PAUSE! Before we begin…
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Any new technology or new process has the power to fix problems – and to introduce new ones.
“New and shiny” and “keeping up with the Joneses” syndromes can both spoil your desire to cultivate the better, cheaper, faster flow that you need in favor of solving the wrong problem. Avoid the temptation to be seduced by a hot new technology, or what is working for someone else’s business. To be the fix for your flow, it has to be what you need and check your boxes.
p.s. you should have and know your boxes – if you don’t, let’s talk.
Got that outta your system? Read on for the step-by-step!
I speak to people on a daily basis who just want to get things done, but they’re stuck spending time, money, or energy on processes that don’t work for their business. In this surprisingly short article, we’re going to walk through identifying the roadblocks that are getting in the way of a smooth experience for you and your customers by developing [and implementing] a plan.
A research plan is a document that you can create right now that’ll help you find what is – and what isn’t – working in your current flow, identify possible solutions, and implement the right ones for you and your business.
Step 1. Find the pain points
If you find yourself unable to attract leads or make sales with an existing plan, it didn’t work because there is something about the plan that is not working for you – walk through it and look for weak points. What inconvenient steps are costing you time, money, or happiness?
- Are you wasting time on something that you’re not suited to do?
Things that stick out here are uncomfortable interactions or tasks that are time-consuming. . . those tasks that you find yourself procrastinating around because you just don’t wanna!
- Are you losing out on potential clients because follow-up and follow-through are eluding you?
- Are people repeatedly asking you about some functionality or offering that doesn’t exist? Or seeking you out for something that you don’t offer?
- Are your processes so complex that they are costing you or your clients’ happiness?
Take a moment to think through these questions and make a list of what ails yah.
Step 2. Pick your poison
Think about each item on your list and pick ONE thing to work on.
This is often the thing that hurts most or once improved will have the most impact.
The goal of the moment is to narrow your focus and act.
Step 3. Identify possible solutions
There’s only one right way to fold a bath towel, but that’s really the exception. For other things, there’s more than one right way, and you can consider options to alleviate your “pain.”
- Do you need a new process or technology to save you time?
- Do you need to hire someone to take on some tasks?
- Maybe you need physical infrastructure (like a card reader for collecting payments).
Think about your options and decide to put some of these solutions into your process and test how they fit.
Step 4. Evaluate the solutions
This is where you consider how each potential solution will affect the rest of your business before you commit to any changes. Test out the new stuff before you roll it out and fully integrate it with your existing systems.
Ideally, you’re doing regular process evaluations when you’re not under any pressure; don’t wait until it hits the fan or you’re getting a sales pitch some new technology (remember the “new and shiny…”).
Listen to feedback from customers and members of your team and yourself.
Step 5. Implement the solution that works for you
If you’re having trouble deciding what solution to go with, choose the minimum viable solution. Only you can prevent forest fires, so don’t light more matches than you need…
The right solution is going to have the best intersection of your needs, your ability, and your budget, RIGHT NOW. Think of the option that checks the most boxes and decide if the places, where it misses the mark, are deal-breakers.
Once you’ve chosen what you’re going to do, break the solution into smaller actions and make it happen.
Final thoughts. Convenience is the secret sauce.
This is your business, so your comfort or lack thereof is the secret ingredient for a delightful experience.
If this solution in your head looks like this is a job for. . .some whole-other-body-else, or that this thing needs some digital love, OR that maybe things just need to be done a bit different, that is okay.
Evaluating your business processes and looking for ways to improve your flow can reduce “pain” and increase time, money, and happiness for you and your customers.
It can be easy.
In case you missed it
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psst… My list is a zero-spam kinda place. I only occasionally even remember to ask you to buy things. Mostly you’ll be encouraged to be more productive, secure, and efficient by using the templates and ideas that I put out into the world.