Raoul Bery was a work from home E-commerce consultant long before a pandemic forced us to re-think our working models. He shares his tips to NewsX A-List on how to set-up a successful consultancy from your own house. A graduate of Lawrence School, Sanawar, Raoul did his bachelors from Massachusetts University in Boston. He started his E-commerce consultancy four years ago from his own home-office.
‘It was breaking the mould at a time, unlike now, when working from home was an unusual concept. Besides lawyers and architects who we were used to having offices at home, it was unusual then. I would still go for physical meetings and pitches, but once I got things going off the ground I got tremendous support from my friends and family’, he told NewsX A-List.
‘The most important part of my job is advising my clients on how to push online sales. Its important to be focused on deliverables. If the sales are high and getting higher, if you are helping grow the company topline with your ideas and strategies, you are a success. It’s crucial to have a clear deliverable that the client is banking upon you for. You can offer other services including business process improvement, efficiencies, but it’s crucial you have a clear impact on the business. This should be part of your goal, this should be part of your pitch. Always under-promise and over-deliver.’
‘Sales are king, sales is the boss. They may not be high to begin with, but if you fix the processes, you can help your client get there. Fix the processes’
‘Remember, for many companies in India, navigating e-commerce platforms is still a tricky affair. You have to be aware of how best their products fit in with a platform, which platform suits them. What kind of online advertising is needed for brand building, but more importantly what’s going to drive the clicks and the buys. When a client sees the sales coming in, they’ll trust you more, devote more resources to your effort.’
‘Talking to your clients and explaining the process is important. Don’t just say ‘you should do this’, you need to be like a doctor, explaining everything, that builds trust. After all, they’re trusting you with their product. For consultants, trust is everything. Share the graphs, share the data and if a particular approach isn’t working, adapt it quickly, but always communicate well with your clients’.
‘While working from home, it’s important to have a set schedule. You can set your own time, be your own boss, that’s what’s great about it. But if you want to be your own boss, you have to ensure you are sticking to what you’re planning. It doesn’t matter if you’re working at 9 am or 9 pm, decide on a schedule, what you plan to get done within a day and stick to it’
‘I help small and medium enterprises and start-ups with their supply chains. We help them set-up their e-commerce operations and get to market much quicker than they would otherwise.’
‘I began my career with Walmart, then worked with a consultancy firm that worked with franchises that were starting off in Tier-2 and Tier-3 markets for big brands like Aditya Birla, Nike, Reebok. So I got the experience and at that time the e-commerce side was rapidly opening up.’
‘I work on Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm Mall, Shopify to get our clients going. It’s an industry that has a clear future of growth.’
‘Working from home was great when I started years ago, you could set your own schedule, figure out what you wanted to do. Now that everyone is doing it, i’m guessing the one thing everybody misses is meeting colleagues in office’
‘Retail as we knew it was already going through a big change. There was protection from small stores, but e-commerce is the one thing that will be moving going ahead. What’s crucial now is, you need to figure out how to get your product delivered to your customers quickly’
‘Regulation is the main challenge going ahead. Best products will get the highest sales. That’s how it should be, it’s up to India to embrace that. My only concern is, if regulation comes in play to stop growth online.’
‘Building your brand is everything right now. Spend every rupee you can. Use social media, use every method you can to build your brand. Your brand name should be on the tip of people’s tongues. If you were sitting on reasonable margins and were comfortable with your business, it’s important to realize that its the companies with a good brand presence are going to get through this.
NewsX India A-List is curated by the team at NewsX, India’s progressive 24-hour English News Channel.
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