It's no secret that it's much easier to sell during Q4 than any other time of the year.
Q4 is an amazing time of the year for Amazon sellers but there is a steep drop off that occurs once the holidays are over and most gift cards are spent. The severity of the dip is shown pretty clearly in the quarterly sales chart below.
Many sellers become discouraged by the plummeting sales after Q4 and take their foot off the gas. They lose sight of the big picture.
Q1 is not a time to slow down! You should be exerting just as much effort in all other quarters as in Q4.
Think about it...does it make sense to slow down when it's more difficult to make sales? It doesn't make sense to take your foot off the gas now. Now isn't the time to cut employee's hours, cancel subscriptions to paid services or stop spending money on inventory.
So, what can you do during Q1 to ensure that you keep growing your business?
Here are 8 actionable tips to help you ease into the first quarter of 2018 and avoid a Q4 hangover.
1. Reinvest Your Q4 Earnings
Cash is king.
If you leverage it properly, the "extra" money you make in Q4 can be the turning point for your business.
If you reinvest the earnings you made in Q4, you will be in a good place moving forward.
Physical product businesses like selling on Amazon only expand when you reinvest new money into them continually.
Million-dollar sellers get to where they are because they worked hard for capital and reinvested it continually. Million-dollar sellers are able to leverage economies of scale to grow their businesses constantly.
I am talking most about reinvesting in products, but you can also consider investing in...
- Better warehouse equipment (if applicable)
- Better tools for sourcing
Without reinvesting exponentially more capital, you will not grow. Period.
Side Note: It is absolutely ok to reward yourself! There is no need to invest 100% of your profits from Q4 back into inventory. Rewarding yourself by taking a vacation, paying off some debts, buying a new computer (whatever) will inspire you to keep growing your business. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the fruits of your labor just as long as you prioritize growth and don't go crazy.
2. Diversify Your Product Sourcing Methods
If you are 100% RA or OA, I highly recommend you use some of the extra capital (and free time) you will have in Q1 to find new sourcing methods like private label and wholesale.
Do you have to do this? No, but I think everyone should at least see what else is out there. You may be better or prefer one over all others and that's fine, but give yourself a chance to understand your options.
3. Expand to an Additional Sales Channels
What!?!? Sell off Amazon? Yes... there is no better time to start to build your off-Amazon business presence than during Q1.
Can you imagine being able to "own" your audience and reach out to them at will?
4. Learn More About the Amazon Business
Q4 is not a great time to have your nose in books and eyes glued to courses, but Q1 is a great time
The best way to learn to sell on Amazon is by doing but there is always room for some good ol' fashioned book learning!
5. Start Organizing Your Books Properly from Day 1
If you're like many sellers, you wish you managed your financial reports better when it comes time to file your taxes.
Well, it's a new year and you can decide to get your finances in order from day 1.
If you haven't already, look into Shoeboxed.com. I can't imagine selling on Amazon without it.
6. Engage with the Seller Community and Build Relationships
Q1 and Q2 are great times to up mingle with other sellers. Join me and 26,000 others at FBA Today.
Many members have made connections with other sellers that have turned out to be very lucrative. They share tips, offer each other product leads and even invest on larger purchases together that they couldn't afford on their own.
7. Hire a Virtual Assistant
If you haven't already, I highly recommend you consider hiring an overseas virtual assistant to help grow your Amazon business.
Virtual assistants can help you with a number of tasks...
- Basic administrative tasks like creating and organizing inventory reports
- Sourcing products for you to sell
- Finding inventory that Amazon forgot to reimburse you for (free money)
If you're interested in learning more about virtual assistants for your Amazon business, check out my ebook "The Overseas Solution: How to Hire, Train and Retain a Product Sourcing Virtual Assistant."
8. Add New Tools to Your Arsenal.
Finding leads isn't as easy in Q1 as it is in Q4.
This is the PERFECT time to invest in tools that will help you find profitable products regardless of the market.
There are plenty of free and paid tools you should check out.
My top recommended paid tools are (in order)...
This is the premier tool for online arbitrage and wholesale sourcing. Click here to start a 10 day trial for free (use code ER10 at checkout).
This my software that I developed to help export lists of Amazon products into CSV files that can be uploaded into other 3rd party softwares like Tactical Arbitrage.
3. Jungle Scout
If you're planning on expanding into private label in 2018, Jungle Scout is a must have. It makes the process of finding winning private label product ideas a breeze. Click here to read my full review of Jungle Scout.
4. Helium 10
Another tool aimed at private label sellers, Helium 10 is a comprehensive suite of tools that help you in a number of ways from protecting your listings to optimizing your keywords for maximum conversions and exposure. Click here to read my full review of Helium 10
BONUS TIP: Start Sourcing for Valentines Day!
Valentine's Day is incredibly lucrative for Amazon sellers IF they are deliberate and source products that buyers would want.
- Valentine's Day themed gifts
- Valentine's Day decorations
Creating bundles for Valentine's Day is particularly lucrative.
You can ease the pain of a slow Q1 with a successful Valentine's Day sourcing plan!