Amazon is a business giant. Whichever way you look at it, the company creates a lot of wealth for a lot of people. Entrepreneurs looking for business ideas could do worse than aligning themselves with Amazon’s methods. Within Amazon’s various products there are opportunities for new businesses. Each requires an idea, a solid execution phase and an owner with a keen eye for progress.
Ryan Carroll skipped college and the traditional 9-5 and instead started building Amazon stores. Within a matter of years, he was generating millions of dollars in sales and he’s still only 26. After his friends started asking him to build their stores too, he realized that they didn’t actually want to own their own store, they just wanted to make money. He founded his business, Wealth Assistants, to help them do this.
Carroll now utilizes his experience, assets and knowledge to help his investor clients (many of whom are friends) escape the rat race, beat traditional investment returns and build new streams of passive income, From first-hand experience of securing returns for his clients, here’s how Carroll advised you can leverage Amazon for passive income, without starting your own store.
Invest in a store
Having all of the benefits of ownership with none of the hassle of looking after a store, Carroll said investing in a store is one way forward. Here’s where you, “find an up-and-coming store, reach out to the owners, and offer a win-win proposal they can’t refuse.” Amazon store owners have already gone through the process of starting up, of trialing and erroring, and the steep learning curve that entails. “When you invest you are effectively buying that learning curve.”
Your strategy could be to invest in several in different industries or choose the same industry to hedge your bets among competitors. Find up and coming stores by taking note of Amazon’s rankings. Look for new entrants and novel products and see when they were listed and what their reviews look like. “Products with sudden growth spurts might be listed by owners looking for investment in order to scale faster.”
Join up with friends
Take strategy number one even further by starting your own fund and joining up with friends to invest in multiple stores. “When you find the right people to work with, you can buy existing stores that match your interests or would benefit from your network,” said Carroll. “With the right team of investor partners, you might even find that you do want to start a store, because your unique insights, skills and contacts could make it a huge success.”
Reach out to friends with an interest in investing and tell them your idea. “You’ll need to plan your strategy in advance to get them on board,” advised Carroll. “Know the size of the fund you intend to raise, your strategy for researching and approaching, and the criteria you will set to find stores that fit.” Involve investors early on and let their insights shape the way forward you take together.
Invest in a fund
As Amazon’s influence grows, so does the number of products and stores on the platform and the number of investment funds available for people wanting to share in the winnings. There are funds for specific industries, for specific type of stores or products. Many of the funds are actively buying up stores on Amazon, thereby growing in size and spreading their risk. The upside for investors can be high. “By investing in funds, you can collect monthly income without doing any work,” said Carroll. “It also allows you to expand your e-commerce portfolio much quicker.”
Although the terms of specific funds will vary, many offer monthly or yearly payouts, so your cash isn’t tied up indefinitely. Some offer a money-back guarantee. Your capital is, of course, at risk, so conduct extensive research before you begin. Meet the team, look at their past results and speak to other investors of the fund to work out if it’s the right move for you.
Provide seed funding for a startup
Investing in a store, investing with friends and investing in a fund each place your dollars into existing stores. The first two methods involve you doing a lot of research to find the right stores, the third involves you doing a lot of research to find the right fund. There’s a fourth way that might be up your street. Carroll explained that you could, “provide seed funding for a startup,” a plucky entrepreneur in the early stages of their Amazon empire. Using this method, you “work with new entrepreneurs who have created their business plan, conducted the market analysis, and are confident in the potential of their products.”
Rather than finding a store to invest in, this way involves, “finding entrepreneurs and investing in their ideas.” From here, the business owners are in charge of setting everything up, “but they are incentivized to achieve their goals and generate return on your investment.” Carroll said that although this way still comes with risk, and is probably the most risky of all the options, it can be a huge win for all involved and these people are out there. Find them at networking events, through friends-of-friends. Set up a landing page or add a post on LinkedIn. “Finding the right individuals early in their career can mean that as their expertise, confidence and Amazon business grow, so does your investment.”
Whether investing in a store, investing with friends, investing in a fund or providing seed funding for a budding Amazon entrepreneur, there are plenty of ways to make money on Amazon without opening your own store. Instead, you take the money you would have spent on branding, research, products and operations and entrust someone else with it, after careful vetting of their practices. If you’re looking for a hands-off way of placing bets and potentially winning big, there might be an option for you here.