Understanding how to grow a process system can create great opportunities to scale your business in the wider scheme of things.
Two decades in the oil patch – processes.
Reed’s first business pursuit was a quality inspection consultant to oil companies on both quality assurance and quality control (which are both different). They are distinct and misunderstood.
Was also tasked with the investigation of deadly industry failures on how grow a process system.
They all went back to one thing which is they failed to follow processes.
Or people followed the procedures correctly but there was a critical error in the processes. A critical task often lacked a checklist.
In the wider scheme of things, rules had to be followed. The only way that could happen was extreme systemisation.
Checklist vs. Procedures vs. Processes – what is the difference? Reed uses them interchangeably. It’s all about building a system.
It all leads to doing things efficiently.
Reed’s Amazon business
In 2014 Reed was looking for a way to get out of the oil patch.
Took lots of courses and found himself in the oil patch with nothing to do so built his business.
Launched first Private Label brand – took off immediately – but ran into issues.
Grew brand in 10 months to $2M in sales but had no processes! So it was a mess.
Ended up hiring a team of smart people to create SOPs. Now the company has well over 700 processes.
Cost about $100,000 to create and refine those processes.
The company came out with a world-class e-commerce business.
Now they can delegate mundane and competitive tasks with minimum expense and time.
Why processes are critical
Downsides can be huge:
- Frustrated staff
- Missed deadlines
- Missed opportunities
- Non-compliance with TOS
- Amazon Account Suspension!
- Ultimately it’s a cost
- Also, there is a cost to your personal time
- It allowed Reed to branch out from pure e-commerce selling
- Has allowed him to help 100s of Amazon sellers to launch businesses
- It must have a solid foundation
- Reed could develop software programmes based on spreadsheets – four software companies
- Ceiling vs. Potential
There’s a $1m ceiling classically without a set of clear processes.
The second you have the system in place, it opens things up.
You can’t grow past $1m without processes.
If you want to outsource, you have to have processes in place. So you can hire people.
Most conversations with Amazon sellers show that the same issue crops up each time:
“What is truly holding your business back?”
The answer is: most of their time is taken up exclusively by mundane tasks.
The rest of the business world is not waiting for you to grow.
Earlier in 2018, they started this.
took all processes – had over 700 processes and they are selling them.
99% of amazon daily procedures never change!
Reed has well over 700 Processes, broken into small chunks.
NOT “how do I make 30% revenue growth by PPC?”
How do I start creating a process? (ex. No VAs, 30 SKUs)
You can distinguish in two directions:
Do I have no processes grow a process system?
Or do you have a system you’re building out?
If you have no process
The First process is your naming convention!
That’s the basis of how people understand and search and find what they need to know.
You have to assume that people don’t know about Amazon or about processes grow a process system.
It must be systematisable across the whole business.
2nd process: how to record updates to the process.
If you have, say 30 people in the business, 10 are using it, 2 don’t know it’s not been updated.
3rd process: what is the layout format of each process?
When should you start?
As soon as possible.
If you’re not an expert, you should hire in an expert to do it – or maybe get free advice from an experienced seller.
Mistakes and redoing things cost a lot when you grow a process system.
99% of processes are standard and they never change. Unless Amazon changes the platform. Eg finding
See the bigger picture
If you’re going to outsource later, need:
- Potentially video
It’s important to understand how your VAs want to absorb the information.
You could hire staff based on that but you want to use all three if you can.
Written procedures are critical
They always need to have a written component. You need to have a checkbox you can check.
Otherwise, you can’t monitor what is happening.
People higher in the company need to know that the process got done. So you must have checklists.
You can afford not to be so meticulous if you have one very well experienced person.
But not with new people with little experience, and not with a large team.
For Amazon, just take a screenshot of the actual page.
It’s really specific – go here, find this, click this, do that.
Eg: creating a listing.
Don’t forget that structure looks good to a potential buyer. If you start doing it easy, it makes it easier.
Enhanced Brand content
Images – who is in charge
When are they going to do it?
How to create processes if DIYing
If you haven’t done it before, it’s going to be an issue. Expect to make mistakes and have to iterate.
What to standardise once you hit 6 figures a year in sales
Images: Photography needs to be really precise. You can build this process. All it takes is a link in Skype and they can do it.
Optimisation of a listing.
Keep it simple
People want to build an extensive process
Eg “how to get PPC to be always at 30%”- that’s too big.
5-6 page processes are just not going to be understandable!
It needs to be in bite-size chunks
Have one process that links out to different parts.
Start with daily tasks
Start with things you’ll do on a daily basis to grow a process system.
Get two screens! It makes it so much easier.
You want a word doc on one screen and then go into Amazon.
Do something – wrote it down – maybe take a screenshot, paste into a document.
Have the VA go do that, and then give feedback.
Once you start doing things, start opening a word doc and screenshotting.
Having two screens for that is very helpful.
What about outsourcing SOP creation?
You can do that – you can just get ready-for-you SOPs.
Reed can form fit things to a business.
If you’re doing it yourself, for each process, you should hire in an expert to do it.
You can’t hand off a complex creation to a $7 an hour VA. The mistakes will outweigh the benefits.
Have a process in place for processes – give them a framework.
Reed’s company has 100 SOPs for SOP creation!
Slack is nice because you can have separate rooms.
It’s integrated well into the task management tools.
Skype can also work but is not as integrated.
Task management tools
Trello, Asana, Airtable, click-up, Monday
Reed used to focus on Trello
What do you offer?
Started early 2018 to help sellers with ready-made SOPs.
5 Part “Scale Fast Using Outsourcing” email course (Free)
Where Reed goes over all of the minutiae of hiring offshore talent efficiently and effectively.
Process Delivery System (SaaS)
Over 700 processes(of which about 180 are Amazon-specific), available cross-platform across all different task management software, e.g., Trello, Asana, Click-up, Monday.
The processes are locked down not changeable by users or VAs (but do get updated by eCom-process).
Cost below $1500 USD- look for the latest offer.
There is a verification system that ranks the relevance of the SOPs.
Executive Package for larger companies
This is when you get your own copies of SOPs on Word documents and PDFs.
Around $3000 cost. It’s more customisable.
In both cases, eCom-process will keep the SOPs updated as needed.
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