business

  • The top 4 tasks to outsource and take your business to the next level

    Is your to to do list overwhelming and not sure what to outsource first? Here are the top four tasks you can outsource and take your business to the next level.

    Letting go of doing all the things in your business is one of the hardest things. I completely get it. But what happens in between trying to get your Instagram post out and finding time for the new business idea that’s been on your list for the longest time? Burnout or delegation. Because once you have your core systems set up and working for you, you’ll still get to a point where you can’t do everything yourself. This begs the question which tasks should you outsource first?

    There is a reason why companies hire experts to do specific tasks. They even go to the extent of outsourcing when their core staff doesn’t have the expertise. This is when you truly know you are in your zone of genius. When you have outsourced everything that’s out of your specialty and core CEO tasks and focused on what you do best.

    But this is also not where you want to start. Going on a hiring spree could be extremely distracting for your business and revenue flow. So which tasks should you outsource first?

    First, check out my blog here and here where I talk about why you should grow your business with a team and how to know you’re ready for one. 

    Here are the top 4 tasks that I see my clients & other entrepreneurs outsourcing first.

    Task 1: Social media admin

    Creating content is an income-generating activity, and that’s why the admin bit is what you would typically outsource first. I know many 7 and 8-figure entrepreneurs who still create their own content because it’s the only way to infuse their personality and way of thinking. And this is also how they attract their ideal clients.

    Think of things like scheduling, collecting statistics, creating archive content banks, engaging with potential leads, tracking leads, etc. A social media manager could easily do this for you.

    If you have a blog, you could type it out and let your virtual assistant do everything else including SEO optimization, formatting, creating blog graphics.

    Task 2: Copywriting

    This is big because there are different types of copywriting in an online business. There is the copy you create for your social media, but there’s also copy that’s generally geared towards converting followers into paying customers. 

    Copywriting also takes a heck lot of time! Having someone else do it for you, could lift a big load off your shoulder. You don’t have to have a full-time copywriter, you could simply outsource as needed. For instance, before a big launch, when you create a new offer.

    Task 3: File & inbox admin

    Email is probably one of the most underrated areas where entrepreneurs spend ‘dead’ time. I call it ‘dead’ time because

    • It’s responsive, and you are really working on someone else’s agenda
    • It’s usually used as a distraction or procrastinating tool to get away from something else you really need to get done

    If this sounds like you, then you definitely want to consider having someone handle your inbox. Especially if you have a large membership or group course with a high influx of incoming messages.

    Before you hire someone, definitely get your inbox and digital workspace cleaned up first. Check out this blog for some tips or apply for my VIP Day where we focus on a framework that will keep you organized and out of your inbox for good.

    You could definitely automate a huge aspect of your inbox management. Only delegate what can’t be automated such as; replying to client inquiries or handling complaints or questions from clients in a membership. 

    Task 4: Graphic creation

    How many graphics do you create in a day? Or a week? Anyone else who constantly has Canva open (raise up your hand 💁🏽‍♀️)? While this may be something enjoyable for you, graphics ALONE will not get your business to the next level. Going to the next level is a combination of your strategy, consistency, copy & branding. 

    And if this is not your strong point, definitely consider getting someone to create templates that you (or a virtual assistant) can re-use easily.

    Bonus task: Podcast editing

    This only applies if you have a podcast, but outsourcing the entire podcast workflow to my podcast manager has been a game-changer. I’ve been able to literally brainstorm podcast ideas, repurpose from my blog,record and hand over everything else to my amazing podcast manager, Leah.

    Side note: Hiring a virtual assistant is not always the first hire you need. You should always look at what’s keeping you away from your zone of genius and outsource from there first.

    You want to outsource the things that are farthest away from your expertise (that need to get done) first. 

    If you’re not sure what these are in your business, let’s have a chat.

    You can learn more about my Solo to CEO VIP Days where you walk away with a systems plan & the clarity on what you should outsource next so you can optimize your daily method of operation and achieve your ideal workweek.

    Is your to to do list overwhelming and not sure what to outsource first? Here are the top four tasks you can outsource and take your business to the next level.

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  • How to know if you are ready to build your team

    Are you at a point where you have no time to work on the things you enjoy most in your business? It's time you started thinking of how to build a team. This post will help you determine if you are ready to build a team.

    Your business is growing, clients are coming in, and you’re almost feeling like you’ve reached your capacity. You are inundated with so much admin and details that you almost have no time for the things you love doing in your business. It’s probably time to start thinking about how to build your team.

    And this looks different for everyone. Imagine how it would feel having someone else take care of your inbox cleanup, posting, and formatting blogs. And writing out a copy for the sales page you’ve been procrastinating for a month. This is where outsourcing and building a team can help you grow your business. Once you delegate these tasks to someone else, you can free up your time to master your expertise and serve more clients. Essentially, you want to keep close to the money-generating activities in your business and outsource the rest.

    But maybe you aren’t even sure that you’re ready to start growing a team?

    Before we get into the details, what exactly is a team, you may ask?

    A team could be as simple as signing up for a software to manage your client admin. And relying on their support service to help you out. You could hire out a specific task on an as-and-when-needed basis through Fiverr. You could have a done-for-you service provider (like me) help you with the systems strategy in your business. The highest (and most expensive) form of a team is a permanent hire. But you definitely do not need to start with a permanent team member. And this is often where entrepreneurs postpone the process of building a team because they don’t feel ready to hire. 

    So now that you know what a team could look like for your business, here are a few signs that you are ready to build a team for your business:

    1. You are busy with a lot of details

    If you find yourself spending more time on the busy side of your business than on the things that you do best, the things you love doing, and the things that actually = money in the bank, it’s time to build a team for your business.

    As our businesses grow, so do our responsibilities. Particularly when you start serving more clients or create an offer that results in a greater influx of clients than usual. This often results in you taking time off your business to focus on all the admin and operational tasks. If you do not have the systems to automate some of these tasks, you could easily spend 80% of your time doing the things that bring only 20% of the revenue to your business.

    So why not free up your time to focus on the business growth activities, and let your team run your business?

    2. The more clients you have, the longer your working hours

    If you are constantly telling your audience that you are fully booked, you are not only putting a cap on your revenue potential, but you’re also putting a limit on the impact that you could have on your business.

    I am not here to tell you that you can make more money while working less and spending the rest of your life on a beach somewhere. I believe that money takes work, but you have to work smart. Working longer hours is not sustainable. So instead of putting in more hours, you could leverage someone else’s time and use it to grow your business.

    You could leverage the power of systems to do the admin and busy work in a fraction of the time it usually takes you to do it manually.

    Are you at a point where you have no time to work on the things you enjoy most in your business? It's time you started thinking of how to build a team. This post will help you determine if you are ready to build a team.

    3. Your business is making money every month

    This is a limiting belief that a lot of entrepreneurs think that you have to be making thousands and thousands before your first hire. But what people don’t see is that when you are doing everything on your own, you are limiting the amount of money you can make, and slowing down the rate at which your business can scale.

    As long as you are making a minimum amount of revenue consistently in your business, you can build a team. Let’s say your revenue looked like this in the past 3 months:

    • 1st Month: $3000
    • 2nd Month: $1000
    • 3rd Month: $1500

    At a minimum, you are making $1000 consistently. This is the number you want to work with when deciding how much you can afford to hire and automate your business. If you want to get my full formula on how to prepare your business financially for a team, check out this free training over here.

    4. You’ve hit an income ceiling

    Most of the time when this happens, people look to their marketing and launch strategy to troubleshoot. But realistically, even if you employ a new marketing strategy, it won’t work unless you devote enough time and effort to making it work.

    And if you’re already stretched as it stands, you won’t have enough time and energy to make it work. Instead of trying to look for the latest marketing strategy out there, look at how you are spending your time in your business, and what you could possibly offload to someone else.

    If you’ve been at the same monthly income for a few months, with no signs of growth, then you are probably spending way too much time on admin. Or you have too many clients to have the time for the CEO activities that are required for growth.

    Do any of these signs resonate with you? You might want to check out this free training to prepare your business so that you set up your team for success from the get-go. But before then, here are a few tips to get started.

    Tips to build your team

    • Create the systems that you will use to manage your team before you start the hiring process. Your team can’t thrive if you don’t have the systems to give them the best chance of succeeding
    • Start thinking of hiring before you’re even ready. Do not hire when you are completely overwhelmed and frazzled. Create your outsourcing wishlist today
    • Be clear on what you are hiring for. Look at where you are spending a lot of time with a low return on your time spend. You want to think of hiring these tasks out as soon as possible
    • Look at your finances, and check that you can afford your hire for the next 6 months

    Wanna know the 4 secrets on how to design and build your dream team? Check out my exclusive free training over here and let’s get you from a 1-woman show to CEO for good!

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  • How to prepare for massive growth in your business with a team

    Are you ready to grow your team? Here are tips on how to prepare your business for massive growth with a team.

    Introduction

    You are doing all the things in your business, but you’ve realized that it’s not sustainable. Most of us start our online businesses as solopreneurs, and I get why it’s not always the easiest thing to let go of doing everything and let someone else do it for you.

    But it’s the key to growing your business. No one has more than 24 hours in a day! At some point, your business responsibilities are going to outweigh the time you can realistically spend on your business on a day-to-day basis. 

    So, if you’ve been trying to figure out how to create capacity to serve more clients and scale your revenue, growing your team is going to be a critical part of your success going forward.

    But where do you even start? With that cute little post on Facebook that you’re looking for a VA?

    No! There is much more to growing a team than finding the right person. And this is often the part that female entrepreneurs miss the most. They wait until they are completely overwhelmed and then start panic-hiring. The purpose of this blog is to help you prepare for your team so you can maximize your return on your team investment.

    But first of all, let’s clear the air on the misconceptions around growing a team.

    Misconceptions around growing a team

    I can’t afford it, it’s too expensive.

    There are so many ways to grow a team. You don’t need to have a permanent employee right off the bat. Instead of thinking it’s too expensive, think “How can I get the help I need with the budget I have?”. I have a team of contractors in my business, and sometimes I get people on a very short-term basis to help me out.  

    Hiring means I am giving my profits away to someone else.

    Think about what it’s costing you to do all the things in your business. Doing all the busy work is taking away from the time you have to do the activities that actually = money in the bank. So would you rather limit your capacity to grow your revenue? Or hire help and free up your time for the money-making activities that only you can do?

    It’s quicker to do it myself.

    While this may be true, it’s certainly not the best use of your time to do all the admin work that’s necessary when you’re running a business. 

    No one does it better than me

    Instead of thinking that only you can do what you do in your business, have you thought about all the skilled people out there that only create graphics or manage digital workspaces or write copy? I want you to start asking yourself how you can hire people that do things better than you so you can focus on your mastery and the things you do best in your business.

    I got to where I am as a solopreneur, I can get to the next level on my own

    This is a very common misconception. But when you started out you probably had half the responsibilities and tasks on your plate than what it looks like right now. So while you may have easily gotten to those 5K months on your own, it’s only going to get harder to get to the next level without any help in your business.

    Why you need a team to grow your business

    As a female entrepreneur, wearing all the hats in your business is not uncommon. But it does become overwhelming when you have more clients to serve and more responsibilities on your plate.

    As your business grows, doing inbox maintenance, social media management, and all the busy work in between can easily become the bain of your existence.

    This is when a new hire can literally save your life. Hiring someone to do this work more efficiently is a much better use of your money and time than trying to do it all on your own.

    Think about it in terms of the opportunity cost. When you spend an hour managing your inbox, you are forgoing the opportunity to spend an hour serving a client and making actual money in the bank.

    And worse off, if you could hire the thing out at a fraction of your hourly rate. It makes no sense to be doing all the things in your business.

    And more time freed up means:

    • More time to focus on your zone of genius and perfect your mastery
    • Increased capacity to serve more clients and give them a world-class client experience
    • Less time spent working in your business and more time working ON your business
    • Protecting your wellbeing by ditching 12-hour work days
    • More time for income generating activities = more money in the bank
    • You can finally take time off your business & feel confident that you won’t come back to chao

    Before you start growing a team

    Before you make that decision for your first hire, there are some adjustments you are going to need to make in your business.

    Adjust your ways of working

    Let’s say you are hiring a podcast manager. The days of recording your podcast the day before it’s meant to be aired are going to be a thing of the past. Adjusting your processes and ways of working is such a critical aspect of your team’s success. And without systems in place, this almost becomes impossible to do.

    Set up a project management system

    If you’re used to keeping sticky notes and notebooks to remember what to do in your business & when then now is a good time to elevate yourself into a more organized system. Read more about how to set up your project management system using my favourite tool over here.

    Your project management system will enable you to easily onboard your new team members, assign them tasks and create workflows that are easy for them to follow, and never have things falling through the cracks.

    Create thorough SOPs

    Your SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) are going to be so so critical in feeling confident about delegating to new hires, and the actual success of your new hires. An SOP is simply a detailed job description of how to get a specific task done in your business. You can read more about SOPs over here

    Prepare an onboarding pack

    Don’t leave your team members hanging once they are on board. Create an onboarding pack which you can use for every new team member who joins your crew.

    I love using my business dashboard in Asana for team orientation because it has all the important information about my business in one single place.

    Be clear on what you’re hiring for

    Your first hire should not always be a virtual assistant. In order to know what you need to hire for, you need to assess how you are spending your time in your business. And which areas need immediate attention. 

    We cover a number of exercises in my Solo to CEO VIP day, which I invite you to check out over here.

    In conclusion, 

    Growing your business with a team is going to be a game-changer for your business. But before you start looking for team hires, prepare your business so that your team members have the best chances of succeeding.

    Growing a team takes a lot of work, and doing it without the proper foundational systems in place is only going to cause more friction and stress for you than when you were alone in your business.

    So even if you’re not feeling quite ready to grow your team, start preparing before you’re ready. Create your foundational systems, set up your project management systems, put SOPs in place. Then get that dreamy outsourcing wishlist down so you know what your next move will be once you are ready to grow your team.

    Are you looking to scale your business or grow a team? Let’s chat about how to prepare your business today so that you and your team (or future team) can thrive. Book your systems audit over here.

    Are you ready to grow your team? Here are tips on how to prepare your business for massive growth with a team.

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  • Asana vs. Trello vs. Clickup: Which one is right for your business?

    Are you having trouble picking the best task management tool for your business? Here's a detailed post on the pros & cons of Asana, Trello & Click-up and tips on how to pick the right tool for your business.

    In this post, I will share some of the best task management tools used by online business owners. I will give you a view of the pros and cons and how to determine which one is right or best for you and for your business.

    In this podcast, I talked about what a work management space or system is. And today I will give a review of some of the tools that you can use to put your work management system to use. To briefly recap, a work management system is a way to streamline how you perform your business’s day to day activities and how to delegate them to your team members or to outsourced members.

    A work management system makes sure that everything is more streamlined and organized. It replaces the whole notebook and sticky notes all over the place kind of system. And it’s used interchangeably with the words; project management or task management. In case you’ve heard those words as opposed to a work management system, they all mean the same thing.

    Misconceptions of task management tools

    There’s one right tool that everyone should be using

    The first misconception is that there is one right tool that everyone should be using. I know depending on the people you follow on Instagram or on social media, you may have seen people promoting a specific tool because that’s what they specialize in. They will want to put that specific tool in the best light.

    You cannot switch task management tools

    The second misconception is that you cannot switch work or task management tools once you settle on one today. It’s like you’re stuck with it for life and there’s no going back.

    First things first; There is no one right tool that everyone should be using. It is all relevant to your business, your business needs and how you as a person prefer working.

    For the second misconception, you can always change project management tools. In fact, some of the project management tools have a functionality that allows you to migrate your tasks and workspace from one specific tool to their tool. This functionality was created because they know that sometimes you might need to change tools in the future. And that’s why that functionality is there.

    So, you can definitely change tools once you pick one. But it’s obviously best to pick one and stick with it because switching tool comes with a lot of change management that you need to take into consideration. You’ll have to learn a new tool all over again. And that’s more time you’re spending, trying to learn a new tool instead of trying to further grow your business or serve more clients or focus on what you do best.

    Asana, Trello & Click up

    I am focusing on Asana Trello and Click up. These are the three most popular task management tools use by online business owners and specifically in the coaching industry. There are others out there but I’ll be focusing on these three.

    Before I give the pros and cons, here’s some background based on hardcore facts about these companies.

    Asana netted $142 million in revenue in 2019, Trello netted 1.6 billion in 2020. Trello is owned by a company called Atlas. Atlas as a company is what netted the 1.6 billion, but it’s still a good indicator of how well Trello is doing because it is part of this company.

    Click up is probably the newest of the three companies and the newest of the three tools. Click up has been estimated to have a net asset value of $1 billion. And it’s estimated that they made revenues of $30 million in 2019. It’s evident that their revenues are lower, but it is a newer company, but it’s still valued at quite a high amount.

    The reason I shared these statistics is to show that these are all great companies. The financials, performance and profit of a company is a good indicator of how well they are selling and how well their core product or service is doing. The fact that all these three companies are doing relatively well is an indication that their tools are good for use.

    Remember, there is no one tool that is better than the other. It is all relevant to your business. The most important thing is that you pick what works for you.

    During my VIP day session, I help you perform a systems audit and we also do a review of the tools that would be best for your business and how you want to run your business. If you need extra help in figuring out what is going to work best for you can reach me here.

    Advantages of Trello.

    1. Works well for visual people & its user friendly.

    Trello is great for visual workers and it is super user friendly. It has a really nice user interface and you can drag and drop tasks around.

    2. Works great for people who are starting out

    For me, Trello is more of a database or a way to store information. As opposed to a way to track and manage and monitor and delegate tasks. This is my view based on how I have been able to use it. It is still a great tool if you want to start off with something that’s really simple and user friendly.

    Disadvantages of Trello

    1. Inability to view all your tasks

    You can’t see all your tasks in one dashboard. Because tasks are organized based on the board in which they belong. It’s not possible to have a view of all your tasks that are on all your boards. This is why I think it’s best for storing information, as opposed to tracking all your tasks in the different moving parts of your business.

    2. Not ideal for collaborating & managing tasks

    It’s also not the best for collaborating and managing tasks since your tasks are grouped by board. And you may have different tasks across different boards.

    It’s also not possible to see tasks that you’ve allocated to different team members as opposed to the tasks that are grouped by board.

    3. The Kanban style view

    Trello was built on a Kanban-style view. This is where you view tasks as a group of lists, which are then part of a board. And your tasks are moving downwards and your lists are moving to the right. This is the default view in which you view your tasks.

    It is possible to view your tasks by calendar view. But Trello wasn’t built for you to be able to view your tasks from a different point of view such as; Calendar view, Gantt chart view or timeline view. The timeline view allows you to see when tasks are starting or when tasks are ending.

    I actually used Trello when I was started my coaching business. I then switched to Asana after two months of using Trello. Because I realized that it just wasn’t going to work for what I wanted to achieve in my business and how I wanted to support my clients.

    Advantages of Asana

    1. User friendly

    Asana is also a really great tool in terms of its user-friendliness. It has a really nice user-friendly interface and it’s very easy to learn and understand.

    2. Works well for team collaboration

    Asana works really well with teams because you can actually view tasks that you’ve allocated to others. You can view your tasks in one dashboard. As opposed to viewing them in segmented different boards, based on how you have organized your tasks in your business.

    3. Has a free version

    Just like Trello, Asana also has a free version. You can get by with the free version for quite some time, as you learn how to manage tasks. And how to use project management tools and features effectively. I would highly recommend you start with the free version, especially if you’re not sure if you’re going to stick with that tool for the long haul.

    4. DIY Set up

    With Asana you can totally set it up yourself. You do not need to have an expert help set up. Unless you really do not want to get involved in the tech and you would really rather have someone else help you set it up. I can help you set up Asana if you prefer having someone help you with that. This is one of the services I offer my clients.

    Disadvantages of Asana

    1. It’s expensive to upgrade

    It is a bit expensive to upgrade. Because you have to buy a license for each user and that’s how Asana has set up their pricing.

    For example, if you have a team of three you will need to have a license for each team member. And if you have clients in your work management space you will have to have a license for each client. And at the minimum you will need to buy five licenses, each license is valued at around $999.

    Therefore, the minimum entry price in order to unlock all the premium features is about $55-60. This is quite steep especially for online business owners who are just starting out. Since there are so many other tools that you need to subscribe to in order to run your business effectively.

    Some of the basic features like start date, viewing tasks assigned to others are only available on the premium version. Unfortunately, there are quite a number of great features that would be nice to have on the free version. But they can only be accessed if you’re subscribed to the paid version which is a tad disappointing.

     2. Limitations on how to view tasks

    There are limitations in how you can view your tasks. Asana offers viewing tasks from more points of use than Trello. With Asana you can view tasks by calendar i.e., you’re able to view how your tasks in a specific project fit in your calendar. It has the list view option and the board view or Kanban style view (Trello’s default view).

    But there are other more advanced views that are not available on the free version of Asana. For example, if you want to view your tasks by timeline or chart view, this is not possible on the free version.

    Now that being said, Asana is my preferred tool currently. Because of the balance between its user-friendliness and the number of features you need to get by with managing your business.

    Click-up

    Click up is the new kid on the block of all three task management tools. As I was researching how Click up started, I learnt that they assessed the tools that were there in the market. And assessed all the gaps that those tools were not fulfilling. And how they could help businesses further streamline their business management.

    I definitely think they have achieved that and they embody that in terms of the tools and features they keep adding to their tool.

    Advantages of Click up

    1. It’s cheaper to sign up

    Click Up is much cheaper to sign up for if you want to go onto the premium and paid version from the onset. They have a free version available but from my point of view, you almost need to sign up for the paid version in order to get the best out of it.

    2. Lower Cost per User

    The cost per user is also lower as it is around $5 per user at their lowest-paid version in comparison to Asana, which is around $999.

    3. It replaces a lot of other tools

    Click up can be used as a database, it can be used as a calendar. And they’ve recently introduced their emailing feature. With the email feature, it’s possible to send emails from Click up as if you were sending it from your Gmail account.

    4. All in one tool

    Click up is marketed as an all-in-one tool. But I would like to qualify this by saying all-in-one tools do have their weaknesses.

    I will use an example of a coach who specializes in helping graphic designers grow their businesses. That coach is much more specialized and is going to deliver a much better service to designers than an all-rounded business coach who helps anybody and everybody. The same goes for tools. A tool that is specialized in streamlining one area of your business is going to be way better than one that does all the things.

    I feel like the other functionalities on Click Up such as; emailing, calendar and database are all great. However, they will not have all the features and functionalities that Calendly would have when it comes to calendar management. Or the features and functionalities that Airtable would have to manage information in a database.

    5. Offers more ways to view tasks

    Click up offers way more ways to view tasks. I counted around 11 different ways to view your tasks as opposed to Asana which is around five and Trello which offers only the Kanban view style. This is quite a big plus for people who want to view their tasks in many more different ways than just the typical group or list view.

    Click up also offers embedded views. Meaning you can see things from other apps within Click up. They offer integrations just like Trello and Asana. But they go a step further and allow you to actually open documents or files within Click up without going to that specific app.

    For example, you can access and open Google files without actually going to Google drive and having to open your file from there.

    6. Offers more features & functionalities on the lowest version

    Even on the lowest version, Click up has a lot more features and functionalities. But remember to ensure that those features and functionalities are going to work for and fit in your business.

    Disadvantages of Click up

    1. Extremely steep learning curve

    Click Up’s con is that it has an extremely steep learning curve. And I would not recommend DIYing your Click up set up especially if tech is not your strong part. I would only recommend DIYing if you have enough time to learn it and to set it up properly at the get-go. If you want to DIY setting up your work management space in the shortest amount of time, then I would not go for Click up.

    However, there are a number of different experts out there. There are so many different OBMs integrators, myself included, who can help you set up Click up. And you won’t have to get bogged down into the details of the tech. And trying to understand all the features and functionalities.

    2. It can be overwhelming

    Due to all these features, bells and whistles that come with Click up, it can be quite overwhelming. This is why it’s best for you to get someone to help you set it up.

    What to consider when picking a task management tool for your business

    Here are a few things to consider when picking which tool is going to be right for your business.

    1. What does your company and team look like now? And what do you envision it to look like in the future?

    Are you a one-woman show or a lean team? Or do you plan on growing your team into a fully-fledged business and corporation type kind of setup? Depending on what you envision your team to look like, that will determine whether to go for something simple, like Trello or something that has all the features and functionalities like Click up.

    2. What do details and project management meant to you?

    Are you a visual or detail-oriented person? Is project management something you’ve always wanted to incorporate in your business and make the most use out of?

    Or do you want something that is simple to replace your notebooks so that you don’t have to lose view of your tasks? And you don’t have to take 10 minutes trying to find out where you wrote that important note about your business.

    3. Do you have the support & investment you need to set up your preferred tool?

    Lastly, do you have the support in getting up to speed? Or are you going to have to do this on your own? You obviously need some investment in getting support to help you set up a complicated tool like Click up. In comparison to a tool like Trello and possibly Asana, which you can set up on your own.

    The investment is going to be a key consideration in deciding which one you settle on for your business.

    Nine Must have features for a task management tool

    Here are nine features that I would say your task management tool should have.

    1. An overview of all the tasks in your business, in one place.
    2. Being able to drill down to specific teams or team members in your business.
    3. Ability to switch between different views because people work differently. You might prefer working with a list view while your team members might prefer working with another type of view. And you want to be able to easily switch between different views so that you are getting the most out of the tool. While maximizing your productivity at the same time.  
    4. Ability to integrate easily with other apps to further reduce manual work. For example, you can integrate your task management tool with Slack. That way you can discuss specific tasks on your work management tool on Slack. Without having to copy and paste the task that you are referring to as you are communicating with your team members.
    5. Being able to time track when you are performing certain tasks. Time-tracking is so critical in making sure that you understand which tasks take a lot of your time. Which tasks could you potentially delegate and save so much time on? Toggl is the time tracker that I use and I’ve integrated it with my Asana workspace. And you can definitely integrate it with click up as well. I’m not sure that Trello has that functionality.
    6. The ability to easily collaborate with team members. Collaboration in terms of messaging team members, assigning tasks and following up easily all within your task management space. Ensure that this is as simple as possible so that you’re not getting bogged down in the details of the work management space. Or worse, you have your work management space, but you’re still using email to do back and forth task assigning.
    7. Automating recurring tasks. This is one of the features I love about Asana because you can easily automate recurring tasks without having to create a new task all the time.
    8. Having task templates which is really important in putting your SOPs into play. And making them real living documents in your business by creating tasks that are related to your SOPs. On Asana you cannot create task templates on the free version only on the paid version. Whereas with Trello, you can create task templates both on the free or the paid version. And on Click app, you can do so both on the free or the paid version. So that’s just something to think of.
    9. A tool that offers you customer support. Otherwise, you will spend hours and hours trying to figure out something in your task management tool. Yet you could have contacted online customer support and they would have given you the answer immediately.

    In conclusion,

    All the three tools that I have talked about today, Trello Asana and Click app are all great. And they are backed by great companies, which is evident from the statistics I shared about their revenue and performance to date.

    PRO TIP: Determining which task management tool is right for you depends on your business. What is best for how you work and how your team members work?

    I would recommend trying each of the tools maybe for a week or two and see which is the best fit. Get feedback from your team members if you have a team. Let them tell you which one they feel more comfortable with the pros and cons.

    If you need help to get onto the right task management tool from the get-go, we can chat about my VIP day. And how I can support you with this. We’ll also talk about the other different systems that you need in your business to get your business streamlined.

    As stated earlier, trying and testing them out is really great, because they all have some form of free version. Then. make a decision once you have gotten a feel of all of them. Be intentional not to prolong this because you do not want to spend hours and hours trying to figure out which one is good for you. Settle on one and if your business outgrows its features and functionalities, then upgrade to a different one.

    Listen to the full podcast here.

    Are you having trouble picking the best task management tool for your business? Here's a detailed post on the pros & cons of Asana, Trello & Click-up and tips on how to pick the right tool for your business.

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  • How to take a real vacation from your business

    As a solopreneur, have you ever been on a real vacation? Learn how you can take a real vacation from your business without it coming to a halt.

    There’s a misconception that online business owners don’t have the luxury of disconnecting completely from their business. Well, I’m here to tell you, you definitely can! To make it real and practical I actually went on vacation so that I can share some of the practical things that I did for my business. I am hoping that by sharing these tips you’ll realize that you can take a real vacation from your business.

    I am sharing the things that I did to ensure that I enjoyed my well-deserved time off without being constantly tethered to my phone, trying to figure out what’s happening in my business. In order to take a real vacation from your business, you definitely need to do a lot of planning in advance.

    Reasons why you should take a real vacation from your business

    Rest happens in the resting phase

    I recently saw a post on Instagram, where someone asked; What if you actually needed to take time off to rest in order for me to be more productive? And that totally resonated with the book a have been reading i.e. the 5:00 AM club. The author, Robin Sharma talks about growth happening in the resting phase. Growth actually happens in the resting phase as opposed to the performing phase of your business when you are in the throws of the daily hustle and grind.

    Why is that? Reflect back to when you have come up with the most amazing ideas in your business. Think about when you have come up with those amazing kick-ass strategies that have seen you level up income in your business. When have those ideas come up and when have those plans come up?

    They’ve probably come up when you’re in solitude and quiet. As opposed to when you have been so busy working on that to-do list and trying to get all the tasks done. That’s why it is important to take time off to rest and to review and think of your business. You don’t need to do anything formal like writing down notes or work on your laptop.

    Use the time off to totally disconnect so that you can take time to reflect and think of;

    1.      What has worked well in your business?

    2.      What could you maybe do differently?

    3.      What are those ideas that you could come up with during that time of rest and minimal distractions from the outside world to make your business even better?

    It’s an opportunity to uncover your team’s strengths

    It’s also an opportunity to stretch your team and uncover strengths you never knew were there. Here’s how. You have a number of tasks that you do as the CEO that you’ve never delegated to your team members. Going on vacation is a great opportunity to know if they could actually do some of those tasks once you assign them to your team.

    You’ll be able to see what will work because they are going to have to do those tasks, whether you are there or not. And maybe they might not have access to ask you questions and to get clarification. It’s a really great way to see how they work under pressure and when they are stretched.

    You might come back and they’ll tell you that they actually enjoyed a specific task, which would be a plus for you. Because that would be one less thing for you to do. And one thing for your team members to do and to do really.

    Having fun

    You only have one life to live. If you are going to live your life, working all day, all week, all year long, where is the fun in that? Right. You want to be present as a mom if you’re a mom. You want to be present with your family if you’re going to taking time off with them. It’s the only way to enjoy the things in life that you actually started your business for.

    A lot of us started our businesses to get more freedom. Location freedom, time freedom and to have more flexibility. Now, if you are not taking time off, you are not having freedom. You just replaced your 9-5 with a business that probably takes away more freedom than when you had your 9-5.

    How to prepare your business for an actual vacation

    Tip 1: Plan, Plan & Plan

    The first thing is you want to do is plan your vacations well in advance for at least two to three months. That way you have time to make sure you’ve prepared your business for when you actually take that time off.

    Go through your list of tasks in your work management space, and it’s also an opportunity to do a task audit. This will help you identify the tasks that are solely on you to do, and what could you possibly automate or delegate.

    I know sometimes it’s difficult to know what you could automate because you don’t know what you don’t know. Maybe you don’t know that some of the tasks you’re doing manually can actually be automated. Feel free to reach out to me here once you’ve done your task audit and I could share a few tips and pointers on what you could possibly automate.

    Tip 2: Work on your tasks upfront

    Put in some time every single day for at least a month or two weeks to work on the tasks that you typically do upfront. There are a lot of tasks you can actually batch upfront without even having to delegate or automate them.

    And the one that comes to mind right now is content creation! Content creation can be done upfront you don’t have to do it on the go. You actually shouldn’t be doing it on the go, because that is when you can have a major content burn.

    Think of other tasks you can do upfront, like client deliveries. You could probably move the dates forward so that you can finish some of the deliveries in advance. Consider completing some of the milestones of your projects so that you don’t have to work on them immediately after you come back from your vacation.

    Tip 3: Systems to support your business while away

    Ask yourself what are the systems that your business could use while you are away? Systems are a long haul and a long-term game. It’s not something that you can wake up today and have a fully-fledged system tomorrow. It’s something you need to think of upfront.

    But there are certainly certain activities you can do upfront before you take a real vacation from your business. This will sort of set the wheels running in getting your systems in place. And maybe you already have systems in place. For example, a client management system that you use to automate your client onboarding and management process. But there could be certain things in your client management system that you could optimize to make it more efficient.

    If you don’t have any systems in place, think of some of the tasks that are critical in your business. Especially income-generating activities around lead generation, client management & onboarding and how you can potentially automate a few of those tasks upfront.

    Like I said earlier in this blog, you don’t know what you don’t know. I would love to have a chat with you once you have figured out the priority tasks in your business. The tasks that you potentially need to have automated and tech to help you support your business while you are on vacation.

    Business activities that could be automated

    Email Marketing

    Email marketing is an area that requires system support while you take a vacation is your email marketing system. You can definitely schedule your emails to be sent out to your email list while you are away.

    Lead generation & tracking

    You can set up an automation so that your lead generation spreadsheets are updated while you are on vacation from your business.

    Inquiry Management

    Set up an automation to manage any inquiries made about your services while you are away. Your business doesn’t have to come to a halt just because you are taking time off.

    As a solopreneur, have you ever been on a real vacation? Learn how you can take a real vacation from your business without it coming to a halt.

    Tip 4: Automate and or delegate

    Be very careful around delegating versus automating because there’s no need to delegate tasks that can be automated. That is going to be a waste of time on your team while you are away. Try not to delegate tasks that you could automate. If you aren’t sure that you can automate them, let your team members research and see if there’s any way, they can automate some of these tasks.

    There’s one thing that we recently automated in my business. At the back of my mind, I knew that it could be done I just hadn’t done it. Every member that joins our Facebook group they are meant to get added on to our email list. Previously, the process was manual where we had to copy and paste that information from Facebook group onto our email list.

    So, a few weeks ago as I was preparing to take a vacation from my business, I created automation with Zapier and Flodesk i.e. my email marketing system. Now every time someone joins our Facebook group, they automatically get added on to our email list. And now my VA has saved close to an hour of her time every week trying to do this.

    It’s so important to also look at your systems from that point of view. That way you can free up time with your team and have them focus on the more higher-level activities that actually require human interaction and engagement.

    Tip 5: Set an autoresponder

    The next step is to set your autoresponder responder.  Make sure you have a solid, auto-responder. Be very clear on when you will be away and who can be contacted while you are away. If there are any frequently asked questions around your services, include them in your autoresponder.

    Include details on where they can find out about your services by adding a link to your website. You can also embed your service guide or just attach it to your autoresponder so that people can have a look at your services while you away. And make sure it is very clear whether you are going to be partly available or not available at all.

    When I started in my career, I was terrified of including that I wouldn’t be available for emails on my out of office email. I then realized that if you do not set your boundaries right, people are going to step right over your boundaries.

    And if you indicate that you won’t be available for emails, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to lose out on potential clients and leads. That could actually be an indicator to your potential leads that you’re actually a woman of integrity. And you know how to manage your business and they might want to learn how you’ve been able to do that.

    Don’t be afraid to set your boundaries in your autoresponder or on your out of office email. Because that is literally going to set the tone for how you enjoy your holiday or not.

    Tip 6: Communicate with your team

    Communicate with your team and let them know what you are going to do upfront and what they need to do. Delegate your tasks as early as possible, lean into your SOPs. If you don’t have SOPs create simple loom videos. These will help your team members understand what the tasks are about. That’s probably the fastest way you can delegate tasks in a way that there are not going to be left trying to figure out how to do it on their own.

    When you come back, make a point of creating documented SOPs around these activities. That way that the next time you take a vacation from your business, it will be easier. And you won’t have to do a lot of legwork upfront.

    Tip 7: Trust your team

    Trust your team members to handle things while you are away. I know a lot of us are superwomen and supermoms we want to do everything our way. Sometimes we don’t have sufficient trust in our team members to be able to handle things. But trust me, everything is going to be okay.

    Trust and empower your team members and they are going to deliver. And most likely they actually going to over-deliver and you will be blown away at what your team members can do in your absence. So, don’t be afraid to delegate.

    Tip 8: Set your boundaries & eliminate guilt

    Make sure you set your boundaries when it comes to your team. I’ve already talked about setting boundaries in your autoresponder but make sure you set your intentions and keep them.

    For me, my intention is at least in the first three to four days of my vacation, I am going to completely switch off from social media. And my VA is going to manage my social media platforms on my behalf. Your VA can help you engage with people on your behalf, they can help you manage your Facebook community if you have trained them upfront on how to do it.

    My plan when I take a vacation from my business is to switch off completely from social media. This allows me to zone in to just being present. I zone into thinking and reflecting on my life, my business and anything else I want to reflect on while I am away.

    Eliminate guilt by doing work upfront. A lot of times we don’t set boundaries because we feel guilty! We feel guilty that if we don’t check our emails or respond to a client inquiry within a certain period of time, things won’t work out or things are going to fall apart.

    But if you do the work upfront, you will be able to set your intentions and boundaries and keep them. You’ll remain true to your intentions while you are away on vacation from your business. And while you are.

    Tip 9: Take a day off once you’re back from your holiday

    You don’t want to return from your vacation and the next day you are back in the throws of the day-to-day activities of your business. Take time to ease your way back into work. And this is something that I was intentional about. On the first day, I eased my way back and I took the day off from my 9-5 as well.

    I use this time to check my emails, plan out the rest of my week, review anything that I need to review, check-in with my team members and my clients. This way you don’t have to have that sad feeling that your vacation has ended and you are back in the day-to-day hustle and grind. Just ease your way back in and feel more in control when it’s time to get back to work.

    In conclusion,

    I hope this blog inspires you to take a real vacation from your business soon. Plan out your vacation and spend time with your family and friends and yourself too.

    Listen to the full episode here.

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