AS 33: Automating Your Amazon Business and Quitting Your Day Job
01 Jul 2016
What’s up guys, its’ the Amz Secrets Podcast, with your Host David Aladdin. This is the podcast that drives all our businesses through the roof, from zero, to hero, from ground to space station outpost 235834, from mach 1 to mach 10. I believe in a continual optimization of our businesses, from PPC, to social media, to design, branding, differentiation and education through knowledge and immersion.
I recently heard someone say “There’s no such thing to secrets on selling on Amazon?”
Lets just be clear. Anyone who ever says that is either 1. Lying to you, or 2, Naïve of either their own skill level, or 3, aren’t do well on Amazon. Saying there are no secrets to selling on Amazon is like saying theirs no such thing as secrets to business or strategies or tools. I think this type of guy is the old school put your head in the dirt and just work. I like that, but why not work, smart.
If there were no secrets to businesses, or selling on Amazon, then everyone would have exactly the same businesses across all categories. Think about it. I would sell the same pencil as you, and the next guy. The fact is, there are 1000s of types of pencils. Some pencils sell better than others. Some sell vastly better than others, in the magnitude of millions.
Why is that? Well that seller has deployed strategies, secrets, wisdom, tools that they have leveraged over time to get their brand and business to where they are at. They constantly optimized their automation, improved their business savyness, lowered manufacturer costs, improved distribution, the list goes on.
I once sat down at a meeting with a guy across the table from me, wanting to buy a stake in my Amazon business as a partner. He said to me, “David, I see this completely different from you. I want to take this overseas, I want to put it in this retail chain, and sell it in mexico as well.” His mind was full of concepts, beliefs, ideas, secrets, strategies, that I did not possess. Even the way he said it made me wonder…what am I not doing in my business.
I believe we need to constantly optimize our businsess, using each other, using techniques, strategies, tools, ideas, concepts, and education to further better our busineseses. That’s why AmzSecrets is here.
WHEW, that was a long intro. And now for our 2 minute news flash briefing, to keep us up to date on all things Amazon:
So what’s this all mean David? I think Amazon is going to vastly expand it Private Label brands across all categories, and this will only be a matter of time. It’s interesting to see that they are testing their prices and not just trying to be the lowest cost product. Low costs doesn’t nnecessarily mean successful. I recently heard a seller say, You don’t need to provide the lowest cost product, the best customer service, and the best product. You only need to provide 2 of the 3. As Amazon expands it’s reach across PL items, it could do serious damage to other PL brands, but I expect will allow PL grow for years to come. A single product or two into the category won’t destroy another brand, but it can definitely take some of the cash flow away with Amazon boosting it’s own products ahead of others artificially. I’m sure they give more weight to their own products in their search algo.
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Today’s podcast, EP 33: Automating Your Amazon Business, Quitting your Day Job
I am a huge believer in automation. Everything I do I look to automate, simplify and create less work for me, my team, and my businesses.
Automation is king, and for those of you who’ve had a quick taste of it, know exactly what I mean. Even at my house, I once used a Roomba bot. It’s ability to clean floors automatically per a schedule every single day, even when I’m sleeping fascinated me. However, the Roomba fell victim to a more superior Neato bot that I now deploy. Automation of one tool, has replaced another, whether it’s faster, more efficient, or cheaper for that fact.
You probably use some form of automation, whether you know it or not. Take your dishwasher, or laundry machine. These tools have semi-automated how we clean our clothes, from hand wash, to machine enabled.
Interestingly enough, I’ve recently seen a robot that folds your clothes, cleans your pool, washes your windows, the list continues, all of which are also great product ideas.
So automation brings many awesome things to the table. We save intense amounts of labor, replacing it with robots or software systems that can do endless mindless work day in and day out, for the rest of our life. As automation improves, both software and hardware I am always continually looking to improve the automation that surrounds me.
Let’s talk automation among our Amazon businesses. Something that can be an elite game changer when it comes to do mindless work, but also improving conversions, increasing traffic, and driving substantial wealth over time.
When it comes to automation with Amazon Businesses, there are many forms.
Virtual Assistants – can be outsourced from freelancer/elance, upwork and the many other sites out there. I use Virtual Assistants to help me do the more repetitive tasks, aka social media, organization, minor image editing, the list goes on, but that list is many hours saved to me.
Email Automation – The use of sending high quality information via sequencing and automated emailers. Every time someone buys a product, I automate a high quality sequence to the end buyer with customer support help, customer tips on usage of product, and even a welcome message to my business. Imagine doing this by hand, one by one, for the thousands of products you send. Would the quality of each email be the same? Probably not. Would they be as long? Maybe, but that timeless task of repeatedly sending an email is a huge waste of time and energy, whereas you could’ve been sourcing, designing or analyzing new products. So every product of mine I have email automation sequences set up.
Okay David What else do you automate. I automate my sourcing practically now with better big data decisions. Before choosing products I will use AmzSecrets Product Hunter to uncover clues as to what has the highest BSR, and what is selling out the fastest. Although that is a semi-advertisement to the platform I’ve built, It’s a extremely effective way of discovering very high quality products, that you probably wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. Even with this epic tool, I find it LITERALLY impossible to fully leverage the power. However, when I do make the decision on the next products or so, I am making a vastly superior decision backed up with BIG data.
I also automate my daily tasks. Instead of have tasks in my mind, I continually write them down on a notepad. These tasks are erased when done, and the most important ones are done first.
My social media for my products are more automated. I used social media tools to post from a library of content that I have pre-set into an archive. No more am I manually creating a social media post on one day. And then the next day I am doing another. I find doing this can be very tedious and time waster.
When you automate this segment of your business, it allows you to fully focus on design, development and sourcing your products, the area where I feel is more critical to your business survival.
Marketing and growing the brand via automation. I’ve found that acquiring sites can be a lot cheaper than PPC in the long term. By acquiring sites, that are related, you can affiliate, build multiple stores, or create funnels from the newly acquired site into your sales funnels. You can acquire sites from GoDaddy, Flippa or eBay.com
In contrast, when you automate things, you always find yourself doing other things, to take up your NEWLY found time.
Ok dave, you say that, but Does automation make you do more work? Haha, that’s a very wise question. It’s true automation allows you to think differently in the sense your no longer doing those repetitive tasks where you mind may have been elsewhere. Automation allows you to do different work. It allows you to get back on the killer tasks, that you REALLY need to be putting your time into.
I like to best think of it is as this. How much do you make an hour, if you were to take all your earnings and then divide it by the number of hours you work. Lets say I worked 40 hours a week and earned $200 an hour.
Should I be cutting my own grass, if I can be making $200 an hour running my businseses. You need to think in terms of the value of your hour and the time you spend per task. A grass cutter will cost about $60 to cut, trim, clean your yard here in Naples. This can take up to an hour or more. I actually lose money if I decide to cut my grass. And that’s assuming I make $200 an hour.
This applies to all tasks that are repetitive. Are you cleaning your house? Are you doing your laundry? Are you washing the cars? Are you cooking your dinners?
If you love to cook, then yes cook. But if you find it a chore, your actually losing money doing these tasks. Your saving yourself money. I too have issues with “saving money” by doing these tasks, and disconnecting myself from the repetitiveness. However, throughout this year I am getting better and better at it, and I ask that you think of what tasks are not work your time. What tasks do you not like to do.
Okay David, I see your point. I currently have a job and want to do Amazon full time. When is the right time to quit?
Quitting your job is actually very difficult, at least it was for me. Initially I was working as an engineer, I liked my boss, but I’m a creator at heart. I literally had google’d how and when to quit your job, and at the time I had started a software company with $5000 to my name. It was tough. The other thing was, I was leaving a very secure job, it was the government, you don’t get fired, you get your easy paycheck, and the money was good.
However… quiting your job, frees up time, headspace, and most importantly time and energy. Without time, you can’t create. Without energy, you can’t create. Both are EXTREMELY valuable to being a great creator.
This is all to say, that qutiing your job can be the best thing you’ve ever done. It’s freeing, liberating, and eye awakening all at once. My parents thought I was crazy for doing so. My dad said don’t do it. My mom encouraged me as she reminded my dad that he always had wanted to.
Saying I quit, to an employer is equally as hard. You feel like your letting them down, especially if you were carry a heavy workload..who’s all that work going to go to. All that training they did for you, it’s now lost. Theres a lot of “ethical” and feel bad for them and am I making the right decision.
I could go on and on about this. But 4 years later…in hindsight? Was it worth it. You betcha. It was the best decision of my life, and have only looked back to appreciate where I am now today.
Lastly, is it the right time to quit? Yes. As automation throughout the business world increases, more jobs will be lost to automation. It’s important more than ever to build skill sets to advance us to the top before those skills are no longer needed. This isn’t to scare you, its’ the truth as I see it.
I’m a self-learner. I love to discover new skills. I love to build new things. I love to keep customers happy. Innovation is what fuels and drives me to create better products both for Amazon and AmzSecrets. Thanks for joining this journey and lets get to the top together.
David Aladdin, Out.
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