As business owners, time is our most valuable resource. It’s the one thing we can’t get back, we can’t get more of, and everyone has the same amount. It’s what we DO with our time that is most important. That is why a repeatable and efficient process to do #allthethings related to our businesses is essential.
Simply put, reinventing the wheel every day is wasting your time and preventing you from growing and scaling your business.
Today, I want to share a concept I was taught by one of my mentors that has helped me stop reinventing the wheel in my business. That concept is called FYRYRYRY. It stood for: if you find yourself repeating yourself, replace yourself or record yourself. But whatever you do, stop reinventing the wheel.
🌟And before we dive into this concept a little further, I want to address one very important point. Please remember, not everyday has to be productive. There will be seasons and days and weeks and months (and maybe even years) where your time and attention are solely focused on your family, your health and life outside of work. The most important thing to remember is that you spend your time with intention.
So with that, let’s dive into how to manage your time WELL and review some tangible ways you can create once, and use something multiple times.
Start here: Make a list of all your repeating tasks.
This is the first place to start when it comes to understanding and organizing all the things you do in your business on a consistent basis. Whether it’s a simple client email or a weekly bookkeeping task or monthly goal setting, you have HUNDREDS of tasks that you repeat in your business. Start by creating a list of all the things you do more than once in your business.
Some examples of repeating tasks include:
- Blog two times a week
- Answer emails daily
- Input invoices and expenses weekly
- Submit taxes quarterly
- Clean office weekly
And once you have your list of repeating tasks, start by simply building those into your daily, weekly and monthly schedule. You can even take it one step further and employ a few of my FAVORITE business management tools.
A few of those time-saving, repeat friendly tools include:
- Email templates – yes, stop reinventing the wheel and re-typing the same email over and over again. Simply add a template or canned response to your Gmail or CRM and use the same copy EVERYTIME you send an inquiry response or timeline reminder or check-in email. No need to waste time re-typing, just select, tweak and repeat.
- Questionnaires – do you ask the same questions to all your clients? Do you find yourself searching for that list of questions every time you need to send them out? Use a questionnaire template in Google Forms or your CRM instead of reinventing the wheel every time you need to ask the SAME questions to your clients. Plus, by using a software for questionnaires, you can store, export and easily manage responses.
- Workflows – MY FAVORITE – yes, workflows are automation magic. Truly. Using workflows for all your client work is going to save you HOURS of time each week on simple to do’s and tasks that repeat for each one of your clients. Workflows also allow you to provide a consistent and timely experience for every client, every time.
Check out some of my favorite blogs on workflows to hear more about why I believe workflows are one of the most important time saving pieces of your business:
- 8 Mistakes People Make When Creating Workflows
- How I Organize My Client Workflows
- 5 Ways to Tell if Your Workflow is Helping or Hurting Your Business
Next, figure out what you can replace.
Are there things you do in your business that you can replace with a process or with another person? Think about for a second. How much time would you save in your business if you replaced (or removed) one thing from your task list? Like bookkeeping or editing or blog formatting/social media scheduling?
Now, this part can be a little tricky. I will be the first to caution you about outsourcing. The idea of no longer having to login to Quickbooks or Lightroom to edit can be very enticing. BUT, just remember, as soon as you start replacing yourself with other people, you are adding another expense to your business. So, be sure to follow the steps above first before you start replacing yourself in the queue of repeatable tasks. If you are able to save time by adding repeating processes to your business, do that first. Then, consider outsourcing later.
What can you record?
If you work with a team or outsource tasks to a VA or agency, I would highly recommend recording your processes with a program like Process St or Loom. This allows you to send tutorials or simple instructions for a task instead of having to jump on a Zoom call or write it out in email. It’s one of my favorite time-saving tools for working with a team. Video tutorials are also great for clients. You can create a simple video tutorial for clients to show them how to purchase prints, select items for their album and more!
Another reason I record my processes is for myself! If it’s been a while since you did something in Lightroom or Photoshop or Quickbooks, this is a great way to reference how you did it in the past instead of having to re-read a help article or spend too much time clicking around a program to figure it out.
What can you repurpose?
Repurposing content and graphics is a great way to save time on your client workflow and marketing efforts. Here are a few items I repurpose in my business:
- Design files
- Blog graphics
- IG story templates
- Client information graphics
- And more 🙂
- Instagram captions repurposed from blog content
- Use the blog copy to create shorter versions of the bride and grooms story for sharing on Instagram
- Blog copy repurposed from relationship questionnaire
- I use my relationship questionnaire (which is a questionnaire I repurpose for ALL of my couples) to create the content for my blogs about their engagement sessions + their wedding day
- Newsletter repurposed from your blog post
- I often take a longer more detailed blog post and boil it down to the main, key concepts for a quick and digestible version in my newsletters
Just think: How can you create once and delight many times?
Make yourself a little checklist and track your progress with this concept. How can you stop reinventing the wheel in your business and create repeatable processes that can be repurposed, recorded or replaced.
- Do I have email templates set up for all the emails I send regularly to my clients?
- Are there client education email templates in my workflow that allow me to give my clients a great experience sharing my knowledge with them?
- Are processes set up in my business so that if I want to hire a team member, I can hand off the processes and easily train them with little effort?
- When a client inquiries, is my workflow automated and I know exactly what needs to be done and when for them?
- Do I have blogging templates that I follow for each client that helps me write blogs in 15 minutes or less?
- Are all the Questionnaires that I send my clients created and in my CRM?
- If something happened to me, an assistant, friend, family member, or second shooter would easily be able to follow my processes to get the work done?
- Do I have processes in place for repurposing my content so I don’t need to write content or create it for a million different places (Blog, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, etc.)
\Remember, you don’t need more hours in the day to get everything done. I am a firm believer in working smarter, not harder. We didn’t get into this business to spend more hours in front of our computers and less time doing what we love. By using these tips above, you can stop reinventing the wheel in your business and start getting more of your precious time back for less work, more life.