Most entrepreneurs begin their journey with a vision. Many more revise that vision as they go, always with their eyes on a bigger prize.
You’re an Amazon seller. Do you have a vision you plan to attain?
If you do, when the expansion hits (and it will), do you have everything in place to successfully scale on the world’s largest retail platform?
Scaling happens one of two ways:
Typically your growth will be a combination of both.
Question is, how ready are you for either? Do you know how to grab the reins and keep riding hard?
Preparing to scale is critical. Not only so you survive both planned and unplanned growth spurts, not only so you capture the value in both incremental and explosive gains, but so you:
Laying the foundations for how your Amazon business scales is vital at every stage. During your startup phase you have the greatest opportunity to look ahead and set bedrock principles; from laying down clear SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures), to deciding how and when you expect to add new operational components, to what to do when milestones are reached, to when you’ll zig, when you’ll zag, and so forth.
In short, how you’ll reach your vision.
Later, once you’re rolling, those foundations can be addressed newly as needed, adjusting to take into account new information, shifts in the retail landscape, fresh competition and other dynamic forces, headwinds and tailwinds – basically, the things that buffet the course of any enterprise.
Getting your planning done before expansion happens helps ensure your success.
Advance planning, at any stage, is the golden key.
Simply letting your business run is never a good strategy.
We advocate a few ongoing planning steps guaranteed to build strong business foundations:
When you fully plan for a thing, that thing tends to flow your way. This includes expansion and profit. If you’ve plotted how your profit will be turned toward more profit, you will have built what Amazon calls a “virtuous cycle”. This is where one positive action drives the next, spinning the flywheel of success.
Which means growth. Which means more work to keep the business humming.
Which means one of the biggest things for an entrepreneur will be knowing when, and how, to bring in help.
Many of us started as a one-person operation. Many of us are still going it alone.
Flying solo is fairly common in the world of entrepreneurs. With the right tools, a lot of hard work and dedication, it’s possible to build some pretty fantastically profitable, and remarkably large, enterprises that can be run by a small core.
No matter how motivated, however, there is a limit. At some point, if you really intend to “go big” and not go home, you’ll need to beef up your people-power.
A great way to do this is with VAs, or Virtual Assistants.
VAs have rapidly become the go-to for most independent enterprise. Since most everything that can be done with online retail can be done from just about anywhere (one of its attractions), people can be hired from just about anywhere.
VAs can be brought on to perform recurring work, to offload specific tasks, or even for one-off needs, like designing a web site, or just about anything else you need done.
These are professionals, with expertise and experience, and you’re able to select them based on the qualifications you specify.
There are many resources out there for VAs, but three in particular are:
Again, there are many.
When should you look for one?
Using the general planning steps above, calculate when you’ll need the additional man-hours. One of the great things about VAs is that they can typically be brought in on an as-needed basis, usually even with short notice, providing an hour of work or several hours or more. They can work for a while, on a single project, or become a permanent part of your team.
Hiring a VA, or even traditional in-office help if you have an office, is a big step toward scaling your Amazon business.
As you do that, as you add help and tools and fortify your foundation and resources, the next way you’ll want to scale is to start casting a wider net.
Amazon is where it’s at. It’s where you are, it’s where your customers are.
It’s also just one sandbox.
Early on in their entrepreneurial adventure many Amazon sellers look toward expanding off that singular platform.
This is the next way to scale like a boss.
For one thing, most of your shoppers will be coming from elsewhere. Grabbing that external traffic and directing it toward your Amazon listings is step one. When they search the internet at large, you want your products to appear.
Tools like PixelMe by Carbon6 allow you to easily manage off-Amazon campaigns to reach more customers and generate new revenue streams.
The next step is establishing your own presence off Amazon. As with VAs, there are so many resources for doing this. The point is, by having a place off Amazon where shoppers can buy your products, not only do you add redundancy (and control) to your operation, you scale your presence.
Expanding your presence off Amazon is one of the biggest steps you can take toward scaling up to your grand, entrepreneurial vision.
It all starts there. By envisioning what your enterprise will become, then taking steps to prepare for each milestone of its expansion, you’ll be prepared to scale.
Cliche, perhaps, but cliches become cliches for a reason. Mostly because they’re true.
There’s real value in taking the time to get ready well in advance for all possible growth scenarios. See to the tips above, and stand by to scale.
Carbon6 can help. But you probably already knew that. We have an incredible suite of tools designed to assist at every stage of the Amazon journey, along with all sorts of resources and community support. Those connected tools and expertise help you increase efficiency, drive profitability, and scale with intelligence.
Our mission is your success.