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Last Updated on November 15, 2022
There’s a key to working less + earning more: using business systems that help you automate your business. Let’s look at some ways you can free up time and make more money with less effort.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Want to stop working 24/7? It’s time to automate your business.
Hustle isn’t the way
5 business systems that can help you automate your business
Now that I’ve given you a few ideas about automating business systems, it’s your turn!
The journey to more freedom in my biz
Table of Contents
If you’re stuck in a situation with your business where you’re working all the time — late nights, weekends, zero time off, or (the worst) going on “vacation” but still checking in every single day because you’re anxious about things falling apart while you’re gone — then we need to talk.
I want to tell you right now: it is 100% possible to work less and earn more money.
I know, I know. I can seem too good to be true, like a thing that sales-y people tell you about the latest new “hack” or business trend. But that’s not what I mean.
I’m talking about common-sense strategies for implementing business systems that can start automating your business. In other words: stop spending precious hours doing things you don’t need to do.
Figuring out which aspects of your biz can be on autopilot is truly liberating. It frees up so much mental space that is otherwise taken up by trying to keep track of nonstop details.
And, I’m here to tell you that it is truly possible to make money (and lots of it) while you are doing all kinds of things other than working: sleeping, carpooling your kids, walking your dog, catching up on your favorite shows, taking honest-to-goodness time off — whatever else you’d rather be doing than hustling with your nose buried in your keyboard 7 days a week.
And, this dream isn’t just for those other people — YOU ARE those people. This can be your dream-becomes-reality life, too.
The key to creating your dream business that brings you a continuous flow of revenue while you go about living your life is to automate your business — that is, finding and implementing the right business systems that don’t require constant management from you. So let’s talk about why and how you can begin doing this today.
I want to start out by dispelling some common myths about how to create a successful business. Maybe you’ve heard, or even believe some of these myths yourself — I know I sure did at first.
The old, broken, patriarchal model says that in order to have a successful business, you have to:
Does any of this even sound remotely pleasant? Of course not. Our intuition tells us that it’s not only unpleasant, it’s not sane. It’s not sustainable. We are not made to work this way.
Once my eyes and heart were opened to another way to be successful in the business world, I said good-bye to all these myths and the unpleasant consequences that came along with them. Good riddance, I say.
Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and for a moment imagine what it would feel like to shift from working from a place of stress, speed and scarcity, to a place of rest, alignment and abundance.
Just sit with it. Imagine you’re making money … and you’re sleeping 8 hours a night. Your weekends are free. You go away for a few days (or longer), and you do not think about work. And you come home … and you’ve made money.
How does that make you feel? It’s good, right?
That good feeling is what the opposite of hustle culture feels like — and it’s what we’re all about here!
As you grow your company, you want to put systems and processes in place to automate your business as much as you can, so that it’s running like a well-oiled machine with as little continued effort on your part as possible.
Please keep in mind that this takes time — and that’s okay. Remember: gogogo isn’t where it’s at. That’s the patriarchy telling you that you don’t have value unless you’re working yourself into the ground. Let it go.
Becuase you’re not just building a business. You’re building a life that works for you.
So this isn’t something that will happen overnight, and you won’t get all the automation right the first time. But keep at it! Slowly and steadily, you’ll work less and make more as you grow and automate your business.
There are probably hundreds of things to automate in any given business and a hundred different ways to automate each one. Just like every other business, your business is unique, and how and what you automate will be unique.
Today I’m going to start you off with a few basic ideas to get your creative juices flowing about how you can automate your own business.
Some of these suggestions can be done in a short afternoon. They are quick wins that will free up time for you to work on the automations that will take a little longer. Consider starting with a few of the easier ones so you can snowball your business automation efforts.
And remember — yes, I’ll say it again — slow and steady growth is often the most sustainable (and healthy) way to build.
According to the Independent, almost 11 hours are lost every year resetting passwords. That’s almost two full business days wasted each year, because of mismanaged information — not to mention the annoyance and hassle.
If you’re not already using a secure, online password manager (we love LastPass) then put this on your to-do list today.
Automating your business with a password manager allows you to securely share login credentials with contractors and employees (and family), keeps your passwords secure (no more random post-it notes or hackable spreadsheets), and can save you even more time by automatically populating login fields when you open a website in your browser.
Depending on how many logins you currently have and how disorganized they are, this could take some time to set up, but once the initial input is done, it’s almost effortless to maintain and will save you loads of time and frustration — at least 11 hours’ worth!
If you meet with people (clients, vendors, employees, etc.) on any sort of regular basis, you definitely should set up an online scheduling tool. These tools save you from the hassle of the back-and-forth of trying to find a convenient time for everyone, and makes it much more likely that people will schedule meetings with you — a nice bonus if you’re booking free consultation or sales calls!
Once you set the system up with your availability schedule, you simply send people your scheduling link and they can choose whatever time is best for them, book the meeting, and it will automatically populate in your calendar of choice and send you an email letting you know.
Here at Team KK, we use Acuity Scheduling. Some online schedulers even offer free options, which is perfect if you don’t book too many appointments, although you might be better served with a paid plan if you schedule a lot of meetings.
If you run an online business, you’re going to be sending LOTS of emails. This is one part of your business that absolutely needs to be automated, or you’ll end up doing nothing but sending and managing emails 24/7 (and believe me, this is a huge complaint of many women who come to us).
The great news is that there are incredible software tools that can automate all aspects of your client communication and experience with you.
This is one type of business automation software that takes a bit of front end work to get up and running, but once it’s humming along, your results will be ah-mazing! With very minimal work on your part, you’ll be automatically nurturing people, offering them tons of useful content, converting them to customers, and building a relationship that keeps them coming back.
This is where the magic really starts to happen with automating your business.
An evergreen funnel is a specialized type of automated email sales funnel.
Very basically, here’s how it works: someone comes to your site (or you reach them some other way), and they are invited to sign up to your email list — often they give their email address in exchange for some kind of free content that’s valuable to them (there are lots of ways to do this). When they sign up, they’re automatically placed in an email funnel that takes them through a nurture sequence. At the end of the nurture sequence, they enter a sales sequence where you invite them to buy something. This can be a next-step item like a workshop, or it can be your main offering; it’s up to you.
Big, big bonus of using evergreen sales funnels? You don’t ever have to live launch again. You can say good-bye to the super-stressful feast-or-famine cycles and instead allow the funnels to do the work for you in the background. When you see that first sale that came in while you were getting a full night’s rest — trust me, you will never go back.
With an evergreen funnel (as opposed to live-launching), your product is technically always available (even though to your customers it feels more like a live launch). So you can be making consistent sales all year long, no matter what you happen to be doing or where you happen to be (book by the beach, anyone?).
Full transparency: creating an evergreen funnel is possibly one of the most labor intensive automations to set up. It’s a GREAT one to get help with, especially from someone who knows what they’re doing. But once you automate this part of your business you can see significant revenue generation and business growth over time.
SOPs are detailed instructions that outline how to do the things that need to be done to run your business. SOPs benefit you because you don’t have to use precious mental energy to store and recall step-by-step instructions, or risk missing important steps.
And, as your company grows and you bring on more team members, SOPs make it 1000x easier to onboard new team members and delegate tasks. The faster team members can get up and running, the greater the impact they can have on your business, and the more likely they will be to feel confident and satisfied in their position.
There are lots of ways to keep track of and share SOPs, but the most important thing is that you do it. You can always start with rough outlines on a simple spreadsheet and polish them up as you go. I recommend getting started right away and make it a habit to create an SOP for every (recurring) task you complete. Then, as you add tasks or remember tasks that need SOPs, you can easily add them to this list.
Side note: make it your goal to not always be the person creating/updating the SOPs. At some point in your business growth, you should bring on a team member who can manage your SOPs along with other business operations. Knowing when and what to delegate is an important part of automating your business.
One of the things I’m most proud of at Team KK is our robust SOP system (here’s a peek below), which we maintain inside our project management platform, ClickUp. Strong SOPs problem-solving much, much easier. For example, if you find that there’s a persistent error that’s happening in, say, copywriting or design or scheduling or IT — you can create an SOP (or add to an existing one) so that every team member can learn, and any new member brought on will automatically learn the correct way to do something.
I encourage you to come up with a plan to get started automating your business:
I share openly about the struggles and failures I’ve experienced in my business. And truthfully, a big part of that in the early years was due to lack of business automation software and systems. I was stuck in hustle culture, feeling like I had to do everything myself — which inevitably leads to burnout, negative health consequences, depression and anxiety, damaged relationships, and overall just a loss of passion and drive.
When I learned how to automate my business, it not only made things more efficient, it also freed up time for me to genuinely take care of myself, prioritize my wellbeing, and really be with the people in my life. Now when I go on vacation, I don’t check in. I’m fully off. I’m giving myself the rest I need to be present and creative in my business when I return.
My business has shifted from the feast-or-famine cycles and feeling stuck in lack and worry to experiencing sustainable growth that comes from a place of rest — it’s giving me a steadily-increasing revenue stream, and greater and greater peace of mind.
These mindful planning printables will support you in creating daily and monthly rituals, coming up with new ideas, keep you focused on what actually matters in your business and in your life, help you visualize your big dreams, and keep you on track and intentional with all you do — all in a way that’s natural and zero-hustle.
Use these printables and watch your days unfold in new, supportive ways!
Inside the Success With Soul Incubator, we spend an entire year helping you create the business of your dreams — including how to set up a hands-off business that allows you to fully live and enjoy your whole life.
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COPYRIGHT © 2022 • KATE KORDSMEIER
We are an LGBTQIA-affirming, interfaith-oriented, diverse organization. We are committed to social and environmental justice, including civil rights, dismantling systems of oppression like the Patriarchy, White Supremacy and Diet Culture. We believe Black Lives Matter.