*In Today’s Post You Will Find Out The System and Strategy We Use To Increase Team Performance by 50-70%. You’ll See How This Can Potentially Put More Money In Your Bank Account For Virtually Free.
In my previous 2 posts, I talked about how most dropshippers face inconsistent revenue and profit in their business because they try to scale before their business is Scale Ready.
And what are some of the ways that you can scale quickly, consistently, and profitably.
(If you have not read it yet, go read it now!)
In short, Scale Ready means how optimized your day to day operations are scaling.
If you’re an experienced dropshipper, you’d know how inconsistent your revenue can be and how quickly your profit margins can decrease as you scale hard.
You get problems like:
– Not preparing enough creatives before scaling, leading to creative burnout and ultimately, a drop in ROAS and profitability.
– Running out of products to test before your winning product dies as the team doesn’t have enough time to find more high quality products, leading to lesser product launch which results in drop in revenue.
– Higher unresolved tickets from customer service as the team cannot handle the sudden influx which ultimately leads to higher complaint rate and PayPal/FB banning your accounts.
– Team members getting burnt out because they’re overwhelmed with last minute urgent tasks.
– Team members leaving because they can’t take the stress, leaving you to scramble to find a new hire and re-train them from scratch.
And many more.
This is why it doesn’t matter if you are the best media buyer, or if you have the best product.
Without a scale ready operation, it’s almost impossible to scale consistently and profitably.
There are 3 key areas you should focus on when it comes to optimizing your business operations for scaling.
I talked about 2 of them so far.
But, before I get into it, let me do a quick recap for Part 1 & 2.
We help our clients to accelerate their critical scaling factors with 4 steps:
Step 1: Identify your business goals
Step 2: Identify your Critical Scaling Factors (CSFs)
CSFs are tasks that directly impact your business’s growth and revenue.
The less CSFs are achieved, the slower the company grows.
Here are some examples of CSFs for dropshipping:
Step 3: List Down The Strategy, Steps & Metrics Needed To Achieve Your CSF
Step 4: Execute
Even though accelerating your critical scaling factors is one of the best ways to scale quickly, consistently and profitably…
Many business owners are still not doing it because of ONE main reason.
>> “I don’t have the time to focus on accelerating my critical scaling factors” <<
So, to combat this problem, we move on to automate their key business pillars.
Key business pillars are operations that are crucial to help your business to survive and thrive, but don’t necessarily need you to be involved.
Some of these operations are:
-Your customer service
As you can see, these operations are extremely important, but they are filled with tasks that are repeatable and can be delegated out.
However, a common mistake that most dropshippers make is that they often work on these key business pillars themselves.
For example, they can spend hours a day answering the customer service tickets themselves, or that they try to create video ads themselves, or they try to hire new team members themselves.
All these take a ton of time and energy, and most importantly, focus away from accelerating your critical scaling factors.
This is why many of them say that they don’t have time to focus on accelerating their critical scaling factors.
And if you want to scale quickly, consistently and profitably, you must focus on accelerating your critical scaling factors.
In our agency, we help our clients to automate their key business pillars so that they can spend more time to accelerate their critical scaling factors..
In our agency, we automate our client’s key business pillars by creating 4 systems.
See link for the full post (with details about each type of system) in the comments.
So far so good… but here comes the creme de la creme.
No matter how well you worked on accelerating your critical scaling factors and automating your key business pillars, if you don’t have a great team to do the work – it’s all for nothing.
You won’t be able to make your business work long-term.
Employees won’t be driven to give their best, performance will slowly go down over time, and you’ll just stress yourself trying to keep your company together.
So, if you have a team that’s doing okayish, but not surprisingly well… I’m going to show you how to increase their productivity and performance with a few simple systems and tools → so you can earn more money without increasing salaries and without asking them to work longer hours.
Disclaimer: This method is actually loved by employees, so don’t worry – I’m not sharing tyrannical strategies here.
Over the years my team and I worked with both small and big eCommerce companies. From small shops with 5 employees, to 100 employees powerhouses.
Weirdly enough, in both scenarios (small and big) we regularly encountered 2 issues:
This kept the owner stuck in a never-ending cycle – because there was always something to do.
And it also made it impossible for him/her to focus on scaling.
In short, there was a lack of something that was holding them back from performing at their best.
Here’s how we made these two issues go away forever by focusing on 3 things:
This comes down to optimizing workflow, team management and project management.
Basically we classify key decision elements and we utilize the right feedback loop system to enable teams to make decisions by giving them authority.
This usually maximizes their productivity and removes bottlenecks related to approval from the management or the business owner.
Combining strategy and culture is vital for growth. We’re setting core values, guiding principles, house rules, administrative policies and team activities to create bonding opportunities for everyone in the company.
Once we have framed the culture we want to set for the company, and the systems and tools are optimized and enabled to work without the business owner’s 80-90% of the time, we review each team member’s alignment with the culture and with the standards and values established in the organization.
We also go into hiring A+ players who will fit the culture and can execute on the systems and processes we implemented with a 90% -100% effectiveness.
Let’s dive deeper into each section:
Give people authority, a plan and a process and they’ll surprise you (at least most of them).
It will also save you a lot of time, because you won’t have to get your hands “dirty” with every single task.
Here’s how we do it:
-> Classify key decision elements
What’s relevant in your business? What tasks, what systems, processes, etc.
Make a list with everything, in as much detail as possible and then classify them from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least important, and 10 the most important.
-> Identifying the criteria for decision making
Figure out what decisions you can delegate to others, and then set criteria for how those decisions should be made. You’ll find an example below.
-> Setting boundaries for decision making
How much can a delegated person decide, and when should you (the owner) be consulted for a decision. That’s the gist of this part. Example below.
-> Enabling the tools i.e. project management tools and workflow to adapt these decision-making aspects
This is pretty straightforward – it’s about offering the right tools so your team can make decisions without having to message you daily.
-> Structuring the team management to adapt a level or hierarchy of decision making
No matter how small or big your business is, having an organizational chart helps a lot, because it helps everyone know who is in charge of what… that way there’s no confusion.
-> Hiring an Operations Manager
An Operation Manager is in charge of everything related to systems, processes, team management. It’s like a consultant that oversees the entire operation and makes sure all pieces are in place. Having a person like this in your business will save you a lot of time, frustration and money.
Giving more authority or expanding decision making capabilities.
a. Human Resources
– Giving your HR manager the option to allocate funds to increase the number of candidates.
E.g . This can be done by investing the budget in Hiring Advertisement or in a subscription for a new hiring platform. You decide how much monthly budget you want to give for the HR department of your company, it can be $200, $500, $1000 or more.
– Providing a budget range on how much salary can be approved when hiring new team members.
b. Customer Service
– Implementing an escalation procedure for processing refunds.
E.g. Customer Service representatives can make a decision based on their own judgement for orders =< $50; they can escalate the case to a manager for orders between $50 and $100; and ask for Executive approval if orders are above $100.
– Allowing your Managers to decide when to HIRE, to FIRE, and to Discipline your team members by creating administrative policies and procedures.
E.g. When to Hire:
-Based on the manpower forecast and analysis, and budget allocation… you can allow your Managers to decide when to hire people.
E.g. For every client you need 1 project manager and 2 associates. Based on the number of client forecasts the manager can decide when to hire and how many to hire with a fixed budget range for salaries.
When to discipline and fire -> Sanctions and warnings procedure based on different types of offenses.
Examples of offences:
– 3 Absences
– 3x Showing 10 minutes later to a meeting
– Missing in Action/AWOL more than 2 times
– Underperformance based on KPIs
– Instigating politics
How to apply:
1st Offense- written warning
2nd Offense – Probation/Suspension
3rd Offense – Dismissal
Non-negotiable offences -> Immediate Dismissal
As your company grows, and there are more people and systems – you will have to deal with different perspectives, values, ways of living life.
It’s not easy to create a productive and positive working environment, but it needs to be done.
Without having a very well founded culture in your company, accompanied by a clear strategy and values – it’s going to be tough to drive people to do their best in the long-run.
Strategy and culture need to be in sync for your business to thrive and grow.
Here’s how we make that happen:
-> Setting core values and guiding principles for the team members to follow
-> Setting the right expectations for each team member
You want everyone to know what they need to do, how they need to do it, and what counts as okay, good, great, and bad work.
-> Creating a good communication structure within the organization that not only sustains productivity but also creates a shared culture within the group
If you’re still using only email, you might want to change things up. Slack for example allows people to engage a lot more and faster.
-> Organizing employee engagement and empowerment programs
Have a monthly company lunch or dinner, in person or on Zoom. Go on a retreat, do some fun team building activities that will strengthen the bond between your team members.
It’s also fun!
-> Setting and implementing administrative policies and house rules to keep things in one place
Setting company core values and guiding principles that you want your team members to live by in your organization.
For our company, Atomatic, we have 6 core values:
Setting non-negotiables as boundaries of a person’s action or behavior in the company. Any deviation of these non-negos results in termination.
E.g. Lying, being disrespectful, missing without announcing, promoting politics.
We have certain house rules, and these are great especially if you have remote employees from different countries:
– English only policy
– Wearing the right clothes when attending company calls or meetings
– Attendance monitoring (Make sure to check in when the shift starts and check out when it ends)
Creating employee engagement activities:
– Recognition and awarding excellent performances
(employee of the month, champ of the month, etc.)
– Having Game Nights or Virtual Dinners
– Celebrating Birthdays, Milestones or Achievements
Providing Team Member Benefits:
– Paid Time-Off (Sick Leaves, Vacation leaves)
– Holidays off
– Assessing work schedule (shifting hours)
– Promoting schedule flexibility to accommodate life events and different lifestyles
Once the company’s goals, objectives, CSFs have been set… the Key Business Pillars have been automated, and the culture has been defined, here’s what comes next:
A review and restructure of the team to maximise its performance. This is also a good time to search for A+ talent to bring in the company ( Jumping to this earlier can be a waste of time and money, because you need systems, goals, culture and everything else in the first place).
Why should you do this?
Because your team can be made from people with different skills, hidden talents, and growing interests that could be applicable for existing tasks, or new tasks other than what they were hired for.
It’s about finding the right position for the right person – and this can change every few months.
Here’s how we do this:
-> Reviewing team members performance and conducting job trait analysis (to see what they are best at)
-> Re-aligning work and job assignments (to maximize their abilities)
-> Hiring A+ players or letting go of non-performing team members who don’t fit the culture
a. Putting your customer service team in different positions based on queries (if you have 2-3 employees in this department)
Task: Customer Service Emails
Trait Needed: Empathy/Communication
Current person serving: Anna
Best person: Joey
Task: Technical Queries
Trait Needed: Detail oriented/technical skills
Current person serving: Anna
Best person: Anna
Knowing the traits needed for the job and knowing your team members’ traits helps you to allocate them the right task inside the team.
b. Reviewing your team members performance and values based on coaching, KPI/Metrics data.
– Annual/Semi-annual Performance evaluation and creating a Performance Improvement Plan for each team member.
Hope you found this post valuable.
Atomatic Agency specializes in streamlining, optimizing and automating systems and processes for eCommerce businesses (including dropshippers) to scale to their highest potential, as well as build and train our client’s team into a team of A+ players.
By doing so, our clients are able to achieve consistent revenue, and turn their business into a consistent cash cow with less effort, and in a short timer period.
Ready To Automate And Scale Your Business?
If you’re a 6 figure/month dropshipper that is serious about automating your business and scaling consistently, click on the button below to schedule a call with us.