Tips for Running a Successful Online Business
February 15th, 2016 by Skip McGrath
Today’s post is a guest post by Peachy Murry of Zuzutrading.com. Peachy has been selling online since 1997. Today she shares with online sellers specific habits and processes she has found that works well for her.
- Work your way
I learned a log time ago that I’m an early morning person who likes to get up and get going pretty quickly in the morning while my husband, who is also an early riser, likes to ease his way into the day
Neither way is right or wrong. Discover what is your natural tendency to be the most productive and work that way.
- Organize your way
If you work best with a clean desk with everything in its place, then the time you spend filing and tidying up is worth it to you.
If you prefer to have everything within easy reach (AKA piles of paper) then organize your desk and office that way.
The only caveat here is whatever method you use, be sure you can find things quickly because you can’t buy more time. Organize is the key here, not the way you organize.
- Your routine
Develop a daily routine and prioritize what has to be done first. Is it shipping, returning email or something else? Work your way down the list. This insures you get the ‘must dos’ done every day. Whether you use a paper calendar or something online it doesn’t matter, just use something.
Add a once-a-week routine that is set to be accomplished on the same day each week. I like Thursdays because Mondays are usually crazy.
Add a monthly routine of things that must be done every month and set it up on the same day each month, maybe the second Monday of each month. This is great for things like sales tax reports or other government requirements. If the day of the month is early for the due date it’s okay. You can do it early. Early is better than late in my book.
You can expand this to include a quarterly and yearly list.
A routine will help you more than you can imagine. It insures things done on time, relieves the stress of worrying about getting that sales tax done on time, and it frees up time for other things you want or need to do. I’m sure you’ll find other benefits as you get in the habit of using your routine.
- Be flexible
While it may seem contrary to what I just said about a routine don’t be a slave to your schedule. After all you’re doing this online thing to have some freedom and if you aren’t flexible you can’t enjoy the hard work you’ve put in to earn some of that freedom.
Don’t miss that big FOL sale because a specific task is on your list for that day. Complete the task before or after the sale. And don’t even think of missing seeing your child or grandchild play that baseball game or be a tree on stage. Like I said do things before or after something you want to do.
Think of your routine as the recipe for a complicated dish and your flexibility as your option to leave out the cilantro because you don’t like it.
- Invest in the equipment you need
You can’t run an online business without a computer, printer and internet access. I suppose you could go to the library and use their equipment but think of the lost time. In my opinion it isn’t practical.
Additionally, you should have a label printer for your shipping labels. You might want to consider a scanner too if you go to a lot of yard sales or Friends of the Library sales.
These are the tools of your trade and are fully deductible from your taxes. I also believe that business cards are essential. You can have very nice cards printed for about $10. Imagine meeting someone at a sale that wants to give (as in free) you 25 pairs of new shoes. A business card conveys the message that you are serious about your business. It is a cheap investment.
- Set goals
I know the ugly G word. But .. remember goals keep you focused, increase the effective use of your time and allow you to be more creative in looking for ways to reach your goals.
Don’t be afraid to readjust your goals especially if the goals you’ve set show you need to be moving in a different direction.
I recommend that you make assessing your goals on a regular, stated basis, a goal in and of itself. You could add that to your weekly or monthly list.
- Why are you doing what you’re doing?
I know some people make this part of their goal setting. Only you can say why you’re doing what you’re doing. Maybe it is to spend more time with your family or owning your own business has always been a dream of yours.
Whatever the reason don’t lose sight of it. Focus on that reason and love what you are doing.
I hope reading this post helps you in your business and your personal life. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com