The world of eCommerce is a growing market where entrepreneurs can go to discover success without opening up a business around the corner. E-commerce allows businesses to gain momentum and a positive reputation without the need for foot traffic, which can often be the most difficult thing to develop.
Social media and the ability to share web pages with the world with the click of a button has improved the ways consumers purchase products, proving to be highly beneficial for customers. And these products are by no means of a single variety. E-commerce offers businesses in retail, food, entertainment and much more.
From in front of your computer screen, you can now browse more stores than currently exist in your town mall. This boom in e-commerce now calls for a shift in the way businesses are training employees to run their online companies.
1. Building an Online Company From the Ground Up
Training an employee to run your business in person requires a laundry list of things like workplace safety, employee manuals, company expectations, machinery training and more. Training e-commerce employees also require a laundry list of elements but those elements tend to look a little different.
2. Start Training Early
Before you hire your first employee, be clear about what the job expectations are in the job announcement description section. Not all interviewees do their homework before a job interview and will sometimes walk into the meeting with little to no working knowledge of the company, the products or the mission.
Another handy tactic is giving your interviewer's tasks/duties to complete interview stages. This gives you a better idea of whether they possess the skills necessary to be successful in your company or not.
3. Be Transparent About Training
Set up a battle plan. Have a clear goal to reach the end of a designated period of time. Give your employees training schedules so they know what to expect, when, and what they need in order to be prepared. Once you wrap up a specific area of expertise in your training, ask for questions or concerns to be sure everyone in training is on the same page.
4. Establish Mentor Programs
Mentors are a great asset to companies and their success. For most new folks, going to managerial staff with questions and concerns can be daunting in those first few weeks. Having someone to go to who isn’t your boss or directly above you is really beneficial for learning the ins and outs of a company. Often, the employees surrounding you can offer you more helpful advice for successful day-to-day operations than the CEO or the supervisor can.
5. Know Who You Hired
If you are starting a new business, you may be bringing in a number of new people to help you with operations. This is a big step for your business; you are finding the perfect folks to help nurture your baby and grow it into an outstanding entity. Be sure that you know who you are hiring. It isn’t enough to read their resume and ask them a few standard interview questions.
Explore your prospective employee’s social media pages. Understand the kinds of things they value. Get to know who they are and the goals they have for their life. This kind of information can be constructive for your decision. If someone sees themselves in the fashion industry in less than a year, maybe they aren’t the perfect fit for an executive position on your outdoor survival site. Attempt to choose employees who represent the values that your company hopes to uphold in the community.
6. Train Employees in eCommerce
This may seem fairly obvious, but it often isn’t. Some employers believe that general retail knowledge will make their employees successful at e-commerce. This is a myth. Employees should be trained in e-commerce and all the elements that go with it.
E-commerce involves digital marketing, product page design, shipping and handling, online customer service etiquette, price points, social outreach, ad campaigns and so much more. Be sure that the employees you are selecting have a proper knowledge of their field of e-commerce before they begin work.
7. Provide Necessary Tools and Feedback for Success
This is necessary for any kind of business, whether it’s a mom and pop shop on the corner or an online retail giant like Amazon. Your employees require feedback, constructive criticism, and resources to continue to grow and evolve into strong individuals.
Make sure that your employees have all the things they require to be successful in eCommerce, beginning with training. Offer your employees feedback to benefit their performance. Give them guides and training manuals for new technology as it develops.
8. Offer Continued Training
Training should not only happen in your first 3 months at a new job. Training should be a continual process where you are continuing to expand your knowledge in your field. Continued training should also be led by experts in the specific area. Training is pointless if the one training does not know the information they are teaching.
An easy way to ensure that you have the most skilled trainer is by involving your employees in the training planning. Before setting a training meeting, send out a company-wide email asking for experts on the topic. You will be so proud to see the number of employees who feel confident enough to lead a training for the betterment of your company.
9. Uphold the Mission of the Company
CEOs are more than a boss in a company. They are a leader. They are the ones setting the example for everyone around them. If you want to be seen as a leader and not a boss, it is imperative that you value the company mission, and more than the value it, you uphold it in all aspects of your work-life.
I know, this sounds like a big responsibility, but isn’t that why you started an online company in the first place? You wanted to feel challenged, you wanted to feel in charge, you wanted to make a difference. Live your mission statement in your life, value what it values and fight for what it fights for, or you can never expect your employees to do so.
10. Train Creatively
Training is a very important part of any job. Everyone who typically starts a new job has to be trained in some way, whether it is on the technology or machinery they will be operating or the rules and guidelines of the company. Because everyone goes through training at some point, it is important to hire skilled trainers.
Your trainers should have an understanding of adult education as well as grasp the concept of learning styles. All training should be done creatively to ensure each and every individual in the room has something to take away.
Your business will be successful if you follow these guidelines in the birth of your business. It can be too easy to forget about the simple things that helped your business become successful when you have grown from a small start-up to well-renowned company. Before you lose sight of the reasons why you started your business, consider speaking with some of your most veteran employees and let them remind you.
Don’t get too caught up in being a boss, just let your business do what it inherently wants to, which is thriving.
Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her with any questions or suggestions.