Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission or other benefits if you make a purchase using these links (at no additional cost to you). Please know that I only recommend tools that I personally use and love.
As a solopreneur you are wearing all the hats playing all the roles and doing all the things. It can be a little (or a lot) overwhelming at times.
Maybe you aren’t ready to hire a team, but you know something has to change for your business to be sustainable.
Doing it all yourself all the time is not the answer. Burnout is not the goal.
I like to think about simplifying your business through 3 main strategies: streamlining, automation and delegation.
You can use one or all of these tools to make a huge difference in the efficiency of your business and reduce stress and overwhelm.
Streamlining and automating, in particular, are key to lightening your own load as a one-woman show.
When you’re not quite ready to hire a team to support you (or even if you are), technology can be your first team member.
Streamline Your Processes
Streamlining (aka cutting out all the unnecessary stuff and making sure what’s left runs smoothly) is a powerful tool at any stage of business.
Especially when you are the one holding all the information and checking off all the to-dos, you don’t have time and energy to waste.
So, we want to make sure that you have a structure in place to make each process and task in your business run as simply, efficiently and smoothly as possible.
The goal with streamlining is two parts:
Cut out the extra stuff. As the business owner, it’s up to you to evaluate what you’re doing, what’s working and what isn’t when it comes to reaching your business goals.
You’ve got to prioritize the essential pieces of growing, connecting with and nurturing your audience and serving your current clients.
Use technology to make the essentials easier and more efficient. Once you’ve narrowed down what truly needs to be done, you can get curious about whether it needs to be done manually or if there might be a shortcut.
Using some incredible apps and software platforms, you can cut out a significant chunk of your manual work to save valuable time and energy.
For example, if you struggle to create content because you hate writing, but you could talk about your business and how you help people all day long…voice-to-text or a transcription service like Otter might be your new best friend.
Getting Started With Automation
Automation takes what you’ve already done in the streamlining phase to another level, and it’s where tech tools become an even more valuable piece of your business.
Because up until now, you are still the one doing all the doing.
Automation is where tech becomes like a team member – a team member that never gets sick and charges disturbingly low rates.
Rather than outsourcing tasks to a human, you use automation to take them off your plate.
We all have tons of marketing emails flooding our inboxes on a daily basis, social media posts filling our feeds. But how many of these people are actually publishing this content in real time?
Not very many, my friend. And neither should you.
The possibilities are nearly endless for automating your online business. You can schedule social media posts, emails, blogs and YouTube videos to be published at a later time (batch your content creation for even more efficiency), create rules to keep your inbox organized and tidy, deliver a free resource and add subscribers to your email list, invite people to schedule a call with you without all the back and forth and so much more!
Step 1: Get crystal clear on exactly what it is you want to automate. Is there a task you find yourself repeating often? Do you think to yourself, “Is it really necessary for me to keep doing this?” This is a clue that it may be time to automate.
Step 2: Map out the automation. Once you’ve decided what you want to automate, you need to break it down a little further.
Automations usually have two parts: a trigger and an event or action. Essentially, if A happens, then B will happen.
You need to be pretty specific about what these two pieces are. Technology can’t think for itself (yet), so you have to tell it exactly what you want it to do.
Step 3: Research your options. Automations can happen in one of three main ways:
If your trigger and event are in the same platform (e.g. Trigger: someone fills out a form to subscribe to your newsletter >> Event: they are added to your email list with a tag)…
👉 Look for automation options within the platform itself. In this case, an email service provider like ConvertKit.
If your trigger and event are in two different platforms (e.g. Trigger: you record a meeting in Zoom >> Event: the recording is saved to your GoogleDrive meetings folder)…
👉 Explore whether the two platforms integrate together.
👉 If they don’t integrate directly, look into Zapier.
I could go down a pretty deep rabbit hole here, but what you really need to know is that Zapier acts as a connector between platforms that don’t already play nicely with each other. There are tons and tons of automation options through this tool.
Pro tip: Search “[name of platform 1] and [name of platform 2] zaps”, and you’ll see a whole list of possible automations. You’ll see if the one you’re looking for is available, and you might just get some ideas you hadn’t thought of yet, too.
There are so many possibilities out there when it comes to automating your business that it can be overwhelming to know which ones are right for you.
That’s why I created a brand new guide of my must-have tech tools for solopreneurs. These are the tools that I use all the time to streamline and automate, both within my own business and for my clients.
Is there something in your business you’d love to automate but you just aren’t sure what the right tool is for you? Send me a DM and I’d be happy to share my recommendations.