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Why it’s important to have a team & automations in place for your online business

The pandemic sure upended a lot of things over the past year and a half or so.

My family used it as an opportunity to make some big changes, including a move to another state. We sold our home, lived in our tiny ski condo for fifteen months, and then moved into an amazing house that we are now renovating.

And anyone who has ever moved, or renovated, or both – during a pandemic – knows that there is a lot of chaos.

Oh and we got a puppy.

aussie mountain doodle

Ozzy

But this isn’t a post about the pandemic, moving, renovations, or even puppies. It’s a post about making your business flexible so that when life happens, your business doesn’t tank.

This past May and June, I barely worked. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I was packing, unpacking, and doing things like finishing my own stairs:

Melissa sanding stairs

And let me tell you, these masks come in really handy when you’ve got sawdust all over the place!

You see, even though I couldn’t focus on my Facebook-group-based business for more than a few hours a week, I still made money. And that’s because of three things:

  • systems
  • automation
  • my team

Systems and documentation of how those systems work are crucial to keeping your business flowing. Systems are step-by-step processes that you put into place when an action is taken. For example, when you sell an ad on your website, your system might be something like:

  • Add customer to your CMR or database
  • Send out bill
  • Get ad information
  • Create ad
  • Schedule ad
  • Schedule follow-up with customer

Documentation is essential for your team to be able to reference when you’re not available to answer questions. I developed many how-two guides, which I keep in Google Docs, so that my team can easily reference them and I can easily update them with any new processes or changes. It may take time to put these together, but it’s so worth it.

Who knows, one day you may even sell your business and these will be priceless to the new owner.

Automation helps keep things moving along and cuts down on people spending precious time to do mundane tasks. It can also really speed things along and reduces the possibility of errors – you’re not waiting for a human to complete a task.

Automations can include things like sending emails, email funnels, social media postings, billing reminders, etc. Zapier is a super fun tool worth getting to know. It can help you create “zaps,” which connects, for example, website posts to social media, or sends out automated messages when somebody purchases from you.

Having a team in place is also essential. You can’t do this whole thing alone. One of my biggest mistakes was waiting to put a team in place. And by “team,” I don’t necessarily mean 20 full time employees (although if you have this, GO YOU!).

A “team” can be one virtual assistant who works 10 hours a month doing tasks that you simply do not need to do, so that you can focus on things like building your business, putting improvements in place, researching, and… training a new puppy while refinishing stairs!

During these past few months, I leaned on my team to complete their tasks and if they had questions and I wasn’t available, they had plenty of supportive resources, including documentation and how-to guides and videos.

I highly recommend putting systems, automations, and a team in place to create ease in  your business life.

Comment below with your suggestions for streamlining your business!

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