So, you have decided to become proud store owner! That’s great, but have you decided to manage everything from the comfort of your living room? If so, there is a lot to think about before you ship your first order. Read more on how to increase productivity and write what worked best for you!
It takes a lot to decide to start your eCommerce business.
Any kind of business actually.
It is a venture that will take a lot of sacrifices, sleepless hours and dedication.
A lot of entrepreneurial spirit as well.
The latter you most certainly already have, as soon as you decided to dedicate your time to a business you can call your own.
The first one is yet to come.
Many will say that there are loads of prerequisites to fulfil in order to venture into something like starting your own online store.
We say – you should just do it!
Clearly, you cannot do it randomly, leaving important decisions to be solved by themselves.
That is why we decided to share several tips on how to increase productivity if you decided to run your online store from your favourite chair, surrounded will all sorts of distractions.
Researchers from Stanford University conducted a research over a nine month period.
13 000 employees were involved and researchers concluded that there was a stunning 50% increase in satisfaction among those working from home.
Not only that – it showed that those working from home were 12% more efficient than the ones working from office.
First things first – it is not impossible, and this is a claim that can be proved in so many different ways.
All you need to do is to make sure that:
You have work space dedicated to – work only
You probably tried to pull off something similar last time you decided to cancel your gym membership, buy a treadmill and get up every day at 7AM for your daily workout routine.
Routine – shmoutine?
Even if you started, it probably ended in a week or so.
And it’s completely understandable.
It takes time to get used to a completely different surrounding, full of Pins and Instagrams to avoid.
Don’t think it’s impossible though.
After all, you are about to begin a race that will make you run faster than you have ever ran.
All you have to do is to have a designated place for work.
And by that, we don’t mean an actual office.
If you can pull that, amazing, but if not, make sure you simply (re)arrange a corner that you could call your own.
Surround yourself with all things that inspire you and start setting up your store!
The most important thing in this whole endeavour is attitude – you WORK from home.
Nothing else has changed. Nothing else can change.
Make a list
Make sure you have your tasks sorted at all times.
The easiest way to define and memorize them is the good old list.
Working from home can often impose the impression that you have to be stuck at your computer whole day.
That is why it’s important not to forget to spend some quality time during the day, and the easiest way to do so is to keep everything neatly organized.
Get up early, kick off your day with half an hour of any type of physical activity, brew yourself a nice cup of coffee and make that list!
Surely, there are differences between those only administering online store and store owners that are producing everything and managing the entire process.
It can easily happen that you become overwhelmed with the amount of work that needs to be done.
If you are one of those loosing your lists all the time and you think post-it will not cut it – try some of the applications available.
Trello is definitely one of the most popular ones.
It is a very useful tool that will let you create, manage and share your to-do lists.
It will remind you that you have pending tasks or errands and you will find that your lists are all neat and clutter free.
You can also use Todoist – it can do so much in terms of successfully managing your daily tasks as well.
And all of this takes time and requires your undivided attention knowing that one minor mistake can make you lose customers and your great reputation.
So, make a schedule and stick to it.
It will help you get things done and increase your productivity significantly.
On the top of our heads, here is the daily dose of tasks that will definitely become recurrent in your eCommerce adventure.
You will most certainly need to:
- create new products
- photograph new products and list them on your store
- write detailed product description
- update stock quantities
- create coupon codes for loyal customers
- pack and ship products
- deal with customer’s questions, comments and inquiries
- take care of investing/budgeting
And as your online store grows, so it will your tasks.
At one point, creating more and more to-do lists simply won’t cut it.
This is where LeCollab comes in and saves your life! It is an amazing tool that will help you create and organize your tasks and maximize productivity.
It will give you a great overview of your tasks, keep track of conversations within tasks, and keep track of time.
What is even better, it is completely free for two months, and after your trial period expires you can continue using it for only $10/month.
No matter what tool you are using, we advise you to start solving your most difficult tasks first.
Great, you have found yourself a task to kick off your day with!
Schedule blog and social media posts
Not to discourage you but, there are more to running an online store than creating and listing your products.
You need to be present in relevant social media channels in order to make your business visible and increase sales.
It is time consuming and it does requires creativity, perseverance and regularity.
Posting frequently is good for so many reasons – Google will love it, and your customers will appreciate it.
They will know that you are quick to respond, what’s more important, quick to help.
It will help you build confidence and trust they have in you and become their go-to person in future.
You can make your life easier by choosing one of the apps available for scheduling – Crowdfire can help you with Twitter, Hootsuite can also be of great use, and you can always use Facebook for scheduling your posts, and WordPress to schedule your next blog post.
It will save you loads of time, but be careful – leaving your customers waiting for a reply will look bad, so make sure you are always there checking your comments and replying to your tweets.
The hard part is that – you have to do it by yourself. Meaning:
- writing, editing, scheduling and posting your blog posts
- creating content to share via social media
- maintaining strong presence on Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest/ Twitter and other industry relevant platforms
- creating email marketing campaigns and measuring their performance
- following analytics related to your online store and your social media
It can be just a bit too much.
The good side of it – you’re doing it from the comfort of your living room.
Surround yourself with inspiring music (Business Insider suggestion: classical music), inspiring details and you will notice the results!
Never neglect your products
Managing your store from your home requires – attitude.
Your surrounding simply needs to realize that you are there, but not actually present.
Make sure you clear the air before deciding to set up your home office.
Being at constant disposal will not be beneficial neither for you nor your business.
And your products are one thing you really need to be strict about.
Never let a great movie on Netflix ruin your concentration, never let family member occupy your space and distract you.
It is most certainly impossible, but your products have to be ready and shipped at time.
And that is one thing that you have to communicate to everyone. Fiercely.
…will always end up as a complete and utter disaster when it comes to your online store.
It is completely impossible having a Skype meeting while sewing latest batch of products for your store.
It will always be a complete and miserable failure trying to schedule your posts while reading articles and brainstorming topics for the next couple of posts.
Browsing Pinterest while determining your budget? Completely wrong.
Just admit it – some people can do it.
But are they running an eCommerce website and completely relying on sales this month?
So give up before you have even started.
Stick to one bullet from your list and begin with another one only when previous one is ticked off.
You will certainly end up being more productive, focused and you will get more things done.
Take time off
The moment to be honest.
You would probably hate your boss that imposed you long working hours, whole pile of tasks and impossible deadlines right?
Do not end up hating yourself. Take time off.
The happier you are, the more productive you will be.
And it will reflect on your online business.
So don’t be too hard on yourself.
Set up your goals, conversion rates and do your best to achieve them.
If you burn out, everything will simply stop.
Having an online store is simply cut out for home office.
Not only that you will have time to dedicate exclusively to your products, but your customers will get to feel that as soon as they receive creatively packed box with a personal thank you note.
Big companies can afford loads of things, but being personal is one of the luxuries only small store owners have.
Have in mind that your product is your No.1 priority.
It is what your eCommerce business is all about.
And that is why you have to do everything you can to ensure that your story is a successful one!
Good luck and stay productive!