The 5 Best Tech Tools for Scaling Your Business

The 5 Best Tech Tools for Scaling Your Business
You’ll face many challenges when scaling your business. One of the greatest sources of help is automation. Here are some of the tech tools available to make scaling your business easier and more successful. 
Customer Relationship Management

A CRM (customer relationship management) system is essential for any business that wants to scale. As you grow, you need to make sure you’re still offering a great customer experience, and your CRM helps you do this.

CRM programs like the one I use AttractWell, or others like Zendesk, HubSpot, and Salesforce help you manage every aspect of client interactions. The main function they offer is tracking all interactions and data about clients so you can analyze and refer to that information whenever you need it.

These programs also offer a variety of extra features that help you with marketing, analytics, and lead generation. 
Automated Accounting

One of the major reasons businesses fail to scale is poor cash flow. Up until now, you’ve been able to manage your accounting on your own, as your needs haven’t been very complex. But when you grow rapidly, you’ll need to upgrade.

Many businesses choose to hire an accountant or outsource to a virtual finance professional. But you can also use accounting software programs to help you track profits, budget, and funding. QuickBooks and Wave are two highly regarded accounting programs that offer a wealth of features. 
Content Creation Tools

Content creation takes a great deal of time, so it’s helpful to use tools that will streamline the process. Programs like Grammarly help you edit your work and offer ideas for improving your copy. 

You’ll also need tools to help manage content. A great simple and free tool for this is Google Docs, which allows you to save content in one place where all team members can access it and edit. 

For your visual content needs, you should invest in a product like Canva or Adobe Photoshop that make creating and editing visual content easier.  
Communication Tools to Keep Your Team on Track

As you grow your team, there will be more collaborative tasks and projects to stay on top of. As communication needs grow, you’ll need tools to make it easy for team members to talk to each other.
Gmail is a great communication tool because in addition to offering one of the best free email services, it also has features like Docs, Calendar, and Drive that your team can use. You may also want to invest in a project management tool like Monday or Asana, and an instant communication tool like Slack. 
Analytics Tools for Monitoring

You need to carefully monitor KPIs as you grow, so choose an analytics tool that will give you the data you need. 

Google Analytics is a good, free program that offers a wealth of metrics and customized reporting. There are many premium programs available as well with even more features. 

You’ll also find analytics tools built into some of your other systems, like your CRM and autoresponder. Leverage these sources of data as well.
Choosing the Right Automation Tools

For each tool you’re considering, take the time to test out a trial version. See how easy it is to use and decide if it’s suitable for the processes you need automated. Read online reviews as well to get an idea of its potential downsides. 

Start using automation tools now to have them in place before you scale. 
Want to learn more about how you can scale your business and earn more? Head over here: Building a Scalable Business

Asking for Help

Asking for Help
“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” -Steve Jobs
Asking for help is difficult for some people. You may feel you’re not good enough, if you ask for help. You might think you’re bothering someone. You know you can’t and shouldn’t do everything yourself. You may feel you’re losing control when you ask for help. By asking for help, you may feel you are admitting you have a weakness and are a failure.
In reality, asking for help makes us stronger. It frees up our time and builds resources that we can use again. Others are in business to serve, ready to help with what you need.
Asking for help and building a team alleviates many of the overwhelming feelings of every day life. The trick is to know when you are overwhelmed and should ask for help. 
First, understand why you’re overwhelmed. Did you take on too many projects at work? Is your calendar filled with places and events you must (think you must) do? Are things piling up at home? 
Do projects in your business get put on the back burner or worse yet do you miss deadlines? Are you working long hours but not producing and getting closer to your goals?
Next, take inventory on what you do, need to do and want to get accomplished toward your goals. Decide what is a priority and what only you can do. The find ways to get help with the rest. Barter, trade, collaborate, outsource, or just ASK.
It can be intimidating when you first ask for help. You’re not sure how to ask, what you want someone to do or who you should ask. 
Asking for help in your business can make you feel like a failure. You don’t want to give up your authority or control. However, when you’re productivity falls short and you’re not achieving your goals; t’s time to get help however, before you can do that you need to know what you need help with and who to ask.
Who to ask for help:
  • Virtual assistants may handle:
    • Email management
    • Scheduling and travel arrangements
    • Customer service  
    • Content formatting
    • Metrics management
    • Social media management
    • Coordinating and implementing webinars and events
    • Content marketing and submission
    • Content creation and proofing
    • General office duties or management 
  • A designer helps create :
    • Branding packages including logo
    • Headers
    • Blog themes
    • Facebook pages
    • Graphics
    • Software or apps
  • Social media managers specialize in social media-related skills:
    • Moderates your groups
    • Uploads posts to your social media platforms
    • Takes care of your Facebook page
    • Sets up social media accounts
    • Creates or implements social media ad plans
  • Marketing consultants work on publicizing and promoting your business with:
    • Press releases
    • Guest interview opportunities
    • Advertising
    • Marketing trends 
  • Project managers coordinate all aspects of a project and help brainstorm fresh ideas
    • Manage your team of contractors. 
    • Keep things running and completed by deadlines
    • Solve problems or offer solutions to problems
    • Take care of non-direct money-making tasks 
    • Help campaigns stay on budget
  • Affiliate managers:
    • Answer tech questions 
    • Makes sure affiliates are paid
    • Puts resources in place
  • Specialists focus on specific skillsets related to:
    1. Topics
    2. Niches
    3. Industries
    4. Platforms
    5. Clients
    6. Content types
    7. Technology types
    8. Business Area strategies, such as SEO or Social Media 
  • Writers’ skills may include:
    • Creating written content in various formats
    • Ghostwriting
    • Proofreading
    • Copywriting or sales copy
    • Editing 
    • Formatting
    • Research
  • Bookkeepers take care of your invoicing, taxes, and other money tasks.
  • App creators may be hired for one-time or ongoing projects such as:
    • Custom widgets
    • Task-performing widgets
    • Games
    • quizzes
Once you know what you need to outsource, you’ll have a better idea of who you need to hire. Most tasks, projects, or needs can be fulfilled by someone else.

Creating Freedom in your Business

Creating Freedom in your Business
At some point in our life, we all have wanted independence from something.  Most of us who start a business desire to be independent of corporations, someone else’s structure, and create our own way of doing business.  At least on the surface, these are our reasons, and they sound good, they feel good to accomplish.  If these are the only reason you are going into business, then you need to stop and think because all of the things listed above (though we might feel initially) take a long time to develop while earning the money you desire. 
So the first thing you want to check in with is that you’re building a business to build a business, not just create freedom. It may sound a bit backward or anti-modern thinking, but please hear me out.
Saying you want independence and freedom can be a good and noble pursuit. It’s a great goal to want to build more free time to be able to work 20 hours a week. Make sure that you define what freedom looks like for you and not create a business because you want more time off or don’t want to deal with the boss.  These are terrible reasons to go into business, and you’re setting yourself up for failure, frustration, and a lot of work you don’t necessarily have to do.
Ask yourself, what are your reasons for building this business? Do you have something you want to share with the world that will help someone else?  Is it because you want to spend more time with your family? 
What are your reasons…your why?
If your primary reason is more time off, then being an entrepreneur is not for you. Moreover, I say that not to discourage you but to encourage you.  Creating sustainable income with a business takes work, and it could be a while before you start seeing a profit.
I know that many people teach, “your first 10k month”, but when you hear their backstory, it took them years to get to that point.  Yes, you can buy their system, but those how are successful with it have already done the market research, and that particular system worked for their audience.  I know from personal experience that unless you have a great idea and a market that’s ready for you, then that isn’t possible.

I’m all for being challenged on this. I’m all for someone proving me wrong. However, if you listen to any business expert or any entrepreneur that’s been in business a long time, they say the same thing. 
“It took me ten years to be an overnight success,” Mark Cuban.
If you want something easy to do for more free time in your day, starting a business isn’t for you.
The second thing is to have the right foundation.
There is a lot of education and training on how to build a business. Everyone has a unique style and flavor, and they are teaching you what has worked for them. We want to learn from people who have been there, done that and have experience with what we’re trying to do. However, we also have to keep in mind that their style of business and their model of business may not necessarily work for us.  This is mainly due to our personality, background, expertise, and the people that we are serving.
You have to think about many things when building a business, especially when you’re starting or making a significant change.

Foundations or business models can be:
  • Service
  • Product-based
  • One-on-one
  • Coaching
  • Consulting
  • business to business
  • Group
  • Online
  • In-person
  • Combination of all of the above?
I don’t want to overwhelm you with choices, but we can build a business in many varieties and ways. When we create a company that suits our personality, the more independence we will have and the more freedom we will gain.  Building a business that is uniquely us and built on how we want to serve people, coupled with how we’re solving a problem, is the pinnacle of modern business and the path to real success.
The last thing in creating business independence is to trust in your leadership abilities. If we can lead ourselves, we can lead others.
I firmly believe that every person has the ability to lead others. It’s just a matter of whether it’s been activated, had the time, or had the experience to develop it.

When you trust in your leadership abilities, you can delegate more, make the right hires, and have confidence in your message.  As you believe in your leadership and can communicate how you want things done, you create more freedom and independence to do what you want to do in your business.  Things like planning content, creating that next big course, spending time working with your clients, or finding out what people need from your business.
There are all kinds of ways that, as CEOs, we can spend our time, and it isn’t being bogged down in the details and the admin of your business.  How do you want to be spending your time?  Who do you need to be to make that happen?
Take action now:
What area do you need to work on?  What does freedom look like in your business? In your life? 

“Power Office” Your Workspace

“Power Office” Your Workspace
As you already know by now, organization is one key ingredient to increased productivity. Every step of business planning and implementation requires it. Good organization skills lead to better time management, consistency, focus on getting work done on time, and more.
One of the most important areas to organize and get right first is your work environment or office. You need to power your office space or set it up to work for you to lead you to success.
What Is A Power Office and Why Is It So Valuable?
A power office is the work environment you create to do your work but is explicitly optimized for success. A power office is organized to match work processes and the tasks required to achieve your goals. It inspires confidence and gives you a distraction-free area to highly concentrate and focus on your work.
Here’s what you need to set up your own power office successfully to achieve productivity:
Analyze What’s Not Working First
When you get to work, what causes the most frustration and anxiety? Do you have paper and knickknacks all over the place? Is there furniture or extra things causing more distraction than good? Before you change your space, go to work first and be more mindful of your emotions and surroundings to get a better sense of the space you need to work optimally.
Always Keep in Mind Your Work Objectives
When creating your workspace, keep in mind your main objectives or tasks. If you are on the phone a lot, for example, be sure the phone is right where you need it, or your cell phone charger is there to keep you on track.
Adjust the Layout, Setup, and Location
Find the right location and layout that work for your professional and personal needs. If you know you like freedom while you work, don’t use the smallest or most affordable location you can find in your home or elsewhere. It will only do the opposite and stall your work.
Declutter and Designate
Let go of all the stuff that you don’t need. In other words, trim the fat and put it somewhere else. If it doesn’t pertain to work or provide any kind of motivation and inspiration to get you to work, it doesn’t belong there.
Make It Personal but Simplified
Add things of value you know will inspire you or make you happy but don’t add too many things. You already decluttered the workspace. You don’t want to add it all back. Be mindful of each item you add.
Test and Adjust
Test the space and keep in mind when working on the things that are causing frustration and work to adjust those areas. Over time, your needs and business will change, which means your work environment should too.
Don’t let your work environment be the reason you can’t get your work done. It will only require a few minor adjustments to make your surroundings work hard for you.

Create Repeatable Workflows for Better Time Management

Create Repeatable Workflows for Better Time Management
Setting up the right workflows and process are essential to proper time management and the success of your business. When you create repeatable workflows, you can better improve the quality of your work and stay consistent, saving you more time and energy in the long run. They establish proper communication habits and increase your confidence as you more easily glide through your day and accomplish more goals.
Establishing proper workflows allows you to more easily highlight the areas that need to be improved or eliminated—in return, saving you time to be more creative and innovative within your industry and business. In other words, repeatable workflows allow you to optimize the way you conduct business so you can more smoothly accomplish your goals without delay or frustration.
The following are five tips for creating repeatable workflows that improve your productivity:
Understand Your Full Needs and Requirements
When it comes to creating a successful workflow, you can’t miss any details. Block out time to really focus on this and list your full needs and requirements for the objectives you want to accomplish. Start with the most important areas of your business first, then work your way down not to overwhelm yourself.
Keep It Simple and Standardize
One of the many faults of any workflow is that it is too bulky and tries to be innovative in places it’s not needed. Trim down any unnecessary fat that causes delays and confusion and find better ways to streamline the process. Start with the tried-and-true methods first, then adapt later when you have made a consistent effort first.
Physically Map It Out with A Flowchart
Write down one major task required for your business in the center of a document or physical piece of paper, then draw a circle around it. For example, new customer setup or product purchase.
Then draw arrows out that direct you to each required step of the process, including the resources needed and who will complete the project, just like a mind map for brainstorming but with a specific direction and set of instructions. The idea is to create a visual and scannable chart so you can more easily see where you need to adjust, streamline, or add more information.
Document and Analyze
Add controls and benchmarks so you can measure and analyze the success of your workflow. Something certain in life is change. Businesses need to adjust at a moment’s notice to stay successful. The state of constant change highlights the importance of blocking out time to evaluate your processes, business plan, and long-term goals.
The path to success requires consistent and continued action, and repeatable workflows allow you the freedom and ability to do just that.

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