So you’ve finally sourced the products you’ve had your eyes on for quite some time. You’re finally ready to start selling your most coveted commodity and make lots of money out of it.
The only question that needs to be answered now is – what’s next?
While the thought of selling products like pancakes is nothing short of exciting, getting into the online selling business can become more disastrous without the necessary preparation. Sure, you’d probably be able to handle everything on your own at the beginning. You’d be able to process orders, manage your inventory, or even promote your products on social media.
What happens if out of nowhere, a huge volume of sales comes in? Will you be able to keep things up if everything gets multiplied by ten? Will you have enough time to stay on top of everything without compromising quality?
We all know how crazy the online selling industry can be. The possibility of a product going viral is nothing new, which is why having enough manpower to sustain the business is a wise decision. The best way to achieve this is through outsourcing.
While it’s true that outsourcing is considered a cost, the benefits it brings far outweighs the number of dollars you stand to lose because of the following:
The ability to multitask can both be a gift and a curse. On the one hand, you’ll be knocking out one task after another in a short amount of time, which is good by any standard.
The downside to multitasking is the possibility of compromising quality since your focus is on more than one activity. This is not something you would want to happen especially if you have an online store to run.
By outsourcing tasks like customer service or order fulfillment, for example, you’d be able to focus more on your “CEO” duties and leave these clerical yet necessary tasks to other people.
The other benefit of outsourcing is the potential to add more expertise to your brand. With a deep talent pool of freelancers who specialize in eCommerce operations, you’d be putting your business in a better position.
By adding a social media specialist, an experienced inventory manager, or a product listing optimization expert, for instance, your business is already at an immediate advantage.
Can you imagine the impact eCommerce experts can bring to your business? If you can bring in a couple of people who can contribute to your business in a big way, the cost is all worth it, don’t you think?
Which Tasks Do You Take Off Your Plate?
Once you’ve given outsourcing some serious thought and decided that it would be best for your business, the next thing you need to do is to determine which tasks you’ll be outsourcing.
Identifying which tasks to outsource all depends on your reason for outsourcing. Is it because of time constraints and your desire to lighten your load? Or is it because you want to bring in people with the expertise and experience to help you out you believe they know more and can do the task better than you can?
Whatever your reason may be, what’s important is to be able to get the help that you need. If you still don’t have an idea of which ones to pass off, however, below is a list of the most common eCommerce operations business owners outsource:
- Order Fulfillment – Order fulfillment is a clerical task that doesn’t require much expertise to perform. What makes it ideal to outsource this task is the amount of time it consumes especially when you have to do it in bulk. Hiring someone experienced at order fulfillment, however, can cut down on errors and make things go much faster.
- Customer Service – Customer service is another task eCommerce business owners usually outsource not only because of its clerical nature but also because of how ideal it is to the whole outsourcing setup. Most freelancers live in countries belonging to different time zones. Since customer service is the extension of a business owner’s voice, having someone do it on your behalf while you sleep makes perfect sense. You also want someone experienced so they know how to handle different requests and complaints professionally.
- Graphic Design – Graphic design is a very particular skill not everyone is blessed with and even if you can allot some time to learn and master this skill, having someone with the creativity and expertise to produce eye-catching graphics is still the better alternative.
- Social Media – Figuring out how social media works to your advantage is not that difficult but creating highly-engaging content that would be published all throughout the day every day is not that simple either. We’re not just talking about one social media channel here, we’re talking about doing the same for multiple ones. We haven’t even mentioned the part where formulating a strategy is involved. Why would you bother doing all of this when there are freelancers who can do it better?
- Content Creation – Writing is another unique skill you won’t find in a lot of people and in this day and age, having a blog is essential to any online business. A blog is a great tool to keep your audience engaged and with lots of prolific writers on the freelance market today, hiring a good one isn’t as difficult as trying to develop writing skills.
Where Do You Begin?
Hiring freelancers through a hiring partner like FreeeUp is fast and simple. Once you have decided which tasks you want to outsource, the only thing left for you to do is to:
Sign Up as a Client
The first step is to become a FreeeUp client which will allow you to gain immediate access to a pool of pre-vetted freelancers. Signing up is free and won’t take you more than 10 minutes to do.
Once you’ve joined the FreeeUp community, you should now be able to hire anyone that fits your requirements. Click here to sign up as a client.
Send in Your Request
The next step is to tell FreeeUp exactly what you’re looking for. Just log in to your FreeeUp account and click on “Request a Freelancer:. Fill out all the details about the freelancer you’re looking for then Submit.
You will be introduced to a freelancer that matches your requirements, usually within one business day.
It’s important to take note that being very specific with your requirements is essential so FreeeUp can send you the right person for the task.
Hire a Freelancer
Since the freelancer you’ll be introduced to is already pre-vetted, all you need to do is set up a 15 to 20-minute interview with them to determine if they’re the right fit or not.
You can then either hire them or provide feedback so you can get introduced to another freelancer until you find the one that suits your needs best.
Manage the Freelancer
Formally hiring a freelancer is not the end of the process. It’s imperative to meet with the freelancer you hired before beginning work with them so you can set expectations on things like estimated deadlines, hours approved, and communication methods.
A proper onboarding process will help ease them into your business as well as the different tools, systems, and processes you already have in place. Setting expectations at the very beginning will also reduce the chances of miscommunication and misunderstandings between you, allowing you to work more cohesively together.
Selling online is arguably one of the most lucrative industries today which is why more entrepreneurs are taking an interest. Sourcing the right product and being able to profit from it is every eCommerce business owner’s dream but if you are to survive and thrive in this kind of business, you’re going to need all the help you can get without taking a lot from your budget.
Outsourcing addresses this need because not only will you be getting additional hands to take care of some of the business’ most important tasks, you’ll also be spending much less as compared to hiring someone in-office and full time. With the gig economy in full swing, there’s no better time than today to become an online seller and outsource tasks.
Connor Gillivan is the CMO and co-owner of FreeeUp.com, a rapidly growing freelance marketplace making hiring online simpler. He has sold over $30 million online, has hired hundreds of freelancers to build his companies, is a published author, and is the owner of ConnorGillivan.com. He currently lives in Denver, CO.