Whether you’re a multi-million dollar Amazon seller or just getting started, there are a lot of tasks associated with running and growing your business effectively. As you expand your operations, many of those tasks also grow. When there are so many directions to take, how do you handle prioritizing Amazon tasks so you’re doing what’s most important for your business? And with limited hours to devote to running your business, how can you delegate some of your to do list?
Prioritizing Amazon tasks can help you stay organized and prepared for whatever surprises come your way…and there are bound to be a few. From delayed shipments to discovering an exciting new product, planning ahead and focusing on the tasks that matter most can give you the time you need to devote to anything that comes up. Let’s take a look at five strategies to help you prioritize your day as an Amazon seller.
Get S.M.A.R.T. With Your Goals
First things first: what are your business goals? If you’re just getting started, prioritizing Amazon tasks might be about product development and sourcing. On the other hand, if you’ve been selling for several years it might be time to reevaluate your current systems and processes for inventory management. Your priorities may shift a bit from day to day, but evaluating where your business is at currently and setting achievable goals can keep you focused for the long haul.
Many business owners use the S.M.A.R.T. goals framework to define what they want to achieve and set actionable steps for reaching those goals. S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Building specific criteria and defining what achievement means for each goal helps you get laser focused on which steps will help you meet those goals. While your goals may change over time, establishing clarity around your ideal business will assist you (and anyone you’ve hired to help you) in prioritizing Amazon tasks that matter most.
It’s important to document your S.M.A.R.T. goals and keep them top of mind so you’ll continue to work toward them. In fact, the Association for Psychological Science reports that the act of physically writing notes on paper rather than writing them on a laptop helped students retain more information. Writing your goals and keeping them on display in your workspace can help you revisit your priorities regularly.
Use the 80/20 Rule
You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule (also known as the Pareto Principle), but have you thought about how to apply it to your Amazon business? The general idea is that 80% of your results are derived from 20% of your actions. In other words, prioritizing Amazon tasks that will make a big impact makes sense, rather than getting bogged down with smaller items that don’t really move the needle for your business as an Amazon seller.
Make a list of everything you need or might need to do to reach your goals. Determine which tasks are invaluable and must be done by you. Consider which of the other tasks on your list are worth the time investment and create a plan for automating or delegating those items. For example, it’s important to pay attention to your seller feedback rating, but this is a task that could easily be passed off. You can use an automated tool or hire a virtual assistant experienced with Amazon tasks who provides you with a regular report. This allows you to stay in the loop without becoming overwhelmed by minutiae.
Avoid Context Switching
When is the last time you truly focused on a single task? Many of us find ourselves multi-tasking, constantly switching between different tabs on a computer screen or quickly firing off a text to a friend between calls. But focusing on more than one task at a time (especially if those tasks are complex) has a negative effect on productivity. Context switching occurs when you move between various tasks, such as checking your email while trying to optimize a product listing. If you’re “stuck” on a particular task, sometimes switching to a different activity can help. But if you’re switching between tasks in an effort keep up with notifications or because you’re trying to do several things at the same time, you’re not doing yourself any favors.
These days, people spend an average of one minute and fifteen seconds on a task before being interrupted. The worst part? It takes approximately 25 minutes to regain focus after being interrupted. Carving out time to get things done without constant interruptions can be difficult, but it is possible, and it’s essential if you want to accomplish more in less time. One strategy for taming a common context switching culprit is to schedule specific times during the day to check and respond to emails. Constantly checking messages and notifications is distracting, so consider turning off any unnecessary notifications. You might even want to start silencing or shutting down your phone and putting it into a drawer when you’re trying to focus on an important task.
If you find that you are spending a lot of time responding to customer service requests or other time-sensitive tasks, determine what you might be able to delegate. Customers should always be a top priority for your business, but that doesn’t mean that you personally need to handle every interaction. FreeeUp can help you find a freelancer to manage communications and other tasks effectively, leaving your customers happy and preventing you from constantly checking your notifications.
Create Systems That Work for Your Business
Creating systems for recurring processes can save you a lot of time. Documenting those processes also makes it easier to share them with other people. This facilitates the onboarding process, which can help you delegate tasks to freelancers more quickly, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your Amazon business.
Another effective way to prioritize Amazon tasks every day and week and month is to build your schedule based on the blocks of time you think will be required to accomplish each of your tasks. Some paper planners are set up with hourly layouts to make it easier to visualize your day; you can also use an online calendar or app to help manage your time in this way. As you create or improve your systems, you can build recurring tasks specific to the Amazon seller such as monitoring ad performance or approving purchase orders into your schedule to ensure that you make time for them.
Automate When You Can
Third-party tools can help you automate many of the daily tasks associated with running a successful Amazon business, freeing up your time for more focus on value-added activities that impact the bottom line. Saving time while staying in the loop – thanks to reports and alerts – means that you can easily jump in to resolve a customer concern without spending hours of each day manually checking in on your seller reputation.
Here at eComEngine, we’ve designed tools like FeedbackFive and RestockPro to help Amazon sellers save time on everything from requesting seller feedback to building kits to managing FBA inventory. Want to streamline your efforts even more? Find a freelancer with Amazon experience to assist you in managing daily operations. You could start by delegating smaller tasks such as researching the competitive landscape of a product you’re considering sourcing and then add more duties as you develop rapport. You can even add freelancers as users on our tools to help you manage your seller reputation, product reviews, FBA inventory, and more. With our user-friendly help centers and free onboarding sessions, we are here to assist you and freelancer hires with using these tools effectively.
Spend Less Time Getting More Done
Minimizing the amount of time it takes to accomplish tasks using the strategies outlined in this blog post can help you continue to grow your business without sacrificing your sleep and sanity.
Amazon sellers often find it difficult to delegate tasks or hire help, especially when they’re trying to grow and operate on a lean budget. Finding the right freelancer can make all the difference. Tapping FreeeUp to hire experts means that these tasks will get done quickly by someone with real experience. For instance, you can hire someone who is solely focused on creating Enhanced Brand Content for your listing or searching for your next product. This saves you hours of time and allows you to spend your working hours on other value-added tasks.
How can you use the strategies mentioned in this post to change the way you plan your day, week, month, and even year to focus your time on the tasks that will deliver the most value? What kinds of tasks do you delegate most frequently? Which tasks would free up the most of your time if you were able to hand them off to someone else? I’d love to hear about how you plan and prioritize your day as an Amazon seller in the comments below!
Becky Trowbridge is the Managing Content Editor at eComEngine, where she focuses on creating helpful content for Amazon sellers. She enjoys traveling, hiking and reading.