What if you could systemize your business in a way that saves you one hour everyday?
Running a business requires time, effort and consistency. It is especially difficult if you are building a business with a full-time job or other responsibilities.
In today’s blog post, I want to share with you 7 easy ways to help you systemize your business so you can take a breather, while also building a better business.
1. Use a project management tool
A project management tool gives your business structure, especially when you are just starting out. There are tons of different tasks you need to perform as a small business owner. A project management tool helps you efficiently perform those tasks while helping you keep your sanity.
You can not only have a day by day task list laid out, but it also helps you prioritize your tasks, with the details so you don’t miss out on tasks that are important to move the wheel forward in your business
The most difficult part of growing a business is being on the same page with your team. A project management tool can help greatly with that. By collaborating with your team, and having access to their work- in- progress tasks, you are in a better position to grow and scale.
There are a bunch of project management tools in the market. The 2 most commonly used are Asana and Trello.
Both are free to start out with, and are pretty straightforward to get started.
I have used both and I personally prefer Trello, because it is just more convenient especially when you are a small business owner or solopreneur.
As you grow, you might want to move to Asana, although I know both of these tools have a cult-like following and folks in one group wouldn’t move to the other.
If you haven’t used a project management tool yet, you might want to test out both, and then decide based on what works best for your business and the interface you are more comfortable with.
If you are experiencing overwhelm or anxiety in your business because there’s always so much to do, or if you need an organized system to run your business better, you definitely should check out these two tools.
2. Create Workflows
Creating workflows for the most important tasks in my business really helps in getting more done in less time.
What is a workflow?
It is a sequential collection of sub tasks that you need to complete in order to get done with a particular task.
The way I create workflows is, first, I brain dump all sub-tasks needed for a particular task. For example for the “write a blog post” task, I would write down all sub tasks that come to my mind, from keyword research to creating pins for Pinterest.
I would then arrange these sub-tasks sequentially.
I also like to assign approximate time-slots to each tasks. This helps me manage my business better, with a full-time job.
Having a workflow is place can also prove to be beneficial when you hire a VA or want to outsource a particular sub-task.
I use Trello to create and reuse my workflows.
You can create workflows for writing a blog post, filming a Youtube video, social media content, launching a new offer, running a challenge, etc.
3. Create templates
Most online business owners use a free tool like Canva or Picmonkey to create their graphics.
The one thing I love about Canva is the ability to create and store templates that can be reused time and again.
I have a template created for Pinterest, Instagram (separate templates for quotes, sales posts, content posts etc.) and other social media platforms.
Every time I create a new piece of content, all I have to do is go to a particular template and edit the color and text. That’s it.
I have also saved my brand colors in Canva so I can save some time, not having to look for my brand color codes.
4. Use chrome extensions
Chrome extensions are a boon for online entrepreneurs. All you have to do is download them once and create an account(for most extensions). Chrome extensions live in your chrome browser and make it really easy for you to use them.
Here are the 5 chrome extensions that I recommend for all online businesses:
1. Facebook Pixel Helper
If you run Facebook ads, this is an absolute must Chrome extension. It is a recommended tool by Facebook, and it helps you to check whether your website/ landing page/ sales page has the Facebook pixel installed.
2. Group Convert
This is a paid chrome extension, but if you run a Facebook group, this is a life-saver.
It lets you save all email addresses from your Facebook questions ( you should be asking people to enter their email address when they request to join your group if you aren’t already.
This helps grow your email list) to a Google sheet just by the click of a button. It is that easy. This not only helps you systemize your business but also automate it!
This Chrome Extension helps you save all your passwords so that you can automatically log in to your accounts.
It also lets you share passwords with your virtual assistant/ social media manager in an encrypted way so you don’t need to share your actual password with them. This tool is a great way to help you systemize your business and become more productive.
This is my number one Chrome Extension. It is a FREE video recording tool ( I couldn’t believe I had found a good enough free tool for recording videos).
You can also edit your recorded videos to some extent using UseLoom, for example, you can cut sections out of your videos. I have created a ton of videos using this extension including some of my videos as part of a paid course.
5. Keywords Everywhere
If you are using a blog or a youtube channel to grow your business, Keywords Everywhere is a great free chrome extension for you. It tells you the volume of search for a particular keyword, as well as the cost per click advertisers, are paying for this particular keyword.
It also shows you a list of related keywords that people are searching for which really helps you give an idea of the kind of keywords you can use in your blog/ video
5. Use a Mind Mapping Tool
I love using a mind mapping tool like Coggle.it to map out my different projects.
I use it to map out my content, launches, brain dump ideas and also to lay out the modules for my course.
Mind mapping really helps me organize my ideas and looking at them visually helps me come up with more ideas and make quicker decisions.
Not everyone finds mind mapping helpful.
But if you haven’t tried it yet, you definitely should. Hop on to Coggle.it and create your first mind map. It’s a free tool and self-explanatory.
6. Block out no-phone hours in your calendar
No-phone hours are such a cliche but a much-needed part of systemizing your business and becoming productive.
I intentionally block out no phone hours in my calendar and set an alarm that goes off at the start of no-phone hours. On most days, these are 2 hour blocks in the morning because I find mornings to be my most productive time.
The easiest way to do is to find out what your most productive hours in the day are, and then block them out in your calendar. It is important to put it in your calendar so that it is almost like n appointment or meeting.
I would also suggest deleting the Facebook app from your phone, I did this a couple of months back and this has helped me reduce the habit of just randomly checking my phone, which in turn has helped me become more productive.
7. Automate repetitive tasks
There are so many tasks in business that we perform again and again.
We spend our precious time on these tasks, even though a lot of these can be automated. Automating is different from scheduling.
By automating a task, you have to do it just once, and then it repeats itself without you having to interfere.
You can automate tasks in your business using tools like Zapier, IFTTT, etc.
Check out this post on creating time-saving systems by Melyssa Griffin.
Some tasks that can be automated are social media posting, client call scheduling, client on-boarding, lead nurturing, etc.
Let’s take an example of automating call scheduling.
If you are an online service provider, automating your client call scheduling process should be on the top of your list.
You can use a call scheduler like acuity and get started with a free account .
Acuity let’s you set up your call availability along with allowing you to create different types of call setup . For example , you could use “coffee chat” as one type of call for networking purposes and a “free strategy session” for setting up calls with prospects.
You can also set up call reminder emails using this platform.
The paid Acuity account also lets you set up paid call options as well as an intake form where you could ask intake questions before getting on a call with a prospect.
Do you have systems in place that help you save time in your business?
Let me know in the comments below.