Bottlenecks, Do your employees have to wait for your approval, Empower them to make decisions, Eliminate you as the bottleneck, Have them CC you on decisions
Reduce, If you can't eliminate all of it, how about just part of it?, "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away" --Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Examples, Emails, Filter email by "unsubscribe", Meetings, Scrum has 15 minute meetings, Phone Calls, filter calls with Ring Central, Extensions for each person or dept., Assign number to the Caller ID to know what they are wanting before you answer., Screen Calls and answer anytime
Optimize, Might be hard to eliminate if you look to close. Look at the big picture and optimize the whole system., Are you duplicating effort that someone else is doing?
Eliminate Risks, Credit Risk, Visa/Mastercard/Amex are happy to do this for you, Don't be a creditor for your customers
Inventory, Inventory in service business is hours you're paying an employee that they're not working, Scale up with contractors when you need to, and scale down when you don't
Invoicing & Billing, Freshbooks, Automatic Invoices & Late Payment Reminders, Quickbooks Online, Automatic Sync with Banks, Expensify, No manual entry for expenses
Email, Autoresponders, MailChimp, aWeber, Constant Contact
Social Marketing, HootSuite, Timely
Timely info, Google Alerts, CNN Breaking News, Site is DOWN!!
Why, Do stuff you don't have the skills to do..., Examples, Lawyer, Accountant, Everyone is comfortable with this. Many don't think of it as outsourcing., Do more work than you could do by yourself, Additional Resources, Build a "just in time" network, As you hire and fire virtual contractors, keep the good ones on "speed dial" on an as-needed basis., Do work faster than one person could do it, Timezone Arbitrage, 3 shifts - 24 hours a day, Do it cheaper than you could do it in house/in country, Offshoring, Leverage differences in global income levels to get quality workers for a fraction of USA wages
Who, Job Marketplaces, oDesk.com, Elance.com, New node, Agencies, Phone Answering Services, White Label Services
How, Make your operations repeatable and replacable, Define structures / process / proceedures, Document, Wiki, Google Sites, MediaWiki, Screencast, Jing / Camtasia, Video, Flip Video, Smartphone, cheap camcorder, Your role needs to be especially replacable, Create teams that work together and manage themselves., Set communication standards, Set role expectations and decision making levels., Who to report to, and when., How do I keep track of people on the other side of the world?, Video, Skype, Video, Screensharing, Chat, Video Status Reports, Jing, Project Management, Basecamp, Scrumdo, oDesk Time Tracker, Screenshot log every 4-5 minutes, ensures you get what you pay for.
Excuses, "I don't have the money to hire people, I can't afford to outsource what I do", Understandable concern, but not necessarily true., Eliminating or automating tasks would SAVE money., Hiring "just in time" contractors would save money by only using them when needed., Hiring contractors SAVES TIME and MONEY (no payroll, employment docs, insurance, computers, space, etc.), Take oDesk for example, pay with credit card, Hire and fire at will, EXTREMELY afforable rates, No 1099 to deal with., No overhead to pay, No paperwork or payroll work., Less bookkeeping cost., "What is your time worth?", "Only I can do it", You might do it better, but if you kept that mindset, you haven't built a business...you built yourself a job., Take it slowly, but plan to eventually take yourself out of the picture. Trust me, there will always be more for you to do., "The graveyards are full of indispensable men." - General Charles De Gaulle
Challenges, Communication, Culture, Timezones
Action, Hire a Virtual Assistant
What's this mean?, Your job as a business owner, Build business systems to run themselves, So that you can go build more business, AUTOMATE YOUR BUSINESS!!, This is REAL growth. Growth that turns into true value and PROFIT.
Get your time back, If you're too busy to work ON your business, you'll never grow
Stop working IN the business, and start working ON the business., Entreprenuer vs. Self Employed, Self Employed = a job
Take one day where you don't work IN the business
Spend that day working ON the business
Things will break and be difficult at first, You're learning the parts of the business where you're a bottleneck
You're not the only one that can do the work
Chose one to eliminate, automate, and/or outsource
1) Can I Eliminate this task completely or partially?
2) Is there a software program or service that automates the process?
3) Can another company or contractor do this for me?
Congratulations, you just built your first business system.
BUILD YOUR BUSINESS of course!!!, Design more business systems., Add more services, Build more sales channels, then start automating those...and repeat., GROWTH...ah how sweet it is.
SEO, Website Optimization services, Analytics, etc.
Partner with synergistic companies, Partner with ecommerce platforms you know well.
Guerrilla Marketing ideas
Callback to the previous Marketing Talk
How do you find time to grow your business when you spend all your time working in the business
Growth = more business
More business = more projects
More projects = more of your time
All your time on projects... who is going to build the business? = NO GROWTH
This will enable you to grow
Host of AMSB, Teach Entrepreneurs tools and techniques for making their business more efficient