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How to simplify and streamline your business for success

Today’s episode of the podcast is all about how to create a more simple business and life for yourself.

In this episode I talk about why making your business a success isn't always about adding things and growing, and why actually sometimes it's about taking those things away and streamlining instead.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST

  1. How to streamline your business
  2. Some ways I have simplified my business this year
  3. The key question you need to ask yourself when you're overwhelmed

 

If you're listening to this and know someone who is overwhelmed, please feel free to share it with them, I'd really love you to do that!


LINKS TO RESOURCES MENTIONED IN TODAY’S EPISODE

Check out Kajabi (affiliate link)

Connect with Teresa on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter

Transcript

You are listening to Your Dream Business podcast with your host, Teresa Heath Wareing, and welcome to episode 299. I'm nearly at that all important 300. Now, you know what was funny? I'd got all these plans for episode 300, except life has become a little bit busy with going away and speaking and events and all that, but also with home stuff and family stuff and sometimes you just don't quite get to where you wanna be or get the thing done that you need getting done.

So it looks like what I had planned for episode 300 will now be a later episode, which is fine by me cuz it's not quite the time and that's okay. And the episode 300 will just be another average episode, which again, I am all right with because plans change, things change, things move. And as business owners, one of the cool things about it is that we stay flexible and we move and we are not absolutely rigidly stuck in a thing or, we don't take forever to change when we do change.

Man, I remember working in corporate marketing when I worked for Land Rover, it was a massive company. Like we had a whole legal department just for marketing because we had to be so careful of what we said and how we said it, and then it would have to go, like if we wanted anything done, the amount of approval it needed was nuts.

So, You can imagine that idea to actual getting it done would take forever. And one of the things I love about my small business is the fact that I can change and move and be flexible and be agile and do what I need to do that suits me and my business and hopefully always suits my audience and suits my members and my clients.

But importantly, and, and there's nothing selfish about this, is that it suits us because what's the point of being in business if we hate the thing that we do or we create a business that doesn't fit with us? And as you know, I have talked many, many, many times about what a dream business is and creating your own dream business.

So I won't go on about that here. That was not for today's plan. But today's episode does fit in really nicely because today I'm gonna be talking about how I am making my business simple. I've been in business for nearly nine, no, nearly 10 years. I can't remember. I think it's nearly 10, or is it nearly nine?

Anyway, I'll work that out. And I, over the time have built this amazing business that I love and adore and, and obviously over time you learn things and you tweak things and you change things, and you add things. I add team members, I add processes, I add systems. Like when you first start off in business, I think we make the mistake of thinking we need all those things from day one, and we don't necessarily need all those things from day one, and we certainly don't wanna have to pay for all those things from day one.

But what's happened over the years is I've added all these things and I've created this beast, and at the beginning of this year, I have been working on some personal stuff, which will be coming out at some point, and I will be sharing with you what I've been working on. But I decided that I needed to simplify things.

I needed to simplify the business, the processes, the systems, the team, and I needed to just create a more simple life for myself. Because when you have lots going on, it's, it's like more moving plates. It's more spinning plates. I always talk about, like imagine we are a hundred percent and normally work takes up, I dunno 35%.

And then home life takes up 20%. And then, if we look after elderly parents or children or whatever, that takes up another whatever percent. And then if we are trying to work out, that takes up another percent. If we're trying to eat healthy, that takes up another percent. And when something big happens in your world or when suddenly you're working on something that is taking a lot of your energy, It takes up more of the percentage, which means things have to move out.

We can't add more to our percentage because we only have the time we do and the energy that we do, and if anything, when we are dealing with big personal things. It may only take up an extra 20%, let's say, but energy wise it is whipping away a lot of your time. So even though you might think, well actually, you know that physically that thing I'm physically doing isn't actually taking up loads of time.

No. But in your head, the energy that's taking up is massive. So, Even if you're not getting stuff done and you're thinking, I don't understand, that'll be why, because your, the space it's taken up on your head is huge. And this happened to me at the beginning of the year. I started working on something personally that was taking up a huge amount of space and I started to look at the business and go, what do I really have to do?

I looked at what I could streamline, what I could not do anymore, what was the most important things in the business? And do you know what? Obviously I did this because I was dealing with something at the time. However, I think this is really helpful to do. I think sometimes we get caught in the trap of listening to other business owners.

I've got X amount of staff. I use this system, this system, this system, this system. I have this many processes. I'm constantly have to do this, this, this, this, this. I've got X amount of emails. I saw great posts the other day by Becci, who does my show notes about stop glamorizing being busy.

You know, I wanna be at a point where I get all my work done and then can go and sit in the garden or potter in my greenhouse, which I just adore. So for me, it was really important that I started to look at this. And what I'm gonna do today is I'm gonna tell you some of the things and some of the ways I've simplified down my business, and then also give you an example of how I kind of did it with the event that I just ran back in May, which took away so much stress for me.

So let's just talk about the business. So one of the first things that you will know that I have done is I've reduced my team size and my decision to do that was really flipping hard. This was probably the hardest decision in everything because of the fact that I love the people who work for me, and I've been very fortunate to have them work for me for a long time.

Some of them have been with me like five, six years. So to make that decision was not an easy decision to make. But basically I looked at who was doing what and deciding did they really need to continue to do that. And I had key people in my business that yes, I needed and I wanted to keep them. But also I had people in my business who were doing things and not doing other things that they could do.

So for instance, I had Sophia, who was the podcast manager who managed the whole podcast, but actually I had Johanne who works in the business full time, and she had capacity to take that in. And she's worked with me now for almost three years, I think. And well, by the time this comes out, it probably is three years.

And for me it was like, actually, why isn't she doing it now? Like there's no need to have that additional person, that additional step, that additional payment and that additional process. And again, I made the decision not to edit these podcasts, just literally to record them as I record them and send them out because I've done them long enough, you know.

You know, I have a fairly okay quality. Well, no, I think I have a good quality mic and you know, a good quality setup, so you know that, you know, it's not horrific. But did I really need to have that person that edits? Did I need Phil in the business to edit, to do those things? To add that extra process? To do those extra steps?

And the truth is, I didn't. So I decided to remove some people from the business. And like I said, I am huge, huge advocates of them. They are amazing. I love them. At that point, I just didn't need that many people in the business, so I stepped away from those people and I reduced those kind of, not only physical people, but also reduced some of the processes, some of the steps, and even things like the fact that there's, you know, two additional pay people to pay for, or two additional invoices that need to come in.

It's like it's just adding all that bit of work. And like I said, I think I'd got into the habit of, oh no, someone you know with a business like mine should have a team of this. Well, no, I don't need it. Like actually, we are just as efficient and as more streamlined than we were. So that was the first thing I did, or one of the first things I did all that was crazy hard.

The next thing that obviously had an impact from changing the team was the processes. Did I need all those processes that we got? Were there processes that I could slim down? Is there ways in which we could not have to go quite so many steps? Now, the processes weren't as easy to slim down, and some of them we still need, even though we don't do them constantly.

So for me, it's always worth having them there, but it's always worth tweaking them and going, do I need to change this? Is there an easier way? What did make an impact on the process was the fact that I re-looked at my systems. Now, systems for me was one of the biggest costs in the business and one of the biggest pool legs in the business.

Because it was like, and some of these systems are so expensive. So for instance, I was paying for Kajabi, which is expensive unless you're using all the parts, which I now am. And I did use all the parts, but I was using Kajabi alongside active campaign. And Kajabi per year was costing me I dunno, about 1500 pounds a year.

An active campaign was costing me like 130 a month or 150 a month or something. And it was like, basically I was duplicating the system and the reason I wanted active campaign was because I had my really fancy quiz. So it's like, okay. One, I have to pay for the really fancy quiz system.

So that's another system. And also I need to pay for Zapier because Kajabi doesn't like talking to anything else. So then suddenly, because I moved to active campaign, I then, because I had this quiz, actually, sorry, from the quiz, I then had to have active campaign. I then had to have Kajabi, not Kajabi, sorry, Zapier, my God.

All these systems. So you are adding on an additional cost of, I don't know, over the year, thousands. And it's like for what? For a quiz, and don't get me wrong, I loved my quiz, but I had to ask myself like, we have systems for taking things from Kajabi to Active campaign. We have stuff from taking active campaign to get back to Kajabi.

We have Zaps, we have this, we have, and again, I just got to the point where I was like, my head can't do this anymore. Like I need simplicity. We can bring all this back in if and when we need to and want to, but right now I don't wanna do all that I wanted. And you know, I think there's so many reasons that have got me to this point, but like, In all seriousness, I think doing hard stuff in your personal life, but also finding like joy in something out of work.

So me finding gardening, like, and I still laugh as I say that cause I literally sound like an old person, but you know, I love that, you know, we love traveling. I love the fact of, you know, I'm recording these before I go away, so that I don't have to work while I'm away, and I want to do that. I want to know that things are simple and everyone knows what they're doing.

We don't have to have all these spinning plates. I have less spinning plates and less chance to things to go wrong. Now, the transition back to Kajabi was a bit of a pain. You may have got a random email from me that you probably didn't need, but or asked for. However, other than that, We're back to simple Kajabi and Kajabi's great. It's excellent.

I'm going to the Kajabi conference in a few weeks time in Austin and I am very excited about it. By the time you listen to this, I've already been be back. They're a great system. I am gonna link up to Kajabi in my show notes, and it will be an, an affiliate link. But honestly, it is a great system and it does all the  things in the one system.

So even though the price looks expensive, when I was paying for all those additional things, that is way more expensive. So for me it was like, okay, do I need all these systems? And you know, I decided I didn't. And now not only do I have to pay for all those systems, which is a blessing, which means that my business is more profitable because that was an expense.

It is more simple. I don't have to log into three different systems to do one thing. I just log into Kajabi. And yes, I can't do the fancy quiz anymore, but that is a small price to pay as far as I'm concerned. Also, one thing you should know is I looked at the successfulness of the quiz and decided that it wasn't worth the time and effort and money that I was putting in.

And I, granted, I'm not saying that quizzes aren't, they are the excellent, and I could have put more time and effort into it, but at that point I just thought it's not doing it for me. And I could put other lead magnets out there simply and still get those number of signups. So for me it was okay, but it wasn't.

Wasn't it's worth its money. Now, I'm not saying that's the case for everybody, so don't just go, Teresa, the quiz aren't worth the money. That is not the case for me at that point. I didn't need that extra thing in my life. So yeah, so those are the kind of things I made big changes in the business. But the thing is, there's like an overarching kind of quote or question I asked myself, and I had a really good example of it when it came to my latest event in May was, what if this could be simple?

What would it look like if this was simple? So when you're in a moment of overwhelm, when you're in a moment of, I dunno what to do here, or this is too much, ask yourself, maybe journal it out. What if this could be simple? So I had my May event coming up and I had done some promotion of the event and my dad got ill and as you know, Because you are a business owner, when things happen in your personal life, it kind of can take over your business life a little bit.

And even if it physically, time-wise, didn't take over my business, it took over my brain. So my capacity for being out there on screen, going live, doing all those things was not at full capacity. So as always, I do the key things that I have to do. I do my coaching calls. I love my members. I do my one-to-one calls like, and I'm all good and happy and, and everything is fine with that, but some additional stuff, I just wasn't in the right head space and that's all right.

You know, I feel a bit vulnerable saying this to you because it's like, you know, I teach other people how to do this stuff, so surely I should have it all kind of sewn together. But the truth is we never do. Like, we just maybe recover a bit quicker and have tools to deal with it and know what to do. So lemme tell you what's happening to my May event.

So my event May event wasn't selling as I would've liked. And I had got a sponsor for it, and I had got a sponsor, not necessarily based on the number I told them, but obviously in the negotiations I said, this is what my expectation is for the event, and I wasn't getting those numbers and I felt bad. I was starting to panic and worry about the event.

Now, I wasn't worried when it came down to it. That was the first thing I kind of got clear on what was my issue. So I wasn't worried about not having the numbers I wanted. I knew the numbers I'd got, I'd have an amazing day. I'd have an amazing day if there was like five people, let alone like 25 people.

So I knew it wasn't that I knew, it wasn't my ego going, oh, but I wanted a full room. It didn't matter. That didn't bother me. I knew that when I stood in front of those people, I'd have an amazing day and actually, if anything, they would have an even better day because there was less people in the room and therefore they would get more physical time and we could do things a bit differently.

So what was concerning me at that point was, I'm gonna have to work my butt off now to get all these sales when I really don't feel in the head space to do it. And. I need to do it because I've got a sponsor. So I had the questions myself and in a call, with my therapist, we talked about what if it could be easy, and I discovered that actually it was only really the sponsor that was bothering me and I had a workbook to do, and I hadn't quite got around to the workbook either.

And I was like, what if it could be easy? Well, if it could be easy, I'd speak to the sponsor and go, do you know what? I haven't got the numbers. And can we talk about this? Because also the sponsor paid a deposit. They had paid a 50% deposit and I didn't want to give that deposit back because obviously the other thing, cuz that was the other thing that could have stressed me out was the break even point of the event.

Well, with the sponsorship and the numbers I'd sold, we'd, we'd made money on it. So it was like, okay, I, I wanna be honest with the sponsor, but I do wanna keep the sponsor's money. And other than dealing with the sponsor, everything else would feel fine. So I decided to get on the phone and not get on the phone.

How old school am I, get on Zoom and speak to the sponsor. I sent them an email, really honest email saying Numbers are not where they're at. Can we have a chat about it? Got on the call with her and I said, listen, I wanna be really honest cuz it's very important to me. The numbers are not where I said to you, they might be, and I'm concerned that obviously I don't wanna pitch something and then have you rock up and go, hang on, where are these other people?

So, But in all honesty, I also wanna keep your deposit and ideally I'd like the rest of the money too, right. And I didn't say this laughing down, the microphone to you, but that is what I said. But I went in there with a plan and I was like, right, I have other events, I have other ways in which I can promote your business.

And they are the loveliest people and I know them. So like, again, I wouldn't just do this for anybody. So we got off that call and she said, keep the deposit. And I, I did explain what was happening personally and she was always very kind about it. Although, you know, I wasn't trying to make feel bad and then get to keep the money, but she let me keep the deposit and said, we will sort something out.

Not a problem. We've got some other options and all is good in the world. I got off that call and felt like a weight had been lifted, so no longer did I have to panic about a sponsor turning up and thinking, where the hell are the people that you promised me? So that had gone, so the event I was very excited about, the next thing I thought was, oh, I've gotta do a workbook and have I got capacity and time and whatever to do this workbook and when am I gonna get it printed?

And blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And obviously, bearing in mind what I just said, I had made some money on the event, but printing a book would've taken some of that money away and, and then I realized that I'd bought a load of swag for my VIP stuff and it was this really lovely notebook, pen, pencil bag.

And I was like, no one is expecting that they're expecting a workbook. And as nice as a workbook is, It doesn't add any more value after the event. So I just thought, again, what if it could be simple? So I thought I'll just give them books. I won't do a workbook. I'll just rock up with a little bag for the meat with a book notebook, pen, pencil bag.

And I did, and they loved it and they were really happy. And the event was so amazing and I loved it so much, and it was simple and it was easy, and it wasn't trying to be everything to everyone. I kept everything really simple. They worked on their business, they got great stuff from it, and I didn't get stressed. I kept it really simple.

So like I said, it's not always about when something hard is going on in your life, it's not that. Yes, it comes in really handy when things are tricky, however, It's about going, do I really need all these things, these steps, these processes, these people, these things like that I'm winding myself up with, do I really need all that?

And how can it be simple? So maybe you're listening to this. Maybe someone else is overwhelmed that you work with, or a friend that you can forward this podcast onto. Ask yourself, how can this be simple? And that's what you can work on today. Okay? Have a wonderful rest of your week. I will see you next week.