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.
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.
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!