Definition of cadence (Merriam-Webster)
- rhythmic sequence or flow of sounds in language (/the grand cadence of his poetry
- the beat, time, or measure of rhythmical motion or activity (// steady cadence of drums)
Even if you don’t know much about music structure you are familiar with cadences – they exist in every kind of Western music, and cadences is what creates a feeling of organization, flow, and a sense of either resolution of temporary stop in a music piece. In simple words, cadences are the backbone of all types of music we are familiar with.
Businesses that run well have cadences too, we just use less melodic words to describe them (processes, SOPs, planning, checklists). And Amazon business is not an exception – every successful Amazon business has cadences. And while growth phase can be chaotic, long term sustainability (read: sales growth) is impossible without certain rhythmic activities that keep the heartbeat of the business.
So what are the cadences of a well run Amazon business?
Let’s look at it with the ‘top down’ approach
Theme: Vision and macro-planning
Tone: Strategic planning. ‘Bigger picture’ objectives, such as opening new markets, adding new products, resources planning, setting revenue projections and budgets, assessing resourcing needs.
Theme: Micro-planning and calibration
While annual planning is critical I am a true believe in quarterly goal setting. Our human focus just doesn’t go much far beyond next 3 months. One of my mentors says that we underestimate what we can do in 3 months, and overestimate what we can do in one year. I have found this true for myself and from working with other businesses.
Tone: Review of the prior quarter (planned vs. actual results, and any lessons learned), next quarter revenue projections, marketing plan and promotions calendar, changes to catalog/products, inventory projections and replenishment for the coming quarter.
Theme: Calibration and implementation
Tone: implementation of quarterly planning, review of monthly performance KPIs, adjustments to macro-planning based on implementation results, inventory replenishments as needed
Theme: maintenance pulse
Tone: maintenance activities (buyers emails, notifications, addressing or following up on ad hoc issues), product pages checks. If your Amazon business is not active then daily may be adjusted as needed, but it’s important to keep consistency of checking proactively, not just reactively. Often issues come up without notification emails. Proactive checking in on your Amazon presence and within your Amazon account minimizes risk of issues going undetected.
Whether you are a solopreneur, a small family run business, or a larger company with multiple product lines, you need a systemized approach to manage yourself, your business, your division.
When you hear a band that is out of rhythm, it does not matter how good music is, being out of synch will overshadow everything else. Same with Amazon business: establishing cadences for each functional area is like creating a steady heartbeat for your Amazon business. It gives sense of control, provides valuable retrospective insights, which allows make better decisions, and, most importantly, eventually helps to actually achieve goals you set.
If your Amazon business is out of synch and needs controlled flow and rhythm – contact us to see how we can help you bring order to chaos.