Here’s a video summary of this post. (If the link in the video points back to this page, it means the next blog post isn’t ready yet!)
Most small business owners feel overwhelmed and far too busy. We’re always looking for a way resolve this and achieve both “success” and a good work-life balance. There are serious health issues involved here.
But we’re caught in a dilemma. And this dilemma is almost insurmountable for single person online businesses. In a nutshell, the dilemma is the reality of these two facts:
Fact 1: You MUST be highly systematized and organized to maximize the use of your time – which is essential for success.
Fact 2: You’re FAR TOO BUSY to spend the time needed to set up your systems and organizational processes.
Here’s the longer version of the TOO BUSY argument.
The resources you need to run a single-person online business amount to about 2-3 people if you want to do everything properly. And you HAVE to do everything properly if you want to maximize your chances of success.
So unless you can afford to hire people, your only option is to do everything you can to increase your own personal efficiency. That means being as organised and systematic as you can possibly be. Of course, it does NOT mean that you ignore the creative elements of running a business.
But if you want to be organised and systematic, you need to have very well defined processes and systems in place.
Unfortunately, THAT means adding a very large area of work to your already impossible workload: creating and maintaining your business and personal efficiency systems.
What do I mean by that? Here are the general areas…
- Managing all your business records
- Documenting all your business processes (and linking them to your business records)
- Keeping track of all “business assets” that you download and store on your hard drive
- Keeping track of all “business assets” that you create and store either on your hard drive or online
- Managing your time, your tasks and your priorities
- Keeping track of, and documenting, the multiple work streams that you’re working on simultaneously – many of which can last for several weeks or more
I think you get the picture. Pretty much everyone is going to feel too busy to sort all that out!
Let me give you one concrete example: testing and tracking
An online business lives or dies by the effectiveness of its testing and tracking. Unless you’re extremely lucky, any marketing campaign you create is unlikely to be as successful as you would like. Indeed, if you don’t have much online experience it’s very likely to be completely unsuccessful. Now that doesn’t mean you abandon the whole thing right away. It means you test it and tweak it until it DOES become successful. Or until you have enough evidence to justify abandoning it.
When you’re testing the effectiveness of a campaign, there are many things to test so that you know which parts are successful and which need adjusting. Usually, that means using different tools and systems to access the different statistics about the campaign. For example, your funnel builder, autoresponder, link tracker, Google Analytics, social media stats, form manager, sales processor etc.
That can become a very time consuming activity which you need to do on a regular basis. And you need to remember the whole process every time you execute it, and you need to store the results in a systematic way. And you need to remember to do it regularly.
Notice that that absolutely critical activity for online marketers – testing and tracking includes nearly all the above areas that I mentioned:
- Managing business records: the tracking data which you gather.
- Documenting business processes: how you go about measuring the performance of each part of the campaign.
- Keeping track of “business assets”: the funnels and pages and forms and lists and products and lead magnets and tracking links and affiliate programs and social media accounts and sales processors.
- Managing your time, your tasks and your priorities: ensuring you are reminded to perform the testing activity regularly.
- Keeping track of, and documenting, the multiple work streams that you’re working on simultaneously: tracking the performance of a campaign is only one part of the larger workstream of testing and improving. You also need to decide what to adjust, document it and monitor the results.
It’s hardly surprising that most single-person entrepreneurs ignore this entirely, or do it half-heartedly, because it’s so complex and time-consuming.
An impossible dilemma
This is an impossible dilemma.
UNLESS you can find more-or-less READY-MADE organizational systems that you can simply pick-up and use. In particular, you want systems designed specifically for online marketers (or people using online marketing in the business). Systems which only need a bit of simple configuration before you can use them – rather you having to design them from scratch.
The good news is that I have a bit of history in exactly that area. I’ll say more about it, and my plans for how I could help you resolve this dilemma, in my next post.
Do YOU feel too busy to stop being too busy? Let me know in the comments section below and stay tuned!
The follow-up post to this is: 7 Reasons Why We Need Systems And Processes
And make sure you sign up to my newsletter to get digital marketing tips and, especially, notification of new blog posts.