Having a strategic plan for your business is essential; using that strategic plan in a way that saves you time (and money and sanity) is another thing altogether. But when there are so many things you need to get done each day, week, and month, how do you fit it all in?
It’s a matter of having efficiencies in place that help you check off tasks each day quickly and seamlessly.
You need to have these systems and workflows set up ahead of time and practice them so they’re ingrained in your business. It’s not easy and it will take time before these time-saving techniques feel natural to you, but it’s so worth the effort!
In general, saving time in business is all about batching work. Be intentional about when you do certain work in your business, blocking time for client calls, content creation, CEO time, etc. And set your intentions for each day the night before, so you can sit down and start each day knowing exactly what you need to accomplish–even if you’re not a morning person.
Product Development and Innovation
As business owners, our minds are always reeling with new information and new ideas. I love having a right-hand person on my side to keep me in line and ensure that I don’t implement new, grand ideas right away.
When you try to implement every new idea that pops into your head, you don’t have time to vet the idea to make sure it’s actually going to have the ROI you want. Save yourself some time and frustration and sit on the idea for a while then talk to your audience and your biz besties before implementing anything.
Operations and Efficiencies
One of my favorite places to be more streamlined, the operations of your business should be able to keep on running while you’re enjoying a much-needed vacation. Operations is anything that is behind the scenes, or back-of-the-house, as I like to call it. It crosses over to some of the other strategic objectives, but think of it as anything that’s not publicly visible in your business.
Have an online hub where you keep all the important links and information about your business, including your brand colors, your testimonials, contact information for your team members, your goals, your bio…everything that you or your team might need on a regular basis. Keeping everything in one place makes it easy to remember where to go to find what you need.
Business Growth and Financial
If you’re not making money in your business, you’re running a hobby, not a business. You need to have a plan in place for growth and to ensure you’re hitting the numbers you want and need to hit in your business. This is also a good time to decide where you can afford to invest and where you should be continuing to DIY tasks.
Have a dedicated time each month to look at your financials–where you’re spending money, where money is coming in and how you’re tracking it all. Even better, hire an accountant to do this for you. A solid plan will help you feel more secure about where your business is going a year or five years from now.
One thing that all of my business friends have in common is that they are dedicated to growing as people and leaders. They’re always looking for ways to improve themselves–both in their industry and in their personal lives. I think this is what makes us unique, and uniquely qualified to do something out of the ordinary.
Put your own personal growth time on your calendar and hold yourself to it. Your workouts, your time with your partner and kids, your mental health. This is essential to running a successful business (and not going bonkers in the process) and will ensure you’re leading a balanced life–with time to spare.
If you’re ready to grow your business, know that business growth doesn’t mean more work (and more time at the computer) for you. It means scaling–with added team members who can take on some of your client work or take over some of the back-end operations. Or both!
To save time when hiring, have standard operating procedures set up in your business. This will become a central hub that your team members can use for training, leaving you more available to do the things you love do to in your business. Which I know isn’t training new hires.
Visibility can include content creation, speaking, making connections and being active on social media. We’ve all been part of the social media time-suck, where we open Facebook or Instagram to post something and suddenly an hour has gone by. Or we’ve sat down to write a blog post that needs to go live tomorrow and we’re still staring at a blank screen 20 minutes later.
Don’t fall prey to the on-demand visibility trap. Batching is your friend here. Find a day to create your content for the month, add a 30-minute appointment with yourself for social media each day, pitch speaking gigs once a week or once a month. When you start doing similar tasks together in batches, they’re easier to do and you’re less likely to be sucked in by the self-doubt and online noise.
What happens after a client spends money with you? Having a clear path that each client goes through from first connection to offboarding is the best way to create raving fans for life. And we all know that raving fans both come back to us again and again and refer their friends.
Instead of stopping what you’re doing mid-task (ahem, context switching) so you can send off a new client onboarding email, have it all automated. Have retainer clients? Automate your invoicing process, including reminders for those clients who don’t pay by the due date. You’ll save time and woo your clients at the same time.
Many of these time- (and sanity-) saving tips may seem pretty intuitive, however we often forget them in the hustle and bustle of doing business. Make a list of a few tricks you’ll start right away, then come back to remind yourself of what you’ve committed to.
Tired of feeling stressed and disorganized in your biz?
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