This article was also featured in the May 2014 edition of Women Online Magazine. Get your completely FREE three month subscription to this awesome online magazine using this affiliate link.
If you’re starting or growing your own business, you’ve probably felt overloaded at some point. It happens when your business starts to take on a life of its own.
Projects begin to pile up, your number of clients has doubled, and tax time is right around the corner. You start to feel like there is no way to get it all done by yourself. Well, I’ve been there too. In fact, I’ve been there a few times.
For me, it feels like juggling a 101 tasks with hopes of getting it all done, but knowing some of them will fall by the wayside. I called this feeling entrepreneur overload.
In times of entrepreneur overload, I have a 4 step system to not only help you overcome the challenge, but come away a stronger and more effective business.
Step 1: Streamline
Streamlining your business is about organizing efficient and effective systems by employing faster or simpler working methods. This is a particularly important strategy for repetitive projects such as
- New customer intake process;
- Testing and tracking of marketing campaigns;
- Bookkeeping and taxes;
- Invoicing and accounting; or
- Maintaining an active social media presence.
By following principles like the 80/20 rule, you can identify the 20% of tasks that produce the majority of results. Then, find ways to systematize these task so there is little resistance to getting them done.
Start by recording all the action tasks needed to complete the project. Then, develop systems, worksheets, and schedules that relieve resistance and improve the work flow for this task. Make it a no-brainer what steps need to be done in order to complete the project. Want an example? Check out this flow chart I created for systematizing the creation of a blog post.
Step 2: Automate
Do you love online tools as much as I do? If you don’t it could be because you haven’t been introduced to some of the best automation tools for marketing. Automating tasks is about getting a machine to do the work for you. Sound complicated? It’s not.
Put the internet to work for you by using free online tools like ifttt.com or buffer.com. You may also find value in this awesome article about automating your business.
Step 3: Outsource
What is your core competency? Do you love to write, take pictures, or work with numbers? Identifying your motivating purpose is the first step in outsourcing. Once you know which tasks you want to do, you can begin hiring help to do the rest.
Virtual assistants, interns, and consulting companies can be hired to take care of all kinds of necessary business tasks you’d rather not do. Maintain a hand in the process by managing and teaching, but allow your mind to stay focused on more interesting tasks.
If you’re ready to outsource your social media marketing, you can reach out to us via email or by phone for a free estimate.
Step 4: Eliminate
Ask yourself, “Is this task necessary and will it produce a measurable result?” If you answer no to either of these questions, then you should seriously consider eliminating this task.
Things like going to networking meetings are fun and can be great opportunities to promote your business. However, if you quietly sit through these meetings, don’t hand out any business cards, and leave with no new business contacts – was it really worth? Probably not.
Matt Dotson, of automatemysmallbusiness.com put it elegantly when he said,
“The single best way to streamline a business is to eliminate unnecessary business processes. If you eliminate something, you don’t need a machine to do it, and you don’t need a person to do it.”
Note that this method of streamlining, automating, outsourcing, and eliminating is a constantly evolving process. Use feelings of entrepreneur overload to remind you to take a step back, work ON your business, and develop systems to help you stay organized.
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Until next time, happy marketing! ~Danielle