Scaling up your Amazon business is not always a walk in the park. It requires a lot of hard work, sometimes without much visible payoff. But when it comes to your inventory management, what if all it takes is syncing three essential things to ensure your scaling-up process is successful? Offloading and coordinating a few key tasks using reliable, well-trained virtual assistants can make things more manageable and efficient in turning your dreams of scaling into a reality.
In this article, we’re going to share the importance of syncing your marketing, inventory, and cash flow teams to your inventory management and your business as a whole. We’re also going to talk about how Virtual Assistants (VAs) play a vital role in scaling your Amazon business.
Sounds good? Read on!
3 Important Things to Sync
Whenever Amazon sellers talk about scaling up their business, it’s all about marketing. They always talk about the latest marketing tactics or the most “ninja” marketing strategies. See, there’s nothing wrong with being updated in the marketing scene, in fact, it’s vital, but the problem starts when marketing is the only thing that you focus on. Running an Amazon business means dealing with inventory. If all of the attention is on the marketing side, your company will have difficulty increasing its revenue and achieving growth.
Amazon inventory management needs to be brought up within the conversation much more. Before you scale up your Amazon business as a whole, you need to scale up your inventory management systems. We’re not saying that you have to take your away focus from marketing completely. Of course now. However, you need to pay attention to other aspects of your business to improve your inventory management.
So, what are these three things that you need to focus on and sync?
They are inventory, marketing, and cash flow.
And how do these three areas work together?
- First, you should set up a marketing plan. The marketing team should lay out your sales seasonal velocity, Lightning Deals included dates and units projected to sell, and other marketing tactics you’ve planned. When the marketing plan is set and done, it’s time to forward it to the inventory team.
- The inventory team’s main job is to find out whether the marketing plan is feasible or not. For example, you want to put a 20% discount on your products during Valentine’s Day. But the inventory team tells you that your stock levels will not allow for the sales campaign you have in mind. If you are too aggressive, you’ll stock out. The best thing to do here is for the inventory team to give the marketing team’s plan back for them to revise it based on what the inventory levels can afford. Eventually, the marketing and inventory team will agree on a particular strategy in line with your current inventory.
- Last but not least, cash flow. After all of the changes to the inventory and marketing teams’ plan, the next move is to send it to the accounting team. This is where all the money talk happens. Is there cash on hand? If money is available, is it enough to fund the plan? If not, what are the other options? What are the projected sales from this marketing campaign? Will the capital be tied up to negatively impact cash flow if this plan doesn’t succeed? How risky or certain is this plan? These are a few of the many questions that need to be tackled. Put simply, the accounting team’s primary role is to ensure that there’s enough cash to support everything profitably and to prevent the business from tying up capital in slow-moving products for an extended period of time.
This is the flow of syncing up your teams. As you can see, they all complement each other. If one team fails to communicate with the other, your business will run into problems. It’s essential to remember that no team is more important than the other. All must work together because each affects the others and all three fail or succeed together.
Outsourcing Tasks to Virtual Assistants
Now that you know how to sync up your systems within your business, you just have to do one last thing: designating the tasks for your teams. This part is easy for a company with employees that are assigned to each defined role. But what happens if one of the teams lacks the expertise to do its job? What if you’re a solopreneur, and your to-do list is already filled with tasks that you can’t just keep up? What if your business needs additional hires to be more productive?
See, there can be many challenges in the execution, but one thing’s for sure, a virtual assistant will do wonders for your business if adequately trained and kept on task.
Virtual Assistants (VAs) aren’t new to the freelance marketplace. More and more organizations are hiring VAs that become a vital part of their teams. It can prove to be quite productive and cost-effective.
To sync up your teams properly, here are the specific tasks that you can outsource to a VA for each category:
For this role, you will need a supply chain manager who has excellent communication skills. This person is assigned to source and negotiate with sellers regarding their products. They need to know how to communicate effectively to get the most out of their orders.
You also need an inventory manager who has good time management, organizational skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. For starters, they need to ensure that orders are delivered on time and that you maintain proper, balanced stock levels, avoiding stock outs and over-ordering.
It can get challenging to keep track of everything, but an organized VA will know how to sort things out correctly. If an issue comes up, a VA with problem-solving skills should have anticipated it and handled it the right way.
Lastly, critical thinking skills are also vital so that your VA can establish new ways to manage your inventory efficiently.
When it comes to the marketing team, there can be many roles to fill in. Fortunately, there are also a lot of VAs who specialize in marketing.
First, you need someone to handle your Amazon listings. Hire a VA who can write well to improve the content of your listings. Then, if you want to boost these listings, you can assign a VA to run FB ads for your business. Doing this provides more visibility and attracts more potential customers.
How about keywords? You can assign a VA to take charge of your SEO efforts. If your marketing plan consists of Lightning Deals and special sales campaigns, a VA experienced in email marketing can handle this aspect of your marketing strategy. They will segment your leads efficiently and send well-constructed emails to further boost your sales conversions.
3. Cash Flow
As for cash flow, an accounting team composed of professionals who know how to deal with money and allocate it properly is required. As this can be a more technical role, you can choose to hire VAs with an accounting background that you can train, or to work with accounting freelance experts to assist you. What is important is that they know how to make the right decisions for your company’s profit, revenue, and growth.
Finally, you can also choose to hire a Project Manager VA who will oversee and coordinate with all of these teams and projects, ensuring they are completed within the set deadline.
As the business owner, your primary responsibility is to set your teams’ direction and streamline their processes. From there, your VAs can execute their tasks and work together. The flow of your scaling processes can be streamlined if you have the right people on your teams working collectively and in a coordinated manner.
Sync Up to Scale Up
If you want to truly scale up your Amazon business, it’s time to shift your focus on your inventory management. Syncing your inventory, marketing, and cash flow should be one of your priorities to take your Amazon inventory management a notch up.
However, there are a lot of factors as to why businesses fail to implement this syncing process. If the teams don’t cooperate, it can lead to negative outcomes. For example, suppose the marketing team acts alone and launches the marketing plan without consulting the inventory and accounting teams. This situation could eventually lead to stock outs and loss of profit. There are many other ways that things can go south for your business, but you can avoid them by ensuring your systems are working together and that you create new SOPs and workflows to solve any issues that may come up as you are grooving things in.
Hiring VAs can help you to further leverage your syncing process. It’s no secret that VAs have been utilized in the freelance space for a while, and companies are taking advantage of this set-up. Hiring a VA is significantly cheaper than traditional hiring, which is a game-changer for small business owners.
As you assign tasks to your VAs, you’re allowing yourself to have more time to work on the aspects of your business that matter most. The outcome? You can scale up your Amazon inventory management and get to work on the areas of your business that need the most improvement. A win-win situation.
To further boost your scaling process, consider adopting an Amazon inventory management software such as SoStocked to make your VAs work a lot more easy, efficient, and manageable and to reduce human error.
Whether you do use a software or you stick to using spreadsheets, you should ensure that your inventory forecasting system includes adding extra units to cover your marketing plans. We’ve provided a downloadable Amazon inventory planner for your teams. It’s a great tool that can help your teams to better coordinate in achieving a smooth management flow.
It’s time to level-up your Amazon inventory management by efficiently syncing inventory, marketing, and cash flow. Only a fraction of sellers do it, but all of those that do have seen significant positive results in their business. The biggest question is: Will you choose to be one of them?
About the Author
Chelsea Cohen is an Amazon inventory management expert and the co-founder of SoStocked.com, an Amazon inventory management software. She’s also a 7-figure Amazon seller, speaker & consultant. Her regular clients include 7 & 8-figure sellers. She has been featured on AM/PM Podcast, Seller Stories with Jungle Scout & the Amazing Summit stage, among others.