Many of you probably remember a song from the late 90’s from punk band Blink 182, titled “All The Small Things”. But you probably listened to it, bobbed your head a little, and like a number of other punk, rock, and pop rock songs during that era then dismissed it without really digging into its message.
Well, I’m not an expert on pop rock, or music in general, but I know a struggling entrepreneur when I hear one. My contention is that that song, “All The Small Things”, was really about hard work, the small business spirit, and marketing automation.
“Late night, come home, work sucks, I know.”
How many of us have felt this? You spend way longer than you should have working on a project that maybe isn’t even the best use of your time? I think that this reality is far more prevalent than people are willing to admit.
Okay, so maybe Blink 182 wasn’t really talking to entrepreneurs, but when I hear them sing “All the Small Things”, I can’t help but think about how many small things an entrepreneur spends his or her time doing, when she’d rather be doing something else.
Why did you get into business?
You probably started your business because you’re passionate about what you wanted to do. Whether it was teaching yoga, practicing law, helping people plan trips to run with the bulls in Pamplona, or any other number of things – the reality is that in order for you to do the thing you are passionate about, and best at, you also have to do the detail stuff too. You have to do the books; you have to process orders; you have to hire and fire; you have to collect outstanding receivables, and the list goes on and on.
Well, the first step to getting out of that rut and back to focusing on what you are best at, and most passionate about, is introducing automation to take one thing off your plate at a time. Start with all the small things. (see, there’s that song again!)
Here’s one thing that every single business can do to begin automating the small things, and focusing on what they’re best at.
Build FAQ email templates for the questions you have to answer most commonly. I think most of us have had this experience-
You receive an email from a prospect with a question about your product, or your pricing, or your event dates. And you realize that this email looks remarkably similar to one you received last week. So you spend 30-45 seconds searching through your sent folder for the email you already composed, you copy the text from that one, paste it into a reply, spend another 30 seconds proofreading it, editing, and then queue it up and send it out. If you’re really good, you then make a note on that contact in your CRM to log the interaction. Then, pat yourself on the back for feeling clever and pour yourself another mojito.
Does that sound familiar to anyone? Well, sure, that’s probably more efficient than writing out a brand new email from scratch, but with Infusionsoft, or whatever your marketing automation platform of choice is, there is a considerably easier way. I challenge you to make a list of the things that occupy your day that aren’t the best use of your time, order it by the things that take up the most time, and seek out ways to introduce automation.