10 Ways to Simplify Your Business | August Challenge
I don't know about you, but lately I've been working on simplifying my life, and living a little bit more "minimally". Since running my business is a big part of my life, I have found lots of ways to simplify my business processes and tasks that have helped me to run things more smoothly, and I thought I would share them with you today.
1. Create routines
Have certain tasks that you do every morning and every evening. You can also create routines throughout your week (all admin related tasks on Monday, for example). Routines become habits, which means that you won’t have to even think about them - they will be automatic.
2. Use the 80/20 rule to figure out what’s important
Also known as the pareto principle - a rule that almost always holds true, stating that 80% of outcomes will come from 20% of input. In life and business, there are certain things that you do (20%) that create most of your success (80%). Take a good hard look at the tasks that are taking up your time - which ones are resulting in revenue? If you can’t decide which direction to go, or you find yourself doing ALL THE THINGS, this is a great place to start.
3. Turn your blog posts into newsletters
Just set up an RSS campaign in Mailchimp, and every time you publish a new blog post, your email subscribers will get that post delivered to their email.
4. Automate appointment scheduling
I used to go back and forth a hundred times with clients to figure out when was the best time to schedule a meeting. If you find yourself doing this a lot too, check out Acuity (that's what I use) or Calendly which are apps that allow you to simply sync up your iCal and send a link so that people can choose their own date and time for the meeting.
5. Schedule your social media posts ahead of time
This is life changing. Just take 1-2 hours, once a week to schedule all of your social media posts rather than posting here and there as you go. I use Buffer for Facebook and Twitter and Later for Instagram. Then all week, watch your social media take care of itself. So much easier than trying to create a post on the fly. On top of that, you can get much more strategic with your posting.
6. Say “no” more often
Refer to the June Challenge for more reasons why it’s important to say no, but if you’re overwhelmed, it’s even more important! Say no to things that are just taking up your time with no real result, or are not leading toward your goals. Be strong, people pleasers! There aren’t enough hours in the day to say yes to everything.
7. Let go of what people think
I get frustrated when I get emails from people who are scared to promote their businesses because they’re afraid of what people think. LET IT GO! This is one of the many reasons that I feel thankful to have been a “loser” in middle school - you get over that caring-what-people-think thing real fast. If you don’t believe in your business, or you’re scared to tell people about it, you will not be successful. That’s just the bottom line. I know that letting go of these fears is easier said than done, but just like any fear, the best way to conquer it is to just “feel the fear and do it anyway”.
8. Create canned email responses
If you use gmail like me and you find yourself answering many of the same questions over and over, this is a total lifesaver. You can create a canned response in gmail and just make a few tweaks to it when you go to respond to the email. Here's a quick video tutorial to show you how to set these up.
9. Simplify your invoicing
I use a tool called 17hats to send electronic invoices and I honestly can’t imagine life without it. If you’re in a service based business, electronic invoices are a must. Easy for you (just send a link), easy for the client (pay online) - it’s a win-win.
10. Create workflows or systems
Workflows and systems sound a little bit intimidating, but they’re really not. Basically setting up a workflow is just taking a look at all of the little tasks involved in a service that you’re offering or some part of your business. Write out all of those little tasks, in order, and look for ways to automate along the way. Also, estimate how much time each of those tasks takes you, and that will help you in setting your prices.