Today, I'm going to be sharing with you how you can grow your Amazon FBA online arbitrage business with Key Performance Indicators!
Watch the video below:
Over the last two years, I've step by step outsourced my online arbitrage business to a point where I'm 95% outsourced, and a lot of the work I've done has come from successfully using Key Performance Indicators with every role and task I outsource. This allows me to keep control of by business!
Whatever stage you're at, whether you're a beginning in online arbitrage or more advanced, I want to stress that this is a tool for you to make strategic decisions. You want to be using KPIs to your advantage.
Having said that, you also need to focus in on the bread and butter. You need to focus in on the things you have most control of, that is going to have the biggest impact for your business.
You don’t just have return on investment in products, but you also have it in your time, so you need to strategically decide what you spend your time on and leverage yourself as much as possible.
One thing I want to mention is that you want to be focusing on at least one growth task per day, and this is something I live by. Take small baby steps every day, and this is all I've done over the last two years.
The number one skill I believe all entrepreneurs and business owners should have is anticipation.
The skill of anticipation is going to give you a major advantage in your business because if you can anticipate what is going to happen with your sales and the overall performance of your business, you will be empowered to take action before negative things happen.
One way to hone in on this advantage is to use KPIs. You want to see if you're trending up or down, or if you have bottlenecks in your business.
A KPI is basically a metric in your business that allows you to determine instantly whether it is at a healthy or unhealthy metric.
For example, if you have a goal of $20,000 worth of sales in your business, if you are above that, you're healthy. If you're below that, you are unhealthy. Basically, how I have come up with criteria for a KPI, is:
1) A clearly defined outcome within a pre-determined time.
This outcome has to a metric of some sort, whether that is weight, sales, or units. Be as clear as you can in a certain time period.
2) The metric needs to have at least one, or multiple direct action influences.
You want to make sure that all your KPIs have at least one, or multiple direct influences in terms of influencing it directly yourself.
For example, you can in influence your sales by purchasing more. You can grow from 10K to 20K in 30 days directly by purchasing more.
If you don't have these, you'll struggle to get a KPI because they're all about numbers.
You want to be working backwards in terms of the thought process in setting KPIs, and I'll be sharing examples and quality questions you can be asking yourself to do this!
Let's say you want to have $10,000 worth of sales in 30 days. The first thing you want to ask yourself is: What is it you want?
So here, you've established that you want $10,000 worth of sales in 30 days. Then you want to ask yourself: What is the business metric that has the biggest impact on your sales?
I would say it's your purchasing. The more you purchase, the more impact you're going to have on your sales.
The next question you can ask yourself is: How much stock to you need to purchase to get that amount of sales?
If we're using just standard numbers, let's say you need to purchase $5000 worth of products to get $10,000 worth of sales, you then know in the 30 days you need to spend $5000. We're setting up KPIs while we're going through this process, and from that you can then ask yourself: How much do you need to spend everyday?
In this case, it would be $167 per day. You can then look at your Amazon dashboard and see what your average Sell For price is. If it's $20, you can then say, if you're selling for double, your Buy for is $10.
Now you know that you need to purchase 500 units to get to that $5000 spent mark. These are all KPIs.
This is the process of really defining good KPIs that are going to help you determine what is letting you down or where your bottlenecks exist in your business.
I'm hoping that by sharing some of my KPIs implemented in my business, this gives you a better idea of what you might need in your business.
First of all, I separate my operations from virtual to warehouse.
In terms of the virtual side of my business, there's sourcing, purchasing, Amazon Seller central management, repricing, inventory health. There are multiple stages that your virtual team can look after.
In the warehouse, there's shipping performance, shipment discrepancies, inbound performance, and physical KPIs, but the first thing to really do is put it into stages and I'll be showing you some examples of where I've implemented KPIs into my business.
I track how many products we have found, so I have a team of virtual assistants who research and source products every day. I know how many products each person should be finding every day, and from that, I know the total number of products that should be found.
This is a KPI, so I know immediately how we're doing on sourcing.
Ideally, you want to have 100% winners for all the products that you find, but realistically that's not the case. You want to set a KPI for this. if you can have 70% of your products found turn into winners, you need to decide what your business standard is.
I also have repeat products and new products. This has turned into a really good KPI for me because in terms of the repeat products, what this allows you to do is build a bigger picture on whether stores have a pattern in the deals they have throughout the year and anticipate them.
This will help train your sourcing and reviewing team to be proactive in finding them.
As the business owner, you want to grow your business. If you can increase your margin, great. But if you get into it a little bit more, you can start to range your products and see where you're drifting. Obviously the higher the margin, the better because you'll make more money.
If for example your margin is dropping to 30% or 40%, you know you're going to have an increase in your products that are set at the minimum in your repricer. I use RepricerExpress, I highly recommend it.
I would anticipate that you're going to have an increase in products at the minimum if you're starting to source more at the lower end. It allows you to intervene before it gets to that point. This is what KPIs are all about.
Are we purchasing 100% of the winners that we find? Obviously, if you're still heavily involved in the business you will, but as you start to outsource your business and really automate and delegate, you want to be able to see what is happening in your business.
What are your average units per item you're purchasing? You have to analyse each product as it comes in, but as an overview, you know whether you need to increase or decrease across the board in terms of purchasing specific products.
You can set up a running total in your spreadsheets and anticipate if you're going to hit your targets. Everyday, whether it's the first of the month or the last day of the month, I know at a certain rate of purchasing if we're going to hit the 100% mark.
It's very easy to set up these things, and I can instantly see how much of our target we're going to hit.
Amazon have a lot of KPIs anyway, but these are things you want to measure yourself:
These things are very important for you to manage. Amazon are going to inform you if you're doing something wrong, but you want to be able to act before it gets to a serious point.
So if you're getting some negative seller feedback, you can get to the root cause of that and understand something is happening in your warehouse. It allows me to see what's going on in my operations just from looking at a number.
Amazon have increased their storage fees, so it's important for you to manage these.
How many units have you got above six months? What is your percentage age of zero to three months?
In my business, I want to have 85% of my products on a zero to three months age because it's all about getting them in and out, it's all about snowballing and ramping up your business.
Have a look at your inventory planning - Amazon give you all this information - and you can start to see what is happening.
If you have more units getting older than you want to have, you'll want to start finding the root cause of happening.
RepricerExpress is great because it tells you what you have at max, what you have at min, all these different metrics so that you can see what's going on with your margins.
Some margins I'm starting to work on now are timing related. I'm setting up some KPIs in my business that will allow me to track how long it's been to go from sourcing to reviewing for example, because the longer the duration, the chances are that deals will change. The same applies to purchasing, shipping, and all the other stages of my business.
Sales is ultimately what it's all about. The number one KPI is what have your sales been in the last 30 days, but you can see what your average Sell For, average Buy For, how many units you're purchasing, et cetera - these are all KPIs for you to track.
In my warehouse, I track how many daily units we've shipped, and every single one of these metrics tells me everything I need to know.
I want to share some practical Insights on how to use KPIs to take massive action and see where you have bottlenecks/can grow.
It will be really useful to you to have every single role set up in your business and have specific job descriptions on what you want that role to do. This is your KPI for each role, and it really is your responsibility as the business owner to tell your employees what you expect of them.
I recommend that you use Excel, Dropbox or Google Sheets. You can obviously share them and it also allows for a lot of automation.
I also recommend you have a work out sheet for every stage of your business. You can have different sheets for all the different jobs and at the top, state your KPIs. This allows you to open up any stage of your business and see the KPIs you've set in that particular system.
This is useful for a role by role basis, so if you've got team leaders, they can look at all the KPIs. You as the business owner, can create an business overview performance sheet, which will allow you to see the entire performance of your business as well as the KPIs. This way, I don't have to go through every sheet, and determine if we're healthy or unhealthy.
You can set this up easily on Excel, you can get a virtual assistant to populate it for you, you can get your employees to do it, you can automate the process or even automate Excel to do this for you depending on how you've set it up!
If you are sharing working procedures with your team on how to do some things, they will influence the KPIs. If you want something done, you want to have a working procedure for it, which will help your team comply with your KPIs.
Even if you've only got one virtual assistant, I recommend implementing Asana immediately. It's a great management tool that will allow you to assign tasks to different people, put them on a routine and highlight priorities.
I hope this has been useful in terms of learning about KPIs and how you can grow and systematise your business. I also understand we're all at different stages, but you've got to think about your bread and butter.
Focus in on the highest impact task, and even if you can write one line of working procedure that I growth related everyday that will allow you to outsource or improve your business in some way, I highly recommend doing this!
If you want more step-by-step guides on how my business runs, I do have a course called Online Arbitrage Mastery. I'm always adding more to it and growing it, I'm most likely going to be doing more lessons this month, so check it out!\
If you guys have any questions about Key Performance Indicators, let me know in the comments! 🙂
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