Product research, ads, social media, order fulfillment, customer service…
The list goes on.
With so much to take care of and only so much time in a day, it’s no wonder many new entrepreneurs experience burnout.
In fact, any seasoned ecommerce business owner will tell you that the to-do list of running an online store, especially if you’re just starting out, can be endless.
Note: It can be. But it doesn’t have to be.
The solution lies in building and implementing systems.
If you’re looking for a more efficient way to run your business and lighten your workload in the long run, read on.
The Advantages of Systems
After having spoken to numerous successful ecommerce merchants here at Oberlo, we’ve discovered that one thing many of them agree on is the importance of implementing systems to build, scale, and sustain their businesses.
But before we dive into the how, let’s quickly explore what systems are and their advantages.
Systems are a set of processes and guidelines that help to determine what decisions should be made and when. Because of the support they offer, they’re often thought to be the bedrock of successful businesses.
Here are some advantages of implementing systems.
- They save you time. Systems introduce efficiency and increase productivity by eliminating the need to ponder over every decision. With set criteria to follow, the decision-making process is sped up.
- They make outsourcing easier. After testing different methods, you’ll know what works and what doesn’t. This makes it easier to set guidelines and outsource work with a peace of mind that standards will be upheld.
- They allow you to focus on what matters. A great by-product of outsourcing work is that it clears up your schedule so that you can focus on more important aspects of your business.
In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at some of the systems veteran ecommerce entrepreneurs have in place and how they grew their business with them.
How Successful Entrepreneurs Use Systems
To Find Winning Products
It took a lot of time and energy for successful merchant Pierre to eventually find a winning product. But he knew he couldn’t rely on just one product for success and needed more to keep the revenue momentum going.
Instead of dedicating his efforts to hunting down another product from scratch, he decided to develop a two-step system to help him spot products with potential and discard those that don’t.
Here’s his formula:
- Step 1: Spy on his competitors’ Facebook ads to discover what products are working for them.
- Step 2: List the products in his own store, run ads for them, and try to sell.
It’s a relatively simple system. And even though Pierre recognizes that it’s not the most foolproof method because he still ends up with products that don’t perform, it still pays off.
“If a product is really, really working, it’s worth trying ten products that aren’t working,” says Pierre.
And it sure is. His system has helped him discover winning products that propelled his sales to almost $1 million in 2019.
To Build a Sustainable Business
Pierre’s not the only entrepreneur who has a system for product validation.
Dropshipping couple Shishir and Namrata tested dozens and dozens of products before they finally found one that worked.
While they were eager to replicate this success, the tedious journey they experienced with their first winning product was a deterrence. They knew that there had to be an easier way around it.
Like Pierre, they set out to build a system.
Today, they rely on what they call a “four-stage troubleshooting process” to help find winning products. Here’s a flowchart to represent how it works and you may also read all about it here.
For Shishir and Namrata, their web of systems permeates the entire structure of their ecommerce store business. They know that it’s what they need to ensure business sustainability.
If they had only one piece of advice for dropshippers, both new and pro, it would be to start creating as many systems as possible – from product research to customer service and ad scaling.
Because ultimately, what I’ve realized is, the long-term sustainability of this business is only because of systems being put in place. – Shishir Nigam
To Delegate Work and Focus on Scaling
Ryan Carroll’s approach to systems stems from his view of the dropshipping model.
“It’s kind of like an engine of a car; there are different parts and pieces to it,” says Ryan.
“That’s what’s super amazing about this business. Everything is very system-based.”
After some failures and effort lost, he discovered just how important systems were to his dropshipping business. Taking advantage of the feasibility and compatibility of systems with the dropshipping model, he started to create systems to facilitate his work.
Once the proper processes and procedures were in place, Ryan was able to easily outsource parts of his business, including order processing and customer service.
That freed up his schedule and enabled him to focus on things he was good at that brought in sales – finding new products and creating ads.
A big thing is creating systems as you start scaling up your business and really only using your time and energy towards what’s gonna drive you the most revenue. – Ryan Carroll
Systems not only give your business structure, they essentially oil the wheels of your business.
Although they may not always lead you to the right answer, they do take the chore out of the tedious parts of running a business. In the long run, this also leads to more revenue and above all, a healthier entrepreneurial state of mind.
Yielding only benefits, why not start creating a system for your business today?