One of the keys to success in business is making sure you work efficiently. Being a solopreneur or small business owner can be stressful. However, don’t add to the level of everyday anxiety by not systematizing your business.
People often ask me how I am able to operate multiple businesses using my laptop and handheld devices. Having a degree in industrial and systems engineering has assisted me in this area, and I look for opportunities to reduce or eliminate my personal effort wherever possible. In every aspect of business you have to ask yourself, “Am I working too hard doing something that software/technology can do easier?”
Implementing business systems is key to maximizing your efficiency. Do you have the following elements in your business? If so, what tools are you using?
Online Presence: Every business should have a Website. Most people won’t reach out to you until they’ve vetted you online or via someone they know and trust. There are several solutions for creating an online presence, some inexpensive, others not so inexpensive. A number of the inexpensive options like Wix, GoDaddy Website Builder and WordPress still offer you a professional appearance without breaking your budget. All of my Websites, 15 of them, are built using WordPress. The tool is user-friendly and offer a number of templates to customize the appearance. Also, your Website needs to be responsive (mobile-device friendly), otherwise you jeopardize losing potential customers because they can’t easily conduct business with you.
[Related: Mobile App Entrepreneur How Move From Idea Executive]
Business Phone System: Every business should have a dedicated business phone line. This should be self-explanatory, but there are still a number of people doing business via personal phone lines. There’s nothing worse than calling someone for business only to have their kids answer the phone as if you’re interrupting something. With a number of options out there like Google Voice, eVoice and Grasshopper (my choice), there’s no excuse for not having a dedicated business phone line. Plus these solutions are either free or very low in cost.
Business Branded E-mail: Another professional touch to add to your business is utilizing a business branded e-mail address. This might seem like a minor element, but there is a different view from a business perspective when you conduct business online with someone using a business-branded e-mail address versus other free options. Yahoo and Google are great companies, but I prefer to conduct business using my business-branded e-mail accounts. You can setup your own business e-mail account using companies like GoDaddy.
Customer Relationship Management: Communicating and sharing products/services with your customers is a major key to the success of your business. Unfortunately, a number of people are still leveraging spreadsheets and offline distribution lists. This makes communicating with your clients and customers much more complex than it needs to. Take a look at low-cost solutions like Aweber, Mailchimp or Constant Contact. You can also opt for other solutions requiring more of an investment like Infusionsoft or Act-on. The main point is being able to easily organize and communicate with your customers leveraging streamlined automation.
Social Media Management: You can spend countless hours juggling between Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+ and/or Pinterest. Quite frankly, it can be a downright hassle trying to manage all of those social media channels while still servicing your customers. Fortunately, there are a number of applications which assist with this effort. Take a look at options like Hootsuite, TweetDeck and Sprout Social.
If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner and having trouble juggling the multiple aspects of your business, evaluate the various components of your current business to see if there are areas to systemize. I will share five more business areas with you in part 2 of Systemize Your Business.
Kenny Pugh is a Personal Finance and Business Coach, Speaker, media personality, sought-after speaker on finances, business, relationships and life. You can find more information about Kenny at www.kennypugh.com. He is also the visionary behind KTP Financial, LLC (www.ktpfinancial.com). Also, follow him on Facebook at www.kennypughfanpage.com, on Twitter @mrkennypugh and on Instagram/YouTube at Kenny Pugh.