As a small business owner - you may know this feeling all too well. Marketing tasks like posting on social media, getting emails out or writing blogs can be forgotten or pushed down the priority list - despite how important they are.
You can be driven, focused, and hard-working, but it’s easy for anyone to lose track of time during a hectic workday. Before we know it, our day or week is over.
So to be productive within your business marketing and use your time wisely, utilize these time-saving tips.
1. Get Automated
Automations allow you to simplify repetitive tasks and help your business run like clockwork. You can automate payroll tasks, emails and social media posts. My personal favourite is Email Automation.
Email automation allows you to send emails to all your customers without wasting time writing and sending emails to each individual. For example, thanks for subscribing emails, abandoned cart emails.
This allows you to connect with, and nurture current and potential customers. With the right workflow, this is one of the easiest ways to save time. After working with clients - send a follow-up email to see if all is going well and request feedback.
2. Schedule everything!
The never-ending to-do list is a real thing when you're a small business owner. Tasks or opportunities often pop up that need to be completed and it can be frustrating being interrupted or jumping between tasks - so your schedule will help you organize your day.
Start with organizing your daily schedule.
My workdays during 2021 were scheduled as the following.
Mondays and Tuesdays were days I really knuckled down on my priority jobs to ensure they were completed for my clients for the week ahead, with time to spare if they needed extra support or changes before the end of the week.
Wednesdays were the days I scheduled meetings with my clients.
Thursdays and Fridays were my administration and non-contact days, due to my youngest not attending kindy those days. During those days I would do small bits of work between mum life.
My schedule is tracked through my website calendar so both my daily tasks and appointments show up in one area.
Marketing is another HUGE area to save time. SCHEDULE IT ALL! YES schedule it all.
Bulk create and Schedule your Social Media Posts, blogs and emails. Yes, it takes some time initially but afterwards, it will save you time.
Then do 1 months worth of emails or blogs and schedule them out.
Over time it will become a habit and you will get used to looking at particular events/dates you want to promote. Just think about how much stress you WON'T have worrying about what to post, sending out an email or getting a blog live.
Thinking about the huge list of things to be done can become very overwhelming.
If you're service-based you are likely thinking about multiple contracts you have on the go at the moment, contracts due to start or finish OR the thought of having to obtain new contracts.
If you're product-based - you are likely thinking about having to create/order your products, keeping inventory on stock incl. packaging and getting your product in front of more people.
Write everything down that needs to be done, prioritize what’s most important and what can be done quickly. Some things will require more attention so if you can get lots of small things done quickly - this will free up some time. Breaking your to-do list down into small segments makes it more manageable to work through. Writing it down and crossing it off will help you with a sense of achievement/productivity.
Use a Project Management board. If tasks/jobs have multiple steps involved, have more than one person working on a project or you like to record and track your progress and deadlines - Project Management boards such as Trello, Asana, or Monday.com are really handy.
In a world with a lot of remote/virtual work and meetings now, these apps help your team communicate without having to waste time in meetings every day to chase up what needs to be done, what's finished and what is being worked on next.
I use both written lists and Project Management boards. For small tasks I want to complete each day, including personal, I write these down on a Weekly Planner desk pad and cross off each task as I complete them. I also use Trello for my projects . It's great as we can communicate daily while keeping track of what we are each working on.
4. Get help!
YES, I know this business is like your baby. You birthed it and now trusting someone to help can be a scary thought. You might be worried about how you'll pay this person, where will you find time to train them, what would you even get them to do?
Outsourcing isn't for everyone but think more about how much time you might lose without the help, the stress and extra workload, the time spent working instead of being with loved ones.
The right time to outsource is when you can really say to yourself "I can't do all of this myself" or "I need to do this but it's the last thing I'm passionate about".
What are some small tasks you can pass on to start with? Figure out what those are maybe consider hiring a Virtual Assistant like myself.
The Bonus of Virtual Assistants is we all specialise in different areas and can work flexibly - so we can work on and off as required - maybe one hour this week - 2 hours a few weeks later. No need to hire us officially. It's pretty handy if you ask me.
5. Ditch perfection.
In an ever-changing world -there is too much focus on likes, followers and getting rich quick. But as the old saying goes - nothing worth having comes easy. So forget about getting everything PERFECT.
The more you focus on getting your marketing PERFECT, captions PERFECT, photos PERFECT...the less time you spend on taking action.
Post that photo, write that caption, share that silly reel. Nobody can predict what will work best because everyone is different - so BE YOU and let YOU shine through.
Take action, and then take time to review performance every few months. Take note of what performed well, what didn't and focus on creating content that worked well last time, and improve areas where it didn't. Then we review again and alter again.
The small business journey is a constant learning path. Be prepared and open to constantly learn and grow and remember why you started in the first place and what you're passionate about.
Over the holiday break (you know those days between Christmas and New years where everything is a blur and you're not really sure what the day it is), I've been working on my strategy for 2022. Taking time while work is quiet to strategize, create and schedule. It's been nice to do it in my free time, while also spending time with the kids and resting whenever I feel like it.
I'm aiming to take this feeling of less pressure through the year.
What about you? How are you planning to stay organized and save your time, and sanity, and make 2022 your b*tch?!
If you're keen to stay ahead but need help or are not sure where to start - let's catch up and see how I can help you in 2022. I'd love to hear from you and help you smash your 2022 goals.