It’s still December, but not for long. Now’s the time to look forward into 2017. What do you hope to achieve in Q1? It’s important to know, since starting off with a bang can set you up for success in the remainder of the year.
As we all know, changes in FBA selling happen quickly.
The point of setting business goals is not to predict the future but to try and alter it as best we can. To improve our own entrepreneurial mindsets.
So let’s set Amazon FBA business goals that will hopefully not only be realistic and achievable but also inspiring. Even though Q4 is a busy time, you can’t afford to go into the new year without clear objectives in mind. Procrastinators, not allowed.
Step 1: Review all 2016 stats and any goals you may have set
Inside of the business reporting section of Amazon’s Seller Central, you can get access to a variety of reports that will help you calculate turnover for each quarter of 2016, as well as the entire year.
By creating a pivot table with a payments report from Amazon, you can view SKUs, quantity of orders for each, purchase price, fees paid, and payments delivered. Whether you use a combination of Amazon FBA reports, excel, QuickBooks, or Sage, now’s the time to not just reconcile transactions but to calculate important metrics such as overall revenue and product profitability.
Step 2: Complete (and analyze) your accounting and tax process
Many sellers are focused on accounting and taxes during Q1. And yes, that’s important, but you should do more than just complete your taxes.
You should review your process. Did you have regular systems in place to make EOY accounting easy? Was there anything you procrastinated on?
Maybe you weren’t able to deliver your bookkeeper everything she asked for, or you left months of reconciliations until the end. Whatever it is, be sure to identify how the accounting side of your business can improve next year. Do any necessary research, change your approach, and give yourself a new start on January 1st.
Step 3: Double down on what is working
Here are some example goals that you can set based on what IS working for you:
- Add related products to your brand
- Reach a higher number of reviews
- Rank on page 1 of search results for a given search term
- Run profitable PPC campaigns
- Rank on page 1 for a given product category
Take your best products, examine why they are successful, and determine how you can generate even more sales next year.
Step 4: Identify weaknesses and ways to improve
Every FBA business has a weakness. It could be stiff competition, lack of focus, or a vendor who can’t keep up with demand or never delivers on time.
Here are some example goals that can help turn things around:
- Find a new vendor
- Remove dead weight products
- Reprice products
- Regularly split test variables like price, product title, etc.
- Improve your launch strategy for a new product
Step 5: Carve out time to meet your Amazon FBA goals
Let’s say you hit a new level of success with your business, one that allowed you to quit your day job in 2016 and focus on FBA full time. Is 2017 the year to bring on additional help? You can have part time assistants for everything from prepping shipments to optimizing Amazon PPC campaigns.
To double down on what’s working in your business and reach big picture goals, you need to make sure you have a team in place who can support you.
On the flip side, if you’re a seller who is just starting out, you need to protect your time in a different way. Are there any commitments in 2017 that you can cancel to divert more time to your FBA business?
Just learning to say “no” to time-sucking activities (and setting that as your New Year’s resolution) can pay off big.
Step 6: Make sure all goals are measurable
Now that you’ve taken the time to review your business and set some new goals, you have to figure out how to measure them.
Whenever possible, think in numbers.
If you want to rank better, how high do you want to rank? If you want more sales on a specific product, what are your monthly goals for orders? If you want your PPC campaigns to be profitable, what cost per conversion do you need the ads to fall beneath?
Write highly specific goals for Q1, and slightly looser ones for the rest of the year that you can alter towards the close of March.
The only way to hold yourself accountable for your goals is to have a way to measure them. Plus, the more specific you are, the more you can truly identify what you’re trying to achieve.
Here’s an example:
I want to rank higher for search terms.
How could you possibly achieve that? It’s simply too general. Here’s a more specific goal:
I want to rank on page 1 for “inspirational quotes coasters.”
When your goals are as specific as possible, you can more quickly find solutions. Setting a target keyphrase makes it pretty obvious that you need to re-optimize your product page. When your goals are highly specific, they become almost like to-do lists, and you’re more likely to achieve them.
Step 7: Bring on the right tools and systems
With higher sales in Q4 come higher return rates. That’s just a fact. So while you’re busy reconciling all those holiday sales and returns over the next few months, ask yourself, is it worth doing manually? Are you really catching everything?
Refunds Manager lets you rest easy when it comes to returns and other FBA fee reimbursements. Going forward into the new year, it’s important to make sure you have all the tools and systems in place that support your success. There are many aspects of FBA selling worth automating, including multi-channel inventory, FBA reimbursements claims, and even sales tax calculations.
When you take the time to add the right tools to your arsenal, you’ll be grateful all next year.
Sign up for our proprietary FBA reimbursement software now, and we’ll check your account dating back 18 months, manually review anything out of sorts, and file the appropriate claim on your behalf, all with no up front costs.
What are your Q1 and/or overall 2017 goals? Let us know in the comments below.