Last week, I encouraged taking a good look at all of the tools and systems used in your business and, based on self-reflection and an understanding of your important relationships, deciding what should stay, what should change and what should go. (It’s that self-reflection part that most business owners miss, and what ultimately makes all the difference. But more on that in another post…)
When you get to a place of toolbox hell or system overwhelm, the problem might not be the number of systems you’re dealing with, but rather that those systems do not work together. It’s the disconnection that causes suffering. Hmmm…sound familiar? Yep, as with our selves and each other, disconnection from and among our systems feels… chaotic, frustrating, isolating. Now all those must-do’s become painful chores and you end up neglecting the business end of your business!
Fortunately, most quality online/cloud-based systems available for small and micro-businesses are interconnectable. You may need to do a little digging – look for links on your systems’ websites that say things like “Add-Ons” or “Integrations” – follow the instructions and get connected. I mentioned some of the systems I use in last week’s post. Some of my connections, that I welcome YOU to make include:
- Highrise, (client/contacts management system) connected to:
- MailChimp (marketing email system)
- Freshbooks (time-tracking, bookkeeping, invoicing)
- Gmail (Email)
- MailChimp connected to:
- Website connected to:
- ScheduleOnce (appointment scheduling system), which is also connected to my Google Calendar, connected to Gmail
Or, perhaps for you, it’s a different story. This is where knowing yourself as a business owner really comes into play. You may look at everything above and want to run and hide. There are some all/[many]-in-one systems out there that, while more expensive money-wise, could be a significant savings for you time, energy, sanity and otherwise. For me, these are next steps; for you, they might be first steps:
So, tell me readers:
- If you’ve been in business for a bit – how did you start and what are you using now? Are you feeling connected or chaotic?
- If you’re just starting out – what’s your inclination; save the money and go with several, connected systems, or save your sanity and start up with an all-in-one?
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