Have you heard the expression “you have to spend money to make money”?
If you spend any amount of time hanging out in Facebook groups for Amazon sellers or other entrepreneurs, then of course you have!
Most Amazon sellers take this to mean investing in more inventory. And, of course, that's true. If you don't spend money to send in new inventory, you can't expect to make money on product sales!
But there's another great investment that makes some sellers uncomfortable: spending money to free up your time. The best way to free up your time is by outsourcing certain aspects of your business.
Outsourcing has always been a major part of my business and I think it's important for growth in any kind of business, not just Amazon FBA.
Cliff and I actually try to outsource as much as possible. Even in the very beginning, we had people help us with removing labels. Then we hired people to help us pack up our shipments. And now we pay people to follow a sourcing list and pick up retail arbitrage items in stores.
But here's what happens when I recommend outsourcing to time-strapped Amazon sellers. They tell me that they're not ready to outsource yet. They tell me that they're not big enough, not profitable enough, or not mentally ready to turn over the reigns to any part of their business.
And here's where this becomes a classic Chicken and Egg scenario. Are you too small/broke to outsource your business tasks or are you too small/broke because you won't outsource any of your business tasks?
I'm not saying to go all in, hire a team of employees, and put yourself in debt in the process. But sometimes you do have to spend a little money (on paid help) to grow your business and make more money.
I know that for me, the one place I still want to dedicate the most Amazon energy is on sourcing products. I can make a lot of profit by researching and choosing the right items. But almost everything else could be handled by someone else….which frees up my time to do more sourcing!
Luckily, you no longer need full-time employees to scale your Amazon business. With freelancing websites, it's easy to hire a remote freelancer who can help you out for just a few hours per week.
Because we believe in outsourcing so much, we wanted to share some things you might not even think about outsourcing. We asked Connor from FreeUp to share some ideas with us to get the ball rolling!
Connor is a co-owner of FreeUp.com, a freelance marketplace designed to make hiring for e-commerce businesses simpler. I think his suggestions are perfect for Amazon sellers so I'm going to go ahead and turn it over to Connor!
Managing an Amazon store is a formidable role. As your business grows, doing small but equally important functions becomes more challenging. It can be overwhelming for one person to take control of everything. Your solution is to outsource these tasks to freelancers who specialize in helping Amazon sellers. Given their skills and experience, work will be done in an efficient and effective manner, which will translate to bigger sales for your business.
Which Tasks Should Amazon Sellers Outsource?
Hiring freelancers for your Amazon business is a smart move for a lot of reasons. If you are new to the idea of outsourcing, you will find remote freelancers to be cost-effective and efficient for the number of hours that you hire them for. Digital freelance platforms specific for e-commerce businesses can assist you in finding top talent and hiring them.
You don’t need to wait for things to get overwhelming before you decide to get help. You can welcome freelancers during the early stages of your business. This allows them to understand and master your business processes with enough room for errors and adjustments.
If you are relatively new to both selling on Amazon and outsourcing, your first question could be, “Which functions should I delegate to a remote freelancer?” Basically, roles that don’t focus on growth and income production should make up your list.
Here are 10 tasks that you can outsource for your Amazon store. I consider tasks 1-5 to be top priority while 6-10 are not essential but can still have a significant impact on your business.
1. Product Sourcing
Selling on Amazon means thinking of ways to get ahead of your competition. You need to have a great list of products that shoppers will love. You might think that you are the best person for the task because after all, you own the business, but that’s not always the case.
Customers always want to see and try new and interesting things. You need someone helping you who doesn’t only have a good eye for high-quality products but can also understand the buying patterns of consumers and recent trends. A product sourcing expert has a vast knowledge of what, where, and how to get products. Their network of manufacturers and wholesalers is large. They know how to contact them and get good deals from sales managers.
If you have a freelancer to go through the whole process of looking for and getting awesome products for you to invest in, your Amazon store could see sales increase quicker than if you’re handling it yourself. Maintaining a good set of products and introducing fresh ones every now and then will have your customers coming back for more.
Note from Jessica: This is great for someone who is doing wholesale or private label. One way to get help with product sourcing as a retail arbitrage seller is to join a collaborative group like BoloMart. You could also have a VA constantly checking SourceMogul to find great online finds.
2. Customer Service
One of the great features of Amazon is that they provide high-level customer service for both their shoppers and their sellers. As a business owner and consumer yourself, I bet you know how important customer satisfaction is. In fact, it is so crucial to building your brand that you must have a focus on it as you build your Amazon business.
A hands-on CEO or owner responding promptly to questions has a positive impact on customers. However, you don’t have the luxury of time to stay in front of your computer, waiting and answering each customer email that comes in. Furthermore, the issues can be draining. With everything that’s going on in your mind, you cannot be bothered by a replacement issue that’s gotten out of hand. This is where customer service experts come in.
These freelancers are quick to learn the ins and outs of your business making them adept at your processes and knowing how to refer to them in case issues arise. They are well-versed and excellent in conversing with all kinds of Amazon customers. They aren’t necessarily sweet-talkers but are capable of pacifying negative emotions and turning them into positive feedback based on the processes that you provide them.
If you have a freelancer to provide support for your Amazon store, your customers are assured of a great shopping experience every time they buy from you…and you get to stay focused on other areas of growth for your Amazon business.
3. Amazon PPC Management
Having great products and providing quality customer service is not enough to increase your sales. You have to maximize the opportunity of finding potential customers by getting your products out there. There are hundreds of sellers vying for space on Amazon’s search results. By setting up Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or Sponsored Product campaigns, you can rank yourself higher and increase traction to your products.
Not everyone enjoys marketing, especially since it entails thorough work from creating viral advertisements and setting up campaigns to managing them and tracking the results. Important tasks like this need the expertise of a digital marketing freelancer who specializes in Amazon PPC so you can avoid mistakes.
With someone to take care of your Amazon PPC Management, you are able to control and appropriately allocate your marketing budget. They are equipped with the right tools to track the performance of each of your campaigns and take the right action.
4. Product Listing and SEO
Product listing for your Amazon business is one of the first tasks that you can outsource to a remote freelancer. Your store’s product page is the make or break of your Amazon business. Obviously, whatever the customer reads about your product will help them decide whether to buy or not. Product listing is not just about describing the features of the item. Rather, it has to be catchy and effective at the same time.
Writing SEO-rich content is a special skill that an experienced listing freelancer can provide. Apart from writing product titles and descriptions, they are also good at researching quality trending keywords with which to optimize your pages.
A great product listing and SEO freelancer will send you to the top of Amazon’s rankings and increase the visibility of your Amazon products. Hiring an expert will also help to improve your Bestseller Ranking and invite 5-star customer reviews that will attract more loyal customers.
5. FBA Management
Fulfillment by Amazon or FBA is Amazon’s own fulfillment service. Through FBA, sellers are able to send their products to Amazon fulfillment centers for shipping to their customers. The whole order fulfillment process involves everything that happens from the Point-of-Sale (POS) on your Amazon store to the time when a customer gets to hold the product in their hands. It requires certain skills such as:
- Experience in handling multiple e-commerce platforms
- Taking and processing multi-channel orders through Amazon
- Shipping orders as fast as possible and tracking them
- Understanding shipping issues and solving them promptly
Having an order fulfillment expert will help you manage all the numbers related to orders. You can spend your time instead on high-level tasks that will bring your business to greater heights.
6. Processing Orders
Processing orders is technically included in FBA management. However, if you are running a big store on Amazon, the whole fulfillment process can be a staggering task. Outsourcing your order processing to a freelancer is most helpful during peak seasons like Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays. We all know how crazy the holidays can get. Given their skills and experience, they will be able to take and process the right orders and coordinate with your FBA management expert or drop shipping suppliers to provide a seamless experience for shoppers.
7. Feedback and Metrics Management
Reviews have a big impact on your Amazon business, especially if you get negative ones. Tracking and analyzing your feedback is important to assess the performance of your store. Managing it is easy if you only get a few per week, but a large store needs someone who can focus on it. The task can eat up a lot of your time if you do it alone and you are not experienced with it.
Outsourcing this role to a freelancer will ensure that you can keep your feedback score as high as possible and your Amazon metrics aligned with Amazon’s requirements for sellers. Feedback that doesn’t meet Amazon’s guidelines can be removed and unhappy customers can be sent to customer service for follow-ups. When your Amazon metrics start to move outside of the required levels, you’ll have someone there to let you know and help figure them out.
8. Graphic Design
There are several things on your Amazon store that will need the expertise of a graphic designer. You have your PPC campaigns and listings where you need high-quality product images. You also need good images and designs for your website, landing pages, and other sales channels like social media. Hiring a freelancer for all your design needs will not only help free up your time but also make sure that your brand is depicted as professional looking and at the same time, appealing.
Bookkeeping is probably one of the most outsourced tasks for Amazon sellers. It’s the accounting skills they are looking for and cannot do on their own. Outsourcing it to a remote freelancer means that you can get the same quality of service for a lower price. Most of the time, accountants in your local area will have rates that a small company couldn’t afford. There is no harm in looking out for your budget and managing your expenses. Remote freelancers are equally skilled in giving you first-rate service for much less.
10. Analyzing Amazon Reports
Weekly and monthly progress reports are necessary to keep track of your products’ performance. To help you with this, you need someone who can check on different aspects of sales, advertising, and other areas where you allocate your budget. An expert who can consolidate all the results, analyze them, provide actions for improvement, and present everything to you in the best way possible for you to understand is a gem and one of the best investments you can make for your business.
Build a Strong Foundation for your Amazon Business
Note that not all of these are necessary. It will depend on the size of your Amazon store. You can start with a group of 3 freelancers working for you and expand to more people as your business grows.
How you conduct your processes and outsource tasks directly impacts the performance of your business. Think about top line revenue and bottom line profits. In order to build up your business from solid ground, each area should be expertly handled by the right people.
Tasks should be spread out to multiple freelancers depending on the skill set you need for your store. It’s dangerous to have one person handling all your tasks because if that person has to leave for whatever reason, all the tasks fall back onto your plate. That’s a no-no.
There are a handful of daily and weekly tasks that you need done to keep your Amazon store running. Free up your time by outsourcing tasks to freelance experts. By taking in help, you can focus more on optimizing your sales and growing your business.
So, what do you guys think of those suggestions? I like how Connor gave such in-depth tips and shared some new (to me anyway) ideas for outsourcing.
Does the thought of outsourcing your product sourcing or product listing creation make you nervous? Taking these steps to grow your business can be scary, but that's just part of growing pains sometimes!
I want to know if you're already outsourcing in your Amazon business. Tell me in the comments what's working for you with freelancers.
If you're not yet doing it, what's holding you back? What would be the first thing you'd turn over to an independent expert? Let me know in the comments!
If you're ready to hire your next (or first!) freelancer, you can get started over on FreeUp.com today. If you join using this link, you'll get a $25 coupon that you can redeem on your account.
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