Ecommerce is certainly among the most accessible career paths, even now that remote working has become normal, but that only makes it tougher to compete. Whatever you want to sell, there are so many others out there eager to beat you to the punch — so if you don’t do everything you can to get ahead, you’ll find it all but impossible to produce the results you want.
All the work required along the way can get exhausting, though. It isn’t so bad when you’re putting countless hours into creative tasks, admittedly, but what about administration?
There are so many boring and repetitive actions that need to be done, after all, and dealing with those actions can start to dominate your workday — sapping your energy and ruining your mood.
Can’t you find a way to eliminate this part of the job? Well, sadly not: you can’t get rid of all your administrative responsibilities. You can, however, make a successful effort to reduce your workload. This will leave you with fewer tasks to handle and more time to spend on other things.
Let’s take a look at some convenient ways in which you can manage this:
Given that almost all of the work you do will be routed through digital systems, the nature and complexity of those systems will heavily influence your workload. The better the system you use, the less you’ll need to do. Without a CMS, for instance, you’d need to add new content through editing the files behind your website — a process that can easily go wrong.
Due to this, investing in great software systems will help you massively. A slick ecommerce platform like Shopify or Wix is the perfect place to start: if you’re currently running your store on a CMS that needs a lot of attention, it makes sense to commit to a migration. And then you should look at how integrations and plugins can deal with various things for you.
Financial management is a common problem, for instance, yet the right financial software can plough through the required calculations in no time. Read through reviews, do some research, and confirm that you’re truly taking advantage of modern software solutions.
Trying to do everything yourself is a recipe for exhaustion and eventual burnout, yet so many sellers try the solopreneur approach because they want to be in total control and earn all the profit. This is a mistake. If you can’t grow your business, you can’t increase your profitability — and if you can never relax, then what use is it anyway?
By hiring some trustworthy people to whom you can delegate key tasks, you can reduce the admin done by any given person. Split across several people, the admin requirements of your business might seem fairly trivial. And yes, outsourcing is always an option, but do you really want to be outsourcing vital admin tasks given that freelancers are essentially unpredictable?
Today’s digital automation is capable of some incredible things, and it’s easier to use than ever before due to the introduction of intuitive software tools like Zapier, IFTTT, and Microsoft’s Power Automate. Learning any one of these systems will allow you to define sequences that you can call upon at any time, meaning you can automate away a lot of arduous tasks.
Take a complex task like onboarding — something that’s necessary when you have new hires but can easily take up so much time. You can fully define a great onboarding process ahead of time, then simply roll it out automatically when a new hire starts. While you’ll be around to oversee it, you can largely focus on whatever projects warrant your full attention.
Whether you’re currently working solo or managing a team, you’ll inevitably need to keep track of various things and work on necessary files — and one of the most frustrating and needless admin tasks imaginable is trying to track down a file you were working on recently. You definitely saved it, but you can’t quite remember where, and the hours start to go by.
By leaning on systems that centralise these things in the cloud (such as Slack or Microsoft Teams for communications, or Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive for storage), you can make this easy. You’ll always know where you’ve placed key pieces of information, and everything will be incredibly easy to search. Organisation is key.
Lastly, something you might not have considered is that there’s always more admin work to do if you look for it — and the more time you spend working, the more opportunities you’ll have to spot things that need addressing (or seem to need addressing in the moment). This is one reason why you should make sure that you don’t put in too many hours.
Work your usual day, make the most of the time, then focus on your life outside of work. When you get back to handling your store, the key admin tasks will still need doing — but you might find that some of those that you thought were important are actually not worth your time.
In short, don’t invent additional work for yourself out of fear that you’re not doing enough. Trying to do too much is perhaps more likely to cause problems.
Follow these five simple steps to reduce admin within your ecommerce business, and you’ll have more free time and fewer tasks to handle in no time.