Time Management for Entrepreneurs
Time is money. Nowhere does this statement hold more truth than in the e-commerce space. When you finally decide to become an Amazon seller, it's one of the most exciting and equally stressful times. There are so many tasks to prioritize and very little time to execute each. The e-commerce space moves at an extraordinary rate, and as most new sellers realize, it's sometimes difficult to manage things and still make time for yourself.
Over half of Amazon sellers juggle multiple tasks and work more than 40 hours weekly. The only problem is that most of hours aren't spent efficiently. Succeeding in an Amazon business means finding ways to stay ahead of the competition by streamlining processes from marketing to inventory management, supply chain, and customer service. And that is only possible if you know how to manage your time well.
This article will explore the best time management tips for an active Amazon entrepreneur and why managing your time when selling on Amazon is essential.
Why Is It Important To Manage Your Time Effectively When Selling on Amazon?
Time is one of the most precious assets for any business and the greatest enemy for some. Poor Amazon business management is among the primary reasons Amazon businesses fail. As an Amazon business, chances are that you are juggling several tasks. That can get overwhelming in the long run. Time management involves:
- Designating time to complete tasks
- Prioritizing important planned tasks
- Committing to completing tasks within a specific time frame
It requires discipline and learning how to work smart rather than hard.
By managing your time effectively:
- You can accomplish more in less time
- You can make better decisions that impact your brand because you are not rushing
- You can effectively scale your business and increase revenue
- You are better prepared for whatever surprises come your way, from delayed shipments to discovering a new product category
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What Are the Signs That Your Amazon Business Could Use Better Time Management?
Keeping your Amazon business running might sometimes feel like you are caught up in a whirlwind of tasks that are impossible to accomplish. From Amazon product research to inventory control and Amazon backend, there are typically a few indications that you are not spending your planned time effectively. Here are some things that should tell you your time management needs active improvement:
- When buyer messages aren't responded to in time, it's a sign that your time management could be better. Amazon expects you to respond to buyer queries within 24 hours. If you don't, your seller metrics are affected negatively.
- When you can't sync with your carrier and have to work yourself into a frenzy every time trying to sort out late shipments, there is some vulnerability in your shipping department that needs addressing. If you're an experienced Amazon seller, you've likely developed a close relationship with your carriers, and you can always tell when they are likely to collect. Consider addressing your time management issue if this is no longer the case.
- You know there is a time management problem when there is a spike in late shipments. Amazon expects a late shipment rate (LSR) below 4 percent, which is reasonable considering that all you need to do is confirm and ship an order before the scheduled shipment date. If your LSR spikes above the expected 4 percent, look at what could be taking up too much of your time.
- If your sales are not reflective of your set goals, it could be that your prices aren't competitive due to slow, irregular, or random repricing practices.
What Can You Do To Manage Your Time More Effectively as an Amazon Entrepreneur?
Whether you've been selling on Amazon for years or just starting, there are many tasks associated with running and growing an e-commerce business. And as your business grows, so do many of these tasks. With so many directions, how do you devote the limited hours you have so you are doing what is most important for your business?
#1 Outsource Some Business Tasks to Experts
When running a business in the world's largest e-commerce space, you want to do everything you can to grow your brand, even if that means handling every task. But just because you're an Amazon entrepreneur doesn't mean carrying the entire weight of your business on your shoulders. Even multi-million sellers know when to outsource.
Consider the tasks that are taking up too much of your time and that you are not well-equipped to handle alone and outsource to an expert. This might not be ideal as far as cash flow is concerned because it means paying someone else to handle these tasks. But think about it; you risk losing more and sometimes even the business you've worked so hard to build by not outsourcing.
Admitting that you need help isn't a weakness but a strength that will help your business run successfully for years.
#2 Avoid Multitasking
Multitasking creates the illusion of doing more in a limited time, but the reality is that it is not that productive. Amazon selling is fast-paced, especially if you want to stay ahead of the competition. For that reason, many Amazon sellers assume that the only way to succeed is to handle everything simultaneously, from checking emails to responding to customer reviews and optimizing product listings.
In the end, multi-tasking only negatively affects your productivity and increases your room for error. Instead, consider focusing on one planned task at a given time. If you get "stuck" on a task, put it on hold and switch to another activity.
#3 Delegate Some Tasks
For many Amazon sellers, the thought of your business crumbling to nothing because you aren't there can be frightening. Therefore, many sellers prefer getting involved in as many day-to-day business responsibilities as possible. It's understandable but unrealistic. You can't be involved in everything as your business grows. At some point, you will need to hire people to handle some tasks.
Administrative, accounting, bookkeeping, and marketing are some tasks that you can comfortably delegate to your employees even though you are more than capable of handling them. When you delegate tasks, make it clear what outcome you expect so you don't spend your valuable time worrying about whether your employees will deliver.
#4 Set Realistic Goals and Prioritize Them
First things first, define your business goals. Your goals may change as your business grows. When starting, your goals may include prioritizing product sourcing and development. As your business grows, you'll re-evaluate goals based on your current selling phase, including your inventory management processes and systems. Despite your priorities changing daily, it's essential to keep tabs on where your business is and set achievable goals for the future. This way, you always know what you are working towards and what priorities come first.
#5 Automate Your Processes
There are so many tasks that go into running a successful Amazon business. Realistically, you can't handle all processes manually, and that's where technology comes in. Consider automating some processes to free up valuable time to address other pressing issues. Third-party tools and software can help you automate daily tasks like FBA inventory management so you can focus on other activities impacting the bottom line.
#6 Create Systems That Work for Your Amazon Business
You will be better positioned to scale your Amazon business if all seller data systems are streamlined to your goals. Start by creating systems for recurring tasks like approving purchasing orders and monitoring ad performance. Consider also using the 80/20 rule, where you derive 80 percent of your results from 20 percent of your actions.
What does this mean for your Amazon business? You must prioritize tasks that make a more significant impact rather than slowing yourself down with tasks that don't move the needle when scaling your Amazon business. Make a list of everything you must do to reach your goals. Determine what tasks are invaluable and must be handled by you.
Consider the tasks worth investing time on and create a system for delegating or automating the rest. For instance, while Amazon expects you to check your seller feedback rating, this is a task that you can easily automate.
It's easy to get caught up in a race against time when you're running an e-commerce business. To give your business a chance, start using your time effectively. Also, find out what activities you're focusing on that are stealing your valuable time.
Finally, learn to prioritize tasks depending on their importance to expand and grow your business. Mastering time management will make time for you because you can get more done in the shortest time possible. And remember, you don't need to handle all tasks associated with growing your business. Your employees or a third-party Amazon marketing agency could help with some tasks.
In what ways have you increased productivity in your Amazon business? Let us know in the comments.
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