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Blog Misc Pro Tip

How to Scale Up Your Ecommerce Business Safely

At some point in the lifespan of any business, serious thought will have to be given to scaling up. The task presents a number of significant obstacles for ecommerce business owners, who traditionally employ only a limited number of employees. With such businesses, one of the biggest challenges is scaling up without necessarily having to devote more personal time–or personal resources–to the business.

There are many ways to scale up a business, and the appropriate approach varies on a number of factors. Something that remains constant however is the need to employ the proper systems, technologies, and personnel resources. It is also important to be acutely aware of the appropriate time to scale up, as timing is an especially important factor when it comes to taking an ecommerce business to the next level.

Identify problems that need to be solved

Research is an indispensable part of scaling up, as it will help you identify problem areas and the steps necessary to address them. You should pay particular attention to how you will address issues related to a spike in traffic. After all, the effectiveness of an ecommerce website hinges in large part on its ability to deal with peak traffic. Determining the proper platform will help address your needs now, as well as when you eventually scale up your ecommerce business.

Explore all your options and don’t neglect seemingly simple solutions. This could very well apply to ecommerce, where the simplest solutions often produce the best results.

It is always the simple that produces the marvellous” – Amelia Barr

Invest in appropriate technology

Investing involves more than just throwing money at your business, hoping that the problems will go away. As with any other aspect of running a business, making an investment with an eye toward upscaling should be done in order to address a specific operational weak point. This is especially important when you apply for financing for your small business, as you will have to ensure that the money you borrow is put to good use.

It is equally important to ensure that any investment you make continues to pay off in the long-term. By making wise investment and targeting areas that will be benefited the most, you can increase your business’s chances of making it to the next stage.

Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality” – Malala Yousafzai

 

Utilise a content delivery network

If you haven’t been utilising content delivery networks (CDNs) in your ecommerce operations yet, you are definitely missing out. CDNs essentially provide you with alternative server nodes by which your website’s visitors can download static resources such as images and JavaScript. Such networks allow your site’s users to take advantage of nodes that are geographically located closer to their own locations. The result is that they are able to access your site’s content much faster and enjoy a much better user experience overall.

Consider automating key processes

Automation has long been considered an essential business tool, and ecommerce sites stand to gain many advantages from using them. Automation systems typically use computer software for controlling repetitive tasks that are done on a frequent basis. Such systems are usually employed in order to enhance efficiency and reliability, particularly with tasks in which accuracy is a top priority. Automating key processes will also help reduce human error and save you more time for other equally important tasks, as you are able to carry out the less human-intensive processes of running your business automatically.

Prioritize the fulfilment aspect

Fulfilment is one of the most important aspects of running an ecommerce business, and yet it is one of the areas that are so often neglected when upscaling. Far too many businesses scale up their production and operations only to realise that they are unable to address their customer’s needs. The sudden increase in volume of sales could have a severely detrimental effect on any business that fails to deliver, as unsatisfied customers may opt to take their business elsewhere.

It is important to note that upscaling fulfilment capabilities often involves investing in the proper technology–such as more efficient barcoding and inventory management systems, for example–as well as hiring more employees. As your scope widens and the demand for your products increases, you could consider using online fulfilment systems.

Scale outwards as well as upwards

The changing needs of an ecommerce business so often involves scaling outwards as well as upwards. There are many instances wherein increasing your website’s capacity will prove to be advantageous, but don’t neglect the importance of investing in more database servers as well. For instance, you could continue with your current system as your master database, and employ a number of other public database servers exclusively for taking orders and providing your customers with shopping cart functionality. It may entail additional setup and maintenance on your part, but the enhanced efficiency will prove to be worth it.

Scaling up an ecommerce business requires a thorough assessment of your business needs and a determination of the tools and processes necessary to achieve your goals. Not every business is the same, and there is no single set of solutions that will be the most appropriate for every business. By identifying the areas of your operations that need improvement and being prepared for any eventuality, you may just be able to cope with the increasing challenges of a growing business, while at the same time ensuring a consistently high level of service.

 

About the Author

Charles writes for Authorflair.com about small business and recruitment. A serial entrepreneur and avid writer; connect with Charles at Authorflair for ore insights into the Australian start-up scene.

 

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More than the goal, it is the journey that will make you happy

Hi Friends,

I want you to stop what you’re doing and think about a particular goal that you are aiming to reach in your life right now. It could be anything, whether it’s a job promotion, a new car, or maybe a few inches off of your waist. Think about what you will feel when you finally reach that goal? Let me guess, you’ll be happy and ecstatic, right?

Most people are programmed to think that way. We are trained to have specific goals that will make us feel good about ourselves. It’s normal for us to think about the future with the mindset that we will be happy once we get there.

Although there is nothing really wrong with that, the problem lies when we become too focused with our goal that we ignore an integral part of the equation… the journey. Sometimes, we are very much brainwashed with the idea that the goal is the only thing that will make us happy to the extent that we overlook the small successes that we have to go through along the way in order to reach that goal. More than the destination, it is the journey that should make you happy, and that’s what we tend to forget.

We become too focused with our goal that we ignore an integral part of the equation… the journey! Click To Tweet

I am guilty of having this mindset. I always set goals and make game plans towards reaching them, delaying happiness until I succeed. Once I get it, though, I see myself asking for more. So I set a new goal and make new game plans towards reaching them, delaying happiness again until I succeed. The simple desire of attaining happiness becomes a never-ending cycle that goes on and on and on. Then I realized… why do I only focus my happiness on a big goal when there are a lot of things that could make me happy along the way?

Happiness can also come from the little improvements that we do each day. Instead of having just a future goal to inspire us, our day-to-day achievements should drive us in a positive state. The happiest thing about setting a goal is becoming the person you need to be and developing the skills you need to have in order to reach that goal.

The journey is as important as the destination, so make sure that it is also something that you will enjoy. Surround yourself with the right people, take your time, observe and enjoy the changes that takes place, make a conscious effort to enjoy the now. It will make the experience more rewarding and it will make your story more inspiring once you share it with others. After all, what makes a movie great is not the ending credits — it’s the scenes during the whole movie. As Denis Waitley once said, “It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in the happiness of pursuit.”

I will leave you with that. Happy thinking.

Till next time, #staySharp.

#RazorSharp – Ray Milidoni

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Content is no longer the king. Contact is king.

In the ‘old days’ if you wanted to get a foot in the door of a big time company it wasn’t so much who you knew but what you knew. Your ability to do the job, no matter what kind of job, was determined by your resume and your interview. Today, things have switched and it is far more important to ‘know people’, lots of people, people who can help you.

It Is Not What You Know, But Who You Know – Contact is king Click To Tweet

Content no longer rules the throne; the energy level has switched to who you know and if you know enough people you will have an edge. You can have the best resume (content) but if you can’t promote that resume to more than one or two employers you don’t get the job. You need a following and the more the merrier.

You have to market yourself and your qualifications. Put together the best resume; get professional help with that if you can. Then you need to get that resume out to the right people. There are many ways to do that including:

  • Your family – immediate and extended only who they know don’t work for them!
  • Your friends – close or semi-close, a little spam is ok, but don’t look desperate.
  • Your neighbors – former and current they all can chip in
  • Your Facebook friends – you never know who they might know
  • Your Twitter followers – tweets are powerful

The list goes on and the more people who get access to your resume the better shot you have of getting an interview. Make sure your ‘content’ gets into as many hands as possible. Follow-up is important. If Joe Jones says he will get your resume into the right hands at his company, will he? Give him time and then follow-up with Joe, but don’t push.

Always be sure to put on a professional face when dealing in cyberspace. Use a professional looking photo of yourself. You want your followers and friends to want to promote you.

If you are sincere, honest and reliable you want your friends to help you. You want them to want you to be the best you can be. This can’t be accomplished without a lot of personal interaction with those who can benefit you.

You’ve seen the others, the Court Jesters…the silly people who roam the internet without purpose. You have purpose; you want to make sure the world knows it. The world has become a much smaller place with the internet. Use it to your advantage. These days personal brand is not optional, you 100% need your personal brand in order.

You do have to be careful not to get too pushy, too over-the- top. Being eager to get ahead doesn’t mean you should walk all over people to get there. Every word you type when you are online are words that thousands of people will have access to. Do it correctly because it’s not so much what you know but who you know.

Lastly clean up your social platforms, get rid of those drunken pictures our clubbing and acting like a fool. Make sure your posts have nothing that could be seen as not politically correct and make sure your profile photos look good and are of you, not your kids or some beach view.

 

 

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