As an entrepreneur, you’ve got a lot on your plate. It’s not like you just show up at work, do your 8 hours and leave, right?
You need to be on top of things 24/7! Even if you’re out and about you want your business and website to work FOR YOU, bring you new clients (and make existing ones happy).
You don’t need to be working 16 hours days, though! By being smart and planning a little, you can streamline your processes and automate your business, so you only do the things you love to do, or have to be done by YOU.
Let’s talk about eliminating, simplifying, automating and delegating, shall we?
5 ways to streamline your business
1. Do you do the same stuff twice, three or …four times?
This is a very important step that is not to be skipped! Sit down and really think about your client’s experience: what actions do they have to take to hire you? What comes next? How many steps there are in the entire process? Write them down.
When you blog and share posts on social media: what steps do you take? Do you do anything twice, or three times? Write everything down so you can think about how to simplify it.
2. Clean it up.
Now that you have your steps written down, have a look at which steps could be simplified, merged with others or automated. Let’s see what types of action you need to take every day can be eliminated completely. Sounds good, ha?
For example: if you use Trello as an editorial calendar and write social posts in cards for a few weeks in advance, you can get rid of the scheduling part completely! You need to simply connect Trello with Buffer using Zapier.
How I did it
I’ve got an Editorial Calendar on Trello that’s connected with Buffer, using Zapier. Everytime I add post to Trello it knows which one is it and how to schedule add it to my Buffer queue.
Everytime I write a new blog post, Zapier automatically shares it for me on social media.
Want to learn how to do it? Check out the blog post below!
3. Make it simple.
Are you guilty of back and forth emails, trying to pick the right time for a Discovery Call with your clients? Or maybe you find yourself answering the same questions over and over again?
Simplify your process and wow your clients by using tools like Acuity Scheduling or Calendly to pick the right time for your call. You can even ask people questions before the call, like: their Skype name (that’s pretty important), their business goals, what do they expect from working with you, what are their struggles, etc. This lets you prepare for the call and saves so much time!
Do people contact you through the contact form on your website? If so, check if you ask the right questions and screen people right there (so you don’t waste your time on people who are to the right fit). It’s not great, of course, to have a very long questionnaire as your contact form (that might put people off), but asking questions like the below will make your life a lot easier.
How long have you been in business?
What do you expect from working with me?
What package are you interested in?
What’s your biggest business struggle right now?
Then depending on the answers you can craft your respond and cut down the number of emails by at least a half! You can even sign people up for different list groups on your mailing list so they get a sequence of emails with answers THEY need.
The rule of thumb is: if you do something more than twice, it’s worth automating. Depending on what you do and how you work with your clients, you may need to communicate different things to them, but whatever you do I’m sure you need to educate your clients on how to work with you.
For example: if you’re a coach and need to give people questionnaires and prepare them to work with you, why not prepare an email sequence using Mailchimp or Convertkit and sign potential client up for it? This means, when they are willing to work with you, you don’t need to waste your time to say the same things all over again, but simply send them a few emails that will prepare them and answer all their questions.
I utilised this feature long time ago and I always sign my clients up for it! It’s like a mini e-course, that teaches them what to prepare before we start working together. It’s a sequence of 6 emails 2-3 days apart and each email shows my client how to prepare content for their new website design, gather inspiration on a Pinterest board, how will we communicate during the project and what the entire process looks like.
I spent a few hours preparing it so it’s on brand, not rushed and really thought through and now I don’t need to do a thing about it. It works for me making my clients feel cared for even before we start working together!
Another great example of how you can automate is to prepare a welcome and goodbye package for your clients. You can write a set of blog posts, tutorials or workbooks and then pack them in a nice, branded package that you give away when you finish working together.
Not only will it make your clients stop asking you the same questions over again, but it will show them you’re a PRO and really care about them. I can smell a great review coming up already!
5. Let someone else do it for you.
As Tim Ferris always says: “Eliminate before you delegate”.
That’s why now that we thought how we can simplify your processes, which steps can we eliminate completely (social media posts scheduling, back and forth emails) it’s time to DELEGATE.
We can’t do it all ourselves! Even if we could, why should we? You’re great at what you do, but let’s face it: you’re not a logo designer, web designer, seo specialist, social media strategist, marketing specialist and business coach at once! As entrepreneurs, we wear many hats but it’s also crucial that we know our zone of genius and are prepared to work with others to fill in where we’re not so great.
This means your business is healthy and you can make progress so much quicker.
For example: you can create a DIY website and buy your logo from Etsy. But will this be most optimal for you? Will it make sure you’ve got all you need, that it’s all on brand and set up properly to serve YOUR unique business model? Or will it mean you need to do it again in a few months? Will it communicate to your clients you’re legit and a professional or will they see it and think it’s yet another website using the theme they’ve seen so many times already?
You can create your marketing plan yourself and learn by trial and error. But if you hired a professional marketing strategist who would create a cohesive plan for you, you can reach your goals so much quicker! You wouldn’t need to guess what to post on social media today and what newsletter to write to leverage your audience in the best possible way.
Besides, if you don’t invest in your business and it shows through the cookie cutter solutions and DIY website, your clients will surely not be persuaded it’s worth investing in you.
Running a business isn’t always easy.
But being savvy can take you a long way! Use tools to make your life easier, assess and simplify your processes every few months (or as soon as you realise you’re spending way too much time on something) and eliminate, eliminate, eliminate!
It’s very easy to get in a trap of checking the tasks from your to-do list, that don’t really mean that much. Prioritise, get clear on your goals and before taking on any task, writing a blog post or a newsletter check with yourself: will this action make a real impact on my business? Will it get me closer to my goals? Will it show my audience I’m an expert in my field?
Let me know in the comments which part of your process or client experience gives you most trouble and costs you time and money. Let’s think together how you can automate and simplify!