Due to the global health crisis, it may seem like there’s no way out financially. Now could be an excellent time to start your own business.
We know what you’re thinking, you’re sitting there at home browsing the internet worried about your future finances because COVID-19 has well and truly put a spanner in the works when it comes to your family’s finances, and you’re right to be worried.
The global health crisis has hit everyone hard, and it may seem like there’s no way out right now. Still, if we put our entrepreneurial hats on for just a second, you would be able to see that actually, now could be an excellent time to invest in yourself and start your own business.
What Kind of Business
Starting a business is hard, we know that. You have to think about taxes, and premises, and marketing, and then there is the small problem of what can you do? Should you sell services, if so, what can you do that is worth selling? If you cannot sell services, maybe you can sell stock. Can you make something? If you can make things, can you make enough to sell?
All of these questions seem overwhelming, and if you are sitting thinking “I can’t make anything, and I haven’t got the money to go investing in premises”, well, you do not have to.
One of the most amazing things to come out of this horrible pandemic situation is that so many people have now become comfortable with buying online, and buying products online has fast become one of the easiest and safest ways to get what you want without having to don the mask and head to the store.
Selling online is not as easy as just opening up a website and hoping for the best; if anything, that is probably the hardest way of doing things. If you are looking for a way to sell online that is easier and already successful for others, it is time to leverage someone else’s brand!
Where to Sell
So many people buy things online now. Usually, it is from one of three different places: Etsy, for that handcraft folk style item that you will love, eBay for that bargain basement item from China, and Amazon, for everything else!
Amazon is what we are going to focus on here. Selling on Etsy is fine, but you really need something unique, and selling on eBay is great, but you really need to have a huge store, and the competition from Chinese sellers is fierce. Amazon is one of the world’s most trusted market places, and it’s somewhere that many shoppers go to get the best deal on an item they need, and they’ll love.
Amazon is also one of the easiest places to get set up too, and they support sellers really well, so it is with investing a bit of time in getting to sell on Amazon right! It isn’t easy, though, and it’s very easy to quit before you’ve even given yourself the chance to make the business a real success, so read on to find out HOW to make your Amazon selling business a success, and how not to quit!
How to Sell on Amazon
Making money selling on Amazon can be a breeze once you’ve got the ball rolling. So many millions of people shop on Amazon, and it is one of the most trusted online marketplaces on the internet, but just how DO you begin selling on Amazon?
Firstly, you need to decide what kind of products you want to sell and what kind of seller you want to be. This step will take a bit of research, but it is really worth getting right. Once you have decided what kind of seller you want to be and what kind of products you want to sell, it will make your journey from beginner to Amazon master seller much easier!
There are, broadly, three types of Amazon sellers: Retail Arbitrage, Wholesale, and Private Label.
Retail arbitrage, and the newer online arbitrage, is buying products at a reduced rate from retail stores such as Target, Walmart, Lowes, etc., and selling them for a profit online. This is probably the easiest way to start selling on Amazon, and you can set up using an individual account. There are limitations on the individual account though, you can only sell up to 40 products per month, which is not a particularly scalable way to make an income.
Private label is probably the most popular method of selling on Amazon, and it is a highly scalable option too. With private label, sellers find a manufacturer of generic products and negotiate a deal to sell them with their own brand and label on them. This is a hugely popular way of making money online, and it is favored by many influencers who have a high social media following (how many YouTuber coffee ‘brands’ are there?).
Wholesale sellers are also hugely popular on Amazon and every other selling platform. This is exactly how a generic retail shop would work on the high street, but instead, you are selling online (without the high street store overheads). You find a product you love or at least like and find out about selling wholesale. Many products are significantly cheaper at wholesale prices but command a much higher retail price.
The easiest one of the above to set up is probably to begin selling retail arbitrage, but it is the least scalable on the list. Selling wholesale will enable you to sell already recognized brands from quite literally anywhere (such as Nike sportswear, Gringo clothes, MUA makeup, etc.), which will make it significantly easier to build up your shop because people recognize the brand easily.
If you are looking to do private label selling, it is worth looking into your own personal branding and building that up. Private label can be a really excellent source of income, but it does mean relying on your own branding and marketing before it will take off.
Marketing Your Products
Now you’ve decided what and how you’re going to sell, and you’ve probably set up your accountant got all of the behind the scenes sorted out, you’ll need to find out how to market your products.
Marketing is a huge task in itself and hiring professional marketers might actually be with more than you realize. Companies such as Nuanced Media are experts in creating marketing campaigns for your products and making sure your account is ready to sell. They will help you go through your setup and research process to ensure that your products and listings are in top-notch condition and ready to go.
Selling on Amazon really is great, and when you select the Fulfilled by Amazon selection, it can almost become a hands-off business, but that only works if you’ve got people buying from you in the first place.
Getting ‘eyes on’ to your products and listings can be a challenge, especially if you are not an influencer with a million followers across social media, or if you’re selling wholesale products the same as every other seller on Amazon.
A great way to beat the crowd to the number one position is to really invest the time in search engine optimization, keyword optimization, and listing optimization to ensure your products show up first in the search results.
SEO and listing optimization are vital to ensure your products have a fighting chance of being sold but hiring a proper marketing company to help you has all kinds of added benefits too.
Have you ever considered pay per click advertising for your products? Being in the sponsored results section can really boost your chance of being found, and of course, if someone buys from you once, they are much more likely to buy from you again if they had great customer service!
Get to Work
With the lockdowns easing across the world, and more and more people beginning to reevaluate their lives, there’s really never been a better time to start your online business, and we think working with Amazon is one of the best ways to start.
There are many ways to scale an Amazon business and many ways to leave it up to an almost passive income stream if you choose the very hands-off methods. Private label products are a great way to really build your own brand look and feel, but they take a lot of research.
Building a huge social media following across any of the social channels is a massive undertaking and can take months, if not years. If you are ready to jump in and start your seller journey without all of that extra fuss, then selling wholesale products really could be the answer for you. They are easy to source, easy to organize, you get the images provided, and all you need to do is sell, sell, sell!
Selling well-known brands is much easier than trying to do everything yourself, and why should you try to fight and do all of the brand recognition that other brands, just like Nike, have already done for you? In fact, why not take a leaf out of Nike’s book and “just do it”?
Ryan Flannagan is the Founder & CEO of NuancedMedia, an international eCommerce marketing agency specializing in Amazon. Nuanced has sold $100s of Millions online and Ryan has built a client base representing a total revenue of over 1.5 billion dollars. Ryan is a published author and has been quoted by a number of media sources such as BuzzFeed and Modern Retail. To connect with Ryan, check out @Ryanflannagan on Twitter or via Linkedin