“Overwhelming” is the word I hear most often when I talk to creatives about introducing tools to their business. Between all of the options, features, opinions, discount codes and styles, it IS overwhelming. Don’t let this defeat you, friends. With some focus, patience, and a whole lotta grace, you will find tools that fit your learning style and business! Here are 5 tips for implementing a new tool in your business!
Tip #1 – Identify the pain points
The best way to start this process is to fully understand your current workflow. How does a client inquire with you? How do they book you? How do you receive payment from them? How do you deliver the final product? Sit down and write out your entire workflow from start to finish. Once your workflow is written out, circle the pain points in your current process that you would like to simplify, digitize or automate. This could be anything from email responses, scheduling, contracts or even payment reminders! Write these pain points down and keep them nearby as you start looking at different options!
Tip #2 – Ditch the Idea of “Perfect”
Spoiler alert … there’s no such thing as a perfect tool. One tool will not solve every problem in your business. You might find something that takes care of most of your pain points, but it will never accomplish everything. Go ahead and do yourself the favor of ditching the idea of the perfect tool. There will be pros and cons to every single tool you encounter, you just have to prioritize what is most important to you and go from there.
Tip #3 – Set a “Go” Date
When looking at your options, it is so easy to get caught up in all the details. This leads to analysis paralysis, and NEVER making a decision! To avoid putting it on the back burner week after week, set a “go” date on your calendar and stick with it. Give yourself some uninterrupted time to research your options and try different tools out, but cap your research time at about 1-2 weeks. Remember, there’s no such thing as a perfect tool, you just have to find something that fits your business and you will regularly use.
Tip #4 – Keep the Future In Mind
When researching your different options, don’t forget to think about the future of your business! Ask yourself these questions: Would this tool work well if I brought on an assistant/team members? If I were to add new product offerings, would this tool grow with me? The last thing you want to do is implement something you have to replace a year from now. Keep those questions at the top of your mind as you work through your options.
Tip #5 – Start Trial Accounts and Dive In!
So what are you waiting for?! Go sign up for those trials! The best way to see if a tool is a good fit for you and your business is to dive in and experiment. Some tools have excellent support that offer one-on-one coaching calls and webinars to help you decide. If a friend recommends a tool to you – great! Take some time to ask them questions to help your decision making process. Keep in mind: look at these tools through the eyes of your business. Just because it works for a friend, doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for you!