Working from anywhere while your business runs on autopilot – it’s every entrepreneur’s dream. Here are some tips and tricks so you can learn how to automate your e-commerce business and get one step closer to that reality.
Starting an e-commerce business can be more intensive than many realise; from design to sourcing product, choosing your platform and if you should incorporate… it can be an endless to-do. But once your business is up and running, there are many ways you can avoid being constantly engaged with your business. Here are a few ideas.
I’m sure you’ve heard this before; if you are spending copious amounts of time on routine tasks that can’t be automated, it may be time to outsource them. Design tasks can be outsourced on Fiverr or Upwork. If you are using Amazon FBA, make use of their Dispatched by Amazon program. If you’re not, it may be cheaper to hire someone in each country to receive bulk orders and dispatch than it is to internationally ship each item separately.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to automate your e-commerce business is through its accounting. Many industries require minimal accounting, but e-commerce isn’t one of them. You will need to feed in information from each selling platform, account for the myriad of fees from each one, plus shipping, plus stock levels, plus payment processing fees… then there’s the headache of international tax requirements. Each country you sell in has different requirements for VAT and many require you to register even with a zero threshold.
Xero is made from the ground up for e-commerce and is a very affordable option that is scalable to your business. By making good use of Xero’s integration marketplace, you can have all your transactions import themselves from your selling platform and code themselves accordingly.
The next step is to hire an e-commerce accountant. This may seem optional but with monthly flat fees, you will save yourself time (and therefore money!) while making sure you are compliant as your business scales.
Admin: that thing we always put off until we no longer can! But it doesn’t have to be that way. Make your admin simplified by using a program such as Zapier. It links two (or more!) unrelated programs that don’t have in-built integration, dramatically cutting down the time it takes for tasks to complete. For example, if you have a Shopify store, you can automatically send those people to your mail client (i.e. MailChimp, ActiveCampaign etc.), tag them with the relevant tag and send a campaign, while also loading them into your CRM (i.e. HubSpot, SalesForce etc.).
The options are immense, and they are constantly adding new integrations. If you use two apps that don’t integrate stop wasting your valuable time and automate. Downsizing your admin time is one of the most effective ways to automate your e-commerce business.
We are huge advocates for automation and believe that as e-commerce is on the cusp of technology, we should embrace it wherever possible. If you would like help switching to Xero and maximising the amount of time you spend not doing your accounts, get in touch with our team of e-commerce accounting experts.
The best time to act is now.