Today I’m giving you some tips on how to make your business simpler.
Considering just how much upheaval has occurred in the last couple of months, I figured it was time to put some simplifying ideas on the table!
1. Turn off the Tech (& tidy your desk)!
Switch off the tech.
Stop looking at Instagram or being distracted by the “ding” of a text message or an email whilst you are supposed to be ticking things off your to do list.
It’s not multi-tasking. It’s being distracted.
Multi-taskings is really just multi-switching. You really aren’t doing multiple things at once – you are simply switching between tasks – not generally doing any of them to 100%.
One way to tackle this is do to the following:
- Write your list of things to do today (as many as you want)
- Then choose the top 5.
- Once you have those top five, allocate a number for them from 1 to 5, with 1 being the most urgent, the most important thing you need to do and start there.
Then, switch off distracting technology.
- log out of emails and set a specific time to check them
- put your phone in a cupboard or in a drawer away from you
These two things will be the best thing you can do for yourself and your ability to be productive!
Those tech companies have spent millions, probably billions, ensuring we can’t switch off. So don’t blame yourself, it’s not your fault! You can however DISABLE ALERTS – and this is a very effective way of minimising distractions.
But if you are still finding you can’t keep away from your device, you going to have be the one to help yourself and TURN IT OFF!
If you’re WAY addicted, turn it off for 20 minutes, then an hour and then maybe 2 – ease into your new habit!
PS – if you want to be more productive – clean your desk too while you are at it! Mess breeds indecisiveness and lack of clarity!
2. Start saying “NO”!
I’m giving your permission right here, right now – it’s ok to say NO.
It’s ok to say no to your employees, your family, your partner, your kids school committees – seriously, it’s OK!
If you have been feeling completely overwhelmed and exhausted because you were all things to all people, then don’t go on like that.
Wherever you are now – practice it – practice saying, no!
HOWEVER – don’t you apologise when you are saying no! Don’t say “no sorry, I can’t …” here’s no apology needed. Give yourself permission to decline and move on. But, if you need a pointer on a couple of ways to say no without apologising, you can use the following:
“Thank you for the offer to be involved, however I can’t commit at the moment.”
“That isn’t going to work in for me at this point in time.”
“With my schedule, I don’t have capacity to be involved.”
“I currently have a number of obligations so can’t add more to my plate.”
Being a people pleaser myself, I know how hard it is to say no, but I guarantee you it’s a skill you can learn and nobody will love you less! I promise.
3. Automate, Automate, Automate
Automate in your business whatever you can.
Social media posting is a biggy here.
There is no conclusive evidence, that I can find or know of, that 100% guarantees you will be punished by an algorithm for scheduling your posts for your social platform or platforms.
There’s a lot of heated discussion, but there’s no conclusive evidence.
So, take that excuse off the table and think about automating posts.
There’s heaps of free and paid apps out there to help you. I use Buffer for most platforms and the aussie made and owned Plann for Instagram.
Using a platform like Mail Chimp or Flodesk to automate your email marketing will make life so much easier too!
Whether you’re sending out your weekly newsletter or welcoming a new person to your world – you can automate it, so it happens without your energy.
Set up automation to things like Messenger messages or DMs, – saying something like “Hi, [First Name]!
Thank you for contacting us. I wanted to let you know that we received your note. Someone will be in touch shortly.”
Automate appointment reminders, abandoned shopping cart emails or sending statements or invoices.
Automation can do some of the low level stuff for you so you can concentrate on your money making activities.
4. Find and remove the fluff
We all have it in our businesses. The fluff. The stuff we do because we have always done it or because we think it’s helping us in our businesses – but the truth is it’s just fluff!
Is the task or idea we have, as simple as it could be or have we overcomplicated it? Find a trustworthy person in your business or in your life and run it by them. Ask them to be honest in finding the fluff for you!
Then, take this feedback on board and target the stuff we can eliminate or outsource or automate. Commit to completing one of these three options for any fluff you uncover – Eliminate it. Outsource it. Or automate it.
Give yourself the gift of working ON your business more often and NOT IN IT as often!
Do what you do well and get the rest off your plate.
5. Keep your central goal in mind!
Wayyyy back in Episode 2 of my podcast (did you know I’m up to Episode 73 now!) I talked about how your business objective – that big goal for your business, should be that the epicentre of all your business decisions.
If you keep this goal in mind at all times, you’ll be less likely to stray, and be distracted by chasing bright shining objects. You will be more likely to only do tasks that will help you achieve it.
Therefore, in a perfect world – you will be simplifying your business!
In the retail business I had a few years ago, our goal, our overall objective was to sell – we started with the end in mind. We were never in it forever, the object was to build and sell.
So, every decision we made from stock we’d carry to moving locations to a price strategy, we all worked around that objective to sell and we were constantly asking “will this enhance our ability to attract a buyer and achieve our asking price”. If the answer was no, 99% of the time we didn’t do it.
My objective in my current business is this:
Is the information I’m sharing going to help my clients grow their businesses and be more profitable?
Again, if the answers no, then it lacks purpose.
That’s why it’s vital to keep focus on your objective. What’s your “start with the end in mind” goal?
Let’s just recap those ways to simply your business
- Turn off tech and tidy your desk!
- Start to say no.
- Automate what you can
- Find and remove the fluff from your business, and
- Keep your central business objective or goal in mind at all times
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenn Donovan is a marketing strategist and social media extraordinaire, coach and mentor to savvy business owners. Owner and Founder of Social Media & Marketing Australia.
With a passion for making business simple, because it’s isn’t easy but it should be simple or at least simpler, she’s built a reputation for helping other small business owners simplify their marketing and businesses so they can reach their goals, be more profitable and live the dream (finding the freedom they set out to achieve when they started … the illusive small business owner freedom dream …!)
Jenn believes in giving before asking and that’s why she’s the host of the popular Small Business Made Simple Podcast