CEO of LeapVista.
Running a business is no walk in the park. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar store or a virtual one, following the right management principles is a must to increase its chances of success.
For online enterprises like dropshipping, the challenges you face may include finding suppliers, scoring the right products to sell and ensuring swift product fulfillment. And you’ll need to be armed with management tips and principles to overcome such challenges. Here are some to consider:
No matter what type of business you run, knowledge is always a crucial foundation for your success. When you know how to drive your venture and you continually learn about the current best practices and trends, problems will be less likely to faze you.
Strive to understand the ins and outs of the industry before opening your store. Scour the internet for tutorials, and try to find guides created by respected and well-known e-commerce experts. Check a variety of resources as well to get a more rounded-out view of the industry.
The more you know about dropshipping and the sooner you recognize reputable sources of business advice, the better off you will be.
Of course, the research phase does not end here. You’ll need to harness your research skills constantly as you run your business. You’ll need to find out more about the products you want to sell, how to recognize reliable suppliers, how to increase revenue and how to improve your company’s overall performance. You’ll also need to keep finding ways to stay ahead of the competition, which should include ranking for relevant terms on search engines.
2. Streamline Your Processes
Time is money. A task that takes too long to get done is a task that’s costing you money — which is why streamlining your processes should be in your business plan. Among heaps of other benefits, it can help you cut costs and increase your revenue.
Automation is one of the best streamlining strategies you can implement. It usually requires investing in automation software and tools, but that should be worth the cost if you’re getting consistent or increasing traction in your store.
One way to streamline a process is by creating automated emails that instantly forward customer orders to your suppliers. This removes the need to manually contact your supplier for each order you receive, and it can make the fulfillment process a lot faster.
Another example is having a secondary and tertiary supplier for your best-selling products. If you have back-up suppliers, you won’t have to worry about fulfilling orders even when your primary source runs out of stock.
3. Find The Right People
Although many entrepreneurs run their businesses on their own, it’ll be impossible to scale your e-commerce store if you don’t hire people. You’ll likely need help with managing your store’s social media accounts, creating ads, responding to customer inquiries and researching products, among other tasks.
Keep in mind that employees will be one of your company’s best assets. They don’t necessarily have to be experts in the fields of e-commerce or dropshipping, but they should exhibit a great work ethic, a willingness to learn and a strong understanding of the vision and direction of your business.
To get the right people, set clear expectations at the outset. Write down accurate job descriptions and list the skills you want your employees to have. If necessary, provide your staff with training materials and links to resources that will help them better understand their roles and the industry.
4. Have The Right Tools
No matter how skillful or talented your workforce is, if they aren’t given the right tools to use for their job, problems will arise. To counter this, ensure that they have all the tools they’ll need and that they know how to use them.
One example is the channel or platform you use for selling. If you choose a platform that is complicated or isn’t geared for dropshipping, you and your staff will waste a lot of time trying to figure things out. There are numerous user-friendly platforms that you can utilize for your storefront, and it’s up to you to decide which one suits your business best.
The platform you choose should also be easy for your buyers to use. If your online store is difficult to navigate and has a complicated checkout process, you can expect a lot of abandoned shopping carts on your site.
No matter how skillful or talented your workforce is, problems will arise if you don’t give them the right tools to use for their jobs. Additionally, it will be difficult to scale your business if you stick to doing every task manually instead of tapping into available technologies.
There are many tools that you can explore as an e-commerce entrepreneur, including software or programs for analytics, customer service, social media management and automation.
Remember: time is money, so there’s no point in spending hours on a task that a tool can take care of in minutes.
5. Trust Is A Must
Whether you’re running a business with the help of remote employees or an office full of people, trust is one thing that you have to establish. Make sure your team understands their roles early on, and give them enough space to execute them. You shouldn’t need to keep hovering in the background, virtually or otherwise, to see if they’re doing their jobs.
I don’t suggest that you simply leave your employees to their own devices, either. You can keep in touch with them by scheduling short, one-on-one or group meetings every week. Check in on their progress every so often, and find out if there are challenges they need help with.
Show them that you trust their ability to get their jobs done, but also let them know that the company is there for them if they find themselves at an impasse. You’ll be amazed at how trust can motivate people to do their jobs well.