This is Part 3 of the interview with Aaron O’Sullivan from SystemsCultureImpact.com. This episode is geared towards people who are scaling up from 20-30 products to 100+ SKUs or product lines and people around the level of 6-7 figures per month that are looking to create a business development strategy. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this interview to find out more about the systems you need to set up in your life and business to scale.
The Impact of Systems On You Business Development Strategy
It’s important to have revenue systems dialed into a much finer degree when you’re looking to scale up at the mid-level. You need to know what you need to focus on to leverage your time and take things to the next level quickly. The system’s impact how fast you can source and launch products. As well as the visibility and conversions of those listings too.
If you have the right infrastructure in place at the 20 SKUs per month level, as a business owner you can do the things you do best. Then get your outsourced talent to do the rest of the things needed to get to the next level. There will be times the systems break or things fail, but with a team and systems and rhythms in place, you can fix the issues right away, and you will be able to launch more products more quickly. This is all part of your business development strategy.
The Office Dilemma
It depends on who you are and what your outcomes are as to whether you need to hire an office and stop working from home. Aaron loves the interactions that come from working alongside people in an office but says it’s important to test if it’s actually the best option for you. If you have a team that’s based locally then a workspace where they can connect face-to-face is obviously beneficial. If you are using a virtual team full of overseas outsourcers, then a domestic office doesn’t make sense. One option might be to hire all the virtual talent from the same town. Then have an office there to encourage team culture and team morale.
One benefit of having a team all in the same place, whether in your local town or for example a town in the Philippines, is that when KPIs are hit you can reward the whole team as group with a staff dinner or an away day. You can still do that with a team that’s spread around the world. It’s obviously easier if everybody is in the same location already. That’s a great way to create the culture and boost team spirit. The bigger the business gets, the more important that team culture is. However, setting up an office does increase costs and you need to test it and weigh up the pros and cons for your situation as part of your business development strategy.
Higher level sellers commonly have more finely tuned sourcing and launching processes than mid-level sellers. Super sellers often have an agent on the ground in China as well as some VAs on the ground underneath that agent. Their job is to find products and in some cases, the people doing very well on Amazon have a whole sourcing office in China that is constantly sourcing products all day long. For that to work successfully, your systems need to be a very robust part of the business.
Turning that to the next level is about increasing the number of products coming into the funnel. That is about sourcing. It also involves spinning out test products and getting results form the marketplace in a short amount of time so you know which ones you want to keep on. That’s the process that the super sellers do really well. Before you worry about that, you’ve got to get your overall sourcing, launching and maintenance systems in place.
Start Slow and Smooth in Order to Scale Fast
Aaron makes it clear that it’s all about having a clear picture of the systems that you will need to get you from where you are to where you want to go to. Start off with one to two products, and at the same time start to build out the infrastructure. Eventually, you will have a system for the way you launch products on Amazon. Once you have that system you can share it with the people you outsource to. This frees up your time to work on more high level tasks.
When you’re starting out, you’re working 40 – 60 hours per week on your new venture. Adding the right person in will give you 40 hours a week of extra leverage that you didn’t have before. Initially they won’t be as productive because there’s a training phase. Once they’re trained you have doubled your capacity. Then you another person in and repeat the process!
If you want to go really fast and really big, the time to start is now!
Check out the great downloadable materials Aaron is giving to the Amazing FBA audience at AmazingFBA.com/aaron