1690 – The Most Lucrative Investment Opportunity: Amazon Storefronts with the Automation Empire’s Ron Earley

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with the Chief Executive Officer of Automation Empire LLC, Ron Earley.

Automation Empire is an investment company focusing uniquely on the wholesale world. They partner with big brands and manufacturers to start Amazon storefronts for investors. Their To build robust investment portfolios. Automation Empire handles everything from sourcing products to managing storefronts, providing investors with a passive income flow.

One of the critical points Ron discussed was the advantages of investing in an Amazon storefront compared to real estate. Ron explained that while physical assets like real estate have a value ceiling, digital storefronts on Amazon can scale and grow in value as more money is invested into them. The more cash flows through an Amazon storefront, the more it produces monthly, making it a lucrative asset class.

Starting an Amazon storefront over building an online storefront from scratch has advantages. Ron acknowledged that working with Amazon can be challenging due to their strict guidelines and policies. However, he highlighted the benefits of leveraging Amazon's platform, such as access to a large customer base and the ability to capitalize on partnerships with big brands.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Explanation of Automation Empire as an investment company focusing on the wholesale world
  • Partnership with big brands and manufacturers to start storefronts on Amazon for investors
  • Advantages of investing in an Amazon storefront compared to real estate
  • Potential for multiple returns on investment when selling an Amazon storefront
  • Discussion on the growth and value of the online commerce industry
  • Advantages of starting an Amazon storefront compared to building from scratch
  • Scope and organization of Automation Empire, including different investment packages
  • Involvement of investors in the process, including guidance and support

About Ron Earley:

Ron Earley is a prominent entrepreneur renowned for founding Automation Empire and Wholesale Automation. Hailing from Gulf Gate, Florida, his remarkable journey from a modest construction business to pioneering e-commerce ventures is truly impressive. Ron is distinguished by his unwavering commitment to excellence, innovation, and mentorship, making him a highly respected figure within the entrepreneurial community.

Ron's reputation as a philanthropist also stands out. When a devastating hurricane struck his hometown, he swiftly mobilized and used his legendary 6×6 Jeep Apocalypse to deliver life-saving supplies to unreachable areas. His selfless actions earned him widespread recognition, and he later generously donated the Jeep to a first responder.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Ron was honored with a key to the city of Sarasota by the mayor and celebrated by the local community. His entrepreneurial success, commitment to community, and humanitarian efforts continue to inspire and make him a notable figure in the business world.

About Automation Empire LLC:

Automation Empire operates as a wholesale-partnered investment management company specializing in FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) automation. Their primary mission is to assist investors in creating additional income streams by harnessing the vast potential of Amazon's multi-billion dollar platform.

The team at Automation Empire oversees the entire operational process, which includes managing wholesale partnerships, selecting products, handling inventory, overseeing store operations, and managing shipments to and from Amazon.

What sets Automation Empire apart is its exceptional expertise within the Amazon ecosystem. Unlike other companies that delegate operational tasks to virtual assistants overseas, Automation Empire handles all aspects internally with dedicated employees. This hands-on approach ensures direct management of their clients' investments, reducing potential risks.

Automation Empire's commitment to delivering high-quality service and maintaining complete control over assets distinguishes them as a leader in the field. Automation Empire provides a trusted solution for those searching for a reliable partner to navigate the intricacies of FBA automation.

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Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Automation Empire LLC website at

Check out Automation Empire LLC on LinkedIn at

Check out Automation Empire LLC on Facebook at

Check out Automation Empire LLC on Instagram at

Check out Ron Earley on LinkedIn at

Check out Ron Earley  on Facebook at

Check out Ron Earley on Twitter at

Check out Ron Earley on Instagram at

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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now, Ron Earley. Ron, you are the CEO of automation empire you found on the web at Automation Empire. Ron, thank you so much for joining us.

Ron (00:01:09) - Thank you for having me, Josh? Man, we were.

Josh (00:01:11) - Hitting it off so well. Like we've been hit record here. You're down the road in Sarasota.

Josh (00:01:16) - I'm up in in Orlando. But yeah, share with us a bit about who automation empire is, who you serve and what you do.

Ron (00:01:24) - Without a doubt. So Automation Empire is it's an investment company that caters specifically to the, the, the wholesale world. So we partnered with some of the biggest brands and manufacturers across the world, whether they be pet toy baby distributors, things that you buy inside of Walmart. And we freight those and then we help individuals that are trying to start investment portfolios by starting them storefronts on So we leveraged some of these brands and manufacturer deals will start storefronts for some of these investors. And then we manage their storefronts. And it could be anywhere from taking care of the the sourcing for the product to cultivating the relationships, repackaging it, utilizing our warehouse and then managing the storefront. So it's a passive flow of income.

Josh (00:02:05) - Yes. So all of a sudden my brain's going. Well. I got to ask you about in terms of an investment opportunity, why an Amazon storefront? Who is that better suited for? It's part one and then part two.

Josh (00:02:20) - What are the potentials or when done well, Right. And and you fulfill all the best practices. What are the potentials in terms of comparing versus investing in real estate, for example?

Ron (00:02:33) - That's actually so that's a it's a great it's a great comparison to use because I think a lot of times, even though the digital world is not new to us, it's it's no it's no secret that we're moving into a digital age. And maybe sometimes people will put more value on a physical asset, something that's tangible, like a piece of real estate and think that there is more value there. But the truth of the matter is you can only put so much money into a house. You can't grow a house, so the asset can't really can't scale in value. The more money that you put into the house, it's there's a roof, there's a ceiling versus like a digital storefront that something on Amazon, the more money I put into it, the more it cash flows for me and produces on a month to month basis.

Ron (00:03:13) - The beauty in this is if. If you look at like a dollar general versus Walmart, if I went to go buy a dollar general, it'd be a lot cheaper than buying a Walmart. There's there's bigger volume, more sales, more revenues coming through a Walmart. So the more cash that I pushed through my Amazon storefront, it actually grows as an asset class. So it produces me more money through the month. And then when I decide I want to sell the storefront based off of how much it's produced, it's worth a lot more.

Josh (00:03:38) - Yeah.

Ron (00:03:39) - Right. So I'm cash flow on a month to month basis and it compounds year over year. It's really hard to beat.

Josh (00:03:45) - That's fantastic because you think about like your on your exit, right? And exits probably baked into this right at the get go, I would think. Right. It's not like so someone's looking at this. And so your job is to to to work to obviously make your investment. We're going to work it. We're going to work this thing together.

Josh (00:04:01) - And then, you know, if we can achieve these goals, your exit, it's not just, well, what's the face value of the company. It's we're looking at multiples now as opposed to real estate. What's the market say it's worth? That's what you're going to get. You're not going to get multiples necessarily.

Ron (00:04:16) - And if I mean, if you look if you look at like a scaling factor, online commerce, that whole online consumerism world, there has never been a retraction in the last 20 years. It's just been on a steady up scale. So it's not really a matter of should I get a digital asset, it's when can I get a digital asset? That way you can start capitalizing on it because you don't necessarily need to create an exit strategy, but they're always bioavailable based off of what sources you have to source your products. And that's what makes our model so lucrative. So I'm now leveraging my personal partnerships in the wholesale world. That way you don't have to have your foot in the door with any of these people that are producing these products.

Ron (00:04:56) - Like we just we just signed our partnership with Hasbro and Disney. That takes a lot of work to be able to get you through products like that and then coming into the holiday season. Now, if I have partnerships with those brand deals and I help you start a storefront, I can now leverage my partnership with them to front your storefront with product so your asset, before it even sells a product, already appreciates and value just because of what products you can get your hands on to sell.

Josh (00:05:22) - Uh, and you know, this working with Amazon specifically versus where you're going to start a, you know, an online storefront from scratch, you can use maybe a store platform. What are the kind of advantages to just kind of jumping immediately into the Amazon ecosystem?

Ron (00:05:43) - It is a lot to unpack. I mean, what we what we run is no, it's no small operation. And it could be very much a full time job because. As much as Amazon provides for you, they can be very difficult to work with.

Ron (00:05:54) - They're very strict and by the system. But also there's a reason why they're one of $2 trillion companies. They have very, very strict guidelines and policies to to live by in order for you to abide by their rules. And if you don't, then you run into issues where they're holding on to your inventory that you have product or holding on to your cash that's now stored in your Amazon storefront bank account that you have a hard time getting access to. And there are logistic problems that if if you just jump into it without doing research or getting someone that's a mentor or in the field, you could stand to lose a lot of money. It can become very problematic very fast.

Josh (00:06:29) - Yeah, it's true. You can lose everything. Absolutely lose everything. And that. And then some.

Ron (00:06:35) - Yeah, but I mean, there are other benefits, too. So this isn't like. Anything that we can necessarily cut a quarter on. So just just to give you some context, for us to manage the close to 700 stores we currently have, our overhead sits about $270,000 a month, and that's anywhere from software processors, staff, warehouses, our freight company that we do our distribution transportation through, and any active server processors that we do because each individual account that you have to have runs off of a different IP address.

Ron (00:07:07) - They can't your computer, your storefront can be attached to the same storefront or the accounts get linked. So just in servers and processors that we run with with our Columbia office is I mean, it's it's staggering and growing. The more that we grow and the more accounts that we move into that. So that's it's a whole different animal itself. Just unpack.

Josh (00:07:25) - Yeah.

Josh (00:07:26) - Who Ron would be, maybe someone that might be listening to us and go, Oh, this sounds really good, but you might have a conversation with. So I'm not sure that you'd be a Fed because what we're really looking for would be someone that's committed to X, Y, and Z. It's not just anyone with money, right? They need to have a certain personality, you know, kind of a, you know, maybe a business owner mindset would probably be pretty helpful. I don't know. I'm just taking some stabs here.

Ron (00:07:53) - No, that's I mean, that's it's it's a really good question. A very good question. And I appreciate you asking because I think that this is transition for me.

Ron (00:08:00) - So in 2017, I used to mentor individuals on how to do this themselves and that was how to how to really start and run a storefront from out your house. And this is how me and my wife got started. We did something very similar versus what we run and what we manage. Now, in order for you to afford product like this and grow a storefront to the magnitude that we want, it takes patients just like any other business. This is not anybody that thinks that they're going to quit their day time job or it's a get rich quick scheme. It's it's not that like we're we're we're growing something that again, it's going to appreciate over time. It's going to scale over time, but also takes time. It's not like a flip of a switch. We just talked about how how Amazon runs by a strict guidelines and it's almost like playing chess with your business and how slow you want to scale it at first, because the more credibility I get with Amazon in their eyes, the more bioavailability they give me and things like Buy Box, we're just like that one little golden button that your wife probably clicks as much as mine does because every time I come home I have five packages sitting at my door, right? I have to earn that right on Amazon's platform.

Ron (00:09:04) - I have to be a credible seller and I can't I can't push 50,000 to $100,000 in product on my first couple of months. It never be allowed. They'd hold up my cash. So it's it's accumulating the reviews. It's doing good business. It's it's slowly starting to scale. That way. I can get to the magnitude that I want to. And then also being responsible with my funds because if I can generate profit out of this storefront and I flip it back over into buying more product, my store is going to now grow and scale at a very steady rate. That's going to eventually climb to the point to where if I did want to step away from a day job, I could do that. That's not what my goal is. Personally, but it's probable. It just takes time to get there. So I would say anybody that thinks that it's it's a way to opt out of of working, it's the wrong environment for you. Don't look at it as something you can add to your asset class, something that you want to put in your investment portfolio that you plan on compounding.

Josh (00:09:56) - Yeah. And listen, anyone that tells you, you know, you're going to get in business for yourself or you're going to build this investment, it's going to be completely hands off, easy, You know, just kind of sit on the beach, sip martinis from day one. Yeah, look at what they're selling. So I would imagine you've had some pretty good case studies over time. I mean, it looks like I mean, just based on the size of your team, you tell me about like the kind of the scope and like, you know, who you work with and what the kind of what your organization looks like today.

Ron (00:10:26) - So we have different package sizes with brand exclusivity deals and some of our package for just a typical buy range for the highest tier investments, it's $120,000 buy in, which is mean. It's pretty hefty and that's before product capital and it lands you a 8015 profit split with private managers and private brand accounts. It's there's a lot more due diligence in a setup like that.

Ron (00:10:45) - And then we have things that are more catered towards kind of like a first time property investor and our next tier packages, it's more of like it's a $45,000 buy in. That's a 7030 profit split. We do have particular brand deals that are with it, but it takes longer to grow into that that class and we're a broad range. So we might have higher tier investors in the $120,000 package versus the last person. I just did a testimonial too. We have a local firefighter that he's not too far. I'm kidding. And he just came up and he did a he did a podcast with us not too long ago giving a testimonial. And he asked to come and do it. And I'm grateful for having people like that on board. But it's I wouldn't necessarily say it's it's one specific person over the next versus a mindset. Over the wrong mindset. I don't think that you need a particular job to invest or a type of job to invest into something like this. You just need to understand what it is and what you're getting your hands into before you decide to put your hands in there.

Josh (00:11:41) - Yeah.

Josh (00:11:42) - So what was to say, for example, in the case of the firefighter, what does he do? Like, what is his participation or her participation in in this process? Ongoing.

Ron (00:11:55) - So so Frankie is he did the does the same setup that everybody else would. And so as soon as you would sign on, we have a power packet of information. People have different time schedules. You don't have to book a call with us but want to make sure it's very thorough. Again, with Amazon's policies, the idea is not to leave you in the dark. I want to walk you through it so I know it gets set up right the way I can get to doing my job a lot faster. So we'll give you a setup information as soon as you get an entity set up that now the business, the asset is in your name. I'll walk you through how to start the Amazon storefront, and that's in that packet of documentation. Or you can book a Zoom call with us. We'll walk you through the setup process.

Ron (00:12:30) - And then our very next call that we book, we go through. It's an application process that I act as a guarantor on your behalf to get our brand partnerships so we can start catering those distribution deals and sourcing products for you. So that's, that's that's the beginning part process of really what you need to put your hands in. And then it's just a matter of running capital. And then we try to do our touch up cost to the month just so you understand where your storefront sits. And then all you'd have to do is click the button at the end of the month and pay your bill.

Josh (00:12:59) - What? I wonder if you've ever had this question right, where someone says, Well, if this is so great, why don't you just start a thousand stores?

Ron (00:13:07) - Without a doubt. And the truth of the matter is, is it's really difficult to to fund a thousand stores out of one pocket. You know, any any good investor knows that capital is king. And the other beauty in this is I also can't start a thousand LLCs.

Ron (00:13:22) - That's not it's not possible. And my idea behind this isn't just leveraging capital that's being funded to me to take a profit split out of like this is what I do and what I'm really good at. So now I can offer out a service that helps other people grow and they fund capital out of it. I can profit off of it. I get bigger brand deals because of what I can now afford, and I have 700 exit strategies in 2 to 3 years. That's hard to walk away from.

Josh (00:13:49) - As a run of those who are listening to us right now. Your website is automation empire. Com. What are the what's kind of that discovery process or that kind of that very, very early. Hey, I'm interested in learning more. Do I talk to someone? Can I really dive into something a little bit deeper? What would you recommend?

Ron (00:14:09) - So we do want to make sure like like we cross that bridge about having the right mindset. Um, I have information that's currently on the website that'll give you a grand overview.

Ron (00:14:19) - That way you can actually put some questions together and you feel educated before you jump on the call with one of our qualification advisors. But they're going to walk you through a step by step process to make sure that we're actually the right fit together. I don't want to just take anybody's money. I'm sure you've been in this situation yourself where you'd rather not just give somebody their money back, but pay them more to go away. Don't want to work with people like that. That's not it's not the best situation. I'm looking for people that. They're good with communication. They're looking for growth opportunity. They're, you know, they're looking for taking advantage of situations that are that are actually being presented to them and understanding, you know, the quality of what a good investment actually looks like. So going through that process is it's another Zoom call. You'll get on with the qualification team. We're we're really good about making sure that the investors are they feel like they're part of the family. We do several emergency orders.

Ron (00:15:09) - People can come out to the warehouse whenever they want to. Every year we usually do a vehicle giveaway just as a give back to our investors, which has been pretty incredible. And we do we do our best to make sure that we're, you know, we're heavily involved with the people that are actually involved with company.

Josh (00:15:25) - Yeah.

Josh (00:15:26) - Okay. To to our listener right now that's been listening. What should they go what should they do? How do they kind of begin that next step?

Ron (00:15:34) - If you do head to Automation Empire, take a look at that website video. It's very, very short. I do. I personally do a six and a half to seven minute description of the layout in the business. All the process and all the logistics that go through it. And it's enough for you to to get those questions put together. And if you want to book a qualification, call book with the team or jump on a Zoom call with you, we'll get the chance to talk one on one. You'll talk with one of the team members and any other information that you might need to get you to move forward or any other questions that might bridge any other gaps.

Ron (00:16:02) - I promise you they'll get answered in that first call.

Josh (00:16:04) - Yeah.

Josh (00:16:05) - Ron Earley, again, CEO of Automation Empire, $1.4 billion in product sold in your work. Ron So it's been great having you as a guest on the podcast. Again, thank you so much for joining us.

Ron (00:16:22) - Appreciate you for having me. Josh Thank you.

Josh (00:16:29) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up My Influence slash guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free. You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or join our listener Facebook group. Just search for the thoughtful entrepreneur and Facebook. I'd love even if you just stopped by to say hi, I'd love to meet you. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day. Together, we are empowering one another as thoughtful entrepreneurs.

Josh (00:17:17) - Hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning. That's right. Seven days a week you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed. I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes each day. Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the thoughtful entrepreneur movement.

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