If you’re running a start-up, you know there’s not a lot of room for error. In the early stages of the game, resources are limited and a failure to maximize what you have could put your new company in dire straights in short order.
The unfortunate reality is 80% of all new businesses fail within the first 18 months.
Why do they fail? VisualCapitalist cites cash flow problems as the number one reason business reach an early demise.
Or simply put, they had more money going out than they had coming in.
Most of the time founders and their teams spend the vast majority of their time and internal resources with their offering, not fully realizing possible cash flow problem until it’s too late.
So the question is, how do you make the most of your internal resources and still work towards sustained growth?
The answer, outsourcing.
Regardless of what you’ve been lead to believe, angel investors and early stage VC’s fund less than 1% of all startups. Fact is, 57% are funded by credit cards and personal loans. Another 38% of startups ask for small loans from family and friends.
If you’re one of these types of business, your objectives are simple
- Launch your product and/or service as soon as possible
- Bring in revenue as quickly as possible.
- Reduce overhead and maximizing profits as much as possible
Grow Revenue and Reduce Overhead by Outsourcing Sales
Growth is the primary objective of every company. Regardless of its revenue growth or sales growth, growth needs to be your main objective from the beginning. But many times cash-strapped companies don’t have the cash they need to build a fully managed sales team. That’s where sales outsourcing can truly be a game-changer.
For start-ups, outsourcing sales simply makes good sense for the following reasons:
- Timing – For startups or established businesses looking to test new products and markets, outsourcing allows for a very quick transition to a fully trained, experienced and cohesive sales team.
- Recruitment – With unemployment at an all time low, it’s becoming more and more expensive to locate and compensate the outstanding talent you need to grow your business. Additionally, with recruitment for good salespeople at an all-time high, companies are constantly in danger of losing qualified talent. Sales Outsourcing Organizations are not only much more cost-effective, they are not as susceptible to recruitment from the competition, which allows you to build a more experienced and stable workforce.
- Costs – It goes without saying that outsourcing reduces spending, it’s the number one reason companies outsource. In fact, a recent study found that companies save an astonishing 60% annually by outsourcing.
- Management – Sales Outsourcing Organizations come to the table with a number of successful sales models. Included in these models are clearly defined quotas and KPI’s which are reported to you on a regular basis giving you a very clear understanding of how they are performing and where improvements need to be made. They manage everything in that process including recruitment, hiring, benefits, workspaces, internet and more.
Outsourcing your sales simply makes good business sense. Outside of reducing overhead and improving cash-flow, it benefits start-up companies by allowing them to scale at will and prospect into new and potentially profitable markets without spending a lot of money.
Ready to accelerate your growth though outsourced sales? Click here for a free quote.
44% of online shoppers state that the ability to ask questions to a person questions via live chat is one of the most important feature an online store can offer.
As you may have heard, Customer demands are changing dramatically. Offering limited channels for your customers questions will result in dissatisfied customers, which leads to bad reviews and lost sales. Now days, offering only email support complemented by limited phone support hours just isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Hello merchants, and welcome to our new service-based economy.
Lucky for us, live chat is here to help us save the day. And our business.
“Customers are gravitating more towards live chat as their preferred channel”, as per the senior manager of data and analytics at Zendesk says. Chat tool has been building more confidence in a user’s experience simply because it added a sense of human touch. The hyper-connected society just needs someone to be always there when they need to have information.
42% of consumers say that they prefer live chat functions because they don’t have to wait on hold.
Now days potential customers want instant answers. They want instant communication, and they want your company to be available when they want to talk, which isn’t always during typical work hours.
Adding 24/7 live chat will increase sales.
Not only does it result in increased customer satisfaction, it has a direct impact on sales. One company, Paleo Treats estimates that as much as 20% of their sales occur after a live chat conversion.
Why? Engagement is important to customers. As an owner of a business, or a person responsible for bringing sales into a company, you need to take advantage of every engagement opportunity a customer gives you. Engage, Engage, Engage! Yes, the human touch still matters.
Even today, 83% of online shoppers need support to complete a purchase. And if they don’t get that help, they’ll abandon the online purchase and find another company who will give them quick answers to their questions.
Keeping the customers happy with your products and services is always non-negotiable. Adding live chat to your eCommerce store gives you the opportunity to create an exceptional customer experience.
63% of customers said they were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat as opposed to one that doesn’t.
Getting Started with Live Chat
Finding a cost-effective live chat solution for your businesses isn’t incredibility difficult. A simple Google search for “live chat software” will produce hundreds of results from companies like livechat Inc, LivePerson and more. Most of these companies price their software on a per-seat or per-agent basis. Prices range from $14.95 per seat and up.
Many live chat services want to charge you for additional features and engagements beyond what’s included in their standard packages. Therefore it’s important to thoroughly research each one to insure you don’t get unexpected charges at the end of the month.
Also review the features they provide and make the platform you select aligns with the needs of your business.
92% customers feel satisfied when they use the live chat feature
Adding 24/7 Live Chat
Live chat is only effective if someone is on the other end of the chat answering customers questions. Nothing is more frustrating then seeing a live chat button and clicking on it, only to discover they live chat system wants you to “Leave a message” so someone can get back to you later.
End result of that exchange? No sale.
The good news is adding 24/7 live chat isn’t nearly as difficult as you might think. Companies like OnSource.co specialize in building impactful customer engagements that drive sales 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We can build entire omni-channel support teams, or complement your existing team through cost-effective staff augmentations. So now, you can have someone answer your calls and responding to your live chats.
As competition in business is increasing every day, there is no wrong on staying ahead of your competitors. This isn’t just applicable to big companies but business of all sizes. Clearly, the live chat tool gives importance of providing real-time customer service and selling in an upturn. All business minded just want to be one step ahead of the competition.
It can be a huge factor in the growth of your business and the live chat option is definitely a good idea.
Let us know what you think about adding the live chat tool to your eCommerce business. We’d love to hear from you.
Outsourcing has been customary for most growing companies and a familiar concept to many entrepreneurs. The fact is, outsourcing ( when done correctly ) is a very effective way to grow a business while decreasing overhead.
Here are 3 reasons why you should outsource your eCommerce business.
Whether you are starting out, or managing a company managing 1MM a month in sales, outsourcing gives you the ability to scale and grow without compromise.
Here are 3 ways outsourcing can help your business grow:
One of the most obvious reasons companies look to outsourcing is reduced overhead. As an organization, becoming more cost-effective is the most crucial factor to improve the balance sheet of a company. Of course, companies want this cost-savings without reducing the quality of work. This is the primary challenge with outsourcing. How do I make my outsourced workforce more cost-effective while increasing ( or at least, maintain ) the quality of work?
Want to learn how we help companies increase sales and profitability? Click here
Outsourcing (we like to call it “OnSourcing”) allows you to stay focused on your core competencies, like the strategic growth your business. Think of the tasks that you and/or your team is doing right now. Now grab a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle, on one side put the tasks that are repetitive and can be safely managed through a process and on the other side, list tasks that require strategic thought and forward thinking. Did you notice the repetitive task list is quite long compared to the strategic? The truth is, over 70% of an employee work days spend on tasks that could be outsourced.
Outsourcing allows you and your team to stay focused on your businesses primary objective, increasing revenue.
Access to Experts
Outsourcing gives you immediate access to a variety of expertise, instantly. Once again, I invite you to look at your current team and the tasks they are doing. You may notice you’re asking some employees to stretch themselves into areas they have little or no experience in. This could be simply because your company doesn’t have the financial resources, or you’re trying to hire for these roles but not coming across any qualified candidates.
Whatever the reason, outsourcing gives you access to the cost-effective resources your company needs to grow.
When you outsource, don’t have to worry about training, recruitment, and other HR related expenses. You simply need to focus on creating the processes and procedures that allow the outsourcing company to operate effectively and efficiently.
Outsourcing certain business processes slash overhead, enabling enterprises to optimize revenue. Achieving cost-effective and sustainable growth is an absolute requirement for every company, regardless of its size. Nowadays, companies on a sustainable growth trajectory understand that the best way to achieve this is by accessing a global, on-demand workforce.
eCommerce companies face even more challenges, as building, maintaining and marketing online requires technical expertise not typically required by traditional “brick and mortar” type businesses.
Now more than ever, companies are looking outside their geographic “comfort zone” to grow. Don’t wait, now is the time to build the solid outsourcing foundation your company requires needs to reach its objectives and compete on a global scale.
Is your company ready for rapid growth? Click here
We’d love to hear your thoughts, share your opinions on this one.
Running an eCommerce business requires plenty of resources and expertise.
It sounds amazing to be able to manage your store on your own, but let’s be realistic. It’s not easy to handle day-to-day tasks on your own. Think about shipping, marketing and promotion, cash flows, content development, returns, order management, customer service, managing live chat and all the other things that come with running a business.
Over 50% of new businesses and ventures fail after the first five years. So how do you stack the odds in your favor? Well, one way is to hire cost-effective, experts. People with the proven ability to get what you need to be done.
Did you know that the vast majority of large business outsource their routine tasks to companies outside of their organization? Yes, it’s true. Large companies know the secret to success lies in keeping your team focused on growth, not managing the mundane daily tasks.
So if the big guys are making millions doing it. Question is, why aren’t you?
To help you get an idea of the types of tasks an eCommerce company can outsource, we’ve put together a quick list to help get your brain thinking about the many things you and your team do, that you don’t have to:
- Content Creation:
A successful eCommerce website knows how important content marketing is in today’s digital age. If you want to beat your competition, you need to have some great content on your website. But what if you don’t have enough time to write blog posts? Or even to update your site content on a regular basis? Easy. You hire someone to do it for you! According to the LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, the top two most outsourced content marketing activities are Writing (44%) and Design (41%).Regularly uploading blog posts, infographics, or any kind of website content usually provides signals to search engines and lets them know your site is active. Outsourcing that content creation to virtual assistants and content writers can take the added load away from the in-house team, and they can use that time to focus on other work instead.Outsourcing content creation also allows you to create backup content that can be used on days when the creative output is low.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Having great content on your website is not enough. If search engines can’t find that content or your website, what’s the point? This is where SEO comes in.Good SEO can get your content and website to show higher up in search results, which can do wonders for your business. In fact, a study by Outbrain says that search drives 300% more traffic to websites than social media does.So just like the content creators you hired, you should also consider hiring virtual SEO specialists to make that content search engine friendly. You can even hire one person to take care of both tasks at the same time.SEO is important because the higher your website ranks on search engine results, the more visitors you’re likely to get. Virtual assistants who are experts in SEO can ensure each and every piece of content on your website is optimized to rank higher.
- Graphics and Design:
As per scientific research; 90% of the information that comes to the brain is visual. Yeah, that’s right. Visual!Now we all know the need for great design and eye-catching graphics on eCommerce websites. But instead of wasting tons of your time and energy in trying to make your store look good, you can easily hire a professional graphic designer to help you out instead.Other than giving you a lot of time to focus on more important tasks, outsourcing design can also bring fresh, new perspectives and creative ideas. And of course, hiring a skilled and experienced graphic designer will make sure your business looks more visually appealing.
- Product Titles and Descriptions:
If you want your products to sell, you need to make sure their titles and descriptions are SEO-friendly, manage to capture interest and get people to buy.But writing tons of product titles and descriptions for your store can sometimes become a burden on you or the in-house team. Especially because they can take up so much time. The best thing to do is to hire a copywriter, or a product description specialist to help you out.
Here is why:
- Most of the time, product copy only needs to be updated when you add new products to your store. Because that’s such a short-term task, it’s better to outsource it to a virtual assistant, rather than hire an in-house copywriter.
- Hiring someone who is a pro at writing product copy can get you a lot more effective results than if it was done by you or someone else.
- Marketing Activities:
From formulating the perfect strategy and reaching out to the right audience, to sending out effective email campaigns and managing social media, every step in your marketing process is crucial.
And the good news is, all of these tasks can be outsourced to a virtual assistant!
Outsourcing marketing activities can not only help you cut costs, it can also save you from a lot of hectic management. Another great thing is you can always get experts to perform each marketing task to get better results.
You can also hire virtual social media managers to take care of your company’s social media accounts. They can engage your audiences with targeted content, derived from research, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and any other platform.
- Website Development, Design, and Management:
The most important part of any eCommerce business is its website. Your website needs to be fully optimized for a great customer experience. This means that your site doesn’t need to just look good, it also needs to function properly.
Hiring a virtual assistant to take care of developing, designing and managing your website will save you tons of time and money. Virtual assistants can also manage the back-end of the website, and ensure that everything runs smoothly, so you don’t lose a potential customer because of a “slow-loading site” or a page that failed to open.
- Finance and Accounting Tasks:
The smart thing to do would be to outsource all your financial tasks to one or more virtual assistants who are actually experienced in managing finances. Virtual assistants can help you with paying the company bills, managing invoices, filing tax documents, and any other money-related tasks at hand.Bookkeeping, accounting, and finance-related tasks can be extremely tedious. And if you’re a rookie at it and tend to make mistakes, it can end up costing you a lot.
- Customer Services:
If you have a lot of customers, however, it can get pretty hard to take care of all their issues.According to a survey, approximately 54% of companies in the customer service industry utilize overseas workers. And why shouldn’t they? Cheap labor and a skilled workforce, not a bad deal at all!Hiring a customer service virtual assistant can help ensure all your customers who reach out to you are addressed timely, such as if they bring forward a complaint or an ambiguity. Customer service VA’s can also follow up on customer issues to make sure they are provided with the best service. This will boost customer satisfaction, and leave a great lasting impression of your business.If you run an eCommerce business, you already know how important your customers are to you. Taking care of them should be at the top of your priority list.
- Inventory management:
In this case, hiring a virtual assistant can be a lifesaving help. Having someone to manage your inventory and their shipment will make sure you never disappoint your customers and always fulfill your orders.Virtual assistants can even process the orders then come to the website to make sure there is less on your plate.After a certain point in operating an online business, managing inventory and fulfilling all the different orders can get pretty overwhelming.
- Administrative Tasks:
Tasks like writing reports and even managing schedules are not just boring, they take up a lot of your precious time. Why not just forward the work to a virtual assistant?An administrative virtual assistant will ensure all those tasks are done with the finesse and accuracy you demand, allowing you to focus on the more important, and more ‘fun’, aspects of your eCommerce business.Those every day, recurring and menial tasks that every business needs to do can become a burden over time.
- Product Research
While you’re busy managing your eCommerce business and its everyday tasks, you can often get left behind on what’s new and trend out there.Outsourcing the product research tasks to a virtual assistant can help you always select and keep them on your online store. Virtual assistants can even go and negotiate deals with suppliers to save you more money on procurement in the long run.
A lot of eCommerce business owners still hesitate to outsource their tasks. But over time, these tasks become a huge burden and can negatively impact your store’s growth and productivity. Don’t be scared of outsourcing the right tasks to the right people, so you can finally focus on the more important things and take your business to new levels.