer from our company, The Sellers Playbook.
Get your business running smoothly again with these tips!
Managing a successful Amazon FBA business is all about getting into good habits and not letting yourself go, despite challenges that you will face. We hope this article helps you do just that. Good luck and happy selling!