Have you recently launched a new business and don’t know how to make it more efficient? Or, are you having a hard time landing new customers and can’t quite figure out how to take your startup to the next level? You are not alone — many new entrepreneurs experience these struggles early on in their business journey and wonder if they should just go back to the comfort and security of a 9-to-5 job. Let me be the one to tell you this: DON’T give up on your entrepreneurial endeavors, as you can and will overcome these challenges.
I have launched and grown over a dozen businesses and know firsthand the struggles that so many new entrepreneurs face after they launch a startup. In my journey as the owner of Kairos Venture Studios, which specializes in launching new online businesses in the Latin American market, I have discovered a number of small but impactful ways entrepreneurs can optimize their startups and amplify business success. Here are 6 of them to keep in mind:
1. Ramp Up Productivity with Time Blocking
It is so easy for each day to fly by without finding the time for deep, uninterrupted work on projects that move your business forward. I get it — emails are constantly flooding your inbox, your business associates call at random times (and these phone conversations last over an hour), and so on. However, it is pertinent to make the time to check in with new client leads, plan and implement new marketing strategies, and work on other initiatives that lead to business growth. You can do this by scheduling your workdays two weeks out using time blocking.
Time blocking will help you stay on top of all of your work tasks, complete projects before their deadlines, and ensure that you never forget about projects that need to be worked on. To do this effectively, make sure to block out time in a scheduling tool (like Google Calendar) for the three most important tasks you need to complete every day, and also schedule blocks of time to answer emails and complete miscellaneous tasks. Since you already know what you need to work on each day from planning in advance, you will never waste time on trying to figure out the next task to work on.
2. Hire a Freelance Virtual Assistant ASAP
Even though you are in the early stages of your business journey, you likely already know what tasks consume the most time in your workday. Are they answering emails? Data entry? Replying to comments on your business’s social media channels? Don’t let these everyday work tasks take up your time any longer. Hire a virtual assistant as soon as possible to take over these tasks, as they will help optimize workflow and amplify the success of your company.
Entrepreneurs should hire a virtual assistant when their companies start to grow and it’s no longer viable for them to handle all of the tasks required to keep operations running smoothly. You can find affordable virtual assistants from all over the world for your company on websites like UpWork and Fiverr. Even better, you can hire specialized virtual assistants to handle specific projects or administrative tasks (like updating the website and daily social media management), which can be more cost-effective than hiring full-time, salaried employees.
Keep in mind that when you are describing projects to your virtual assistant, it is paramount that instructions are very detailed, in depth, and easy-to-comprehend. This will help to eliminate a lot of the back-and-forth discussions that can cause projects to drag out for a long time, especially if your virtual assistant is in another country with a large time difference. There could be a bit of a language barrier if you work with a virtual assistant in another country, so make sure that instructions are very clear and easy to understand.
3. Automate Meeting Scheduling with Calendar Tools
Have you yet to adopt the use of a calendar tool like Calendly? Calendar tools are so useful for business leaders, as they streamline the process of setting up calls and greatly cut down on time-consuming back-and-forth emails. If you don’t use a calendar tool, you have to email a business associate to ask when they are available for a call, wait for an answer, then schedule the call yourself in your calendar. On the other hand, if you have a calendar tool, you can simply send its link to your associate and they can select a time that works for them, then the scheduled call automatically shows up on your schedule and theirs.
Even better, the calendar tool will email both you and your associate with info about your call. You can also segment your automated calendar “events” according to what the calls will be about, and ask the contact for necessary info in the event’s “description” box. For example, you can create an automated 15-minute call for new clients, an automated 30-minute call for onboarding a new client, etc. Then you can write in these events’ descriptions what kind of info will be needed for each call, what might be discussed, etc. This can help ensure you don’t have to email the contact before your call asking for these assets.
4. Land New Customers by Launching a Podcast and/or YouTube Channel
If you have been struggling to land new clients, use a YouTube channel and/or podcast to provide free value to your target audience. This may pique your audience’s interest in subscribing, visiting your business’s website, and making a purchase. For example, you can share informational how-to videos and weekly industry insights roundups on YouTube, which will help position you as a leader in your industry. You can then capitalize on this by including your business website in each video description, which can lead to a boost in website traffic (and therefore a greater ranking in search engines).
5. Show Online Support to Other Company Leaders in Their Endeavors
Referrals from your business network can really help you grow your customer base. So network with other company leaders on social media and support them in their endeavors. Whether you are resharing an interesting article another entrepreneur posted or simply commenting “Congratulations!” when they share a major feat on Instagram, supporting and celebrating other business leaders is the best way to grow your network and potentially boost referrals. Those you connect with will know you are in their corner and will then be more inspired to want to support you as well and work with you. This can even lead to fruitful collaborations later on!
To Wrap It All Up
There are so many small-but-effective ways to optimize your startup and amplify business success. You can increase daily productivity and get more deep work on high-impact projects done by scheduling out each day with time blocking, hiring an affordable freelance virtual assistant, and using a calendar tool to streamline meeting scheduling. Also, you can land more customers by launching a podcast or YouTube channel and supporting other business owners in their endeavors. These are just a few ways to bring your startup to new heights.