Setting Yourself Up For Automating Your Business
Updated: Apr 12, 2022
For business owners and entrepreneurs!
I'm curious, if I asked you if you would like to have your business run without you - what would you say?
My guess is, you’d say a quick and exacerbated YES!
SO dare I ask, if you haven’t taken the steps to automate your business - why haven’t you?
The answer is simple - either you haven’t thought about it OR you are too busy to even take the steps to make life easier for yourself.
As small business owners, we spend so much of our time doing little things here and little things there. We think, “Oh this will take just a minute” or “it's just faster if I do it myself.”
BUT, what if - you did not have to do it at all?
To some, the idea of unplugging from your business sounds like a breath of cool fresh air, while for others it may give you an immediate tightness in your tummy and conjure up visions of utter chaos and fear of mistakes taking place right and left.
This brings me to today's topic - the mindset of automation.
Hey PIE Tribe, welcome back to a Monday mindset episode!
I remember when I was about 25 - I was in the process of building my first business development center from scratch for a Nissan dealership in Scottsdale Az.
Everything my department did and that I did required my attention and manual inspection of each step. I used to manually check each appointment my schedulers made to verify they had called the client within the given time frame we established. Every single one - this added up to over 500 appointments a month I checked. All this was to verify the commission was due based on the timestamp of the call in the system.
I could not take a day off at payroll. I had to schedule vacations around month-end. One a year was all I could afford and not because of lack of income but because of lack of chaos when I returned and a mound of catch-up work.
My husband would lovingly listen to me moan and groan about all the work I had to do at the office and frequently encouraged me to “get the rocks out my backpack” as was his phrase.
Time and again I would tell him it wasn’t possible. I would reply with - Well you just don’t understand this is the only way it can work in order for it to be right.
So trust me when I say I can relate to those of you in column B who experience a mini panic attack at the idea of stepping back in your business.
Even when I had my firstborn I did not have the mindset of preparing for an absence. In fact, I had a home birth and went to work 2 days later to do payroll. I took a week off after that and then went back full time.
It was not until my second son came along and I realized I did not want to short-change my time with my newborn that I really got serious about systemizing the department to run without me.
By baby number three I took a full 12 weeks and came back without a hitch. The department ran smoothly and even the service manager admitted that although it wasn’t as good as it was when I was there, it maintained well during my leave.
Once I had the systems in place in the department it really freed me up to take on other work and streamlined what my role was each day.
The hardest part of this journey to streamlining the department surprisingly was not setting up the systems and procedures or even trusting other people - it was simply believing it was possible and asking myself how it could be done.
Like many managers and successful business owners - I can be a bit of a control freak when it comes to quality. I took pride in my work and in my department's success. I took a team member's failure personally as if I myself had made the mistake.
Therefore even the idea of automating processes in the department was not even something I was willing to consider.
This episode is not to get deep into how to automate because really that conversation is unique to you and to your situation. But more as a mind opener to help you open up to the possibility of allowing things to be easier for yourself.
Here’s the truth - there are solutions for automation by the hundreds - but until you are ready to even consider it you won’t even become aware of the possibilities.
Here are steps you can take to discover ways to automate your business
#1 - Write out all the tasks you do for your business - or at least try to. I realize it could be challenging. If you are struggling to make a complete list break it down into things I do in my business that I hate doing and things I love doing and the third group - things that I neither love nor hate but have to be done.
#2 - Look at that list and especially the list of things you hate to do and ask yourself - what one thing can I automate that could take that off my plate.
For example - Maybe you hate organizing your email every day and end up letting it pile up. Perhaps it's a regular thorn in your side that always seems to haunt you. Google email organization tools and see what options are out there. Give one or two a try and see if it makes a difference.
You see we often stay stuck in a rut simply because we don’t ask ourselves the right questions. We simply assume the burdens will always be burdens.
To me, this mindset stems from belief systems like “You have to work hard to get anywhere in life.” Or “Nothing good in life comes easy.”
These simple thoughts and others like it can become programmed in our subconscious and literally block us from seeing more than we think is possible. They limit us from our greatness.
Just think about what you could do with that extra hour a week you no longer have to spend sorting through emails - complaining the whole time - Instead you can feel happier and more positive which then benefits other areas of your life as well.
Ok, so to recap - So step 1 was to write out your tasks and sort them
Step 2 is to ask yourself what one thing can you automate
Now, Step 3 is to keep taking steps toward automations in every area of your business. Start with your circle of influence and spread to other areas -
Here are examples of areas of your business you can automate
VA or employee training
Transferring leads from your website into your email database
Email nurture sequences
Client follow up
That is a good start.
Even those of you who think your business is fairly automated can probably find even more ways to simplify.
I’m reminded here of a previous podcast guest on episode 26 Martin Ebongue - At the time of the recording Martin and his girlfriend lived in a tropical place in a beautiful house and all of his businesses (multiple) were automated. So automated in fact, that it only required him to check in once a week and make sure they were working well - that's it, He is literally HANDS OFF on all of them.
I remember when he talked about starting a new business he actually WENT INTO the business asking himself how can I set this up so I don’t have to be involved. Imagine that - I will say, he is the king of automation.
I’ll link his episode in the description if you want to go check it out.
In fact, I think I’ll go back and listen to it again it was so good.
Alright, my friends. I hope today's episode expanded your minds and gets your productivity juices flowing!
Now if you are ready for some help - maybe you want an outside perspective - check out the 8-week mastermind coming up - registration closes very soon. This mastermind is for business owners looking to scale their business with passive income streams. Passive income and specifically what we will be learning and working on in this mastermind is a great way to automate income. Frankly, when I look at a business with a client one of the first things I look at is lead automation and creating a funnel that continuously drives traffic to the business. Creating a passive income product is just a piece of that. With it comes the marketing and back-office workflows that make it run like a well-oiled machine.
Visit thepassiveincomeexaminer.com/mastermind to find out more. From 1:1 coaching - training and mentorship all the way through to leveraging a community of like-minded business-focused entrepreneurs to bounce ideas off. We have you covered all the way around.
I’m offering $500 off to the first 5 people who are accepted. Be sure to mention you heard this on the podcast when filling out the application to be eligible. And if you have any questions feel free to email me or DM me on IG firstname.lastname@example.org and @thepassiveincomeexaminer on IG.
By the way - this week’s guest is Lucas Root - his episode airs Thursday and you definitely won’t want to miss it. We had an amazing conversation about community building for online entrepreneurs and huge brands alike. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to be notified when that episode airs.
Alright friends, that wraps up today's episode. Until next week bye for now.