Automating your Business

How running a brick and mortar business compares with ecommerce

When you set out to build your small business, you knew that you were going to have to put in a lot of work. You would most certainly have road blocks along the way and that when you look back on it, it would most certainly be worth it. To most business people, their business is not just a labor of skill, it is a labor of passion. However, sometimes the hours get long and it seems as though there are still things that need to be done.

The work that goes into your business

Once you learn the requisite skills that go into running your business, you’ll realize that there are a lot of moving pieces. You’ll need to stay on top of marketing, accounting, sales, finances, benefits etc. And that list doesn’t even touch on making sure your product and services are well developed and keeping a happy customer base. This can be taxing for small business owners which is why many of them chose to hire professionals to perform those tasks in an attempt to automate their business operations.

Why you should automate your business

Getting into the habit of delegating tasks is something that successful business people must learn. If you try to micromanage every portion of your business and do everything yourself you’ll be spreading yourself way too thin. Because of this, it is important to hire and train competent professionals. These could be full-time hires that you oversee or it could be contractors that work on an hourly wage both domestically or overseas. Building that talented team in combination with guidelines, procedures and software automation is paramount to your ability to be able to step away from the business.

How you can automate your business

Having the ability to automate your business through powerful software like Sellerboard is something that until recently has been reserved for digital businesses. However, there are now software platforms and automation tools that are available to small business owners in every industry from construction to distribution and manufacturing.

While business models such as building content sites and ecommerce businesses lend themselves to hiring talent abroad, there are many businesses that need boots on the ground in order to operate. Because of that, Amazon businesses are a great fit for individuals who want to work from home or anywhere else they can bring their laptop.

Operating Procedures

Once you have run your business for a year or two, you have likely come up with certain procedures that you do each day or each week. It is important to document those procedures so that you can eventually train an employee to handle them. 

Delegating effectively

Finding the right employees is half the battle, properly motivating them and making sure they understand the expectations is the other half. While this may seem straightforward to most entrepreneurs, that is because they are looking at the job through their own eyes. They are excited about the success of the business and are willing to do just about anything to make it successful. Don’t assume that your 17 year old minimum wage worker has the same stance.

Setting expectations and delegating work to your employees is more art than science. You’ll need to find what motivates each of your workers and what skills they have that will be an asset to your business and then build around them. While managers often hope that they will be able to hire and train employees and then turn their back to them, it ends up being that 70% of the work is done in the first few months, but your employees or contractors will need constant oversight, supervision and counseling in order to be at their best.

Businesses that can be automated

I mentioned previously something that most Sellerboard users already know which is that great software can save businesses hundreds of hours and a lot of stress. With businesses like restaurants and distribution, it is important to keep a database of what needs to be ordered and when. Scheduling will also be very important with these businesses, where as e-commerce and Amazon businesses are rarely run on a tight schedule.

When you are growing your business and delegating work to new employees, make sure the small things don’t fall through the cracks. If you are a remodeling contractor or general contractor, you’ll need to make sure that your concrete guy doesn’t arrive until the plumbing guy leaves and the painter shows up last. Because there is so much orchestration, there are small details that can be forgotten. This makes note taking, documentation and strong organizational skills important.

How to value a passively run business

Many business owners and entrepreneurs get into business to free themselves from the 9-5 grind or just because they see an opportunity in the market. Most don’t realize that what they are building is an asset that can one day be sold.

By effectively automating your business, you are creating an asset that makes money without requiring a tremendous amount of time from the business owner. Needless to say, this is far more appealing to business buyers than a business that requires them to work around the clock. They are not looking to buy themselves a job.

There are small business investment companies and brokers that will be able to buy your business or help you sell it. There are even business brokers that specialize in Amazon businesses and ecommerce businesses. Because buyers of these businesses can be anywhere in the world, the market for them is much greater than for local businesses. If you are interested in selling your automated e-commerce business, you can start by looking into what it would be worth. Request an Amazon business valuation from Upward Exits and see if it is worth pursuing.