Could you imagine a time when your business runs itself while you’re laying on a lounge chair sipping a Pina Colada in Bali? While it might seem like a dream, it could very well be your reality. Believe it or not, it is possible to create a business that can run efficiently without you working in the trenches 24/7.
During this week’s #MillennialTalk, we spoke with business operations expert, Adrienne Dorison, about “How To Get Your Business To Run Itself In The New Year.”
Get one step closer to living the dream, scroll down to read a recap of this week’s Q&A!
@ChelseaKrost: A business that runs itself has created a solid operations foundation has implemented systems, processes, and automation to enhance all capabilities. Let’s be honest, a business that can run itself is a DREAM business.
@adriennedorison: Can you leave for a month (no check-ins) + the biz will still run w/out you? That’s what we’re working toward. Get the systems, processes + team to be able to run efficiently w/out YOU on the day to day.
@BrianHartPR: It’s about building a business that has value beyond the founder’s own work. That requires a level of institutionalization and a well-defined management infrastructure.
@ChelseaKrost: As a solo-prenuer I truly understand the day to day duties & responsibilities of running a business all on your own. The Question to ask yourself is “do you work on or in your business & where should your time be alotted most?” For those that run your own show think about where you can build Standard Operating Processes so that you have easy templates to follow & if/when your ready to hire/outsource this process is ready & in place.
I always hear from ppl that they “don’t have time” to be consistent w/
#contentcreation & #socialmedia. Solution: During the last week of the month take 1 day to commit to building the next months 30day content cal = of mind & time back in your day 2 day. Like the bulk 30 day content calendar expertise, evaluate where else your can do things in bulk for your business. Especially with blogging, social media, podcasting, youtube vids, etc.
@adriennedorison: Track your time to see where it’s going. Identify the things you do that are YOUR highest value to the company. Start recording your screen as you DO your tasks to create a library of captured systems. Start small when hiring! Look at where your time is going + see if you can STOP doing anything completely, or maybe you can trim something.
@LeadinStilettos: Begin with your KPIs. Analyze if you are reaching your goals. Determine if any can be outsourced or if you have the ability to leverage technology.
@adriennedorison: Know how much your time is worth + what *your* primary role/value to the company is, if you’re doing tasks that aren’t related to this, start small + hire someone to take on things that take you away from your primary role. Look at where your time is going, you’ll be able to see clearly what tasks someone else could do (+ now that you’ve captured your processes they know what to do). If you have more money than time, hire it out + spend time on your primary role!
Be careful w/ this one. Make sure you’re actually reallocating your newly freed up time to revenue-generating activities. The only way hiring someone becomes an ‘ROI hire’ is if you spend the time you gained back on things that are of higher value. When you have no business doing the task…and you’ll spend way longer + get frustrated trying + it pulls you away from YOUR highest value. If it’s not in your zone, it will be better to hire it out.
@GenePetrovLMC: Hire when you can afford to take on people and the new hire frees you up to do more important/valuable work. Value your time appropriately.
@ChelseaKrost: Check it out
Think about things that are constant: Email, Scheduling Calls, Payroll, Onboarding Employees, Onboarding Clients, Sales Funnel, Meetings, evaluate what system/process/automation tool can make the task easier & more efficient.
@adriennedorison: Pick 3 tasks that you’re planning to do anyways this week in your business, fire up @vidyard and record yourself talking through the task WHILE you’re actually doing the task. No extra time needed! Use a project management system like @asana to manage your workflows + create complete transparency of team tasks. If it’s not written down (aka it’s living in your head or in an email exchange), w/ a due date, + a task owner … it’s NOT efficient.
Store your newly captured systems you just recorded in your digital filing cabinet (google drive works great) + you can use as a resource for current or future team members. It’s now built in onboarding, team training + redundancy for when peeps are out! Ditch written SOP’s forever. Writing SOP’s is super time consuming, and at the rate tech changes these days, it’s obsolete within a year (max), so use video to capture systems as you do them whenever possible. You can do this w/ team, clients processes, etc.
@OfficialMaleeka: There is a software for EVERYTHING! Use them. And start off using the free versions if you can help it. Don’t try to piece things together and create your own system. Find the ones that work best for you and that better work together. Any task that is done repetitively should be in a system. Let technology make life easier! Don’t be cheap but find ways to make your business flow with you…not fight with you!
@ChelseaKrost: Typical challenges include…
@adriennedorison: Lack of focus is the biggest inefficiency we see in small businesses – they try to focus on too many goals and projects at one time (or are trying to solve the wrong problem) and don’t have the resources to do it + do it w/ excellence, leaving them stuck. Switching directions constantly doesn’t allow you to create effective or efficient systems because you lack consistently – this slows business owners down as they’re using up lots of resources trying to turn the ship way too often.
Scaling TOO fast is a huge issue we work on w/ clients, when you’re growing fast, it’s important to make sure you understand what could operationally break so that you’re able to deliver what you promised w/ operational excellence. Huge brand risk if not. Not having systems in place will slow you down because it leaves you suffocated in the day-to-day operations and unable to focus on your highest value role (what we call your Queen Bee Role). Creatively you need space + systems provide that.
@RScheese: Outpacing their talent. Abandoning plans too early. Expansive versus targeted marketing focus come to mind
@ChelseaKrost: Love this @Infusionsoft article: 25 Things Every Small Business Should Automate – GREAT TIPS
@adriennedorison: We love @vidyard for capturing systems + love @zapier for automating lots of different processes together. Go play around in there + you’ll be amazed. It’s unlimited options of automation adventures! Spend time setting these up + you’ll be happy you did! Never ‘CREATE’ content again. You’re already creating it. Use Rev Transcription + @zapier to automate our content ‘capture’ process. For example, we record a training I teach, then transcribe it + turn into content for months. No more ‘creating content’.
We also use lots of @SlackHQ , @asana , @zapier integrations to keep things streamlined when we manage projects + tasks. We also loveee us some @SlackHQ bots! Think about automating things outside your business that will make your business life easier. Bill pay, subscription amazon order for toilet paper + such, you can even automate or batch your doctor appts. since I know our personal stuff is usually comes LAST. All calendar things + email filters! Emailing is a huge time suck, so make sure you’ve got it organized + automated so you’re not spending time in there or manually scheduling appointments ever again. I love @Calendly and @Mixmax for these things.
@Matt_LeBris: Personally I try to use tools as much as possible being I’m a one man show at the moment. Everything from @calendly to @Mailchimp to @hootsuite
DEVELOP YOUR UNIQUE WAY TO PRIORITIZE (no one size fits all method)
Block Schedule Your Calendar so you can totally focus on one task @ a time
Shut notifications of so your less likely to stray
Don’t keep your email tab open always
Create a morning routine that is fulfilling & not work related
Don’t skip meals.
Your Human- the human brain needs fuel to think
Do micro-activity: Desk yoga, power walk, squats while your on a long call to give you bursts of energy throughout the day