What It Means To Streamline Your Business (And 3 Real-Life Ways To Make It Happen)

What It Means To Streamline Your Business (And 3 Real-Life Ways To Make It Happen)

There are lots of entrepreneurs who brag about working 80-hour weeks, but the thing is, working that much sucks. You don’t have to be burning the midnight oil to become a successful entrepreneur.

Sure, being an entrepreneur means you are a very busy person. When you’re the one in charge, it means that every decision related to your business goes through you. And if you’re a solopreneur, it means that you’re handling pretty much every task yourself.

With so much going on, it can be hard to find time in the day for eating, sleeping or simply taking some time to relax and binge-watch your favorite show on Netflix.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Streamlining: What It Is And Why It Matters

You only have so many hours in the day.

And you’re not an expert at everything. These can be like two brick walls facing any solopreneur trying to run a successful business. The problem, of course, is that as a solopreneur, you’re in charge of everything, whether you’re an expert at it or not.

All too often, this leads to wasted time and less-than-ideal results as you try to learn the ropes of various business tasks.

This is why you need to streamline. Streamlining involves anything that reduces your workload and makes your business more efficient. It can increase your productivity, lower your expenses and even help you become more engaged with your work.

By streamlining your business, you can work smarter, not harder, and get great results without burning yourself out.

1. Automate Repetitive, Mind-Numbing Tasks

The list of tasks that could qualify as “repetitive” or “mind-numbing” can sometimes seem endless. Email, sending invoices to clients and scheduling social media posts are just the tip of the iceberg.

All of these are wildly different tasks that require different skills. At the same time, they’re the type of busywork that can feel like you’re being punished for trying to run your own business.

By using automation tools, you can drastically cut down on your workload so that you’re not wasting time with these activities. Content management programs let you write social media posts in batches and then schedule them out weeks or months in advance.

You can set up automated emails to send a quick personalized response when a lead fills out your contact form. You could even set up an automated email campaign that sends followup emails to nurture leads and former customers.

Look at the tasks that are slowing you down the most, and find an automated software solution that can manage them for you. This alone can completely transform your workday.

2. Take Advantage of Centralized, Collaborative Tools

Whether you’re a solopreneur or managing a team of workers, you’ll still need to collaborate and communicate with clients and others on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, communication can be a major time suck in and of itself. Emails tend to get lost in the shuffle (especially if you or your team get hundreds of emails each day). A lot of people screen their calls to the point that they never pick up their phone for an actual conversation.

This is bad enough when you need to talk about a project. But it can get even more frustrating when you’re trying to share files.

Centralized, collaborative communication tools like Slack, Asana or Basecamp eliminate this problem by giving your entire team a shared platform to work in. You can set up groups for each project for easy messaging and file sharing. Device integration, push notifications and other helpful features ensure that your messages don’t fall through the cracks.

3. Drumroll Please: Outsource, Outsource, Outsource

After the first two points, this last one shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

There’s some tasks that you shouldn’t handle yourself, but that you can’t entrust to an automated program, either. This is where outsourcing comes in.

I recently spoke with Teddy Wold, CEO and founder of Klingit, an online platform tailored for businesses to outsource graphic design work. He explained, “Hiring an external design team allows you to take care of projects that are important — like ongoing design work such as presentations, newsletters, landing pages, etc. — without the expense and rigidity of hiring a full- time employee or using a traditional, external agency.”

Continued Wold, “Turning the work over to an outside specialist gives you time to focus on what matters most, while also ensuring that you get an expert to take care of the tasks that are outside your wheelhouse. You’ll get better results on the project and save money in the long run by keeping your operations lean.”

No matter what type of project or task you want to outsource, be sure to thoroughly vet a potential contractor before making a hire. Take a bit of time to look over their portfolio or to get referrals from their past clients.

Doing your due diligence now will help you find a quality contractor with whom you can form a lasting relationship. This will allow you to save even more time in the future should you need help with similar tasks again.

Make Your Life Easier — Streamline!

By taking advantage of these streamlining options, you’ll be able to free up more time in your day for the things that you’re good at and the things that will help you increase your revenue.

Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by busywork! By streamlining in a smart way, you can get better results without adding to your workload.

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