Being productive is critical when it comes to running a business. From setting aside time to manage your finances to posting on social media to reaching out to inquiring customers… No one tells you how much time you’ll need to spend running your business and it can get you really behind on some key tasks that will allow you to grow your impact and revenue.
Here’s what I’ve adopted over the years to run my business efficiently while ensuring I am doing revenue-generating tasks.
Once a week, I block off an afternoon or a couple hours to really focus on some key business operations that will make things easier. From devoting time to follow-up processes to ensuring onboarding new clients is systematized, “deep work” for me means doing The One Thing which asks… “What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” Gary Keller, the author of The One Thing addresses that in his book and it has stuck with me for years.
For local business owners, it might mean mapping out a year of promos, an event calendar, problem-solving inventory challenges, product/service expansion, designing a welcome email nurture sequence, creating canned emails for different inquiries. I’ve found that if I don’t schedule time for this type of work, it doesn’t happen.
We get it. You’ve been told by hundreds of experts to “create content all the time,” but as a local business owner you are in charge of… everything. How can you support your customers and create content without working all hours of the day? It takes about 15 minutes a day for us to check in with our audience on social media to make sure they feel seen, supported, and heard. By commenting on Instagram Stories to sending congratulatory emails to our customer when we see something awesome is happening in her life… this time spent nurturing your community will pay you back ten-fold.
You’ll see more of your customers coming back or re-booking an appointment. You’ll find more people start referring you because you took the time to show up for them. You’ll feel more supported by your community and your community will feel more supported by you.
Here’s a really simple example. When someone sends an email to you through your contact form, have an auto reply send immediately to that person (who is likely in a buying mode or soon to be) sharing your process or expected response time. It takes about 10 minutes to set up an auto reply and you can pack a ton of value into it so when you engage with your potential customer on the phone or in the next email, you’ve primed ’em for whatever it is they’re looking for.
One our favorite ways to automate is to send a welcome nurture email to new customers. When someone is brand new to your business and they choose to opt into your email list, you have an incredible opportunity to welcome them by sharing your story, how they can plug in even more, and potentially offering a promo of some sort. There are dozens of ways to automate (which you can do during your “deep work” time) so you can spend more time doing profit-generating tasks.
What platform generates the most leads or business for you?
Let’s say every time you send an email you get two appointments booked, valued at $100 each. Every time you post a series on Instagram Stories about new products, you generate an average of 10 sales at about $24 a purchase, so $240. If you could do those activities with more frequency, you would likely generate more revenue, right? But it requires you to do the thing and sometimes that’s just not possible! So start to pay attention to where your customers are coming from and devise a plan on how to empower someone like a VA or intern to do this work.
Say it with me now… “I do not need to be responsible for everything in my business.”
Project Management systems have been the foundation of our productivity since day one at Love Local. From building out our sales funnels to ensuring micro tasks are getting completed every single day, systems like Trello + Asana hold us to it. Daily tasks get marked as “DONE” and monthly assignments keep us informed of sales, data, and other pertinent profit-related information. Our boards are the bread and butter of our productivity.
In fact, they’re so helpful that we’ve designed our very own program to keep local business owners focused + profitable. Get on the waitlist here.
While you wait, be sure to join our free Facebook Community, “Love Local Community” where we share tons of tips, resources, and ideas to support your local business growth.
My name is Emily Steele and I teach local business owners how to be the legends they are and build an irresistible and profitable local brand.