There is no shortage of small-business academies or educational programs. Even we have hosted some webinars of our own that help owners learn more about their business. But recently, Amazon has gotten into the space with their Small Business Academy. So, we looked at Amazon’s entry and came away with three key points.
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It CAN Be Awesome... If You’re Selling Goods Online
The main focus of this academy is selling more online. Which makes sense, given Amazon and how they treat small businesses (outside of the academy, at least). Knowing e-commerce trends, if you are selling goods, you need be online. Who else to learn from but the best in the business? Amazon helps you build an Amazon storefront to help you sell more on their platform. Amazon is also trying to sell services online, but I’m not sure it’s cracked that code yet.
Two additional features were the Brand Registry and Project Zero. Both are focused on protecting your brand from online copycats. These aren’t free services, but Amazon is linking people with legal experts. So, if you don’t have an attorney or need specialized advice, this could be useful.
The Small Business Academy has some MAJOR Curriculum Gaps
Like we said above, it’s awesome at teaching digital skills to sell more online. But, running a business requires more than just digital marketing and sales. Granted that’s hugely important, but so is finance, accounting, operations, and so on. If you use it for improving marketing and sales online, then it will be perfect. If you expect it to teach you all that you need to know to be successful, it doesn’t.
Amazon Competes with its Vendors
Don’t get me wrong, you need to be on Amazon if you are selling online. Otherwise you are missing out on the largest marketplace out there. It’s like selling toothpaste everywhere but Walmart. It doesn’t make sense. HOWEVER, it is important to know that Amazon directly competes against its vendors. As we said in our posts, “Amazon vs. Small Business“ & “The Big Tech Effect on Small Business,” you need to ready for this. Those posts can give you some time on how best to manage this risk.
If you want to learn digital marketing skills for your small business that will help you sell better on Amazon, then you should seriously consider their academy. We’d also strongly encourage you to consider selling on Amazon after taking the class. But, do so with your eyes wide open to the competitive challenges. If you are looking for a more comprehensive program, then Amazon’s Small Business Academy isn’t it.