Three Surprising Things You Can Automate in Your Business Today Horton Brand Strategy

Three Surprising Things You Can Automate in Your Business Today

Things pile up really quickly when you’re running everything manually in your business. Heck, things pile up quickly even when you’ve made a dent in the whole automation thing! There are tons of articles out there with lists of tools and resources to help you do things like schedule out your social media in advance, manage projects, etc. I recommend that you Google those and take a look one of these days. Because I’m not giving you a list of tools and apps in this post (you can find those over here where I open up my entire creative toolbox for you).

Buckle up for this one because I’m sharing three things you can automate in your business right now – today – that just might surprise you.

Three Surprising Things You Can Automate in Your Business Today Horton Brand Strategy

Automate your goal setting.

Crafting an inspiring vision for where you’re heading and setting strategic goals to get there are things every savvy business owner is doing. There are lots of methods, tools, and tactics for doing both of these tasks. So many, in fact, that it’s pretty overwhelming to actually sit down and do the thing.

That’s where automation comes in. Set aside a little bit of time to research some of the top goal setting methodologies. Choose one that you think you will actually implement… meaning that it needs to connect with how you run your business and what your strengths and weaknesses are.

Then stick with it.

Instead of reinventing the wheel or using some hacked together DIY method, you’ll be working within a framework that’s already provided results to many other people. When you choose a tried-and-true method of setting (and reaching) goals effectively, you free up your brain space to think strategically and then buckle down and do the work.

Here’s a personal example: I chose the 90 Day Year as a way to automate my goal setting. After a quarter of using the methodology, I modified it a bit to fit my personality and needs. Then I used Trello to keep track of all my goals and where I’m at in reaching them.

No more planning and scheming all over the place in all kinds of ways. It’s all about doing.

Automate your tactical steps.

Once you’ve developed your overall business strategy, it’s time to automate your tactics. Tactics are the actions you take to support the strategy. An example of a strategy might be to make a strong connection with in-store customers in order to increase sales. The tactics you might use to do this might include: promoting special in-store giveaways, hosting trunk shows and VIP shopping nights, etc.

Most of us see social media as a great tactic for meeting our goals and growing our businesses. But each platform requires its own set of tactics. And each platform changes all. the. time.

So what’s a busy business owner to do? You automate your tactical thinking.

Choose an experienced, knowledgeable expert on your social media platforms of choice and do what they say. When you use their brain and follow their resources, you free up your brain space to do bigger and better things while maintaining your tactical advantage.

Here’s another personal example: I used to dislike Instagram but now I really love it. It’s my favorite social media platform for so many reasons. But I do not have time to keep up with it all. I hate to fiddle around trying to figure out how to best use new features. So I turn to Stephanie Gilbert of Small Talk Social because she’s knows EVERYTHING about Instagram.

Her best stuff is inside the All Access Instagram Resource Library. Using the materials and trainings that Stephanie created inside All Access, I can quickly plan out Instagram content that’s both genuine and real for me and engaging for my followers. I’m never stuck with no ideas for what to post. And there are so many valuable trainings on how to use Instagram’s many features.Horton Brand Strategy ALL ACCESS : Insta-Membership Library

Automate your habits.

Ahhh, the blending of work and life into one giant mush of to-do lists. Even if you’ve mastered some level of separation and balance, it’s pretty much proven that our personal lives and habits affect our business lives and habits… and vice versa. When your business feels scattered, your life will feel more disjointed. When you’re finding it hard to be present in your personal relationships, your business relationships can get wonky.

Automating your best habits frees up space in your mind for more strategic thinking (yep, I’m repeating that again) and keeps you more balanced overall – even during your busiest moments!

Do you send the same kind of email over and over again? Write a “canned response” in Gmail or a copy-and-paste template in your Notes app or on Trello. Need to send that same message yet again? No thinking needed – just make any customizations, tap send, and move on with your life!

I’m not one to talk about losing things around the house, that’s for sure. But I do try to minimize the hours I spend looking for my metro card or my keys by automating where I put things when I come in the door. You can do that with your computer too… and it’s actually even easier! Create a naming system for your files and clearly labeled folders for all the things you make, create, download, sell, collect, and use. Then, every time something new “comes in the door,” organize it immediately.

Finally, eating healthy is my favorite habit to automate. For a low fee, I get meal plans, shopping lists, and a huge archive of substitute meals via Cook Smarts each week. They even offer vegetarian, Paleo, and gluten-free versions of each recipe, so I can stay on track with automating those meals even if I’ve got guests coming over who have dietary preferences. I also make sure to be stocked up on healthy snacks so that I don’t waste time during the workday staring blankly into the fridge.

So there you have it! There surprising things you can automate in your business to free up brain space, be more strategic, and stay focused.

Oh, and don’t forget one of my favorite resources for automating my tactical steps, the All Access Instagram Resource Library. The free planners, copy-and-paste workflows, private Facebook Group, and trainings on topics like using Stories and Influencer Marketing are worth much more than the Lifetime Membership price tag!

Horton Brand Strategy Stop Trying to Charge What You're Worth

Stop Trying to Charge What You’re Worth

You’ve heard it over and over, especially if you’re in the online business world… it’s a phrase that seems to feel so powerful when shouted from the rooftops (or into a podcast mic). But in reality, it’s a terrible way to think about money.

Have you guessed it yet? It’s “charge what you’re worth.”

Horton Brand Strategy Stop Trying to Charge What You're Worth

I’m sure a lot of the business folks you look up to have used that phrase. But frankly, I really hate it. Because my value as a person is not tied to how much I charge for my services… and neither is yours!

I understand the heart and the intentions behind using this phrase. I do. But it’s still a problem. Because it ignores the fact that your products and services do exist within a market. Being smart about pricing means understanding your market and where your work falls within the business landscape. And answering those questions has NOTHING to do with your personal worth.

Instead of trying to put a dollar amount on your worth, you should be putting a dollar amount on your WORK’s worth. And, in particular, what your work is worth to your client.

The first step to figuring out what your work is worth is to survey the business landscape.

How much experience do you have and what unique qualities do you bring to your work? How does that compare to similar businesses out there?

Analyzing what others in your space are offering, and how they’re offering it, can help you assess appropriate pricing. But you don’t have to feel locked down into setting your prices based on other people… if you want to charge more, for example, identify gaps in what they’re doing and fill those in your own unique way for your ideal customer. Adding more value means adding more zeros to your proposals!

Now take a step back and assess where the value of what you’re doing translates into pricing for profit.

Does your product or service help someone make more money? How much is one client worth to them? If you’re a web designer whose work typically increases online conversions by 50% for your clients, some quick math can show you what your work is worth to them. Build that value into your pricing.

Are you helping someone create something unique, like an amazing wedding experience? Are you helping someone live a better life in which they are happier, wealthier, or healthier than they were before finding you? Does your product provide a solution for your customer that they’ve tried to figure out on their own for years?

The value you’re adding to someone’s business or life matters!

Sometimes you can put a number to it, like our web designer can, and sometimes you can’t. Either way, there’s value to what your unique abilities are bringing to your customer’s life and business. So make sure you account for that in your pricing structure.

What if you’ve done all of this and you still feel like you can’t charge what you need to for your business to make sense?

Well, first you’ll want to dig deep and make sure it’s not just fear talking. However, if you’ve studied the business landscape, calculated the value your unique skills or product bring into your customer’s life, and your work just isn’t quite there, never fear! Keep at it, but just adjust your business plan a bit. Perhaps you do need to build up a stronger portfolio of work or case studies before your work is actually worth the price you need to charge to be in your business full-time. In this case, just set the best prices you can and pick up some odd jobs or become a part-time barista until your work is worth what you need to charge to be full-time.

Sometimes you have to build up your body of work or iterate on your product a few more times before it’s worth what you want to charge.

The important thing is to be real about your work’s value and where it stacks up against others in your industry. And then put your head down, work hard, and please, for the love of all things money, don’t tie your personal worth into your work! Charge what your WORK is worth – no more, and no less.

If you liked this post, be sure to check out this other one all about the pitfalls of going from penniless to profitable. It will help make sure you don’t give into fear as you rework your pricing!

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