How Business Processes Can Help you Scale Faster
The business processes you create have a tremendous impact on how well you will do as an Amazon seller.
And if you want to achieve time and financial freedom, then you should focus on organizing your business first.
The problem is, most business owners neglect to prioritize building their business processes.
This can lead to mistakes that can cost you time, money, and energy.
So today, we’ll talk about what business processes to focus on and why you should start doing it as soon as possible.
Why business processes are important
There are many ways to scale your Amazon business.
You can aim for continuous product launches to increase sales. There’s the option of getting partners and investors to fund your business.
Eventually, you can also sell your business to buyers who don’t have time to build from scratch.
Either way, you’ll need to prove that your business is stable enough for people to trust in you.
To do that, you need to make sure you have your systems and processes in place.
Business processes are a series of steps that you perform to achieve your business goals. It includes the person responsible for the roles and the tasks assigned to them.
Systems and processes are the building blocks for business process management, automation, KPIs, and other growth factors.
Why is it so critical for you to set it up as an Amazon entrepreneur? Here are some reasons.
The biggest benefit of having business processes is standardized results and repeatable success.
When you have the right procedures in place, it’s much easier to achieve the results you want.
Most entrepreneurs solve business problems along the way. This increases your experience and expertise.
Often, these changes aren’t as obvious to you.
Things get easier as you progress. And sometimes you only realize this when you have to teach what you do to someone else.
When done right, processes ensure the right results no matter who handles the business.
Risk and expenditure reduction
Setting up processes can reduce risks and expenditures. It minimizes human errors and avoids mistakes.
Lesser errors mean better resource management.
Proper execution increases efficiency and gives you more time, money, and energy for other things.
It also leads to learning opportunities for you and the team. Having a process can help you backtrack errors and pinpoint which parts need improvements and revisions.
Increased efficiency and productivity
Having business processes eliminates the need for guesswork, especially for tough challenges in the business.
It makes decision-making much easier for those in charge of the tasks.
Each team member feels empowered to decide based on their roles and responsibilities. And if the solutions aren’t available, they would know who to approach for the next best thing.
Processes also make it easier for new hires and team members to adapt.
Proper guidelines lessen the need for asking questions and increase the team member’s accountability as well.
Encourages effective communication
Good communication is vital in any business. And having the right processes in place can ensure proper communication and channels are set.
It also bridges gaps between you, your team, and the customers.
Standardized procedures, FAQs, and customer service procedures make this happen.
Proper communication maintains alignment and also reduces friction and problems in all aspects of the business.
What business processes should you create?
Running an Amazon business requires a lot of moving parts.
Each stage has its challenges. But if you do it right, it will be a rewarding experience.
And part of this is documenting your processes along the way.
The question is, what part of the business should you be creating a process for? And should you be making processes for all the things you do?
The quick answer is yes and no.
You’ll know that Amazon is not a set-it-and-forget-it type of business if you’ve been in it long enough.
Sure, there are parts you can outsource. But there are still parts of it that only you, as the business owner, need to be in charge of.
Even that needs to be documented, in case the time comes when you decide to sell it altogether.
The goal of creating processes is to have an organized Amazon business. Doing so will let you achieve two things: free your time and let you live the entrepreneurial lifestyle you’ve always wanted.
Here are some processes that you need to create for yourself and your Amazon business.
Our progress is not determined by the enormous risks we take. Rather, it’s identified by the small, daily decisions we make.
That’s how important daily routines are, especially when you’re building a lifestyle-based business.
You want to create a routine that will develop the discipline and grit you need. This can include morning and evening rituals, decision-making processes, and how you can avoid burnouts.
Think of what a perfect day looks like for you and how you can achieve it. Focus on the feeling and how you will respond once all your tasks are complete.
Ask yourself, what type of person do you need to become to succeed?
Doing this will help you create long-term changes and help you resolve challenges better.
This process gives you an overview of all the things you need to get your business started and set up.
It also answers questions about the costs, fund sources, timelines, and other necessary details for your business.
Documents relating to a business setup include branding details, mission and vision, and even the business model you’re going for.
It includes tax information, registrations, and other legal documents you need to accomplish before getting started.
Your business setup document should also include product development information, profit, and expense projections, and timelines you need to achieve your target income and profit goals.
Research, reports, and inventories
Research, reports, and inventories are tedious on their own. But it’s a necessary part of your business.
It would be good to know the research process at the start of your business. Doing so will give you market insights you can use for decision-making.
But as you go, it would be a great time saver to have an Amazon VA do it for you.
The same goes for reports and inventories.
What type of research and tasks can you outsource to virtual assistants? Here are some of them:
- Product research
- Listing optimization
- Inventory management
Amazon sellers need to find vendors that fit their needs. And it’s a challenge, especially since not everyone can go directly to manufacturers and factories to monitor quality and production.
One thing you need to know is how to find good sourcing agents in the country you’re sourcing from.
You also need to have a good process for hiring a sourcing agent for your brand.
It also helps to create a questionnaire of your must-haves when qualifying factory options for sourcing.
And last but not least, you should also consider the best options for shipping and packaging options.
Product launches can be stressful and time-consuming, especially if it’s your first time doing it.
There are different strategies to go about launching your products. But as an Amazon seller, your goal is to find one that works best for you.
What should be included in your business process mapping for launches?
These can include your product research, keyword research, listing optimization, and sales strategies you’re going to use.
You can also include your ranking strategies, PPC strategies, and even the processes to use in off-Amazon marketing.
You might run the business on your own while starting. But eventually, you would need to do more things as you scale.
So it makes sense to create checklists, SOPs, and guides for daily tasks. Doing so will make it easier to give instructions to team hires in the future.
Tasks like record maintenance, invoicing, monitoring shipping dates, and refund or exchange orders aren’t that difficult. But missing a step can lead to bigger problems if not taken care of.
Some other tasks you need to have a process for are storefront tracking, Amazon SEO, listing management, and data management.
Customer service and support
Customer service and support are crucial in how your customers will view your Amazon business.
How you respond to inquiries, follow-ups, and complaints reflects who you are as a brand.
That’s why it’s equally important to create messaging templates that set the tone for your responses.
As an Amazon seller, you’ll need processes for customer messaging, sourcing communication, and feedback response.
Potential scenarios like product usage, malfunctions, and other problems may arise. So it’s best to note these situations for future references.
It also helps to have troubleshooting processes at the ready. These processes will help you decide whether to replace or refund orders.
This will also come in handy when you need to hire virtual assistants to take care of your customer service and support needs.
Discover how to find the best Amazon VA for your business needs here.
How to document business processes
There are three types of business processes you need to make.
- Managing processes – these involve planning, monitoring, and general overseeing to meet KPIs and targets. Managing processes can identify potential opportunities and threats to the business. These processes don’t exactly generate income. But it helps you define roles and find potential candidates that can fit these roles.
- Operating processes – these are processes that involve how your business will generate income. These play a direct role in production and output, like labor, money, products, services, and equipment.
- Supporting processes – these are the tasks and procedures that are essential in supporting the staff across the business. These can include accounting, HR management, and technical support.
Understanding these types will help you categorize the processes you need to create and organize.
Step 1: Goal setting
Set the goals and purpose of the process. Identify success indicators so you would know if it’s working or not.
Step 2: Business process mapping
Plan out the strategies you need to take to achieve the goals. Think of it as a roadmap that the individual would take to follow and execute.
You can use mind mapping for this process so you can check and see how the steps will work out.
Check out how to create effective mind maps for business process mapping here.
Step 3: Assign roles and actions
Identify the person, role, and tasks to be done. Include tools, apps, or any other mechanisms needed to execute the plan effectively.
Step 4: Test the process
Run the process and check for clarity and comprehension. Is it easy to follow and understand?
Were there any steps missed? Observe any gaps in the instructions and then make adjustments.
Step 5: Monitor results
Review and analyze the results of the process you created. Does it come up with consistent results? Are there any parts you could improve?
Document the history of the process and see if there are any changes or improvements with each variation.
Step 6: Revise and repeat
Once you’re done with the documentation, get back to your roadmap and see if any parts need to change.
Note the updates you’re creating so you can see the changes and improvements in your process.
Review each process every six months and update your document.
Tips on creating business processes
You might think how tedious it is to create your business processes.
Yes, it might be boring and uneventful. But having a solid process in place is the first step you need for business process automation.
Creating processes also frees up your time. It gives you more freedom to explore your options as an entrepreneur and business owner.
Here are some tips on how you could get started.
Progress over perfection
No, your processes don’t have to be perfect the first time. It doesn’t even have to be a full document.
What matters is you need to get it started. After all, you’re going to revise it, eventually.
Focus on the vision you have for the business and the things you need to do to get there.
It will take time to have a solid business process in place. So let go of perfection and start building instead.
Plan it out
Find out what works best for you, whether it’s checklists, guides, or bullet-type instructions.
Are you a visual person? Use Whimsical to create flowcharts, mind maps, templates, and wireframes instead.
You also don’t have to finish a process in one sitting. Instead, set a specific date or schedule in your week to do it.
Divide processes based on their types and work on them in sections. You’ll be surprised by what you can achieve with this strategy.
You can also outsource business processes and their creation. There are online business managers that you can hire who can organize these for you.
You’ll know how fast Amazon’s rules change. So you need to revise your processes and keep them up to date.
Doing this will make sure you minimize the risk of violations and being banned.
Get feedback from the person in charge. Ask them if any parts can be improved. This way, you’re holding them accountable and also empowering them in their position.
Discover how to achieve time and financial freedom as an Amazon CEO. Listen to our podcast here.
Business processes are an essential part of your success as an Amazon FBA business owner.
It might seem like a gargantuan task at first. But without it, duplicating success would also be difficult.
The key is to let go of the idea of perfection and aim for progress instead.
Start building your business processes so you can free your time and focus on what you do best.
Need help with scaling your Amazon business? Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and get started.