For those who enter eCommerce prepared, opportunity awaits. First, you can build a solid team behind your eCommerce venture; it is feasible to step back and watch the operation flow while taking care of things like product sourcing, partner shops, or other experiences altogether.
The first step in building your remote eCommerce team is simple: Evaluate your business, and determine what it needs to succeed. If you aren’t clear on your business needs, you’re likely to struggle with building a team that can provide for it.
Determine Your Operational Needs
Since this is the first step, it sets the tone for each step to come. So, first, jot down a list of what you feel your business needs to succeed. That includes team members such as warehouse managers, accountants, and project managers.
Other everyday operational needs include an inventory management system and even logistics management software. While some manage their shops through software such as Kartra, Shopify, WooCommerce, or other E-comm systems, other businesses need access to features that aren’t available in generic E-commerce software.
Finally, you’ll need to determine your suppliers and their restrictions, such as MOQs—can you trust your personnel to manage MOQs or bear the burden of added inventory if they place an incorrect order?
Key Takeaway: Know what you need and know who will provide it.
Set Your Business Goals
Perhaps the most critical aspect of building a team is purpose. Knowing why you are assembling this expert team is your best way to ensure you can pull together a stellar team. Setting business goals, such as
“Drive sales up by a minimum of 20% Quarter-over-Quarter for the three remaining quarters of a financial year .”
It will help ensure you are building a team for a specific, measurable, and trackable goal. This will help you screen for specializations, skills, and performance. It also makes hard decisions easier down the line. When everyone knows what is expected of them, hard feelings are far fewer, should terminations become necessary.
Key Takeaway: Setting goals clarifies your path forward—in hiring and beyond.
Build An Efficient Onboarding Process
Onboarding new employees and freelancers often take weeks, if not months. When you cut that onboarding time down to days, you’re not only establishing a smooth base to work together; you’re also driving the value of your revenue even higher. Because money grows exponentially, each day you advance your engagement, you can generate more revenue.
Efficient onboarding processes also allow you to capitalize on the excitement that new hires bring to the table, palpable energy that can influence others—whether on-site or on Zoom—into a better mood and a higher degree of productivity. A 2015 study by Glassdoor showed that employee productivity could climb by up to 70 percent when an effective, formal onboarding process is implemented.
Key Takeaway: Inefficient onboarding is one of the primary reasons that workers fail to meet their quotas.
Standardize Your Workflows
Standardized workflows are the number one way to combat bottlenecking—envision a scenario in which your accountant decided to take an unannounced sick day, and your workflow this week depended on their efforts.
Now, imagine the same scenario, except they’ve prepared a contingency plan for you to implement in their absence. Which method do you think will have a better potential outcome?
Creating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) allows high-value individuals to attend to other tasks while the day-to-day continues to flow. They haven’t replaced themself, but they have permitted themself to take a higher-priority workload, which means the company now has more room to grow and scale.
The four tenants of building a successful eCommerce team are:
- First, evaluate what your business and your market need.
- Second, develop a simple plan and a set of measurable, time-limited goals to provide for those needs.
- Third, keep new hires flowing smoothly through the onboarding process—a rough process may reflect your brand poorly.
- Implement Standard Operating Procedures to prevent bottlenecks and allow your high-value colleagues to focus on higher-priority tasks.
- e.g., Bookkeeping may not be the best use of time for your CFO, but reviewing the market share numbers may lead to a massive opportunity during a season change or other event.
Key Takeaway: When you standardize your workflows, you make room for more revenue to flow in.
Utilizing these four tips can aggregate a competent team to run, manage, and scale your eCommerce business. Hiring a VA is an excellent place to start because they can assist with many of your operations at a general level—including documenting SOPs and operational requirements.