What’s it like running an online business? Are there certain hours most owners wake up? Is it all delegating tasks and sitting back raking in passive income?
Well, no. It’s quite the opposite actually, since some of the most successful ecommerce business owners work long hours, live and breathe their companies and create an atmosphere where both employees and customers are satisfied.
Whether you’re just getting started building your Shopify site, or researching the possibility of setting up a Magento or WordPress ecommerce site, it’s wise to understand your responsibilities as a digital entrepreneur who makes most of your money through an online shop.
So, what goes on during a typical day in the life of an online business owner? That’s what we're here to find out. Keep reading to learn more, and to see if you’re up for the challenge.
Start by Processing all of Your Transactions
The online business owner starts their day by processing transactions from the previous day (usually inside the dashboard of their shopping cart software of choice) and anything that came in overnight. It all depends on what type of business you’re running, but in general you’ll want to get the orders in so that your manufacturer, workers, dropshippers or affiliates are prepped and ready to process and ship the orders.
Each batch of daily orders requires a diligent schedule, otherwise your customers won’t get their items on time and they’ll cancel the orders or leave you scathing reviews. Not to mention, you may need to give out some refunds or process returns.
Bring in Additional Business by Utilizing Your Social Media Accounts
Along with various other traffic building techniques, the social media realm is one of the most powerful. The savvy online business owner opens up her social media accounts once a day and posts useful content from the company blog or posts about upcoming promotions and new products.
If you’re really smart you’ll utilize a tool like Hootsuite to schedule your posts on all platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, cutting down the time you have to spend on social media for the week.
Manage Your Blogging Platform
As most ecommerce store owners quickly figure out, accumulating traffic is a huge part of running a business, and blogging serves you quite well in that respect. We recommend writing the occasional blog post so that the customers get a chance to hear from the company owner, but the majority of your time should go into managing a team of writers, designers and other content creators who can help provide your customers with high value content, while boosting your search engine rankings.
Check Out Your Analytics and Figure Out Where Your Traffic is Coming From
When trying to accumulate traffic, you must also understand where that traffic is coming from. Otherwise, your future efforts may be useless. Use information, like where your traffic is coming from, how many people are visiting your site, and what your demographics are like, to strengthen your future marketing and design tactics.
Scan any A/B tests you have running to see if design updates are required, and send this information to your marketing and design people.
Update and Backup Your Website
Your site updates typically happen towards the end of the day, when it’s time to announce new product offerings or talk about one of your upcoming events. Banners must be made, you have to contact your designers and get the proper images on your site to make these announcements.
Think about revising on-site content and figuring out how you can improve your SEO. In addition, check to see if your automatic backups are running okay, and if you need to make any manual backups. The threat of an attack that can take down your site is always present, so an online business owner must remain prepared.
Respond to Customer Inquiries
From emails to blog post comments, live chat requests to social media posts, your customer service is one of the most important steps to take when going through your day as an ecommerce owner. Sure, you may have a team of people to respond to emails and phone calls, but when starting up your business, these tasks generally land on your desk.
Once you begin hiring other people to work for you, it’s still essential to monitor your employees to see how they’re doing, ensure all social media and blog posts have been responded to and even devise scripts so your customer service reps can reply to questions properly.
Check Your Inventory
Checking your inventory status is one of those tasks an online business owner should complete at least a couple of times per week. The process involves figuring out which of your items are out of stock, so you can restock them and start selling more.
It’s also wise to see if any products have been discontinued, or if you need to stop selling something because it doesn’t have much popularity, or it’s considered poorly made. Remember to check your inventory with each order so that a you don’t get an unhappy customer.
Prepare an Email Newsletter
This ties into accumulating traffic for your site and it’s one of the most effective ways to do so. Every online business needs an email subscription form, because customers are much more likely to check out an ad, or look forward to an email newsletter (with valuable content) when it’s sent to their email inbox, as opposed to presented as an ad on a search engine or something similar.
Therefore, online business owners should spend at least a few hours a week to send out links to original blog posts, promotional coupons, videos that help with the products and any other content that may apply to your business.
Over to You…
Sounds like quite a bit of work, right? It’s the hard truth, but fortunately when you put in all of this hard work you can reap the benefits of running your own business, being your own boss, bringing in significant amounts of money and living your dream.
If you have any questions about what it takes to be an online business owner, drop us a line in the comments section below. If you currently run your own shop, share some thoughts about some areas you like to cover on a day to day basis.