The thing that I probably hear most often from entrepreneurs is that they just don’t have enough TIME. And I get it, I feel the same. One of the things that we’re often told to do is to outsource – but I actually now recommend for people to first take a close look at their business BEFORE they decide to seek external help.
Over the last couple of years, plenty of clients have come and gone – most that didn’t end up continuing *thought* they needed help and so they outsourced. BUT it turned out what they needed was for someone to organise their systems and workflows to allow them to work more efficiently. And once we had taken over the tasks they were by far not taking as long as they used to – and it’s not because we’re better and faster, but because we look for roadblocks to working efficiently.
So here are my top tips for gaining control of your business again!
Don’t go for “free” – go for what works with your business
I get it, when you’re first starting out you find the cheapest way to get something done, but trust me, this means that we often end up with systems that don’t work. They often actually add extra steps to your workload because they lack the necessary integrations to make things tick over smoothly.
So I’d recommend that you complete an assessment of your business systems and check if an upgrade could actually save you time. Remember $25 bucks a month saved could mean an hour a week added to your time! So assess this and make any necessary changes.
Assess your file organisation
If it takes you longer than 30 seconds to find a file – it’s time to assess your file storage. I personally use google drive and I store all of my files together in folders. One folder for all of my freebies, one folder for all of my brand assets, one folder for stock photos etc. Secondly while you are reorganising things, make sure that your files have appropriate names so you can also use the search to find things quickly. Consider keeping a copy of all of the files in a “quick access” folder. This could include things such as your logo. Then you know that any file that you need access to repeatedly is in the same place. [PS. This is NOT a dumping ground, clear out regularly and make sure you actually still need those files in there.
Automate, automate, automate
Here is the (almost) last tip! Automate whatever you can. Many pieces of software will talk to each other and if they don’t, then zapier can make most of them talk to each other. And if that is still not an option see point 1 – change providers. You need tools that integrate easily. For example. When an email with a client task comes in, we have a zap set up that moves it into Asana automatically when a tag is applied to the email. This saves us oodles of time because we don’t have to copy and paste the information across anymore. You can also use zapier to for example on board new clients by getting it to complete certain steps of your onboarding process automatically.
Once you have reviewed all of your tools and systems it’s time to document them. I use Asana to run most of my client’s businesses and Asana allows you to create tasks with subtasks that I use as checklists that can be easily duplicated. Start documenting all of your business processes so they become a standard process that can be replicated.
Do not consider hiring team members before you have reviewed and documented your SOPs and assessed your entire business setup, it will create an even bigger headache if you do. If you struggle to see the bigger picture. you can book a 2 hour systems consult via the yellow box at the bottom and I can help you to tackle the most important areas in your business and create a clear plan for you.
Now it’s time to outsource
If you have tried to automate it and it’s not possible, AND you cannot find an alternative service provider that makes it easier to automate things and you have all of your SOPs documented, you can safely consider outsourcing.
Are you nowhere near fully booked, but you just don't have any time?
No, that doesn't mean that you need to hire an assistant right away, what it probably means is that your tools and systems need a little TLC. If you're currently keeping all of your business tasks in your head, don't have any documented processes and can't automate because your tools just won't work together, then we should talk.
Together we can save you hours of precious time every week by streamlining and documenting your processes, reviewing your business tools to make sure they work FOR you and then implementing all of those changes.