Every business can be automated somehow
So many business owners that I speak to have an excuse as to why their business can’t be automated. Often though, the changes don’t have to be massive and in reality, most people don’t even notice or care, yet you benefit massively.
The first thing to realise is, nothing is permanent. It’s not necessarily like you’re looking to move somewhere like Miami forever. It’s important to set your business up to be mobile even if you stay in the same place all year round. One reason being that it increases the value of your business should you ever wish to sell it. That said, you’ll still want to attend to some of the major logistical changes. What are they:
Your Main Company Phone Number
Most businesses these days have an 0845 or an 0800 number which forwards to a fixed line. If this is the case for you then you won’t have to change your number or do anything in addition if you don’t want to.
In your marketing, you can promote the 0800 number and offer a ‘local’ alternative for the people calling from mobiles. If you don’t have an 0800 or 0845 number, just get yourself a Skype In number and have that be your default number.
More and more small businesses these days are using mobile phones as the primary phone to make calls from and don’t want to pay a premium for an 0845 call, and 0800 numbers aren’t free from mobiles. With Skype In numbers, if you’re based in London, you can have an 0208 number, Brighton you can have an 01273 number etc. Even better, let’s say you wanted a London presence, but lived elsewhere, just get a London Skype In number and away you go. Just set the Skype forwarding to your mobile or landline and you’re ready to roll.
If you are abroad and working, you can switch off the forwarding and take the calls on your laptop without paying mobile charges.
Your Business Address
Depending on the type of business you’re in, you might be more reliant on a physical address, but most businesses can operate quite happily without one. If you want to give the impression of a bigger company you can always use a mailing address. We moved out of our office nearly 3 years ago but kept it as a mailing address and I’ve had 2 items of post in all that time. I appreciate that in some instances, you need a proper address and that’s fine but do it out of necessity, not thinking you need to. That’s actually a common theme throughout this book and the concept of Business Automation in general. Do things out of necessity, not because you think you should.
Accept this fact as truth:
People want meetings with you more than is necessary.
That said, start saying no to meetings more often, especially when a sale isn’t on the cards. For us, every major client gets a quarterly meeting if it involves less than a 1 hour drive. I’ll meet potential clients but usually only if a demo has been done over the phone, they like what we do and they know the price, or have a ballpark figure if it’s some custom development. This way the meetings are never pointless.
Meetings to update people should never happen, there’s simply no need. Don’t meet people to go through anything – don’t be a glorified note taker for them. The exception to this would be a massive multi-year project where these kinds of things are expected. Try to avoid having an ‘open door’ or a ‘drop in’ policy if you can help it. It lets other people dictate how you’re spending your time which will almost always cause stress at some point.
Running the business from a remote location
It’s all well and good sitting in a hammock in Bali with a cocktail in one hand and taking calls with the other, but if you can’t keep track of the day-to-day running of the business, you’re going to be back on that plane pretty quickly!
The only way you can do this, without the whole operation collapsing, is running your business using web-based software. Gone are the days when you would need to ring the office and try to get hold of someone who could give you a full update. All you need is an internet connection, and you’ll have all the information you need at your fingertips.
Built into Better Proposals is our App Store which contains all the tools you need to run your business from anywhere in the world on any device. If you want to see what the entire suite of products has to offer, get in touch and book an appointment with one of the team.