On today’s episode we have the privilege to interview Omer Riaz. Omer is the Co-Founder of Urtasker, a globally renowned E-commerce Consulting agency that provides cutting edge, groundbreaking and truly revolutionary back office support to E-commerce sellers, business owners and vendors on multiple online channels such as Amazon, eBay, Shopify and Jet.com. During this episode, we discuss the benefits of outsourcing your team, building business processes, and the future of E-commerce. Omer is a wealth of knowledge and this is an interview you will not want to miss.
“E-Myth” by Michael Gerber – Click HERE
It takes a special person to admit that I’m really bad at this. I don’tenjoy doing this.
You spent four hours, okay? Now if you have build your processes, and that someone handle it, so you could take those four hours and you know, do something productive, do something meaningful, do something which can bring more revenue to your business.
Welcome, everyone to the www.firingtheman.com podcast a show for anyone who wants to be their own boss. If you sit in a cubicle every day and know you were capable, more, then join us this show will help you build a business and grow your passive income streams in just a few short hours per day. And now your host serial entrepreneurs David shoma and Ken Wilson.
Welcome everyone to the www.firingtheman.com podcast on today’s episode we have the privilege to interview Omer Riaz. Omer is the co-founder of Urtasker a globally renowned ecommerce consulting agency that provides cutting edge groundbreaking and truly revolutionary back office support to e commerce sellers, business owners and vendors on multiple online channels such as Amazon, eBay, Shopify and jet.com. Both Ken and I have used Urtasker for the last few months and they have made a critical difference in our business. So, Omer, welcome to the show.
Thank you Ken thank you, David.
Absolutely. So I think First things first, tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and what led you to starting Urtasker.
My background is in it a before doing e commerce I have work in it. And I say it is I have worked for Accenture and Deloitte which are big for IT consulting firm. So I was before e commerce I was involved in technology based implementations to improve business processes. So a lot of things which you see to Tasker is related to business processes. So that is one of the reasons So me and my other partners started her e commerce journey back in 2015. And when we started, we pick it out, obviously from it background. And I think a lot of people go through that when they start their journey. They don’t know what to do exactly. You know, they have ideas, they have a lot of things, but how to implement that, especially if you’re not from e commerce market. So it’s a challenge. The same thing for us. We we had ideas we started, we took action. And we started from wholesale retail arbitrage move move towards private label business. One of the things which we figured out is, since we’re managing a lot of teams in Philippine in India in our it jobs, we found that there is a general gap when it comes to stopping for e commerce that is basically based on two reasons. One is you can find people who really know what they are doing? Secondly, if you find people, those are not economical. So we started the team we said, okay, let’s start our we brought our third partner we started a team of three people eventually just to help ourselves, our Amazon account and he be we were doing Walmart at that time, there was no Walmart, Shopify. So we started that we kind of learned stuff and delegated that’s what we did. We did pretty good. For six months. We we need to like six figure sellers. Everything was great. But the thing which was very interesting, very interesting was that we see there is a gap. And when when our family and friends they saw that we are we’re doing pretty good and some people were in e commerce and they got our services. And that’s where we got idea that instead of selling on Amazon, we could we see the scab and If, with our experience, we can fill that gap by growing service like urtasker.com And that’s how it started. And now, long story short after four years, four and a half years, we almost completed five years now. And we have a team of about 200 people for global offices. I think you asked me a question about my background. So I took the whole story. So it is my story. Yes.
Very nice. You know that that’s great. It sounds like there’s a lot of a lot of stuff that was in that story. Can we unpack some of that in terms of like services that urtasker.com offers and kind of the overall mission?
The main mission, which I have right now, and that from the from the day one is to help small online business owners can and they will when I when we started our journey to provide services I literally have visited warehouses where I see people who are doing business for me Years and years. And they are not technology savvy. They don’t know how to work with virtual teams. I mean, they didn’t believe on virtual teams, obviously for the start. So in order to convince them to get those services, it was a challenge, but I see is scope. So our mission is just to help small online business owners. That is basically from day one. And that’s what we’re doing. When it comes to services. Obviously, our main area of focus is Amazon, since it’s a largest marketplace out there, but we do provide services on eBay, Shopify Walmart. A lot of people have inquired us about a lot of other services like social media paid marketing website, but we were just hesitate to, you know, build our team because we were pretty much busy in Amazon services, which I can talk about what other services but so from last year, we start building a team A development team, we brought our SEO guys, social media, just to help our internal clients, we are not actively promoting those services. Our main area of focus is still on Amazon a lot of work 95% of our work is still on Amazon. And I think everybody knows that urtasker.com is subject matter expert on Amazon because we were amazon seller before. So in Amazon word, we kind of start with product research, product research, listing, listing optimization, you know, PPC management, customer support. So that is pretty much about services.
So you have a lot of interaction with small business owners and that’s one thing that Ken and I have talked about is that in e commerce, oftentimes you feel like you’re on an island, right? It’s just you. And so I’m really interested to hear what are some things that you see small business Nice owners doing wrong, and what are some areas that smart small business owners are doing to adapt to this global marketplace?
I think that a lot of issues and those issues are basically on the stage on which stage you are. For example, let’s take an example someone who is working the nine to five jobs and they want to build a business, okay? The very first thing is they want to build this business, they have a dream. But the only thing is that they do all that type of research, okay? And now they are stuck. They have to take action. And I think all of us took action and we got something whether it’s a positive, negative, but we learn on our, our way. That is one of the state people who has started now. They have built something now their business is growing. Okay. One of the challenges which I see is and I talk openly, I talked to them openly. I said, Well, are you taking your business as a hobby? Or are you taking your Business seriously, when I say seriously it means that you have to treat this ecommerce business as a serious business where you have even though you have a virtual team, but you have all the departments Okay, you need to have even you are one person you need to have like your HR you have you need to have your research you you know or marketing you need to structure those, you know, even though you take you know, ownership of those and work on those, but you need to have those processes somewhere. So, later on the stage when you you are moving from more toward from solopreneur to enterpreneur. You have everything set up a very basic structure and you take it from there, when people start delegating when people start managing people, not everybody is a manager, I can tell you, you know, when it comes to I have two partners and they are very good at managing stuff. I like somewhere so it kind of fill that gap by having my partners or so everybody is good at something, you know, and everybody laughs at something, the very first thing you need to know, what are you? Where do you lack? Okay? If you identify that if you can work on your weaknesses, I think that’s a major thing. And when it comes to delegating, I think the major problem is how to delegate Okay, what to delegate okay? And when I talk to small business owners and and that is basically from past three years continuously, very first call and I tell them when it comes to delegating, just make a list of the stuff which you do list of tasks. And, and I can tell you can do that. If you look at the list, if you make your list I think you could do like more than 80% you can delegate easily that is like you know, time consuming task and time consuming activities. And then you have to see the priority, you know, As a business owner as a small business owners, you need to have variety for example, let me give just give you an example. I like giving example because they’re they are based on the real stories, you know, which I went through. So I walked into a warehouse I see this guy is a good at manufacturing products he is he has this brilliant mind, bringing new products, manufacturing new products, this guy is struggling on the phone with with one of the client with one of the customer who bought his product. He spent like four hours and I was just and when I walked in, I said What is going on? And he said, Well, I was talking to this person and I don’t want I don’t want to hear the word which he exactly described. But, you know, I’m having a hard issue and I said, Well, look at this way. You spent four hours okay? Now if you have built your processes, if you have been like three to four templates, for example, If the customer is angry, you need to sign this deal with this, if you get this response you send this. And ultimately, if this customer is wants to leave and wants to leave a bad review, and you have to save yourself, just provide a full refund, okay, you need to have three, four processes out there, and that someone handle it. So you could take those four hours and you know, do something productive, do something meaningful, do something which can bring more revenue to your business. So I think you need to figure out as a business owner where your time should be spent.
Yeah, for me, that really hits home personally, because I like to, you know, solve problems and to try to do everything myself. And it took a while for me to realize or to admit, hey, I’m not good at that. I need to find someone to help me, you know, to partner with and I don’t know about you, David, but do you struggle with stuff like that?
Yeah, absolutely. You know, you start Off usually on a shoestring budget in your a lot of at least in my experience, a lot of my dollars were spent on my inventory. And I felt like I needed to do everything. And what ended up happening was I never really was good at all 10 tasks that I was doing, I was mediocre. And what I found is that when I get some of these things off of my plate that I wasn’t doing a good job of to start with the customer benefits, I benefit because I can start spending time on things that I do enjoy. And there’s somebody else that does enjoy this, and the business benefits. And so, I think that that early on, needs to be a pivot that people make is just understanding. And Omar, you alluded to this, it takes a special person to admit that I’m really bad at this. I don’t, I don’t enjoy doing this. And but I think that’s so important is to see your blind spots. One thing that I would like to go into more detail on is When you first hire your first assistant, you’ve talked a lot about processes. But I’ve learned that that that managing is a really important thing. And that there are better ways to go about managing an assistant than others. So in your experience, what are successful sellers doing when they’re interacting with their assistance? And what are some ways that we can all do a better job?
I think one of the better job you could do is first of all, like whenever you start something and I have learned the hard way, okay, I was a technology it business processes consultant, okay. And the example which I’m giving you is basically from fortune 500 clients, you know, with whom we have worked with, we have this like one year project, and we rush through this project and at the end, when it comes to testing phase when we are testing this code or product, whatever, we found out there are issues okay. We They are issues because we didn’t spend enough time on documenting requirement. That’s the main part. So, when it comes to you know, outsourcing delegating, I think the very first and I think a lot of people are talking about it, I see like, a lot of influencers they are talking about, okay, you need to document your process, you need to document your requirement, okay, that’s the very first thing to know your processes and documenting those processes. So back like four years ago, when I developed my team, I was learning PPC, I was learning product research, okay, almost delegating right at the time, not in the intention that the people I have, they will learn that process and they will grow. There might be other people who can come and take that place. But the process which I made the document which I have created, you know, that can be easily delegated to anyone else, you know, your intention is to build a team from day one. Okay, so that’s the first thing I think scoping and requirement gathering. You know, that’s the first stuff. And now the second part is, once you did that, now, how you are going to monitor that, that’s an important part and people, you know, people, like when it comes to monitoring is tough, you know, you you have never been a manager you let’s for example, if you never have been manager, now you have to review stuff, okay? And it people get frustrated when they have to review stuff, okay? Especially if they don’t find rights staff or whoever working. Nobody likes to review but again, that’s the investment of time which you are doing for future. Okay, we do the same thing at urtasker.com and you probably have felt that we have a resource who is working and then on top of that, we have a quality assurance manager, you know, which we provide free, just because Because, you know, we know that a lot of small business owners, they cannot afford to hire someone who can work and then a reviewer who is on top of that, so they want to delegate everything, like some point in time. So I think these are the various basic stuff. basic basic stuff, which anyone who is building team who is building a business need to do on the on the course of that process.
Absolutely. One thing that I think I’ve really liked about urtasker.com is that when we start, we establish objectives, you know, weekly and monthly objectives. And at the end of every day, I get a daily update report in Can I know you and I have talked about this. It’s so helpful to have that right. There’s so many moving pieces in a business and to get that email at the end of the day and know exactly what was worked on throughout the day really helps in that review process. Right. That’s one thing that I think in a lot of old school business owners, I think they follow into this category where they are really unsure. If they can’t see somebody working, they don’t know that they’re working on their account. And I think you know, right now we’re recording this. And we’re right in the middle of this COVID-19 outbreak, and you’re seeing more people than ever working from home. And I know that there’s a lot of business owners out there that that is causing them stress, because they can’t physically walk by someone’s desk and see that they’re doing something. And so, you know, that I think, for our listeners, that can be a lesson that you can take away from this episode is, if you hire a VA, ask for a daily update report. That’s been something that’s been critical in my business, and it helps me facilitate the reviewing and communicate better. Now today,
I would like to echo that. So, you know, Omer, we’ve been I’ve been working with urtasker.com for almost a year now and I had hired off of other outsourcing sites Fiverr and you know other other places and worked with vas in the past. And one thing that really is different with urtasker.com was I have an e commerce specialist that started from day one with several years of experience. So when I, when we started building a plan and a scope, I realized right out of the gate that my e commerce specialist was really knowledgeable, and I did not have to train them, you know, I didn’t have to work with him very much. He was like, Oh, I can do this, this, this and this. And I think that was huge on top of the reporting feature, and the quality control. So those are a lot of, you know, differences that I see with your working with urtasker.com versus another, you know, just outsourcing agency. Now, is that something that you put in place day one with your teams and that you wanted to structure that way?
Yes, definitely. The first year when we started and we had a team of when we started growing and people start asking us for services, okay. Very first thing which we did is We build our own physical offices. Okay. And same thing with the us right now I’m sitting on one of my office, which is in Long Island, will, we’re thinking to have a bigger space for this office as well in future. But when we did four years ago, we had our own offices, we started with one office, and that office has a proper structure. Okay, yeah, when it like HR, okay, and can can have mentioned that you don’t have to trained our resources because the reason is that those guys are working either with working with us for a couple of years, or we got them out of the market with experience and that is a lot of comes with a lot of recruiting and you know, finding the right resources, training them putting on on shadow projects, okay, where they can learn from someone who is actually working on the real account. And on top of that is basically content In news learning and training and development, do we have a dedicated Department called training and development? So, all the feedback which we get, so, we send feedback every month and that feedbacks I mean, I get happy when I get like someone you know say something, which is constructive criticism basically, you know, you can improve this we can improve this I basically you know, I tell my department who is collecting feedback I said, Well you need to say special thank you to this person because this person took time and provided the feedback now, we could improve ourselves. So, we have a dedicated training and development department which takes feedback and count continuously improving ourselves. So, can have mentioned e commerce system so whenever I go I go to podcast or any shows I say you cannot use the word VA for e commerce you know you need to come up you need to use Word ecommerce assistant specialists are excited Because we is someone who is maybe sitting in his home or her home or somewhere and you have to train to challenge which ecommerce business owner faces that they can hire someone whom they can train stuff and you know they can do all that stuff What about all those changes which are coming into the market? Okay, who’s going to keep an eye on that okay. As a you know, you could understand as a business owner that okay this change came but then you have to train back to your resource who is working so we make sure that you’re Tasker that whatever the requirement whatever the new world when new changes which came, what is going on, for example, like yesterday, we were discussing the latest development on Amazon was that they are accepting all non essential shipments. Now. All of a sudden, instead of you know, just posting everywhere I start asking all of my guys what is going On all, all, all the categories are getting accepted or no. So, instead of just reaching out to our clients blindly saying that on Amazon, you know, we need to check all those categories and contact our clients and, you know, inform them. So that takes up a lot of burden. Because if you hear from your assistant specialists or our export, this is what it comes on, coming on Amazon or any other platform, that’s a blessing, you know, because, you know, you see that a real team working behind the scene. So it has a lot to do with processes. Again, I’m talking again and again about processes, you know, so HR department, which we have development department, basic department, like finance, marketing, you know, all those component that makes your Tasker a company which is and there are a lot of people who are behind the scene, working to make your tascosa accessible. It’s not only corporations or e commerce systems or specialists or experts who are helping them on the continuous basis.
As you keep referring to processes, I’m sitting here thinking about my own business. And that is something that I feel like I need to do a better job of. And I’d like to dive into this a little bit more. So right now, I would say that most of my business processes are stored up in my brain, right? Like I know what to do. But in order to pass this off to somebody, I need to explain it. And if that person leaves, then I need to explain it to somebody else. So what coaching would you give to somebody that said, Alright, tomorrow, I’m going to sit down, I’m going to start working on my business processes. Where do they start? does it start with a Word document? What are some of the best business processes that you’ve seen and how are people creating these?
So I mean, it can be anything and I think Word document is pretty simple. One way where you can start Okay, the basic intent is That, whenever you are documenting those process, think about one of your family member, your siblings, your spouse, whoever has to follow that processes from tomorrow, okay. So what exactly you need to put. So they can just take that guide and you know, kind of follow that if you have this mentality, you can easily you know, draw those processes or write about those processes. Another point is con continuous revision. Okay, so based on those changes how you are changing stuff, for example, I manage marketing on your Tasker side. So, whenever I talk to someone, and initially when I start handling, I was talking all those things and they were just in my mind, I was kind of, you know, in the same place, they will be your manager mentioning right now. So, I took a step back and I said, Okay, let’s talk If I have to delegate starting from tomorrow, and I’m not there, okay? What are the processes? What are the things which I do, and I have in my mind that this needs to be done. And I can tell you, David that once you start documenting, you start finding new stuff. And once you review, there is always something interesting to find out how those processes could be improved. For example, at urtasker.com, when for everything which we have is a process when it comes to our KPIs which we have determined for our consultants or our resources, we follow those processes. Our partner, probably I don’t know if you have talked to him. He’s the director of operations. So he was here for almost one month. And all of the operations were running smoothly, because you know, he was able to create processes and certain type of processes. So it’s the basically mentality whether you work in your business or work on your business. So, you know,in nutshell,
very nice, very nice.
Anything which you can share about your journey or what you have learned so far, in e commerce, I would like to know,
absolutely. My journey started with I wanted just a little bit of extra income. So it’s kind of started as a as a hobby that quickly learned that this is a viable business opportunity and my backgrounds in public accounting. So you had mentioned you came from Deloitte, I used to work at KPMG. And so that culture, great companies, great companies, and I learned a ton, however, in terms of lifestyle wasn’t the best really long hours. And so, you know, I’ve continued to work in work on this business for the last four years, and it’s really starting to become something special. And so that’s kind of the short story of of my channel. journey. But one thing I’ve done in the last year that’s really helped is by outsourcing is by not trying to do everything, you know, I still have a nine to five, the title of our show is www.firingtheman.com. And so typically I dedicate about two hours in the morning to working on the business, and then it’s off to work. And so that’s been a critical thing that I’ve done. And I’ve had a lot of failures there. You know, I’ve hired a lot of people on up work and Fiverr that just haven’t quite worked out. And so that’s been something that, you know, I thought my keyword research was really good until I got some from your desk or it and realize that I’m only okay at it. So that’s a little bit about my story. Ken you want to answer that question?
Yeah, sure. So, my story is similar to David, you know, I started my business just wanting a little bit of side income, and really liked it. I liked the journey of building the business and expanding and growing and before I knew it, I had two physical products, brands that were growing rapidly and You know, I have a full time engineering job during the day. And I realized, you know, I need help. And you know, like David mentioned I hired a couple of V’s the standard VA so it would take so long for me to try to train them up and Omer I, I heard you on a Steve chou’s podcast last year. And I thought, I’m going to try that. I’m going to try your Tasker and I have now hired two full time specialists from urtasker.com. And it’s, you know, my business has really scaled and grown and I know I have time to, to grow my biz, like you mentioned earlier, to work on my business and not in my business. So it’s been really huge working with urtasker.com and just bringing specialists on board that are already up and trained. And, and like David mentioned, you know, I’m not gonna say his name, but, you know, my econ specialist, he said, No, you shouldn’t do that. You should do this. And I’m like, I’ve been doing this for two years. And he showed me you know, a new a new way to do something that was way faster. So yeah, a huge benefit to my business.
Let me ask you this question. So there is a lot of discussion going on, especially with the COVID-19. What do you guys see the impact of this COVID-19 or e commerce?
All addresses? One can I’m interested in your thoughts on it. But right now, I think that there are people that are ordering things online that have never ordered things online before. And they are realizing how easy it is. You know, one thing that that got me into e commerce was hearing my mom say, hey, Alexa, order me laundry detergent. And my mom is not computer savvy at all. And so there was a an underlying message of it’s not just millennials that are ordering things online. And so I think this COVID-19 really creates an opportunity for e commerce, sellers in particular, because oftentimes, whatever you want, you don’t need that day. You know, if you were to traditionally like drive to the store and get it and if you can wait for two days, it’ll show up on your doorstep and it saves money, it saves time. And that’s all Mentally our, that’s our biggest asset is our time. And so it is so easy to just point click read reviews. And, you know, in terms of the shopping experience, when I go to the store and I see something on the shelf, I can’t talk to other people that have used it. I can’t, there’s no reviews. But I think that the review system makes ecommerce very unique, because it creates some social proof around products. Right. I think this looks good. I think the pictures look good. But here’s 200 other people that give it a four or five star review. And so I think it’s it’s a better shopping experience. And so I although this has created some struggles in my business, I think in the long term, we’re going to look back at the COVID-19 outbreak and see this as a giant pivot point in e commerce for the better.
Yeah, so my take on that is twofold. So in the in the short term, there’s going to be a lot of hiccups, you know, there’s going to be a lot of bumps in the road. And if you can quickly adjust and adapt and survive. If you’re resilient, then you’re going to be fine. And not only that, but there are going to be people that go out of business. And what is that that creates opportunity for the people that stay in business? So my long term view of the COVID-19? Is that what David mentioned, there’s more and more people. I mean, you have to shop online now to get something right. So the more people that go online and shop, they’re going to be doing this for a long time, right? What this is, this is probably going to drag out for three months, six months, nine months, for a really long time. And humans, I believe, are creatures of habit. So once you create a habit of shopping online, you’re going to continue that habit. So I think the long term, you know, view of e commerce is is really, really good.
Yeah, definitely. I mean, I look into two views. First of all people who wants to start on e commerce okay. What evidence you guys need? Now? You know, it’s pretty much it’s pretty much clear, you know, ecommerce is there and it’s going to be there in future whatever you channel you’re trying to sell. Secondly people who are already selling I think the important point which they need to realize is that they need to start working on diversify their business. I was talking another show the other day and that question came to me and I answered that Okay, now diversifying in the sense that you need to look all those products which you never thought about, you know, based on the current circumstances, diversify your shipping options. For example, you were if you are just totally depending on FBA. You know what happened in the last six weeks, you need to start thinking about FBM 3PL. You know, have all those options ready. So diversify as much as you can for existing business owners, especially for selling online. So that is from my side. But I think pretty much you guys clear you know what is happening? Absolutely.
Let’s finish out the podcast with four questions that we ask all of our guests. First one, what is your favorite book?
My favorite book is emyth. Yep. I love that. I talk about the books so much manager, technician, and what is on the top boss or intrapreneur. You know, whoever. So, yeah, I love that book.
What are your hobbies Omer
Yes, my hobbies if I get time reading books, I used to be a good fan when I was growing up reading books, but now I don’t get time. So I have this app. Audible. You guys are pretty much familiar. So I read books, spending time with family. That’s what I do. I have three kids. So if I get time, I could spend time with them as much as I can. That’s basically it is an outside urtasker.com
right. What do you think sets apart successful e commerce entrepreneurs from those who give up fail or never get started?
Whenever someone mentioned the word fail, I look at another prospect of you know, what is what is your mindset? For example, my when I was thinking about launching my first private label product, I was taking so much time, and I was figuring out, you know what to do, how it’s gonna be. And eventually I took action and a launch and that was a disaster product, okay, but I didn’t call it a failure. I basically learned a lot of stuff from that experience, and kind of applied to my second product or on my business, which is urtasker.com. So, it’s basically mindset, you know, what is your mindset? And if you fail, there is a phrase called fail but failed better. Think about that.
Yeah. Excellent. So Omer I really appreciate you taking the time to come on the show today. You know, hopefully, we get to see each other in the future at a conference. You know, when everything comes back to normal, how can people get ahold of you your team reach out you have email website or
Yeah, they can reach out to our website www.urtasker.com and they can reach out to our team. Excellent. Excellent.
Well, thank you everyone for listening to the episode before we close www.urtasker.com has a special offer if you contact them, and mentioned that firing the man podcast sent you they’re going to do a full Amazon brand analysis. This includes listing analysis with Detail page and back end analysis, advertisement analysis, promotions and coupons, account health inventory, market opportunities and market share. Both Ken and I got this done when we started with urtasker.com and we’re incredibly impressed with the diagnostics and stuff that they came up with for meaningful improvements that we could make in our business. So go on over to www.urtasker.com and mention that we sent you and get this full brand analysis for your Amazon account. Thanks everyone for listening. We’ll see you next time. Thank you everyone for tuning in to today’s www.firingtheman.com podcast. If you like this episode, head on over to www.firingtheman.com And check out our resource library for exclusive firing the man discounts on popular e commerce subscription services that is www.firingtheman.com/resource. You can also find a comprehensive library of over 50 books that Ken and I have read in the last few years that have made a meaningful impact on our business or that head on over to www.firingtheman.com/library. Lastly, check us out on social media at firing the man in on YouTube at firing demand for exclusive content. This is David shomer and Ken Wilson. We’re out
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