This guest post is brought to you by Terapeak.
As an online seller, tax accounting can easily keep you up at night—but it probably isn’t the only record-keeping need that gives you fits.
When you were just starting out as a seller—with a few products on a single selling channel—tracking your selling activity was probably easy to do. New sellers often feel like they have a gut sense about business health and choices, including things like:
- The prices products fetch
- How many sell and which sell best
- What percentage of listings are successful
- Which listing strategies and choices lead to more sales
- Whether figures are getting better or worse over time
As your business grows, however, the amount of data that it generates also grows. Previously accurate numbers get fuzzy. One selling channel gives way to several; a few products and listings become a few dozen, then a few hundred.
You need data to help you source, price, and sell more than ever before, yet your gut sense is has dissipated and your records are hard to make sense of.
Suddenly, understanding the day-to-day realities of your growing business is no longer fun or easy; it’s labor and skill-intensive.
Stay on Top of Your Selling Data
Nonetheless, you business is on the line—so here are some tips to make monitoring your selling performance an easier task to manage.
- Keep strong records from day one. Don’t wait months or years to begin monitoring your own choices, product performance, and outcomes. By the time you realize that your gut sense is months behind, going back in time to assemble real data by hand may seem like an impossible task.
- Make selling records a part of your workflow. Incorporate record-keeping into your list of everyday selling tasks so that you always know which products are selling and where, how your listing choices affect sales, and whether you’re doing better this week than you were last week or last month.
- Use software. Paper won’t keep you in the game. Sellers that can search through, sort, and chart the state of their businesses on the fly are at a tremendous advantage. Settle on a tool—almost everyone has a spreadsheet program these days, if nothing else—and to learn to use it.
- Have a system. Inconsistent or scattered records or files can’t tell you much and don’t get used. Establish a clear system and stick to it over time. Treat your business with the seriousness it deserves and it will reward you with continued growth.
Or, Save Time and Automate It
If this sounds like more overhead than you want to incur, take the next logical step and use an automated performance monitoring tool.
By linking to your actual selling accounts and importing data from them continuously, for example, Terapeak’s free MySales service assembles past records of your selling and automatically maintains them going forward. This enables you to:
- Keep ongoing tabs on your selling outcomes
- Analyze your numbers over time and across channels
- Compare the performance of products, period over period
- Annotate your timeline to see winning decisions and strategies
- Receive customized eBay and Amazon.com opportunity alerts
Since MySales is free and automatic, it’s an obvious starting point if you’ve realized that you need to understand your selling realities better in real time, but hesitate to take on the task.
Don’t Wait to Get Ahead
Without access to solid records, many sellers end up working harder and harder at sourcing, listing, reducing margins, and making ad-hoc strategy changes—while growth still finds a way to stall.
Ironically, this leaves less and less time for the performance monitoring that the most successful sellers rely on daily to find and exploit opportunities.
Don’t wait. Instead, ensure that you can understand your selling activity and outcomes, in detail and from the start. Profit, rather than headaches, will follow.