Find out how small business owners (just like you) are living the dream by creating a strong financial plan.
Meet Kenny Perez — Financial Planning Rockstar
A surprising number of you in our Profit Planner community are Amazon sellers. We think it's just awesome how many of you have used this corporate juggernaut to build strong yet flexible independent businesses of your own. Being an Amazon seller is a great way to reach a huge global audience with your specialty offerings.
But, of course, it takes some serious marketing savvy and, of course, a strong financial system to help your Amazon business thrive. Kenny Perez has done just that. In 2012, he went from a side business on eBay to a full-time private-label Amazon retailer.
Keep reading for Kenny's tips on how to build your business super-fast…and how a solid financial system can save your sanity as you grow.
What does “having a strong financial base” mean to you?
For me, it means showing growths in revenue and margins while maintaining expenses low and also having a healthy cash balance. I’ve made the mistake before of over investing my cash in inventory and then having to struggle to pay expenses. I realize now that cash is king.
What made you decide to get intentional about creating a financial plan for your business?
Geez! This gives me nightmares just thinking about it. My business grew really fast in a short amount of time, which was exciting but also stressful at times. I really did a poor job planning my finances at the beginning. Like many Amazon sellers, I was so focused on selling and shipping products that I really did not give the necessary attention to the financial planning side of the business like I should have at the beginning.
My business was growing so fast in late 2014 and 2015. I had my hands in everything. I realized that in order for me to be successful and still maintain my sanity, that I would have to change my game plan. And that meant that I had to out-source some of the work I was doing. Accounting has never been my strength so I knew that I had to hire an accounting professional to take over that aspect of my business.[Tweet “”I realized that to be successful+maintain my sanity, I had to hire an accounting professional.””]
Tell us about an unexpected challenge you've encountered as an Amazon seller.
I remember when I first started out, I was managing my bookkeeping on a few Excel spreadsheets. I would manually input expenses, product cost and other important information. And I can remember I would spend hours every month calculating my sales tax, cost of goods sold, net income, etc., not just for Amazon but for eBay, as well.
But now this is something that doesn’t even worry me. I’ve got a powerful inventory management software that integrates with all my marketplaces and automatically calculates cogs, and other import sales data for me. I also have a strong and reliable accounting team at The Bottom Line that truly make running my business a lot easier.
What are you proudest of accomplishing in the past year?
When I was first starting to see some big growth in my sales, an uncle of mine told me that experiencing fast growth in your business can be dangerous if you're not careful and cause your business to grow like an out of control tree. And it’s true.[Tweet “”Without a financial plan, experiencing fast growth in your business can actually be dangerous.””]
When I started to scale my business, it felt like I was just holding on for dear life at times. I remember when fourth quarter arrived in 2014, I was so busy that I truly had no time to analyze my business sales numbers each month.
But nowadays I’m able to focus more time on understanding my business finances. I know where my weaknesses in my business financial health are and have a better understanding of what I need to do to improve those areas. Having much better control of my business finances and being able to see the big picture is what I’m most proud of this year.
How has financial planning made your business more amazing this year?
I’d say learning to let go of some of the work and passing it onto someone else. I’ve always been really hands on in my business and felt like I needed to do every task myself or else it wouldn’t get done correctly. But I’ve learned that in order to grow my company–or any business, for that matter–you have to take a step back and simply ask for help. I have a few virtual assistants that take care of several areas of my business and The Bottom Line team handles the accounting side of my business. These changes, coupled with some really key software programs, have made it easier for me to concentrate more time on the areas in my business that will increase my bottom line.[Tweet “”I’ve learned that in order to grow my company, I have to simply ask for help.””]