Ask any ten self-made entrepreneurs what their most precious resource is, and I’ll betcha twenty bucks that they all give you the same answer: time.
When you’re running your own business, it’s not a lack of ideas, a lack of resources, or even a lack of cash flow that makes the gears slow down and grind to a halt… it’s the lack of enough time to get everything done!
Everywhere you look on the internet, productivity gurus are pushing one system or another, telling you how to reclaim control and get more done.
Well, I don’t pretend to have all the answers (although I like to think I have quite a few), but I do know that creating policies and procedures for the legal portions of your business will go a long way toward reclaiming some of your precious hours for other activities… like sleep, skiing, reading, or even *gasp* working on what drives your business forward, instead of spending your energy on someone else’s projects.
Not sure what parts of your business you should be systematizing? I’d strongly suggest looking at the following tasks and automating them as much as possible.
Automated Contract Software
First things first – you need a solid contract to make sure that you and your client are on the same page about the project deliverables, timeline, and the moola involved. We talk about these things sort of ad nauseum around here, but hey, I’m a contract lawyer, whaddya expect?
Second thing – you need an easy way to both deliver that contract and have your client sign it. Because in the immortal words of Irving Mills, It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing… er, signature. (You know what I mean.)
Find a quality client relationship management software. There’s plenty of options out there, although I have to admit I’m partial to Honeybook.
Then, set up your client workflow inside the software so that as soon as someone contacts you, you can send them through your entire process automatically… taking them from proposal to signed contract and deposit easily and automatically.
Integrated Invoicing and Bookkeeping
Trust me, there’s nothing more onerous than tracking down individual deposits in your bank statements and correlating them to the client invoices you’ve sent out. #aintnobodygotimeforthat
Want to save yourself a ton of time? Do your invoicing and bookkeeping in the same system. Quickbooks, Wave, and Xero all allow you to send invoices through your system. Or alternatively, some of CRM softwares (like Honeybook) integrate with bookkeeping software and send invoices too, keeping all those financial details in one easy-to-access spot.
The takeaway here is to create an easily repeatable system that works for you, one that doesn’t require a lot of customization for each client.
When you’re not spending hours sending customized contracts and invoices, you’ll have more time to work on what matters.
What parts of your business could you automate, and why haven’t you yet? Let me know in the comments!
Feeling like you can’t move forward, and aren’t sure what to do next in your business? Check out the “Called to Create Workbook,” my guide to unsticking your creative genius and moving forward with confidence!
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