If you lack the manpower to grow your business but it’s not the right time to hire full time team members – working with a marketing agency is could be the right solution for your business.
Before elaborating on what merchants can achieve by working with agencies, it’s helpful to consider a few key questions:
- Are you spending time building a product database?
- Are you selling products in a limited number of sales channels because you don’t have the time to understand other potential channels?
- Are you and your team working nights and weekends and still barely maintaining expected levels of customer service?
- Do you spend enough time exploring new buying opportunities? Is that process quantitative or intuition oriented?
- Do you know you’re better than your competitors but have the feeling they’re still selling more than you?
With those questions and your answers in mind, let’s continue. I think it’s important for me to preface this post by saying that I am a firm believer in doing what you do best and outsourcing the rest. As a former agency owner, I believe that working with a professional eCommerce agency can help you achieve exactly that – focus on your business responsibilities and let experts do what they do best. Here are the top 5 reasons to consider working with an agency:
- Easy to handle. You have one focal point for various services, such as eCommerce Consulting, UI/UX Design, Online Marketing, Market Analysis and much more.
- Saves time and money. First, you don’t have to devote time for recruiting and training the right person that will manage your eCommerce activity. Even the best employee won’t be able to do everything. Imaging you just hired a perfect candidate and asked him to improve your product catalog, listing your inventory on new marketplaces, get price quotes from different carriers in order to expand internationally and take care of customer service. Oh, and design some banners for the upcoming holiday season! You could hire 3 different employees (Project Manager, Data Entry and Graphic Design) or you could simple work with an agency that provides an end-to-end solution.
- Experience. Let’s say you have some experience but you’re not an expert (yet!). Therefore, you will sell $10K per month and not $50K per month; what your business could actually support. You are smart, devoted and will definitely be a professional seller but you’re not there yet. The time it takes for you to ramp up will cost you the difference in what you’re actually selling and what you could be selling. Using our example from before, each month of not being an expert would cost you $40K/month so in the six months it takes for you to ramp, you will miss $240K of sales (not to mention your time). If you worked with an expert from day one, your learning curve will be higher and you will increase your chances to grow your business faster. In addition, some marketplaces have a complicated registration process and one mistake can result in you not getting permission to sell (sometimes this is an irreversible decision).
- Be part of the party. Good agencies make sure to always know the newest updates – from emerging new markets to new marketing methodologies and trends, and they have the volume to know what works so that you don’t waste your time for nothing.
- Do what you love and what you’re good at. Use your time to create new business opportunities. For example, are you a good negotiator? Find new vendors and ask them for great deals!
The bottom line is if you can find an agency that believes in you and your business, you can share the growth t and risks of working independently. It also allows you to expand your human capital without the time and costs of hiring and ramping new employees. .
If you’re ready to move forward with an agency, I would recommend reaching out for referrals to get you started. I am happy to offer a few of our favorite agencies – just send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org – or visit our ecosystem page.