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Done By 5, Done In 5
When you set out to create your small business you did so because you had a passion, a vision, a special niche in the world where you could excel. You are the creator of your own business destiny, what an amazing feeling, huh? It doesn’t matter what kind of small business you have, you are doing it because it is what you love, something you are great at, something that makes you and the people you provide a service to feel good. But as any good business owner knows, running your business is more than just doing your passion, it’s paperwork, customer interaction, branding, invoices, schedules, bills, ordering, social media, rules and regulation, sales, etc. Running your business is a TON of work and too much for any one person to do! The question is how do you tackle all this work?
At the Done by 5 blog, we have created a series of blogs called “Done by 5, Done in 5.” These blogs will not only address the nitty gritty side of running your small business like how to prepare business letters and invoices, but also give tips and tools of the things we like or have helped us aid the small businesses we work with. They may be “how to guides” or must-have apps or maybe some great gift ideas for clients. It will always be in 5 steps, or 5 tools, or 5 likes.
To kick off our first Done By 5, Done in 5, we thought we would give you tools on how to, well, be Done By 5.
How to be Done By 5
5 Tips and tools for the small business owner to clock out by 5 pm.
1. Create Systems and Protocols
What do we mean by systems and protocols? These are basically the “how to guides” of running your business at each level of operations. From the basics like: file management, ordering, and scheduling, to management of business, customer interactions and expectations, business e-mails, and social media.
Having your systems in place and written is essential for two reason:
1. It makes it very clear what your expectations are and how you like things to be done - this prevents team members from ever saying, “I didn’t know.”
2. It is easier to delegate tasks to other team members. These become part of your training tools, a reference guide, so if things for you start to become overwhelming, you can assign the task to someone else and have a “guide” to aid them along. These could easily be stored in a shared google docs or dropbox that everyone on your team has access to.
Don’t worry if your systems seem basic, too overly simple to have written, or maybe even a bit clunky at times. As your business grows, how you handle and tackle these things will as well, but they will be easier to redefine if you already have the structure in place. If they seem clunky, having them written out will not only help you to see what areas you can improve but will also show you what does work.
Your team can be instrumental in defining these protocols because they too have an insider perspective of your business and may have ideas how to manage problem areas or how to make an idea even better.
2. Project/Task Management
Here at Done By 5, project management is the essential platform on which our business runs, and we love it! Project management is exactly what it sounds like: managing and assigning tasks. There are several online platforms (Teamwork, Asana, Todoist, etc) that are a great to use.
Using an online project management platform is a quick tool you can use anywhere. When in your office or out with family and something comes up, you can assign the task and your team member will readily have the tasks the next time they clock in. You can also set up recurring tasking like: paying bills every month, meeting for social media planning every two weeks, weekly orders, etc. They help relieve the stress of having to remember everything that needs to get done at all times.
Done By 5 loves Teamwork because we can manage each of the companies we work for as separate projects, sharing ideas as a Done by Team and also giving clients access to see what we are working on.
Note: This is also why having your systems and protocols in place is key, assign the task with a link with the “how to guide” tell them to ask any questions and they are fully capable of helping you out! The key to you getting done by 5 is not making it your personal responsibility to get every task done.
3. Meal Prep
Let’s be honest, every small business owner is guilty of the following.… not remembering to eat because you are just too busy and when/if you do it, it is not the best choice nutritionally. And then after a 10 or 12 hour day working when you get home, the last thing you want to do is cook, so you turn to something quick and easy. That is why we're including meal prep and brown bag lunches as key components to being done by 5.
By packing your lunch you are doing a couple of things:
1. You are freeing up time to actually enjoy your meal, a bit of time to relax, instead of rushing to get something in between a meeting or deadline.
2. You are able to properly keep yourself fueled, giving you the energy and mental focus to stay on task and produce quality work.
Having a great dinner the night before is an excellent place to start. By making delicious chicken chili in the slow cooker (we're loving this one for the fall) or having all your veggies and meat chopped for stir fry, you are that much closer to quick and healthy meals. Make sure you make a little extra and set it aside for your lunch the next day. By meal prepping you are eating healthier and freeing up the valuable time in the evening and during your work day!
If you are not so savvy in the kitchen, don’t fret… check out a meal delivery service. There are so many of them these days and they are a huge success because make it easy for you to have a home cooked meal. They send you all the ingredients (so you don’t have to go shopping… that’s a plus) and provide you with an easy to follow recipe. Once you’re done you have a delicious meal you and your family can enjoy.
Done By 5 loves the meal delivery service Sun Basket. They not only offer tasty organic ingredients, but also have a menu that can cater to many dietary needs or lifestyles like gluten free or paleo. Give it try and who knows maybe they will inspire the hidden chef in you!
4. Social Media Scheduler
An ESSENTIAL part of marketing for any business today is through social media. It is an easy and efficient way let a lot of people who you are and what you have to offer them. But as any small business owner knows, having a clear and engaging presence on the many social media platforms is itself a full time job from creating original content true to your brand and engaging with followers and fans. That is why we recommended a Social Media Scheduler (Buffer, Hootsuite, Facebook even has an option).
Using a platform like Buffer allows you and/or your team to sit down and create a week/two weeks/or a month’s worth of content in social media sessions (which you have recurring on your project management platform). Now instead of trying to create new content daily, you can create it in bulk when inspiration hits or in a brainstorming session, giving you extra time throughout the week to focus elsewhere.
5. Hire a virtual assistant!
Of course we couldn’t resist! A virtual assistant team, like Done By 5, plays an integral part in getting YOU out the door by 5. They can help devise your systems and protocols, help with tasks you delegate through your project management system, help create a meal plan (we can even do your grocery shopping online so you have everything you need already waiting for you), and create original content for your social media.
A virtual assistant is your #1 support to help you and your business grow. Knowing how your business operates and runs, an assistant can help you brainstorm your next steps of growth and tackle problem areas so everything runs more smoothly. They do all the things you don’t want to do and also the things you can’t. They are the ones you trust and rely on to run your business the way you dreamed it would. So what is stopping you from hiring one?
Find out how Done By 5 can be an asset to helping your small business grow and how you can be done by 5. Schedule a 20 minute consultation with our CEO Michelle because we would love to be part of your team.
We want to hear from you. What are some other great and useful tips to help you get out the door by 5 and home to your family?