You're probably familiar with that concept of being overtaken by the urge to deep clean in early Spring. (Well, at least you remember watching your Mom go through that!) It can be a challenging exercise, but man, does it feel good when you're done! I propose that we all experience that feeling in the later part of the year as well. While Christmas is still a few months away, wouldn't now be the perfect time to start preparing for it so that you don't have the crazy Christmas season you had last year, and the year before that, and the year before that...?
- Clean Your Workspaces. Smooth and clean order processing and fulfillment has at least a little to do with the cleanliness and order of your workspaces. I know there's a certain degree of charm in the bobbleheads and coffee cups, the event swag and scribbled-on notepads lying around, but when that "charm" blocks your way, creeps into your working space, or, God forbid, stains your packing slips(!), it hinders your professionalism and your ability to work quickly. Grab a garbage can and some antibacterial wipes and go to town. For that stuff you have to keep, get some organizers to keep things contained and handy but out of your way. Voila! You're a man in motion.
- Merchandising Cleanup. Do you want to sell more this season? A little merchandising work goes a long way towards this goal. Start with your top performing product lines and examine them to make sure that all the pertinent information is provided and is correct. Then go one step further and ask yourself what else you could provide that would help spur a customer to a purchasing decision. Sizing charts. Color charts. Features (e.g., spec lists) as well as benefits (e.g., use and care instructions) (manufacturers generally provide feature lists, not benefits). It's easy to use Marketplace Manager's bulk export and import feature to make changes en mass.
- Look for Blockers and Demolish Them. Remember last year? What were your biggest blockers in quick and efficient order processing? Was it listing products? Was it payment collection? Was it label creation? Was it running to the post office? Start thinking about how you can remove those log jams. Talk to your Account Manager and other online sellers to learn about ways to solve your biggest challenges.
- Find One Thing That Makes You Better. Even if you're humming along like a well-oiled machine, you can always find one area that could use improvement or fine-tuning. Maybe you've been meaning to update your eBay listing template. Do you have a business process that needs to be recorded, or changed, or just updated? Maybe you've been meaning to do a price and service comparison between the leading shipping carriers. Have you been putting off doing a mass promotional email to your customer base? Maybe you've been considering selling in a new channel or improving your SEO opportunities. Pick one thing that's been bugging you--even if it's a small thing--and do it.
These are just a few ideas. Make your to-do lists. Then get to work checking them off (you can check them twice if it makes you feel better!). Santa Claus is coming to town...soon.