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Staying Lean: How to Keep Overhead Low and Sales High

Posted by Drew Melendy on Jan 12, 2019 4:49:12 PM
Drew Melendy

With all the satisfaction that growth of business brings, it also brings pains along with it. There comes a time when you notice your small staff’s time and efforts are running a little short. Around this time things generally decline, and chaos begins to slowly creep up with inefficient task management. Now's is the perfect time to reevaluate the needs of your business.

Lean business is a methodology that is used to describe efforts to get more value from fewer resources. Instead of spending on numerous new hires, invest in resources that keep you agile, productive, and efficient with less overhead. Here’s how.

Automate button on keyboard

1. Save time & money by selling on Facebook & Instagram with automated invoicing

Social media has become an important aspect of ecommerce with its abilities to boost sales and keep brands top of mind.

Facebook groups, pages, Facebook Live, and Instagram accounts are all places that customers show interest for items that appear in social content. However, managing invoice requests through these channels is a real time suck, and time is money.

Auto-invoicing software eliminates the countless hours it takes to document customer’s billing information, calculate totals, record payment status, maintain waitlists, and correct inaccuracies. Instead, all this information is auto-generated and a link instantaneously sent to customers through comment sections, Facebook Messenger, and email. All they have to do is comment "Sold".

Immediate automated invoicing cuts down cart abandonment rates. With technology, you can delegate more important tasks to your dedicated team, and eliminate the need for an invoicing specific role.

Inventory management systems make fulfillment easy

2. Invest in inventory management software to increase fulfillment efficiency

Manual inventory management has similar pitfalls to manual invoicing. It’s time-consuming and riddled with human error that can make or break your business. In the age of Amazon, customers expect swift delivery of their orders, and you don’t have any time to lose to satisfy that need.

Picking, packing, and fulfilling requires a high degree of coordination, organization, and attention to detail to run smoothly. Inventory management software can put all those details in one place with detailed, real-time reporting on where and how orders are processed. Paired with barcoding procedures, your team members can significantly speed up and increase the accuracy of order fulfillment by leaps and bounds.

Related Reading: 3 Common Fulfillment Mistakes to Avoid

A robust ecommerce platform keeps all your selling channels unified.

3. Choose a unified eCommerce platform to connect all selling channels

Since customers make purchases through multiple selling channels, you’ll need a way to collect and organize order, inventory, and fulfillment data from each. A unified eCommerce platform will provide your team a cohesive data set that will make selling across all channels as simple as selling through a single one. 

For example, a unified platform can get a bird's eye view of what inventory sells where, what your best sellers are, who your top buyers are, all payments, order, and waitlist statuses, and your potential revenue via inventory value. Do you sell through a Shopify website, social media, and a mobile app? Do you accept different payment types, such as Sezzle, Paypal, or credit cards?

A unified platform will allow you to see each sales channel, all inventory on each, and orders place on each within a real-time dashboard. Think of it as your secret weapon to making quick, informed business decisions.

Related Reading: Why All Successful Retailers Have Multiple Virtual Storefronts

Woman officiating a new hire with a handshake

4. Hire the right team members

Automating your business does not negate the need for human resources. We’re not saying to stop hiring. Business operations are only as successful as the people behind them. Instead, hire sustainably. Here’s how.

Don’t settle for less. Get the right hire for the right role. When acquiring a new hire, you need to consider whether your hiring criteria is better suited for a niche participant or someone who is flexible and multi-talented.

In either case, pick self-starters. People like these are adaptable to change if ever you need them to. Keep in mind that your business needs will vary with your growth, so plan accordingly. You may need another team member sooner than you think.

The Takeaway

Scaling a business is no easy feat, but with the help of technology and the right talent, you can eliminate significant overhead as it expands. In lieu of excess spending, you can allocate your extra funds and time to other helpful resources to grow your business as big as you can dream it.

Topics: Technology, Business Strategy, Invoicing & Payments, Inventory Management, Warehouse Ops

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