As 2018 approaches, you might be thinking about scaling your business in the upcoming Q1 and Q2. You’ve made the new year’s resolution to grow your Amazon business, but you’re not sure where to start. You only have 24 hours in a day, and you’re already strapped for time trying to make it all work.

 

How can you scale up your business without overextending yourself?

 

What Does It Mean To Scale Up?

 

Scaling your Amazon business means you need three key things: to rank higher on Amazon, to launch more products, and to gain new customers. You need to expand your current operations.

 

“Scaling up” is the process towards long-term growth. Even if you are a solo-preneur or small Amazon brand, you can’t scale up with just one person. You only have so many hours in a day and so many resources at your disposal. This means that if you want to grow, you have to stop doing it all yourself.

 

In fact, “scaling up” shouldn’t mean your business takes up more of your time. It should take up less of your time while generating higher streams of revenue. Who doesn’t want to work less and earn more?

 

So, how do you scale up efficiently and effectively?

 

1. Know your strengths.

 

Where your business excels the most is where you should focus on scaling up. If you are great at marketing, you want to push your marketing skills. If you are great at inventing new products, you want to make time to invest in your inventions.

 

Scale in accordance with your strengths.

2. Outsource your weaknesses.

 

Once you know where you are strongest and should focus your efforts, you need to minimize your time spent doing everything else.

 

Outsourcing is the most important step of scaling up. Subcontract those processes where you are weakest to an agency proficient in those tasks. For example, outsourcing your logistics to a sourcing partner like Ask Idea Sourcing gives you the time to focus on strategy, selling, and marketing as you grow your brand.

 

In order to push your business forward, you need a foundation of streamlined and automated systems. You want simplified processes in all areas of your business, including accounting, product pricing, ranking, marketing, logistics, and sourcing.

 

Automation is key to growth. The less time spent on operational tasks, the more time you can spend on strategizing and expanding.

 

3. Know your numbers.

 

What does “expansion” look like to you? Where is your revenue now versus where you want it to be? What do your margins look like? If you want to scale up, you need to know the ins and outs of your books. You can’t just look at the surface metrics and expect to understand how your business is performing. You could be selling $1 million in revenue but only netting $20,000.

 

In fact, one of the easiest ways to grow your margins is by understanding them. Where are you paying extraneous fees? How do duties, taxes, and shipping play a role in your financials? What is your overhead? Basically, where is your money going?

 

Knowing where every cent sits can help you find ways to reduce or cut costs. Changing even one financial metric can alter the entire scale of your business.

 

But this doesn’t mean you need to start cutting out all costs. Instead, you should understand where to cut costs appropriately. For example, your Amazon FBA fees could be digging into your margins. But if you cut Amazon FBA, you’re suddenly left with all the packing, filling, and shipping. Working harder is the opposite of scaling. In order to scale, you need to balance costs, time, and returns.

 

4. Find more products and suppliers.

 

Oftentimes, growing your business means growing your offerings. Adding more products to your portfolio will expand your brand.

 

However, there are two concerns with this method of scaling. The first is that products alone won’t help you scale. Adding ten new products to your lineup could actually end up hurting your business rather than growing it. You want to ensure that the products you offer have high margins, high relevance, and high conversion. Thus, choosing the appropriate products can be highly time-consuming. It involves a significant amount of research to find quality products that will sell to your consumer.

 

Still, you need to have a variety of products if you want to grow. In this way, you should consider scaling up with a partner. A partner like Ask Idea Sourcing can help research and select products for your portfolio and then find credible suppliers for those products. Learn more about our product consult services here.

 

5. Build a brand.

The most successful sellers on Amazon have a strategic marketing plan both on and off the platform. If you want to grow, you need to promote your business. Unless you have an incredibly unique product that everyone in the world needs, your business needs marketing. However, you can’t extensively market yourself on Amazon except through the Brand Registry and Enhanced Brand Content listings.

 

This means you need to get off Amazon and create a separate web presence as well. This can help build a loyal following that you own—rather than an Amazon-owned customer base. This provides more flexibility and a wider reach for scale, as you can sell and promote your business both on and off of Amazon.

 

Hosting a separate website and storefront is also a great way to build sales funnels and track data about your customers. You can better understand and interact with your consumers on your own website than you can on the Amazon site.

 

This doesn’t mean you stop selling on Amazon. The goal is to create a web presence that will push more customers to recognize your brand name both on and off the Amazon platform. Brand awareness can help increase your Amazon sales exponentially.

 

6. Improve your rankings.

 

Bettering your BSR (best-seller ranking) is one of the strongest ways to help you scale. Better ranking means more visibility, greater conversion, and a higher likelihood of winning the Buy Box. But improving your seller rank isn’t always easy. There are a number of variables that determine seller rank, from customer reviews to the number of sales and beyond.

 

The best way to improve your rank is to outsell your competition. But you can only outsell your competition if you position yourself in a way that consumers will only want to buy from you. This means optimizing your listings, encouraging reviews of your products, using enticing images, improving brand awareness, having strong customer service, and offering competitive prices.

 

7. Be strategic.

 

Ultimately, you want to approach your scaling period with a formalized strategy. Don’t start “growing” without a plan in place. You can throw a bunch of seeds on the soil, but none of them will grow. Only those few seeds that you tend to and cultivate will thrive. This means you want to create smart goals for scaling: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.

 

For example, a strong strategy mission could be: I will scale my gross margin by 3% in Q3 of 2018. I will accomplish this by adding three products to my portfolio, cutting costs in my margins, and outsourcing my logistics to Amazon FBA and Ask Idea Sourcing.

The Bottom Line

 

Anyone can start a business on Amazon and make a few sales. But it’s those who are committed to growth that sees success.

 

You can see success if you strategize your plan for scaling up. In order to have more time for strategy, you need to consider outsourcing time-consuming processes.

 

If you’re ready to scale, it’s time to consult with Ask Idea Sourcing. We will be your logistics partner to grow your business “behind the scenes” as you continuously scale up this 2018. Contact us now to get started.