If you run your own e-commerce business, you’ll find that it pays to run a few very simple checks every year to ensure that your business is progressing in the way that you’ve envisaged. This, of course, is different from your business plans which you should have in place with reachable targets and benchmarks to gauge the progress of your business’s success.
Your annual checks should ensure that your business isn’t missing out on long-term financial gain due to you being focused on more urgent day-to-day matters.
1. Ensure that you check and compare prices for products and consumables
You should, for instance, check and compare prices of the products and consumables that your business uses to ensure that you’re not paying too much for them. A check on your stockholding so that you’re not tying up funds buying items in bulk that are rarely used, such as stationery, is another prudent move.
By looking a little deeper into your ordering processes and the prices that you’re currently paying, you may find that you could either make savings by negotiation or take your custom elsewhere (or at least prompt a conversation by threatening to do so).
2. Ensure that accessibility to your website is good enough
It should go without saying that the more accessible your website is, the more customers you’ll engage with and, therefore, the more sales you’ll make. However, this isn’t as simple as it sounds, as it can be quite difficult to gauge how accessible your website actually is.
This, of course, can be made far easier when you start using accessibility testing tools, but then you need to decide which one to invest your time and money in. Finding a website that offers a list of accessibility testing tools reviewed by experts can, of course, answer this question and help you come to a well-informed decision about how to carry out this important procedure.
3. Check for new selling platforms
Another area that you’ll need to have a brief look into is to see if any new selling platforms have been launched. If so, you’ll have to check out the terms and conditions of use and, in particular, any information about sales, fees, and business usage.
Launching your business onto a new selling platform could be highly beneficial for that year’s sales as well as the future, as it may open up an entirely new group of customers. Of course, it’s likely that your marketing for this new selling platform will have to be honed and geared specifically for it and the customers that it’ll bring rather than trying to migrate your current sales tactics from an already established selling platform and simply thinking that this will be good enough.
4. Renegotiate shipping contracts with couriers
You may also find that your business has grown over the last year, and so has the number of packages or shipments you send out. This means that you may need to readdress your shipping contracts. Larger businesses, or at least those that bring more business with them, have a much larger sway over the prices they pay for their courier services.
This means that as your business has grown, you, too, could get better rates for shipping your goods due to economies of scale. If your courier drags their heels on price, you may need to draw their attention to any misdemeanors such as damage, mislaid deliveries, or missed delivery deadlines.
If you find that your courier is still not budging on price, you may do better to look elsewhere for your courier service, as this could make your current courier realize that you’re serious about taking your business elsewhere.
5. Review your staff training needs
A year can be a long time in the life of a business, and things change rapidly. Training your staff is a must in order to get the best from them and keep customer satisfaction high. It may be that not all of your staff will need their training updated. However, training employees does increase their morale and their feeling of self-worth within the company, so it’s a good idea to keep this in mind.
The morale of your workers does play a major part in how a company is perceived and how it works. This is because a workforce with high morale typically has high production outputs and a low rework rate, among other interesting factors.