Micheal Veazey | Founder of Amazing FBA
Success leaves clues.
Finance Strategists sat down with Michael Veazey, founder of Amazing FBA. He shared his thoughts on the past, present, and future of the company, as well as the insight he gained from running the business.
Who is Michael Veazey?
Q: Who are you and what’s your background?
My name is Michael Veazey. I’m an Amazon and eCommerce consultant and trainer, and convenor of eCommerce masterminds.
My background is Amazon selling (since 2014); working with clients who are starting up their own eCommerce businesses (since 2016); and helping existing business owners to optimize their Amazon presence and business strategy (since 2017).
I’ve run the Amazing FBA podcast since summer 2015 to help a broader range of eCommerce sellers.
Prior to eCommerce work, I trained and worked as a classical orchestra and choir conductor, which I still do as a hobby. I also trained part-time in internet marketing training over the previous decade.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence, and why did they have such a significant effect on you?
I think my biggest single influence has not been one person but a group: my own clients in the 10K Collective masterminds that I’ve run since Autumn/fall 2017.
With a collective revenue of well over £25 million/$30 Million USD approx. per year, they represent a powerful set of people from whom to draw principles and practices for successful Amazon selling and beyond.
There are a lot of smart, scrappy entrepreneurs in this group, some of them with decades of business experience in retail, product development, and sourcing physical products.
One major point is that they collectively cover a wide variety of selling categories. So the lessons we’ve collectively learned are much more universally applicable across the Amazon platform than any learnings from any single business, however powerful or large.
With the level of trust and relationships we’ve built in the group, the detail of sharing is deep. That means that conclusions are based on evidence, not just claims. Also nobody is trying to sell anyone a course or service, so there is no real reason for bias. As a result, what is shared is what really works – as what really doesn’t!
Q: Knowing what you know now, what would you have told yourself when you were in your twenties?
- Now is a great time to get a piece of the eCommerce Amazon market before it grows and the barrier to entry becomes higher. (Still true in 2020)
- Alibaba is where everyone is looking for products. It’s hard to find a unique product there. It’s better to find a reliable sourcing expert in China to do this. (This is even truer in 2020)
- Don’t just do a pure private label, i.e. don’t just put your own logo and packaging on a product that is otherwise identical to other products. Even in 2014, you need to have a real physical difference in your product (this is especially true in 2020).
- You may need to launch several products to find your killer product. So don’t overcommit most or all of your budget for your eCommerce business to one product line, produced in a large order. Instead, find/make ways to source smaller orders of several product lines. Then double down on what works best.
- Profit takes time. Plan your finances accordingly.
- Be relentless but patient. Give this business model a year before judging success/failure
- Find a great peer group. Especially if you’re a solopreneur; even more especially if you work at home or alone.
Q: What is Amazing FBA?
Amazing FBA is an eCommerce consultancy, community and information hub that specializes in Amazon as a sales channel and private label/custom products as the product strategy.
Centred on its founder/manager, Michael Veazey, it provides paid services to startups in the Amazon space and also to more established businesses.
Help for startups to help them launch on Amazon is via paid courses and paid one-to-one mentoring. There is also a podcast “Amazing FBA” for free help, which has had over 450,000 downloads to date.
For those business owners just off the starting blocks but with turnover, it provides one-to-one mentoring and – from autumn/fall 2020 – an online mastermind (peer group).
For more established Amazon/eCommerce based businesses (with revenue over $500,000 a year), it provides peer groups in the form of masterminds which meet regularly – usually in person in London monthly; during COVID restrictions, on Zoom.
For 6-8 figure sellers, since mid 2019, we’ve run the “10K Collective” podcast for free more advanced/strategic content for established Amazon sellers.
Upcoming plans for 2020-21 include 3 mini-books geared to startups; books for established sellers; and a new mastermind group geared to the needs of those just reaching $100,000 a year in revenue.
Q: What makes your company different from its competitors?
Amazing FBA stands out from its competitors for a few simple reasons:
- We are one of the few British-based Amazon training companies to offer one-to-one help with the founder (not a team of faceless coaches)
- We are the biggest and most established British podcast with content for startups on Amazon
- We have a unique, small-group structure and culture of trust in the masterminds
- We learn based on a blend of inputs, including mastermind members & private contacts, not just the founder’s own experiences.
Q: What led you to start Amazing FBA?
First of all, as a UK-based Amazon seller, I wanted a podcast that would give me the international perspective on Amazon selling. I couldn’t find that so I decided to create it.
I’m also a person who loves to talk through his experiences, so it was a natural thing to record my thoughts!
I then wanted a peer group of action-takers, i.e. a mastermind, to help share best practice and keep me accountable. Having formed one myself in the early years and found that most people didn’t take action, I decided to create groups for other eCommerce entrepreneurs that would be genuine, action-oriented peers. Thus the 10K Collective Mastermind was born.
I try to start any new service or product in response to a demand that I perceive in myself as a seller, or in clients or fellow sellers.
Q: What has the experience of building the business taught you?
- If you perceive an opportunity, and the downside risk is low, just start. For example, when I perceived the opportunity to create an Amazon-focussed podcast for International listeners. I hadn’t taken any training in podcasting or how to spot an opportunity. I saw one and figured out how to start on my own
- That said, don’t reinvent the wheel. While it was great to start podcasting without waiting for “permission” from a trainer, I could have learned best practices from others rather than learning purely from experience. True for services as well as eCommerce.
- Speaking of training, make sure if you pay a lot for a training course that it covers all the areas and skill sets you need. The Amazon selling course I took in 2014 had nearly ZERO content in how to import from China. Given that well over half of all products currently sold on Amazon are made in China, this was an unforgivable gap.
- Give your consumers/clients what they really need to achieve their aim. Needless to say, for example, my own training on how to launch on Amazon goes into sourcing from China in detail. This applies to both physical or digital products and services.
- Be honest with your clients/consumer. If something is challenging, tell them. Don’t promise what you can’t reasonably deliver.
Q: Where do you see things headed for you in the next 5 years?
For eCommerce startups, we are revising our flagship “PLP” course, and will relaunch it this early fall/autumn 2020
For startups, I’m writing a series of compact books addressing Amazon product choice, sourcing and launching
For those with businesses over $100,000 revenue/year, we’re creating a new online mastermind of peers as an expansion of the 10K Collective mastermind groups
We will be expanding the existing mastermind groups for those selling over $500,000 a year
We’ll expand the audience for the podcast “The eCommerce Leader”, co-hosted with Jason Miles (top 1% Shopify owner and Udemy’s highest-rated eCommerce instructor).
About Amazing FBA
Amazing FBA, led by Michael Veazey, is a Podcast, community and set of resources for any UK Amazon Seller. Their aim is to help eCommerce sellers dominate their market, grow rapidly and create profitable, strongly defended brands.
They deliver one-to-one tailored consultancy, highly structured training of processes through online courses and SOPs, and Masterminds of highly motivated entrepreneurs in e-commerce (focussed on Amazon) with substantial turnover and, just as importantly – rapid revenue growth. Learn more at https://amazingfba.com/.