Anyone that’s ever run an e-commerce business knows that it comes with a never-ending to-do list. If you’re not careful, that can easily lead to overwhelm.
But it doesn’t have to. Yes, there’s a lot to do, but you really can manage your e-commerce business successfully without letting it take over your life.
Here are our top tips for managing your e-commerce business while keeping overwhelm at bay:
1. Take things step by step
If you try to do everything at once, you really will feel overwhelmed. Instead, take your time. Pace yourself and don’t overdo it.
If you look at the whole big picture of all the things you need to do, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. With too much to do, you could find that you don’t know what to choose and instead, you end up doing nothing.
Break down everything you need to do and, at most, pick your three most important things to get done every day.
2. Set clear goals
Once you set achievable goals, that sense of overwhelm will go away. You’ll know what to do next and what to do after that.
You’ll find it much easier day-to-day and, in the long term, if you know where you are going. It’s much easier to work backward from your end goals and work out what actions to take now.
That’s a great way to get unstuck and to ensure you stay well away from overwhelm.
3. Make a plan
Once you’ve set your goals, it’s important to make a plan that works for you. You know how much time you have to devote to your e-commerce business, so break down your tasks and get them on your calendar.
Plan in time for listing your products and time for marketing your business. It’s also important to plan time to think about the future and to work on your business, rather than in it.
It’s good to make a plan for the next three months so you can see where you are going. You need to be aware of what you want for the rest of the year too. But a three-month plan is enough to keep you going, without feeling overwhelmed.
If you try to wing it, you will waste a lot of time and you won’t reach your goals as quickly. When you have a list of tasks that you could do, but nothing planned, you can spend too much time staring at your list rather than doing it!
4. Sort out your logistics
The biggest barrier to a successful e-commerce business is how you will store and manage your inventory, and how you will fulfill your orders. If you don’t get this right, your business could falter quickly.
Warehousing can be expensive and time-consuming if you try to do it yourself. You might also find that you spend too much of your time packing and shipping orders.
The best way to successfully scale, as a small business or a solopreneur, is to use a complete e-commerce solution like Tradefull.
With a complete e-commerce solution like Tradefull, you can hand over every aspect of your logistics to a team of experts in e-commerce. You don’t have to worry about storing your goods, managing inventory, or even shipping your items. It’s all done for you. And you’re likely to save money as a professional company will have deals in place for good rates with shipping companies.
With a professional logistics company, you can simply hand everything over and then focus on marketing and building your business.
5. Don’t try to market to everyone
When marketing, it’s tempting to think that everyone is your customer. But you’ll do far better and waste less time if you niche down.
Find your ideal audience. Find the people who can’t wait to buy your products. Trust us when we tell you that your audience is not everybody.
You’ll need to do some research to find out what sets you apart from your competitors. You’ll also need to research your audience so that you know the best ways to market to them.
This takes some time initially, but it will save you time and money in the long run. You don’t want to be spending your marketing dollars on marketing that is never going to reach your audience. Instead, find out where they hang out and market to them there. It’ll be far more effective.
6. Build at your own pace
This is your business and you’re the one in charge. Grow at a pace that suits you so you don’t try to scale up too fast. You’ll avoid burnout and overwhelm if you make time for yourself and a good work-life balance.
7. Get some help
At some point, even with the help of a complete e-commerce solution like Tradefull, you will need extra help.
You might want someone to do the accounts, so you don’t have to. You could hire someone to do your social media for you.
A virtual assistant could help you with day-to-day tasks that you don’t want to do or that get in the way of what you should be doing.
Don’t try to do everything by yourself. There’s no need to.
8. Automate what you can
There are so many great apps out there now that can help you automate tasks. You can automate your email marketing and your social media posting. Your logistics partner should have top-class software to help you manage your inventory and track when you need to re-order goods.
You can also automate your product listings on e-commerce marketplaces with the right software.
Take advantage of what you can automate. You will save hours of time each week.
9. Remember your ‘why’
When you started your e-commerce business, you had your own reasons for doing it. Maybe you wanted to work for yourself. Maybe you wanted to spend more time with your family. Perhaps your goal was making more money.
Whatever it was, keep that big reason at the forefront of your mind. It will help motivate you and keep your focus on moving forward.
Yes, running an e-commerce business can be challenging, but it’s so worth it. You get the freedom to work for yourself at your own pace, instead of having a boss breathing down your neck. And there’s no limit to how much you can earn.
Just take a look at the statistic below from eMarketer’s Global Ecommerce Forecast 2023:
“This year, worldwide e-commerce sales will exceed $5 trillion for the first time, accounting for more than a fifth of overall retail sales. Despite slowing growth, total spending will surge past $7 trillion by 2025.”
You too can get your own slice of that e-commerce pie. It all starts with taking the first step. Then another and another.
Focus on bigger clients with Punchout Catalogs
A punchout catalog is an e-commerce solution that allows buyers to access a supplier’s catalog directly from their own e-procurement system or procurement platform. You can alleviate the initial overwhelm associated with starting a new e-commerce business. It simplifies product management, provides ready-made product information, streamlines the ordering process, offers supplier collaboration, facilitates store setup and customization, allows you to focus on marketing and growth, and reduces operational complexities. These benefits help you navigate the challenges more effectively, allowing you to concentrate on building a successful e-commerce venture.