If you’re just getting started with selling on Amazon, every process and step seems to take a long time – because you have no routine. There’s such an enormous learning curve when it comes to selecting and shipping products to the FBA warehouse, and without a routine every week or month, you’ll spend extra time just remembering all the things you need to do. I’ve been working on my own schedule and routines for more than a year now, and the tips below that I use will make it easier to get your work done faster – leaving more time for fun, sourcing, or scaling up your private label product development.
1. Set Your Workday Goals the Night Before
In the fog of early morning, it’s easy to sit down to your desk with a cup of coffee – and listen to a podcast. And read a blog. And check email. And then your Seller Central account. Four times.
Pretty soon, you’ve whiled away an hour or two you could have spent productively. To get into your Amazon FBA routine out of the gate in the AM, write out your goals for the day the night before – if you need to source, know where you’re going or how many products you need to find to hit your goals, etc. Then attack those goals and tasks first thing in the morning. Keeping your goal in mind the night before takes all the guesswork out of “What should I do today?” – the ultimate timewaster.
2. Set Weekly and Monthly Goals Instead of Daily Ones
As a full-time self-employed person, I don’t have a boss telling me when I can and can’t take off, and I prize the flexibility of a self-employed lifestyle more than anything. But I do find that I’m most productive when I stick to a general schedule of work from 7-4 most days, with a break for lunch or occasional personal tasks, like doctor or hair appointments. When it comes to goal setting, instead of daily goals, I prefer to set weekly and monthly goals – “Source 4 new products this week” or “Launch 2 new products to Amazon this month.” Once I’ve identified my weekly and monthly goals, I work backward to figure out what has to happen on a daily basis within the identified time frame. As long as I’m committed to consistent worktime, and I’ve identified what needs to happen that week, I have plenty of time to get everything done, even if I have a busy day filled with personal activities or low energy one particular day.
3. Pick 1 Day a Month to Reorder Supplies
Tape, shipping envelopes, boxes, labels – running out of these essential items can delay a shipment into Amazon – and delay profits from flowing into your bank account. It’s easy enough to simply order through your Prime account when you run out, but I like to stock up and do large orders of necessary items on the last day of each month. Keep your Amazon FBA routine flowing without delays by ensuring you’ve got all the reselling supplies you need for the month.
4. Do Bookkeeping Once a Month – or Outsource It
Bookkeeping tasks are also ripe for batching – although I record expenses as I go along, I don’t bother to scan/file receipts every week. Instead, I clean off my desk, organize my receipts, and balance my accounts once a month. Lately, I’ve been considering outsourcing receipt scanning to a company such as Shoeboxed, which would drastically cut down on the paper clutter in my office. (With all the boxes, packing material, product, and shipping detritus lying around, I need more paper like I need a hole in the head.)
5. My Number One Goal Is To Ship
When it comes to my Amazon FBA routine, my goals are almost always focused on getting product out the door. Getting it listed. Getting it to the warehouse. If my products are sitting around in piles, not only does the clutter frustrate me, it is a drain on my business finances and my energy. Repeat after me: Product that sits is COSTING you money. All of my goals are about making profit to support my family – and there is no way my products can do that for me if they are heaped up in piles.