If you are already an experienced dropshipper, you should know how important it is to constantly be searching for winning products.
Not just any product, but high-quality products – products that have a much higher chance of being winners.
These products often meet over 5 product research criteria…
Which you should already know, are incredibly hard to find.
So we end up spending hours of our day, scrolling through Adspy or thousands of product listings on Aliexpress looking for high-quality products.
(Extremely boring if you ask me)
But the good news is, you don’t have to spend HOURS or DAYS searching for products.
Instead, you can get them sent to you without even doing any of the research yourself so that you can spend those time planning, strategizing, or even launching more businesses.
And I’m not talking about any fancy software, or a product research agency (if there’s such a thing).
But I’m talking about creating a system high-quality products day after day.
After applying this system, one of our larger clients scaled his product research team until the point where they’re testing over 100 products a month.
(Note: This will only apply to dropshippers who are at least doing high 5 figures to 6 figures a month. If you’re doing below those figures, this system may not be as effective.)
So how did we do it?
We did it in 3 steps:
If you’re already generating 5 – 6 figures a month, it means that you already have a product research system running.
(And quite a good one)
But in order to successfully automate your product research is to first optimize.
Let me explain…
By optimizing, I mean reducing the number of steps in your process.
For example, the number of steps it takes for you to start and find a high quality product.
The reason why we optimize all of our clients’ processes is because with fewer steps, we can achieve the following goals:
Increased efficiency – With lesser steps, we are able to find, launch and test more products resulting in a higher chance of finding winners.
Reduced risks – With lesser steps, there’s less chance for a team member to make any mistakes.
So how do you know if your process should be streamlined and how can you do it?
Step 1: Map out the entire process in form of steps.
For example, the product research process.
(A) Research for products on ad spy
(B) Upload product details on the product research sheet
(C) Check if there are any duplicates of this product on the sheet. (If there is, restart from step A.)
(D) Inform the project manager at the end of the day after confirming that there are no duplicates
Step 2: Identify the bottlenecks or unnecessary steps in the system.
From the product research process example above, we can identify that step (C) is a bottleneck for most product researchers.
They have to spend the time to double-check the google sheet to see if there are any duplicates.
Because of this, they can waste up to 90mins a day just by checking for duplicates.
Step 3: Remove bottlenecks / unnecessary steps and see if the process still works. (Even when you scale it)
At our agency, we’re always focusing on helping our clients to remove bottlenecks and improve their workflow.
For one of our clients, we developed a unique product research method that only required 3 steps in total…
Allowing our clients to go from testing 3 products a day, to over 15 products a day.
Here’s what we did:
Step 1: Research products on ad spy
Step 2: Upload product details on a google form that’s integrated into the product research google sheet. If a product is a duplicated product (via keywords), or if it didn’t meet the criteria set. The product will automatically be marked as red.
If they meet the criteria and are not a duplicated product, it’ll automatically be marked as green.
Step 3: The project manager just needs to go into the product research sheet and pull all the products that are marked in green.
By doing this, we will not only reduce the amount of time to find a qualified product but also significantly reduce the chance of any mistakes happening.
After working with many 6 & 7 figure dropshippers, the number one reason why they THINK that they’re unable to automate their product research is because:
They can’t find a VA that can do a better job than them.
So they always end up going back to doing the product research themselves.
But the thing is, that’s not exactly true.
Because without this missing ingredient, even if you hire the best VA in the market, chances are they’re still not going to do a better job than you.
And this missing ingredient?
It’s documentation. Specifically, SOPs.
For most people, creating SOPs is boring and takes a heck of a long time to do it….
Especially if you have over 10 processes to document!
Which can take days to complete.
But, there’s actually a much quicker way to do it, and it only takes you half a day to do so.
Instead of writing down all the SOPs, and slowly taking screenshots…
Film videos instead then get your team member from the relevant depart to turn them into SOPs.
For example, if you are filming a product research SOP on how to use the spy tool “Adspy”…
Get your product researcher to document your video and turn it into an SOP.
This not only saves you time, but it also allows you to see if your SOP video is clear enough for a rookie to understand.
If they are able to create an SOP of your video, then it’s an indicator that your systems are simple enough for future team members to understand.
Making it a lot quicker for them to adapt to your system.
TIP: When filming SOP videos, DO NOT STOP TALKING! Just say everything that’s in your head (all that’s relevant).
What most people do is that they try to limit the things they say because they assume that it’s not relevant. But by doing so, they unconsciously hold back more information than they think.
So just keep talking!
You’ve probably already heard how important it is for you to delegate.
After delegating, you get:
More time, energy and brain space to strategize your business
More freedom to attend masterminds and network
More time to launch more businesses and brands
But often time dropshippers find it hard to delegate because they fall into 4 delegation traps:
The “No One Can Do A Better Job Than Me” Trap – The business owner who constantly thinks that they’re the best person for the job, and anyone else will just do a crappy job, killing their business.
The “I Got Burnt Before” Trap – Burnt from prior bad experiences. Hired a product researcher to source for quality products but all he found were crappy ones. Ended up having to go a whole week without any new product launches.
The “I Don’t Have Time To Train Them” Trap – Refusing to spend time to train the team members to do a proper job, resulting in a lack of confidence in them, having to micro-manage them every single step of the way.
The “I Don’t Want To Lose Control Of My Baby” Trap – The fear of losing control of your dropshipping business that you’ve painstakingly grown from the ground up.
And the reason why they fall into these traps?
It’s because they don’t have proper delegation systems.
In our agency, we build delegation systems for our clients through Flowcharts and Decision trees.
1. Flow charts:
Having flowcharts in place allows the team member to complete their tasks without having to come to you for any approval.
For example: Product research flowchart.
You’ve set strict criteria for your product research team.
In order for the product to be qualified to be tested, it needs to first fulfill 5 criteria.
Here’s how you can build the flow.
Start > Has the product generated over 10k likes on Adspy in the last 1 week?
No > Do not use the product.
Yes > Does the product solve a pain?
No > Do not use the product.
Yes > Does the product have a wow factor?
No > Do not use the product.
Yes > Is the competitor’s selling price 3x higher than our COGS?
…. So on and so forth.
By presenting it this way, it reduces the need for them to ask for your approval drastically.
2. Decision trees
So how do you construct decision trees?
Say you have a customer service team but they are sending you 20-30+ emails/day seeking for extra clarification before they hit “send” to customers.
Step 1: Map out all the common scenarios when dealing with customer emails
This is the 80% of emails your CS team faces daily. Mainly general questions that your team already has canned replies for.
For example, emails on shipping fees. On refunds. On product detail clarification…
Map them all out with their responding solutions.
Step 2: Once done, get together with your team and identify points of uncertainty
Points of uncertainty are where your CS team can’t send back a typical reply because the questions are more specific and require much more information…
Or they are large-consequence emails like approving a $100 refund.
Create a SOP such that your team will forward these emails to you.
You want to identify where these situations usually happen – and come up with solutions for those.
Because these questions tend to be more open-ended, your solution should be in a range.
For example, when it comes to refunds, allow your team to approve any refund under $60 and only seek clarification from the team leader when it’s >$60.
And your team leader can approve any refunds under $100 without your consent.
When you have this in place, you only need to deal with emails that really matter – like big-ticket refunds instead of receiving clarification emails for every $30 refund.
After testing this system in our agency for our clients, we found that not only did this system reduce the number of questions from his team members by over 80%…
(From an average of 23 questions a day to only 5 questions a day)
But it has also actually made their team members feel more motivated to work.
This is because by giving them the authority to make certain decisions, they now have a heightened sense of responsibility to work even harder.