Did you start your business with the intent to work less, play more and generally just enjoy more of your life?
Have you actually found yourself working longer hours, wondering if you should just go back to working as an employee… at least you get your evenings and weekends back!?
Well, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most entrepreneurs put more of themselves in their business than they ever would have done as an employee… most love what they do and want to do more of it….but what happens is they spend all their time on social media, on trying to implement their systems or on redesigning the wheel every single time they get a new client
Does this sound like you?
The good news is, that you can take a step back from your business… have that holiday you want (and need), spend some time with the kids…. Or just go off for the day
But before you can do this, you need to get your business in a good place, you need to have systems and structures in place so that your business carries on, even if you aren’t physically there.
Maybe you’ve already have systems, but you find that using them requires a degree in IT,
Or, they’re in place, but the data in them is everywhere,
You find yourself inputting data twice but you can’t work out how to get the 2 systems to talk to each other.
Or maybe you want to use systems to manage your business, but don’t really know where to start.
Well don’t worry, you just need to take a step back. Look at your customer journey, your sales funnel, your marketing strategy and understand what you do every day to run your business. Understand your manual processes as well as the systems you have in place. Then write it all down…
You could do this on post-it notes, as a process flow, a mindmap or just in a notepad.. Just try to make sure that you capture everything. It might be easier to do the task and write it down while you are doing it.. or write it down, then try to follow your instructions. That way you can confirm that what you’ve written is actually how it is done.
There’s a reason why corporates have procedures, so that they aren’t just reliant on a single point of failure. If someone leaves, goes on holiday, goes off sick etc, they can use the procedure to train someone else to complete that task, at least until the person returns.
That’s the mindset you need. You love your business and want it to be as good as you dreamt it could be. You don’t want to be that single point of failure. You want it to thrive even without you there 24/7, and by writing it down you can make your business more resilient and be sure that when you are in a position to take someone on, that they do the job in exactly the same way as you do, so the customer doesn’t know (or care) who is providing that product/service.
Once you’ve written it all down, then have a look at where you are duplicating effort, where are you doing things that you aren’t even sure why you are doing them… and where are you doing things manually that you could probably automate by implementing a new system, or using a system you already have, to make the way you work more effective.
Examples could include manually adding someone into your sales funnel and then again onto your invoicing system. You could integrate the 2 systems, so that if someone buys from you, their name automatically goes into your invoicing system.
Get your sales funnel automated through your email marketing platform, that way you can continue to sell, even while your sat on the beach…
Or use Trello power ups to integrate your google calendar, so that when you are using Trello as your project management system, the tasks automatically go into your calendar, so you have a ready made plan in place.
And what about your social media. There are a number of scheduling tools in place. Why not find the one that you like best and spend a one day per month writing your content and then adding it to your scheduler, so that you can continue to engage in your community even while walking the dog.
So basically, to holiday-proof your business you need to:
Use your current systems or find new ones to automate your business
Implement structures to manage your activities effectively and
Develop processes and procedures so others can manage your business the same way you do
But perhaps you love the sound of stepping away from your business for a period of time, without worrying about it falling over, but writing procedures and processes and implementing new systems ….. BOOOOOOORING!
If thats you.. and you’d like some help, why not give me a shout and we can discuss how to use systems and processes to manage your business so it carries on working even when you’re not.