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 part two of our 3-part series on 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!
Explore your business workflow options
Now that you’ve discovered what works and what doesn’t, it’s time to move on to the next step: creating your business system workflow. Don’t get too scared! This is the fun stuff. First things first…
What tasks can you eliminate/reduce?
Take a look at the things that you decided were wasting your time. Which of those can you flat out toss in the trash? Sure, some may be crucial to your business, but there are bound to be some that aren’t. Those tasks can either be outsourced, relegated to the sidelines, or eliminated.
For example, if you’re creating a contract from scratch for every client project, can you reduce the time that the task takes? Templates and automation are a great way to do this. Or maybe your email inbox is eating you alive. If you can outsource inbox management to someone else, you’ll be freeing yourself up to take on more clients!
Think creatively about how you can eliminate or reduce your most time-consuming tasks. I’ll bet that before you know it, you’ll be cutting tasks left and right! (Feels good, doesn’t it?)
What steps can you automate?
So, I mentioned automating your contracts a moment ago. We’ll talk more about automation in the next section, but it’s time to start thinking about it now. There are a lot of tools – like CRMs (Dubsado is my favorite!) – that can take tedious tasks off your plate through automation. Let’s be real: you don’t really WANT to manually type in each client’s name into every single document, do you? I didn’t think so. So for those steps in your process that you can’t get rid of altogether, stash those away to see if you can automate them!
What standard operating procedures can you implement?
You may think of business manuals as being for employees, but they can actually be incredibly helpful even if you’re working alone! If you know exactly what steps you take to accomplish a task, especially one that you don’t do frequently (things like taxes – yuck), you can speed up the time it takes to do that task. If you start creating a manual and walkthrough videos now, you’ll be able to refer back to them when you need a refresher AND you’ll be ahead of the game if you do ever hire an assistant or another employee!
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!