Do you ever have those days where you feel like you’re micromanaging your business?
Unfortunately, all business owners have them.
You feel like your time is being consumed with short-growth tasks that spend all your energy when you’d rather be focusing on other aspects of growing your client base and services.
So, how do you climb out of the crazy trap of losing your valuable time (if you feel like this is your current situation)? Or, how do you avoid this roadblock entirely?
Let’s sit down together and talk about systems. You’re going to love these actionable, practical, and easy tips to jumpstart your business, so you can focus on what really matters.
Where are you spending your time, and how are you spending your time each day?
One of the best exercises you can do for your business is to be intentional with investing your time. Do you find yourself surfing the web when you’re trying to do research on an upcoming blog post? Or maybe you’re on social media (again).
Some of the best ways to stay focused on your tasks, especially when you’re online, is to avoid distractions.
There are some amazing free and paid programs that will keep track of how you spend your time online, block certain social media sites, and provide an analysis report on your time habits so you can see firsthand where your time is being spent.
Some programs to check out, include:
Next, have you set your office hours?
If not, you need to do this! And I don’t mean you necessarily have to follow it for yourself (but it would be great if you did). This is to set expectations for your clients and customers. One way to make sure you’ve communicated this is to set up an autoresponder that says you’ll get back to them within a certain amount of time. And if it’s outside your work hours, let them know when you’re “in”.
If you’re working in the evening and catching up on emails, you can use Boomerang to schedule your emails. That way your customers won’t think or get used to you working strange hours. I’ve definitely had some 2am catch-ups before and I’m so thankful for this!
There are so many incredible programs that help business owners succeed with using their company’s time wisely.
One of the biggest differences between a good business and a great business is how the company is spending their time and where they’re investing their time.
If you feel a little overwhelmed at all the possibilities, or if you don’t know where to start in finding the right program for your company, let me give you a list of some of my favorite sites.
One of the best investments you can make in your business is to hire a virtual assistant or outsource a project.
You can hire a VA to:
Make a list of tasks you don’t like to do but are essential to your business. This will help you narrow down what to hire out for.
If you’re nervous about hiring a full-time VA, ask other business associates and friends who they recommend. Then, once you find someone you feel would be a good fit, do a trial period to make sure you’re good match for each other.
If someone were to come into your business, would they know how to take over a certain job? Could they easily manage your social media accounts or create amazing quality content for your regular customers as a “thank you.”
When you take the time to set up specific systems for your business, you’re allowing others to be trained for certain areas in your company.
The more you educate your employees the more they’ll be able to step up and take on the responsibility you shouldn’t have to worry about in the moment. You can easily set up these systems by creating a training manual for each position in your company.
Social media is a great tool to reach your audience and expand your clientele. Yet, one truth is universally known, social media can be a huge time sucker. (Do you remember the last time you were on Facebook and spent a lot of time just “scrolling?” Me too.)
There are certain social media tools that will help you automate your business depending on what social media platform you want to grow.
You want to engage and keep your readers happy. One of the ways to do this is by growing and automating your email list. (Read how you can grow your email list with quizzes here).
The first thing you want to do is decide on an email service provider such as Convertkitor Mailerlite. You’ll want to select an email provider that utilizes automation and sequences. I personally use Converkit because of the ease of setting up forms and automation. If you don’t want to pay right away, then you can use Mailerlite. Although, I find people end up moving on from there when there list gets bigger.
Whether you’re an online business selling products or providing a service, I highly recommend you start your list ASAP.
I only use one thing for this: Dubsado*! Dubsado is great for creating contact forms that populate a list of your leads. They can also help you make questionnaires for client onboarding. I also use the questionnaires for client homework when I’m designing a brand.
The proposals are seamless in this program. I can create an interactive proposal where the client can select a package and then send them straight to the contract if they’re ready. And if they’re straight-shooters, they can also view their first invoice immediately after that.
The emails are synced to your business email, and everything you can possibly send including the invoices are branded (my dream come true)! They pay right on the program which connects to Stripe and Paypal. You can even automate the reminders so you’re not stressing over payments. This is hands down one of the best investments I’ve made.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to be notified only when you have physical mail and have a plan in place so this mail is delivered to you?
Well, there is. If physical mail is a huge commodity in your business, then you’ll want to consider signing up for a Business Mailboxes account with UPS. With a mailbox account, you can give your business a real street address. They’ll even text you when your mail or packages arrive (unless you’re busy, then you can set up mail holding or forward your mail to wherever you are!)
Check in your area for virtual offices. This will take you one step further and give you a professional looking business address without the PO Box in the beginning of it. You’ll need this published for email marketing.
There are free plug-ins you can install on your WordPress site to schedule and publish your content when you want. You can also optimize and automate past posts for search engine optimization and keywords. Some of the plug-ins you don’t want to miss out include:
When you begin to understand the power of your readers and audience, you’ll quickly learn how these people can help automate your business and bring traffic to your site in ways you never thought possible.
First, make it really easy for your content on your blog to be shared. Do you have social sharing buttons set up and easy to find? If you don’t have this set up, usually your blog will have a built-in plugin for this. Try Sumo if you don’t have one.
Second, ask your readers to engage with your current content. One way to do this is to automatically post once a month on your Facebook page asking your readers what their current wins (or struggles) are for the month. Be sure to share yours in the form of a blog post. This will invite them to read your content and share their thoughts which will engage with your Facebook post causing this post to be seen by more people in the newsfeed. If you have a comment section, ask them to say something at the bottom of your post.
As you focus on using your time wisely, taking advantage of certain programs and apps to increase productivity, hire a virtual assistant, set up systems for your business to succeed, and automate everything that you possibly can, you’ll begin to see your productivity increase.
Phew! And that’s what I have for setting up systems for your business. It will take some time to set up, but it will be so worth it in the end! Let me know if I missed anything.
* I have affiliate links in this post. It won’t cost you extra!