As a business that works with a lot of start-ups one of the things I hear most often is how overwhelming it is to have to wear 'all the hats' in business. The juggle is real, you are all of a sudden in charge of accounts, marketing, business development, production, customer relations and more. I'm here to share my top 5 small business time-savers to take you from overwhelm to feet up on the couch ( for a little while anyway).
It can feel like a lot at first and many of my clients baulk at the time involved to learn multiple social media platforms, keeping on top of the trends and algorithms while finding the time to create and post as well! Here's a few time-savers to help you get your feet up at the end of the day.
1. A GREAT!! website
I'm not kidding, I know this sounds like a sell, but the best thing about a professional website is that it will save you time. Add enough information to your website and your SEO will work so well you won't have to hunt for customers, paying exorbitant fees for for advertising and slogging away making multiple social media posts to get seen. Having enough info on your website means potential clients can quickly assess whether or not they want to work with you. From there you can send them to an onboarding form or a scheduling app such as Calendly where they can book at time to see or chat with you, within your availability. All this frees up time for you to work on or in your business.
2. An amazing accountant ( and accounting software)
I know you think you can save yourself a lot of money by doing the numbers yourself. Trust me I understand all the costs involved of getting started and even maintaining your business once you have, but a good accountant is a sound investment. It's almost the most worthwhile one in my opinion. If you make a mistake on your taxes, it doesn't take long to add up. When you are so busy doing what you are good at, another pair of eyes on the books is a valuable asset. You also get a years extension on your annual tax return by working with a professional.
3. An out of office responder on your emails
When there's just you managing all the roles in your business, setting up an email that instantly responds to your customers saying that you have received their email and will respond within 'x' hours or days ensures that you have touched base straight away and acknowledged their message. That gives you some time to then do your job and not feel an urgency to be getting back to people constantly throughout the day.
4. Set clear boundaries
One of the most dangerous aspects of going out on your own in business is the dreaded 'burn out'. Keep in mind you are the most valuable asset to your business, without you it comes to a grinding halt. Like a well oiled machine you need time out to rest and maintain your headspace and energy. Set clear times when you accept calls through a scheduling app and your voicemail message. Redirect messages from social media to your email so that you can reply to them in 'work-time'. Give yourself downtime on the weekends and don't respond to clients out of your work hours. Chose your clients wisely. If you have someone that is not a good fit or is draining your energy - politely let them go. Make time for the things you love outside of work time.
5. Create business planning days and network
All of the most valuable breakthroughs I have had in my 10 years of running my own business have either been on business planning days or through networking with other freelancers/small businesses. As Oprah says 'you don't know what you don't know'. Networking give you the opportunity to talk business, share struggles, and find human connection. The old saying 'community over competition' is so true and I have met so many amazing like-minded business owners who are now friends through our shared journey. Don't be afraid to get out there and get to your local meet ups - it's not just all about finding new customers, it's also about doing things better and smarter.
If you're interested in working with CIP Design Studio to create or refine your branding, website or marketing strategy, book a 15 discovery call I'd love to chat about how I can help you with design and business simultaneously!