The Future of Ecommerce is Teamwork

5 Checklists + 1 Bonus Template for Scaling Your Dream Team

Do you remember the early days of your ecommerce adventures?

The days when you did everything by yourself, from fixing website issues to sending out emails? 

It's like being a superhero, doing all the tasks and saving the day, one order at a time.

For instance, when someone left items in their cart without buying, you probably sent them a friendly abandoned cart email.

You wrote the message, set up the tracking, designed the email, and automated it all by yourself.

It felt good to have so many roles, right? Like wearing different hats: one day you're the writer, the next day the designer, and then the tech whiz!

But as your store gets more popular, things change.

Imagine your store traffic growing 10 times this season, sales skyrocketing, and your product range expanding.

Now, sending a simple "left items in the cart" email isn't enough.

You might want to tailor your emails based on what's in the cart or how many items a customer added.

That simple abandoned cart email now becomes a full-fledged ongoing optimization project!

At this point, you might feel like you need more hands on deck.

Instead of just you, you need a team.

You'll want specialists to track customer behavior, designers to make emails look fancy, writers to craft perfect messages, and technicians to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Going from task to team is one of the most challenging transitions in business.

It's hard to let go of control and trust other people to do things the way you would do them.

But it's an essential step in growing your business.

Transitioning from doing everything yourself to managing a team is a big leap. It's like upgrading from a scooter to a big, shiny car.

You might recall the satisfaction of ticking tasks off your list, thinking, "I did that!"

But now, your role is evolving.

Instead of just doing tasks, you're guiding others.

You're not just the player on the field; you're becoming the coach, leading your team to victory.

It might be challenging at first.

Letting go of tasks and entrusting them to others takes trust and adjustment.

But guess what?

There's a unique joy in seeing your team members succeed, knowing you guided them.

Leading a team isn't just about delegation; it's about growth. It's about creating a system where your ecom operations can run smoothly, even if you decide to take a day off.

It's about ensuring that every customer gets the best experience, every single time.

If you're at this exciting growth phase, congratulations!

And to help you on this journey, I've crafted some proven checklists…

They're like your roadmap to successfully move from handling tasks yourself to managing an all-star team.

These checklists have been the secret weapon for many ecommerce leaders.

So, grab them, tailor them to your needs, and watch your ecommerce team scale like never before.

The first checklist covers the key to all progress while scaling: communications.

Checklist 1: Simple Communications Framework for Team Members

Communication Expectations & Checklist when on shift (not expected when OFF shift):

__ Respond to chat (Slack, Google Chat, etc) within 1 hour*

__ Respond to emails within 4 hours*

*The response can be a simple acknowledgement with a timeline of the next follow up

__ Attend daily standup-meetings (mandatory) with the answers to these questions: What did you accomplish yesterday? What do you plan to accomplish today? Are you facing any roadblocks? Note: Roadblocks will be discussed and resolved after the meeting so others can get back to work sooner.

__ Reply to all task requests with a summary of how you will accomplish that task or project

__ Attend weekly check-in meetings ready to communicate action plans for the week

Checklist 2: Onboarding New Team Members (In-house or Freelancers or Contractors or Partners)

Note: It takes 3 to 6 weeks to onboard an experienced specialist (technician) into a team. They need time to understand your industry, your strategies, your communication preferences, and more.

__ Review your new team member’s schedule so you know when they are expected to respond quickly vs when they may not respond due to not being on shift at the time

__ Introduce your new team member to your team and tell them about your new team member’s availability

__ Introduce your new team member to whomever they will directly report to daily (ideally a new team member will report to 1 specific person on your team so you have good and clear communications and reporting paths PLUS your new team member should send daily check-ins, end of day reports, and more)

__ (Optional) Set up an email address for your new team member at your company domain name

__ Add their email address to your communication tools (Slack, Chat apps, etc)

__ Add their email address to your project management tools (Trello, Asana, Monday, etc)

__ Add them to all documentation systems so they can learn about your policies and procedures (if no documentation systems are available then please ask your new team member to start documenting things for you within their area of expertise and responsibility)

__ Add them to any tools or services that they will need access to so they can start implementing for you as soon as practical (Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Analytics, SEO software, internal tools, Spreadsheets, Reporting tools, etc)

__ Tell your new team member which communication channel(s) are your official communication channels for your company so they respond quickly and effectively when they are available

__ Create or provide a checklist of expectations and goals that you would like your new team member to achieve daily, weekly, and monthly for you

__ Schedule time to give your new team member a tutorial of your documentation, tools, and services that you would like them to use to accomplish their tasks in detail so they know your expectations and exactly how you like to implement marketing strategies your way


Checklist 3: Simple Documentation Framework

__ Sign up for a free account at loom.com

__ Download and install the loom app

__ Record every task or strategy you plan to share

__ Share the automatically generated loom link with your new team member so they can create the documentation or checklists for you (bonus tip: they can use google drive and google docs to create documentation for free!)

__ Review their checklists and edit or adjust to your specifications

Checklist 4: Strategy Transfer

Within the 1st week of on-boarding your new team member / freelancer / contractor / partner:

__ Daily: review the work planned for today by the new team member and make adjustments to their priorities for the day as needed (You’ll hear their plan for the day at your daily stand-up meetings defined above in the Simple Communications Framework)

__ Schedule a recurring 1 hour meeting 2-5 times per week so you can show your new team member exactly how you like to accomplish the tasks they are tackling for you

__ Ask your new team member to summarize each of your one on one calls into checklists so you can verify their understanding and fill in where there might be gaps (remember, it takes 3-6 weeks to adapt to a new strategy)

__ Common strategic knowledge gaps to cover:

_ Getting to know the audience in depth

_ Demographics, Psychographics, Behavioral traits

_ How to think like the audience

_ Tests that have already been run or tests that are running right now

_ What succeeded? What failed? Why?

_ Products / services that you sell

_ Who are your top competitors?

_What makes you different?

_ Where do you find marketing inspiration?

_ How do you come up with new tests or campaigns?

_ Which authors or sites do you regularly read or follow?

_ Metrics to watch

_ Metrics to improve

_ How often do you review these metrics?

_ What are you looking for inside of these metrics?

_ What actions do you take when you see a decrease / increase?

__ Share any documentation (or ask your new team member to help create Documentation)

_ Regularly review and edit documentation

_ Communicate when documentation is edited or updated so all team members know to watch for those changes

As soon as you let them start doing technical work for you on their own:

__ Add a ‘review’ time to your calendar so you can review the work that team members do for you to ensure ongoing success and spot coaching and new training opportunities

__ Create a feedback loop schedule to continuously communicate, train, and inform your new team members (a feedback loop schedule can simply be a weekly or bi-weekly call to provide feedback on the previous week or two of work output and results)

Your role might change so you can focus on internal and external strategy, and then communicate test ideas and strategies to your new team members so they can implement them for you:

__ Common internal strategic initiatives and learning opportunities for leaders

_ Reading & continual learning in your industry

_ Developing documentation, systems, processes, and workflows

_ Courses, mentorship groups, etc to learn new strategies

_ Analyzing & interpreting data to find opportunities & weaknesses in strategy

_ Free time for creativity & spontaneity 

_ Creating short-term goals

_ Creating long-term goals

_ Funnel Hacking (Not just sales funnels… social media, ads, other tactics, and more)

_ In person or virtual visits with clients in your industry to learn of changes/updates

_ In person or virtual visits with other teams in your company to learn about customers or changes/updates

_ Audience research & mapping

__ Common external strategic initiatives and learning opportunities for leaders

_ Algorithms (for any traffic source from social media to search engines to ad networks)

_ Audience Tastes & Preferences

_ Audience Migrations (did they find a better solution? Where are they moving to now?)

_ Emergencies (example: Covid-19)

_ Regulatory updates

_ Economic developments

_ Platform innovations

_ Platform disruptions

_ Political disruptions

_ Competition

_ Employee churn

_ Stale strategy

_ Limited Ad budgets

_ Market development

_ New tools & processes to learn

_ Client or management demands & requests

Checklist 5: Stand-up Meeting Framework

A stand-up meeting is designed for people to stand up (hypothetically) during the meeting because it is short, quick, and an effective way to catch up.

__ Stand-up meetings should be no longer than 15 minutes

__ Every person should be prepared to answer the following questions in 120 seconds or less:

__ What did you accomplish yesterday?

__ What do you plan to accomplish today?

__ Are you running into any roadblocks?

__ If there are roadblocks that cannot be resolved in 60 seconds or less, then schedule a follow-up meeting to remove or address roadblocks with those involved in the roadblock

Bonus Template: Simplified Task or Project Brief

The workflow here with your team or team member is:

Plan -> Brief -> Execute -> Debrief

Copy and paste these questions into a document and then answer these questions - a brief is as simple as that!

What is the goal or objective of this project or task?

What is the deadline for this project or task?

Who is it for?

What should the end result look like? (Links to examples or competitors or in-house resources here will help ensure similar results!)

What resources do we have to accomplish this task?

What resources do we need to accomplish this task?

What are our roadblocks or potential roadblocks to completing this task/project?

What are the steps we will take to accomplish this task? (You can leave this for your new team member to fill out!)

Copy and paste the checklists or questions above into your favorite documentation or project management tool and edit them to your liking.

If these help you in any way, then please drop me a line and tell me your story. I’d love to write about your story on LinkedIn where I have a few thousand connections, if you give me permission to do so.

And if you happen to need any marketing specialists, then think of Specialist.ph - we’re uniquely suited to help you scale your team.

Remember, every big achievement starts with the decision to try. And with the right team by your side, the sky's the limit for your ecommerce empire.

Have fun and enjoy the process of going from task to team!

James Zolman
Specialist PH Content Writer
CEO @ Specialist.PH, Board Member, and a hobby mechanic (Current project: 1976 pickup truck)
james.zolman@specialist.ph
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