Automation will grow your business. That’s a pretty big statement and I believe it 100%. The key to growth is having the TIME to focus on building relationships and serving your clients. Running a business requires a lot of administrative work to keep things moving, which takes up a lot of time and doesn’t grow your business. When you talk to any Business Coach or read any entrepreneur article, they all advise focusing our time on business building activitites. We also hear a lot “work ON your business and not IN your business”.
Automation is the key to working ON your business and Growing your business.
As solopreneurs, we hear a lot about “leveraging” our time. That usually refers to how we deliver our services like moving away from “Do it for you” services to group programs, webinars, and provide downloadables. Supporting any of those programs still requires a lot of administrative support!
Automation is not just for big companies. Technology today allows solopreneurs to automate without knowing how to code and doesn’t break the bank. It is about selecting technology that includes automation and integrates with your other tools, so you can make it all work together.
How do you get started with automating?
Start with figuring out what can be automated. This is where I start with all of my clients.
Write down everything you do to support your business today.
Emails that you send regularly to prospects or clients
All the spreadsheets you use to track anything
Work to support your clients
Don’t forget those things that you know you should be doing, but don’t have time to do
Circle everything that requires your unique skills to complete
Running a mastermind requires your unique skills, but does creating an invoice?
Developing a clients marketing strategy requires your unique skills, but does scheduling meetings?
When I did this, I found that about 30% of the activities required my unique skills. The remaining 70% are your opportunities to automate.
Group the remaining activitites into phases of your business cycle
Common business phases are prospecting, sales, invoicing and payments, and integrating it all together.
Once you have the work that should be removed from your plate and automated, now it is time to look at the technology you need.
In this Prospecting phase, you are building awareness of your business and relationships with people you meet.
Keeping your message and brand visible on your social media channels is a must. MeetEdgar is awesome for solopreneurs because it has a library of all your posts, imports content from sites you regularly use in posts, and allows you to que up content. This is better than Buffer or Hootsuite.
Staying top of mind with your prospects is best through newsletters, sending your latest blog post, and event invites. ActiveCampaign or MailChimp are excellent solutions because they are easy to use.
In the Sales phase, you are scheduling appointments and hopefully closing business.
Make closing business with you easy, which means it should be mobile friendly. Use an eSignature solution like HelloSign or HelloWorks.
Invoicing and Payments
Once you have made the sale, it is time to invoice or receive payments. If you use invoices, don’t sent a Word or Google Doc. Use a solution that allows them to pay directly from the Invoice. This will speed up your cashflow.
I am all about “all-in-one” solutions and Wave Financial is one of my favorites. There isn’t a monthly software fee and it supports invoicing, payment links from your website, and accounting.
If your business sells products and services, Square would be a good option. It supports invoices, point of sale, and payment links from your website.
Integrating It All Together
To make all of these processes work together you need two tools.
All in One or Complete CRM like ActiveCampaign will pull everything together including your contacts, email marketing, and automations to kickoff the next step in your workflow.
Zapier is simply a must have for any business. You can link data from one solution to another, avoid data entry between systems, and automate the saving of information from email to the right folders.
Just because you are a small business doesn’t mean you have to operate like one!
Automating is no longer just for big companies that have big budgets. Technology today allows anyone with a little bit of know-how to setup automations.
MSD Advisors is passionate about creating kick-ass automations that gets work off your plate, so you can spend time growing your business and avoid the high cost of hiring. After working together, you can say goodbye to manual data entry, lots of spreadsheets, and endless to do lists. 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.