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7 Tools To Help You Build And Automate Your Online Business

7 Tools To Help You Build And Automate Your Online Business

Online businesses can be ideal for passive income, once you get them up and running. One of the keys to making your online business successful is to make sure that as many details as possible run on their own; you don’t need to touch them every day. You can do this through delegation, if you’re a large enough organization, but many online businesses are made as lean as possible.

These seven tools will help you manage your online business while keeping your time focused on the important parts of managing your company.

Make marketing campaigns happen on time

When you’re setting up a marketing campaigns, we often suggest that you create an editorial calendar to make sure you’re not repeating yourself, and you’re covering topics in a timely fashion. Hootsuite both lets you schedule your posts for the key moment in the future to make a maximum impact, and lets you track the effect of your posts across your networks.

You can add many of the most popular networks to your dashboard, allowing you to spread your posts quickly and easily without logging in and out of everything. You may also be able to avoid getting distracted by last night’s live tweeting of your favorite show.

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Send high-quality email newsletters with minimum workload

One key in the modern era of blogs and social media is to make sure that you have access to as much of your contact list as possible. Facebook has repeatedly shown its willingness to change algorithms to make it more difficult for businesses to reach their followers. Enter Mailchimp, a great newsletter tool that allows you to access your mailing list at any time.

You can design graphic newsletters, more simple text based ones, or something in between, and when the next big social network arrives, you can easily invite your followers to join you there as well!

Events planning and registration

If your company organizes events for customers or signs people up for online seminars or classes, keeping events running smoothly can be a trial. Events Planner helps. Integrating seamlessly into your WordPress design, the plug-in lets you manage an unlimited number of events.

You can offer both individual and group registrations, see a list of attendees, send email reminders and offer discounts. You can set up your registration forms in any way you need to. You can accept a wide variety of payment types and create discounts as necessary. Plan your training and then let Events Planner collect fees and remind everyone to attend on time.

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Distribute document templates easily and seamlessly

For many businesses, branding of documents is an important element of presenting a consistent message to the world outside your company. Businesses often struggle when a template is updated, finding that people have old copies saved on their computers, or that someone can’t access the right network folder.

With Templafy, you upload a document template once, and everyone in your organization seamlessly accesses it. Problems solved. Anywhere your employees can access the Internet, they have the templates they need to do their work.

Eliminate in-office email with a team messaging app

How much time do you lose in a day to inter-office mail? If you need to quickly communicate with coworkers, a team messaging app can be much more efficient. Slack lets businesses organize their conversations around channels, making them easy to follow. Sorting through information at a later date is easier. Private channels can be created for more sensitive topics, and you can even private message someone for a quick one-on-one conversation. You can also easily share files through this platform.

Private channels can be created for more sensitive topics and you can even private message someone for a quick one-on-one conversation. You can also easily share files through this platform.

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Checking your email can easily become a frustrating time-suck, while using team-messaging keeps users more on task and focused on the moment.

Innovative printed products to offer as freebies

Many companies focus on giving away items at trade shows, prizes online, or with orders of a certain size. It can be difficult to know what types of freebies will give you the biggest boost for your buck, but if you can dream it, odds are The Printful can make it. From posters to leggings, their options are incredible. And if you want to make your company logo into a sideline business instead of a freebie, the site can even help you set up an online shop where you can sell your designs. You can also create mockups on the site which you can then use for your own marketing.

And if you want to make your company logo into a sideline business instead of a freebie, the site can even help you set up an online shop where you can sell your designs. You can also create mockups on the site which you can then use for your own marketing.

Generate leads and improve sales options

For many businesses, Salesforce is considered one of the most involved ways of automatic different aspects of following up on sales leads, tracking the sales funnel and determining what’s working and what isn’t. As one of the most expansive customer relationship management (CRM) programs available, Salesforce is accessed entirely through the Internet.

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This lets employees do their work anywhere, they have an Internet connection, inside or outside of the office. It is most well-known for its sales modules, allowing users to track opportunities and manage contacts from all over, but there are also available modules for marketing, analytics and service.

The software is also so well-known now that some companies can custom design modules to work with the Salesforce CRM, allowing for ultimate customization. Businesses pay based on the number of users accessing the app and the program is generally agreed to scale well with business size.

Business owners have a lot on their plate. They need to manage the overall business, create marketing strategies, delegate tasks and make sure everything runs smoothly.

Especially if a business is just getting off the ground, CEOs tend to wear many different hats. By automating whatever they can, they free up their time to focus on the really crucial business tasks, instead of posting social media updates and making sure that all the computers in the office have up to date forms, and of course, these are just a few of the available tools to help your business move to the next level.

What tools have you used for your business to improve the company environment and push things into a higher gear?

More by this author

Margarita Hakobyan

MBA from the University of Utah

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

How to Be More Self-Assured and Get More Done During the Week

How to Be More Self-Assured and Get More Done During the Week

Time is a great leveler isn’t it? We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Even if you’re self-assured, the day may never feel quite long enough.

Why is it that some people can be so much more productive and achieve so much more in a typical day, while others struggle to achieve anything apart from feeling time crunched and overwhelmed?

Everyone I know and work with wants to make the best use of their time. They want to learn how to be more self-assured, happier, and work less—all while growing in their career.

How effectively we use our time—and how we actually work in our business—can make a huge difference to the amount we accomplish in a day or week. It can also make us more focused and more confident.

Do you want to have more thinking and creative time? Do you want to spend more time working on your business rather than working at or in your business? In this article, we’ll show you how.

Get More Done by Gaining Confidence

What if you had a strategy for making the best use of your time that brings you more joy and allows you to focus on the biggest activities and opportunities in your business? You may find the following outline below to be helpful:

1. Create an Exciting Vision

If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know when you get there?

You want to be more productive and spend more time getting the right stuff done. Well, you need to create a compelling and exciting vision of your future.

What does this future look like? How will you feel when you get there?

Creating a new vision, especially one that is a lot bigger than where you are right now, has a way of igniting your passion. It may be something that feels hard to achieve, but every step you take towards that bigger vision will certainly build your confidence.

Create a vision board to feel more self-assured.

    Commitment to this vision, and accomplishing continual daily progress depends on your ability to look at any situation you’re faced with or currently in, feel self-assured, and see something bigger ahead.

    Also, when you know where you’re headed, you will instinctively start to see all the new opportunities and connections that will get you there.

    Make a vision map to get you started on the path to better productivity. This doesn’t have to be fully actualized, but you should know at least what direction you are heading.

    2. Build a Strategic Plan

    Once you have your future vision mapped out, the next step is to build a strategic plan to get you there.

    Your future vision may be for 3 years or 5 years, or you may choose a longer time frame. Any timeframe over 3 years may feel like a long way away.

    You may wonder how you are ever going to feel confident and motivated on this bigger future years from now when you feel as though you have so much to accomplish today.

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    The first step is to decide on some specific goals for the next 12 months. Don’t list too many or you may begin to feel overwhelmed.

    The magic number for me and my clients is usually five annual goals.

    These are big goals that will create massive change in your business and life and bridge your current situation to your bigger future; accomplishing these goals one by one will help to increase your confidence on a daily basis.

    3. Get on Goal Planning

    Get yourself a piece of blank paper and a pen and divide the paper into 4 columns: A, B, C, and D.

    Ask yourself the question: What is great in my business and life right now? Write these things down in Column A. This might be a couple of things, five things, ten things, whatever feels right to you.

    Then ask yourself: What things are happening right now that I don’t want in my future? Write these things down in Column B.

    This is your opportunity to take a step back and look at the things that are simply not working. You may list people that are bringing you down or projects that you don’t want to work on any more. Maybe you’ll include a service offering that’s going nowhere. It could be the people you’re working with, or it could be your pricing.

    Now, let’s look at your personal strengths. Write down everything that you’re great at in Column C.

    These could be things that you’re doing right now and having success with. It could also be things you know you’re awesome at but you’re not spending enough time on.

    Column D is for your biggest opportunities. Is there a new service/product you could offer your ideal customers? Is there a new innovation you could bring to market? Just take some time out and really think and list these things in Column D.

    Once you’ve analyzed everything you’ve written down, take some time to really think about what goals you want to set for your business and life in the next 12 months.

    4. Set Outcomes to Build Confidence

    You now have your goals, and you’ll feel self-assured and raring to go. They are written down and you’re committed to achieving them. You feel self-assured and motivated.

    But how do you ensure that you stay on the correct course to achieve these goals?

    Managing and juggling day-to-day projects can get in the way. Dealing with problems can get in the way. Staying on top of orders, managing cash flow, and handling day-to-day stuff can move your ship off course.

    You want to be productive and achieve your goals, but you also need to ensure the day and week runs smoothly.

    One way to ensure this happens is to set 90 Day Outcome Goals; within those Outcome Goals, put some specific process goals that need to be undertaken.

    Let’s say you want to get 10 more speaking jobs in the next 90 days, and you know that you typically convert 50% of opportunities.

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    Therefore, your process goal needs to be to have 20 conversations in the next 90 Days to deliver the 10 new pieces of work. You will then work out who you can have those conversations with.

    It’s smart to overshoot, so you will more easily hit your target. This is a clear plan to work through because with every win, your confidence will grow.

    5. Completely Commit to Your Success

    If you are not truly committed to achieving your goals, then chances are that you won’t reach them.

    Motivation can only take you so far. It is the intentional commitment[1] and emotional investment in your future success that will move you forward.

    Think back to any time that you really committed to achieving something. There must have been a reason you actually achieved what you set out to achieve. What motivated you?

    Were you fully invested? Why did it matter? Did you have to be really courageous to achieve it?

    How did it feel when you achieved it? What difference did it make?

    When have you felt truly self-assured? When you are committed to something, then you are propelled into action. Your mindset is focused, and your body follows; you want to get it done.

    And, when you do get it done, your confidence goes through the roof. You feel a level of certainty in achieving the goal you set out to accomplish.

    6. Focus on Your Strengths

    To feel self-assured and build up the confidence needed to achieve our biggest goals, we need to focus on our strengths.

    What are you best at? What are your unique skills? You want to spend as much time as you can working in the areas that you’re great at.

    Multiply your strengths. These areas are where you add the biggest value. They often bring you the biggest amount of joy, and you feel more and more confident when you are using your unique skills.

    If you think there is a specific capability you need to learn or be better at, spend more focused time in that area.

    Many of us want to do it all. We want to be good at everything. We want to offer a lot of services. But, in reality, there are some very specific things we are great at; nobody is good at everything!

    Spending more time adding value in the areas where you excel can create breakthrough results and boost confidence.

    7. Embrace the Present

    Sometimes we spend so much time thinking about the future or worrying about the past that we forget the present moment[2].

    Are you spending most of your day reacting to things, or have you taken the time to think about what your perfect day looks like?

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    We all have the opportunity to create rather than react, to decide what we do with our day. All of our future success can be created in the present moment if we just take a step back and take action.

    Sometimes, doing it now is more important than doing it perfectly. There are hidden opportunities in every moment. We need to make sure we don’t miss them if we want to feel self-assured.

    8. Calm the Whirlwind

    The day-to-day life in business and life can be hard, which leads us to feel less self-assured.

    Your mind may be full to bursting with all of the things you feel you have to do. The phrase “I don’t have time” has almost become an instant reaction by so many people when new opportunities are presented.

    There is a whirlwind happening inside our minds.

    Appointments, notifications, tasks, phone calls, errands, cash flow, staffing issues, networking, marketing all can clutter up our timeline. The sheer volume of things we feel we should do creates procrastination, stopping us from pursuing the projects and people that matter.

    Many of us feel we have to do everything within our business.

    Rather than simplifying things and doing less, we do more. We work longer, which creates a lack of energy and focus. Because of this, we lose clarity on our biggest opportunities. If you feel this way, take some well-deserved time off.

    Look at where you’re spending your time. How much of your time is being spent moving your ideas forward?

    In the next 90 days, if you could delegate or outsource more daily tasks and spend more time focusing on where you add the biggest value, what difference would it make?

    Calm the whirlwind by slowing down and doing less.

    Focus on areas that you add the biggest amount of value. By doing this, your energy levels will increase, your confidence will grow and you will have more success.

    9. Take More Time off

    This may seem counterintuitive, but taking more time off to recharge and refocus can pay huge dividends.

    If you are constantly fighting fires and caught up in the myriad of different activities that you have to do each day, then how can you move your business forward?

    You may be being pulled in difference directions without any focused time on your biggest projects. If that’s the case, then it’s almost impossible to gain any real momentum in moving your business forward and hitting your goals.

    The best way to get off that treadmill is to take more creative time out of the business.

    Could you realistically take one day off per month to work on your business? If you could, what would you do with this time?

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    Just imagine no distractions, only focused time on the strategic development and growth of your business.

    Every day off per month could have a different focus: New product innovation; Thinking about your biggest clients; Improving operations.

    Add to this a quarterly review to check in with your goals progress, and this could have a dramatic effect on where you spend your valuable time.

    10. Celebrate Wins

    Sometimes you just want to get through the day, right?

    You have so much to do. There are so many things on your task list that you just complete what you can and then start another day. But what would happen if, at the end of each day, you took some time out to look at what you’ve accomplished?

    Celebrating success keeps you motivated and helps you become more self-assured. It is not just another day. It’s a day that included things that should be celebrated.

    If you’re struggling to feel motivated, try celebrating a couple of wins each day.

    Celebrating success combined with the gratitude you have for achieving those wins will boost your confidence and inspire you for the next day.

    11. Give Yourself More Space

    When was the last time you gave yourself time to think?

    Within the hustle and bustle, it can be difficult to give yourself a little bit of space and time to just think[3].

    Imagine giving yourself just an hour a day to just let your mind wander or think about a specific thing.

    If you think about it, we can all free up an hour a day for something without really losing any efficiency or really impacting our business.

    In fact, that hour could be transformational for your business and life.

    A new idea for a product could form, or an idea for adding value to your existing clients could materialize. Perhaps you could do a check in to your ideal future and your goals. You could decide that you want to take your business in a new direction.

    Try this: Just sit alone for an hour with a notebook and let it be your creative thinking time. See what happens.

    Final Thoughts

    Ultimately, being self-assured happens when you have a clear direction.

    This, coupled with having clear goals and working in your unique skill-set, gives you the biggest opportunity to be more productive and get more of the right things done.

    The old mantra that “less is more” is right on the money. By giving yourself more time to work on your goals, you will inevitably increase your confidence; at this point, your ideal future can be anything you want it to be.

    More on How to Be Self-Assured

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

    Reference

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