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How many employees do you have?

Or are you by yourself?

6:02 pm on Sep 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It seems like successful e-commerce stores would need a few employees at least. A few different roles might be:

1) Customer service
2) Somebody to manage products (stores with 1000s of products)
3) Somebody in charge of advertising/marketing

Those are just a few things that pop into my head right away. So do you have any employees, and what do they do?

6:35 pm on Sept 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Depends where you are in the curve. Just starting up? Probably just you.

Couple of years in and doing moderate business? You plus one.

Up and running good and strong? You plus two.

Every one has to multi task. Unless your real large you cant have a bunch of
guys with just one job title.

Check out Plenty of Fish or Craig's List. Very skinny help wise.

Remember salaries can eat up a lot of profit!...KF

8:04 pm on Sept 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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thatís really one of the most remarkable things about ecommerce, how much of the traditional hourly work is done by the site itself.
4:17 am on Sept 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Seven years in ecommerce.

Zero W-2 employees.

Six 1099 contractors that work from home.

Manufacturing in China. Warehousing/Logistics via fulfillment centers on east/west coast. Bookeeping, accounting, tax reporting via a dedicated Quickbooks service outfit. Linkers/Marketers work from home. Data input works from home. I work from home.

If it can't be outsourced, it doesn't need to be done.

6:01 am on Sept 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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One of my sites is an ecommerce. I have been outsourcing for a while but am starting to get bogged down with the daily grind. I think I need a part timer.
7:29 am on Sept 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have two main sites, one is just me, the other is me and my wife with her doing the customer service and product delivery and me doing the marketing and site maintenance.

As long as you can possibly stand it, keep your employee numbers as close to zero as possible. Payroll will absolutely drain you especially if you have a period of slow income because your payroll is typically constant.

If you need help, consider sub contracting some of the work (or all of it) which will help you keep dependants to a minimum.

Along the same lines, I'm in the middle of reading a book called "The 4-Hour Work Week" that really pushes sub-contracting and outsourcing. You should check it out, it may be what you are looking for.