Do you ever get to the end of your workday and think: I have no idea what just happened there. I mean, I worked hard all day but I don’t really have anything to show for it? Do you ever find yourself caught on the hamster wheel of mundane, repetitive tasks that need to get done but they don’t necessarily move the needle in your business?
And so, the cycle continues. The cycle where you spend your entire day working IN your business instead of ON your business, and so many little things get completed but nothing really moves forward. You’re checking boxes but you feel stuck and frustrated and quite frankly, some days it gets to you so deeply that you just feel like throwing the towel in on the whole dang thing.
My friend, I have been there.
But I am here to tell you that there is a better way! You can break the seemingly endless cycle of doing hashtag -all of the things- by identifying and creating systems in your biz, and using automation and outsourcing tools so that the humdrum can run themselves while you get back to focusing on the bigger things.
So, are you ready to put some quality oil into that fine machine of yours? Consider me your official business mechanic and, let’s do this.
I want you to think about repetitive patterns in your business, these are things that are done frequently or semi-frequently and follow the same basic sequence over and over, such as scheduling.
Here is a link to options of scheduling software and reviews.
What Tasks Don’t Need You?
Next, I want you to identify things that do not NEED to be done by you. Yes, you CAN do them, but do they actually need YOU, do they require your genius or your talent, or could someone else easily pick it up and run with, such as communications.
List Tedious Tasks
Now I want you to think about the tedious tasks. These are the ones that are just plain annoying. The kind of things that you push off until you can’t push them off anymore. Like paying a parking ticket.
Record Your Processes
Anytime you need to explain a process to an employee or a contractor, I want you to record it. You can do this using free video/screen share software like zoom. You can also take screenshots and type out the step by step instructions and put it into a google doc. Then I want you to take these files and recordings and put them in a folder called “employee handbook” and sort them into categories and title each task.
Create Brand Guidelines
Next, I want you to create a brand guidelines template for your business. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to nerd out on branding and marketing, and this is an area of your business that you want to take steps to protect, especially if you are outsourcing.
And now with all of these steps in place, you are finally ready to outsource those pesky tasks that do not need to be done by you. It took me a while for me to be able to let go of control of certain aspects in my business. So if this is you, you are not alone. It is completely normal to want to hold on to and protect these touch points in your business, but to that I have to tell you to just let it go. Holding onto these things is actually holding you back – and now that you have created the resources for streamlining your brand and easily moving responsibilities from person to person, you are ready! It won’t be easy at first, but this is where I want to remind you that done is better than perfect. Perfection is a unicorn that just holds you back from moving forward.
Next I want you to consider where you can have shop links for your business on your website. Ok, so if you are a retail business this is likely very obvious. You post your product inside your ecommerce platform, payment is made, a confirmation receipt issued, inventory adjusted, and now you are notified that you will need to get the product to the buyer in whatever method was specified.
Batch Your Work
This is where I want you to batch your work. Batching your work means that you are setting up to do it once, and then doing the same type of task for an extended period of time so that you don’t lose the time setting up for each task, and the time it takes to get into the brain space of that particular task.
Social Media Posting
Ok, next I want to dive a little deeper into automating your communications both internally and externally. For social media, there are tools you can use to set up your posts. For example, I use Planoly, a tool I have mentioned in previous episodes, for automating Instagram and Facebook posts. There are other tools on the market for this as well, such as Plann, Hootsuite, Later, Loomly, Buffer, and more. There are also tools for automating blog posts and podcasts inside of WordPress, Tailwind App is a great tool for automating Pinterest posts, and there are a variety of automation tools that can be used to segment and serve your email list as well so that you are reaching out serving and connecting with them as well. For this I use kajabi, but there is also Mailchimp, Convertkit, and a bunch of others. So now you can see that by using a combination of batch work, and automation tools, you can set up to write your social media captions, emails and blog posts in one sitting, and then set them up to roll out while you are focused on working on more pertinent things in your business day to day.
I want to start by saying that I am very lucky to be served very well by my accountant and his team. Then I am going to say that identifying my weakness with managing money is something that I needed to be upfront within my business. For whatever reason money has always been one of those subjects that I shy away from. If I could give you absolutely everything you want and need in this world for free and still find a way to feed my family – trust me I would!! Well, I think this podcast is a good example of that.
Ok so there you have it, my top tips for getting your workflow in order – automating what you can and outsourcing the rest so that you can free yourself up for tiger time and focusing on actual growth in your business, doing the things that really need just you, working ON your business instead of in it. Think about those dreams that you’ve been simmering on the back burner. Do it for them!
And, hey, I know this might feel like a lot. I’m not suggesting you implement all of the automation immediately! Nah, just picks the top two or three that could help you today, and start there. BElieve me, once you see how much time you’re getting back to work ON your biz and not IN it, you’ll be looking for any chance to automate.