Why You Aren’t Selling on Amazon FBA

Why You Aren't Selling on Amazon FBA
So, why aren’t you selling on Amazon yet?

Why You Aren’t Selling

One of the biggest surprises for me from the 2017 TBB Survey was that 77% of you all aren’t yet selling on Amazon.

I’m going to make an assumption that you are here to learn about selling on Amazon – ok and also to see what I’m going to screw up next – so I was a bit taken a back by this.

On  one had it does make sense, I’m still an Amazon beginner so it follows that other Amazon beginners would be drawn to this channel.

But, I want to make sure that we all don’t hang out too long in beginner land, that we are continuing to move forward.

So in today’s video I’m asking you, what do you need to help you take the next step and move forward to selling on Amazon?

Here are some resources that can help:

Is Private Label Right For You? Free Email Course

28 Day Pick Your Product Challenge

Private Label Resource Guide

Or maybe you need accountability and motivation.  If so, I’ve got you covered also.  Group coaching is available for sign up from my email list.  Click here if you aren’t signed up already!

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.

Survey Says! 2017 The Bootstrapper Survey

2017 Bootstrapper Survey
Survey Says! Results from the 2017 Bootstrapper Survey.

Thank you to everyone who took time to complete the 2017 Bootstrapper Survey!

This week, I’m sharing some of the questions and responses that I received.

Survey Says!

The first thing that the survey says is that most of you are finding me via YouTube. Mostly this is coming from searching for a topic related selling on Amazon.  This certainly makes sense as that is where I am most active and most likely to show up.

A few of you though were like, “You know what, I don’t remember!”

How did you find The Bootstrap Boutique?
How did you find The Bootstrap Boutique?

 

Most of you are watching The Bootstrap Boutique on a weekly basis. It means a lot to me that I’ve become part of your weekly routine.

How often do you watch?
How often do you watch?

However, the overwhelming majority of you are not yet selling on Amazon.  We’ll talk about this next week.

Do you currently sell on Amazon?
Do you currently sell on Amazon?

 

For those of you selling on Amazon, your average monthly revenue is between 0-$5,000 a month.  This is where we all start, and it means you’re selling, so be proud of yourself for taking action and getting a product to sell!  This is where I am currently as well, since you can’t sell products when they aren’t in stock .

What is your average monthly revenue?
What is your average monthly revenue?

 

I asked you to tell me what types of videos you like, and the verdict is that your favorite types of videos are my updates as well as Amazon tutorials.  More of both coming in 2018!

What you like about The Bootstrap Boutique.
What you like about The Bootstrap Boutique.

 

I also asked you what you don’t like, with product reviews the top contender. You also did a write in on this one with some form of “I like them all” which was very kind.

And what you don't.
And what you don’t.

 

People from the United States, Hong Kong and Israel completed the survey. It’s so amazing to touch people from all over the world!  I also had more women complete the survey than typically watch my videos, which was interesting as well!

Who are you, where are you from?
Who are you, where are you from?

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.

Lessons Learned from My First Amazon FBA Q4

Lessons Learned
Today I’m sharing the lessons that I learned from selling in my first Q4 on Amazon.

Let me not bury the lead, I didn’t sell as much as I hoped I would during fourth quarter.

In this video, I am going to share the lessons learned during my first Q4 and some of the things that I plan to do better next time.

Inventory

My biggest problem is that I didn’t get inventory in stock until December 4th, completely missing the first part of the holiday rush.  This is something that I have to remedy as my sales could have easily been doubled had I been in stock in November.

Pay Per Click

Another issue I ran up against was being unsure how much I should spend each day on PPC.  I really didn’t change my normal campaign and I think that my sales suffered as a result.  More to come on this soon.

Add Products

The more products you are selling, the more you can sell.  I know that sounds really basic, but if I had more products to sell, I could have sold a lot more product. Adding additional products to my business is crucial for a bigger Q4 in 2018.

Lessons Learned

Keep products in stock, study up on PPC and add more product lines.  Sounds simple, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy.  I’m excited to see how much progress I have made come Q4 2018!

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

You can watch more videos from The Bootstrap Boutique here.

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.

5 Ways to Find Time to Start A Business

find time to start a business
Five ways to find time to start a business. Because we all have more time in our days then we think!

Are you trying to find time to start a business? I know it can seem impossible, with work, family obligations, and all the day to day stuff that we have to get done.

But I’d be willing to bet that you can use at least one of these tips to find some more time in your day.

Warning: You may not really like these ideas, but I promise they can help.  You don’t have to stick with any of them forever!  Give it a shot.

5 Ways To Find Time To Start A Business

Tip 1 – Turn Off the TV

We cut cable at our house about a year and a half ago.  It’s amazing how much more motivated I am to work at night when there isn’t the prospect of hours of television stretching in front of me.

We still have a digital antenna to get local news and even with that, I feel like I spend too much time watching TV – even though we actively watch it less than an hour a day.

I’m not saying that you should never watch tv, I still have 1 show that I don’t miss (Survivor, if you’re curoius!) but you should be mindful of how you’re spending time at night if you are trying to start a business, and this is a huge time and energy waster if you let it be.

Tip 2 – Wake Up Early

This isn’t as much about waking up early (you might be better off staying up late) as it is about finding time when the house is quiet and you can put dedicated focus on one thing.

For me, I wake up at 5 am each week day and spend time working on blog posts for this blog. I wasn’t making the time for it during my ‘normal’ day so I decided to dedicate time to it in the mornings.

If waking up early seems too daunting, keep in mid that this is a great example of dedicating yourself to something for a set period of time. You could set a goal of finding a product or some other big task in your business and dedicating morning time to it until it’s done. Then you can go back to sleeping in.

Tip 3 – Shut Down Social

I took Facebook off my phone. I found I was spending too much of my day mindlessly scrolling though it and that was not a good use of my time.

If nothing else, commit to stop checking social media during your workday. Be more productive at work so you can leave it there and have time to focus on your new business when you are at home.

Tip 4 – Block Your Time

I’ve been experimenting with different time blocking methods over the last couple of years. I’ve tried the 3×5 method which I talked about back in 2016, I’ve done the Pomodoro Technique.

And most recently I’ve been experimenting with breaking my calendar out into 30 minute increments and scheduling specific tasks for each of those 30 minutes.

It’s a work in progress and probably always will be. I’m constantly tweaking and refining my time blocking methods trying to find what will work best for me.

Tip 5 – Schedule Everything

Sticking with the 30 minute increments, I use those blocks for all kinds of things. Checking email, returning phone calls, straightening up the house. Whatever needs to get done needs to get on my calendar.

Otherwise its not getting done.  It’s that simple for me, it probably is for you too.

Wrap Up

How are you currently finding time to start your business and what did you hear today that you’re going to try starting today?


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

You can watch more videos from The Bootstrap Boutique here.

 

October Update – Amazon FBA

October Update Amazon FBA
October Update – What’s been going on in FBA lately.

October Update

Every couple of months I like to check in with a video to discuss all the little things going on that don’t warrant their own video.  Here’s what I’ve been up to!

Out of Stock

Unfortunately, my product has gone out of stock at Amazon again.

The day that I went out of stock, I sold 18 units before noon!  That was exciting to watch.  I was able to turn off my pay per click advertising and the rest of the sales came in organically.

What is really interesting about this is that my traffic was not noticeably higher. My conversion rate, however, was well over double it’s normal percentage.

I wish I knew what caused that difference to try and see if it could be replicated, but Amazon’s business reports aren’t giving me much to work with.

Re-Order Inventory

The good news is that I re-ordered my inventory way back when this round of product landed back in August.  The factory warned me ahead of time that they were busy and the lead time was long, so I’d glad I put that re-order through so quickly.

It should be ready to go by the end of the month, which means it’s highly unlikely that it will be checked in for sale by the Black Friday cut off date.  It should still have plenty of Q4 sales days though.

Product #2

I found a potential second product that I’m pretty excited about.

I’ve ordered samples and have received 2. One is still on the way.  I also ordered the #1 seller on Amazon to see how they compare and what changes I may want to make.

One thing that is frustrating is that in my initial emails. I always share that I need to make a small test order first, of 250 or 500 units depending on how expensive I think it will be. I asked if that is understood.

One of the suppliers that I work with just came back and said they have a huge MOQ (minimum order quantity) that they won’t move off.  I wish that had come up during our initial emails as it would have saved us both lots of time.

Learning from the Past

It has been well documented that I made a lot of mistakes with product #1 that made it take longer to launch than it should have.

I have learned from those mistakes and started working ahead on the product listing for product #2. My listing is coming along nicely and I know better than to wait for all the products to come to my house before getting photos done this time!


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

You can watch more video’s from The Bootstrap Boutique here.

Goal Update – July 21, 2017 (Profit First, Influencer Marketing, Amazon FBA)

Goal Updates July 21, 2017
Sharing my progress on my goals this quarter!

You can catch up on all my goal updates here.

Starting in 2017, I began publicly sharing goals related to building my Amazon FBA business as well as growing The Bootstrap Boutique. I set quarterly goals and do a check in on YouTube every two weeks to keep you updated on my progress and to hold myself accountable to working consistently towards meeting these goals.

For the third quarter of 2017, I set the following goals for myself:

  1. Implement Profit First in my business
  2. Use Influencer Marketing to drive traffic to my Amazon listing
  3. Create friendships with other Amazon FBA Sellers

Let’s see how I did!

Implement Profit First in my business

I’ve read the book twice now so I feel like I know what I need to do. However…I am struggling to find the bank accounts that I need at a place that won’t charge me a monthly fee for multiple savings accounts.

Because the Profit First system calls for multiple bank accounts to keep your money separate, I need to find a low cost solution to bank accounts.

I feel like the bank I’m looking for is a unicorn.

Use Influencer Marketing to drive traffic to my Amazon listing

I have been going though and searching keywords on YouTube that I think would be a good fit for my product niche.

I have found 20 channels that I will reach out to, but I need closer to 100. My goal is to have 10 videos created and knowing that not everyone I reach out to will say, “yes” means that I need to cast a wide net.

Once I get my product back in stock I need to learn how to create coupon codes. I want to offer these products to the influencers at no cost to them, but it will have to ship from Amazon since that is where all my stock is.  I will need to set them up with coupon codes that no one else can use, so this is something that I will have to research.

Create friendships with other Amazon FBA Sellers

This is something that is just happening naturally by being a member of this community.

Earlier this week I was in Chicago and got the opportunity to meet up with a new friend, Jennifer, from a Facebook group that I’m in. We had drinks and talked about selling on Amazon, and I’m fairly sure the bartender thought we were talking in a different language!

So that’s a wrap on what I’ve been up to for the last 4 weeks. I know I’m busier than I’ve ever been but I still can’t get over how fast this year has gone by.  Believe it or not, it’s time to plan for fourth quarter!

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.

Goal Update – June 23, 2017 (YouTube, Amazon, Branding)

Goal Updates June 23, 2017
Sharing my progress on my goals! Goal Updates June 23, 2017.

You can catch up on all my other goal updates here.

Starting in 2017, I began publicly sharing goals related to building my Amazon FBA business as well as growing The Bootstrap Boutique. I set quarterly goals and do a check in on YouTube every two weeks to keep you updated on my progress and to hold myself accountable to working consistently towards meeting these goals.

For the second quarter of 2017, I set the following goals for myself:

  1. Launch a second YouTube Channel for my Private Label brand and schedule 2 months of videos (8 total)
  2. Get my Private Label Brand brand registered at Amazon
  3. Work on The Bootstrap Boutique Blog
  4. Watch and comment on 20 Amazon Seller Videos per week

And finally, this isn’t a stated goal, but I plan to use my “theme days” to get it all done.

Theme days are:

Monday – Product Work

Tuesday – Private Label Brand

Wednesday: YouTube

Thursday: The Bootstrap Boutique Brand

Friday: Plan & Review

Let’s see how things went!

 

Launch a second YouTube Channel for my Private Label brand and schedule 2 months of videos (8 total)

Partial credit. I have started a channel for my Private Label brand and I have 2 videos. This is harder than I thought because I need help with filming.

Get my Private Label Brand brand registered at Amazon

When I set this goal, it wasn’t such a lengthy process.  Now you have to have a registered trademark, which takes a long time to receive.  I have applied for a trademark, it can take before 3-6 months to receive a trademark, so we will see what happens.  (Update January 17, 2017 I finally received notice that my trademark was approved!)

Work on The Bootstrap Boutique Blog

This hasn’t happened. I have browsed themes for the blog but am really getting nowhere. This will likely be one of the first things that I hire out when I have the capital to do so.

Watch and comment on 20 Amazon Seller Videos per week

This week I was able to watch 15 videos. It still isn’t the goal, but when I set this goal for myself I really didn’t stop to think about the time commitment involved in trying to watch 80 videos a month.

Watch today’s video to see my progress at accomplishing these goals.

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.

 

Goal Update – June 9, 2017 (YouTube, Amazon, Branding)

Goal Update June 9, 2017
Catching up on my second quarter goals, June 9, 2017.

You can catch up on all my other goal updates here.

Starting in 2017, I began publicly sharing goals related to building my Amazon FBA business as well as growing The Bootstrap Boutique. I set quarterly goals and do a check in on YouTube every two weeks to keep you updated on my progress and to hold myself accountable to working consistently towards meeting these goals.

For the second quarter of 2017, I set the following goals for myself:

  1. Launch a second YouTube Channel for my Private Label brand and schedule 2 months of videos (8 total)
  2. Get my Private Label Brand brand registered at Amazon
  3. Work on The Bootstrap Boutique Blog
  4. Watch and comment on 20 Amazon Seller Videos per week

And finally, this isn’t a stated goal, but I plan to use my “theme days” to get it all done.

Theme days are:

Monday – Product Work

Tuesday – Private Label Brand

Wednesday: YouTube

Thursday: The Bootstrap Boutique Brand

Friday: Plan & Review

Let’s see how things went!

Launch a second YouTube Channel for my Private Label brand and schedule 2 months of videos (8 total)

I have done intro and outro shots for 4 videos and my husband has helped me film some footage for 2 of the videos. Now I just need to go create the youtube channel!

Get my Private Label Brand brand registered at Amazon

I’ve spent time this week reading about trademarks. I could hire a lawyer to do it for me but I want to go through the process myself. I’ll call in the professionals if it gets scary.

Work on The Bootstrap Boutique Blog

Hasn’t happened. I’m not enjoying this so it doesn’t get done. It’s one of those things that I know I should do, but I don’t want to do. So nothing happens on it.

Watch and comment on 20 Amazon Seller Videos per week

This goal means that I should be watching 40 videos per update. I did watch 13 videos, many of them were the Jungle Scout Million Dollar Case Study updates.  This is a great series if you want to see everything that goes into creating a product to sell on Amazon.

Watch today’s video to see my progress at accomplishing these goals.

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

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