Strategic Planning

2022 Business Processes & Plans – Day 5

It’s time for another recap of the previous four days.

 

Day 1: FINANCIAL ORGANIZATION & BOOKKEEPING – Organizing and streamlining the financial record keeping can help you analyze, strategize, scale, and grow your business.

Day 2: AUTOMATE WITH SYSTEMSAutomating with systems streamlines the daily functions of your business and allows it to scale & grow. Automation just allows you to reallocate your time and focus on what you feel matters more.

Day 3: CREATING WORKFLOWS – Choosing the proper workflow and systems for your business can allow you to have the time to focus on your craft, while generating revenue for your business.

Day 4: TIPS FOR GOAL SETTING – Make time to set your goals. The key is to be strategic and take small steps to ensure you are always working on your goals.

Now I would like to share with you about one of my favorite topics and tools: BOUNDARIES!

Intentionally taking time off to relax and regroup is a tool every entrepreneur needs to have in their toolkit. But this is necessary…very necessary! Doing can impact your mindset, performance, skills, and efficiency.  Rest and relaxation can enhance your ability to be more authentic, and drive better results in your business. Most people exhibit strenuous behaviors like overworking themselves, which can lead to a burnout. Setting relaxation time is just as important as finding that new client. The inability to rest and relax often stems from the lack of boundaries you’ve allowed. Boundaries are tricky. And sometimes, it can be scary. You may think that placing boundaries will offend others but having healthy boundaries can be very productive. Let’s explore some ways to have healthy boundaries and communicate them.

 

DETERMINE WHAT’S IMPORTANT

Make a list of things that are important to you and that you wish to no longer do. It could be something as simple as spending time with family or going out with friends. Many entrepreneurs often say they spend more time working their business than they did working on a job.  Anything that makes you uncomfortable is probably a boundary for you. List those things then eliminate the uncomfortability by creating boundaries to address them.

 

HOW MUCH IS YOUR TIME WORTH?

Have you ever walked into a busy doctor office for a same day appointment? No, they would have to fit you into their schedule to see you. You have to use the same attitude when it comes to your business. Your clients will respect your schedule based on their needs. The truth is that the most successful people have boundaries. Saying “no” and enforcing boundaries will show how valuable you are. It shows your time comes at a premium. This is not to say play games and pretend you’re unavailable. But as my business coach has often said, create more white space on your calendar. This gives you time to do work no one else can and allows for time to do the things that you WANT to do. Don’t feel ashamed of placing boundaries with your clients because it only shows that you are confident in your worth.

 

ENFORCE BOUNDARIES

Setting healthy boundaries can sometimes be difficult. Many times you are people-pleasing or fear offending a client. You have to start somewhere. Schedule your office hours. Block off time on your calendar. Set screen limits on your cell phone. Schedule ‘Do Not Disturb’ hours on your phone. Schedule family and meal times. Do these until it becomes second nature. It gets easier with repetition. Ask yourself if the situation is urgent or if it can wait.

 

BE FLEXIBLE

Do you have to have strict boundaries? Of course not! As my coach says, “you’re the boss of your life.” Being flexible sometimes is necessary. However, try to ensure these are one-off situations where boundaries can be easily reinforced. Always revisit, reevaluate and reinforce. And again, repetitive actions become habits. So keep reminding yourself that your well being comes first.

 

Practice setting boundaries. Honor them. Revisit then reevaluate, then reinforce your boundaries. In this case, done is better than none – even if it’s just one.

I’m here to help you take the next step in your business journey and it all starts with strategy. Because it’s a new year, mention code PCM to receive 22% off when you schedule a  Strategic Planning session with me. Click HERE to book your session today. In the meantime, for Strategic Success: Plan, Consult, & Manage!

2022 Business Processes & Plans – Day 4

 Lets review tips from the past three posts.

Day 1: FINANCIAL ORGANIZATION & BOOKKEEPING – Organizing and streamlining the financial record keeping can help you analyze, strategize, scale, and grow your business.

 

Day 2: AUTOMATE WITH SYSTEMSAutomating with systems streamlines the daily functions of your business and allows it to scale & grow. Automation just allows you to reallocate your time and focus on what you feel matters more.

Day 3: CREATING WORKFLOWS – Choosing the proper workflow and systems for your business can allow you to have the time to focus on your craft, while generating revenue for your business.

So, for the fourth post, let’s focus on Goal Setting.

In this New Year, we are completing goals. We have to be done with procrastination and staying in our heads. We need to rise above those pesky little nasty habits and get to work! The fastest and most efficient way to complete goals is just by taking the time to set them. Even if you only have a couple hours a week to dedicate to your goals, I promise you will see results! Happy results! The key to this is taking small steps to ensure you are always working on your goals. The time is now. Do not go another year living in your head and wasting time wishing. Here are some helpful tips for setting goals that will ensure you stay on track.

GET SPECIFIC

It’s important that you be honest with yourself and be specific about your desired results. Picture what the goal looks like when you’re finished. Entrepreneurs usually want to increase revenue each  year. As an example, you can set a goal that you want your business to increase revenue by 20%.

BE STRATEGIC

After you’ve become acquainted with whatever your goals are, now focus on what’s needed to accomplish them. This is Strategy. You will start with the end in mind and break each goal into smaller steps. The big picture will begin to form. These are good questions to ask yourself:

  1. How long would it take to complete this task?

  2. How will I accomplish this process?

  3. How do I measure my success?

  4. What does progress look like?

Finding a way to measure your progress can help you understand if the work you are putting into your task is beneficial in obtaining your goal. You can control how many times you advertise or market your service, but can you control the number of inquiries you receive? Gather the data and map out a plan to determine what action you can complete daily or weekly to get you closer to your goal.

COMMIT

This is the biggest step in this process. It’s imperative that you commit to your goal and put in the work! All your planning will be wasted if you don’t take action. Stick to your plan. Create systems and processes. Design a workflow. Set a reminder. Schedule time for yourself. Do it however it works for you, just do it!

Set goals. Be specific about your goals. Break them into smaller steps. Ask yourself clarifying questions. Commit to working your plan. Track your progress. Now turn around and list what has been accomplished! By the end of 2022, it will be more than you think.

As always, I’m here to help you take the next step in your business journey and it all starts with strategy. Because it’s a new year, mention code PCM to receive 22% off when you schedule a  Strategic Planning session with me. Click HERE to book your session today. In the meantime, for Strategic Success: Plan, Consult, & Manage!

 

2022 BUSINESS PROCESSES & PLANS, Day 3

Choosing the proper workflow and systems for your business can allow you to have the time to focus on your craft, while generating revenue for your business.

For Day 3, I want to share with you how creating workflows helps your business. But let’s review the previous two posts.

Day 1: FINANCIAL ORGANIZATION & BOOKKEEPING – Organizing and streamlining the financial record keeping can help you analyze, strategize, scale, and grow your business.

Day 2: AUTOMATE WITH SYSTEMS – Automating with systems streamlines the daily functions of your business and allows it to scale & grow. Automation just allows you to reallocate your time and focus on what you feel matters more.

Let’s continue!

Running a business by yourself can be tough. You can find yourself exhausted, depressed, and maybe even losing passion. Understanding that these feelings are normal, yet avoidable is the key to your success. Working with different companies has allowed me to understand the importance of workflows and systems. I’ve noticed that the most successful entrepreneurs prioritize running their business efficiently each month as well as focusing on the core activities. I’ve seen these individuals quickly outsource non-revenue generating tasks to focus on those  that will make them money. Choosing the proper workflow and systems for your business can allow you to have the time to focus on your craft, while generating revenue for your business. With that being said, I think it would appropriate for us to examine the best workflow and systems I’ve seen work for other companies to help you better understand the importance of these systems inside your business.

SALES

One of the main issues of working as a solopreneur or small business is that you get swamped with so many tasks, you forget to sell your product or service. I’ve seen it time and time again. However, it’s imperative for you to continue to find a way to focus on selling your services.. If you do not make more sales, you limit the amount of revenue you can make. Thus, your business growth halts. One way to beat that scenario is by making sure your workflow focuses on selling your product or service every day, regardless of the amount of work you must complete. Try blocking time on your scheduler, where you will focus on sales and business development. If you are more tech savvy, you can consider using different apps/websites to assist you with sales funnels. Ideally, you can always hire or outsource to a salesperson. The idea is to create a process or workflow to keep your sales process rolling which impacts revenue.

INITIAL INQUIRIES

What good is having a Sales workflow if inquiries are responded to? If there isn’t a  business process set up to respond to new inquiries, it can have a detrimental effect to the success of your business. To prevent this, automated responses can be set up to respond to inquiries. It’s like putting your business on autopilot. There are several ways you can do this.

1. Set up a business email which is dedicated to inquiries. An example is inquires@yourbusiness.com. Then you can set up the emails from this mailbox to have priority in your main inbox. This will cause all the inquiries to show as a priority and at the top of your emails so that they cannot be overlooked.

2. A very affordable but simple alternative is to use a CRM like Dubsado or Honeybook which can be set to automatically send a reply.

3. Hire a freelancer or contractor to respond to inquiries.

FEEDBACK

Have you ever worked on a project that involved constant feedback from a client? Having a workflow for this important step can be very helpful to ensure that every client sends their feedback. I’ve witnessed a lot of projects get pushed back by waiting on this important piece. In turn, your revenue takes a dive because the payment for the project is also pushed back. If you need clients to send feedback or files, again I recommend a CRM like Honeybook or Dubsado which would automate this process and make it easier and less time consuming. For more tech friendly freelancers, it’s easy to integrate these software to  trigger workflow responses by the number of days before a project starts, number of days before a payment, and the number of days before the project is completed. There are other helpful tools and resources that can help your business workflow in an automated way.

REFERRALS & TESTIMONIALS

Without a doubt, word of mouth is still the number 1 way to get clients. So, you want to create a workflow which will elevate your business AND bring in new clients; essentially, create a way for potential clients to get started with your company. Upon completion of work, always send an email asking your client for a testimonial or review. Another powerful way to make an impact is by asking your client if they know anyone who can benefit from services and skills. You can automate these responses in a workflow in CRM such as Dubsado or Honeybook. Or personalize them by making the phone calls yourself.

The key to a successful workflow is to identify where time is being wasted. Create workflows which will resolve these issues each time they arise. Once the kinks are all out of the workflow, you will see your business become more streamlined, automated,  and produce more revenue with less time or stress.

As always, I’m here to help you take the next step in your business journey and it all starts with strategy. Because it’s a new year, mention code PCM to receive 22% off when you schedule a  Strategic Planning session with me. Click HERE to book your session today. In the meantime, for Strategic Success: Plan, Consult, & Manage!

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2022 BUSINESS PROCESSES & PLANS, Day 2

For Day 2, I want to share with you ideas about creating systems and automating processes. This will look and feel different for everyone because each of us have our own way of doing things. The key is to find what works for you! If you’re looking to try something new, grab my affiliate link to the products or services and give it a shot.

AUTOMATE WITH SYSTEMS

Are you the CEO of your business or are you working in your business? Do you know one of the secrets to being a CEO of a great company? Systems and automation. While many CEOs may have started on the ground floor and learned every process, they have learned that the only way to scale and grow their business was to build systems then delegate and automate the process. As the CEO, you can’t possibly be expected to do the daily tasks that are required in your business. If you are, you are not the CEO; you’re merely a high-level employee of your company! Imagine giving someone a handbook that outlines how to do every process and procedure the way you wish it to be done. Putting processes and procedures together creates a system. And many systems can be optimized and automated with the correct business tools. Now you might wonder, what are the correct tools? The correct tools are the ones you will use! Use whatever works best for you and be careful of S.O.S. (Shiny Object Syndrome – that’s an entirely different subject to read about!) However, it doesn’t matter the industry you’re in or your plans, this level of efficiency should be a goal.

Automating procedures into processes, and processes into systems, streamlines the daily functions of your business. It alleviates bottlenecks and allows you to focus on revenue-generating tasks like client-facing duties, sales consultations, and marketing functions. Have you ever felt like you were wasting time performing repetitive, but necessary tasks? At that moment, you may have felt that you could be doing something more important that could bring your company more revenue. If this feeling is becoming more persistent, think about automating the process. When processes, workflows, and systems are automated, you may find more time to focus on the things that matter most.

KEEPING TABS ON YOUR FINANCES

Be honest. Do you enjoy ‘keeping the books’? We all know it’s necessary. However, most business owners do not enjoy doing it and find themselves stressed out thinking about bookkeeping. Financial recordkeeping and reconciliations should be a monthly routine. Aside from hiring a bookkeeper or accountant, one tool that may help is using software such as QuickBooks or Wave Accounting. For details and tips, read my blog posted on Day1. As recommended, make this a monthly routine so that you will not be overwhelmed at the end of the quarter or end of the year.

MANAGING & MONITORING LEADS

Has it ever seemed like leads are filling your pipeline so quickly and at the busiest moments of your business? This process can be automated. Leads are a part of your sales funnel, and you want to be sure to respond to each new opportunity. Having these leads or inquiries pointed to one platform is key. It could be your email but a CRM like Dubsado or HoneyBook is a great tool for automating the process. You may think it’s easier to let your leads contact you via private message or text, however you’re inviting a lack of boundaries. In time, things will become overwhelming and confusing. You will spend more time splitting your focus & time in the various platforms, not to mention you’re teaching potential clients your time is not valuable. Simply invite leads to send you an email or if you have a website, send a link to your contact form on your website. Using auto-responders, FAQ links, and email templates can be helpful tools.

Having a system in place will allow you to then monitor your leads. With a CRM, the data is more readily available and can help with the sales process, marketing perspective, and financial positioning.

CLIENT ONBOARDING & OFFBOARDING

After the “Yes” in the sales process, you want to WOW your new client with a great onboarding experience. In a CRM, entering the client’s information is usually all that is necessary since the workflow has, more than likely, already been built out. Items like the proposal, contract, invoices, and appointment reminders can be turned on and automated. 

Similarly, offboarding should be a seamless experience. It aids in getting great client reviews. Things like sending a thank you note after completion of a project with links to various social media platforms can make the offboarding experience exceptional. Simply scheduling a follow-up with the client in your workflow can be done and generally makes clients feel very special.

The automation of processes and systems in your business don’t have be overwhelming. It can be as simple as creating email templates, tweaking your workflow, or scheduling appointment reminders. Technology is a tool. It doesn’t mean your business shouldn’t have a human component. Automation just allows you to reallocate your time and focus on what you feel matters more.

As always, I’m here to help you take the next step in your business journey and it all starts with strategy. So because it’s a new year, mention code PCM to receive 22% off when you schedule a  Strategic Planning session with me. Click HERE to book your session today. In the meantime, for Strategic Success: Plan, Consult, & Manage!