New Year’s resolutions are a great way of assessing where you’ve got to, and what you need to do next. For instance, you’ve got a bit out of shape, so you say “next year, I’m going to swim twice a week and run every weekend”.
It’s the same with an FBA business. You could do a strategic review any time, but it’s a great idea to use the New Year as your opportunity to promise yourself things you’ll get done in 2023.
Here are the resolutions we think most FBA business owners could usefully make. Your mileage, of course, may vary, but you’ll probably find at least a couple that will help you make 2023 an even better year.
• Resolve to get a new platform. For instance, if you’ve never used TikTok, it’s time to see whether making a video on your smartphone every day or two will get your brand more recognition. Or if you haven’t used Instagram, but you sell products with strong visual appeal, add that platform to your marketing mix.
• Resolve to go through all your product listings and update them through the year. Look at the competition, look at your pages, see if you can do better. Add more lifestyle photos or infographics, or rewrite your description with better use of keywords and more focus on the benefits to your customers. If you have a large number of products, schedule how many you can do in a month, and go through them one by one.
• Resolve to be perfectionist about your products. How are your reviews? Even if you’re getting four stars, see whether you can get all the way to five! Look at products that you have offered for a while, and see whether there’s a way to make them better. For instance, French knife maker Opinel looked at their utility knives, and came up with the idea of taking the pointy end off for safety. These knives are now offered to French kids as “my first Opinel”, so they can peel and slice fruit, carve wood or cut paper, without managing to stab themselves.
• Resolve to invest a percentage of your products into new products, more advertising, and more content. This can turbo-charge your business’s growth. If you already reinvest a given percentage, why not increase it this year?
• Resolve to diversify your marketplaces. If you depend a hundred percent on Amazon, your whole business could come to a halt if for any reason Amazon suspends your account or decides to stop carrying your type of product. You’re also a captive customer if Amazon hikes its fees. Set up your own web site using Shopify, sign up with Walmart, or get an Etsy account.
• Resolve to update your existing skills or learn new ones. For instance, take an online course on search engine optimization, or spend some time learning how to set up really good product photographs. Sometimes it’s worth refreshing your knowledge of an area just to see what’s changed in the past few years; it’s surprising how fast things change.
• Resolve not to procrastinate! If you find that you have no problem knowing what to do, but somehow you just don’t get around to it, this one is for you. Don’t be perfectionist about getting your product listing written, or your photos shot, or an ad campaign under way. Just do it, and be willing to tweak things later. (Using split testing, also known as A/B testing, can be a good way to get started, since you’ll have data to tell you which approach worked best.) The only thing you should be perfectionist about is your product and customer experience.
• Finally, resolve to have a proper vacation and to take a weekend off every so often. It’s easy to burn out without realizing it, so look after yourself. And yes, if you love your work, this applies to you too! In fact it applies especially to you, because it’s the people who love their work who never realize when they’re working too much.