Written by: Amber Barry, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Ever wish you could duplicate, or even triplicate, yourself to keep up with your workload? If your business is in the start-up stages and you’re relying solely on yourself to keep up with everything, or if hiring staff (gasp!) to help you run your business isn’t in your budget (or totally freaks you out). Here are two secrets you need to take advantage of:
1. Max out your automations
2. Develop streamlined systems
These are essential tools at every stage of your business, and they can save you big time in the time, energy and money departments. Whether you’re looking for a way to save your sanity or a way to save big money by not having to hire new team members, implementing automations and systems can be a total game-changer.
What are automations?
Automations empower you to create automatic responses to repetitive tasks and events so you can ensure a consistent customer experience. What does this mean for you? You’ll be able to remove yourself from the equation so you can direct your precious time and energy towards everything else in your business that requires your unique, human touch.
What are systems?
If you can offload a big chunk of your everyday tasks and follow-ups with automations, how do you provide your customers with an individualized experience and offer the personal touches that only you can provide? That’s where systems come in! They’re a great sanity saver, especially if you’ve ever stared at the computer for 30 minutes wondering what to write. Systems aren’t a way to completely automate your process, but you can surely create a series of templates and workflows that will help you cut your hands-on time in half.
What are the perks of automating and streamlining?
You’ll save time. Implementing this flow in your business ensures that you’re using your time and energy in the most effective, impactful ways.
You’ll save money. Time is money! By offloading the repetitive work and decreasing wasted time you’ll have more time and energy to focus on the activities that bring money in. You’ll also save money by eliminating the need for additional manpower.
You’ll save your sanity. Creating automations and systems frees up a lot of energy and brainpower, and relieves the craziness of trying to keep up with everything.
You’ll set yourself up to scale. If growing your business or increasing your monthly revenue is your goal, you’ll need to have systems in place that allow you to double or triple your productivity without maxing out your resources.
How to break it down.
Start by keeping track of your day-to-day activities and reflect on the processes you go through when you take on a new client, develop a new product or acquire a new lead. Write each step-down and ask yourself these questions.
Does this step require my presence and personal touch? This might include things like content creation, 1:1 time with your clients, interviews or marketing strategy.
Can this step be automated? This includes regular, repetitive tasks like scheduling, sending out reminders, collecting information, initiating certain email sequences, invoicing and answering FAQs.
If it isn’t automatable, can I create a template or workflow to help me streamline this step? This includes many of your day-to-day activities that are repetitive but not fully automatable, like on-boarding new clients and sending personalized follow-ups.
Almost everything you do should fall into one of these categories, so create a spreadsheet (or grab a pen and paper), break it down into categories and keep track of your activities for one week. *Side note: if you already have employees in your business, or if you’re thinking about hiring help, you may also want to include a fourth category called delegation.
After keeping track for a week you’ll start to see a pattern, and you’ll be able to identify what kind of automations, systems, workflows and templates you’ll need to create. Once you know what your needs are you can track down the correct software for the job. I use Ontraport because it allows me to create automations, build out systems and schedule tasks, which frees up my mind so I can keep up with everything else.
There are many other options as well, depending on your needs, so I encourage you to shop around and pick the right tool for your specific job. There’s some legwork involved here, but it’s worth the effort! Just keep reminding yourself that you’ll do it once, and it’ll be done.
Why am I so passionate about automations and systems? Because I know what happens without them. I didn’t know about these strategies when I was running my first business, and I ended up experiencing extreme burnout. Ultimately, that burnout impacted my passion and drive, and I ended up calling it quits after 5 years.
I’ve learned a thing or two since then. Now, when I’m working with clients, I teach them how to implement these concepts into their business so they can focus more on the things they love, while at the same time laying a solid foundation for a business that’s scalable.
If you’re looking for help implementing these strategies, I’d be happy to chat! Visit my website to book a free consultation.
Amber Barry, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Amber Barry is a U.S. based business strategist and consultant specializing in digital marketing, automations and social media advertising for small businesses and startups. She is passionate about deconstructing the process of establishing and growing a business, and aims to make it less overwhelming and easier to navigate for new business owners. She is the founder of Amber Barry | Digital, a digital marketing and advertising agency, and creator of The Go-Getters Club, where she offers online courses and coaching to women in business to help them maximize their marketing efforts and turn their small steps into big wins and massive momentum.She is a Registered Nurse and a Certified Health Coach by training, and draws from her 12+ years of experience in health and wellness and 20+ years as an endurance athlete to help people transform their journey as business owners into an enjoyable, successful, fulfilling experience.