Dillon Carter

Entrepreneur, Hacker and Future Mad Scientist 🚀☕

Category: Blog Page 2 of 8

Readjusting My Amazon FBA Goals and Struggling With Wholesale

Man that came to a halt quicker than I had anticipated. I became so good at sourcing products locally that I ran out of money and had to stop! If you read my last post on 6 months to 6 figures, one of my goals was to source product five days a week no matter what.

 

Unfortunately that’s kind of hard to do if you have no capital to spend on product.

 

So I have to adjust a few things and move forward with the my current situation. Most people, including my previous self would just accept this fate and let sales slowly die out, but not this time. I’m making the necessary changes that reflect reality of make it happen.

 

The struggle is definitely real in an Amazon FBA business. Don’t get me wrong, once I ship product to Amazon, sales just magically appear and all is right in the world. At some point though, you have to stop buying product which puts you on hold.

 

I’m currently doing a little more than $100 a day in sales, but I know this will come to a fast halt once I run out of inventory. The issue is that I have to wait for the sales revenue to come through before I can buy more product. This is very typically in any resell based business model, but the major issue is the growth rate of the business.

 

This is very typically in any resell based business model, but the major issue is the growth rate of the business.

 

Amazon FBA Sales Total
Sales for the first 8 days of the August

Unfortunately, I can’t spend $5,000 a month on the awesome product inventory that is around me because I don’t have the liquid capital. So I’ll need to build that capital over time, which also means no profits for a decent amount of time.

 

I planned on living off this income within the near future, but as my runway dwindles I’m forced to look elsewhere for income. I’ve been playing with the idea of getting my real estate license and going full force on that front during the week and running my Amazon business as lean and automated as possible.

 

With such a large amount of successful real estate agents in my network of family and friends and built in mentors, it makes sense to pair my sales and customer service skills learned from working in a grocery store and as a personal trainer into something with a larger commission payout.

 

We shall see what the near future holds.

 

In the meantime, I need to reformat my business strategy with Amazon. If I’m going to be able to juggle so many things, I need to use the 4 Hour Work Week methodology.

 

Although there are great products locally for me to source, it takes too much time. Instead, focusing on building wholesale accounts which allows me to do everything from a laptop keeps me flexible with time and also lends to outsourcing the ordering process over time to a virtual assistant.

 

I’ve been trying to build wholesale accounts and find products, but haven’t found anything yet. Instead of figuring this out on my own, I think I’ll jump into the Proven Wholesale Course which is only $97 and gives a straightforward strategy of acquiring wholesale accounts.

 

I’ll source locally as much as I possibly can, but depending on my class schedule this next semester and if I go full force with real estate I may only have a few hours each week.

 

It’s always important to know when you need to make a change and do it before you put yourself too far into a trench that gets deeper and deeper each month.

The 6 Months to 6 Figures Strategy For Building a Successful Amazon Business

So I’m really in this now. I lost my job, am living off my savings and attempting to build this Amazon FBA business full time and I couldn’t be more happier!

 

I am a little worried though… After all, I only have a certain amount of runway until I’ll need to get a job to cover my bills.

IMG_4626

One of my recent scanning trips

 

Instead of freaking out I glanced over at my bookshelf for some reassurance. The book that quickly grabbed my attention was 6 Months to 6 figures by Peter Voogd. Although this book isn’t the best when it comes to formatting, it is a great illustration for reverse engineering your life and business.

 

The Strategy

 

The strategy is quite simple and it starts with a question – Where do you want to be in 6 months?

 

I’ve recently become a massive fan of doing 30 day sprints. This allows you to go full force and then pull back a bit to recover, analyze and reproach your strategy. The book is also great at forcing you to become hyper focused on a finite amount of goals and then breaking them down even further each month.

 

Here is what that breakdown looks like for my Amazon FBA business:

 

5 Goals For The Next 6 Months:

  • Maintain 3,000 units of inventory
  • Produce $5,000 a month of profit  
  • Have 10 wholesale accounts
  • Have clear systems of growth in place
  • Have enough capital ($5,000) to strategically grow wholesale accounts

 

So this is the 6 month plan of attack. The author takes it a step further by making you focus in on what your 3 month goals are.

 

Top 3 Goals For Next 90 Days:

  • Send in 2,000 units
  • Bring in $2,000 in profit each month
  • Have 3 wholesale accounts

 

Now let’s break it down month by month to become hyper-focused.

 

Top 3 Goals For Month 1:

  • Source product 5 days a week no matter what
  • Find replenishable products to consistently purchase
  • Send shipments every Monday

 

Top 3 Goals For Month 2:

  • Increase purchased units per day
  • Find and secure 1 wholesale account
  • Increase average shipment from 3 boxes to 7 boxes every Monday

 

Top 3 Goals For Month 3:

  • Add 2 new wholesale accounts
  • Raise inventory from 2,000 units to 3,500 units
  • Increase efficiency of labeling, packing and shipping product.

 

By the end of the 3 months I should have a very profitable and vastly growing business with minor systems to lend to scalability. At the end of the 6 months I hope to reach my total laid of goals for this business – 10 wholesale accounts, $5,000 per month in profit and maintain a minimum of 3,000 units of available inventory.

 

This isn’t going to be easy at all, but I have the time and resources to make it happen. I even drug my girlfriend along after class earlier today to scan at Toys ‘R Us which I was able to come out with another $100 in profitable products.

 

I believe the real key to having a large-scale Amazon business is wholesaling and private labeling and for now I’ll grow as quickly as I can into securing wholesale accounts. Instead of me going from store to store, scanning every item I lay my eyes on, I can scan an email and have 1,000 units delivered directly to me.

 

This will greatly reduce the amount of time required to maintain and even build this business over the next year.

 

If you have any questions about starting an Amazon FBA business I’d love to hear from you in the comments. I’m not a pro, but I’m putting this thing into hyperdrive!   

Getting Fired and Building My Amazon FBA Business Full Time

So, I got fired. Turns out having a normal conversation with your part-time GM could turn very irrational on their end and end up you being let go. To sum it up, shit happens.

 

I learned a lot from the conversation with my GM and how some people simply cannot accept systemic gaps and pitfalls in their (the owners) business. Ego and pride can get too much in the way and blind you to massive opportunities to increase performance.

 

I saw this coming early on as there was a clear shift in the work environment. That’s the whole reason I started this Amazon FBA business. I wanted to grow it enough until I could quit. Luckily, my GM sped up the timeline a bit faster than I would.

 

So now I’m giving this a go full-time. It’s not easy, as it’s a major hustle each day with some days turning up zero products, but I can see this growing quite rapidly as I turn my full attention towards it.

 

The Different Amazon FBA Business Models

 

There are different ways to make money with Amazon FBA – Retail Arbitrage, Online Arbitrage, Wholesaling and Private Label.

 

I focus the majority of my efforts on Retail Arbitrage as it’s the easiest way to start making a profit from week one. Online Arbitrage is essentially the same thing, except you purchase your products online.

 

The goal is to eventually move into Wholesaling products, which allows you to purchase bulk orders of profitable products. Instead of purchasing one unit of product A and 3 units of product B, I would bulk order 100-500 units of product A and perhaps even 1,000 units of product B.

 

Even better, I wouldn’t have to run around from store to store every day. I could do all of this from my laptop while using my miles and points to travel wherever I’d like with my girlfriend.

 

How I’m Currently Getting Along

 

This was a very slow process and I really had to jump out of my comfort zone while scanning products on my phone in local stores.

 

I got buried pretty deep into a slump where I went a few weeks without finding any profitable products. I realized I was spending way too much of my time on just clearance isles. Sure, clearance aisles are a great starting point, but you have to take an extra thirty minutes to an hour on aisles that aren’t clearance.

 

Amazon FBA Products

Two store haul worth $147.19 Profit (3 hours worth of work!)

Making this switch has gotten me back in the game in a major way. I spent a few hours in two stores earlier today and came out with $147 dollars in profitable items which I’ll have shipped out and listed by the end of tomorrow.

 

So, for now, I’ll continue focusing on Retail Arbitrage with a sprinkle of Online Arbitrage, at least until The Wholesale Formula course opens back up and I can jump full force into wholesaling like I’d like to do.

 

I Am Taking A Risk Though

 

I can’t fully sustain doing this full-time for long. I have a few months of runway to get things up and running before I’ll need to get a job to cover my bills until I’m moving the units needed each month.

 

Amazon business sales report

Current Months Sales…

So this is a risk, like any other business. The good news is that I have a decent amount of time until the summer semester is over to ship the needed amount of units to generate enough profit to pay myself and grow.

 

My Inventory Goals

 

With Amazon it’s all about “feeding the beast”. The more units you have at the Amazon warehouse, the more sales you’ll get each day.

 

Amazon allows you to keep 5,000 normal size units at any given time.

 

My first goal is to have 1,000 units of products in inventory at any given time and then increase that amount as quickly as possible.

 

From what I’ve gathered having roughly 3,000 units should generate around $300 in sales a day. If you’ve purchase products with good enough margins you should have $100 in net profits each day from that amount of sales.

 

This means that I only need 1,500 units in inventory to reach my personal profit goals to go full time.

 

This is going to take a massive amount of effort. I’m talking Gary V kind of hustle.

 

With limited runway and capital, I’ll have to get creative and move product as fastly as I possibly can.

 

I’ll keep you posted throughout this journey as best I possibly can.

Starting An Amazon FBA Business For Fun and Profit

Over the course of this year I realized that I needed to make some changes. I’d already automated my personal finances and begun traveling for free, but going back to college full-time required me to take a job to sustain myself rather quickly.

 

I soon realized this was not what I was meant to do and lost interest. You’ll notice in my monthly reports that I still set goals for this job, but it’s time to extract myself from it and achieve true freedom.

 

I searched for various new business models to focus in on and then landed on Amazon FBA. I listen to a decent amount of podcasts and the same thing kept popping up; I needed to give this a try!

 

After giving it a bit of thought I decided to jump into an FBA course to give me a better understanding of how to go about doing this. Instead of doing my usual information overload, I decided to take action the very next day and bought roughly $200 worth of product.

 

I know this doesn’t seem like a large investment, but I’m currently doing Retail Arbitrage which is going to local stores to find deeply discounted products to resell on Amazon for a profit.

 

Project Extraction – The Plan

 

I’m going to lay it all out here for you. I currently need to generate a profit of $2,000 /month from this business to go full-time. I’ve been getting 50% ROI on products, but let’s assume a 25% ROI to be conservative.

 

This means that I need to be purchasing roughly $8,000 a month to yield $2,000 profit. At first, I didn’t realize how much volume I would need to do each month, but the numbers don’t lie.

 

So now my weekly goal is to somehow spend $2,000 on product either at local stores or using online sourcing as well…. Now that’s a massive goal.

 

In truth, this is only a minor step towards a much larger goal with this business model. That’s right, this is only phase one.

 

Where I’m Currently At With This Business

 

So far I’ve only spent $992.39 in total. This includes cost of goods, supplies and education.

 

In sales, I’ve done $239.61 with actual profit being $143.63. I still have a lot of inventory waiting for sell. A rather slow start as I really get the hang of sourcing locally and online.

 

I’m not profitable yet by any means, but the rule of thumb is that it should take roughly three months to turn a real profit and until I reach the volume needed to go full-time, all profit will be put back into the business.

 

This should vastly decrease the timeframe needed to reach my goal.

 

Here is a snapshot of what I did in June.

 

starting an amazon fba business from scratch

 

June was all about getting set up and learning the process. Now that I’ve done that, It’s time to really throw down some capital on inventory and scale up to the volume needed.

 

Getting Rich, Learning Sign Language and Thailand Baby!

So it’s the week before finals. I should really just end this post here, but I’ll push onward. I’m pleased to let you know that two major goals will now be crossed off of my yearly goals list; Financial Literacy and learning Sign Language.

 

I feel like my blog is coming alive again. Obviously the more I write the more traffic I earn from users and more subscribers I get on a daily basis. Just releasing my monthly goal posts has increased subscriber count by a decent amount and I can’t wait to hit 4-digit subscriber numbers. It’s really amazing that people are interested in reading about my life and the interesting things that I try to do each month.

 

So let’s dive into knocking off some major milestones!

 

Getting Rich and Financial Literacy

 

It was incredibly hard for me to quantify this goal as you should consistently further your knowledge of finance and investing which I try to do, but eventually I came to the conclusion that I could successfully mark off this goal because of systems that I have in place to ensure that my financial life is in order.

 

More importantly these systems ensure that my net worth increases every time money comes into my checking account automatically. So if one month goes by and I don’t increase my wealth, something went incredibly wrong, but this has yet to happen and I have high doubts of it ever happening.

 

Consider this goal marked off!

 

Learning Sign Language (My first-second language!)

 

I’ve attempted to learn various languages on my own in an attempt to become polylingual over time, but each time I end up frustrated and stop making progress. After going back to college and being required to fulfill two semesters of a foreign language, I decided to give American Sign Language a try.

 

To my surprise I became quite good at ASL (all thanks to my deaf teacher!) and will have ASL II complete by the end of this week. I can safely hold a conversation in sign language and although not entirely fluent, I still consider this successful as I don’t need to be 100% fluent to hold a conversation in ASL.

 

Consider this goal, also, marked off!

 

Who’s Going To Thailand?!

 

This guy. That’s who! One of my goals this year is to become a master at travel hacking. Trying to quantify this goal is also subjective so it’s really up to me to decide what success is.

 

My quantification of success in becoming a master travel hacker is achieving an international flight and hotel stay using travel hacking techniques. After talking it over with my girlfriend we decided to plan a trip to Thailand later this year using nothing but points.

 

I reached out to my friend Bryce at 10xTravel.com for some quidance on how to make this happen (every master was once an apprentice), but more on this in a future post!

 

 

A photo posted by Dillon Carter (@dillondcarter) on

 

So far I’ve used points to cover a hotel stay for my girlfriend and I for a friends wedding and will be using points to cover a weekend stay in Savannah Georgia after finals.

 

Once this trip is complete I’ll be able to mark off another goal off my list; visiting the Asian continent!

 

So far 2016 is incredible, minus college….. But incredible no matter.

 

I’m trying to squeeze in as many goals, trips and milestones as possible this year to really maximize 2016.

 

Make sure you subscribe so you can read my future post on how I’m travel hacking a $8,000 trip to Thailand for roughly $500 for two people!

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