Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Top 4 Favorite + Frequently Used Systems in My Business

I can not even begin to describe how relieved, freed and unburdened I feel since I removed myself from my own way and am leaning on SYSTEMS to do the dirty work for me!

I have leveraged + automated systems for:
  • creating my newsletter format,
  • creating content,
  • making sure the newsletters are being done - IN ADVANCE! 
  • scheduling calls with clients,
  • getting pre-call data,
  • post call check in’s,
  • progress testimonials. 
I even have systems to invite people I meet through networking to my email list where it’s super easy for me to keep in touch with them!


Here's my "Liz-Ism" for the word SYSTEM:

I've taken the liberty of putting together a list of my 4 most favorite and frequently used systems in my business:

1) Google Calendar
(All the cool kids use it!)

But let me tell you, I was sooooo amazingly resistance to this at first.  For those who have been with me a while, listen to my trainings or follow me socially, you know I'm a #coloredpenjunkie!  I love journals, I love planners - I'm happiest at an office supply store in the planner aisle!  

When Google Calendar was introduced to me, I said NO WAY am I ditching my planner and using my phone!  

Well - after much curiosity of everyone else in the world using the dang thing, I finally got out of my own stubborn way and saw the beauty, ease and simplicity of using an online time management and tracking system.

For the rest of my thoughts, actions and life - it's my planner (which I'll get to in a moment!)

2) Online Appointment Scheduler
Schedule Once (because why do it more than that?!)

Starting in my business, I scheduled with clients 'the old fashioned way'.  
What's better, Tuesday at 3, or Friday at 1?
Neither, ok, how about next week.
Oh, you're on vacation.
How about the next week....

I was going nuts!  

ScheduleOnce was introduced to me by a coaching colleague who had me use it to book time to speak with her!  First having the experience of the end user - I was so impressed with how easy it was!

No back and forth - I'm in her calendar without seeing her personal appointments, just available time. I open another screen to see my calendar, find something that works for both of us and VIOLA - I schedule it!

As someone who uses it now in my business, it links IN REAL TIME to the aforementioned (yes, I just used that word, no, I'm not a lawyer), Google calendar.  If I book an appointment on my google calendar and it overlaps on my 'open time' on schedule once, the scheduling system automatically knows to block that time as busy!

To date I've had close to 100 appointments booked through this system and not 1 user complaint!

3) Online Form Builder
(You read about this in last week's #freemail - but it's so helpful it bears repeating!)

If you’ve scheduled an appointment with me using the system above, you’ve either gone through or been directed to an online form to share some information with me. 

Why do I love online forms? Let me count the ways...
1) Online forms are an easy way to capture important and sometimes hard to get information, like testimonials, client progress, and insights into where someone is in their business.
2) As much as you'd like them to, no one is really going to reply to your bulk or mass distributed email.
3) Everyone is online, why not meet them where they are!
Up until recently I was using Google Forms to capture feedback, but recently I’ve switched back to Wufoo. 
Google was great for a lot of reasons, mainly, it’s free + super easy to use.  The challenge for me was that the data is captured and stored in a spreadsheet.

In many ways, I’m still stuck in 1999 and folders and paper are my go-to’s.  I like to have all information for each client in their folder. With the spreadsheet, this was tricky.

Wufoo is an equally easy to use form builder that emails me the form as the client has filled it out. It also sends a copy to them, because I think transparency and tracking is really important - especially in business growth. Wufoo, a SurveyMonkey company, is free for 3 forms, and then there are plans starting at $14.95 a month, or $129 a year.

4) My Planner
Paper + Colored Pens all the way!
Thoughts are spinning through my head at speed that would make a Category 5 hurricane look like a soft breeze!

Having my physical paper planner system that is flexible and robust at my finger tips is an essential element of my business and my life.

I use the Circa System from Levenger, which you can also find at Staples as Arc. It's a disc bound note book system with a hole puncher that puts rolodex style holes in your paper so you can move the pages in and out without opening binder rings.  The note books flips around like a spiral notebook too.

While I've purchased just about every planner ever made, over the years, I've taken what has worked best for me, left the rest behind and have made my own planner system of sorts.  

It's here where I do my planning, recapping, keep my 'egg basket' and my 'gold mine'.  In other words, it's my brain on paper where I can convert concepts to cash-flow!  

I wouldn't be surprised if sometime in the near future you see an email in your inbox announcing a beta version of this planner available!  

There are SO many more, and I started to write about them, but then I realized I was writing a book, not an article!  

So maybe in the future, look out for a new #freebook on a few of my favorite things!

In the meantime, take a moment and share in comments below, what you think and how this has impacted you!

If you found this any where other than your inbox first - WELCOME!  And please jump over to www.LizDederer.com and subscribe to the list to get these notes weekly, AND to receive insights I share ONLY with my email list!  :)

And of course, if you found this topic helpful, get social about it and share it!  

I look forward to seeing in the comments how you will maximize your value with what you learned in this #freemail article!

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