5 Questions That Will Tighten Up Your Business To Be More Productive And Efficient
Sometimes running an online business can bring on a bunch of unwanted stress and cause you to feel like you’re on a hamster wheel with your never ending to-do list.
What if I told you it didn’t have to be this way?
What if there was a way to simplify to amplify?
I’m going to walk you through 5 questions that will help you drill down on what you need to do most for your online business and what you can cut out. Once you simplify and drill down on what matters most, you’ll find yourself less stressed and more productive.
Question 1: What are your priorities in life & business?
This is where you need to get truly honest with yourself. Take some time to think about this one — this should be what drives you.
What matters most to me?
What is my top priority right now?
What end goal am I trying to achieve?
Once you have the answers to these questions, ask yourself this:
Is what I’m working on right now inline with what matters most to me and what I’m trying to achieve?
If the answer is no, then it’s time to get your priorities in line with what matters most to you.
For example, if your end goal is to have a stream of passive income through an online course for your business but you’re spending most of your time creating social media graphics that aren’t driving people to your website, it’s time to reevaluate. Your focus should be on creating your online course and building an email list to market to.
Question 2: What brings you joy and what brings you stress in your business?
Sometimes we often try to do all the things for our business, and oftentimes we don’t need to. If you’re familiar with Pareto’s Principle, also referred to as the 80/20 rule, then you know that this rule suggests that 80% of outcomes (outputs) come from 20% of causes (inputs).
Really let that sink in.
If you can hone in on what that 20% is that is causing 80% of your results, you can start to cut things out that aren’t providing any heavy value in your business.
In order to make your time count, ask yourself these questions:
What did I really enjoy in my business?
What work was really joyful and fulfilling to complete?
Find a way to spend more of your time doing these things that you enjoy. Your business will thrive once you’re doing the things that excite you.
To cut out tasks and projects in your business, ask yourself:
What did I hate working on this year?
What did I just avoid working on because I hate it so much?
If there’s something that doesn’t excite you and you feel that it drains you, it’s time to make some decisions.
Can this task be cut out of your business? If yes, then peace out cub scout.
If this is something you need done for your business, but you don’t enjoy doing it, then you should heavily consider outsourcing it. Getting this off your plate will allow you to focus more time on the things that excite you most about your business, allowing you to set your business up for more success.
Question 3: What tech & tools are you using for your business?
Take inventory of all the technology and tools you are paying for in your business. Create a list of all the costs and functionalities of each of the services you’re paying for and evaluate. (Here is a free subscription tracking spreadsheet that will help you track and calculate your expenses)
Are there any overlaps in tools?
For example, are you paying for two different cloud storage programs such as DropBox and iCloud? This could be condensed into one platform and one less fee.
Are each of these tools actually serving the business well?
Run over your list and see if you’re paying for something you don’t use anymore. Cancel those tools/services that no longer serve your business needs.
Question 4: Do you have an effective work schedule?
Do you feel like you’re jumping from one small task to another and by the end of the day you feel like you haven’t gotten anything accomplished?
It’s time to put a schedule in place.
Compile a list of all the tasks that you feel “get in the way” of your bigger goals and projects.
For example, are you on the phone a lot for meetings but they are spread out throughout the week so you constantly feel like you have to stop what you’re doing in order to get on a meeting?
This is a common pain in the butt feeling that most online business owners go through.
Solution: Dedicate a day in the week just for meetings. Stick to the day and commit yourself to just being present for your meetings once a week to avoid having to stop what you're doing throughout the week and slow down your productivity.
Also, consider batching tasks. Task batching is a time management system which increases productivity and concentration by keeping your focus on the same type of task. Break down a project into tasks and group similar action items together to get them done quicker.
You can set up themed days for certain areas of your business to help you stay focused. For example, Mondays can be content creation days, Tuesdays can be for meetings, Wednesdays for client projects and so on.
This method can provide you with more structure and direction for your days so you can accomplish more by the end of the week.
Question 5: Do you have processes in place?
If you do not have processes in place, it’s not too late to get them set up. You probably have them already and just don’t have them recorded anywhere yet.
To get started, think about the things in your business that you do often. For example, blog posts, you might have a system where you:
Create a headline
Create an outline
Draft the post
Layout the post
Schedule the post
Promote the post
Everyone has their own way of doing certain tasks in their business and it’s important to get your systems recorded so that when you’re ready to scale and hire a virtual assistant/contractor or employee, you’ll have everything documented for them to be easily trained.
Go through all your common projects and ask yourself:
What are all the steps and tasks that need to get done in order to complete this project?
By doing this and outlining all the steps, you’ll be able to adjust your process to make it more streamlined and eliminate unnecessary steps. You can easily store these steps in Asana as a project template and then use it over and over again whenever you need it.
Having these processes will benefit your overall businesses productivity and you’ll never have to think about what needs to be done for a certain project — you’ll always have this list of steps to refer to.
Also, take note of the things that can be automated.
Are you posting each social media post the day it goes live? Use a social media scheduler in order to get your posts set up and scheduled in one day so you save time throughout your week.
Have lead magnets and email sequences in place in order to stay in communication with your subscribers.
After going through these 5 questions and implementing them, you’re business is going to become more effective and tightened up. You’ll probably find it to be more enjoyable to run your business as well once you’ve cut out the things that don’t bring you joy or results and focus on the things that do.