How to start an Amazon business


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Hey, how's it going? It's Ollie here. If you haven't watched Suja's interview yet, then I would really recommend you go and do this. If you click on the blog on my website and you scroll down, you should be able to see just before this video, Suja's video is available.


This is an interview that we did for about half an hour where I grilled her on how she got to £10,000 per month with her business. I'm still so, so happy with how it went and I'm really excited to see all your comments coming in as you're watching it. I think it's just so inspirational. She really did just follow everything I said to a T and look at the result. Right?


She started with a test batch, then she got more stock when she felt confident, and now she's got four products. Each one is doing a thousand pounds per month profit, like I suggested will, and she's just done everything textbook and look where she is. It just proves, it's more proof that if you just follow the system and you don't try and be too creative, too clever - you just follow it like a robot - you can get to where you want to go.


So in keeping with the theme of this, we've got a question from Mikkie today, and I wanted  to answer Mikkie's question because it ties into a lot of the stuff we talked about in the interview, and I think a lot of people will probably be in the same situation as Mikkie and probably have similar questions. So Mickey says,


My question is how to start my Amazon business. How many products do I need? What kind of budget, and how do I grow from there? Also, how much time do I need to invest in my business as well?


These are all great questions. These are all questions that a lot of people have when they're just starting their businesses. And I wanted to provide a proper answer. So if you're in a situation right now and you want to get started with your business but you're not a hundred percent sure what to do - how much dedication this is really gonna take, how much money this is really going to take, how many products you should launch - then you have a decent answer.


So what I'm going to do is, I'm going to answer your question based off what Suja's experience was like. Because this isn't me talking about my experience. This is one of my students who's followed my trainings, who's done the exact same thing. And I'm going to kind of relate your questions to her journey.



First of all, how do you start your Amazon business? The first thing you want to do to start your Amazon business is to learn how to research products. This is the first skill that you want to develop because if you don't have any products to sell, then of course, it's very difficult to get started. Learning how to find products and know when you've got a product that will sell is a skill set that requires a little of practice.


You just need to develop an eye for how to find hot products in the marketplace. At first you're going to have a list of criteria for what a good product is in terms of all the numbers, all the things it should have, all the things that it shouldn't have, and it might feel a little bit overwhelming.


I remember the first time I was looking for a product, there were so many things it needed to have and it took me forever going through the Amazon search results to try and find anything that fit this criteria. In fact, at first it felt like nothing fit the criteria and it was really frustrating.


But soon, as you keep practicing this skill, you don't need to keep looking at all the criteria. For example, one of the pieces of criteria is that the product should be small and light. Well, you don't need to keep referencing to that piece of criteria. You just start to develop an eye for spotting products that are small and light and all of a sudden you don't need to reference the criteria for that anymore. And you just start looking for the other things that it needs.


For example, how much revenue is doing each month, how many reviews do the competitors need to have, and all the other things the products need to have. Sooner or later, you get all of these stats in the back of your mind. And the whole process of looking for products is so much quicker. You can just scan a page of Amazon search results and you can pretty much instantly pick out the products that could be good products.


And then you can do a deeper dive and figure out which ones could actually work. So developing this skill is key and I would recommend working on it a little bit every day. I wouldn't expect to just sit down straight away and be able to find tons of products in one sitting and get it over and done with on a Sunday.


For example, I would expect to have to keep looking until you find a selection of products and then whittling them down to maybe two or three that could work.

So put in maybe half an hour, an hour every day, into your product research and over time you'll start to build up a list of products. Then from those lists of products, you can find one that might really work.


When I spoke to Suja on her interview, she said this is exactly what she does. She spends at least 15 minutes every single day looking for new products. She still does this, even though her business is up and running, things are moving forward. She's doing up to 10 grand a month. She still spends a little bit of time every day looking for potential new products to add to her inventory.


So this is a habit that you have to build. And expect to be in it for the long run, not expecting to just look at that Amazon marketplace once and find the perfect product and go from there. If you have this expectation, then you're going to be disappointed because even I sometimes look at Amazon marketplace and don't find much in one sitting and then the next day I go back, have a look and I'll find loads of stuff. So it's a bit hit and miss.


But that's the first thing you want to do. And if you haven't done so already, to get an absolute complete training with everything you need to know about how to find hot products, I recommend you grab my Ultimate Private Label Product Research handbook.


If you're watching this on my website, there's a handbook link at the top where you can click on and grab it. If you watch it on YouTube, then it's in the description. If you're watching it in the Facebook group, then there's a link in the announcements at the top.


This book - the amount of value in there is worth hundreds of dollars because you buy some courses and it basically tells you the same stuff that's in the book. But the book's only seven bucks so you can't go wrong. And again, this is what Suja used to get started. She used that information to find a product that sold 147 times in a single day. So this stuff works.


And I wanted to really give anyone the chance to learn how to find hot products on Amazon. That's why I priced it so cheap so you can grab that book and that would be a good way to get started. Awesome. And you know, if you don't want to give me seven bucks, there's also a free option -  the Smash Hit Product Radar - which teaches you generally what to look for in hot products, and that can get you started as well.


Cool. So that's the first thing you should do. Look for products and learn how to spot a product that will sell and accept that this is going to be a skill you have to develop over time, not something you can just learn instantly. And that's fine.


How many products should I launch?


Well, I always suggest in the UK marketplace to aim for at least a thousand pounds profit per month with each product. And this is an average. So some products might do 500 pounds profit per month. Some products might do 2000 pounds profit per month. But on average, say you launch 10 products, then each one will do about a grand a month on average. This is exactly what's happening with Suja's business. She's got four products, 10K per month. Each one does at least two grand a month.


Even on her lowest month, she does 7K. Each product does about a grand in profit 'cause I think she does a 39% profit margin. So works out about a grand a month even on her worst months. So the question is then, how much money do you want to bring in with your business?


If you are looking to replace your income, then figure out how much that is each month. So let's say, I don't know, you're earning three grand a month right now, and then you will need to launch three products to make that much income. However, you want to account for things like putting money back into the business, paying off taxes, things like that.


So I would take the amount you want to earn and I would double it. So if you're earning 3K a month, I would aim for maybe 6K a month profit with your business. And then you can comfortably take out a wage and still have money inside the business to buy more stock, to pay tax, and other things that you need to do as well. That'll get you a good starting point. To have a goal, to have a really solid business that pays you as you grow it.


What kind of budget do you need?


So this is a good question. And to be honest, it does vary. So Suja, for example, started with £1,000 and she did a little bit of arbitrage initially, and then she moved on to private labels. She also said that the private labels were more profitable than the arbitrage.


So this is interesting because arbitrage can get you some quick sales. It can actually increase your cash very quickly. But it's not as profitable because there's more competition, right? With arbitrage, you might be looking at 10, 20% profit margins. With private labels, we're looking at anywhere between 25 to 40% depending on the product, etc.


So, you have to decide which one you want to dive in with. If I were you, I'd probably dive in with private labels and maybe do a test batch, so you can get to making consistent profits as quickly as possible. That would be my advice. You just need enough to do a test batch, initially.


Suja's first test batch was about a thousand dollars. But I wouldn't expect it to be that cheap. I would budget maybe 500 pounds, maybe 750 pounds for your test batch and that'll cover pretty much everything - from the stock, to the shipping, to pay-per-click advertising, getting the products into Amazon and everything else.


750 pounds. You'd be able to get about 50 products sent into the warehouse selling and then you will have the confidence to buy more if that's what you want to do moving forward. And obviously when you reorder, you need a little bit more budget. But I wouldn't get too bogged down by how much money you need in the future for your business because what happens is as you get confidence in your ability to sell stuff, all of a sudden you'll find money.


If you know this thing has the potential to make you a grand a month, then you will find money - whether you put money aside every month from your paycheck, whether you could maybe borrow a little bit of cash - that's what I did - to help grow your business. There's many ways of being resourceful and finding money once you know that your products are going to sell because it's not like you're throwing money down the drain, you know, it's going to be an investment.


You'll get the money back and then some. So yeah, I wouldn't worry about that. I'd just worry about the money you need for a test batch first and do the rest later.


Once you've done your test batch, how'd you go from that? How'd you grow?


Well, once you've tested one product and then you've ordered more, and you've got it to sell, you're in a very, very, very strong position as an Amazon seller. Because once you've done that, all you need to do next is just rinse and repeat what you've already done, right? Launch more products, right? Get more products to sell. So if you've got one product doing a grand a month, great, launch another three, and you'll have four grand a month coming in profit every single month.


The first launch is the hardest because everything's new. The product research is new. Navigating Amazon Seller Central is new. Getting the product to sell is new. Getting products shipped into Amazon warehouse safely and listed, creating those listings.. That's all new. It's difficult in the beginning because it's so unfamiliar.


Once you've done it, once your confidence skyrockets, the next time is like 10 times as easy so you can move faster. I have clients who spend ages getting one product to sell, but then when it comes to the next products, they do two or three products at once and they're so confident they know everything. Now they can import three products, test batches, send them in, get test batches to sell the ones that do really well, import more stock.. And it just starts to accelerate.


And remember, if this is happening, your initial product is still selling. So you're getting money coming in while you're launching these new products and things start to snowball, right? So things can move really, really fast. Great stuff.


How much time should I invest in my business?


Now this is a tricky question because when we look at Suja's story and my story as well, you can just get the business moving with five to 10 hours a week put in. And that is the reality of it. You don't need to be on the business every hour of the day because a lot of the stuff that's happening is being handled for you. Amazon's handling all of the fulfillment, your supplier is creating the goods and shipping them to you.


You know, a lot of the stuff is outsourced already. So really, all you're doing is looking for hot products and then getting products to sell. That's your responsibility as an Amazon business owner. It doesn't take that much time.


However, you shouldn't be thinking about how much time it's going to take. Really, if you're thinking to yourself like, oh, okay, I've got to put in an hour tonight into my Amazon business, I'm going to set the timer at 5:00 PM, I'm going to work until six, and then my shift's over. You're going about this all wrong.


One really enlightening thing that Suja said when we had the interview was, "I don't really track how much time I put into my business." And that really spoke to me. That really said something to me because what that said is that she loves it, she's obsessed with it. And so when she's working, it doesn't really feel like work.


And it made me think I'm exactly the same. I don't put in too many hours into my businesses. I'm not working a hundred hours a week, but at the same time, you know, those days where I do put in loads and loads of hours, to me it doesn't feel like work. I absolutely love it. I don't sit down and track my hours and I don't need to do that kind of thing cause I enjoy it so much.


So the answer here isn't about putting in a certain amount of hours. It's more about falling in love with the business. For example, this weekend. So funny because Steve asked me, Steve Wilson asked me, what did you get up to this weekend? And I said to him, I didn't really do anything, I actually stayed in and I was reading this book on how to read financial statements.


To most people that might seem like the most boring weekend ever, but to me it's the most fun thing ever. I'm so fascinated by all elements of business, from financial statements, to marketing, to sales, to how to grow, how to make more of an impact.. You name it, I'm obsessed with it.


So in order to really be successful with this business, it's not about managing how many hours you put in. It's about developing this obsession with the business and becoming, you know, really in love with what you do and actually becoming a little bit of a weirdo. Only a weirdo would sit in on a Saturday reading this book. So the more of a weirdo you can become, the more chance you have of being successful.


In fact, if you look at any super successful person, they're usually really strange on many levels, right? I can guarantee you that. And it's a great place to be.


So I hope this has answered your questions, Mikkie. Hope this has been enlightening and guys, if you watch this video outside of my Facebook group, maybe you watched on my website or on YouTube, then please join us in the community.


What happens is you can ask any question you want inside the group, and I'll answer it in one of these videos and you can get the help you need to grow your business.


So there should be a link either below or above this video, depending on where you're watching it. You can join the group and as you enter the group, you'll see a little box. You can type your question in there. Once you've done that, I'll approve you to join the group and then you get your question answered.


All right. Thanks so much for watching this video and we'll speak very soon.


Oliver Denyer About Ollie

Ollie is an ecommerce and lifestyle business enthusiast.
He's sold tens of thousands of products he's never had to touch, pack or ship himself.
A persistent disdain towards feeling like he's in a "job" has inspired him to create businesses that are FUN to run.
This means leveraging big companies to ship products, outsourcing laborious tasks to a team of VA's and running everything from a laptop.
He's passionate about sharing his knowledge with the world and helping people find more freedom through business.

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