That’s quite a statement for a title hey? In truth, I can’t perform miracles in your schedule, there are no quick fixes for your overflowing time blocks, and I’m not a business coach – but here are a few ideas you could implement which might just ease the pressure and give you some ways to save time in your business.
Hands up who gets sent emails and messages requesting more information, and perhaps pricing, for their services or products?
Our website pages and social media can only tell potential clients so much (without tipping into an overwhelming amount of information to trawl through). This is where a brochure, or even brochures, can come in.
A brochure is a way to dive deeper into what you can offer your clients and give more thorough information than your website. You can use separate brochures for different service or product areas you offer, or to target different markets – such as business and consumer. You can also get creative and make a brochure document look gorgeous and impressive, which can only help in attracting the right clients.
A brochure isn’t a bespoke document (like a proposal) so once it’s created it’s ready to send to as many potential clients as you need. This is the important factor – this is what can save you time…
Instead of replying to each email with a personalised message, explaining more about your services/products, how your process works, and what your fees are for all of your varying options – you can send them your brochure with a simple response saying ‘I hope the information in my brochure can answer some of your questions, it would be great to then discuss how I can help you’ (or alike!).
If a client already knows details of their project or what they need from you then a brochure probably isn’t much use to them – that’s when you need to send them a bespoke proposal (read my blog post ‘what should I put in a client proposal’ here). A brochure is for when a client needs a bit more information from you, and probably an extra nudge to convince them you’re the ‘one’ for them. By having a ready-to-go brochure to send, you won’t be wasting your time emailing detailed responses – not knowing if the client is ready to progress; and from the client’s point of view – hopefully their questions get answered and they receive a well-designed touch point in their journey with you that helps reassure them you can help.
In your business, I’m confident I can almost guarantee there is at least one document in your process that could use a template. I’m not meaning the templates offered by your document writing software, I’m talking about a unique template for your process.
From client proposals to questionnaires…even delivery notes (if you don’t already have use of a fancy automatic system). There are so many documents that could benefit from the predesigned layout and information in a template.
Templates can be as simple as a document already formatted with some information you always include at a particular stage in your process – which you can tweak as needed on a project by project basis, or they can be more complex and ‘designed’ with impactful imagery, calls to action already thought-out, and maybe some client testimonials to help build that know, like, trust factor.
A template saves time by reducing how much generic content you have to create. If it’s information or a design element you regularly use, then why spend time inserting it into your document for each and every new client? You can alter and customise a template, meaning it still has the relevant information unique to a client, but you don’t waste time recreating things you’ve already got ‘just right’.
As with a brochure, making use of templates can more easily keep all of your client touch points on-brand – which helps in providing a consistent message and identity…and could lead to more client confidence in your business.
Now, I’m not about to encourage all small businesses to start outsourcing. It’s simply not an option for some, financially, and I’m not about to suggest you re-mortgage your home or create a large credit card bill in order to save a few hours (equally I’m not about to judge if you decide the extra help is worth that risk). What I am going to say, however, is that outsourcing can really help save time in your business if, and when, you are an in a position to do so.
There are so many tasks you can outsource, and to varying other businesses, but I’m going to focus on a coupleI know well – because they are services I offer myself…
Social media – from our Instagram accounts to Facebook pages, maybe even our own Facebook group. Keeping our audience engaged and attempting not to fall between the cracks of algorithms can be tough.
I personally don’t like posting unless I actually want to post, but at the same time I value my business and want to build a social presence – so I try to respect the (often confusing) quirky ways of different platforms and put out fairly regular content.
‘How can I outsource content creation?’ you might be asking. Well there are numerous different occupations who can help. From virtual assistants to brand photographers – each can bring a different skill to the table which could help build a bank of content for you to release to your audience as needed.
As an artist and designer, for example, I offer social media artwork, illustrations, and graphics. When used amongst your other social content these images can help save time in your business by reducing how long you have to source other visual content and speed up making a schedule. Also, while I don’t think you have to put pressure on yourself to create a curated feed – brand artwork, illustrations or graphics can be a great way to add a bit of on-brand personality to your social media offerings.
Brochures and Templates
That’s right – the first two ideas I’ve suggested on saving time in your business can help clear even more space in your schedule if you outsource them.
Within my design services I offer both brochure design and template creation. You might feel you don’t have the time, resources, inspiration or ability to create something really special yourself – that truly reflects your brand. I can help you give your client touch points the inspiring presence you want to portray (and prevent you spending hours whacking your computer because you can’t work out how to make your ideas a reality, and stressing over your ever increasing to-do list).
Just as I mentioned above, once you have your stunning on-brand documents ready – working through your process, and client journey, is a breeze.
I hope that gives you some inspiration on ways to save time in your business. It’s not a particularly exhaustive list of ideas – but it is a few things that could just work for you.
If you think I might be able to help you in anyway then please do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.