If you read my previous post, you would know that my biggest mistake was quitting my job and going full-time on Amazon right away.
My second biggest mistake was lacking processes. Without processes, even if you’re making money, you don’t have a business, and I’ll tell you why.
One of the Lowest Points in My Life
I started my business doing online arbitrage. I would source for a few hours a week and prep and ship for a few hours a week. Easy. With super low overhead, I thought I was doing well. I didn’t even know what a process was at this point and why I would even need one.
Then one afternoon I broke my arm. The day before my operation, my grandmother passed away and I bought my mother a plane ticket to Korea for the funeral. The week after my operation I broke up with my boyfriend. There were issues with my operation. It looked like I might be physically handicapped for the rest of my life.
I couldn’t dress myself. My entire family was in crisis and I did not have any close friends I could ask for help. My Amazon business had been me, myself, and I, and without me my Amazon business came to a complete stop. I struggled to cope with my new reality.
Now this might be tough to think about, but if your life was hit with a meteor, would your Amazon business be able to continue without you? If you were to go on vacation for a month, would your business be okay?
If the answer is no, then you need processes, need more processes, or need to improve your current processes. Don’t wait to be hit with a meteor because I promise you they will come.
I like to travel. One day I want to be able to work from anywhere in the world like Jamie and Larissa, or Dan, with or without an internet connection.
I still haven’t gotten my processes completely down either. When I left for a trip this summer, I was lucky to have my first team member cover the sourcing while I was away. But I had not trained him on ordering or prep and shipping so our business stalled while I was gone.
Going on vacation is a great way to test your business and its systems or processes.
Going from a One-man Business to a Team is Hard
Creating processes might be difficult. It’s easy to do everything yourself. It’s hard to trust someone else to do it with as much attention to detail, passion, and efficiency as you do.
SSA can attest to the number of anxieties I had while I was going through this and I still struggle with being a great manager and trusting my team with more responsibilities to this day. I had to learn how to hire someone, design a process, and manage a team.
However, it gives me such great pleasure to be growing a team of like-minded individuals, fostering talent, and helping my team develop their professional careers. My company is growing, my team is growing, and I’m growing too.
It’s painful and we all make mistakes from time to time but we’re all on the same page. I’m getting closer every day to building the company I always dreamed of. What more could you ask for when it comes to professional development?
If I had to go through everything that I experienced to get to this point again, I happily would. Every trial, mistake, and pain helped me get to where I am today.
Here’s a cheat sheet of the processes that I’ve mapped out for my own wholesale Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) business.
- Vendor Research
- Product Analysis
- Product Testing
- Prep and Shipping
- Customer Service
If you don’t have a process for each of these basic steps, I’m going to give you homework, and tell you to figure it out and delegate it.
I would not have figured this out without Seller Success Academy. SSA has 11 modules that covers everything from creating a business entity, expert sourcing strategies, hiring virtual assistants, and creating processes. Larissa herself is a master of SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures).
Here’s a look of my sales this year and when I joined SSA. It works. Get some processes and delegate!