The growth of social media has provided small businesses with an easy platform to spread the word about their brand, and with an ever increasing amount of users, combined with the likes of social media influencers, the opportunities to go viral have never been bigger.
According to Urban Dictionary, something that “goes viral” is an image, video, or link that spreads rapidly through a population by being frequently shared with a number of individuals.
Experiencing this rapid business growth can be an extremely exciting time; sales are flooding in, and you're making a name for yourself, however many small businesses are caught by surprise and find themselves struggling to keep up with demand, or find their excellent customer service slips dramatically when staff are running around like headless chickens!
The brand Ocean Sole went viral last year when a 60 Second Docs video was shared about their recycled flip flop sculptures. In just over a week the video reached 75 million views and the brand's sales skyrocketed.
Ocean Sole UK owner Mark found himself single handedly trying to pick and pack hundreds of orders a day from his 2 bedroom flat whilst still working his full time job.
"When the viral video hit, the order pace went nuts and I spent two weeks getting home from work, locating the products which were squirrelled away in my cupboards, and staying up late to fulfil the orders. After two weeks of this I was tired and anxious incase I had stuffed an order up."
It's at this point that many companies have to very quickly evaluate their business and how to make improvements in order to keep up with the demand. For Mark this was outsourcing their fulfilment.
"Once things had calmed down I went for lunch with my business partner and explained that I needed him to look for 3PL solutions. Fate struck as when I arrived home an email landed in my inbox from Mel, the owner of Tamazi Fulfilment, offering 3PL solutions...talk about timing!"
Outsourced fulfilment (or 3PL) is where you hire a company to store your products in their warehouse. As your orders come in this company will pick, pack and dispatch your products directly to your customer. By doing this you will be able to focus on the other sides of your business to ensure your company keeps growing.
Take the time while you're quieter to create a plan should your brand go viral. What would be the best things to outsource and which things could you handle yourself? Get some ideas of local freelancing or fulfilment companies close to you that might be able to help and and action list that will help you survive going viral. Then once you're prepared focus on your marketing and spreading the word about your brand.
If you'd like any information about order fulfilment please email firstname.lastname@example.org
To order Ocean Sole products or read more about them please visit www.oceansole.co.uk