Starting an FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) business is a great way to launch a company without having to invest in an online platform first. Many online “experts” can often make this seem like a walk in the park. It’s not.
While the platform itself has been taken care of, you still have many things to keep tabs on if you want to be successful. Here are eight tips for launching a business on Amazon.
Tip #1 – Don’t quit your day job (yet)
It’s great that you’ve stumbled across the idea of launching a business on Amazon. You’re about to take the first step towards becoming your boss. You have every right to be excited — don’t get too excited yet. Yes, it’s tempting to draw up your business plan and resignation letter at the same time.
However, leave the resignation letter in the drafts folder for now. There is a long list of risks involved with starting your own business, and you don’t need to add your livelihood to that list. Building a business on Amazon will take some time, and you’re not guaranteed a significant return on your first investment.
Building a business on Amazon also costs money — believe it or not! That paycheck from your day job will come in handy when you need to cover business expenses. There’s also your living expenses to think of. It’s a good rule of thumb not to quit until your Amazon business can cover your rent and bills.
Tip #2 – Build the right team
Building a business can be an uphill struggle at the best of times. Going at it alone will make your life infinitely more difficult. While it is possible to do everything yourself to save some money, keep in mind that nothing comes for free. If it doesn’t cost money, then it’ll cost you time.
Moreover, even with hours poured into graphic design, photography and copywriting, you’re likely to produce subpar results. It’s a much better idea to spend time doing what you do best (your day job) and then spend the money you make from that on hiring a professional. Some of the people you’ll need to hire are:
- A graphic designer to create your company logo and graphics
- A copywriter to write the product descriptions and advertisements
- A photographer to take pictures of your products
- An accountant to handle your business expenses
- A programmer to code an efficient online system
If you’re able to do any of the above tasks to a professional standard, then, by all means, go ahead. If not, then you’re better off putting together the right team.
Tip #3 – Avoid quick fixes
Your Facebook feed is probably full of entrepreneurs offering quick fixes to success. You’re often just as likely to win the lottery as you are to make these quick fixes work. It would be nice if this was The Matrix and you could load in centuries of knowledge into your brain with the flick of a switch. Sadly, this isn’t the case.
Even if it were the case, this knowledge would not be worth a lot next year, as the market changes on a regular basis.
Tip #4 – Don’t reinvent the wheel
Maybe launching a business on Amazon is not your only idea. Perhaps you’ve got the potential to create the next big thing that’ll break the Internet. Slow your roll. Even if you do have the recipe for a magic sauce the world can’t live without, put it to one side for the time being.
Learning the ropes of launching a business on Amazon is already quite a challenge. Trying to work on a brand new invention at the same time will be impossible even for the likes of Elon Musk. Choose one or the other, and start with that. If you can build a successful business on Amazon without your invention, you can use that money to fund your launch later down the line.
Tip #5 – Tackle problems head-on
You will undoubtedly come across more than one problem during your ascent to becoming a top-rated seller on Amazon.
Monitor your listings closely to see if anything is missing or putting off potential customers. Maybe a product image is not up to scratch, or the product description is not compelling. Small problems tend to pile up, so tackle these issues head-on.
Tip #6 – Keep building your business
Getting your Amazon business off the ground is just the first step. The second step is to maintain a healthy cash flow.
The third step is to grow your business. Always look for ways to improve your listings, reach more customers, and explore new markets. Building your business can also be considered a form of maintaining it. If you don’t get an edge over your competition, they’ll get one over you.
Tip #7 – Read up on eCommerce
Unless you already have a background in eCommerce, then it is a good idea to make a habit of educating yourself. There are tons of free guides telling you how to get going, like Entrepreneur, Startups, Nonstopsigns and Jungle Scout. Use them!
Tip #8 – Have the right mentality
As mentioned in Tip #1 building a business takes time, money, and effort. Don’t expect overnight results.
You’re entering a competitive market, and you’ll need to put in the work to carve out the right niche for your business. It’s, therefore, a good idea to practice the virtue of patience, and not give up until every option has been exhausted.