“People don’t decide their futures. They decide their habits, and then their habits decide their future.”
Are you looking for ways to correct, change, or build upon your business habits? Here are the top six profit-generating habits of successful Amazon sellers:
Habit #1: Be efficient with your time.
When I began my Amazon business many years ago, even though we were growing rapidly, I built daily and weekly habits of the things to focus on. I focused on profit, passionately pursuing profits in the form of every single skew. Every single product needed to perform to be successful.
Sellie, the software that we are developing, was born out of automating many of my habits. I still have those habits. I don’t just let the software do the job. I’m still involved, but I’m making smart choices and is being smarter with my time.
When we first started working on the software, it took several days each month to work through the numbers. I don’t know how many skews it was back then, but it was taking me a good week just to slice and dice the information I was getting and putting it into spreadsheets and organizing it the way I needed.
Now I can get any data daily, whenever I want.
In the beginning, 80% of my time was spent on 20% of my business, primarily on the data. Many people ignore the data, spending 80% of their time selecting products, writing copy, and creating marketing images, but they don’t look at the data as early enough.
Since I put in the upfront effort, now I can spend 20% of my time on the data, and 80% of my business is impacted positively. I’ve also freed up my time, something I factored into how I built and scaled my business. I was passionate about not wasting time. I’m not always busy working. I make sure that I can do the things that I want and make my business work for me instead of me working for my business.
Habit #2: Make informed decisions.
Automation is an excellent idea, but be careful what you automate. Sometimes there’s no better recipe for success than really mastering the process by doing it manually. Understand it. Refine it. That is what I did with my business.
And once you sort out what works in a very manual way, you can refine the process you’ve built for your business and automate it.
If I had automated what I did initially, I would have failed a lot quicker (which is not always a bad thing), or I would have never achieved the growth that I did.
I would have just been more inefficient, faster.
Habit #3: Know your costs.
To be a successful Amazon seller, you need to know your supply chain, your costs from the factory, all the way to the warehouse floor.
You’ll need to track the whole supply—making sure you understand your costs, which pieces are going up, which shipping methods the best, and how you will decrease costs.
Ask yourself, what are the best ways to maximize your profit? Because at the end of the day, you are in it to give a service, but you need to be profitable to stay in business. So one of the most significant pieces of the pie is costs.
Make sure that you know your cost in and out and that they are always accurate.
It’s discipline as well. That’s part of your time management, in terms of staying curious about your business, asking yourself, “Could I get more out of this product?” and data is going to tell you that.
You should know when a product is at its all-time high in terms of its performance metrics and when it shows signs of wavering at all.
It is understanding your products’ life cycle. Products don’t last forever. Look at brands like Under Armor or Nike. Trends come and go. So that’s where making informed decisions comes in.
Habit #4: Know your inventory process.
Your product has a lifecycle from your warehouse or your Amazon performance center to your customer. Think of all those steps that occur. If you’re running a Shopify store, your own store, or Amazon, your costs are fixed. You will have payment processing fees with Amazon, storage fees, transaction fees, et cetera.
At SellerVue, we make sure that the fees that you’re paying are fair and accurate. But you need to have the same lens with the pre-life of your product in terms of when it makes it to your warehouse from your supplier, and the same life cycle occurs as it leaves the supplier’s warehouse and makes its way to you.
We are the clients receiving the goods; our experience is really about convenience in terms of getting the right product and trusting our suppliers to make sure that it will land safely. But you want to make that as efficient as possible.
And you do that by understanding all the moving parts.
Don’t get stuck in a rhythm of ordering the same product in the exact quantities every month because it’s easy. If you need to increase your quantities, negotiate lower shipping.
There’s no such thing as set it and forget it. Get the data and act on that data.
By spending time focusing on your data, you not only minimize your mistakes, but you learn from the mistakes because data doesn’t lie.
Remove the emotion out of those decisions. It may be your favorite product, or maybe your first winner. But if it’s dragging you down, it’s got to go. You have to be very ruthless that way.
Habit #5: Diversify your products.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Good sellers know there’s going to be some home runs.
Don’t get fooled into thinking you only need one product.
What happens with that product tanks? Or if you need certification, or there’s a requirement? Or someone steals your product idea, and suddenly you’ve got the best product out there, but someone’s selling a copy for half the price.
We just want to have a strong profile. You’re going to have some products that perform better than others. But, you need to give products some time. We had a client that misread data, and it was about to cut a product, but with some renegotiating, fixing some inefficiencies and logistics, we had a winner again.
Make sure that you’re extending your product lines or expanding your brands. There’s going to be shining stars, but make sure you have a few stars.
Habit #6: Know when to delegate.
The last habit of successful Amazon sellers is knowing when to delegate. If you’re growing or expanding, what are the things that you can get off your desk and moved on to an independent contractor? Or is it time to hire an employee? What are the things that you can do to delegate, to grow?
Get a good support team in place so that you’re ready to grow and outperform the competition.
Implement these six habits, and you’ll be ahead of your competition.