Recently one of our clients has been launching around 10 products on average a day… hitting multiple WINNERS faster than ever before… and scaling their revenues consistently month after month.
And the best part?
The business owners themselves are NOT involved in the operations at all…
To the point where even if they were to take the entire month OFF (or two)…
They can continue to scale to 6 figure months consistently and profitably.
Here’s why it’s possible:
They have systemized and delegated their dropshipping business to the point where it runs like clockwork.
Essentially, they have “automated” their operations to run without them at all.
(Those who are familiar with E-Myth would know that this is what it means to not work in your business and why it’s so valuable)
Here’s the thing:
Every task from copywriting, graphic designing, product research, video editing, digital marketing, media buying, etc…
Can actually be turned into systemized SOPs and processes, then delegate them to Superstar VAs to run them for you.
But in order to automate your business, there are a couple of things you need to have in place:
- You need to learn and get good at these things yourself first.
Before you can systemize all these processes, you need to be able to do themselves and get good results.
A sign that you’re ready to start automating your business is when you can find and scale winning products to 6 figures a couple of times (so that it’s not based on luck)
Then, once you have found multiple winners already…
- Turn them into SOPs so that they are easy to follow.
One mistake that many dropshippers make is that they keep tweaking their processes…
Or do it in a “non-standardized” way.
Meaning there’s no repeatable and specific step by step way of doing it.
They chase after the next “shiny object” or try different methods of doing things
(Even though their previous methods have worked for them before – bad mistake)
Or they do it based on “gut feel” or “I think this will work”.
(Most of the time it doesn’t)
Here’s the thing: If you have managed to scale to 6 figure months before, then you already have a good process. (Whether you realize it or not)
Sure, it might not be perfect, but the fact that they have brought you results before shows that it’s working to some extent.
Instead of constantly tweaking it and thinking that it’s not good enough (pro tip: they usually are good enough)…
Focus on two things:
- Streamline and optimize the process
- Maximize your output or “production” as much as possible (launch more products etc)
First break down your processes into a step by step guide first before streamline and improve them later on.
(At times, after we help our clients in this first step, they can immediately start seeing improvement in results. So this is a crucial step! Make sure you don’t miss this).
- Streamline and optimize them until it’s easy to delegate it to someone else
Many dropshippers immediately focus on hiring before they optimize and improve their processes.
No bueno amigo
When you start hiring before your system is ready, it will crash and burn (badly).
This is where the magic happens whenever we start optimizing for our clients. So make sure to always focus on optimization of all your key processes before hiring.
And if you already have a team, then just keep focusing on optimizing continuously because the results will compound and stack up, enabling you to find and scale multiple winners faster.
- Find great VAs and delegate it to them.
Now I’ve already written about some of these things above so I won’t go too deep into them.
I will also share some additional tips later below.
But when it comes to automating your dropshipping business…
There’s one big mistake that’s preventing most dropshippers from fully “extracting” themselves so that it can run without them.
Even though they have systemized the whole operations and have hired good VAs to take over…
They continue to put themselves inside the whole process.
This means that without them, their dropshipping business is not able to run effectively.
Here are specific mistakes that dropshippers usually make:
- The copywriter has to get approval before launching the product copy…
- The graphic designer has to get approval before launching the product images…
- The video editor has to get approval before launching the product video…
- The product researcher has to get approval before importing the product…
Does this sound familiar?
By doing this, you are badly limiting your team’s potential and productivity.
This will lead to them NOT being able to launch more winning products each week… no matter how big your team is.
Here’s the reason why:
If you create a system that’s designed for every step of the process requiring your approval before moving on or progressing, you will have to spend a lot of unnecessary time going through all of them.
It’s time-consuming and not a productive use of your time at all.
You will become the main bottleneck of your business.
Your business will never be able to test the number of products you want, and it will never be able to scale to 7 figures per month.
And if you keep going at this pace, it’s also very common to start experiencing burnout.
You will feel like you never have time for a break.
You will feel like a slave to your own business.
You won’t be able to function well mentally.
(Some of our clients confessed that they ended up making costly mistakes when they are too stuck in their business. It really sucks)
It’s a major problem when the business owners himself become the bottleneck of the business.
A big sign to determine when the owner becomes the bottleneck:
When you’re not able to go on a vacation for even just 1 week because the business will fall apart without you.
Like our good friend Bill Gates said: a critical key to success is learning how to delegate effectively.
With the correct systems, most of the process won’t actually need you to be involved.
This is the main reason why the top dropshippers build delegation systems.
Their team can run the business without them, and they are easily able to scale to 6 figure months consistently and profitable. Just like our long-term clients who have built the key infrastructures in place.
This will let them focus on the most important tasks for scaling their business.
In this post, I’m going to share with you the 3 biggest mistakes that dropshippers make when it comes to delegating.
And also the 3PDS delegation framework to make sure that you will be able to delegate in the most effective way.
But before that, I want to show you what your life will be like after knowing these mistakes and applying our framework.
Instead of spending all your time micromanaging and firefighting…
- You will be able to plan strategies and plan the road map that will let you scale your business to 7 figures, and no longer waste time answering requests from your team members
- You will no longer feel like a slave to your business. You will now be able to take a few days off or weeks off at the end if you want.
- Never worry about your team members screwing up or making silly but costly mistakes
- More freedom to take a week or two off to travel, or just spend time with family and friends
- Scale from 3 products a week or less, to 10 products a week or more, be able to increase your revenue by double, triple or even quadruple times.
- Just do whatever the *!@#$ you want because you have more time, not having to constantly worry about your business, or stressed over when your next winning product is coming.
3 Causes Preventing Dropshippers From Automating Their Dropshipping Operations
When trying to automate and delegate their operations, one of the most common resistance dropshippers face is fear.
They are afraid that their operations will not do well without them being involved.
They are afraid that their VAs are not good enough.
They are afraid that their VAs will make costly mistakes.
Here’s what you need to understand:
1) The reason why delegation fails is because the system is not good enough.
A good system is one where your VAs can replicate at least 70-80% of the work that you do in terms of quality and output.
If not then your system is not good enough.
If you don’t know how to create great delegation systems, then it is very important to focus on this first before hiring.
2) Hiring Superstar VAs is the key to making your delegation system works.
When you have great hires, it’s much easier for you to delegate effortlessly. I’ve written about how to hire superstars before so I won’t be covering that here.
3) Mistakes are normal in business.
But know this: There are only a few mistakes that will be fatal for any dropshipping business.
Only a handful of mistakes are going to kill your business, and there are very low chances of your VAs to make these mistakes once you have set up a great delegation system.
(Most of them have to do with financial mistakes like not keeping financial records – this is also the reason why there’s still the other 10% of the business that you cannot fully automate)
Instead, you can turn mistakes into a teachable moment. Use them to help grow your business and improve your team.
Another way to overcome this is to hire skilled project managers to manage the team for you to ensure everything runs smoothly without you having to continuously be involved in every process.
Most business owners think that their VAs cannot do as good a job as them.
This is another reason why many dropshippers don’t want to hire.
But by not hiring and delegating…
They become the bottlenecks of their own business.
They suffer from “Superhero Syndrome” which is when someone thinks that he/she must do or be involved in every single task of the business.
This is most likely because they think other people will never be as good as them, or they don’t trust others at all to get things done.
This Superhero Syndrome is also one of the biggest thing that prevents dropshippers from finding winning products faster and scale to 6 figure months
Three Characteristics of People Who Have Superhero Syndrome:
- The systems and processes in the company are built around them
- They are micromanaging their team
- Holding themselves back from hiring more people, because they think others will not do a better job than them
If you can relate to these three characteristics, then you most likely have the Superhero Syndrome yourself.
How do you overcome the Superhero Syndrome?
1) Make sure your systems and processes are built without you as part of the operations.
If your systems and processes in the company are built around you – your team will not be able to launch more products without your approval.
You are definitely the bottleneck of your business.
The business will always need you and you won’t be able to take a day off.
Instead you should: Create systems and processes that don’t require you to be inside the process.
These systems and processes can work even if you try to scale from 1 product per day to more than 10 products per day.
If you’re still afraid that your team members might not do a good job…
Create an automatic feedback loop and scorecard metrics.
At our Agency, we help our clients to create an automatic feedback loop and scorecard metrics that the team members can use to self-evaluate if they are doing their job according to the owners’ expectations.
This will help them to find out if they’re performing well, while consistently improving their skills
As we continue to optimize and improve the entire system for our clients, we also find that their team gets better so much faster and easier on their own.
All from just creating an automatic feedback loop!
So if you want to automate your dropshipping business, make sure to build in an automatic feedback loop and scorecard metrics in your operations.
2) Use effective project and team management tools
If you’re micromanaging your team, you will slow them down by a lot.
They won’t be able to launch more products and find winning products faster.
Not only that…
They will feel suffocated, they will feel like you don’t trust them and their abilities at all, and it will create a toxic work environment for everyone.
They will be a lot less productive and won’t achieve their KPIs
Instead you should: Select the best team leaders, train and mentor them, and then allow them to lead the team.
This will create motivation and trust for everyone in the team.
Whenever we do this for our dropshipping clients, there’s always a big improvement when it comes to efficiency and effectiveness.
Pro tip: If your team has a certain nationality, then it’s best to select a leader with the same nationality, for example: if most of your team is from the Philippines, then select and train someone who’s also from the Philippines as their leader.
Second, is to create a great communication system.
One of the reasons why people micromanage is that they’re not aware of what’s happening. These lead to a lot of distrust.
A good solution is to set up communication apps like Skype, Whatsapp or Telegram, and use project management tools like Asana, Slack, Monday, or Clickup
This will allow you to have a bird’s eye view of what’s happening in every step. No need to micromanage anymore.
In our agency, we help our clients set up Slack for communication and Asana or ClickUp for project management.
Just a combination of Slack + Clickup can give business owners a huge peace of mind.
And if you want greater security and better results, hire a project manager to run everything
3) Hire better people.
If you’ve experienced hiring someone who turned out to be a really bad fit for your team, and have developed a PTSD whenever you’re hiring someone…
You’re not alone.
The solution is NOT to stop hiring all together.
But to develop a great hiring system that can help you filter out the bad hires while identifying the gem.
In our agency, we use the SARV framework to consistently get great hires. You can read about our previous post about SARV by searching for it in the group.
3) Create easy to follow flowcharts
Another challenge many dropshippers face is they are unable to transfer their knowledge to the team members
Many high level dropshippers actually understand the importance of delegation.
But they don’t know how to do it.
Or they try to delegate the wrong way.
A few examples of the wrong way to delegate:
- They delegate immediately to a new team member, without explaining much about the task to them. They expect the team member to know everything at the start
- They delegate without explaining the purpose or significance of the roles of the team members. They won’t know how their work is affecting or contributing to the company. This will make the team members work according to their own standards and not the standards of the company. They will work without valuing their work.
One way to solve this problem is to create a training system.
In one of my previous posts, I talked about a 7D Training system to turn your average team members into A+ players. You can check it out here.
Another good way to solve this is to create simple delegation systems like Flow Charts
Flowcharts will allow your team to finish their tasks without asking for your approval.
An example of a Flow Chart: Content Topic Creating (we use this flow chart to come up with more quality content):
Are they interested in this topic?
Yes > Why are they interested? > Because it solves a specific paint point
No > Why not? > Don’t see how this is useful > Share why this is useful and important
If you present it this way, they won’t need to ask for your approval as much as before.
BUT, don’t stop here, you should also optimize your delegation system.
This is a common mistake of dropshippers.
After creating the system, they think the job is done.
They don’t know that as the business scales, new problems and situations will arrive.
If you don’t constantly optimize and update your flow charts,, your team members might end up asking you so many questions again and again, and constantly needing your approval.
You will eventually become the bottleneck of the business again.
You might be thinking: “this sounds like a lot more work…”
But there are ways to “automate” the process.
This way, the owner won’t need to get involved in the delegation system.
One way helped our clients to optimize their delegation system is to – hire an operations/business manager to help them optimize their systems
When systems are not continuously updated and optimized, multiple bottlenecks will be created.
When this goes on for too long, the system would need a complete makeover.
The business owners might procrastinate as this is too much of a pain to deal with.
The longer they procrastinate, the worse everything gets.
An unoptimized system will have huge operational and opportunity costs, which are huge problems for your business.
In our agency, we provide a solution to this by, providing our clients with an Atomatic Business Manager (ABM).
An ABM is like an operations manager or COO in the company…
Someone who will manage their team, and make sure that everyone is performing well and hitting their KPIs.
An even more important responsibility is that ABMs will ensure that all systems are continuously optimized and updated.
This will allow all team members to get better, more efficient, and more effective, and the business owners will free up a huge chunk of their time.
If you don’t have an operations manager or COO, then you should consider investing in one as it can free up 90% of your operational things, including many of the things I’ve mentioned above.
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