Part 4: The content of the Phases
In order to facilitate learning by doing, we’ve split the course into several “Phases”:
This is the “20,000-foot view” if you like.
THE PHASES (highest level)
What it says on the tin. It’s the map, the big picture overview before I hit you over the head with the how-to details.
Don’t skip this. The mindset stuff in particular has - to my shock to an extent - proved the most important barrier to success with Amazon sellers.
PHASE ZERO: AMAZON BASICS
(Quick & Dirty Retail Arbitrage)
What’s the idea?
We are certainly not going to try to run before we can walk. In this phase, we aim to crawl before we can walk.
Before we try to sell $10,000 worth of private labelled product online, before we even import $1000 worth - let’s try to make £100 online.
To do this, we are simply going to do a bit of “quick and dirty” retail arbitrage. The aim of this is NOT to teach you to become an expert Arbitrager, by the way. It’s about learning the basics of Amazon.
This gives us a few crucial things:
1. Skillset: how to list things on Amazon, inbound shipping. A test of the rather messy “Backend” of Amazon - the (in)famous Seller Central.
2. Mindset: you may get actual profits here - allbeit tiny amounts - but that’s not the aim. It’s about gaining confidence, and starting to learn by interacting with the “real life” of the Amazon machine, and real customers.
Why “Phase Zero?“ - we’re not yet building a real business; but we are building the entrepreneur.
PHASE ONE: ASSESS
(Choose, source & Test Launch a small order of Generic/off-the-shelf products)
This phase is where most of the learning curve happens. So it’s broken down into several modules, and multiple lessons.
Here I break down the framework, the scaffolding, that makes up the workhorse engine of our process.
Specifically, we source generic products - that is, with a ready-made design and no branded packaging -
WARNING: There’s a lot that goes into this. But I want you to build a real business. And - as they say - retail is detail.
Sure, I could have created some simplistic quick course much more easily and sold it more easily too.
My thinking in this was simple:
By giving you all the detail you may need, you can always skip things you don’t need. But I don’t want you to have to start googling. The basic idea: it’s all here, everything you need. If not, as a Beta tester, you have the right to hit us up and ask - and we’ll create training for you on any missing topic!
PHASE 2: SELL
(re-evaluate, Source Private Label version of Phase 1 product, Do a Full Launch with a larger order)
This is another big phase.
Again broken into multiple modules:
Here we take what is working from the “Generic”/off-the-shelf products we now have. We learn how to read the signals we’re getting from the market; how to go back to our suppliers and refine and customise a private label product; and then how to do a full-scale launch to get serious traction & serious sales on Amazon.
All sounds like a lot of work.
The good news? We’ve done 80% of the work already in Phase 1. If all has gone well, we just have a Private Labelled version of the same product we’ve been selling already. Maybe a bit of tweaking. Usually a bigger order. But essentially - more of the same.
PHASE 3: STABILISE
(Learning to read the essential numbers; deal with customer service - and reordering stock)
This is mostly the “Review” bit. We’ll learn what metrics to keep an eye on in Amazon -what the difference is between sessions and page views; what conversion rate is, how to find it and why it matters, etc.
We’ll also deal with customer service, getting good reviews and handling less good ones!
Finally, we’ll start learning the art of inventory management and making re-order decisions.
- Learning in Phases allows a learning/feedback loop into the equation. It's a bit more to get your head around, sure. Thing is: it works. Sometimes "simple" is not simple, it's just plain stupid.
- Our main job is not to build a business. It's build an entrepreneur (YOU). "Give a man a fish..." (you know how it goes, you've read the books). Think about it.
- Going through a similar process twice (the ASSESS and SELL phases) seems like wasted effort. Nonsense. That's old-school "linear" thinking. Did you learn to walk as a child on one single day? Master the art of reading (or writing) in a week? It's n how humans work, is it? The good news is you can learn the basics of this business in a few months. The bad news is, it's not a few hours. REMEMBER - there's one born every minute. Do want to be one? (if so, that's quick. Instant, even). Or do you want to become an entrepreneur? That takes a bit more time. The difference is: it's real. You choose.