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As an Amazon seller, making efficient use of your time is key for growth. Why? If you aren’t spending it wisely, you could miss opportunities to grow, not to mention be unable to formalize a growth strategy or think about your business from a big-picture perspective.
So how can you better optimize your time and focus your attention on long-term growth? It boils down to three key areas: automation, inventory management and cash flow. Follow our three-part time-saving strategy below to get started.
Part 1: Automate Day-to-Day Business Operations
Chances are, you manage all day-to-day business activity, from sourcing inventory to fulfilling orders to handling customer service — and everything in between. While these are vital components to the success of your business, they are often the most time-consuming.
Thankfully, there are a plethora of tools and resources that are designed to automate these key processes and get you “out of the weeds” of running a business. To determine which areas take up all of your time, spend a moment assessing the state of your business and make note of your activity over the course of a week. As a start, common areas to automate include:
- Sourcing Inventory: What products are actually worth investing in and reselling? What’s in demand during a particular season? Which keywords should you use in your listings? Product research tools can answer all these questions (and more), taking the guesswork out of what to sell.
- Pricing Products: What selling price will let you maximize your margins and win the Buy Box? When and by much should you adjust your pricing based on seasonality and other trends? A repricer tool will optimize, manage and update your pricing to ensure you’re getting the lionshare of sales — and profits.
- Order Fulfillment: If you’re not an FBA seller, you may want to consider joining their fulfillment program — or look into a third-party fulfillment service. Either way, someone else will store, pick, pack and ship your inventory, and in some cases provide customer service on all your orders.
- Customer Service & Engagement: Are you spending all your time fielding customer requests or managing one-off complaints? Want to set up email campaigns to solicit feedback on your products? Don’t know where to start? Look into customer support tools that essentially function as virtual assistants for all areas of the customer journey.
- Inventory management: More on this in part 2 below!
While this list covers only five of your day-to-day operations, there are tools for just about anything — accounting, legal, UPC, listing, etc. Once you have an idea of where your time is going, you can look up which tools make the most sense for you.
Part 2: Master Inventory Management
Managing inventory likely takes up the bulk of your time. After all, you want to make sure you have just the right amount of product at a given time so you can fulfill all your orders, avoid an Amazon stockout and not have all your cash tied up in stale inventory.
Part of mastering inventory management is automation — more specifically, relying on Amazon’s inventory reports in Seller Central or a third-party inventory management tool that tells you how much product to have on hand at a given time, how much you currently have, when you are running low and should reorder, etc.
The other piece is having open communication with your suppliers. So once you’ve determined your current inventory levels, sales velocity, reorder point, etc. (hopefully with the help of an inventory management tool!), make sure to share the information with your suppliers so they have a clear understanding of when you’re likely to reorder as well as what and how much you’ll be ordering each time. At the same time, you should know their lead times and schedule as well. That way, there won’t be any surprises from either end and you can more efficiently get your products on your shelves, when you need them.
Part 3: Maximize Daily Cash Flow
Simply put, it’s impossible to grow if you don’t have a reliable source of cash. As an Amazon seller, you’ve likely experienced this in some form thanks to their two-week payment delay. In a perfect world, you’d cash out on your sales every day so you could turn more inventory more quickly. But alas, Amazon’s third-party marketplace is not designed that way.
What you need is Payability, a solution for Amazon and other marketplace sellers that gives you daily access to cash, thus allowing you to buy more inventory, stay in the Buy Box, increase sales and take advantage of other opportunities for growth.
Here’s how it works: Payability pays you 80% of your Amazon income one business day after making a sale (the remaining 20% is kept on hold to cover any necessary returns or chargebacks and is then paid out according to Amazon’s normal payment schedule). With daily access to your income, you no longer have to spend time managing — or agonizing over — cash flow or stressing about how to cover your next purchase order. Instead, you can quickly reinvest your earnings in growing your business.
See how this Amazon seller uses Payability to better optimize her time and expand her business, then visit go.payability.com/fbamaster to learn how you can save time, buy more, sell faster, and grow. Sellers referred by FBA Master will receive a $250 sign on bonus. You can learn more about the opportunities Payability opens up to sellers on TrustPilot, BBB and Fit Small Business.
Interested in joining the Payability team in NYC? Payability is currently searching for a Head of Customer Growth, Software Support Engineer and more. Find out more on Glassdoor.