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Are You Ready to Start Your Own Online Business? Ask Yourself These 4 Questions

How are you supposed to know if you're ready to start that Amazon business? Answer these questions to see if your expectations are realistic.
Brian Wisniach Content Writer
10 minutes read

If you clicked on this, we’re banking the answer to that question is anywhere from a hesitant to resounding “Yes!”

However, we don’t want to make the same mistake that so many other “You can do anything!” blogs make – which is telling anybody and everybody how easy it is to get rich quick with Amazon. To be honest, it’s not all that realistic.

Instead, I’d like to focus your attention where we think it would make the biggest impact: your e-commerce foundation. Properly understanding what you’re getting into before you start your business (whether you’re selling on Amazon or opening a bakery down the street) is the most important part of success.

If you have been flirting with the idea of starting your own online business, there’s a good chance you’ve been putting it off for one reason or another. Some are probably very good reasons (see: the global pandemic). However, generally speaking, there is always a reason not to jump in. 

Think of this as your “Are you ready to start selling on Amazon quiz.” Read and think about each of these questions carefully – just think about them – that’s your only homework as of now. They will help indicate whether or not you are mentally ready to make (what very well could be) the best career decision of your life! 

Then, when you’re ready, move on to starting your Amazon business

Alright, on to the questions!

What are Your Expectations?

This is a great place to start, as one of the biggest causes of Amazon seller-dissatisfaction, disappointment, and, ultimately, demise is a fundamental misunderstanding of what they got into in the first place. It’s the easiest mistake to avoid, so it’s often the best place to begin if you’re deciding on starting your own business. 

Adjusting Down

First, let’s talk about your initial investment. When many people think about starting their own business, their gut reaction is immediate financial dread. 

“How much money is that going to take to get off the ground? $10,000? $15,000?”

Maybe 20 years ago. Today, the combination of Amazon’s growing accessibility along with the thriving landscape of third-party Amazon seller tools have allowed “the average Joe/Jane” to get set up with their own brand for less money than ever before. Is it possible to start selling on Amazon with a $500 investment? Yes. Is it ideal? Not really, but in all honesty, if you spend your time chasing “the ideal” you’ll likely never get started!

A more realistic starting investment may be around $5,000. Helium 10 even did a case study launching multiple Amazon products for $5,000. Recently, we published an update worth getting excited about…. $150k in sales in four months

At the end of the day, your starting investment depends on several different factors including:

  • The cost of manufacturing your product
  • How much money you want to spend on paid advertising (a big part of ranking higher on Amazon)
  • How fast you want to scale (grow) your brand
  • Whether you are looking for a modest side-income or a full-time e-commerce business

Don’t let anyone tell you there is one magic number for your initial investment. Regardless of what is ideal, chances are you are much, much closer than you think.

Adjusting Up

Now, for the other side of the coin.

Like we mentioned before, the biggest mistake you can make is going into this with a “get rich quick” attitude. Yes, you can certainly make a healthy profit selling on Amazon in a relatively short amount of time. That being said, it’s rare to hit it out of the park on your first try. 

Success on Amazon often takes time (as with learning any new skill).

You can’t be expected to pick up a guitar for the first time and start playing Hendrix right away. Even Jimi had to stumble through those first few songs.

Be patient with the learning curve. There’s more to picking the right product to sell than just a “good idea.” There’s more to making thousands of dollars in revenue every month than just listing a cheap product. There’s more to growing an online business than exclusively selling on Amazon (gasp!). 

Learning how to choose a product that is cheap to produce, from a supplier overseas that you can trust, for a niche market on Amazon that you already know has demand. These things take time to learn.

The same goes for learning how to make an Amazon listing the right way and correctly budgeting your paid advertising efforts.

Chances are you’re going to need some help… 

Do You Have the Required Starting Tools?

If selling on Amazon was so easy everyone would be doing it! Well…

It’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but to an extent, everyone is doing it.

In fact, more than one million new sellers join the Amazon marketplace every year. So far this year, to date, we’ve already seen over 300,000 new sellers.

Don’t let that scare you. Most new sellers are going to be over eager to jump in without the proper research. And the proper research requires data.

That’s where we come in. Using either a few (or our complete suite) of Amazon seller tools, you receive a “front-of-the-line pass” of sorts for building your Amazon business pre-catered for success. 

Here’s how the right tools can give you a leg up.

Product Research

With an Amazon product research tool like Black Box, get an accurate picture of your potential product pool with estimated monthly revenue, review count, Best Seller Rank (BSR), and more. 

Looking for real-world sales data and a way to calculate the profit margin for any product on Amazon? Our free Amazon chrome extension is the Swiss Army knife every seller should have on their laptop. 

Keyword Research

Using our flagship keyword research tool, Cerebro, you now have a way to instantly see what the most-searched-for phrases are on Amazon for a given product. See a product you may be interested in selling? Plug its ASIN into Cerebro and watch the magic happen.

It’s the difference between choosing your product with a blindfold and choosing your product, having already seen what Amazon shoppers are looking for.

Listing Optimization

Need help with writing your first product listing? Scribbles, our easy-to-use (and most fun) keyword listing optimization tool is for you. Import a list of the keywords that will help you reach page one in Amazon search results to Scribbles and get a live-tracked look at how well your listing is optimized for success. We color code everything for you, so you can focus on putting the most-searched-for key phrases at the top of your listing.

Your Entire Amazon Selling Journey, Not Just the Beginning

We’re here to help you get your bearings but let’s face it, eventually, you will be an expert. 

With selling tools to help with inventory management, PPC advertising, email marketing, security alerts, and more, we’ll still be there for you when the water gets deep. 

Starting your own online business, as easy as it has become, can often still feel like you need a small team pushing the cart behind you. Thanks to modern technology (and some very knowledgeable people at Helium 10), we would love to be that team for you.

Have questions about our pricing plans? We’ve laid everything out for you here.

Are You Willing to Learn? 

If you don’t have at least a little bit of that “back to school” mentality, you may find yourself struggling to keep up with the e-commerce crowd. Yes, business is still business, fundamentally. However, business on Amazon requires a unique skill set that many of you frankly just don’t have yet (why would you?). 

Things like bidding on keywords for Amazon PPC. 

Optimizing your paid ad campaigns is one of the best ways to keep your product listing front and center on Amazon and often has a direct correlation to higher sales numbers (and more profit in your pocket!).

You will also want to get familiar with your social media platforms if you haven’t already. Marketing on Facebook, Instagram, and emerging live streaming platforms on Amazon are all key to nurturing a customer-base that will reward you with repeat-purchases (aka: your bread & butter.)

Especially with the seller tools like we mentioned above (even if you don’t use ours), you will need to become familiar with the analytics that surround the e-commerce space. 

Sales velocity, conversion rate, landing cost, TACoS (Yes, that’s a real one AND an important one), ROI… the list goes on.

One of the best attitudes to have when deciding to start your own Amazon business is to be like the humble sponge. 

Be willing to absorb it all.

Resources to help you learn the ropes:

  • Glossary of Amazon terms
  • Project X (A real-world, start to finish YouTube series on exactly what it takes to start an Amazon business from scratch.)
  • Freedom Ticket. The premier Amazon seller course, broken into weekly modules and designed specifically to help aspiring Amazon sellers do things the right way, not just the easy way.

Are You Afraid to Fail?

Amazon is not somewhere that you can “flunk out of,” at least not at first. Yes, you don’t want to continually sink money into multiple ideas that aren’t performing. However, as you learn, as you employ more tools, as you adapt your online business, a new opportunity will always present itself.

Let’s not beat around the bush – there’s a good chance you’re going to run into failure (in some form or another) in your entrepreneurial journey! 

Too many e-commerce outlets shy away from this inevitable fact. Common failures you may encounter include: 

  • Underestimating your inventory needs and running out of stock prematurely, killing your momentum and disrupting your ad campaigns.
  • Choosing a product that is too expensive to produce, causing an almost impossible-to-maintain profit margin. 
  • Choosing a product based solely on estimated revenue and not taking into account keyword research (the harnessing of Amazon search traffic).
  • Selling a great product on an otherwise poorly written Amazon listing (and leaving money on the table!)

While these all may sound disastrous, every one of these things can be fixed.

Be patient with the process, accept the learning curve, and embrace failure when it does eventually come. At the end of the day, failure will only teach you how to run your online business more smoothly.

If you want to dive deeper into how to come back from a failed Amazon product, check out our blog on the subject.

So… you’ve taken the quiz, you’ve survived the questions. How’d you do? 

Hopefully, we were able to take some of the sting and mystery out of this whole “starting your own business” … business. As long as you maintain realistic expectations and are at the very least, open to learning a new thing or two, it is 100% possible – no, likely – that you will find success on Amazon.

You have the tools, you have the inspiration, and the Amazon platform has never been more accessible to new sellers than it is right now.

Are you ready?

Brian Wisniach Brian was born to tell stories. With a background in screenwriting and riveting daydreams, Brian brought his love of creative storytelling to the world of e-commerce to bring seller stories to life. Brian is as easygoing as it gets but has an appetite for adventure. If there is a new way of looking at the world, you will find him first in line at the telescope. Don't let his lanky frame fool you, he is awful at basketball.


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