Originally published on August 31, 2018, updated January 17, 2020
In this blog post, Larissa Miralles of Seller Success Academy discusses the importance of establishing processes for your FBA business. Check out the bonus content featuring a video interview with Larissa and Jamie Miralles!
It's Monday morning, but it's unlike any other Monday morning from your recent past. You're feeling fully energized and alive, and you have no doubt in your mind that today is going to be a GOOD day! It's going to be productive; it's going to be results-oriented; and best of all, the efforts won't be coming from you alone but collaboratively from your capable team!
This morning, you don't have a reason to rush to your computer or drive to the office to put out any business fires. You actually get to sit down and enjoy your morning cup of coffee and lay out your day. You've got a plan to focus on projects that actually move your business forward. Your mind isn't occupied with dealing with repetitive, mundane tasks: your team's got that handled! Instead, you're focused on creating even more ways to grow and scale.
Not only do you have a solid plan in place, but everyone on your team does too! No one is wondering what they're supposed to be doing. Everyone is on the same page regarding what moves the needle and what does not. Each person understands how his work influences the overall business. They all know what's expected of them and what standards to meet or even exceed. Each and every team member is fully equipped to produce at his highest level.
All of this was made possible because YOU made the decision to put systems and processes in place within your business!
Although creating systems and processes should be at top of mind if a thriving business is what you're after, it's not uncommon for business owners to allow it to slip to the back of their minds. I know, because I along with my husband who is also my business partner, have battled with process creation in the past. It wasn't until we placed immense focus on all of the reasons why we needed solid systems in place that we were able to build momentum in pumping out our own.
We live in a world of instant gratification, and the mere idea of creating a process is nothing of the sort. The thought of sitting down to write a standard operating procedure can be intimidating or just plain grueling when your primary focus and attention is on making your next dollar. It's tough when you've trained your mind to believe that "It's faster to just do it myself" or "I'm the only one who can do it best."
But beliefs like these are not necessarily true. In the long run, do-it-yourself (DIY) affirmations are unlikely to serve you well. If you could instead be patient and define how your business systems will serve not just your company but also your lifestyle, then you will likely find the motivation it takes to create these processes.
Let's take the importance of creating a process for replenishing inventory on Amazon.com, Inc. ("Amazon") as an example. As Amazon sellers, our primary goal is to make money online. If we're not making money, we're not in business - it's as simple as that.
But to keep making money, we must be able to source or create profitable products that we know will sell. The only way that we can continue to sell a product is if we constantly keep it in stock. This all sounds like common sense, I'm sure. However, common sense isn't always common practice. It's amazing how many thousands of dollars numerous merchants are losing each day because they do not have a solid process around replenishing inventory in place, let alone the tools or software to help them do it.
For us personally, running out of stock of our top products could be the determining factor between generating a six-figure week and a five-figure week. Knowing this, our goal is to never run out of stock, because if and when we do, we experience lost income, cash flow and opportunity. The only way we're able to stay in stock is to have a solid replenishment system in place - go figure! Luckily, inventory management tools like RestockPro exist. In fact, RestockPro has been our go-to software for years. It has significantly helped us with trending and keeping our in-stock rate high.
If you've been in this business for a while, or even if you're brand new to Amazon, I'm sure you've realized that there's much more to replenishing inventory than simply identifying what to purchase. If you had to break it down, there are numerous action items that you must complete before ordering your items and landing them at Amazon's warehouses. There's lead-time identification, product trending, purchase order creation, FBA shipment creation, preparation and packing and invoice and FBA shipment auditing, to name a few.
If you're completely honest with yourself, how involved are you in this process? If your answer is "not much," then great! You've probably got some great systems in place, which have allowed you to delegate. If your answer is "very involved," however, this article is for you!
The replenishment process is made up of numerous recurring procedures, and it's a process that doesn't necessarily need to involve you every step of the way. If you desire to become a high-level business owner or executive, your focus must revolve around your strengths and the growth of the business. If most of your time is spent on mundane, repetitive tasks, how will your business ever be able to scale? Answer: it likely won't. Thus, it's so important to have procedures documented for each of those action items above and the right resources in place to see them through.
Whether you're a solopreneur or full-blown enterprise, systems are going to be key in the success and scalability of your business. WHY? Because the power of a good system is what will empower you and your team to confidently carry tasks to completion and also create the time to implement higher-level activities that will advance your business. Growth starts with you - the business owner or executive. If you can spread the growth to your (future) team by empowering them to focus on forward-moving activities and to keep the momentum going as new responsibilities are developed, a true powerhouse is in your destiny.
Creating this type of system in your business will lead to more money in your pocket and more time in the day. And if you utilize your newfound time wisely, it can lead to a world of incredible opportunities for you, your team and your business!
Imagine the day that your business is systems-packed and your team's got you covered. Picture yourself with the freedom to work on the activities you love, or better yet, to actually enjoy time spent outside of work! Process creation does not have to be daunting. Rather, it can be pretty exciting when you look past the now and take a peek into what your future could look like!
What process will you create today?
Originally published on August 31, 2018, updated January 17, 2020
This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.