Setting goals is a powerful way to focus in on exactly what should be done with your business. Instead of aimlessly pursuing various metrics, a goal helps guide every decision you make.
When my team and I set goals, we start with the end in mind and work backwards.
Let’s say I’m setting a goal that I expect to reach in 2 years. As an example, by the end of 2017 I want to have $1,000,000 in gross sales for the year. From that starting point, I know that by August I need to have $600,000 sold. This means that between now and February I need to have sold $300,000 to be on pace.
Don’t Be Afraid to Change Your Goal
As you work backwards from an ambitious goal, you might realize that in order to meet it you need to be selling $50,000 per month and you’re presently selling $6,000 per month. It might be time to re-adjust your goal, and work from there.
Keep Your Ideal Lifestyle in Mind
Having a successfully, busy and profitable e-commerce store is a wonderful thing. However, it should exist to allow you to live your ideal lifestyle. Don’t fall for the common trap of chasing the highest numbers imaginable. Instead, when thinking about your ideal monthly sales goals (and your cut of the profits), think about what your ideal life looks like.
Maybe you can finally travel as much as you want. You can be at every one of your child’s events. You have financial freedom. You feel safe and secure. You’re going to make a legacy you can pass on to your children.
How much do you need to personally earn to fund your ideal life?
Sending in Consistent Amounts of Inventory
Now that you have a goal in mind of how much you need to sell every month, it’s time to hone in on how much you need to send in every week to have enough inventory available. Using Amazon’s Fulfillment Center means you don’t have to store things until they sell, so all you need to is load them up with the right inventory.
Alright, that’s easier said than done. However, it provides a meaningful, actionable direction for you to focus on.
If you’d like to sell $30,000 next month, but you only have $10,000 worth of inventory available for sale, you have a problem. It’s time to source more items and stock up your inventory. You need to sell $20,000 more, so over the next four weeks you need to send in at least $5,000 worth of inventory per week.
Do you see how working backwards from a monthly sale goal now gives us an actionable focus? That’s how my team and I grew to selling over one million in sales within 5 years. We focused on sending in valuable inventory consistently.
What Happens When You Run Out of Capital?
If even you’ve sourced an in demand item with great margins, you can only buy so much at a time before that inventory is sold and you’re paid. Do you hold off and wait? You can, but that’s not what we did.
When we ran out of capital, we did everything legally possible to find new inventory to sell. I often go back to my roots and buy items at garage sales that I know can be sold on Craigslist for profit. I then parlay that profit into sourcing more inventory. Buying and selling used books and strollers have helped me continuously send in the right amount of inventory.
The Difference Between Broke and Poor
I recently heard Damon John speak and one thing he said really stuck out, “If you want to be an entrepreneur, you really need to harness the power of broke.” He elaborated that there’s a huge difference between being broke and being poor. Broke means you’re temporarily out of money, while poor means something entirely different.
Damon continued, “When you are broke, you’re starting on a shoestring, you get really resourceful. You just start to figure out ways to make it happen.” When you run out of capital to buy more inventory, you’re broke. Time to get resourceful and figure out how to achieve your goal.
Reviving Stale Inventory
Sending in regular amounts of inventory is your backbone, and optimizing that inventory is your muscles. Look for inventory that you don’t want to reprice or dispose of. It’s time to optimize your stale inventory:
- Can the picture be improved?
- Are there clear, beneficial bullet points?
- Can the title be more descriptive and captivating?
- Can you add more keywords to improve search results?
Enhancing your inventory, combined with consistently sending in inventory, is how you achieve your monthly sales goals. It will take time, effort and streamlined processes – but you can make it happen.