Women business owners have too much to do. In fact, there are often so many things we want to do, and we have so many ideas, it’s impossible to get everything done. But there’s hope, ladies. Streamlining your business and making parts of it run on autopilot saves you time and money, and gives you the creative space you need to grow.
First, I want to talk about streamlining. There are some misconceptions business owners have when they hear ‘streamlining.’ Four of them, in fact.
Misconception 1: Streamlining can only happen with tasks on the computer.
No. There are all kinds of things we’re doing day-to-day that waste time and resources. Yes, some things will move to the computer to happen automatically. But the word “streamlining” isn’t the same as “automating.” Streamlining means to make things run more efficiently. Which brings me to the next misconception.
Misconception 2: Streamlining means skipping steps.
Wrong again. Before you streamline a business, you have to know what’s happening. What do the workers even do? Often, we don’t even know. You can’t skip a step in the process if you don’t know what the process is. By figuring out what everyone is doing, and writing it all down, you get a clear idea of how the business is running. Sometimes, just changing the order of the steps streamlines the process. But how long does it take to figure out what’s going on?
Misconception 3: Figuring out what to streamline takes a long time.
Unless you’re running a very tight ship already, there’s going to be a low-hanging fruit. You’ll probably find it almost immediately when you document the process. There will be something that sticks out as “why are we doing THAT?” These are the things you’ll start with.
Misconception 4: This is going to be really hard, and really boring.
I promise, this is so much easier than you think. Plus, if you’re a creative, you can even turn your process document into an art project. Feel free to add shapes and colors. You don’t have to make this a flowchart, unless you want to. (I love flowcharts with shapes and arrows. But that’s just me!) Next, I’m going to tell you exactly how easy it is.
What do you need to know?
There’s only one key concept you need to know to make this project a success. (See, I told you it would be easier than you think.) There are two words you need to be able to distinguish from each other: Process and Procedure. Usually, these two words are thought of as interchangeable. But when you’re streamlining and automating, they’re completely different. Think of them this way:
Process = WHAT you do
Procedure = HOW you do it
I’ll give you an example.
Process: Make a Social Media Post
- Be Inspired
- Write post
- Post on Social Media site
Procedure: Make a Social Media Post
- Think of a topic
- Make some notes
- Log into Social Media account
- Click on the text box to create a new post
- Type your post into the text box
- Read and edit the text
- Add an image file
- Hit enter or click the post button
Do you see the difference in these two examples? Process is what you’re doing. Procedure is how you’re doing it. This can be anything you do for your business. Some other processes could be: creating a branded image, updating a blog, recycling content, publishing a lead magnet, etc.
I’m ready to start - what do I do?
Get a piece of paper, or open a new document on your computer in your favorite application. For the next 3 days, make a list of every WHAT you do. This is the magic formula. If you know what you do with the time you’re working in your business, then you know exactly what you can do automatically, without manual input.
Make sure you’re not getting too detailed with what you’re doing that you spend so much time writing the hows. Don’t even think about the hows. For the next three days, you’re going to focus only on the whats.
Knowledge is power, and you now have the knowledge you need to streamline and automate your business. There are going to be things on your list that you can’t have a computer do them for you. That’s OK! There may be ways you can streamline that procedure when you dig into it.
Your low-hanging fruit processes to streamline are going to be the things you have listed on your list more than once. If you’re doing something multiple times a day, there should be some way to make that task quicker, easier, or automatic.
Now, I can’t make any specific recommendations here as to which applications will help you, or how you can make your process more streamlined. Every business is different, and that’s why we all have our own businesses.
What I’m offering you is help with the streamlining. Because there are an infinite number of HOWs to each WHAT on your list, it’s valuable to discuss it with someone. That someone is me. I’ve been documenting, revamping, streamlining, and automating processes for over 15 years. And you can tap into this knowledge for free, on a strategy session with me.
Schedule your session here: www.thejessicahansen.com/schedule30
Bring your lists and we’ll get right down to business. Have an amazing day!