The question of whether or not to hire an Amazon consultant is one that almost every Amazon store owner asks at some point. But it isn’t an easy decision to make. Hiring an Amazon consultant can be quite appealing if you are looking at it from the perspective of the expertise that you lack and what you need to bring your business to the highest level. If you start by thinking about what it’s going to cost, however, you will probably get discouraged.
Contemplating the decision to hire an Amazon consultant is not unlike a mental and emotional roller coaster ride. There are a lot of exciting advantages to look forward to, but also a lot of frightening dangers that can kill a business if owners don’t put precautions in place.
This guide is to help you take that ride – or at least a simulation of sorts – so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for you to hire an Amazon consultant for your business.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is an Amazon Consultant?
Put simply, an Amazon consultant is someone who provides expert advice on areas of the Amazon platform for a fee. The true Amazon consultant has years of experience at all levels within that area and therefore has the hands-on knowledge to share — juicy tidbits that you can immediately put to practical use.
Pro Tip: It’s not about theories and editorial analysis – worthwhile Amazon consulting is about knowing what actually works from often painful experience.
Usually, the overall goal of consulting with such an expert is to increase revenue through strategies designed to work for your specific store. They will often target pain points in your business that are holding progress back. Generally, an Amazon consultant knows about:
- the technical side of the Amazon platform, including off-site connections
- how selling on Amazon works, perhaps including multi-channel marketing
- how marketing on and for Amazon works
Do You Need a Specialized Amazon Consultant?
The need to hire, first off, will always depend on whether or not you have all the skills, experience and time available within your business already. If you’re a solopreneur, it’s not likely. If you have a partner or managers, you may or may not be able to get everything done even when you put your heads together.
After all, you don’t usually choose a business partner or manager based solely on how their skill sets and knowledge complement yours.
Amazon has grown to be a very large animal over the past decade with many arms and legs. Depending on how your business uses Amazon, you will usually have at least a few areas within your business that are not getting the attention they need. This tends to mean that you don’t have the complete set of factors to get everything done at the highest level (if at all).
You would also, therefore, be hard put to find an Amazon consultant who really knows everything about everything on Amazon.
If anyone claims to be able to make highly valuable recommendations in every area of your Amazon business all on their own, that’s a huge red flag – you might be dealing with a scammer.
Not to worry, however, because you can certainly find a few (or several if you need a lot of expert advice) who specialize in different areas. Hiring specialists is actually better than hiring one person to do everything. The jack of all trades is a master of, well, maybe one or even more than three things, but definitely NOT everything.
If you’re aiming for the best results, then hiring all the specialists you need is the wisest choice.
You may not have the budget available to hire all these people immediately, but you can target the key areas and start with the most important prerequisites.
How to Determine Your Need for Amazon Consultants
With the following four steps, you can easily pinpoint what in your business is hurting and determine what sore spots need to be taken care of first.
1. Map out the areas of your business that need attention.
Whether or not you’re doing Private Label, you can use this organizational diagram to get you started.
Cross out any areas you don’t need and add in any that are missing or if you need to branch out further.
2. Identify the pain points that you are experiencing within each area of your business.
Say, for example, you need:
- A better digital advertising strategy because you’re not getting enough clicks and conversions
- More compelling graphics that illustrate product usage and benefits
- Better listing text that’s optimized for the best keywords
- Sponsored Products campaigns
- Better customer service
- Compliance with Amazon’s storage promotion
Circle those key people on your chart, like this:
3. Prioritize them according to what needs the most urgent attention.
This might be:
- How you should handle customer service to live up to Amazon standards and please the extremely demanding Amazon customer.
- How to get supplier management and purchasing under control and optimize the process.
Mark these on your chart with a star.
4. Consider also what is prerequisite to other vital areas.
For instance, you might want to get some good graphics done up for your off-Amazon advertising campaigns, but you first need to get help with your general marketing strategy. The same is true for SEO – you need your keywords strategized and listings optimized before you launch PPC campaigns.
Number the prerequisite areas to sort out your priorities, as below.
Now you can clearly see what you need to tackle first so that other departments don’t get bogged down waiting for results.
Filling in the Gaps
You will find that most often, these areas require specific know-how. At this stage, you need to find out where you’re going to get that infusion of expertise.
First, you should, of course, look within your existing organizational structure.Sourcing talent from within the company ranks is always smarter than starting from scratch. You already know what each individual is capable of, and most likely, you work well together, which is an important factor in getting things done right without a lot of rinse and repeat.
If you find that you don’t have the knowledge and experience that you need for an area in-house, you obviously need to bring someone on board. You don’t want to keep winging it or trying to get someone to learn something that they don’t really have the talent for. They will probably not be good at it, and you will have wasted time and effort without solving your problem. You need to hire an Amazon consultant to cover any area that you can’t already cover at a high level.
If you do have the people who can do these tasks, the final consideration is time.
To really know what you’re getting into here, you need to break down each area into its component tasks. If you’re not sure what that entails, then that’s already a good reason to bring on an Amazon consultant. If you do, then go ahead and add branches to your map to list out all those tasks.
Now for the clincher.
What level of value do these tasks bring to your business compared to tasks currently being handled?
If your plates are all full, which they probably are, then this means either more hours spent working or less time spent on tasks – whether the old ones or these new ones. Taking on new tasks will always result in an additional burden on either the person or the business. You don’t want either to happen because this lowers productivity and results in poorer outcomes.
Take a good look and see whether or not the time that you or a partner or manager would spend on these areas is worth transferring to a different task.
- the gaps you will be creating by moving someone to a new task
- who will fill in these new gaps
- the cost of transitioning and reorganizing – monetary as well as in terms of time, effort and stress
Change — even positive change — can be stressful!
Now compare that to hiring an Amazon consultant to do what isn’t yet being done — and do it expertly without hitches.
Deserving Only the Best
One of my favorite sayings is from one of the great men and entrepreneurs that this world has produced:
Whatever you do, do it well. – Walt Disney
Your business deserves the best. Certainly, you do the best for your business. But are you upholding this standard in all areas for everyone involved? What are you doing to ensure that your business is getting the best?
And really, your business needs the best to reach its fullest potential for visibility, sales, customer satisfaction, and growth. If this is what you want, then take what you know about what your business needs and decide not whether or not you need an Amazon consultant but where you need that infusion of expert advice.
A second set of eyes is always useful, and an expert’s insight is invaluable.
Don’t let a full schedule, task juggling or inexperience make you miss vital pain points and gaps. This will most certainly rob your business of its glowing future. The right Amazon consultant will see things that you haven’t noticed because you’re too busy, too tired, too stressed or too close you can’t see the forest for the trees.
And more importantly, this consultant will know how to fix these problems. They won’t just put a band-aid on them, either. They will sort everything out so that the business is set up to run well permanently. This is what they do — analyze problem areas, present solutions to apply, and sometimes even get everyone started on putting new systems and processes into place so that everything can run like a well-oiled machine.
At one time or another, you must have recognized that your business is suffering in this or that area. It’s time to stop sighing over what you can’t do. Refocus and know that it can be done, and done NOW, before you lose out on any more opportunities for growth and revenue, with the help of an Amazon consultant.
Want to know where to start? Check out these posts for more on hiring and working with an Amazon consultant:
Julia Valdez is a professional teacher and decades-long lover of the art of words on paper, the stage and the big screen. She spends most of her time doing freelance eCommerce content and project management, adventuring with the Greenhouse Christian Fellowship, volunteering with the Philippine Advocates for Resilient Communities, and sharing lots of laughs over little crazy things.