Experts say it takes about 21 days to develop a new habit. At first, you might find some of these suggestions a little challenging to stick with. Once your habits are formed it will become second nature and you’ll find that you have more free time and an organized work schedule.
Developing good business habits is essential to running a business that is organized and efficient. Today I’m going to share 7 habits that I’ve incorporated into my business to become a better boss lady. I hope that they will help you too!
Don’t make the mistake of taking things day by day. Instead, make a plan and stick to it. When you simply write out your to-do list for the day, you get stuck thinking small-picture. In other words, you only accomplish the things that need to get done for your business to survive, not thrive.
Take time every quarter to get clear on your business goals and what you want to achieve. Divide these goals out into projects and tasks and set due dates to get them done. Now you’ll have a clear picture of what you need to do every single week to make your dreams a reality.
Of course, you’ll still have things to add to your daily to-do list for client projects and things of that nature. However, all of your business tasks should be scheduled out for the quarter or at least a month in advance. These are the things that are going to grow your business and lead to being a more in charge boss overall.
I know it can hard to find time to take a good look at your business systems. But, it really is important to re-evaluate your systems occasionally to see what can be changed. Just asking yourself some basic questions will give you some insight into what parts of your process you may be struggling with.
How are you managing your incoming emails? Are you using an invoicing app? How are you tracking expenses? How do you pay yourself or others? How do you track project deliverables and deadlines? Are all of these processes in your business easy for you and your clients to follow?
It all really comes down to one question. Is this process working for me? Take note of what could be tweaked and find a solution. This could mean trying out a new tool so that you can change your system structure. delegating tasks to another team member, or setting up an automation sequence.
One big change that I made recently was signing up for Dubasado, which is a client management system. I realized that client onboarding and management was taking up way too much of my time. Now that I’m using Dubsado, I have set-up all of these workflows so that I can automate most of the client managing process. I can onboard my clients with the click of a button by sending proposals, invoices, and contracts using a workflow. I definitely recommend looking into this tool if you want an all-in-one client management solution for developing systems that work for your business.
Technically…project management is a part of your business systems but I just have way too much to say about it, so it needs its own section. If you’re working one-on-one with clients or you have hired contractors then you need to develop a system to manage your projects. That way, your projects run smoothly no matter who you’re working with and what the project entails. Your projects should follow a formula that works for everyone involved.
Start by writing down the entire process, from start to finish. Then take a look at what you have and see if you can improve upon it. Is there anything you can change to make this project run more smoothly? Have you noticed any stumbling blocks for either you or the client during the project?
One of my stumbling blocks used to be gathering copy from my clients during the web design process. I discovered that this was because I was waiting to collect copy until the development or coding phase of the project. This meant if the copy was late, then the entire launch of the website would be delayed for weeks or months while I waited for that content.
Now, I schedule my web design projects in advance so that I can give my clients time to work on their copy before our project even starts. This has not only helped keep timelines on track but has also allowed me to create more strategic designs that are built on my clients content.
That’s just one example of how looking into my project management process made a big difference for my business. Now that you know how you want your process to work, it’s time to put it all into an app so that you and your client have access to your system. My favorite tool is Asana because it’s easy to use, I love the interface, and it’s free. Such a big perk! That being said, there are so many project management apps available. Try testing out a few of them and choose one that you will actually use.
Once you have your process laid out in Asana (or whichever app you chose) it time to Invite your client to join you. Make sure that you have the entire process laid out neatly so that your client knows exactly what to expect. You should set due dates for yourself and for the client. That way, you’re client knows when they will get deliverables from you and when their portions of the project are due, to keep things moving along.
Tracking your finances regularly is a great habit to get into as a business owner. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until tax season or the end of the calendar year to look at your money. Check in on your finances regularly so that you don’t spend a ton of time on it all at once.
One way to track your finances is by creating a spreadsheet where write down all of your income revenue streams and expenses in one place. There are so many ways to set up a spreadsheet like this and there are a bunch of templates online that will give you a good starting point. If you’re great at staying up to date with your spreadsheet then this can be an effective method. Especially if you’re a one-woman show and haven’t hired anyone to help you out.
If you’re like me, checking in on finances isn’t your #1 priority and you might fall behind on this spreadsheet. *Cough* like me in 2017. But, not this year! Now, I’m using Wave to help me keep track of my fiances. I connected Wave with my business banking account so that I can see an overview of my income and expenses whenever I log in.
I do want to mention that I am a one-woman show and don’t currently have any employees or subcontractors working for me. If you do, you might want to look into something a little more robust, like Quickbooks or Xero Accounting software.
What a surprise, the website designer is telling you to update your website. But, seriously, it’s important ladies! Your website needs to have the most up-to-date information so that your potential clients know exactly what you offer and how you can help them.
Throughout the year, take note of your website. Read the copy and look at the images. Is anything out of date? Sound a little weird? Spelled wrong? Do you have any images that look grainy or just aren’t on brand? What can you improve upon? Make a list of changes and schedule a day in your calendar to go in and make them.
Another important thing to do is backup your website. Your host might already offer this service, so do check with them first. If not, you can install a backup plugin to help you automatically create and store backups of your website. Try a plugin like Backupbuddy, UpdraftPlus, or BackWPUp and sync it with Google Drive or Dropbox to make the process fool-proof.
Tip: Check with your website designer to see if they offer packages to handle the backup and maintenance of your website. I offer this service to my clients after we’ve worked together on a custom website. You can learn more about that process, right here.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from other professionals in your field. Going at things alone is so much harder and very lonely. I’m introverted, so I totally understand how intimidating it can be to reach out to others. You will be amazed at how many business ladies there are out there, willing to help you out.
Consider hiring others so that you can delegate work that you don’t have the time or expertise to handle yourself. This could mean hiring a virtual assistant to help get your inbox in order and post weekly blog posts. Or, a designer to help you with your brand and website design. Establishing relationships with other entrepreneurs that have your back and really care your businesses success, will mean the world of difference for your business.
I often write about the importance of self-care and establishing a good work/life balance. This is something that is really near and dear to me and I think it should be to you too. Please don’t overlook your health on your path to becoming a successful entrepreneur. You deserve to have both a successful business and a life outside of work that you love.
Take time for yourself by scheduling in breaks throughout the day and setting business hours. You’ll probably still occasionally have to work extra hours but try not to make it a habit. Be realistic about how long certain tasks take you and don’t overbook yourself. It’s OK to have a client waiting list. The right people will wait to work with you.
It’s important to practice healthy habits because your business depends on you showing up, ready to work! Schedule time for exercise and make healthy meals that you enjoy. Try meal prepping if you’re short on time. And, drink enough water throughout the day to stay hydrated and happy.
Finally, be grateful for where your business is now. It’s so easy to get caught up in where you want to be and be a little bit envious of others success. But, seriously take a look at what you’ve accomplished. Be grateful and thankful for it. Enjoy the process!
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I'll show you how to streamline, connect with your niche, and earn more money from your website.
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