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Avoiding Suspension with Rachel Greer from Cascadia – Keyword: the Amazon Insider Podcast Episode 054

January 12, 2018

One of the best parts of growing a small business is when you get to the moment where you can hire extra help or outsource some of the responsibilities. There’s a method Amazon sellers may want to follow to determine what they should hire for to make sure they stay on track to grow.

For example, you don’t want to hire someone for a task if you don’t have a specific formula that you follow for that task. In that situation, you can end up spending a lot of time training the new employee along with figuring out how you want them to do the job.

“I think what you want to start looking at is what could your business be if you were to start investing in some of these types of tools,” says former Amazonian, Peter Kearns.

Peter’s job at Amazon was to identify holes in the Amazon catalog and then find products to fill those holes. Now he’s the Vice President of Client Solutions for 180Commerce. 180Commerce is a company Amazon Sellers can hire to help with their business. They offer several services including fully managing Amazon businesses.

Before you decide to hire either more employees or elicit the help of a third party, you first should identify what your company’s needs are.

We’re going to go through three different scenarios in this when you should look at hiring outside help.

  1. If you have a problem.

“There’s a problem in your business or a challenge in your business and you’ve gotta figure out how to do that and fix it,” Peter says.

Problems or challenges that should be overcome are any sort of issues with Fulfilled by Amazon and running out of inventory. There are other issues that can cause major issues, anything that has to do with account performance should be the first priority.

If you have had any warnings from Amazon or maybe you’re not in total compliance with Amazon’s terms of service, find a way to be in compliant, even if that means spending money hiring someone to make you in compliant. If you’re suspended you’re likely going to have to hire help to get reinstated anyways and it won’t be as easy as a suspension prevention.

“That’s the number one priority, get your house in order, fast,” Peter says.  

  1. You should look to hire someone is to increase profitability.

To figure out where you need someone to help you, head to Seller Central. We’re going to take a look at the Detail Page, Sales and Traffic Report by Child Asin. You want to see a minimum sales conversion of 30%. If you aren’t seeing that conversion, then hire someone to help increase that. You can do that a couple ways. First, by hiring someone to help fine tune your Pay-Per-Click campaigns.  

“Maybe you need to hire someone to create better detail pages for you,” says Peter, “Having a good understanding of those different areas of your business is a good place to start.”

The next way to help increase profitability is to fine tune your FBA strategy. You want to find the right fit so that you don’t run out of inventory but you don’t have too much inventory in FBA.

“You can hire somebody who can monitor your ASINs and keep an eye on your inventory levels and keep all that stuff going and keep the products in stock,” says Peter.

A good FBA strategy is a key strategy for several sellers doing more than $10 million a year.

“The time and energy that they’ve invested to create good FBA strategies that do everything that I just talked about was one of the things that helped get them to the next level,” Peter says.

  1. You have a good solid business, but there are tasks you don’t enjoy.

This is when you should employ people or services to take over the aspects you don’t like.

“Did you get into this because you’re an awesome designer and create awesome products?” Peter says.

Often times in that situation, people get into their business and find themselves busy with tasks they don’t enjoy like creating listings, responding to customers, managing the books or creating pricing.

“You’re not doing what you want to be doing. You’re not doing what you love, there are businesses out there that can do that for you,” says Peter, “Take a deep look within and a long look in the mirror and ‘Am I running an Amazon business and that’s what I want to be doing or do I want to be creating great products?”

There are a couple ways you can go about this situation, you can find a third party company to take over that part of your business or you can hire someone. If you hire someone, I do recommend that you have a plan in place for exactly what you want them to do.

You might be opposed to hiring outside help or a new employee simply because it costs money but keep in mind, you’re hiring them for specialized skills that you don’t have. When they bring those skills to your business, it will help you be more profitable.

Big thanks to Peter Kearns for giving us his insight and advice on hiring help. If you’re in a position to look at hiring help and you’re interested in Peter. you can find him at 180commerce.com.

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