An e-commerce business is potentially an extremely lucrative business idea. Due to the global pandemic, the years-long shift from physical retail stores to online shopping has sharply accelerated, and online retail is booming.
The e-commerce field is attractive to many entrepreneurs; however no business is easy to run without planning, dedication, and organizational skills. One of the most important factors determining the success of any type of business is the daily schedule of operations. Generally speaking, the larger the business, the more planning and cooperation is required to make things run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. However, even small, one-man operations usually need a planned daily schedule.
You don’t have to rigidly stick to a daily schedule if your business model is more open-ended and projects more flexible. However, having a daily schedule in place can benefit you and get you back on track even when you don’t follow it to the letter every single day.
In this guide we will explore some of the ways that you can design an effective daily schedule for your e-commerce business, and the different factors that you will most likely need to consider.
Decide on the Ideal Office Hours
Unless you are running a large business with employees available 24/7, you will need to choose standard hours of operation. This does not mean that you can’t work outside of these hours as well if you choose to – it simply means that during certain hours of the day it is usually best to be available for contact by clients and customers. The specifics of these hours will vary depending on what part of the world you, your customers, and your clients (e.g. suppliers of stock) are in. The sector that you are operating in will also play a part in you choosing your business’ hours of operation.
Divide Your Tasks Effectively
Even purely online stores have plenty of regular maintenance tasks that need carrying out to keep operations running. For example, updating products and descriptions, dealing with customer queries, and maintaining cybersecurity will all take time out of the day.
It can be difficult to multitask and you can easily become overwhelmed. One useful solution to this is to set aside a separate time each day to focus on each task so that you can give that task your full attention.
Some tasks will be more efficient at certain times – for example, responding to customer queries may be best planned to coincide with people’s lunch breaks, as this is often when people check online shopping sites. Tasks like website maintenance may be better planned for times of lower website traffic, especially if you may need to schedule website downtime.
Delegate Tasks if you Need to
Delegation is an important part of effective management if you employ any other members of staff. Having staff that you can trust to keep an eye on essential operations can free up time for you to focus on “big picture” activities such as developing future marketing strategies.
Even if you are self-employed and do not hire any other staff, you may be able to delegate by outsourcing certain operations to third parties. For example, if you are pushed for time in your busy schedule, why not outsource your marketing? Companies like www.clickintelligence.co.uk can help design and implement digital marketing solutions for your business. Other important operations such as cybersecurity are also often best outsourced to the experts.
Don’t Neglect Your Personal Life
When you are running your own business, it can be easy to let it completely take over every aspect of your entire life. However, you need to take time to relax with non-work activities for a few reasons.
Burning the candle at both ends and spending all hours of the day and night working hard will not only be mentally exhausting, but it can also cause you to end up being less efficient over the course of a week or month than if you had conserved your energy more effectively. Getting burned out is a common hazard when running a business, and exhaustion can also lead to costly mistakes.
Keeping your mental wellbeing a priority and getting enough rest, relaxation, and (non-work-related) social interaction is essential for keeping your mind sharp in the long term. Remember that maintaining a successful business is a marathon, not a sprint! Make sure to add a lunch break to your daily schedule, and time to get some exercise and fresh air – your body and brain will thank you.