By Jenn Zeller
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the day-to-day of your business… if it takes 1000 days to onboard a new client… if you just can’t stay on top of your business tasks, you need to streamline and automate your business workflow. You may know what you need to do and when for a client or project, but if you’re replicating each step from scratch for every client or project, you’re wasting your valuable time!
Let’s dive into how to take what you’re doing right now in your business and turn it into an efficient system that will SAVE you time instead of wasting it. We’ll talk about how to audit your current business system, how to restructure your workflow, and then how to automate your business workflow with tools like Dubsado!
Evaluate your current business process and procedures
Before you can make changes, you need to know what’s happening in your business already. Here are a few questions to ask yourself for a better business evaluation:
What services/tools do you use?
Go through and make a list of the services and tools that you use on a regular basis in your business. You probably can already name a few off the top of your head, but there may be some that you don’t use every single day that can slip your mind. Check your financial records, your saved passwords, or whatever else may help you remember those tools.
You may also have some tools that you don’t really think of as tools. Use a Google Doc or Form to gather client info? That’s a tool. Send emails through Gmail or Outlook? That’s also a tool. Keeping track of the little pieces of your business procedures will be crucial in later steps.
What types of emails do you send over and over and over, and over…?
This piggybacks a bit off of the last question. We don’t always think of emails as part of our business procedures, but they can waste SO much time. If you’re getting the same types of questions from clients or leads and you’re typing up custom answers from scratch every time, how many hours do you think have gone down that drain? Or if you’re sending the same kind of email for each invoice, contract, etc., that’s wasting gobs of time too.
Make a list of the questions you answer regularly (or that are just plain important for clients or leads to know!). You don’t need to keep typing these emails over and over anymore! We’ll talk about this a little later.
What’s wasting your time and how much time is it wasting?
Look back over those services and tools and emails that you’ve listed out. Which ones are the biggest time wasters? There may even be major time wasters that you haven’t even listed yet; go ahead and add those to the list. Knowing where your time is going within your business procedures can be vital!
What IS working in your processes and procedures?
Okay, we’ve talked about the bad and the ugly – let’s talk about the GOOD now! Take a look at your processes and procedures and see what is saving you time or money or sanity. In even the most scattered business system, there’s bound to be at least one thing that is working well for you.
Find that thing (or things) and evaluate WHY they’re working for you. Is it because they work well on your clients’ end? Is it because those parts of your system mesh with your personality and working style? Whatever it is, find those common threads and write them down. They’ll help you create your new and improved business system!
Jenn translates left-brain business for right-brain creatives over at The Creative Entrepreneurs L.A.B. As a serial entrepreneur (starting at age 11), she’s passionate about making the world a better place by helping more people actually enjoy their job. Jenn’s mission is to empower artists, photographers, designers, and makers so they can run successful businesses and make a living doing what they love!