It goes without saying that growth doesn’t come for free. There are various aspects of your business that require investment, both time-wise and financially, when you’re looking to scale your success on Amazon and beyond.
Of course, money can be an intimidating subject. It can be hard to know where to start or how much cash to invest at your stage of growth. To help, this blog will cover the main areas of business that demand extra capital and point out several options for financing your growth.
What Extra Working Capital Could Go Towards
Before exploring your financing options, take a minute to identify what your growth goals are and what, exactly, you’re looking to fund in the immediate future.
Are you looking to expand your catalog? Test new marketplaces? Both? Consider the four things below that funding can help to cover and prioritize the ones that matter most to you.
With extra cash on hand, you can expand your product lines and explore other items that your customers may enjoy. For example, if you currently sell cameras, you could branch out to cases, lenses and other camera-related accessories. A key goal here is to increase average order value (AOV). Alternatively, you may be looking to broaden your customer base by offering a larger variety of products and competing in new, potentially less-competitive categories on Amazon.
In this instance, you may be looking to open up shop on other domestic or international marketplaces. Your goal is to open new revenue streams and to diversify your sales channels so that you’re not wholly dependent on Amazon for future sales. While many ecommerce platforms are free or cheap to join, you still need extra funding to purchase more inventory and afford services (like 3PLs) to offer fast shipping or amazing customer service everywhere.
As your operations grow more complex, you’ll inevitably need automation and other tools to keep your business running smoothly. For instance, as you plan for more warehouse space, you’ll need a WMS like SkuVault to maintain quality control and help your staff work efficiently. Or as you add new sales channels, you’ll need an ecommerce operations system like Zentail to manage your product data, enhance listing quality and keep inventory in sync. The goal is to avoid costly errors like overselling or inaccurate product descriptions, plus scale business without requiring your staff to pull all-nighters.
Marketing and Advertising
You may be looking to increase your visibility online by testing ads on Amazon, Walmart, Google or other channels. You may additionally be looking to partner with influencers or onboard a software like Teikametrics, in which you’ll want enough runway to launch, test and optimize campaigns continuously. Your ad spend may fluctuate depending on the time of year; ultimately, you don’t want to leverage this opportunity to get ahead of competitors.
How to Finance Your Growth as an Amazon Seller
Whether you choose to add more products to your listing, expand into new markets or hire software to give you an edge online, there’s one common denominator: you’re going to need more funds! Here are several popular financing options to consider.
1. Loans: Business Term and Personal
A business term loan is a lump sum of capital that is repaid with regular payments at a fixed interest rate. This traditional financing option can be found at banks and credit unions, and is more recently offered by online direct lenders. Loan amounts vary widely depending on your Amazon business’s revenue and your credit history, and qualifying for them can be challenging.
Like business term loans, personal loans also require you to qualify. However, instead of using your business to determine your eligibility, you’ll need to rely on your credit score.
Most lenders will need the same basic information in order to consider you for a business loan or other similar funding options for your online store. These are some of the documents you may need to present in order to secure working capital as an Amazon merchant:
- Business and personal tax returns
- Business and personal bank statements
- Profit and loss statements
- Business plan
- Financial records
- Credit history
Once you’re prepared, you can determine what seller funding options works best for your store, needs and goals.
2. Credit Card Financing and Business Lines of Credit
Most of us are familiar with using credit cards as a way to cover short-term expenses. (Heck, it’s not uncommon to have multiple cards in your back pocket to cover various types of purchases for your business.)
But with often sky-high high-interest rates, a business credit card may cost you big bucks in the long run. If you decide to finance with a credit card, you’ll want to make sure to repay the full amount as soon as possible or negotiate the lowest interest rates available.
Similar to a credit card, a business line of credit gives you the ability to use money for purchases or cash withdrawals up to a set amount. These loan amounts can vary widely, just like business term loans, and will largely depend on the eligibility of your Amazon business. The downside is that traditional lending agencies may not recognize the potential of ecommerce and refrain from lending you large sums of capital.
3. Capital Advance from Payoneer
Payoneer’s Capital Advance is a more modern approach to financing and is specifically designed for Amazon, Walmart or Wayfair sellers who have at least six months of sales. It offers short-term cash boosts that can help with day-to-day needs and inventory costs. As you accept and successfully settle your Capital Advance offers, you can become eligible to receive larger cash injections to kick growth into high gear.
The size of the offers you receive will depend on your online store’s sales performance, but all working capital offers include three great features that make Capital Advance an ideal cash flow management solution:
- Instant funds with no credit checks. Payoneer extends working capital offers based on your marketplace sales history and you can get the funds in your Payoneer account with just a few clicks.
- Gradual settlement from marketplace sales. Once you accept the offer, Payoneer will collect a portion of your future marketplace sales. That means they only get paid when you do, while leaving you with cash to maintain your business between payout dates. After an offer is completely settled, a new offer will follow it, subject to eligibility requirements.
- One low, fixed fee. There’s nothing worse than the surprise fees and hidden costs that can really impact your bottom line. With Payoneer, you’ll only be charged one fee after you finish settling your advance and you’ll see the fee amount before you accept the offer.
Note: Payoneer is a partner of Zentail. Any Zentail users will be pre-approved for the Capital Advance program and get up to $250,000 instantly. Click here to learn more about working capital, or contact Ben Stein at Payoneer (firstname.lastname@example.org) today.
There are several easy-to-access ways to finance the growth of your business. But depending on your goals, the more traditional routes, like loans, may not suffice. Study your options carefully and make sure that the route you choose provides the right amount of flexibility and protection, not simply cash.