A review of FY19-20 for ecommerce businesses

Okay, so FY19-20 has been a year like no other. Drought, fires, floods, Covid, shutdowns and global political protests – it’s been a wild rollercoaster ride. But as we come to the end of this financial year, before we get too crazy with whatever’s around the corner, now might be a good time to plan both a review and a look what’s next.

I have to say, there’s nothing like looking back over your numbers at the end of the financial year to assess how your business is doing. But rather than just look at your top line (revenue) and bottom line (profit) or which product lines are doing better than the others; it’s one of those times you can really get a solid picture of all the stuff in between. Cost of goods, office expenses, staff/contractor wages, external (or your own on-site) storage, shipping, inventory systems, the actual salary you paid yourself, peak periods, down times – not that many ecommerce businesses have had those recently, etc.

And then, although they don’t appear on the balance sheet, there are other, possibly more important, costs to consider.

  • Opportunity costs that you’ve taken up (that almost killed you because you really didn’t have time to do anything else) or lost because you’ve been too busy doing your ‘do’ in the business.
  • Social costs – time spent with family or friends that you might have missed out on (Covid not withstanding) because you were often (read: always) just too flat-chat with the business to schedule anything else into your day or take an actual holiday.
  • Personal costs – time spent regularly looking after your health – be that physical, mental or maybe on a hobby or two because well, you know, there’s only so many hours in the day
  • Comfort costs – whilst you might not be quite ready to hire an external storage unit (or a warehouse of your own), your dining room, 2nd bedroom and/or entire open plan space is beginning to resemble an episode of Hoarders – it’s not junk though, it’s just all your products, packaging, work stuff, etc. You’ve tried to contain it, but it seems to have gotten away from you. Sometimes it just feels like you’ll never be able to get away from it. We’ve found this is one of the biggest issues for ecommerce businesses. 

Covid has taught us all a truckload of lessons. Things we didn’t think were possible prior to the pandemic, changed overnight. Things we thought would take a decade or more to work through the logistics of – like working remotely for everyone (except front-liners, god bless them), done in an instant. Online shopping for just about everything – also done. Shop local small business? Yep 70% of people doing it no problem. In fact, I saw some research that showed if you’d started ecommerce businesses a year or so ago, the rapid uptake of ecommerce moved you from a regular trading year in year 2-3 to roughly years 4-6. The transition for many ecommerce businesses has been that swift and it’s not showing any signed of slowing.

2020 the year of swift transitions!!

So with that in mind, you might want to take an hour to sit with your favourite brew or a good glass of something Australian (or New Zealander if you’re in the land of the long white cloud) and just think about the following.

Ecommerce businesses – some review questions

  • What would you change if you could? Don’t be limited by what’s going on now or what you’ve always done – we’ve learned those constraints don’t really have to apply any more.
  • Why did you get into business in the first place? I bet it wasn’t to have a home/office full of product/packaging or an awesome website.
  • What if all you did was focus on growing your customer base, expanding your product range, or, heaven forbid, took up golf, pilates, baking the perfect sourdough (assuming that’s not your business) or went on a holiday – twice – in the SAME year — and business could still continue as if nothing changed from your customer’s perspective?
  • What if you could clean up your space, put all your staff/contractors on revenue/lead production, working remotely if they wished, manage your inventory better and still have time to go after that new business idea with a bit of life/balance on the side – all in one fell swoop?

It’s all possible. Really it is. You just need to decide what it is about FY20-21 you’d like to be different. And then start doing that – yep, now.

Of course if points 3 or 4 resonated most with you about taking back something important to you or you’d like to save on costs, financial or otherwise, we can help. Outsourcing your 3PL, pick and pack, shipping and logistics so you can save you time, space, money and sanity and you can focus more on creating the business you’re dreaming of. If that’s you, we’d love to chat. You can call us on 02 9828 0111 or get in touch via the form below.





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