8 Dumb Things Small Business Owners Waste Valuable Time On
Running a small business is hard. Running a retail small business is even harder. Getting your brand up and running is full of lots of challenges and difficult obstacles, so you could be forgiven for looking for help. Mistakes are often a crucial stepping stone to learning valuable lessons and many of them are unavoidable, but on the other hand, there are many which are completely avoidable. Time is such a valuable asset for a burgeoning business and wasting it is sacrilege. Yet there are still so many ways retailer end up doing exactly that.
In this article, we’ve listed 8 things that most brands waste time on in the hope of preventing even more from making the same ones.
Not Setting Achievable Goals
Yes, we all want our businesses to go from strength to strength and grow into its maximum potential, but that kind of progress takes work. Lots of work. They say Rome wasn’t built in a day and that’s true, it wasn’t. Long-term growth is something which needs to be achieved over a period of time and setting smaller, more reachable goals is a sensible way to do that.
So, rather than simply announcing you want to double your sales by this time next year, figure out how that’s possible and set a path with lots of checkpoints. Increase your product range, improve your website, run an online marketing campaign, etc… Without getting too philosophical, the ‘journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.’
Failing to Delegate
While we’re talking about phrases and idioms, how about this one? ‘If you want something done properly, do it yourself.’ This one might be good to hold onto in your personal life, but it doesn’t really fly in retail.
Trying to do everything yourself will not only make you incredibly tired and jaded, but it will also result in your shop not being as effective as it could be. Hire good people to do what they specialise in, either internal or external, and let them actually do it. Whether that’s someone manning the tills or making your website, they’ll bring in a huge amount of value.
Meetings for Meetings’ Sake
Following on from the last point, if your staff members aren’t well educated in their job and tasks, they may always be looking for approval or guidance. When this happens, you will notice a lot more meetings taking place. Whether they’re formal or informal manner, too many of either will start to be a real drain on productivity. Ensure your team knows everything they need so they can save time in the long run.
Not Automating Operations Where Possible
In this day and age, there’s an app for everything. Everyone uses them and they make our lives way easier, so why not do the same for your business? Need someone to take calls, emails and set up meetings? Try a virtual assistant. Want a more efficient way of handling staff rotas and holidays? Take your pick of useful programmes.
We’re not saying you should leave everything up to automation, but every successful retail business makes good use of technology somewhere along the way.
Not Making Time For Yourself
This one doesn’t sound very business-y, granted, but it really can be. And we don’t mean taking trips to the Cotswolds to recharge your batteries. Instead, we mean that you should make sure to have a small period of time each day to handle the spontaneous things. To think of the future. To think big-picture. If your day is completely booked in with meetings and tasks the whole day long, you’re much more likely to slip into a malaise which won’t benefit your brand.
For example, early on at Amazon, Jeff Bezos left his Mondays and Thursdays completely unstructured so he could devote his time and energy to whatever needed it most. We’re not saying you should do the same as two days is a long time for a small retail business, but leave yourself some room to breathe every now and then.
Failing to Outsource
Most companies like to think they can handle everything that comes their way and with that, keep everything in-house. While this makes senses in the early days, any company that has enjoyed a sustained period of growth has done so with the help of outsourcing. Outsourcing is a way of bringing in vital expertise and providing real value to your company. Not only does it mean you have someone on-board who lives and breathes their particular industry, but it also frees you up to do what you do best.
Many people think this extra cost is unnecessary in retail, but it can often end up saving you money, helping your business grow faster in the process. So, take a look at what can be improved, where you can add more value, or simply, what you enjoy doing the least, and maybe that’s what you should be outsourcing.
Not Scheduling Online Content
Speaking of outsourcing, if you’re not going to outsource marketing or have a designated person to do it for you, then you should at least be scheduling your content on social media. Use apps like Hootsuite or Buffer to save time in the long run. Simply install them, pop in your next few days/weeks content and let it run itself.
Packing Online Orders & A Solution to Solve This Forever
The retail industry has benefitted massively from the rise of ecommerce in recent years and no matter how many articles you read about the high street failing, you can read an equal number about ecommerce growing. Scaling your retail brand for online orders is a vital thing to do for most shops, but it also comes with obstacles.
As we said, going online is crucial for most businesses, so, the sooner you do it the better. But this means when you do so, you’ll probably still be a very small team. And many brands won’t have the resources to hire another member of staff to solely handle fulfilling orders, which often translates to other workers all chipping in.
Our research has revealed that many shops can waste up to 4 hours every single working day when packing online orders. And when you consider how much goes into fulfilling these orders, this becomes less surprising.
Each order means you not only have to pick and pack those products, but also drop them off at the post office or shop around for a better deal with a courier. This can often be difficult when you have lots of different sizes, shapes and locations to manage – especially if your customers are looking for added insurance, recorded deliveries or something else entirely.
And that’s without even mentioning the initial spend you’ll need to make in regards to packaging materials.
Learn how Weengs can save your business time, money & hassle…
Time is at a premium in retail and there’s never enough of it to go around. And that’s why it’s so crucial not to waste it. Although there are many ways of cutting down reduced time, outsourcing laborious tasks is one of the most effective. And when we’re talking about online packing orders, Weengs, a London-based start-up, are providing a new way to save your business time, money and hassle.
Weengs provide a new type of order fulfilment that is designed to provide ultimate convenience for your shop while still providing a consistently excellent standard of service. After receiving an online order, all you need to do is log it via the useful Weengs app and then they’ll take care of the rest.
Weengs’ drivers come to your London-based shop in a convenient 2-hour timeslot unique to your shop, returns each product in Weengs (or Weengs’ padded) bags, professionally packs them, uses an algorithm to find the best carrier for the job and then ships it off via a variety of tracked services.
So far, so good. But what about the quality?
As well as professional packers with decades of experience in the logistics industry, Weengs has state-of-the-art equipment and machinery that can manufacture bespoke boxes in seconds. Able to cater to fragile items, awkward shapes and sizes and much more, each item is thoroughly packed to a consistently high standard.
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