I love running my business, but it’s not as simple as just doing what you love and having the money roll in. Automating your business is one of the most important things you can do to scale up, so that you can focus on what matters most – like spending time with your family and friends, or going out and exploring nature!
In this blogpost we’re going to look at how to automate and save time each week by using five key areas: delegation, tools and software, 80/20 principle (and how to roll it out), temptation to micromanage others (and how to resist) and a time management…
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Automation: The gateway to more freedom
The first thing that you want to do is automate tasks and processes in your business. You can then devote 10+ hours per week back into your life and focus on what matters most: building relationships with clients, networking, or getting more exposure for your brand.
So what exactly does automation mean? It means using software tools and services to give yourself more time by doing the boring tasks so that you can work on what really matters. For example, if you have a lot of emails coming in every day, there are email marketing tools out there that will help you schedule when they send out those emails automatically (and they don’t just send them once; they keep sending them over and over again). That’s just one example of many things that could be automated – this list includes some examples of other things that could be automated in any small business or large company:
- Marketing campaigns
- Tasks such as data entry or customer support emails
- Sales calls/emails made by salespeople (you might even consider hiring an assistant if these things take up too much time)
The 5 key areas of business where you can automate and save time
You can automate your business at a number of different levels.
- Automate marketing
- Automate sales
- Automate social media
- Automate business processes, or general internal and external operations that are repetitive in nature (e.g., customer service)
- Organise yourself better and more efficiently so that you have time to focus on other important tasks
Key #1 to automated success in business: Delegation
The first key to automated success in business is delegation. If you’re a solopreneur or work from home, then you probably have a lot on your plate. You may be doing a lot of things yourself that other people could do for you – for example, writing and sending out emails, Facebook posts, or LinkedIn updates; searching for clients; writing ad copy; managing customer service issues; doing research for product launches etc.
If you don’t want the stress of teaching someone else how to do these tasks (and trust me – unless it’s something really simple like sending an email or posting on social media), then it might be time to delegate them so they don’t take up so much of your time.
But here’s the thing: It’s hard not to micromanage when we’re giving away control over what we’ve been doing ourselves all along! So how can we learn how NOT to micro-manage?
The 80/20 principle tells us that 20% of our efforts produce 80% of our results. So if we want more results without putting in more effort, then we need only focus on improving those few things that are producing dramatically better outcomes than others do – allowing us some breathing space while still increasing productivity!
The 80/20 principle of delegation – how to roll it out in your business
The 80/20 principle is a great way to delegate tasks, even if you don’t have any employees. The idea behind this principle is that 80% of the work in your business is done by 20% of your team members. So, if there are only three people working for you now and one person does 80% of the work, then it makes sense for you to delegate that job to him or her.
You may have heard about the “80/20 rule” from Tim Ferriss – he calls it the “Pareto Principle.” It was named after Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist who noticed that most wealth was concentrated among a small fraction of society (the top 20%). By looking at his data carefully, he realized that this trend applied not just to wealth but also to almost everything else: 20% of workers owned 80% of property; 20% of pea pods contained 80% peas; and so on…
The same thing applies in business: if we look closely at our numbers and find out what works best with our customers (or leads) then we can start delegating those tasks accordingly. And guess what? Delegating will save us time because we won’t need as much oversight when someone else takes over doing something for us!
The biggest mistake I see people make when they delegate
The biggest mistake I see people make when they delegate is the temptation to micro-manage.
Micro-managing happens when you feel like you need to be involved in every little detail of a project. You might get involved and then realize that you don’t have the skills to do what needs to be done, so you tell someone else what to do instead. The end result is a lot of confusion and resentment among your team members, who now have no idea what their jobs are or how they fit into the bigger picture.
When it comes down to it, micro-managers aren’t really helping anyone—they just think they are because they’re busy all day doing everything themselves! This kind of behavior is more about ego than anything else—if someone else can do something better than you can (or even just as well), there’s no reason not let them try their hand at it!
How to delegate tasks that you don’t want to teach or share (yet)
It’s easy to assign a task when you are confident in your ability to delegate it. But what if you need a task done that is not one of your strengths? How do you know whether or not it’s okay for someone else to complete, and if so, how do they go about doing it? This is where delegation challenges arise—for both parties involved. When delegating tasks that aren’t aligned with your strengths, be sure to have clear expectations upfront around what needs to be accomplished and how long they have. If possible, provide instructions as well so that everything runs smoothly and seamlessly without any hiccups along the way.
The temptation to micromanage others – and how to resist it
The biggest temptation I faced when it came to automating my business was the urge to micromanage. You see, I have a strong desire to make sure that everything is running smoothly and all the pieces are in place, but this tendency is not only inefficient; it’s also counterproductive. The more you try to control everything, the less likely you are to get out of your own way and let things happen naturally–which means you end up getting blocked by your own rules at every turn.
The solution? Delegation! If there’s anything that has changed about my approach since starting Automated Income Expert full-time (and really since even before then), it’s been how much more control I have over my workload now than before. This is largely because delegating large chunks of work allows me greater flexibility in my schedule so that I can focus on higher-value tasks and be more productive overall.
Key #2 to automate your business: Tools and software
The second key to automating your business is automation tools and software. This is where most of your time can be recovered—even 10 hours per week or more! But, like any process or tool, there are some things you need to know before buying into a new tool:
- What does it do?
- How much does it cost? (Don’t pay for something you don’t need.)
- Does it solve a problem that I’m having right now? (If not, then don’t waste your time.)
My favourite tools for automating my business (and life!)
There are several tools I use to automate my business, and below I’ve listed some of the most useful ones.
- Active Campaign is one of the most widely used email marketing platforms. It allows you to build automated email campaigns based on subscriber behaviour, such as when someone clicks a link in your newsletter or signs up for your email list. This allows you to send emails at pre-set intervals (e.g., once per week) without having to do so manually every time.
- Delegate allows you to hire virtual assistants from any part of the world and have them complete tasks for you online—such as checking social media accounts, creating content or booking travel arrangements—at a fraction of the price that it would cost if done by an employee locally (or even remotely). These people will be able to work flexibly around their own schedules, allowing you more freedom with your schedule too!
- Outsourcing: If possible/practical, consider outsourcing certain tasks as well – this can free up valuable time while also lowering costs significantly compared with hiring an in-house worker who may not have as much experience or expertise in these areas yet may still charge similar rates due to overhead costs associated with office space etcetera… For example if someone else wants something done quickly then outsourcing might be worth considering (especially if there’s no way around hiring someone fulltime either because they need specialized knowledge or there aren’t enough hours left). A good way forward might be using services like TaskRabbit where freelancers bid each other on projects posted by others who need help getting things done quickly but don’t necessarily want fulltime commitments.”
My ‘automated day’ routine, with links to the tools I use for each task
Tip: Every Sunday I reflect on the previous week and I make a list about tasks I can Automate, Delegate or Eliminate. I take these results with me into the planning for the upcoming week. Little by little I improve my way of working and will gain more freedom to focus on the bigger picture.
- Schedule: I use my personal Google Calendar to schedule all of my appointments, meetings and events.
- Finance: I use Mint to keep track of my finances.
- Social media: I use Hootsuite to manage all my social media accounts.
- Blog: I use WordPress for blogging, but also for many of the other tasks that go along with running a business (like creating sales funnels and landing pages).
I know that automation can sound like a scary word, and it can even seem overwhelming at first. But I promise, it’s not as bad as you think! It’s actually quite simple: just find the five key areas of your business where you could save time by automating them (in my case, these are email management, social media scheduling, accounting/invoicing), then choose some tools or software to help get started with each one. Stick with it for a month and see how much time this frees up – you’ll be very pleasantly surprised!
Join us at Nomad Island Fest in Madeira for seven days of work, play, and learning.
- Join us at Nomad Island Fest in Madeira for seven days of work, play, and learning.
- You can expect to learn about how to travel as a digital nomad, how travel has changed over the years and what it will look like in the future. You’ll also get an insight into the psychology of a nomadic lifestyle and how you can apply these learnings to your own life.
- You’ll have time away from work so you can enjoy this beautiful island with other digital nomads while still networking with others who share similar interests. We’re talking activities like surfing lessons or relaxing on our private beach!
- This event is all about meeting new people—you might meet someone who becomes your best friend or finds out about their project that could help yours grow! You might even find out about some cool businesses or services that would make great additions to your portfolio.
- After this event ends we plan on having another one soon after so stay tuned for more information!
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