Ten Minute Tactics: The Weekend Grind

Sanjay Jenkins

Sanjay Jenkins

TMNT 5 - The Weekend Grind

Howdy friend!

Sanjay here - thanks for joining me on Week 5 of our punchy Thursday series 10 Minute Tactics.

We're dropping 3 gems that you can do (or start to do) in 10 minutes or less that will meaningfully improve your ecommerce business or your life.

Something I may not have mentioned in previous newsletters, that is critical for you to know so that you take me seriously...

I've been in the ecommerce trenches myself.

I've scaled a brand to 7-8 figures and beyond.

I've created 9 figures in enterprise value.

I've spent millions of dollars on direct mail alone.

I've been in the trenches.

I don't share this to flex, because I know people on this list that have done what I've done 100X, and have more money than me.

I share this because I want you to understand that I know what you go through.

A lot of times, ecommerce SaaS people don't truly know what it's like to operate a brand, what it's like to go through slogs where growth is impossible, what it's like to grow so fast that it's almost impossible to hold on.

I do. I've been in the trenches.

And I want to help every single person I can still in those same trenches live an easier life and grow faster and easier, without having to deal with the same struggles I faced.

If this newsletter helps 1 person, I've done my job well.

Please feel free to reply to this email, email me at sanjay@replo.app, or DM on Twitter.

I'd love to tell you all my stories and hear yours.

The angle of this week's 10 Minute Tactics is simple.

Weekend projects to improve your operations and growth.

Let's dive in.

1️⃣ Set your Customer Service team up for success by documenting key answers and setting better escalation protocols.

Before I was the Director of eCommerce for BuffCitySoap.com, I ran an ads + email agency.

I was fairly decent at the work, but sucked at running an agency. I never hired anyone in my life, and was mostly just project managing the handful of clients we had.

At Buff, I started a real CS team, built a marketing team, and ran a soap factory. And I went from having 0 experience leading teams to managing ~50 people in the span of 6 months.

My first weekend tactic for you is related to CS specifically.

When we first started to scale heavily, I was handling all CX requests myself.

We had no process and no tech - everything got forwarded to my email.

After 2 weeks of that, the ecommerce and social media manager I hired helped.

Still an onslaught, and we couldn't do our true jobs well.

We finally started to put together a real CX team.

We installed Gorgias, and put an employee who had been working in our physical stores in as our first CX hire. She knew the product, so surely she'd be able to figure the rest out, right?


I spent 3 weeks answering every ticket she had because she felt like she had to escalate to me.

She simply didn't know all the answers.

I spent those weeks pulling my hair out, answering tickets in between helping ship product, adjust the ad account, and fixing glitches with our post-purchase upsell app.

At the end of that 3 week period, I was toast.

Hadn't slept.

Hadn't taken care of myself.

Lost 20 pounds... wasn't eating.

I was driving to one of our 3 offices, listening to 4 Hour Workweek, when my epiphany occurred.

In the 2nd section of the book, Tim Ferriss outlines exactly how to handle CX issues.

It's simple:

  1. Write down all the common answers to questions in an easy document to reference
  2. Give every CX agent a discretionary budget to fix customer issues using their best judgement. Reconcile and adjust at the end of each month.

Ole Timmy was the reason I was in ecommerce to begin with, and this particular piece of advice was finally useful in my life.

The next weekend, I muted Slack, turned off my phone, and fired up Notion.

I exported all the questions we received since we started using Gorgias, and wrote responses to every one I had a clear answer for.

I outlined the questions that required me to intervene (jk, where my ecommerce manager would intervene).

For the rest... they had $50 to make it right for the customer.

Here's what that did for me. The next month:

  1. We cleared $700k in sales for the first time
  2. I had to handle 2-3 tickets a week vs. 200
  3. The CX team felt empowered to create solutions and stayed below $3k in total "fixing" spend
  4. We were able to hire 3 more CX agents

What's the point of this story?

Many of you may be handling CX yourself.

Take this weekend to write down your most commonly asked questions.

Set an acceptable budget for a CX agent to solve issues without your oversight.

Create a calendar reminder to review the spend and the overall CX performance at the start of the month.

And if you don't have a CX agent already, use a service like Shepherd to find one at the best price possible.

Don't delay - this could save you AND your business.

2️⃣ Negotiate rates with all of your vendors on a monthly basis.

This tactic won't take long to explain.

It's simple - you don't get what you don't ask for.

Every month, you should make it a point to negotiate rates with all of your vendors.

Your product manufacturers. Your shipping carriers. Anyone with particularly high spend, especially variable spend.


The more margin or payment flexibility you have, the more likely your business can not only survive to sell another day, but also thrive enough to scale to the highest levels possible.

I was pretty bad about this when I first became an operator, but a mentor forced me to do it.

I was surprised at the deals we were able to cut, and the positive impact it had on my businesses.

It can never hurt to ask. Best case scenario, you're able to strike a deal where everyone wins and makes money.

Negotiate this weekend.

3️⃣ Create a formal 1:1 Document with your direct reports.

This one is a bit different than anything we've ever shared.

From my experience, most DTC brands have 1 of 2 configurations.

Lean team with founder + 1 FTE and a host of agencies supporting.


Fully fleshed out teams, with departments, managers, the whole 9.

7, 8 figures, I've seen both.

9 figures requires a fully fleshed out team most of the time, for what it's worth.

The tactic I have here is simple.

Whether you have 1 employee or 100, you need to have a formalized document for review and feedback with your direct reports.

In this document, outline the company OKRs (if you use such a system, and I recommend you do), the specific work tasks the employee does that tie to those OKRs.

Fill it out before the meeting, and go through line by line on where your employee is doing well and where they could do better.

Outline how you can support them on things they are behind on but are still critical to the company, and call out things to cut.

There are infinite permutations of a performance review doc, but the thing I see many DTC operators skip over is doing a review at all.

When I ran my last ecommerce brand team, I had a 1:1 once a week with my direct reports (~5) through this formalized process, and I ran an abridged informal version with their reports by way of hallway/breakroom convos.

Maybe that was overkill. You're welcome to call me out on it.


Take the time to develop your employees, however great they are.

We get so bogged down with the tactical work as DTC operators that we don't always focus on the high leverage work.

This is a great way to do high leverage work.

Enjoy your weekend. Hopefully you do one of the tactics we've covered this week.

Either way... we're always committed to your growth.

See you next week!

Sanjay + The Replo Team

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