When should a small eCommerce business consider a consultant? (Facebook LIVE)

In a (first!) Facebook Live session, Matt and Beth discuss the question of when you should hire an eCommerce consultant.

Watch the video and learn:

  • How to recognise the tell-tale signs that you need to hire an eCommerce consultant.
  • Why hiring an eCommerce consultant might not be the best option for you.
  • The vital step in discerning when should take steps to grow and develop your eCommerce business.

Watch the Video

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Matt Edmundson and welcome to our Ecommerce Mastery Facebook Live. I'm with Beth, and this is our first Facebook Live.

First and most, so we need to do a celebration dance!

And we are here to talk about e-commerce.

You're gonna learn three things in today's Facebook Live:

  1. When should your small business contact an eCommerce consultant?
  2. Why an eCommerce consultant might not be best for you.
  3. The four stages of eCommerce growth.

So the question of the week: when should a small eCommerce business consider a consultant?

Actually, all the time, I think whatever stage you're at in your eCommerce business, whatever stage of growth you're at, whatever you're facing and dealing with, actually, there could be a good reason to think about getting a consultant or a coach in to help you.

So, the first thing is to say that a lot of people wanna think about consultants, whether it's eCommerce or any type of consultant, is something's going wrong, right? Something's not working. So, everybody's default is to go, "it's going wrong, quick, let's get a guy in to help us who can fix it."

But, having been an eCommerce consultant for a while now, actually, when it's going wrong, yes, that's a good time to call a consultant, but it might actually be too late as well.

You don't want to wait.

So, a consultant, in theory, in everyday life, is not just supposed to help you when things go wrong. But, actually, they see things that maybe you don't see in the business, right? That's why you have them. You know, you have a coach who maybe looks at things slightly differently to you, who can bring that change and insight, and we need that all the time, I would say.

Now, that said, does that mean that we should all rush out and get a consultant in the business? -

  • I think you should be open to it all time.
  • I think when you definitely need help, even if things aren't going wrong.
  • When you feel like you're plateauing in your knowledge.
  • When you want to move from one stage of growth to the next:

The four stages of eCommerce Growth

  1. Start-Up Phase
    The first phase of growth is the start-up phase. So, this is where someone starts up their business, when you've started your eCommerce business.
  2. Operations Phase
    And then the second phase is what we call the operations phase, and this is where a lot of businesses struggle because it can involve a lot of minutia and boredom and detail, so on and so forth. It's all about getting the operations of the business set up straight.
  3. Expansion Phase
    This is where, if you're doing well as an eCommerce business, you're actually going to grow. Our experience was we grew quite rapidly and had to keep up with quite rapid change.
  4. Fly-wheel phase
    This is where we all dream to be, where this thing has a life of its own.

Our advice is to get a consultant to help you through each of these stages.

How we help clients decide whether or not they should choose an eCommerce consultant?

When we talk to clients about eCommerce consultancy, we explain that there are different levels of consulting that are really helpful to know.

We want to know what phase stage of growth the client's in. But, we also want to know what is it that they need help with specifically.

So, do they need consulting just on their eCommerce website? We do a lot of work doing where we sit and look at websites and we critique them and we say, "we think you can improve this, or have you tried that?".

Then there is eCommerce marketing consultancy, for example: how do we do eCommerce with Facebook ads?

Then there's what we call the 'Big Momma', where we don't just look at the website or the marketing, we look at the business as a whole. Specifically, there are these 11 key areas, and we look at them all. This includes your website, and it would include marketing. But much more.

So it really depends on you and your business, where you're at, what your expansion plans are, what your budget is, and so on and so forth.

eCommerce Mastery

What we found works really well when clients call is that we actually direct them to watch the Ecommerce Mastery course. Although technically it's not live yet, we do give people a link. That course gives you a lot of great information, and then you would look at that and go okay, 'I know now what to do'.

The decision then is, 'do I get a consultant in to help me implement this in my business, or do I feel confident enough to do it myself?'

You might not need a consultant, you might just want to know how do I get from the operations phase to the expansion phase, how do I do that? What sort of things should I look for?

Watch the Ecommerce Mastery programme, and then you can decide, do I need a consultant? And that's worked super well.

Ecommerce Mastery is a digital course where you can preregister at the moment, it's gonna open in the next few weeks:

  • There are a whole bunch of lessons on there on how to do eCommerce and how to get from one place of growth to the next.
  • It's all based on our consulting methodology.
  • It's all based on what we've learned in 15 years of doing eCommerce ourselves, what we've learned in our own businesses, what we're doing with our successes, how we've handled our failures.
  • We cover everything from strategy to technology to marketing to fulfilment -- we cover the whole spectrum of commerce.

Everybody that's been on it has found it super, super helpful.

There's a lot of information in that course, and so often when thinking about consultancy, we kind get to the end of our own knowledge, we think, 'I don't know what the answer is, I need somebody to help me'.

Well, maybe there's easier ways to learn that knowledge, and then you can decide whether or not you want a consultant, which is what Mastery would do.

Definitely, preregister if you're interested and you're in an eCommerce business. There are some cool bonuses if you preregister. And so, when the course goes live, you'll get those, check 'em out. - And that's a good way to decide if you need an eCommerce consultant or not.

Facebook Live Plan

Wednesday is Facebook Live day.

Summary

Here's my advice when talking to people about getting an eCommerce consultant: think about it, where are you short on knowledge? Is there any way you can plug that knowledge up yourself? Then decide whether you want a consultant.

If you're going to get one, don't wait until it goes totally pear-shaped, because it can be too late.

And, if you're going to get an eCommerce consultant, get one who's got ecommerce experience, don't just get any old consultant or a management consultant that can tell you they can do eCommerce. Get someone who's really specific to eCommerce, who's got a lot of experience with it. Someone you can work with

If you're interested, try the Ecommerce Mastery course, because you'll get a lot out of that, and that's gonna give you a lot of this sort of information that you'll need.

Any Questions?

If you've got any questions about eCommerce or eCommerce consultancy or anything like that, then ask them just on this Facebook page or send them in.

Just put them either below this video or send them to the Facebook page.

And we'll answer them live on a weekly basis on Wednesdays.

We're gonna get some guests in as well, which is gonna be really fun, and for that third week we're gonna have an eCommerce genius in, other than yourself.

So, people ask us questions on the phone, they email us, put it on Facebook, Twitter, whatever, and this is a great platform, I think, for us to answer them. So, make sure you ask your questions, and we will do our level best to answer them. And, whenever you ask a question, if it is about your website, leave a link, we would love to see it. -

Yeah, yeah. - It would be cool, wouldn't it? And there are things that we're gonna do, we've not got it ready for this week, but hopefully maybe for next week or the week after, we're gonna have it so on Facebook Live you will also be able to see my computer screen, and so we can review and critique and go through ecommerce websites on Facebook Live with your questions, and hopefully will get done. - That'll be great, it's gonna be different. - So, make sure you like the Facebook page, stay connected with what we are doing, and we will let you know ahead of time when the Facebook Live session is booked. Sub to the notifications, actually, and whenever we schedule it, it will come up on your feed. - That's great, thanks Matt. - Is that all right? Is that all right? Good. Thanks for watching, and we will see you in the next video.