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Advanced Strategies for Improving Business Operations in Ecommerce

12 min read

Many moving parts are involved in running a successful business, especially as it grows. The bigger it gets, the trickier it can be to keep things organized and efficient. A store’s expansion brings with it an increase in tasks, customers, challenges, and staff to manage it all.

Planning and organizational structure must evolve as a business grows to maintain smooth operations. Setting priorities for business operations becomes increasingly important at this stage.

Continue reading to learn how a company can efficiently strengthen its business operations.

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What Are Business Operations?

Before going any further, let’s answer the following question: What is business operation? Simply put, they are the activities and routine processes that allow a business to function, increase value, and generate profit.

Key Components of Business Operations

The provided definition offers a broad overview of business operations; however, the specific activities and processes it encompasses can vary significantly. First off, these variations can depend on the industry you’re in, and some tasks might be categorized as secondary business operations.

Here are some vital elements of business operations:

Process

A business’s processes are a vital part of operations. Employees follow these steps and routines within the organization to develop and deliver products and services. In other words, its a clear and defined protocol for how to get things done within the organization.

The business will develop processes to complete a wide range of tasks internally, whether it be creating the primary product, posting to social media, or onboarding new employees.

Creating detailed internal processes can make many tasks easier to accomplish. This can include processes for onboarding new employees, creating products, completing administrative work, and more.

People

Of course, people are a crucial part of any business. Each employee across all departments is required for the business to operate. This is especially true as the business scales, owners focus more on long-term goals, and employees become more responsible for significant operations.

Hiring the right people for the team can make or break a business. Not only does it help to improve production, but it can also increase business-wide morale.

In a smaller business, the owner and a small management team take on this responsibility. However, as a company scales, it often requires a developed human resources department to handle onboarding and staffing needs.

Location

The location of a business can play a significant role in its success and overall operations. This can mean any physical location connected to or associated with the business, such as stores, office spaces, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, etc.

The right location can make all the difference in production across the business. This is especially true when considering the location’s proximity to additional service facilities like ports or shipping routes.

Equipment and Technology

An integral aspect of a business’s operations involves the equipment and technology utilized for production. These tools are essential for the business to operate such as software, hardware, machinery, and various other resources.

Tools, equipment, and technology can vastly vary between industries. A physical printing business may need expensive printers and other machinery, while a small online business may only need a computer and software to function.

The Importance of Business Operations Management

Maintaining a big-picture view of business operations is essential for a business to succeed, especially as it grows and expands.

Effective business operations management can benefit from the following:

Improved Efficiency

As a business evolves and fine-tunes its operations, efficiency is enhanced. This process helps employees gain a clearer understanding of their roles and execute them more effectively.

Established and standardized processes empower managers to delegate efficiently, ensuring adherence to procedures. This fosters high-performing teams with well-suited individuals in key roles, driving the achievement of company-wide objectives.

Sales and Profit

Properly managed business operations will lead to better quality products and services that satisfy customers. In the short term, this results in higher customer satisfaction and sales, while over time, it can drive improved profitability and a smoother path to scalability.

Steps for Improving Business Operations

Now, let’s look at some actionable steps a business can take to improve its operations.

Set Goals and Monitor Statistics

The first step toward improving business operations is setting goals and tracking progress toward achieving them. Keep in mind that improving business operations is often a long-term goal that is worked toward.

It’s important to set clear and attainable objectives rather than vague and broad ideals. For instance, rather than aiming for increased profit next year, establish a target for a 10% revenue growth. With a specific goal in place, detailed steps can be identified to achieve that objective.

Then, define the key performance indicators (KPIs) associated with that objective and monitor them attentively.

If you sell online with Ecwid, you have access to its robust Reports feature, which allows you to track your store’s KPIs in real time. These KPIs might include website traffic, sales conversion rates, average order value, and customer retention.

Improve and Build on What Is Already There

Remember, improving business operations doesn’t have to mean complete revamps or process replacements. Instead of discarding everything and restarting from scratch, focus on making existing processes better.

Search for inefficiencies that can be improved or redundancies that can be removed. Even making these minor improvements can often have a significant impact on the overall function of operations.

Streamline and Automate Relevant Processes

Many small inefficiencies in manual work can quickly compound into lost time, wasted resources, and overall lower production. Improving business operations also means streamlining and automating where possible.

Those overseeing business operations should consistently seek out cutting-edge tools, software, and technology that offer automation or streamlining capabilities.

For instance, manual inventory management or stock-keeping can easily be automated with various types of software these days.

Stay Informed of Updates and Trends

Every business needs to stay on top of the changing landscape of its particular industry. This could mean new technology, shifting customer habits, changing laws, or shifts in the economy. Staying current on these changes can help a business adapt its operations around changes and stay relevant against competition.

For example, let’s say a new printer comes out that revolutionizes the screen printing industry by increasing production significantly. A screen printing company that hasn’t updated its printers may begin having difficulty competing with other companies that use the new technology.

Dedicate an Operations Manager or Hire a Professional

An essential part of this process may be establishing a dedicated director of business operations or business operations manager.

In other words, a dedicated individual or team can review current processes and operations to locate the issues and areas for improvement. This helps to find the right areas without pulling managers from their routine tasks and prevents executives from being tied up in too many areas.

If there are not enough internal staff members to dedicate someone to this process, it may be necessary to recruit help.

A business can contract with a business consultant or hire a dedicated operations director who can lead the process. This can be especially beneficial when hiring an industry specialist, as they may be able to provide key insights for improvements.

For example, a retail specialist with logistics experience could significantly cut costs by streamlining the store’s inventory shipping and receiving processes.

Create and Stick to a Plan

Trying to improve business operations without a plan can lead to floundering or wasted resources. The business should start with a general outline of its goals for improvement. This can then be expanded to include areas that need to be evaluated, KPIs to monitor, and a schedule of audits.

Remember that improving business operations is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t assume that making one change will suddenly create a completely efficient business, though this can happen with the correct change. In most cases, improving business operations will consist of regular evaluations, feedback, and identifying the next target.

These steps will help to optimize the business across all departments and processes incrementally, leading to a new level of operations. We hope these tips help business owners and management take their business to new heights, and we wish you the best on this journey!

Taking the Leap Into Ecommerce

Are you looking to start your first ecommerce store or launch a new one? If so, Ecwid is for you! We have created an online selling platform that makes it easy to get your ecommerce store up and running.

With Ecwid, you get a robust online store and tools that help improve your business operations:

These tools are crucial in keeping track of your target market and understanding their needs.

Ecwid also automates some routine tasks for online sellers, such as domain setup, sending marketing emails, and running sales or advertising campaigns. This allows you to focus on what really matters — creating a great shopping experience for your customers.

Furthermore, Ecwid integrates seamlessly with social media platforms and marketplaces. This allows you to showcase your products on various selling channels and attract new customers while managing all sales and orders from one place.

So, if you’re looking for an ecommerce platform that provides you with more than just an online store, Ecwid is the perfect choice. With its easy setup, powerful analytics, and integrated marketing tools, you can confidently grow your business and reach more customers than ever before. Plus, with its affordable pricing plans and flexible features, Ecwid caters to businesses of all sizes.

But don’t just take our word for it  try it out for yourself and see the difference Ecwid can make in your ecommerce journey! Sign up now and start selling today.

 

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About the author

Anastasia Prokofieva is a content writer at Ecwid. She writes about online marketing and promotion to make entrepreneurs’ daily routine easier and more rewarding. She also has a soft spot for cats, chocolate, and making kombucha at home.

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