Category Archives: Side hustling

Side hustle business update – Amazon FBA Part 2

Back in February 2017 I decided to try out starting a side hustle. As I detailed in another post, it makes a lot of sense to have a two pronged approach to the art of building wealth. The two methods I favour are investing in the stock market (paper assets) and running a business. Coincidentally, this is the very same approach taken by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway as explained
here. Here I will outline the benefits of business and my progress on an idea.

Benefits of starting a business

        • High profit margins. From experience, I have noticed that the return rate on business can be significantly higher than other forms of income generation such as stocks (8x more) or savings accounts (32x more).
        • Low capital risk. A 10% annual return in the stock market is considered excellent. This would only generate £1,000 on £10,000 invested. In comparison it can take only £1,620 to generate the same amount for a business which has a 62% return! The proof of this concept is out there – how many multi-millionaires did it without running some kind of business? Bill Gates would not be where he is if he had just decided to buy IBM stock and sat back instead of starting Microsoft.
        • You only need one good strike. This one is critical. You can test out several business ideas with little or no capital. All you need to do is strike it once by coming across a good idea. After a hundred failures, it is possible to have a business that works amazingly.
        • You call the shots. When running a business you have the ability to run it the way you want. You can optimise your offering, try out new markets, advertise, tweak factors such as product pricing and apply as much effort as you want.
        • Learn by doing. It is true that experience is the best teacher. By trying out the business I have learnt a lot in areas such as advertising, market research, shipping, marketing and accounting. Some skills are best acquired by doing rather than studying or watching.

As I have a full time job, the most suitable business path for me at the moment is taking on a side hustle. The main benefit of such a type of business is that it has the potential to generate additional income which can be scaled up without much effort. As I outlined in February, I ventured into e-commerce via the Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA) programme.

To begin, I did some market research to identify a product which I thought would be easy to sell. This took quite a while as there were thousands to choose, which was daunting. Once I had chosen, I ordered a number samples to test the market. The samples were ordered straight from China as the prices where low there. This was an easy process and the package arrived in a few weeks. It is important to keep track of all expenses including for the product, shipping, import VAT and clearance fees.


The next step was to prepare the products for shipping to Amazon. This included creating an optimised product listing on the Seller account, buying a unique UPC (Universal Product Code) barcode, packing the product and sticking barcodes on each item. The tools I find useful and essential for FBA business are the Dymo labelwriter label printerPacplus tape dispenser,  Barcode scanner and sticker removal kit. Once done, I shipped off the products to Amazon via UPS in July 2017.

Soon after I had my first sale and the products have been selling regularly since. It is also important to track all the fees that Amazon charge for fulfilment. This is a very interesting business method which requires very little effort once the front end work has been done and it offers the benefits listed above if done well.

The main lesson I have learnt is to not dwell too long when finding a product. It is better to do some reasonable research and then start testing samples on the market. As a result I have ordered a second product to test which is more premium and should therefore have higher potential for returns.

Financial independence is all about having a number of streams of income which should eventually surpass your living expenses and therefore render you free from the 9 to 5 by giving you options. I will provide updates on how this side hustle is going in future – you can sign up below to not miss any updates.

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Lessons from Berkshire Hathaway – Build a business and invest in stocks to grow wealth faster

Berkshire Hathaway meetingAs today is the 6th of May it is one of my favourite days of the year. This is because the 2017 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders meeting will be held in Omaha, Nebraska at the Centurylink Center. Thousands of diligent investors will turn up to witness Warren Buffet speak and as always, the Oracle will provide long lasting insightful financial advice suitable for all.

This year’s meeting will be webcast live on Yahoo.

Listening to Buffett has made me realise that it is possible to emulate his great success by using a two pronged approach for generating wealth through carrying out business activities and concurrently investing in the stock market. Such an approach, where excess profits from business activities are reinvested in stock investments will certainly supercharge cash generation and enable the investor to achieve their goals more effectively.

Run a real business

According to Buffett, Berkshire prefers to wholly own businesses such as BNSF, See’s Candies and Geico to common stock investments for a number of reasons. Running a business does not necessarily mean being heavily involved and spending many hours working on the venture. Cash can be generated by side hustle activities such as Amazon FBA, eBay, AirBnB, rental properties, Etsy, selling Private Label products, blogging or producing online products. Find your niche and apply your skills at what you enjoy doing and are good at.

Invest in stock index funds

The top five common stock investments in Berkshire’s portfolio are the American Express Company, Apple Inc., Charter Communications Inc., The Coca Cola Company and Delta Airlines. You can build your own portfolio of high quality company stocks by investing in low cost index funds.

Initially, business profits can be reinvested in the business to expand your offering and to get established in your chosen space. Later the profits can be invested in stocks to offer diversification of your overall holdings while providing truly passive income. I believe that a dollar of passive income is worth at least two of active income.

Avoid analysis paralysis and take action

The important thing is to not overthink your business or investing ideas. Instead, make a plan and execute it in the most effective way possible. Delays in getting started can lead to huge opportunity costs in the long run or worse, not doing anything at all. You can start by testing the waters through minor investments and then increasing involvement when more confidence is gained. Do not wait for the perfect outcome; just do it.

By applying both business activities and investing wisely it will be possible to achieve your financial goals. Don’t forget to watch the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. Streams of the latest meeting will also remain available on Yahoo Finance.

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Side hustling – getting started with Amazon FBA Part 1

Amazon FBA Side Hustle UK

Having additional sources of income will make achieving financial freedom  easier as the extra income can be reinvested by allocating it to ensure the best returns. This post looks into “side hustling”, earning money on top of regular employment. I came across the Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) programme while listening to a podcast about entrepreneurship and I think it is a great idea.

FBA is ideal as a side hustle for earning some extra income by reselling products. This is the first in a series of posts where I will show how I am progressing with this business idea.

FBA is a good way to get familiar with e-commerce, sourcing products and processes for shipping of products to customers. The basic principle is that you source products, ship them to an Amazon warehouse and Amazon take it from there by doing the selling, shipping to customers and dealing with customer service. Products can be sourced anywhere including shops, auctions and online.

Day 1

It is always important to have the right tools for the job. After researching about FBA for a few hours, I identified a number of useful tools needed to get started and ordered the following:

Dymo Labelwriter 450

I plan to use this mini printer for printing barcode labels to stick on the products that I will be shipping to Amazon UK. The device will be dedicated to this task and requires no ink, cutting down costs.

Pacplus Tape Dispenser

This will be useful for taping together boxes of stock for shipping to warehouse. The dispenser can take up to 3 inches of masking tape, ideal for securely sealing large or heavy items.

Barcode scanner

Barcode scanning will save a lot of time compared to typing in product codes. This basic one seems like it will do the job fine.

Sticker removal kit

This will be for removing price tags and stickers from products before selling.

In addition to ordering these main items needed to kick off FBA, I have set aside some funds for the initial purchasing of stock to be shipped to Amazon. I am excited now about how it will all turn out. The next part of the process is now available here.

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