The importance of navigating growth on a budget and the systems to put in place to scale your business in house.
All business owner start with dreams of scaling their business to thrilling profits. BUT before getting to that point-there is a sweet spot of trying to grow the business and taking the leap to hire out for help. One of the most likely places for small businesses to hire is a virtual assistant.
Why? Because of the multitude of tasks that need to be managed everyday as a business owner in a content creation world. From blogs, emails, and social media your business needs to be doing it all to scale and grow.
However, the path to expansion isn't always lined with a budget to hire a virtual assistant. So here's 5 steps to take to help organize, plan, and scale your business before hiring help.
Tip #1 - Plan
Just like with a diet plan or "lifestyle change" finding the content planning tools that work for your business and your brain will make all the difference! Not all planning tools work intuitively for every person, so finding the one that makes sense to you is important. If you have fear or frustration about approaching the technology you're using, it's likely not the best tool for you.
What is a content planning tool and why do you need one?
A content planning tool can be as simple as a spreadsheet and calendar to help plan upcoming content. The importance of a content planning tool is to streamline the content you create and build a strategy within your content to reach the goals of your business.
With a great planning tool you'll be able to see the emails needed to convert sales, the social media content needed to explain the offer, and blog articles needed to build authority. All of this content can then be developed into a strategy for every offer, launch or service your business provides.
Pro tip: Define your goals for each type of content in your planner to track your progress and success.
Tip #2 - Automate
Now that you have a PLAN for all that content, you need to send it out to the world. But it's tough being the only person in your business responsible for replying to clients-via email, social, or in person.
Luckily there are some automations you can setup in your work flow to help cut down on how much you need to do. Some of these are as simple as using features within Instagram to auto reply to frequently asked questions. But there are even more options when trying to scale your business.
One of the programs most utilized for scheduling is Planoly. Planoly helps creators upload the content they have, then write and schedule content to post automatically. The versions vary in features based on budget, but if you'd like to check it out here's a Planoly link to get started.
Now that takes care of social media but what about email? Mailchimp and Flodesk are two popular email schedulers for beginners. But don't rule out the automatic emails setup within some website offerings. For example, Wix offers an upgraded feature through Ascend that allows custom forms, automatic emails sent for different triggers on your site, and segments to create targeted email flows.
Now if your business needs to automate emails for an e-commerce store on social media - STAN store is what you need! Adding email flows does cost extra within the STAN store packages but it syncs with other email systems like Mailchimp to easily export contacts.
"The moment you start implementing systems and processes within your business is the moment your business changes." – ASH, Digital Creator
Tip #3 - Design
Inevitably you'll need graphics for your business and if that's not something you can hire for yet, Canva Pro is an incredible design resource. Again, the paid version has the best features, but once you unlock all the features, creating graphic content becomes easy and fun. Canva can be used to create email signatures, brand guides, social media graphics, blog graphics, and video content. There's even a great feature to allow bulk creation of similar content which makes branded graphics clean and consistent. Take advantage of the free design education provided to learn the basics for using the program and getting the most out of Canva Pro.
Tip #4 - Organize
With a plan in place, systems automated and content created, you'll need a place to store and organize all that information. Take advantage of Google Drive or Apple files for Mac users. These file sharing services allow for easy transfer of files, images, or documents between apps and social media accounts.
Tip #5 - Implement
The final step in scaling your business before reaching out for help, is actually implementing all the steps above. This can feel like the most overwhelming part but the content won't build your brand sitting in a computer. So make the plan and strategy, automate what you can, design and organize the content-then press post.
Scaling Business Before a Virtual Assistant
As you use these tips on your journey to scaling your business without the assistance of a virtual sidekick, remember this: Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither are thriving businesses.
Each step you've taken to streamline, automate, and optimize your operations brings you closer to your goals. Yet, it's perfectly okay to acknowledge when the weight of these tasks starts to feel overwhelming. If you find yourself in need of support, know that there's a world of professionals ready to help you soar. Whether it's a virtual assistant, a consultant, or a mentor, they can be the wind beneath your wings as you scale new heights. So, whether you decide to tackle it all on your own or take that leap and seek assistance, remember that your journey is unique, and your success is waiting just around the corner. Keep pushing forward, and let your business thrive.