You’ve heard the phrase work smarter, not harder, right? If you’ve worked in corporate America, this lingo is pretty popular. Even if you’re not familiar with it, the concept is pretty simple; put systems in place to where you are able to balance life and work without burning yourself out. Sound easy? Probably easier said than done. It may sound simple to streamline and work smarter in your business, but often we overthink it. Frankly, it actually can be when you buckle down using these 5 simple tips to streamline your business.
1. Treat your business like a business
You wouldn’t have started your business if you weren’t passionate about what you sell or who you serve, right? Chances are you’ve invested some cash into your business whether you bought a starter kit or invested in starter inventory, you’ve got some skin in the game! Track your expenses on a Trello board or on Airtable and revisit it monthly. Having a snapshot of your income to expenses will help you make decisions about reinvesting in things like business coaching, as well as, help you determine what money you have to spend on content creation and supplies.
Work smarter and review your business sales/product goals monthly to help you track what you need to make to break even as well as sign your paycheck for your hard work. I mean, you earned it and deserve it!
2. Shift focus to IPAs (Income Producing Activities)
It’s easy to get caught in the weeds creating graphics, spreadsheets, take pictures, and all of the other things that pull you away from engaging in activities that are income producing. Sure, building relationships in community groups and engaging on social media is great for attracting people to you, but engage with intent and purpose.
Engage in community groups and social media with intent and purpose.
Be intentional about what you post and where you post while you’re on your business clock. This will help you stay focused and have more time devoted to income producing activities. You don’t have to answer every email, message, or respond to every comment you make on a thread right away. Setting boundaries allows you to keep your work/life balance in harmony.
Tip: set a timer or schedule it in your calendar for social media time specific to your business. It will help you from mindlessly scrolling for hours on end. Seriously. It’s life changing.
3. Choose your tools & resources wisely
FOMO. Fear of missing out. It’s a real thing. Listen, the comparison trap can play sneaky tricks on our minds and our wallets. YOU DON’T NEED EVERY SINGLE PAID OR FREE TOOL OUT THERE. It doesn’t matter what business coach tells you otherwise. If you’re following a coach that sells you on every single thing they offer and says, “you need this,” then you are following the wrong people.
There are a ton of free programs and tools out there and the basic versions are perfectly fine for you to play with to see if you like them. Here’s the thing, many programs social marketers use have a steep learning curve, (Photoshop, I’m looking at you) and you simply can’t afford to take the time to learn all the things.
Choose your tools and programs by cost; if there’s a free version, try it out. If not, then start phoning a friend and asking around. See what others in your niche are using. Check out YouTube for some quick tutorials and see if it’s something you can handle or even want to take on (see #2 above). Many business coaches have a free community, so before you drop hundreds of dollars on a membership, check them out and see how they run their free groups. You may not get a lot of coaching, but you’ll certainly see if that coach is for you. This way you can make informed decisions and not be out any money!
And one other thing; if you are looking at your bank account and are paying for things you’re not using, get rid of it. This is one of the easiest tips to streamline your business; cancel what you don’t need.
4. Set goals
This goes back to #1 but it’s critical that you set goals for your business. Revisit this monthly or as often as needed to keep them realistic, yet far reaching. Setting goals helps you understand the activities you need to engage in to continue growing and expanding. Chunk down your goals into bite-sized pieces where you know the level of activity you need to achieve in order to meet your goals.
For example, if I need 10 parties a month, I would probably need to get in front of 20-40 people a week in order to book 2-3 parties.
5. Stop procrastinating
Procrastination. It’s the number one killer of productivity and guess what? It’s a form of fear. It’s caused by being afraid of the outcome, mostly caused by not feeling confident in the ability to do the task. Not to mention the stress it brings, procrastinating can lead to mistakes in quality of output and feeling rushed to get a project done. Instead, plan or schedule to batch tasks; such as graphics, social media scheduling, blog writing, party planning, and all of the other tasks you have on your plate. Batching allows you to stay focused on one task at a time and then move onto the next, decreasing mistakes and keeping stress low.
Before you jump into committing to another activity, as yourself these questions:
- Does this align with my goals and my mission/vision?
- Do I have the extra time to dedicate to this extra activity?
- Is this going to require a skill that I have or do I need to learn something new?
If the answer to any of these is ‘no’, then you’ll want to reevaluate the activity/task. While it may not fit into today’s priorities, it may fit in the future. Or perhaps it could be a $10 task that you look to someone else to fulfill for you. We here at Direct Creatives can help! Our Store Owners are experts at filling the gaps in your network marketing business. We are pros at helping you work smarter and not harder!
Check out our new Direct Creatives Insider where we help busy direct sellers learn the basics on popular programs, helping them trim the learning curve and getting them confident in creating original content!