One of the questions that I get asked a lot is “how do I get started with automating my business processes?”
Let’s start with the sorta bad news first. It can be quite the process to start and can take a bit of time to set up. It can also be an ever-changing process, but this should maybe go on the “good side” because your business is ever-changing and it makes sense that your processes should as well.
Think back to when you first started your business… Are you doing the same things now that you did then? Probably not. Even if it was a process that was working for you, you likely have refined it to work even better!
Good news. Once it is done and you have your workflows in place, you are going to be saving a lot of time that you can dedicate to your revenue earning processes or maybe it means that you can make that client experience just a little more “WOW!”.
So here are 6 steps that you can take to get started with automations.
Determine your process.
So, you aren’t going to dive in and just start automating your processes, that will just frustrate you and you will end up not using Dubsado for another 6 months (I get it…been there, done that!!). The first thing that you want to do is to figure out what your process is. You need to write down your roadmap and how your clients get from point A to point B when they work with you.
Look at EVERYTHING. How do they contact you? What emails do you send to them? What information do you need from them before they start working with you?
You can do this a number of ways: a Google doc, a pen and paper and even a blank wall with a LOT of Post-It Notes.
Revisit your process.
Now go back over that same process. What would you LOVE to happen. What do you forget to do when you are doing all the things? Do you forget to send a reminder if you haven’t heard from your client after you sent your contract? Do you remember that you wanted to send a gift but now it’s been more than 2 months since they started working with you. Do you do the forehead smack when you realize you forgot to ask for another testimonial.
If you want it to happen – write it in!!
Decide what can be automated.
Contrary to popular belief, not everything can or should be automated. (I wrote more about that HERE). Maybe you need to create a Google folder to share with your client (although spoiler alert – this can be done with Zapier), perhaps you want to send your client a welcome note or gift. What I normally do is underline or circle the processes that can be automated. I also like to use different coloured pens as well.
For example, I know I can automate emails so I will underline all the emails I can automate with a pink pen, all the forms with a red pen, and all the appointment schedulers with a green pen.
Create all your assets and content.
You can’t automate what you don’t have, so this is where you are going to create all the content you need. In this step, you will generate all your email templates, your schedulers, your proposals, your contracts, lead capture forms, your questionnaires, proposals and the packages of all your services. Phew…
Put it all together.
The real magic is in the workflows. This is where you will connect all the moving pieces. You basically tell Dubsado what is going to happen when a workflow is triggered.
For example, one of the most common starting points is WHEN a lead fills out your contact form on your website, Dubsado sends them a thank you email with your scheduler attached so they can book a call with you.
The workflows types I see the most are: New Lead Inquiry, Onboarding, Delivery, Offboarding and Follow Up.
Test and refine.
Don’t skip this… test, test and test some more. You can take yourself through your workflows as a client and as the business owner. DO IT!!!! Ask your bestie to be your fake client and take them through the process as well. Correct any of the issues you run into and test again.
A good rule of thumb is to set aside some time on your calendar each quarter to review your processes and refine workflows. See if anything has changed, update any processes that no longer serve your business or your clients.
Remember, one of the great things about Dubsado is that you can take it for a test drive with 3 clients for free before making a commitment to move completely over. This is a fantastic option if you are kind of on the fence about making the move and you have access to ALL the features with those first 3 clients.
I am here to help you get your business as automated as possible and I’d love to work with you. You can check out my services HERE or have a look at some of my free resources to get you started – including a 20% on your first month or first year with my affiliate code.