I can’t tell you how many times during the first consultation call my clients tell me: They are swamped/busy/overwhelmed Have heard about how to automate their business, but have no idea how to get started For my business, automation has been key to this one-woman show. It allows me to present a much more seamless, […]

How to Automate Your Service Business

I can’t tell you how many times during the first consultation call my clients tell me:

  • They are swamped/busy/overwhelmed
  • Have heard about how to automate their business, but have no idea how to get started

For my business, automation has been key to this one-woman show. It allows me to present a much more seamless, professional first impression for clients and I highly recommend it.

Automating your business doesn’t have to be hard. It can start with one or two simple steps. Here’s what it looked like for me.

I knew lead management was an area I could benefit from automation. I don’t have an assistant to help a client get through all the initial steps but I also didn’t have the time it took to do it myself.

This led to a brainstorming session to determine how could I make those leads feel as comfortable as possible and get them the information they needed before jumping on a phone call – because, let’s be honest, even as a growing entrepreneur I couldn’t be on my email 24/7.

My first step was to sign up for Honeybook. I use it to automate my leads, which means responding right away when one comes in, as well as a place to host my invoices, contracts and forms. It. Is. A. Lifesaver.

Here is my lead workflow in Honeybook:

  • The lead fills in a form on my website. It’s actually a Honeybook form embedded onto my contact page.
  • The lead moves seamlessly into my client pipeline.
  • A template inquiry response goes out and is specific to the package they selected (Brave, Bold or Fearless).
  • This template includes a link to my calendar, so they can schedule a call with me.
  • I get a notification that I got a lead and a scheduled discovery call.

Ah, so nice!

Other Uses for Honeybook

I also use Honeybook to send out proposals, contracts and invoices. This means I am able to spend less time asking for paperwork or collecting payment and more time interacting with my clients, thanks to built-in automated reminders.

If you’re thinking about automating but not sure where to start, ask yourself what takes up a large majority of your time but doesn’t earn you much in return.

Next, search for solutions and ask the following questions:

  • How much will a service or solution cost?
  • How much time does it save?
  • Is the cost savings worth the investment?

A simple example for me is hiring a design assistant. I spend a lot of hours checking for broken links, making minor adjustments, proofing, etc. whenever a client’s site is about to go live. This work doesn’t require extensive design experience but it takes time, and it pulls me away from the activities that do require an expert.

A great design assistant typically bills $50 an hour. My billable rate is $150. I know how much the solution costs and I know that it will save 10-15 hours a week of my time. Then it’s up to me to determine if the cost savings is worth the investment. Maybe it isn’t a dollar for dollar exchange because I’m still ultimately responsible (and will do a high-level review) and there are other costs to factor in, but it’s a good starting point. I can also evaluate what it would mean to get the design audit done without working a lot of late nights and weekends.

I know it’s a bit scary to automate your business – and it takes time to get up to speed on a new program. But, it is worth taking the leap and has been one of the best things I’ve done for my business!

Looking for more helpful small business tips? Click here.

How to Automate Your Service Business

VIEW THE COMMENTS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2021 BE BOLD DESIGN STUDIO | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED