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 day.
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.
[If you ever want any help with assessing your tech systems and getting tools in place that actually work, schedule a call so we can talk about it.]
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. Then it’s time to consider outsourcing. Something that I would recommend all of you stop doing is your emails. Most of the emails we receive do not need our personal attention, they are very unlikely to bring in large amounts of revenue in themselves, so it’s an easy thing to get someone else to help you with. They can clear your inbox every morning before you get up, and when you’re ready to tackle emails, you only check a specific label in your inbox and let your right hand person handle the rest. They can arrange your meetings, send emails to reschedule appointments and lots of other things – this is NOT something you need to do yourself.
So, those are my top tips when it comes to getting time back in your day! And now – happy automating.