I have had plenty of time interuptions in my lifetime. Lately, it seems it’s gotten worse.
Recently, the Covid pandemic threw our Amazon business for a loop.
In March, 2020, Amazon began restricting FBA Inbound shipments to “essential products” only.
None of ours were on the essential list.
What to do?
We quickly noticed that several of our product families began to sell like Christmas from our lingering FBA stock. It sees that mass-containment made our products more desirable!
We had plenty on the shelf here, but we couldn’t replenish to Amazon.
We could see our sales quickly grinding to a halt.
Successful businesses adapt to changing circumstances.
We have had experience fulfilling our orders when we sold on eBay, and a few now and then on Amazon. We would give FBM a try with our remaining inventory.
We did an “Add another condition” through the Seller Central, Manage Inventory, Edit button. We didn’t do an edit, but the option is one of the choices that button enables.
We also created a new Shipping Template under our Settings, Shipping Preferences. We disabled Free Shipping, and went with by weight calculation for all methods.
We added “-FBM” at the end of our newly created FBM SKU.
We started selling many of or best sellers FBM for a 20-30% premium PLUS Shipping.
April was the best month we’ve had in 2 years. Not just the best April, but the best Month, including 2 Decembers.
So, shipping every day – dozens and dozens of orders – from our house. We got to know our local Postmaster as we scheduled daily pickups or delivered to their back dock if I forgot to schedule.
We mis-guessed on shipping supplies needed. Luckily, www.Uline.com has a nearby facility with next day delivery as standard.
Then, our vendors ran out of these best sellers. We had to scramble to find replacements. Some just sold out. (Even now, 2 months later, they still haven’t caught up.)
Madness I tell you.
What does this have to do with keeping track of time?
Well, we shaped our Amazon business around a pert-time effort of 8-10 hours each per week. This FBM was making it 8-10 hours each Per Day!
Not much time for growing the garden or mowing the lawn — but we managed.
But, I recently took on an engagement as a Coach for Jim Cockrum’s Amazon Coaching. (https://www.jimcockrumcoaching.com/) This consists of scheduled meetings and ad-hoc consultations… Almost like real work!
The coaching team uses BaseCamp to manage our various students, and Calendly for scheduling coaching sessions. I get paid a flat rate for regular coaching, and a time-spent-rate for consultations.
To track these “Reactive Coaching” sessions, I am using Time Camp to track my students and the time I spend with them. (https://app.timecamp.com/helper/download)
Time Camp bills itself as a collaborative Project Management tool. It is.
I track my students as sub-tasks of my Coaching Project. The Timer feature lets me track how much time I spend with each so I can get paid for my time.
I have had to dust off my organizational skills. Being retired has let me have some lapse in discipline
I guess no more.
Every day, plan your day. Plan your outcomes. Track your time doing various tasks so you can better plan in the future.
Use the Tools. Make the Money. Be the Success.