Our Goal is Simple
Consistently earn 15K Net USD/month asap and repeat the cycle until you have reached your income target and created a business you can sell for $1 Million or more in 3-5 years.
I thought we want to make $50K in our first month?
We don’t actually want a flash in the pan start. Great if you do but the short answer is a resounding “NO!” We want to build a structured, sustainable and profitable business that will provide solid income and ultimately have the potential to be sold for a solid lump sum retirement income.
You don’t have to sell your business of course. That will depend on your personal financial goals but ask yourself this simple question.
Why you are doing this? Why are you spending all this time and money learning how to sell on Amazon and learn about Ecommerce?
To work 12 hours a day until you are 80 years old or more? I seriously doubt it.
Here’s a short multiple choice for you. Would you prefer:
To have a solid business that spans the globe on multiple sales channel, has a solid team operating via well tested, proven systems and processes that no longer require your physical presence to be generating your income.
Have a private label product or two on Amazon and invest all your time and money on learning how to sell container loads every month and working in the business every day?
Which would hold more value to an investor do you think?
Pretty obvious isn’t it. I hope you yelled out “A!!”
“A” ALL the way and that is what I and the Ecommpreneur Community are all about: Building Solid, Sustainable businesses that hold real value. It’s a 2-5 year process in most cases, sometimes longer and no matter what path you choose you should be mentally prepared for the longer haul.
Real business NOT just selling a few products on Amazon the same way as everyone else.
Unfortunately, for many of you it has been a very rough learning curve. When you first watched the original sales webinar and saw all the great results people were getting you thought selling on Amazon and Ecommerce was going to be easy. It looked simple enough right? Do a bit of research, order your product, list it and watch the money pour in. How hard could that be?
Since then you may have spent thousands more on courses, tools and resources, even travelled significant distances to a number of events and/or masterminds only to find yourself still struggling. You may even feel a bit embarrassed because you keep seeing Facebook posts on the fan pages you are on of people turning over 100K in their first month and so on and you just can’t understand why you can barely make 10K a month let alone 100K!! How do they do it? It’s not as if you aren’t doing everything you are being told. You had good images done, wrote a good title and bullets and even got the HTML to work in the product description so why am I not making 100K a month?
I have many people come to me in this situation. They have invested in the product and worked hard to get the product into Amazon FBA only to see it sit there gathering dust for 6 months, incurring long term storage fees and dying a slow miserable death.
There are many reasons for this and the main one being that most sellers have done courses that train you in a very similar way.
You methods of niche and product selection, product sourcing, listing and promoting are all very similar. Then, if your product fails to fire with all the work you have done you start to explore other courses and other “shiny objects” that come flying into your inbox on a regular basis, or are promoted by the courses you have failed to emulate or hear about on a Facebook Fanpage you are a member of. This cocktail of marketing abuse creates enormous noise, confusion and in some cases serious stress and anxiety which in my opinion causes you the greatest threat to your success. How can you possibly focus and do anything really well if you are spread over so many tasks and doing it all yourself?
Does this mean that you can only make money and have financial freedom doing as I say? Absolutely not! There will always be the incredible stories of rags to riches and I know several experienced Amazon sellers who have NO brand, No real systemization or processes of any note but have a multiple million dollar a year income but that is NOT the norm.
They agree that they need to have better systems and create a business that investors would love to buy or invest in in some way. So, my recommendation to you is to learn how to build a real business and map out your plan. Be unique and create your own way of doing it too. Don’t be like everyone else as you are then just another lemming heading for the cliff to expire! It won’t be pretty! So how do you go about developing your real business with systems, processes and product lines etc Julian?
My suggestion is to visualize what your business will look like when it is ready to sell. For me it was always about setting up a real business not just one product and hope you get lots of Amazon “love” and sell a ton quickly.
“Build a business that investors would gladly buy for a figure that will provide you with a solid retirement. This is our ultimate aim. Create a brand that people love. Align this brand to your personality. Attract people you want to deal with, that you have an affinity with and deliver quality products and services via automated processes and systems that work profitably whether you are there or not” – Julian Thornton , The Ecommpreneur July 8th, 2014
This is what I said to a client about a year ago and it stuck. I was in Brownsville Texas and was speaking with another seller I was helping. It all seems so obvious now and I wondered why I didn’t think of it before. It was like I had a clear purpose and direction again.
Investors pay handsomely for these businesses with infrastructure . It makes it easy for them because all the heavy start up lifting has been done for them. It’s tangible. They can see and verify all the elements of the business and can see clearly where it is heading. It is a complete system that makes profit whether you are there or not! Which means they don’t need to be there either! That’s why they will pay the high dollars to invest and that is the distinction here with just selling on Amazon or Ebay alone. It simply will NOT cut it in the near future as the ecommerce space matures.
So it isn’t just about reviews and sales rank on Amazon. Your obsession with this can take a back seat. They are merely a process in the bigger system of your business and what’s more, you can have others implement them, leaving you to work on other parts of the business to help improve the bottom line and sale value.
You maybe reading this and thinking that what I am saying is obvious, but have you truly prepared your business like this yet? Are you already thinking and operating in such a way? For most it will be a resounding no. You probably have no written plan, no cash flow budget and no systems or processes at all. You are watching videos, webinars etc and trying to work it out yourself. You may have a VA or two and a graphic artist tucked away somewhere in the Philippines but it’s all a bit hap hazard and lacking cohesion. We need to lift this to a new level so you stand out to your customers, your competition and your peers too.
I highly recommend you read a couple of Robert Kiyosaki’s books if you haven’t already. Rich Dad Poor Dad is his most well-known but I think the Cash Flow Quadrant and The Prophecy are a must read too so be sure to go buy it here on, YOU GUESSED IT…… AMAZON!! These books will help shift your thinking and understand specifically what you are building. You may have read them already but maybe go back and have another look. They really helped me shift from the Employee and Self-employed mentality to being a business owner and investor.
“AMAZON IS A PIECE OF THE PUZZLE NOT THE ENTIRE PUZZLE”
This is so important for us to understand. I am sure many of you are fully aware of this and don’t need me to bring it to your attention but for many of you it will be a revelation.Private labelling a few products on Amazon is NOT a “business.” Sorry to tell you that. It isn’t. Amazon is Amazon’s NOT yours. They have control NOT you. It is their asset NOT yours.
Amazon should be a cog in the machine NOT the COMPLETE machine itself. If you are only selling your products on Amazon then you don’t really have a business. I know you are reading about phase 1 here but the real starting point is in Phase 5. Remember I said “Begin with the end in mind” before? If you want to know what a REAL business is then click here www.ecommpreneur.com/phase_5/free_report to get our free checklist on what you need to have a real business that you can sell for a good figure (ie: $2 Million or more) My partner Julie has done this for most of her adult life and is a global expert when it comes to selling businesses to investors.
Take a sneak peak of what you are building BEFORE you have spent a truck load of cash and time building something that has almost zero intrinsic value. Build out your plan and then implement each step of the way. Take a deep breath and add value all the way. Resist the urge to do everything and do it fast. If you are in a hurry due to financial pressure then the odds are against you to make a quick hit back to financial freedom. Only you can decide on whether you take on those odds or not. I suggest you don’t and build real value. Just a tip!
Now I need to tell you something important.
DON’T BELIEVE THE SALES HYPE!
Private labelling and selling on Amazon is not as easy as it has been made out. There are many moving parts and what you learn here may contradict what you have learned so far. It may even scare you a little.
My intention is NOT to scare you, to put you off or to steal your dreams. Very much the opposite! You deserve the success you are aiming for and I encourage you 100% to keep striving and never quit, not ever.
I am however, being bluntly honest with you about what is involved and we will go into more detail WITHIN THE Ecommpreneur Community
Private labelling on Amazon could be a very good option for one person but be completely inappropriate for another.
I have seen some examples where the “guru” has suggested that all you need is a few hundred dollars to get started selling your products on Amazon. While that maybe possible, it isn’t really an intelligent starting point for most of you, especially if you lack experience, knowledge and have limited funds. If you fit that category then there are definitely less risky things to do to raise your cash levels. If that is you then I suggest you subscribe to my podcast on iTunes and search “Beginner Strategies” at http://www.ecommpreneur.com/podcast to see where you feel comfortable.
On the other hand, if you are ready to sell or already selling private label then here is what you need to look at in phase 1.
13 MAIN ELEMENTS OF PHASE 1…
- Begin With The End In Mind
Read the ebook in Phase 5. Download it here so you are very clear about where you are heading and what will be required to build a solid and profitable ecommerce business. It’s free.
- Clear business/financial plan
You MUST have a written plan. It doesn’t have to be 5 volumes of 1000 pages and audited by a top Accounting firm either. 2-3 Pages is more than enough.
- Corporate Structure
Why bother with the expense? Should you trademark? It’s a personal choice but and depends on your business model. If Private Labelling I am more in favor of doing this once you have conducted your market research but you can set up a generic LLC name as soon as you can. If you are really tight for money then leave it until you have reached your capital account target. This means you work out how much you need to launch your private label products and use one of the beginner strategies for raising cash to monetize your private label model.
- Online Sales Platform
WordPress, Shopify, Amazon, Ebay – Where should you start and why? What platform suits you best? What are the risks, the pros and cons? How much investment will you need?
- Niche Selection
Do you have a hungry market that is profitable? Do you have an interest or affinity with this market? Do you know where and how to communicate them? Who is your ideal customer and why?
- Product Line Selection
Do you have enough products to sell and extend the life time value of your customers?
- Market Analysis
Keyword Analysis, Competitor Analysis, Supplier Channels How will you assess the market and position your brand?
- Raise Cash With Retail Arbitrage
Best in countries where Private Labeling is available on Amazon
It is always best to have the business fund your expansion where possible. This is particularly simple if you live in USA and UK or any other established Amazon market. You can still do this if you live outside an Amazon physical product country and I cover that next.
- Product Testing/Validation Process
Why not make money testing your potential products first BEFORE committing to private labeling your product and risking your money? You don’t have to risk your money so readily, especially in the beginning when you are learning the ropes. You WILL make mistakes. Mistakes are absolutely essential for your growth. We just want to make sure you don’t make any really BIG mistakes that stop you from moving forward. That’s important. You must “Survive Before You Thrive” another one of my sayings from my options trading days. Nothing beats experience in the market. It leaves clues behind. Amazon and Ecommerce is no different, so build up your cash and your credit and fund your better margins in Private Label. Gradually building strength in your “business muscles!” Make sense? Then you can have fun building your brand. Your identity.
As soon as you can you need to be developing your brand with your own personal touch. It will evolve over time to have your voice, your personality, your “look” and “feel” Logo Design, Brand Personality and Personalization, Authority Content. Developing your voice, your personality to attract the kind of customers you want to service. Notice I said “attract” not sell! There’s a lot more to developing a brand fully and we will be drilling down deep into this on the podcast. I highly recommend you get some coaching time to go through the basics and help develop your identity and overall business goals. It really clarifies what you are doing and eliminates the need to buy every damn course and tool out there too. You can contact us here for more information about one on one help.
- Product Sourcing Safely
Every man and his dog it seems are sourcing from China. There are many other options but for now China is #1. There are many issues here that need to be addressed regarding your security to ensure you don’t get misled and don’t just order the same product as everyone else. You need to be unique and you need to source quality as well. We have an office in China that handles all our shipments and you can always test them out first while you get the hang of things. We don’t charge massive rates and you will have an experienced friendly face, hand-picked by me. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind. Click here to learn more about our China Sourcing department. It’s easier than you think!
- Product Listing Set Up
Getting this right is essential and you have to know how to test and optimize the listing. How do you know the keywords you are targeting are the best converting keywords? How can you ensure you abide by the Amazon TOS? (terms of service) How do you get good images done? There’s a lot to this and it can take a good 10 hours or more to get a good listing set up. We do this for a few hundred dollars for you or I can coach you for a few hours so you know how to do it yourself.
Click here to discover how you can make the most of your product listing.
Community Building, Product Reviews, Reputation Marketing, Social Media Account Set Up
Once you have all the other components set up it is time to get your first reviews for social proof (to help convert to sales) and to set up your community building assets (So you can drive traffic to your optimized listings). This is the exciting part. Engaging with you potential customer and hunting down the ideal avatar (customer). Understanding and identifying your ideal avatar is a very important step in building a profitable business. It is so critical and hardly anyone I know gives it a second thought. This is where you can totally differentiate yourself so keep working on this and learning how to isolate your best customers and attract more of them. This will take a few months to build momentum and learn what works best. It is well worth the effort. Your community is your #1 asset. It is what feeds you information about what products to launch and what to leave alone. They also help you monitor your performance and give you insightful ideas to help serve them better and increase your bottom line. They are priceless and a wise investor will recognize this when it comes to assessing your business for sale.
As you are setting up Phase one, you also need to be mindful of working on how you will be increasing your traffic and converting them into repeat buyers.
This brings us to Phase 2…
Phase 2 is where you focus on how you will actually launch your product. To do this you need traffic to your listings and the ability to test your conversions so you can improve your sales and profitability. There is no magic bullet here folks. It is hard work. You do have to test a few things and see what resonates with your crowd. You should have already worked out a lot of this from your initial market research so if you skipped over the research part for your niche and products then you may well learn to regret it. Your chances of investing in a dud product have just increased dramatically.
Well that is the end of my brief on Phase 1. By now, you should have a clearer idea of what a real eCommerce business is and what you will need to build in order to have a solid eCommerce business. If you have any suggestions that will help you be sure to click on the suggestion box and let us know. You’ll find it at the bottom of each page.