Goals for 2018 – Amazon FBA, 30 Day Challenges and The Bootstrap Boutique

2018 Goals
Sharing my goals for 2018

Each month, I will share a detailed monthly goals report via YouTube Live and here on the blog. My 2018 goal report goes over each of the goals I set for myself this year and the progress I have made on them so far.

Looking for past goal updates – here they are!

My Goals for 2018:

AMAZON FBA

During 2018 I will easily find 3 additional private label products to manufacture and sell via Amazon FBA.

I am excited about the prospect of launching 3 products and selling 4 products on the Amazon platform next year.

I will easily generate $1,000 profit each month from selling products on Amazon.

Increasing the number of products I sell and continuing to optimize my current product will help me achieve the goal of $1,000 monthly profit.

I will happily attend Sellers Summit in May, 2018 and learn from some of the top eCommerce sellers in business.  I will make valuable connections with other sellers.

I cannot wait to attend Sellers Summit next Spring. I plan to squeeze every drop of value possible out of the conference and share everything I learn with you.

30 Day Challenges

Over the course of 2018, I will complete four 30 Day Challenges to improve specific areas of my life and business.

January: 30 Days of Meditation

During the month of January, I will easily complete 30 straight days of meditation. I will meditate for a minimum of 10 minutes each day.

I have an inconsistent meditation practice currently, but when I do it I notice great benefits like an increased ability to focus. Its valuable time that I look forward to spending in practice.

April: VEDA – Vlog Every Day in April

During the month of April I will easily participate in VEDA, posting a video to The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube channel each day.

My current plan is to film an Amazon tutorial each day during the month of April. If there is something that you’d like to see in particular, let me know!

June: 30 Day Yoga Challenge

During the month of June I will easily complete the 30 Days of Yoga program from Yoga By Adriene.

I look forward to completing 30 days of yoga to spend time focusing on my body and it’s movements. As I’m getting older I notice I’m not as mobile as I’d like to be, and this will allow me to take steps to better that. You can learn more about the program here.

November: 30 Day No Complaint Challenge

During the month of November I will easily complete a No Complaint Challenge.

Ok, “easily” might be a stretch on this one, as I’m not sure I can go so long without finding something to complain about, but my real goal is to be mindful of times when I find myself complaining and choosing to be grateful in the moment instead.

 

The Bootstrap Boutique

Group Coaching

I will happily start a new coaching group for new Amazon sellers.

I completed my first  group coaching program in December of 2017 and was amazed by the success of the group. Not everyone is selling on Amazon currently, but everyone made progress in their own way.  If you’d like to sign up for an upcoming program, please send me an email.

New Website

I will easily launch a new website for The Bootstrap Boutique.

I can’t wait to get a new website out into the world.  I have a new look and feel picked out, and am getting new pictures taken in January. I’m so excited to share this with you!

Speaking

I will easily speak at a conference or event, sharing the opportunity of Amazon FBA.

I am excited to speak at a conference or event during 2018. If you know of any opportunities I should explore, please email them to me.

Guest Appearances

I will easily appear on podcasts or write guest posts for 12 other websites during 2018.

I enjoy sharing my story and about the opportunity of selling on Amazon FBA with new audiences. During 2018 I will average 1 guest appearance a month.

 

I’m excited about the goals that I have set for 2018 and hope that you will join me in improving your business next year.  Share your goals and progress with me in the comments below!

You can watch this video at The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube channel here.

December Amazon Update

December Amazon Update
This is my first year selling during Q4 on Amazon! How’s it going?

Today I’m sharing my December Amazon Update.

Selling During Q4

This is my first time selling during the holiday rush that is Q4. I was late getting started due to being out of stock and waiting on a new shipment of products.

My supplier warned me that they were getting busy and that there would be a long lead time on production.  It turned out to actually be 55 days until my product was ready to ship to Amazon. Ouch.

This means that products weren’t checked in to an Amazon warehouse until the night of December 4th, or Cyber Monday. I was happy to see sales that same night, but sad that I missed out on Black Friday and that crazy first weekend of the shopping season.

It also meant my product sales were never going to be as good as they could be, because Amazon doesn’t immediately give you your ranking back when you get back in stock.

I’ve been back in stock for 2 weeks at this point and have sold about 1/3 of my inventory. Honestly, I thought it would be more and that I would be almost out of stock again, based on what I have heard about Q4 sales from other sellers.  There is definitely room for me to improve here next year.

Shipping Expenses Hurt Again

This production run is a lot more expensive for me because my shipping is more expensive.  This is supply and demand working against me as this is a busy time of year for transportation companies as well.

From the time I got my first shipping quote in August until when the products actually shipped in late November, the price rose by over $1,000.

$1,000.

Yeah.

Pay Per Click

Because my profit margin is lower than I’d like, I can’t be as aggressive as I’d like with PPC.

I’m currently running 3 campaigns, an automatic, a manual, and an exact match manual with a limit of $20 a day.

Inventory

My main concern is maintaining profitability so that I can continue to order larger quantities of products and start hitting some quantity discounts with the suppliers. I’m also considering sea shipping for my next order, I am just hoping that I have a shorter production time to make up for that lag in sea shipping.

Product #2

We are officially in production! I am so excited to get started with a second product and to have 2 products selling on Amazon.  It should be ready in about 20 days and is a smaller and lighter product than #1 so should be much cheaper to ship. It has definitely been cheaper to produce.

Book Keeping

Gotta get on that so it’s ready to go early in January for my CPA.  I’m excited that according to Fetcher, I’m showing a small profit for the year!

Merry Christmas!

This is the last official video between now and Christmas, so if you celebrate I hope that you have a wonderful day full of all the people and things that matter to you.

You can watch this video at The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube channel here.

You can watch more videos at The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube channel here.

What NOT To Sell on Amazon FBA

Don't Sell This On Amazon
A short list of things you should not sell on Amazon in order to be successful

There are so many things that you can sell on Amazon and have a successful business, but the flip side to that is that there’s also a few things that you should stay away from. So what should you not sell on Amazon FBA?

Restricted Products

The first type of product that you should not sell are products that are restricted on Amazon. There are times when you are able to create a listing for these products within Seller Central, but you put your account an risk when you do so.

You can find a list of Amazon FBA restricted products here.

There are also products or items that could get you banned.  Items like “play money” which looks a lot like real money.

Lock picking sets is another example of an item that sells well on Amazon but could be risky for your account.

Trends That You Aren’t On Top Of

And when I say on top, I mean….extremely early to market.  You should be on the first 25% of the below chart to make money here, and the hard part is knowing where a product is on the chart, especially if it is becoming trendy.

product lifecycle stages
Product Lifecycle. Source: https://www.slideshare.net/DashrathPurohit/product-life-cycle-and-marketing-strategies

If you are going to go after a trend, you’ve got to be fast. You should plan on getting in, making money and getting out, and not trying to build a company on the trendy product (*cough* fidget spinners *cough*).

Example Products from FBA Teachers

Garlic Press. Apple Slicer. Bamboo roasting sticks. Yoga mats.

These are examples used by people well known in the Amazon FBA space. These products have thousands of additional eyes on them at all times due to the exposure they get on podcasts, blogs and videos.  You can feel confident that even if the teachers aren’t selling these products, there exposure is much higher than the average product which can increase competition.

Products with Too Much Competition

“Too much” is going to be different for everyone. We all have our own comfort level with products.

Generally speaking, if the front page of a product search shows products with thousands of reviews each, it’s going to be extremely difficult to get on the first page.

Don’t Make It Harder on Yourself

These are a few ideas of products where it is likely easier to just say no to keep your account healthy, or your sanity intact.

You can watch this video at The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube Channel here.

You can watch more videos at The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube Channel here.

Amazon FBA: Preparing for 2018

Planning for 2018
Today I’m sharing 4 things that I’m doing during the last 4 weeks of the year to get ready for 2018!

Preparing for 2018

It is time to begin preparing for 2018, because it’s almost here!

What are you doing to get ready for next year?

If you’re still trying to figure out if Private Label is right for you, take my free 5 day email course here, it helps walk you through that decision in just 5 days.

Here’s four things that I am trying to get done in the last 4 weeks of December.

Set up Product Launches for 2, 3, and 4

Product #2 is almost ready to go, I’m just waiting for a little more cash in my bank account, which will come from the sale of product #1 over the holiday season.

But I need to make sure that I’ve got the momentum going for products #3 and #4 so I can get them launched sooner than later.

Continue to add Sales Tax Permits to States with Nexus

I’m working through my larger liability states to make sure that I’m collecting and paying sales tax in states where I have more product sales.

Tax Jar is a software program I use that makes it easy to see where my exposure is amongst the various states, and I am working down the list.

My goal for the rest of this year is to have one more state set up, and then to continue adding next year.

Wrap Up Bookkeeping

I’m going to spend an entire day towards the end of the year working on my bookkeeping. It’s one of those things that you have to do as a business owner even if it’s not sexy or fun.  (Remember when I said that this is work?)

Take a Step Back

Believe it or not, I’m going to work on taking a step back from the Amazon FBA world over the Christmas season and get a refresh on it. I’ve worked hard this year on getting my business off the ground and I want to be able to reflect on and enjoy that fact. I have plans to spend lots of time with family and friends and enjoy this time of year.

There’s plenty of time in 2018 to get back on the grind!

That’s all I have for the end of 2017, what do you have planned for the rest of the year?

You can watch this video on The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube Channel, here.

You can watch more videos at The Bootstrap Boutique’s Youtube Channel, here.