5 Tools That Are Non-Negotiable In An Online Business

During the Delegation Challenge that many of you participated in, we talked alot about having strong boundaries, asking for help and outsourcing as much as possible to keep you in your zone of genius rather than spread too thin doing all… the… things.

Easier said than done for sure!

Lots of blocks were discovered during the process, and some of the biggest responses I heard was, “My business can’t support hiring things out right now.” or “My household budget doesn’t allow for a cleaning person right now.”

And while that may or may not be true (getting creative and shifting priorities could open up funds you didn’t see before), there are other ways to save yourself time, create more sustainable containers and greater ease and flow in your business that can cost as little as $15/month!

Plus, you need these things in your business anyway, so it’s a win-win. Having the right tools and systems in your life and business can eliminate a ton of busy work and streamline things creating a professional and well nourished experience for your customers. 

So you’re probably thinking, “Ok Maia… get to the point! How do I get to the place where I can spend more time in my zone of genius, work fewer hours and spend more time with my kids???”

APPS. 

I have a lot of apps I use on a daily basis.  But today, I’m sharing the apps that provide the most efficiency and streamline my business and my clients’ businesses.  So here they are:

    1.  Asana: Project Management Software.  I use the free version and I use it to manage my personal life, my business, and my clients’ businesses.  What I love about Asana is:
      1.  You can create different projects (ie Membership, podcast, course etc) within each business.
      2. Within those projects you can create tasks that are to occur on a one time or recurring basis.  
      3. You can also invite team members into Asana and when you create tasks you can assign them to other team members or yourself.  
      4. You can also create due dates and deadlines for each task.  This can align very well with your goals, where you can literally take your goals, break them down into tasks and due dates and place them directly into Asana for accountability.
      5. You can communicate with your team within Asana.  This can really eliminate lost emails by keeping conversations about certain tasks within different projects/tasks.  Asana has a great search tool to easily find archived conversations in case you want a refresher on what happened with a task last month.
    2. *Acuity Scheduling: Scheduling Tool.  I use this for myself and all of my clients. This is what I love about it:
      1.  Acuity allows you to have strong boundaries with your clients because you are able to set your availability and then number of appointments you can have within a certain time period.  
      2. Another bonus is that you can integrate acuity with stripe (another other payment softwares) so if someone schedules a coaching call with you and it is $100 you can receive payment directly through acuity instead of sending an invoice or collecting in a different way.
      3. Acuity can also be integrated with zoom!  So when someone schedules a call with me, when they receive the confirmation email they will also have the zoom link to the meeting as well.  Again, this is eliminating another step and automating your scheduling!
      4. You can also create different forms for clients to complete for different appointment types.  This again eliminates the step of having to send someone a form via email.
      5. One more integration that I love is that Acuity integrates with you google calendar.  So if you place an appointment in your google calendar, it will not be available in Acuity and vice versa.
      6. Lastly, all you have to do is provide a link and then your client can schedule it based on a time that is available that works for them.  No more back and forth emails, texts or Facebook messages and no more letting your clients control your schedule and wondering why you are burnt out.
    3. Google Suite: I use this for many things, but primarily for my calendar and google drive!
      1. Google calendar is my life line.  This is where all of my appointments go.  You can have more than one calendar (if you have more than one google account) so that you can segregate work appointments versus personal or kids.  
      2. Google drive is the primary way that I share documents. Files and spreadsheets with my clients.  We have shared drives AND we also are able to share the links to the different files that are associated with different tasks in Asana.
    4. Zoom: Video Conferencing Software. 
      1. I use zoom for all of my virtual meetings.
      2. You can set up recurring meetings.
      3. You can record meetings.
      4. Zoom can be used from a mobile device or desktop.  I have tried other softwares for conferencing and zoom is the most reliable I have seen.
      5. And zoom can integrate with Acuity!
    5. *Convertkit:  Email Management Software. I have tried a variety of email management software for my business and my clients’ and convertkit is my favorite.
        1. Convertkit allows you to easily manage your subscribers and tags.
        2. You can create landing pages and forms that are beautiful and can be embedded into your website (and you don’t have to be a graphic designer to make them appealing and engaging!)
        3. Sequences, or series of emails and really easy to navigate in Convertkit.
        4. Automations…convertkit has a really intuitive way to set up automations.
        5. Their customer service is amazing!

*Note: Acuity and Convertkit also have affiliate programs, which I’m a part of, so you can also add additional revenue streams to your even more streamlined biz! 😉

There you have it, my top 5 tools for integrating automation into your biz, because the world needs you rocking your super powers… not caught up in mundane busy work that can be done for you like a hot knife through warm #grassfed butter!

Let me know if you have any questions.  Over the next 5 weeks I will be hosting FB lives in the Online Business Mavens and I will talk about one of these tools each week.  Stay tuned!

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