Do you feel like a hamster on a wheel going no where? Are you working all the time and don’t feel like you have enough time to grow your business? We have all been there at one time or another. I can guarantee that one of these four problems are the cause of your overwhelm and why routine tasks are taking over your business life. Because you:
Don’t feel confident with where to start or how to implement technology.
Don’t know how technology can do the work for you.
Don’t have technology that works together.
Don’t have time to create or improve processes.
As a healthy business grows, existing systems become strained. Preparing for that next stage of growth by innovating existing systems to be ready for the next stage, will eliminate much of the “overwhelm”. Les McKeown defined the business lifecycle stages and the operational needs for each in his book Predictable Success. If you haven’t read it, read it! Here is a brief summary.
In Early Struggle you need to know what you are selling to whom. To prepare for the Fun phase, it is time to devise simple systems.
When you are in Fun, you are selling and gaining traction with your products and services. To prepare for the Whitewater Phase and minimize its impact on your business, innovation must be your best friend.
You will know you are in Whitewater when it feels like you are on a Whitewater Rafting Trip without the oars and just being swirled around the river. To prepare for Predictable Success, the business must innovate and implement systems.
How do you escape overwhelm or better yet avoid it?
The common next step is to hire staff or contractors and delegate work to them. But, there are lots of hidden costs to hiring people including managing and training…and letting go, hiring again, on-boarding again.
There is a better way to increase your capacity and avoid the hiring costs and headaches. That is to automate routine tasks. I have worked in technology companies my entire career and our first step to increase capacity is to always consider incorporating new tools and automating work. There are so many tools available to small businesses to automate business processes at a low cost / reasonable amount.
By automating you can delay hiring or hire for positions that will make you money rather than push paper through your manual systems or duplicate data across many tracking spreadsheets. Your capacity building process should ensure you have good productivity of you and your staff, automate routine or repetitive activities, rather than hire and delegate. Hiring should be the last step.
Automating does require planning and upfront time investment in the setup. The beauty is that once it is setup, you truly are doing multiple things at one time. You not only escape the overwhelm, but you also escape the high costs of hiring and headaches associated with managing additional staff.
What is an automated process?
Automation is defined as the use of technology to execute recurring tasks or processes in a business to replace manual effort. The benefits of automating a process is the process will be execute exactly as it was setup to do, eliminate human errors, and completion of activities on time. When a person is involved, they may have many competing priorities and may rush to complete activities causing errors or delay completing an activity.
A great example of an automated process is subscription invoicing. The invoice is sent on a pre-set date, your client may pre-authorize payment, payment is received immediately, and the client receives a receipt.
Imagine if your business was automated
In your sales call the prospect said, “Yes, I am ready! Send me the contract and let’s get started.” You would update a couple of fields on the prospect’s contact record to indicate what is being purchased, price, and start date. The automation kickoff by first creating the contract and emailing it for you to review. You would then approve it launching the eSignature contract signature process by emailing the document for signature to the prospect. Once the contract is electronically signed, an invoice would be emailed to the new client. The client pays electronically, which notifies the system to start sending the first of a series of client on-boarding emails.
Your involvement was fairly minimal and only required for the most important aspects of the business process. This is possible. What could you do with that extra time in your day?
These are the tools I strongly recommend to automate your business processes. I am regularly speaking to educate solo and micro-businesses about the possibilities, which you may find on my Events page.
MSD Advisors is passionate about creating kick-ass systems that unchain you from your desk and get you out into the sunlight! After working together, you can say goodbye to frenetic action and worry because your business will run like clockwork. You will reclaim time to focus on well, whatever you want!
There is no better time than now to get started! Schedule a breakthrough call today.