Who Runs Your Online Store? It’s About the “Who,” Not the “How”

Feeling overwhelmed by the online store options for your company? You’re not alone. Many businesses get bogged down in the technical details (the “How”) before considering the most crucial factor – the “Who.” This prioritization can greatly influence the effectiveness and success of your online company store.

Here’s where Jim Collins’ “Who Not How” philosophy comes in. This approach emphasizes finding the right online store partner who can handle specific tasks based on their expertise. This strategy allows you to focus on your core strengths while your online store partner takes care of specialized needs.

Let’s see how this translates to your online company store. Online Store

Step 1: Know Your “Why” Before the “What”

Before diving into features and functionalities, take a step back and ask yourself some critical questions:

  • Why do we need a store? Who are we trying to reach (employees, customers, partners)?
  • Who is buying? Understanding your target audience is key to product selection and marketing.
  • Why are they buying? Is it for employee recognition, brand awareness, or merchandise sales?
  • What are they buying and how does it fit our brand? Align your product selection with your brand identity.
  • What’s the online store ROI (Return on Investment) on purchases? Consider the value your store brings to the organization, focusing on both immediate gains and long-term benefits.

Step 2: Map Your Internal Processes

Now, let’s look inward at your existing workflows. Understanding these internal processes will help identify a partner who can seamlessly integrate with your systems:

  • Purchasing Processes: How do employees buy from the store? Do they use purchase orders, credit cards, or cost centers?
  • Data Flow: How does order information get from the store to your accounting system?
  • Accounting Integration: Has your accounting team been involved in setting up the store for optimal purchase tracking?
  • Approval Stream: Can buyer information and cost centers be automated for faster approvals?

By mapping these details, you’ll attract the right partner to build and manage your online company store. This also sets clear expectations with the vendor and ensures a smoother experience for everyone.

Step 3: Find Your Perfect “Who”

This is where the “Who Not How” approach shines. Armed with a clear understanding of your needs and internal processes, you can now find the perfect partner to run your online store. Focus on finding the “Who” who can handle the technical aspects and ongoing management, allowing you to focus on your core business.

The Takeaway:

Don’t follow the crowd and implement a store just because it’s trendy. Take the time to define your unique needs, map your internal processes, and prioritize the “Who” over the “How.” This approach will lead you to the right partner and assist in building a high ROI online store that delivers substantial value for your business.

Remember, a little planning upfront saves a lot of headaches down the road!

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