Time is your most valuable asset, but it can also be your most wasted asset if you don’t make the most of it. Last week on The Full-Time FBA Show, we talked about ROI. This week, we’re talking about ROTI: Return on Time Invested.
How resellers handle their time can be a deal breaker and might even cause some people to become frustrated with their Amazon business and quit because they feel like they just don’t have enough time. That’s why in today’s episode we share five time management strategies to help you improve your ROTI and spend your time more wisely!
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Key points from Episode 128:
- Find out how your time is actually spent by doing a time audit.
- Why we suggest making a list of your top priorities in life and in your Amazon business and compare it to your time audit.
- How to run your day efficiently by creating a structured schedule.
- The value of outsourcing what you don’t like doing, don’t know how to do, or shouldn’t be doing as the CEO of your Amazon business.
- Make the most of your time using the acronym FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Successful.
- How to make sure your necessary Amazon activities get done.
- And more!
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Episode 128 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.
[00:00:20] REBECCA: Hello there, and welcome to another episode of The Full-Time FBA show. We’re on Episode 128 this week. We’re going to be talking about Amazon Reseller Time Management Strategies for Success. That’s a mouthful. Welcome, Stephen.
[00:00:34] STEPHEN: Well, it’s good to be here. Let me ask you a question, Rebecca. What time is it? It’s time for a podcast. All right. Last week, we talked about ROI. Now we’re talking about ROTI: Return on Time Invested. It’s a big deal breaker for some people and might cause people to be frustrated with their Amazon business and quit, because they don’t have enough time. We’ll talk about, in this episode, how to get some more time for your Amazon business.
[00:00:59] REBECCA: As you’re well aware, running an Amazon business takes time. Sometimes, it takes a lot of time. It depends on what all you have going on, how big your business is, many different factors. We should all want to optimize our time to make the most of it. Time is our most valuable asset, but it can also be the most wasted asset if we’re not really careful. We wanted to talk today about some tips that we have found to be successful in making the most of our time in our Amazon business.
[00:01:26] STEPHEN: To honor your time spent listening to this podcast, we’ve come up with five tips to help you with your time management in your Amazon business. The first one is this, find out where all your time is going. A really good exercise to do is do a time audit. Log your time throughout the day of how you’re spending your time from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed, write down what you’re doing.
Don’t be like really focused on the little things, but you talk about getting ready, eating breakfast, taking the kids to school, going to work if you got a full time job. When you are taking the time to do different aspects throughout the day, whether it’s business related, personal. It’s really interesting when you log and do a time audit, it brings a lot of light to how much time we’re actually wasting during the day. Do that, and it can be a big eye opener for you. I know it was for me and it helped me see what things I need to cross off my list of things to do and what other things I needed to be focusing my time on.
[00:02:25] REBECCA: Yeah, the second part of that, and again, like Stephen said, we’ve done this, as he was saying there, this has really opened our eyes. We have done this in our own lives and our business and made a time audit, logged all of our time. Then, the next step that we take after you do that is to make a list of your top priorities in life and in your Amazon business. What are your personal priorities? Then what are your priorities for things you want to get done in your Amazon business?
Then, once you have a list of your priorities, you want to compare that list with the time log that you made to see, are there areas that match up? Am I spending the most amount of time each day on the things that are my top priorities? Or am I spending more time on things that are really not a priority for me and is actually a time waste?
Now, there might be things that you’re having to spend time on that aren’t personally a priority for you, but you have to do them. I don’t get super excited about doing laundry all the time. I spend a lot of time on that. We both do actually. So, you’re going to have to work around some of those things. We can’t just stop doing laundry, even though we don’t enjoy it. Take your list of priorities, the things that you want to prioritize, the things that you enjoy doing in your life, in your business, the things that are important to you, and match that up with your time log to evaluate how are you currently spending your time? Are there areas that you need to change up?
[00:03:46] STEPHEN: Yeah. I hear a lot of people say, “Well, I just don’t have enough time, or I don’t have the time to do this.” After they do a time log, they might start to realize, “Wow, I spend way too much time doing XYZ.” Whether it’s watching TV or whatever thing. While watching TV and spending time with friends and family and stuff is important, you might start to realize, well, I’m spending just too much time doing one thing when if I just cut it down a little bit, I’ll have more time to grow my Amazon business.
Here’s step number three, make a plan. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard this quote, I’m not sure who first said it. Someone said, “If it doesn’t get scheduled, it’s not real.” If it’s not scheduled, it won’t get done if it’s not on the calendar. Don’t be too strict with your schedule, but being able to have a structured schedule will help you keep the main things the main thing. It will help you get things done. Time won’t get lost on you. You can use your phone calendar or maybe a to-do list or to-do list app. Whatever works best for you and your personality, but taking time to plan your day ahead of time actually gives you more time to get the important things done. Run your day, don’t let your day run you.
[00:04:48] REBECCA: Then the fourth thing that we want to point out is that, you really need to realize and just, please hear me when I say this, you cannot do everything. You can’t do everything in your business. You probably can’t do everything in your own personal life too. That’s something, a word that we probably all need to hear. There’s a lot of stuff that we have as priorities or that we’re trying to get done and we just can’t do at all. So, you need to look into outsourcing.
One thing that you might sometimes forget when you think about outsourcing is that you’re already outsourcing. You already are prioritizing outsourcing if you are using the FBA program. If you’re using Fulfillment by Amazon, you are outsourcing a lot of your business already to Amazon. So, keep going with that.
Once you get started outsourcing, it just becomes even easier to outsource even more. What else can you outsource in your business? Make a list. Think of the things that you don’t want to do. That’s the first thing you want to make a list of. The second thing is write down the things that you don’t know how to do in your business, things that you think are important that you haven’t had the time yet, or the ability, or the resources to be able to learn how to deal. Then also make a list of the things that you shouldn’t be doing, because you’re the CEO of your business and there are some tasks that really somebody else should be doing for you.
[00:06:05] STEPHEN: Something I don’t like doing, I don’t taking price stickers off of inventory. I mean, I tried to make it fun by taking stickers off while watching a movie or a baseball game or something, but I don’t want to do that. I don’t like to do that. So, I’ve outsourced it, I have a prep center that takes care of all that now. There’s things that I don’t know how to do. There was a time where I didn’t know how to advertise on Amazon. I was able to outsource my advertising. Then there’s also things that I should not be doing. Honestly, I shouldn’t be taking stickers off, that was example that I used earlier, but I shouldn’t be taking stickers off. There’s things I should not be doing. I should be focusing on the important things that only I could be doing. That’s important when you’re thinking of your Amazon business and the things that you want to outsource.
[00:06:51] REBECCA: Again, like I said, you should be thinking of things for your business and personally that you can be outsourcing. There are some wonderful ways that you can get some tasks off your plate, even personally, that can really free up your time to just have more time to enjoy or more time to work on your business, if that’s what you want to do. Things like – it could be anything from doing curbside grocery orders, where you are just entering in the items and then going to pick them up, rather than having to spend the time loading up a cart, dragging that cart around a store, and loading it onto the conveyor belt.
I don’t know. I’ve thought about how many times you have to move groceries around when you actually go to pick up to do your own grocery shopping and, to me, it’s just so much more worth it to have somebody else do that, so that the only time I touch those groceries is when I bring them inside and put them in my cabinets.
Think of things like that, that you can outsource. Having somebody else help you clean the house, what can you outsource to your kids? Honestly, what chores can your kids be doing around the house that you can teach them some good life skills and also get some things off of your plate?
[00:07:51] STEPHEN: Yeah. When you think of outsourcing, it’s always good to ask yourself this question: is it worth paying somebody a fair wage to free up my time to make even more than that in my Amazon business? If you’re able to make sure that you’re doing well with your Amazon business and making good money with the time that you’re spending, paying someone a fair wage is a good trade-off to free up more time for you to make that money.
[00:08:12] REBECCA: Including paying your kids a fair wage.
[00:08:14] STEPHEN: Yes, absolutely.
[00:08:15] REBECCA: If you’re interested in more content about outsourcing, we have some resources for you. We’re going to put those links in the show notes, so be sure to check that out.
[00:08:22] STEPHEN: The first tip was find out where your time is going with a time audit. The second tip was make a list of your top priorities and see how that matches up with the time audit, and then, make a plan. The third tip was making a plan, schedule out your day. The fourth tip, realize you can’t do it all try to outsource and then, finally, we’re going to finish things up by making the most of your time for your Amazon activities.
I like to use the acronym FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Successful. That is a really good way to use the most time and the time to your best abilities. Here’s an example. Let’s say on Monday, we have Harry and he’s doing some retail arbitrage. Then, on Tuesday, Harry’s going to do some online arbitrage. On Wednesday, and Harry’s going to learn about how to do wholesale, and Thursday, Harry’s going to learn about how to advertise on Amazon. Friday, Harry is going to do some repricing.
Meanwhile there is Sally, who is, on Monday, working on her wholesale business, and Tuesday, working on a wholesale business, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday working on a wholesale business. Who’s going to be further along in their Amazon business? Of course, it’s Sally, because she’s focusing. She’s spending her time not all scattered but focused and it’s a really good thing. If you’re curious, what is the next step that you should do? What’s the most important thing you should do? There’s a quote by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, who wrote the book,The One Thing, and the quote is, “What is the one thing I can do such that, by doing it, everything else becomes easier or unnecessary?” That really can help you prioritize what needs to get done to have the biggest impact.
Those are some ideas. If you want a book to read about this, we recommend the book, Eat That Frog or The Four-Hour Workweek is another good one to help you learn about time management skills that you can apply to your Amazon business. They’re both really good ones. resources.
[00:10:00] REBECCA: Hopefully you’ve been able to take away some tips from this episode about how to get a better return on your time investment in your Amazon business. It is so important to make sure that you are spending your time wisely. Time is a resource that you really don’t ever get back once you’ve spent it. It is not like money that you can earn more of, time is limited. So, be sure you are spending your time very wisely.
We do appreciate your time as listener to The Full-Time FBA podcast. We also hope that you are subscribed to our Full-Time FBA newsletter. We send a newsletter out once a week with links to more videos and articles that we find, we think will help you to improve your FBA business and turn your part time hours into a full-time income with Amazon FBA. Be sure you are signed up for that newsletter at fulltimefba.com.
As a reminder, we have the show notes for this episode available for you at fulltimefba.com/128. You will find the links to any of the resources that we’ve mentioned in this episode, as well as the transcript that you can refer back to at any time.
[00:11:08] STEPHEN: Next week, on The Full-Time FBA show, I’ve interviewed top Amazon sellers and they are going to share their biggest mistakes and failures. Let’s all learn from their mistakes and failures next week on The Full-Time FBA show.
[00:11:22] ANNOUNCER: That is all for this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show. head over to fulltimefba.com/podcast, where you will find the show notes 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.