Today’s episode is all about the six pillars to achieving long-term success with Amazon FBA. We learn about the importance of setting a strong foundation, the right foundation. Stephen and Rebecca guide us through the necessity of upgrading both your Amazon skills and your non-Amazon skills.
In addition, we get a ton of reasons as to why outsourcing is important and why it is essential to develop a Full-Time FBA mindset. We round out the episode with how you can maintain success and continue your forward momentum as a business. Energized by the success Stephen and Rebecca have experienced, and how they share their hard earned knowledge of the ups and downs of running an Amazon business, this is one episode not to be missed!
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Key points from Episode 141:
- Rebecca and Stephen’s background leading up to The Full-Time FBA Show.
- Setting a proper foundation (the first pillar).
- Upgrading essential Amazon skills (the second pillar).
- Upgrading essential non-Amazon skills (the third pillar).
- The importance of outsourcing (the fourth pillar).
- How to have the Full-Time FBA mindset (the fifth pillar).
- Maintaining success and continuing forward momentum (the sixth pillar).
- How change affects your long-term Amazon business success.
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
Next Level Amazon
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This course closes down until 2023 in just:
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Episode 141 Transcript:
[0:00:01.8] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Full-Time FBA Show. In each episode, it’s our goal to help you turn part-time hours into a full-time income, selling almost anything on Amazon. Now, your hosts of the show, Stephen and Rebecca Smotherman.
[0:00:20.9] REBECCA: Hello there and welcome to another episode of The Full-Time FBA Show. We are glad that you joined us today. We are going to be talking about the six pillars of achieving long-term success with Amazon FBA. We are so excited to talk about this topic. We love talking about how to be successful at running an FBA business. Here with me today to talk about this is my cohost, Stephen Smotherman. How are you doing today, Stephen?
[0:00:45.6] STEPHEN: I’m doing good, I’m excited about this episode. Yeah, we do love talking about success, talking about success tips, and hearing success stories and helping people find success with their Amazon business. It is a lot of fun.
[0:01:00.4] REBECCA: So, before we get into talking about the six pillars of achieving long-term success with Amazon FBA, we thought we would give you a little bit of background. Some of you may be newer to the podcast, some of you may have heard our story before but, just in case, we wanted to cover this because this has a lot to do with how we view and define success on Amazon FBA.
People have different definitions of success, so this will give you an idea of where we’re coming from. Stephen started selling on FBA in 2011. This was before we were even married. He had been selling online since 1998, got into selling on Amazon 2011. He was selling full-time, putting all of his full-time efforts towards FBA in 2012. We got married—we met in 2012, got married in 2013, and I joined the business at that time, 2013. We started The Full-Time FBA blog, which has morphed into courses, and the YouTube channel, and this podcast, The Full-Time FBA Show.
We started that blog in 2013. It was in 2014 that we were able to make a full-time income, with just part-time hours. We were making a full-time income before that time but we had it fine-tuned, to the point where were only spending part-time hours on it by 2014. We continue (every year since then) to increase our sales and profits on Amazon, almost every single year.
[0:02:23.5] STEPHEN: Boo COVID.
[0:02:24.5] REBECCA: Yeah, COVID kind of threw a wrench in things. We launched The Full-Time FBA Show podcast on June 7th of 2019, so we’ve just celebrated our poddiversary, our third poddiversary. We’ve had quite a ride over this last decade and we have learned a lot. All of that knowledge of getting to the place, for us —we define success as making a full-time income with part-time hours.
For us, that is our goal. We want to continue to support our family, but only spend part-time hours on that Amazon business. With all that knowledge that we have gained over the years, and as we continue to run our business that way, we are bringing you this episode.
[0:03:04.5] STEPHEN: Yeah. We love also helping and training people to turn part-time hours into a full-time income because we went through a lot and we’ve made a ton of mistakes. We’ve learned a lot and we’ve found some successes and we’ve helped others do the same. We want to help you too, with this episode, the six pillars of achieving long-term success with Amazon FBA.
The first pillar is a proper foundation. Now, you know, if you’re building a house, what’s the most important thing when you’re starting? It is the right foundation. You want to make sure the foundation is set; you want to make sure it’s on solid ground; you want to make sure that it’s done correctly. Because, if the foundation is busted, eventually, the house is going to start falling and cracking and falling apart. So, you want the proper foundation when you’re building a house in the same as with an Amazon business.
[0:03:52.5] REBECCA: And we know this because we live in Texas. So foundation problems are abundant.
[0:03:57.4] STEPHEN: Absolutely, yes. So we want to make sure that all of the people that we coach and teach have a proper foundation. Understanding the basics of selling on Amazon, understanding how restrictions work, getting their business setup correctly with a bank account, and all of the other things, understanding the sourcing strategies. So, we actually have a course that is all about the basics and having that type of proper foundation, The JumpStart Amazon course.
You can find out more about it at fulltimefba.com/jumpstart. If you are wanting to have long-term success, you got to have a solid foundation to build upon.
[0:04:30.8] REBECCA: Now, the next pillar that would come after building that foundation—are we counting the foundation as a pillar?
[0:04:38.7] STEPHEN: That’s true, yeah.
[0:04:39.8] REBECCA: So there’s like a foundation and then some other pillars?
[0:04:41.6] STEPHEN: Yes.
[0:04:42.3] REBECCA: But anyway, so beyond the foundation, once you’ve got that proper foundation set, you’re going to need to start upgrading some of your essential Amazon skills, to be sharpened and ready to go for the long-haul. Those skills are going to include sourcing. Whether you are doing retail arbitrage, online arbitrage, sourcing through wholesale sources—you’re going to need to learn how to find replenishables, you’re going to need to upgrade your skills when it comes to pricing and repricing, and you’re going to need other inventory management skills.
These are all things that are necessary on a day in, day out basis, to run an Amazon business. You need to keep those skills sharp. If you can find the right inventory items, regardless of what type of sourcing strategy you use or whether you use multiple strategies, RA, OA or wholesale, if you can find those inventory items, keep those items and that inventory price competitively, find that item to sell again and again, then you really have broken the code to increasing your inventory sales velocity, and you can find growth that just goes off the charts.
You really are able to scale your business at that point by getting out there, getting that inventory on a regular basis, buying it, selling it, buying it, selling it. That is one of the ways that you can find long-term success with those essential Amazon skills.
[0:06:05.4] STEPHEN: Yeah, definitely upgrading your essential Amazon skills is a solid pillar for success. Another one is upgrading your essential non-Amazon skills. So, it’s skills that you need in being able to run a business successfully. I’m talking about customer service skills, skills in regards to negotiation. Just being really flexible because, guess what? Any type of business, there’s a lot of change that goes on.
So, being flexible and going with those changes. Understanding the supply and demand principle, especially how it impacts prices on inventory on Amazon. Knowing and understanding your numbers; the profit and loss; the ROI; your profit margins, understanding those numbers, being able to make the best overall business decisions that you have to make while running a business.
The basic thing is, what got you where you are today won’t get you where you need to go. So, if you’re really wanting to have long-term success, beginner skills when it comes to these non-Amazon skills won’t continue to help you grow further than you are right now, you need to upgrade your essential non-Amazon skills.
[0:07:06.9] REBECCA: You might have a good foundation but you definitely will need to upgrade those skills over time.
[0:07:11.3] STEPHEN: Absolutely.
[0:07:12.6]REBECCA: So the fourth pillar that we wanted to share with you today, that will be necessary if you’re wanting to achieve long-term success at Amazon FBA, is outsourcing. We talk about this regularly. You can only grow your business so far when you’re a one person show. If you are the only one packing and prepping, if you’re the only one sourcing, if you’re the only one sending those shipments into Amazon, if you are the only one who is handling your returns, you are not going to get very far.
You’re not going to be able to scale your business in a way that will allow you to have long-term success. As an FBA seller, you are already outsourcing much of your business, your Amazon business, you’re outsourcing your inventory storage, you’re outsourcing the organization, customer orders, the fulfillment of those orders, handling of returns, other aspects as well. As an Amazon seller, you can outsource so many more aspects of your business than just what is outsourced through FBA.
So, look into what some of those things may be. Whether it’s the process of sourcing itself, packing and prepping and shipping your items to Amazon, handling your backend tasks with inventory management. There are so many ways you can outsource. That is a pillar that you’re going to need to build and grow in your business if you want to find long-term success, that’s not going to leave you burnt out and plateaued with your profits.
[0:08:33.9] STEPHEN: Yeah, I know a lot of people are scared of outsourcing because they like the idea of being in control in everything. But, once you start outsourcing, you will catch the bug and you will want to outsource everything. I never heard anybody say, “I wish I would have waited to outsource.” Everyone I’ve talked to, including us, we wish we would have outsourced sooner. It’s just that important when growing a long-term successful Amazon business, outsourcing.
Another pillar of having a long-term successful business in an Amazon world is to have the Full-Time FBA mindset. Now, the mindset can make or break your business. We talked about this a couple of times on The Full-Time FBA Show, okay, not a couple of times, a lot. We talk about mindset a lot, and it’s true, mindset and really make or break your business. You want to have the right kind of mindset.
Whether it is the growth mindset that has the understanding that, “I have a chance to grow and change and become better,” instead of a fixed mindset that, “Well, I am just stuck with how I am and I am just going to be stuck that way all the time and there is nothing I can do about it.” No, you want to have that growth mindset. You want to have a CEO mindset, where it’s like, “Hey, what’s the CEO in charge of?”
Are they in charge of taking out the trash or taking stickers off of inventory? No, that’s an employee mindset. You want to have a CEO mindset, not an employee mindset. The CEO mindsets understands other people who can do this job. I mean, if it is a minimum wage paying job or a fair wage paying job, pay someone to do that. That way, you can focus on the things that you want to do that are more profitable.
I mean, that goes back to the outsourcing and then having an abundance mindset rather than a scarcity mindset. Knowing that there is a ton of stuff out there and I will be able to find that and get that inventory to sell on Amazon rather than, “Oh there is nothing I can find to sell on Amazon.” The whole mindset aspect—and there’s a ton more mindsets that we can talk about and we’d love to teach you about.
But basically, having that The Full-Time FBA mindset, where you set yourself up for success because of which way you are setting your thoughts and the actions that follow.
[0:10:29.0] REBECCA: The final pillar that we’re going to talk about today is working towards maintaining your success and continuing your forward momentum in your business. A lot of sellers might get started on Amazon, and they might have a good start to begin with because they have done what it takes to set that foundation, they’ve had some great success early on and they start off doing well.
Then, they start to take their foot off the accelerator and think, “I’m just going to coast for a while. This seems to be going well, I am doing okay, I’m going to take a break from working really hard at this or trying to scale in certain areas.” They find that when you take your foot off the accelerator, when you don’t continue to push hard to grow and to learn and expand what you are doing in your business, you slow down, and so do your profits.
Your business will start to slow down. It is hard to keep a business at one level. Your business is either going to be growing or it is going to be shrinking. If you have started to coast through your business and you are not moving forward, you’re going to find that long-term success is going to be hard to reach for you. But, if you are maintaining your current level of success and moving forward and trying to grow, then long-term successful Amazon business is possible for you.
Long-term successful Amazon business is always going to be changing and adapting and looking for profitable opportunities that might be different from what you’ve done in the past. You will follow those opportunities where they lead if it makes sense for your business. The world is constantly changing. We’ve seen that a lot, especially over the last couple of years with the COVID impact on the supply chain, and inflation issues, and other things that are going on right now.
If you want to be successful for the long-term, it is completely possible, but you’re going to have to change and adapt and learn new things and learn new ways to run your business. Amazon changes their guidelines, Amazon updates how they do seller central, there are many ways that you need to be constantly looking to change and adapt. Just don’t get lazy in your business. Keep evolving, keep learning new things, stay flexible and stay curious and excited about all of that.
It can be easy to get into a rut of like, “Ugh, I am tired of learning new things. I just want to do the same thing so that I can just have a break.” But that’s not going to lead to long-term success. That is going to lead to burnout and boredom and long term malaise. But if you want your business to grow and be successful for years to come and be a business that you can hand over to somebody else even in the future, you need to continue growing and adapting, and don’t be lazy in how you work towards maintaining the success that you already have.
[0:13:25.7] STEPHEN: So, those are the pillars of achieving long-term success on Amazon as a reseller. I’ve got really good news for you because, today, we just opened up our Next Level Amazon course. This course is only open up to the public once every year, and that day is today. It is going to be open up for a very short time. Go check it out, fulltimefba.com/nextlevel. It is an opportunity for you to take your Amazon business to the next. All of these pillars of achieving long-term success on Amazon FBA, we will make sure that you excel in each of these pillars.
We will help you through upgrading your essential Amazon skills, we’re going to help you upgrade your non-Amazon skills. We are going to help work you through outsourcing, get over the fears of outsourcing, know how to outsource, where to find people to work for you, and to help you have that type of mentality where you have the mindset for success, and also for you to know how to maintain that success overtime.
This course is to help you turn those part-time hours into a full-time income. It is Next Level Amazon and it is only open up to the public once a year, and it is right now. So go to fulltimefba.com/nextlevel, check out the course, watch the videos, see if it is right for you, and then enroll and get ready for being able to finally get to the point where you are turning those part-time hours into a full-time income, with Amazon.
If you are listening to this podcast and we’ve already closed the doors for Next Level Amazon, don’t worry. That same link, fulltimefba.com/nextlevel will take you to a wait list, where you can sign up to be notified when it opens up to the public again next year. You could have that opportunity to enroll in Next Level Amazon. This course is going to be something that can really revolutionize your Amazon business, help you finally break through all of those barriers that are holding you back from the success that you are looking for.
For you to find that freedom that selling online with Amazon provides, working from home, being able to pay off debts, pay off or save up for retirement, whatever type of goal that you have with the opportunity that you have by working those part-time hours and making a full-time income. Or, hey, you can work full-time hours and make even more. So fulltimefba.com/nextlevel, check it out.
[0:15:39.7] REBECCA: Thank you so much for joining us for this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show. As always, you can find the transcript and any links that we’re mentioned in this episode at the shownotes, fulltimefba.com/141. This is episode number 141 and, next week, we’re going to be talking about time versus money in your FBA business and how to get more of both.
We all want more time and more money in our business and in our life, so we’re going to talk about how to get more of those things to enjoy and to use, to leverage in our business and in our life, for all the things that we want to get done.
[0:16:17.5] STEPHEN: So see you next week on The Full-Time FBA Show.
[0:16:23.1] ANNOUNCER: That is all for this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show. So head over to fulltimefba.com/podcast, where you will find the shownotes and links from this episode. While you’re there, subscribe to our newsletter where you’ll get several free downloads of our popular and helpful Amazon FBA resources. Now, take action on what you have learned today so you can find success at turning part-time hours into a full-time income with Amazon FBA.