So you’ve started your e-commerce company, done your due diligence, and are now starting to see it grow. That’s perfect! It’s exactly what you’re aiming for and why you’ve worked so hard over the past few months – or even years.
As sales continue to pick up and your brand continues to garner attention as your website generates more traffic, expectations will definitely soar as well. This means double the effort and double the hours. You’re probably going through it as we speak.
Chances are, you’re also feeling overwhelmed with all the tasks that need to be completed. Business expansion is good, but you also have to learn to adjust and go with the flow. If the work is starting to pile up, you need to start outsourcing sooner rather than later.
If you don’t know where to begin, start with the common e-commerce tasks that can easily be assigned to another person.
1. Customer Service
Customer service is crucial to any type of business. Providing support, responding to emails, processing refunds, and managing calls are just some of the tasks a customer service representative handles.
These tasks aren’t too difficult or complicated. In fact, they are mostly clerical and the only major requirement you need to be met is prior customer service experience.
Though the tasks may not be difficult, the volume of tasks that need to be completed can be overwhelming, especially for a business owner like you who has more important things to take care of that relate to your business.
Outsourcing this role to a freelancer would be a great decision because by freeing yourself up, the customer service tasks can be taken care of by someone whose focus and attention is solely on customer service.
2. Product Sourcing
Product sourcing is essential for any e-commerce business. When you’re in the business of selling products for profit, you always have to be on the lookout for your next best-seller, and that’s going to be a never-ending cycle.
The task obviously requires a ton of research and back-and-forth communication with various suppliers, possibly from other countries. While it does require a specific set of skills, it also takes a lot of time to complete which makes it a perfect candidate for outsourcing.
Your time as a business owner is just too valuable to be wasted on tasks that can be taken over by someone who has more experience and expertise. Outsourcing your product sourcing activities will not only free you up, but it will also help your business by having someone who specializes in product sourcing do all the negotiating and researching for you.
3. Product Listing Optimization
Your product listing is one of the most important aspects of your e-commerce business. It’s how the whole sales process begins. The possibility of landing a sale starts the moment a potential customer lays eyes on your product listing. Whether they convert or not depends on what they see there.
Does it have stunning product photos? Is the description well-written, telling the customer everything they need to know about the product? Does the product title contain all the relevant keywords required for the said product?
A highly-optimized listing would make a potential customer want to click on the check-out button not only because of the “wow” factor but also because they’ve got everything they need to know about the product at one glance.
This is a task you can easily outsource, especially today when the freelance marketplace is filled with talented e-commerce professionals who have the ability to draw people to your brand and products.
4. Order Management
Order management is another key task that is crucial to the success of every e-commerce business. From managing orders on a daily basis to making sure that each order is processed properly and on time, the work involved can be tedious and take a lot of time.
The task may also entail other clerical work like daily inventory checks, report generation, and process documentation. These are all easy to do with the right guidance, but due to its detailed nature, you’ll need someone dedicated to this task – someone who can spend the needed hours to accomplish everything accurately and in a timely manner.
Unfortunately, you don’t have that luxury, which is why outsourcing this task to a freelancer makes more sense. This way, you can focus all your energy on running the business while the freelancer you hire can focus their energy on processing orders. It’s a win-win situation no matter how you look at it.
5. Social Media Marketing
There’s no question that you can’t successfully do business today without social media. It’s just going to be too difficult for a business to survive without getting the proper exposure social media allows it to have.
From small businesses to huge multinational companies, it’s almost impossible to imagine a brand not having a social media presence. It should be expected, then, that these brands require a competent social media marketer in their fold, much like you do.
Social media marketing is both challenging and fun. It’s fun to see people responding to your posts with likes and comments, and it’s challenging at the same time to produce results, especially when you have a target you need to meet.
In the early stages of the business, you’re probably doing this on your own, but as the business expands, this is one of the tasks you have to let go of because let’s face it, as simple as creating a post is on Facebook or LinkedIn, you have to admit that it also takes time, especially when you’re formulating your strategy.
Luckily, there’s a ton of social media marketing experts available in the freelance market pool who can take over this part of the business on your behalf. Just like the other tasks mentioned, social media marketing requires a dedicated person whose sole focus should only be on growing your business’ social media presence.
6. Graphic Design
When it comes to anything online, getting noticed is always a priority, especially when you are in the product-selling niche. The images and graphics on your website should be attractive enough to turn heads and capture people’s attention. If you can capture their interest at that moment, you’re one step closer to a sale.
This is the reason why having a creative and talented graphic artist makes a ton of difference. By having one, you’re already giving your business an advantage over your competitors. No matter how fun it is to retouch pictures and create colorful graphics, it still does take time, which makes it a good candidate for outsourcing.
Graphic design also demands top-notch, artistic skills which you’ll have a better chance of finding in the freelance market.
If there’s one task you should be outsourcing, it’s the one that requires a lot of paperwork and a high level of accuracy and consistency. Your financials are one of these tasks that require a lot of detailed work.
It’s not easy to track how money moves within the business if you’re not 100% on top of it. From the money that goes out through your expenses to the money that comes in via sales, managing a business’ books no doubt requires focused time and attention. This is something you cannot provide when you’ve got a pile of work scattered on the table.
The good news is there are also freelance bookkeepers you can outsource these sensitive tasks to. You don’t have to spend your time getting the numbers right when you’ve got someone to do it for you.
With a system in place, all you have to do is regularly monitor the numbers and have regular meetings so you stay informed.
Outsourcing the tasks
These are just some of the major e-commerce tasks you can outsource. You can choose to outsource more tasks depending on your preference. Once you have decided, you can use services like FreeeUp to get you started.
FreeeUp does very well at assisting business owners with their outsourcing needs by sending you pre-vetted freelancers, making the hiring process quicker and easier. All you have to do is sign up as a client and send FreeeUp your requirements. You’ll then be set up with candidates you can interview to see if you’re a good match, and this all happens within 24 hours in most cases.
Once you’ve hired the freelancer of your choice, he or she can start working with you immediately.
It’s natural to want to do everything for your business, but at some point, you need to let go of some of the tasks you’ve been doing, especially when your business is starting to expand. As a business owner, you need to be focused on running the business instead of spending your time in operations. And you can only do this with the help of freelancers to whom you can outsource some of your key tasks.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and always short on time, leaving important tasks undone, it’s time to consider outsourcing not only to free you up but to also give your business a fighting chance.