Your business will take over your life if you let it.
You are working from sun up to sun down in the pursuit of building a business that was supposed to give you life back. Twelve hour days are average. Fourteen hour days aren't unheard of. You start to believe the lie that things would calm down if you simply had a few more hours in the day.
You see, the issue isn't the amount of work you have, but rather the way in which you are managing your time. You are spending far too many hours on the mechanical aspects of your business, only to feel burnt out when it comes to the creative processes that inspired you to become an entrepreneur in the first place.
We don’t need more hours in the day. We need to be more efficient with our work hours. If we develop faster systems that reduce the burden of business ownership, we can concentrate on the creative work that inspires us and pour our hearts into the people we love the most.
Last week we talked about 6 steps to create a streamlined workflow within your business. Therefore, this week we will take it one step further! We are talking about 12 specific processes to automate within your new streamlined workflow system! So let's get started and start gaining back more time and life today...
1. Google Calendar: We love to use google calendar to schedule all of our events online in one easy to access spot! You can set up reoccurring events, automate reminders, and color code categories, so you can manage your life + business + clients in one master calendar! Plus, you can even tell Siri to schedule reminders + tasks for you - a free personal assistant!
2. Schedule Social Media: We use Hootsuite! It is dedicated to enhancing and automating your social media engagement across more than 35 global networks such as Facebook and Instagram. Hootsuite identifies social influencers in your market and automates social marketing strategies. You can sign your business up for Hootsuite's free plan which supports up to three social profiles and two campaigns for single users.
3. Email Template: If you have to write an email more than three times - you should make a template for that communication! We suggest saving your template responses in your draft Gmail folder for easy access! You can use template emails for new client inquires, events, collaborations, anything!
4. Client Management System: You need one space where you can manage all your client documents, payments, communications, etc. That is why we love programs like Honeybook so much! They allow you to send your customized pricing guides, questionnaires, invoices, and templates with a click of a button!
5. Contract Template: Before you start booking clients, and every year during your slower season - make sure you are updating and uploading that revised contract into your client management system so you are good-to-go when new clients start pouring in!
6. Email Marketing: Mailchimp, the program we use, allows you to create a targeted series of emails that send when triggered by a specific date, event, or subscriber’s activity. Use MailChimp’s marketing automation feature to streamline your recurring communications, and make sure your subscribers receive the right emails at the right time.
7. MileIQ: Gone are the days of logging your business miles with pen and paper!! This app tracks the miles for you and you can even put in notes reminding you what that trip was for!
8. Outsource the tedious tasks: Don't feel like you have to be a one women show - by outsourcing those tasks that aren't effective or efficient you are able to increase profit and get more done!
9. FAQ: Are you getting the same questions over and over? Create an FAQ page or blog post! You can attach the link into your email responder or link to the blog post as needed!
10. Guidebooks: You don't own any system in your business unless you have it written down and are easily able to share it with others! That is why we love making guides for our big business systems/processes! For example: we have Pricing Guides for our new potential clients, Branding Guide to give to employees for consistent branding across the board, Intern Guide to outline the responsibilities and goals of our internship program, Company Guide that sets boundaries and explains our mission statement for the whole team to reference as needed!! Think of this like a specific instructional handbook for each area in your business!
11. Admin: Office and administration can really slow down a business and it can be an area that is tedious to a lot of business owners. Some tools to help you in this area of your business are Evernote (a note organizer) + Shoeboxed (a receipt tracker).
12. Auto-Respond: Every client loves immediate gratification - especially when it comes to emails! However, we know that once you automate all of these processes, you will no longer be chained to your computer 24/7. That is why we recommend creating an auto-response email that is sent in immediate reply to each email your inbox receives! (P.S...We will talk more about auto-responders next week on the blog!)
Until next time... xo, Ringlet
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