eCommerce Lifestyle
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Slow Down To Speed Up

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Want to go further in business? It may be time to pull back on growth.

I know that sounds counterintuitive, but it’s something that we have just experienced with one of our businesses.

In today’s episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast, I share the realization I had on our recent team meeting that has positioned us for faster growth in the new year.

As always, if you have any questions and suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below. Don’t forget to share this with someone who needs to hear it.

What's Covered in This Episode:

  •  Focusing on fundamental changes that can grow the business
  • Using your time for things that are bigger picture, the things that can lead to more growth
The podcast is also available on all major podcast players including, Stitcher and Spotify.

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Transcript

What's up everybody, Anton Kraly here from ecommercelifestyle.com and welcome back to the podcast. If you're new here, know that this show is designed to help e-commerce store owners to increase their revenue, automate their operations, and say it with me, become the authority in their niche.

Now, in today's episode, I'm going to share something that is definitely counterintuitive and it's something that's just top of mind right now because we literally just wrapped a quarterly meeting that we did with our team for one of our companies. Now, this is something that I almost referenced, I started to allude to in an episode that came out in September. I just looked back, it was, yeah, September. And that episode was called 10 Minutes to Change Your Year.

If for any reason you didn't listen to that one yet, I'm going to post a link in this podcast description so you can go back and check it out. That episode did really well in the amount of downloads and stats. Definitely, I'm assuming it provided value because it really spiked. Again, that was called 10 Minutes to Change Your Year. And I'm going to link to that in this podcast description.

But as a brief summary on that episode, I shared a realization I had, not really me, it was someone on our team brought up when we were doing one of our weekly calls. Just so you know, a little behind the scenes, the way that we do meetings since we're all virtual is we have a team meeting on Monday where we get on Zoom and we go through a meeting doc where we plan for the week. That's once a week, every Monday morning.

And then once a quarter, we do a two or three-day session that currently is virtual also. Used to do them in person, will again after COVID, but there are a little bit longer where we review the previous quarter and plan for the next quarter. Making sure everyone's on the same page, making sure we're all working towards the same goals, making sure everybody can get their ideas out and have ample time to do so and making sure we can just plan together. It makes everything happen more smoothly.

But on one of our Monday calls, what I shared in the episode 10 Minutes to Change Your Year, was that we have a process for how we send emails to what I would call our old list, meaning our old email list of people that aren't actively in email campaigns that send automatically. They've been through email campaigns that go out, kind of like in real time based on actions. And once they go through them, they're in, again, what we call our old list.

And previously what we had done is schedule weekly broadcast emails, but only up to three weeks in advance. And the thing that we started doing was planning that much further. In fact, at the time of that last episode, we had planned it all the way through January. And since that episode, we planned even further. Now, we're going well into Q2 of 2021.

And what is awesome about this is that typically on our Monday calls one of the things that will come up and we'll spend maybe five minutes on is, what are the emails for the next three weeks, what pages have to be built, what copy needs to be written, what image assets need to be created? And we just go through the process of the angle we're going for and how to set it all up. But because we originally batched it for four months and now five months even more, everything has been created and all of that work has been done.

Last episode, we were just having this idea of what we're going to send, but now at this point, everything, it's done. It's there. It's in our email accounts. It's ready to be sent. The images are created. The pages are done. That work is gone now.

Now, does that mean we slowed down? Because it might sound like we sped up, right? Because we increased the rate at which we produce, in this specific example, all of this content for our email campaigns. What we really did though was just take time that we would normally have on a week-to-week basis and push some other things further out. What we did was actually slow down different activities in order to get this part done so that it can just be hands-off and we don't even have to think about it because it's scheduled.

Now, originally the plan and why we wanted to do this, as I saw the benefit would be, if we have an email campaign that's scheduled two months out and we know it's something that's really important, it's a really good offer, we think it can perform amazing, then my thought process was we'd have more time if we needed to make any tweaks, if we needed to perfect it. But instead what happened is we just got them all done faster.

On this quarterly meeting that we just had, as we were going through all of our projects and everything coming up, it felt very, very strange because typically what we talk about is our content plan for the next quarter. And this time, we literally did not have to talk about it because it's done. It's there already. And what does that mean? It means we can speed up on the things that actually can take the business further.

I made some notes. I'll go through them because I really don't want to miss anything because I think this is so important in real time to me, and maybe within a week or a month or a quarter for you if you do this as well. But what this means now is all of the fundamental changes, right, the bigger things, not the tasks that always happen, the things that we've wanted to do or we've tried to do in addition to these offer campaigns and these content campaigns, the things that on our Monday calls we typically mixed in with content and kind of distributed at our time, some of them we haven't done for the last quarter because we've been focusing on things that we can schedule in advance. But now, our whole team, everybody, all hands can focus on these fundamental things that can lead to the rapid growth.

And instead, again of going back and forth and multitasking, we now have everybody's dedication to work on growth. And I can already see in the business that that is leading to a faster growth curve. We sacrificed, what is it, the past three or four months of more steady growth in order to kind of front load everything that we need. Now, we have all hands on deck. Our meeting overview looked very different this time than our normal quarterly overviews because it's not focused on all the other stuff that's done. Now, it's focused on the prime things that we can work on together to have that faster growth curve. And again, we're already seeing the benefits from this.

Now, I'll give you some examples of things that we've done and things you can do too, but I'll tell you one thing that I love about this is we can grow now faster because we've slowed down for the past couple of months. And we can grow faster without having to bring on more people to the team, without having to have people be in their head this week, "Well, where should I focus my time?" We can do it without spending more money because now we have, again, the full team, all hands on deck to focus on this.

Yeah, I made some notes with things that maybe could work for you and your business. I understand even in e-commerce every business is a little different, but the way that we first got into this and the way that we started to think about it is what can we do that is recurring, things that come up in the business day to day or week to week that can be front-loaded? That included, like I just mentioned, content creation, that does include blogs and that also includes obviously the email campaigns and all the assets that go along with them, also social media planning and scheduling.

Typically, right, we would work on those three weeks of content. Not only would the emails be written, the graphics created, everything uploaded into our email accounts, but then our social team would have to get all the assets, put it all in to our scheduling software to have it all posted. Again, that's all stuff that can be front-loaded if you plan further in advance and get the work done now.

Also, if you're newer, supplier approvals, right? I know people will want to launch as soon as possible, which I really don't mind. I get it, you want to make money. But if you have a list of 20 suppliers and you get the first two, while you definitely can take your store, turn it live, get ads going, keep hitting those phones. Don't just delay 20 supplier approvals over three months or six months or a year because there's a million other things going on. Take however long it takes you. Take a week and only focus on those supplier approvals so that part can be locked in and you can move forward on the other things confidently.

Same thing with product uploads, right? Maybe you get approved with a new supplier if you're drop shipping and using the drop ship lifestyle model. By the way, if you're not, go to dropshipwebinar.com. I will link that up under this podcast, in the description. Got a free training there for you on how we build highly profitable, semi-automated stores. But let's just say, again, you get a new approval. There are hundreds or thousands of products to upload. Instead of just breaking it into chunks and maybe doing a hundred a week, either do it yourself, have somebody help you, but get those up first and then focus on traffic to those pages.

Other things. Offer creation, this one is huge. Take the next 12 months, and instead of in June thinking about what you want to promote in July, do you want to do 10% off, do you want to do a bundle, do you want to release a new product? Whatever it is, schedule that all now. Fill out your offer calendar for the next 12 months. And don't just fill it out like, "Oh, I want to promote this then and that there, and this there." Schedule it out. And then whether it's yourself or somebody on your team or somebody you have to hire, have everything created now, right? You know when the 4th of July is, if you're going to have a promo. You know when Black Friday and Cyber Monday and Christmas are going to be of next year. You know what other months are good for you in sales and you want to create something new for an offer. Have that all scheduled, have everything created.

It depends on your business again, but maybe in a week or a month or a quarter from now, all of that stuff is done, and then you and your virtual assistants or your contractors or your team, or even if it's just you alone, can focus on those bigger things and go all in on it. Because I'll tell you one thing that does happen and this has happened to me, it happens to everybody, is when we have these projects, right, that are recurring, what we can do sometimes is get stuck in them because it's important, it matters, that's why we're not just totally eliminating it from what we do. But you can get into a place where, okay, this week I'm working on this, whatever it is, this weekly project, and it sucks your time. And maybe it's because you want to procrastinate on the other things, on the bigger things, on the fundamental changes to the business or new growth areas you see. And because again, sometimes just procrastination, you focus on those other things that are in front of you and put too much time or too much effort into them.

But once they are done, once all those things are checked off or crossed off your list, and they're scheduled and ready to go, you and your team have no choice because there's literally nothing else to do besides focusing on the bigger shifts, the bigger moves, the big picture overview that's going to move your business forward. I would highly encourage you to do this.

The other thing I'll say is the list of possibilities I gave you for things you can schedule and slow down on the growth to get them done now, they are things that can be scheduled. But obviously, there's parts of your business like phone sales, like live chats, like emails, like order processing that happen in real time so they can't be scheduled. For that, what I would highly encourage you to do, if you don't already have it, is have somebody on your team, ideally a virtual assistant, that can be managing those things in the background for you. That way you can check in, you can manage, you can oversee that, but you can still have your time. And maybe if you have a marketing person or a social person, use that time for the things that are bigger picture, the things that can lead to more growth.

I just wanted to hop on real quick and share that. Again, I think we had a really good meeting for our team. It was different than usual because we're typically going deep into the weeds with the content and the offers. But since that's done, now we're focusing on some new things that I think are going to change up the company. I think they're going to change up our weekly calls because now we have bigger things to talk about and just things I'm super excited about.

I hope you got some value from this episode, guys. If you're listening to this, you're excited, but you're new, you don't even know where to start, definitely check out dropshipwebinar.com, where I have that free training for you.

Also, if you're a little more advanced and you want more information on the email campaigns that we build and the monthly promotions that we run, be sure to check out ecommercelifestyle.com and click on courses. I have a program called Inbox Funnels that gives you all of our email marketing templates and shows you how we do email marketing. And I have a program there called Get Money Now that is all about our monthly promotions, how we come up with them, how we create offers, how we collect leads, how we send traffic; two offers every month from Google, Facebook, Instagram, and email of course. Check that out if you're a little more advanced.

And with that being said, again, appreciate you. Hope you got value from this one and I will talk to you on Monday in the next episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast. See you, everybody.

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