Money Saving Automations for Your Business
On this episode, Ann Losinski, Dubsado-Certified Specialist and a client experience guru, shares her knowledge about money saving automations for your business. Ann works with businesses to map out their client workflow and implement automated systems. This helps ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
In this episode, Ann talks about niching down (hint: it’s a good idea!), honing in on who you’re serving, and finding that one thing that brings you joy. We also dive into automation systems and break down how to move clients through your business in four phases.
Niching Down Your Business
After reading through several virtual assistant Facebook Groups, Ann consistently saw that many VA’s were niched down to provide a certain service or serve a certain client. She wanted to hone in on a certain skill set and do something really well as opposed to doing 10 things just OK.
When you’re able to specialize in a certain service, you become an expert in that area. Therefore, you’ll be able to serve your clients better, charge more for that service and create a more long-term strategy for your business.
How to Choose Your Niche
Ann says you have to ask yourself what is it that you enjoy and lights you up. The worst thing you could do is base your decision around money. Yes, money is great. But if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing as a virtual assistant, then none of it will be worth it.
Many people leave the corporate world to become a virtual assistant because they want to choose what they do and how they do it. So you really have to self-reflect on what it is that excites you. Maybe you don’t have a ton of experience in that one niche, and that’s OK. The internet is full of information, whether it be Facebook Groups, masterclasses, YouTube videos, articles etc. You can learn what it is you enjoy. You just have to put the work in to learn it.
And the most beautiful thing about niching down is you’re never stuck in that one niche if you don’t end up enjoying it. It’s OK to pivot and change directions if that niche you decided on isn’t bringing you joy after all.
What is Systems and Automations?
As a systems and automations specialist, Ann’s job is to analyze the client process. The moment a potential client fills out the lead caption form on a business website to the off-boarding process is the client process.
Every single business owner should have an automated client process regardless of what type of business they own. You want to come up with a streamlined process of how clients are moving through your business. If you don’t have that, it’s going to be difficult to give everyone the same client experience that you want to give each client. It’s also difficult to find the gaps in a business that need improvement when we don’t have a mapped out client process.
In order to figure out your own client process for your business, you have to write down every single step that a client takes. For example, what happens when a client first inquires about your services? Do you get on a discover call with them? Do you send them a proposal right away? What sorts of emails do you send clients or questionnaires?
Once you can visualize the process that your client goes through, you can then determine if there’s something missing or you can consolidate steps. Once you have that process mapped out and perfected, you can start utilizing tools like Dubsado, which is a client management system that you can input workflows in.
Automation Doesn’t Mean Robotic
Some reservations when it comes to automations for your business is that it will seem robotic or not personal. But a lot of programs offer ways to make the process more personal. Some examples may be including a client’s name or specific information that you’ve gathered from a particular client.
But when you think about it, you’ll begin to see similarities with many of the emails you’ve sent to previous clients. So why not automate the process and save yourself time and money?
Where Do You Start with Implementing Automation?
Let’s say you have your client process mapped out, and you’re ready to take that next step with implementing money saving automations for your business. Ann recommends joining a Facebook Group associated with the program you’re wanting to try. Whether it’s Dubsado, Honeybook or another program, there’s a Facebook Group for the majority of them. Within the group, you’ll find supportive entrepreneurs who can offer advice within the group. You could even ask if there are professionals who offer strategy calls regarding the program to get a more in-depth overview of the program.
Another easy way to start implementing money saving automations for your business is to start a free-trial with a particular program. It’s easy way to test out your mapping process and see how it works with your business in a hands-on way.
Four Phases for Seamless Automation
Ann encourages clients to breakdown their automation process into four different steps: lead, onboarding, active and offboarding. That way, it isn’t as overwhelming to think about and actually implement than thinking about the process as one big, overwhelming picture.
Phase 1: Lead
This is the initial point where the client fills out that lead capture form on your website until they become an official client. Your lead capture process is arguably your most important part of the process because first impressions are lasting impressions. It’s important to promptly respond to anyone that inquires about your services. So this automation allows you to respond quickly and look professional.
Examples of lead automation:
- Introduction email of who you are as a business
- A link to schedule a discovery call via a program like Calendly
- Initial questionnaire about the types of services the potential client is seeking
Phase 2: Onboarding
This process includes documents you need from a potential client to bring them on as a client.
Examples of onboarding automation:
- Tax information forms
- Payment setup information
- Video tutorials on how to navigate programs you use
Phase 3: Active
This phase is where the client moves through whatever service you’re offering. This looks different for every business.
If you’re a photo editor, here are some active automation examples:
- Sending your client the photos
- Approving the edits made to the photos
- Making changes that need to be made to the photos
- Returning the photos back to you from the client
- Sending quarterly check-in surveys regarding your services if it’s not a single-project client
Phase 4: Offboarding
The final step is offboarding, which is when a client completes their services with you. That can be because it was a one-time project, their retainer was up or some other circumstance. It’s important to have this process because this is the lasting impression they’re going to have of you.
- Asking for feedback regarding your services
- Asking for a testimonial
- Transferring knowledge to client about certain programs you’ve implemented (recording a video via Loom of how this piece of technology works for their business)
A lot of times as business owners, there’s this temptation to want to get this entire automation process finished all at one time. But sometimes that’s not feasible. Because after all, we are still running a business and taking care of all the things. So even if you simply start by automating your “lead” process, that’s an amazing start.