Dreaming about doubling your income but daunted by the idea of building a business from the ground up? Understandable. Everyone who’s paved their way before you has experienced moments of fear and self-doubt, or at the very least, unease at the prospect of a business risk. However, it’s these moments of unease and leaps of faith that ultimately help manifest your personal and financial success.
Take it from Todd Welch, a former system administrator who left a six-figure salary to build his business on Amazon. Todd went from feeling restless at a 9-5 to generating close to $800,000 in annual sales working remotely. In the first episode of Amazon Seller School, you’ll hear from Todd as he walks you through the benefits of Amazon Wholesale, tips for the aspiring e-commerce entrepreneur, and the story behind his success.
What To Expect…
Everything you need to know about building a successful business on Amazon, including leading a lifestyle that supports your venture and learning to adapt your model to other platforms. None of us know how long the Amazon wave will last and it’s important to build a model that ensures your success isn’t dependent on theirs.
Don’t Jump The Gun
When do you stay the course and when do you plunge head-first into a new venture? Todd took a full-time position in order to reinvest the profits from Amazon back into his business and still pay day-to-day expenses. When it comes to selling on Amazon, wait until your sales reach double your day job’s salary before quitting the 9-5 and making Amazon your full-time gig.
Todd breaks down several of his financial goals – reaching $100,000 in monthly sales and investing business profits into rental real estate. As you start a business venture and that venture begins to grow, it’s important to develop definitive goals. Making dough is great, but setting specific financial goals and long-term milestones will keep you on track and remind you of your future financial priorities, not just what’s in your wallet today.
Success Is Out There…Take It!
Do you feel guilty chasing your professional aspirations? As if the piece of pie you’ve earned is inevitably snatching a slice from someone else? Cut this mentality and remember that there’s plenty to go around, the pie is ever expanding. Fight for what’s yours!
Not to mention, the percentage of shopping done through e-commerce is expected to grow over the next several years. While there may be many others beginning an online venture as a result, only a small percentage will stick with it. Be the one who follows through!
Because of the small investment required, selling Amazon Wholesale is a low-risk option. Amazon has plenty of tools to help new sellers determine what will be profitable, eliminating risk and helping you navigate the first few steps.
Building a business is never easy. Success requires sacrifice, discipline, and passion. But familiarizing yourself with the e-commerce landscape will help pulling the trigger on your new venture feel less like, well, pulling a trigger, and more like taking a test with the perfect study guide sitting in your lap.
Outline of This Episode
[0:14] Todd’s introduction to this episode
[1:26] What to expect from this series
[12:53] Don’t quit your day job today
[14:08] The importance of setting goals
[16:15] How to claim your success!
[17:33] The benefits of selling Amazon Wholesale
[18:33] Todd’s closing thoughts
Resources From This Episode
- The Amazing Seller Podcast by Scott Voelker
- Smart Passive Income Podcast by Pat Flynn
- HOW HIGH WILL E-COMMERCE SALES GO?
Todd: 00:00 What’s up everybody. Welcome to episode number one of the Amazon Seller School podcast. I’m your host Todd Welch.
Todd: 00:14 This first episode, I just want to talk a little bit about my story about the podcast and what we’re going to do here. So the main focus of the podcast is going to be the Amazon Seller School, talking about the Amazon Seller School and more specifically Amazon wholesale because that is what I’m currently doing the most of the best at. I’m doing quite well selling products on Amazon, other people’s products on Amazon. I also have some of my own products as well, which we can talk on and touch on, but this podcast is really going to be about sharing my Amazon Seller School and tips and tricks selling on Amazon that will help you do more, do it quicker, and maybe avoid some of the pitfalls that I’ve run into. We’ll also do reviews of different products, talk with a product owners and things like that and other sellers, lots of different things around Amazon wholesale and the Amazon Seller School in general.
Todd: 01:26 And so the reason I’m starting this is because of all those reasons I just mentioned. If you go know someone by the name of Scott Voelker, the amazing seller, he helped me a lot getting into this Amazon game. Now he talked mostly about Amazon private label, which is where I started and that led me into retail arbitrage and wholesale and other things as well. And wholesale is where I’ve really struck it quite good. And there’s not a lot of other podcasts out there that talk specifically on Amazon wholesale. There’s more on private label but not as many Amazon wholesale. So I wanted to provide that for you guys. Share my knowledge like I’ve learned from other people, help you build your Amazon wholesale business and business in general. Even outside of Amazon because, while, Amazon is an awesome platform right now. It may not always be the best platform to sell your products.
Todd: 02:34 So learning how to successfully grow a business outside of Amazon as well is very important. So we’ll also touch on those kinds of things. You know, what goes behind building a good business, what goes into it, building a good lifestyle to support that business and everything else. So that’s what we’re really going to do here. And I really think, or I really hope I should say that it’s going to help you guys out there. You’ll have to let me know, let me know with the reviews on Apple iTunes or Stitcher or wherever you’re listening to this on YouTube perhaps. And so for this episode, I’m just going to give you a little bit about my backstory so you know, a little bit of more about myself and where I’m coming from. So my story business wise goes all the way back to 1994 I believe I was about 14 or 15 years old and I was really getting into building websites and computers and things like that.
Todd: 03:45 And I built a website called the besteen. So B, E, S. T, E. E. N. It doesn’t exist anymore, but back then it was a website for teenagers to go onto and play games, sign up on, you know, joke newsletters. There we had a chat room and lots of every little fun things for teenagers to do. And at the peak of that, I was actually making about $300 a month off of affiliate commission and signing people up for newsletters. And this was at you know, the peak or the start of the peak of the internet boom before collapsed in 1999 so people were paying pretty outrageously for things like that. Like it was a dollar per email sign up on this newsletter that I was signing people up on. So it was really cool. That kind of started to fall away over time though.
Todd: 04:44 And I went away from that. Unfortunately, I wish I would have stuck stuck with that more. But I moved away from that and got more into other computer programming, a computer repair, computer networking, and ended up going to college at Chippewa Valley technical college in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Got a couple associates degrees there, one in programming, one in networking. And then I went for my bachelor’s in information systems and software technologies from Bellevue university out of Nebraska. That was an online college that I went to and found some jobs working at Menards in their computer hardware department. Then I worked for Marshville clinic in their computer support department as well. I originally wanted to be a computer programmer, but unfortunately I graduated right after the.com crash or maybe fortunately I guess depending on how you look at it. And so after I graduated I went on about 30 interviews and nobody wanted to hire me.
Todd: 05:55 I didn’t have any experience and I was up against lots of unemployed programmers that had lots of experience. So that’s when I actually went back to school and got the additional degrees and move into more of the computer repair system administration, world of computer working at computers now in July, 2006 was actually my first adventure into business and that’s when we officially started TCTEKS Computers with my friend and partner, Carlos Cruz and TCTEKS was a computer repair shop that we started out of our basement. And out of our cars, going to people’s houses and working on computers. And from July, 2006 all the way to May, 2016 when I sold my shares of that business, we built it from our basement to having three retail stores and serving thousands, tens of thousands of customers, fixing tens of thousands of computers. And it was doing well. It was providing a self-employment job for myself, basically.
Todd: 07:16 And, but I wanted more than that and it was around 2015 that I started experimenting with Amazon selling on Amazon. I actually found Scott Voelker through Pat Flynn’s smart passive income podcast. If you haven’t checked out Pat Flynn, check him out as well. Another awesome podcast, same with Scott Voelker, who is now into building brands around your products before launching them on Amazon and other places. And I’m doing that right along with him as well. But I sold TCTEKS Computers in May, 2016 to one of our employees. I basically got paid a little bit for having a job for ten years. So definitely didn’t get rich off of it, but I knew I wanted to do something else. And so that’s when I started doing the Amazon a lot of private label and retail arbitrage at that time. And that was going okay, but it wasn’t enough to pay the bills.
Todd: 08:20 So I ended up taking a system administrator position again for Clark County in Wisconsin, which led into a manager’s position there as well. So I was making really good money almost the six figures on that salary, but it just wasn’t satisfying for me. I’ve never been the kind of person who is satisfied at a job I tend to start a job and about a year into it, six months to a year into, and once I’ve kind of learned everything, I feel the need to do something else. And that is, I think, the entrepreneur inside of me. If you have a mind like mine, your mind is always racing and always coming up with different ideas, wanting to do different things. And so that’s the entrepreneur mentality that I have. And so even though I was making good money, I could have lived a good lifestyle.
Todd: 09:21 If I would continue doing that job, I chose to jump over to Amazon and try to make a go of it full time and I was doing pretty good. I by this time, by the time I left that job, which I believe was 2018 I, yes, beginning of 2018, January, 2018 I was doing decent in Amazon. I was selling around 30 to 45,000 per month, give her take and bottom line profit was maybe around 18%. So I made that jump, which in hindsight was definitely way too early because once I had to start paying myself a salary out of the business, that no longer allowed me to roll that money back into the business to keep growing it. So it became very hard to grow the business after making that jump. And also still being relatively new to learning the Amazon wholesale world, I made some bad purchases and things kind of started going downhill.
Todd: 10:35 My peak, I sold almost a hundred thousand dollars per month. But the profit just wasn’t there where it needed to be. So eventually what I decided to do after a year of that is taken other position and be able to roll all of the profit back into the Amazon business, which is where I find myself today. And right now as we speak, I have an currently selling almost $60,000 per month, but the profit is a lot better than what it was before. So earlier I said it was at 18%. It was actually a lot lower than that back then maybe 10% back then and now my profit level is closer to 20% on that $60,000 that I’m currently selling. I’m not taking any money out of the business. I’m rolling it all back in there with my goal is to break that hundred thousand dollar barrier finally within the next few months here.
Todd: 11:46 I was beating up against that 100,000, and I haven’t been able to break it as of yet. So that is one of my goals here the next three months. So that is kind of where I’m at in the Amazon game. I’ve been sharing lots of videos on YouTube. So if you’re not a subscribe on our YouTube channel already, make sure you jump over there to search for Amazon Seller School and check that out. And so yeah, that is my backstory. Now, my goals going forward is I have some very big goals. So my goals for this next year is to shoot for 10 million in sales next year, 2020. And that’s not going to be easy. I, right now I’m at about 700,000 in sales this last year, 2019, I’ll probably finish with close to 800,000 in sales. But with rolling all the profit back in and having a nother job to cover my life expenses, I can keep growing that much faster.
Todd: 12:53 That’s another thing that I wanted to touch on is I took loans from Amazon last year, the loans that they give you which there’s nothing wrong with that, but the problem was that I was trying to use those loans to cover the money that I was taking out of the business, which was a big, big, big mistake on my part. You really don’t want to jump full time into a business like this until you’re able to probably double what you’re making at your current job so that you’re not hurting yourself when you jump over and start building that business full time. So it’s really all about finding the time after work, before work and on the weekends to keep building this. And it’s totally doable with Amazon wholesale. That’s what’s so awesome about it. Everything can be done remotely and everything is handled or a majority of the work is handled by Amazon from customer support and shipping your products and getting the customers to sell your products and things like that.
Todd: 14:08 So that’s what I really like about the Amazon wholesale model and why I so highly suggest it to other people as a lower risk way to start selling on Amazon, start building a business. It’s totally doable to reach the $10 million in sales in a year in this game, starting from scratch with maybe $5,000 to play with or something like that. The other goal that I have in additional to the 10 million sales is $100,000 profit per month and I eventually want own $100 million in rental real estate. That is going to be my retirement fund, so to speak, rather than putting money in an IRA or 401K a where you hope you get lucky and make some money. I plan on putting some of the profits from the business into rental real estate. And then one of my other fun goals that I really like is I want to own a triple crown winning race horse.
Todd: 15:18 I’ve been into horse racing since I was a little kid playing a video game called winning post with my brother. And now I want to move that into the real world. So those are just some of my goals. I have a whole list of lots of other life goals and I definitely recommend you write down your goals as well, no matter how extravagant they might seem, having a target to shoot for something that’s very important. So that is essentially my backstory. Now I just want to say a little bit more about why you should sell wholesale on Amazon. So currently as of 2019 e-commerce selling online or people buying online is only about 10% of all retail. So if you think about that 10% of all retail, I’m assuming or I’m pretty sure that is going to grow. That’s not going to shrink.
Todd: 16:15 People are going to be buying more online, so the pie is going to keep getting bigger and bigger for shopping online. And now Amazon itself is currently at 41% of all eCommerce sales and growing. They’re expected to reach 50% by 2021. And so Amazon is getting bigger. The eCommerce share of retail is getting bigger. This pie is going to keep expanding. So while some people say it’s getting too crowded and things like that, it’s growing faster than good people can come into it to sell products. There’s always going to be lots of people who start doing it, but only a few of those or a small percentage are going to actually follow through. And so hopefully in this podcast I can help you be one of those ones that follow through. And then also what’s awesome about Amazon is you have lots of different tools that you can use to see the sales history of products, the sales velocity of products to make sure that you’re buying products that are profitable, sell well, sell fast, and you’re going to be able to sell and make a profit on them.
Todd: 17:33 There’s so many tools now available. It’s really easy to see which products are going to be profitable. It’s not easy or simple to build your business. I definitely don’t want you to think that there’s no such thing as a get rich quick. Amazon is definitely not that. It’s a lot of hard work and you’re going to have to work to build a real business, but the tools can take a lot of the risk out of it and help you be profitable right from the start. Where if you think of a normal brick and mortar business that you’d normally start like a retail store, it can take two, three, four years. Sometimes before you see a profit from that where with Amazon you can start seeing profit from day one and there’s not a lot of businesses that can say that. All right, so that is the end of episode one here of Amazon Seller School, Amazon wholesale podcast.
Todd: 18:33 I really hope you enjoyed that and I’m looking forward to really diving into Amazon, going over different tactics on Amazon, different tools and then also talking about the Amazon Seller School and building your business and helping you become successful. And a couple of sayings that I like to say. Number one, you will never find time you have to make it so if you’re going to build your business, you have to make time because you will never find time. And then number two is success is yours. If you take it, success is out there. The pie is ever expanding. There’s no limit to the number of people that can be successful. A lot of people think that if I’m successful, I’ll take it from someone else. That’s totally not true. The pie is ever growing and there’s plenty of room for everyone to be successful. So it’s yours. Success is yours if you take it. That’s one of my sayings that I like to live by and just reach out there, grab it, do the work, and take the success that you deserve. So with that, make sure you subscribe to the podcast on Apple, iTunes or Stitcher. Leave me a review. I’d love to hear your thoughts and let me know what it is. I’ll read some of those on future podcasts as well, and to make sure you check us out at amazonseller.school other than that this is Todd Welch with the Amazon Seller School, signing off. Happy selling everybody.