I’m sure you’ve seen or heard of some extremely high tier dropshippers who are constantly launching new stores and scaling them at insane speed.
Some do it for risk diversification, so if one store gets banned/shut down, they have many other stores running.
Others do it as a way to scale at rocket speed.
Some are even launching brands or softwares WHILE scaling their dropshipping stores. (INSANE).
But have you ever wondered…
How do these people stay productive?
How do they have the time to manage so many stores?
How do they have the brain space to think of so many things?
How do they not get burnt out?
If you’ve ever scaled your store before, you’d know the stress of endless problems happening everyday.
More refunds… Ad disapprovals… Team members getting burnt out… Ad account banned… PayPal holding your money…
So for many, the thought of launching a brand or more stores sounds like a nightmare to them.
(Imagine how many problems you need to solve in a day if you have 3 stores… Ouch!)
But, after working with these top dropshippers and ecom brand owners in my agency, I can tell you that it’s very possible to manage multiple stores without getting burnt out…
As long as you have the right task management system.
No, I’m not talking about Trello or any other task management softwares like that…
I’m talking about a system that these top dropshippers use (and even major tech companies CEOs out in Silicon Valley) use to stay sharp, and productive even when there’s a million things going on in the company.
How do they do it?
They divide their tasks into 2 buckets:
1) The “Revenue generating (rev-gen) tasks” bucket and
2) The “Maintenance tasks” bucket
What Are Revenue generating tasks?
Revenue generating tasks are tasks like:
💰 Setting the business’s vision and direction. Planning and strategizing the business’s 3 months, 6 months, 1-year roadmap.
💰 Creating systems for your roles so a media buyer or video editor or copywriter can replace you and still produce high-quality work
💰 Research – keeping updated on the latest trends and platform changes (Especially iOS14)
💰 Attending masterminds, learning from mentors
💰 Launching brands or softwares that have a longer lifespan as compared to dropshipping.
💰 Planning partnerships with like minded people
These are the tasks that the business owner should be spending most of their time and brain space on.
Which is why you see the majority of top entrepreneurs dedicating a chunk of their time networking, learning, attending high level masterminds and strategizing.
(Pretty sure you won’t see Elon Musk assembling his Tesla cars right? 😉)
But, unfortunately, most dropshippers are spending most of their time doing “maintenance tasks”.
Operational tasks that the business MUST do every day to keep the lights on and business running.
Examples of maintenance tasks:
⚒️ Setting up ad campaigns, checking ad manager
⚒️ Hiring, onboarding and training new hires
⚒️Assigning tasks and checking in with team members to make sure it gets done
⚒️ Producing copy and video creatives
Don’t get me wrong…
These tasks are extremely important – if a business stops doing any of these tasks or even slows down on these tasks, it’s easy for them to go from 6 figures to 3-4 figures the next month.
But the thing about maintenance tasks is that it’s not just super time consuming, it also sucks away your energy and most importantly your brain space.
Leading to burnout, or mental fog.
(I really hate mental fog…)
But, even though maintenance tasks are important and must be done… You don’t have to be the one doing it.
It’s actually possible to automate these maintenance tasks using a 3 step process.
(In our operations agency, we use this 3 step process to automate our 6 & 7 figure clients ecom stores.)
Step 1: Evaluate how involved IN the business are you
First things first, understand the difference between being IN the business vs being ON the business.
Being IN the business means to be doing routine daily tasks (maintenance tasks) just to keep the business going.
Being ON the business means to have an “eagle eye view” of your business, and identifying the problems and solving them, as well as strategizing/planning for scale.
Top tier dropshippers and entrepreneurs understand this concept very well, which is why they focus a lot on building great teams, systems and processes.
So, the first thing you need to do is have a clear idea how you’re spending your time IN the business.
You want to track and note down what task you’re doing every working hour. Do it for a minimum of 14 days.
Then sort your tasks into the maintenance task bucket or the rev-gen bucket.
Hint: Any task involved in the product launch process, from product research to producing video creatives to media buying can all be considered as maintenance tasks and automated away.
Maintenance tasks are more on doing/executing. Rev-gen tasks are planning and overseeing types of tasks.
This may sound like a lot of work (it is, but I promise you it’s worth it…tho our clients just prefer to let us handle it 😎).
But once you begin tracking for just 2-3 days, you’ll start to see it’s value.
The data you track over the 14 days will provide you a clear, honest picture of how you spend your time and if you’re spending it right.
When our clients first joined us and started tracking, most of them found that they were spending at least 80% of their time on maintenance tasks when the ideal standard is only 10 – 15%.
This is one of the main reasons why they are getting burnt out and are unable to scale higher or do more.
They were spending their time and energy on the wrong type of tasks.
Instead of focusing on the 20% task (rev-gen task) that brings in 80% revenue, they focus on the 80% work (maintenance task) for just 20% of revenue…
Now that you’re clear which are your maintenance tasks, we can move to step 2.
Step 2: Document all of your systems
Document every single process, SOPs, and activities, from product research, all the way to media buying.
The reason why we do this is so that when we hire new people (Step 3), they’ll be able to use these SOPs as a guide without having them constantly coming to you asking questions which can also be extremely time consuming and exhausting.
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.
Step 3: Hiring & Delegation
The third and final step to automating your maintenance tasks, is to hire A+ players and delegate the tasks away!
In one of my previous posts, I shared in-depth our S.A.R.V. hiring framework on how to hire A+ players at a fraction of the usual cost and within a short period of time.
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