Running a business has two sides: There’s the external side which works directly with clients, then there’s the internal side that deals with all of the routine tasks that keep the company running (bookkeeping, marketing, project management, and other business operations).
Most of us would much rather prefer to dedicate our time to client work and new projects—after all, that is what got us into the business! However, it can feel like routine operations take up the majority of our time and energy, leaving little time for creativity and innovation.
Automation is the key to freeing up space for more work that fuels your inner fire. Get back to what you love with these tips and tricks.
Start with now
Before paying for any subscriptions or hiring someone new, you need to first consider where you are right in this moment. What could use support in your business? Where are you spending the most time? How could you take an extra task or two off your plate?
Review your workflow and look for gaps in the processes. Do you spend far too much time creating employee schedules? Or are you bogged down by inventory management? Identify the biggest time-suckers and productivity-killers in your company and create a list.
In many cases, technology will be your closest ally in the push to automate your business. However, not everything needs an app to be simplified. Start by looking for offline ways to cut out valuable time in your day-to-day—perhaps it’s as easy as outsourcing certain responsibilities or instilling standard operating procedures to ensure consistency.
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With that said, digital platforms can certainly play a big role in building a lean and efficient business. Look back at your list of tasks and do some research to find apps and programs that seem like a good fit for you and your team. Opt in for free trials and tutorials to get hands-on experience that will lead you to the very best choice.
Prepare for transition
Implementing new technology and workflow management strategies isn’t an overnight thing. Even if you’re a solopreneur, it will take time to get used to your new approach and let it become routine. If you run a team of employees, it will take even more time to ensure everyone is on board and engaged.
Plan for at least a week of training and expect some growing pains along the way. The larger your team, the more time it will take to ease everyone into the new way of things. Remember that everyone learns differently, so while some employees may jump right in, others may require some careful hand-holding. Rest assured that once the transition period is over, you’ll reap the benefits of your new-and-improved workflow.
It’s worth noting that simplifying, streamlining, and automating your business is an ongoing process. Don’t feel like you need to address every area that needs improvement at once — otherwise, you risk burning out. Instead, start with something small and, with every step of progress, you’ll free up more time and automation will soon become as natural as curating a killer menu.