How to Choose the Right Tools to Organize Your Online Service Business

 

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Does it matter which tools you use to organize your business?

Yes.

A lot of people will tell you it doesn’t matter and that you should just use the tools you “prefer”. But choosing your business tools based on what you personally prefer is a dangerous way to go about it.

In fact, simply choosing what you prefer has led to a lot of solopreneurs taking weeks to set up a certain tool to organize their business... only for them to go ahead and migrate to another one in a few months.

Why?

Click “play” on the podcast player below OR keep reading to learn more!

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why you’re choosing tools the wrong way

  • How to avoid shiny object syndrome and STOP trying every new tool that comes out

  • Why you should choose tools with your clients and future team in mind.

  • How to stop being perfectionistic about the tools you use and stop taking forever to organize your business



Choose business tools that will still be popular and relevant in years to come

Simply choosing tools because you like them has led to a lot of solopreneurs taking weeks to set up a certain tool in their business... only for them to migrate to another one in a few weeks or months.

So they essentially wasted all of that time setting up the first tool.

Why is that? Why did they end up migrating to a different tool? Why wasn’t their first choice - the tool they personally preferred - good enough?

Because they should have been organizing for growth. But they didn't do that.

Organizing for growth means asking yourself, “is what I'm doing right now still going to work in a year, or in two years or three years?”

If not, there’s no point in doing it. There’s no point investing lots of time, energy and effort into something that isn’t going to work well for your business in a year when you could put all of that effort into something that will.

Solopreneurs usually are pretty good thinking in terms of growth or sustainability when it comes to their marketing and the services they’re going to launch, but they usually don’t think much about the sustainability of their business tools, which is crazy because the same principle applies to both!

Here’s what I mean…

You may want to hire a virtual assistant. You may not have that capacity or the budget right now to hire a VA, but in a year's time you may want to.

For now though, it’s just you running the business. So you choose business tools that you personally prefer. For example, you love Outlook for email so you continue using it!

In a year, you are crazy busy with work and you need to hire help. You find the perfect virtual assistant... but she does not use Outlook because it’s not that popular in comparison to something like Gmail.

You now have two choices. You can either…

  1. Train her how to use it (which is super stressful because your schedule is already so busy.)

  2. Migrate to tools that she and future team members already understand how to use.

Now, let me tell you, it is hard enough training your virtual assistant how to do the job role you have for them without also having to train them how to use the tool itself.

When it comes to something like inbox management, you already have to train them what emails you want them to send, how you want them to talk in those emails, the energy that you want them to give off when they're talking to your clients and your customers, what kinds of emails you usually receive, how to use your filter system, how to use your labels, when they can go to you for help etc.

You’ve got to think of this AND get used to working with a completely new person.

Then ALSO add training them how to use your unpopular tool or migrating to something they already use and you’ve got a recipe for overwhelm.

Training someone to use your tool isn’t just a once-and-done kind of thing. You will then have to troubleshoot their questions for weeks or months because it takes time for your team member to become familiar with your tool if you’re the only client they use it with.

If you choose tools NOW that your future team will know how to use, you'll save yourself so much time and hassle in the future.

When choosing tools to organize your business, always ask yourself, “Am I choosing these tools with growth in mind? Will my future team already be familiar with these tools? Are these tools popular enough to make me feel confident they will be around in a year or two? Or an I choosing some obscure or new tool that not many people use and could potentially go out of business in a year?”

Don’t switch tools too hastily

Once you've chosen your tools, don't overreact and switch to something else simply because you think there's a small feature that you desperately need (which you probably don’t) missing in the one that you're you're currently using.

I see so many solopreneurs overreacting about this, saying “this tool hasn't got this one feature I need so I'm going to spend weeks switching to this other tool and try that because I've heard it’s really good.”

What I think business owners should do is just hop on Google and do 15 minutes of research to see if the thing that you're trying to accomplish with your tool REALLY isn’t included, and if there's REALLY no other way around it.

Because chances are… there is, you just didn’t spend longer than 5 minutes researching it and you didn’t ask a pro if this is possible using your tool.

Here’s an example of what I mean!

In my online course, Organize & Automate, I recommend Asana for project management.

Sometimes people say things like,  “I don’t want to use Asana because I have to upgrade to a paid plan to get the templates feature, and I just wanted the free plan.”

No, you don’t have to upgrade to a paid plan. The free plan will still work for you.

In my course, I teach solopreneurs how to use that free plan. So I KNOW there is a simple hack around the templates thing. You don't have to upgrade just so that you can get the templates feature. 

Another myth I hear about Asana is, “I don’t want to use Asana because I’ve heard that my client will be bombarded with task notifications.”

There’s a simple way to stop this in your Asana settings, which my students know because it’s covered in the course. 

Just take 10 minutes to either Google your question or, if you're in my course, ask inside the student support group. Nine times out of ten, you’ll learn there’s a simple solution to your problem. You’ll spend just 10 minutes finding that solution instead of 3 weeks migrating to a different tool.

Sounds much easier, right?

Probably the funniest and most frustrating reason I hear solopreneurs wasting weeks of their time migrating to another tool is “I hate the interface!”

Another reason you may waste weeks unnecessarily migrating to another tool is because you “hate the interface” of the tool you’re currently using.

  • Will wasting time hunting for the tool with the perfect interface make money or have an impact on your clients lives?

  • Is the interface really a problem that deserves weeks of your attention?

  • Is there no other priority you could focus on? A priority that will make you money?

  • Or are you just distracting yourself by focusing on the wrong things in your business? 

When one of my students gets really caught up in Tool Perfectionism, which is what I like to call it when someone is being picky about a tool they use, I like to ask them one simple question. 

What would a CEO do?

If this tool has all the features the CEO needs and it does the job really well, will the CEO say “I hate the design of this tool, I’m going to spend weeks migrating and I’ll do it all myself!” or will she continue using it and focus her energy elsewhere?

She’ll focus her energy on building her income and business.

That’s the biggest difference between a successful six figure entrepreneur and a struggling small business owner: the successful entrepreneur is better at prioritizing. 

Let’s do a quick review of what was covered in this episode!

  1. Don't choose unpopular tools, new tools or tools that were once popular but aren't anymore simply because you like them and you’re used to them. Choose tools your future team will already know how to use. This will save you time and stress when your business grows and you’re ready to start a team or hire your first virtual assistant.

  2. If you think there's a particular feature that the tool you're using is missing, just take 10-15 minutes to research it on Google. Most of the time, you’ve simply overlooked it!

  3. When you start struggling with Tool Perfectionism or Shiny Object Syndrome and wanting to migrate to other tools for no good reason, ask yourself “What would a CEO do? Is this really a priority? Or am I just fixing something that isn’t broken?”

One last tip that I want to leave you guys with is this:

Don’t reinvent the wheel when someone has already done the thing that you want to do and is welcoming you to copy them  - whether that is organizing your business or whether that is launching a new service or taking on new team members, whatever it is.

Always look for people that have already done what you want to do and copy them because there's no point in reinventing the wheel. It's a waste of time. Just copy someone else's system and be done with it because with things like organizing a business for instance, it should NOT take you that long.

I always say to people, it should not be a thing that you're constantly doing and refining and going around and around with. And it should not be this thing that you're doing continually throughout the year. It should be something that you do once, then refine a little each year to make sure your systems and processes are still up to date and working well.

I always recommend spending two weeks organizing your business. That’s it.

And then you can move on to focusing on things like marketing or launching a stream of passive income! Wouldn’t that be insanely cool - to launch an ebook that makes you an extra $500 a month? Think of all the organic groceries you can finally afford now, or the family vacations you can afford!

Or let’s say you launch a course that makes you thousands of extra dollars per month. What could you do with that money? Save up for your dream home? Travel the world? Retire your husband from his sucky day job?

You can achieve all of these things when you focus on making money and STOP spending too much time organizing your business when it’s something that should be quick and easy. 

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If you need help organizing your business, I have a free masterclass that’ll help you called My Simple 10 Step Plan to Organize Your Service-Based Business (Even If You Have No Time)

Here's what you'll learn:

  • The 10-step process that helped me stop stressing, work LESS hours but earn an additional $200k. (Yep - you don’t always have to work more to earn more!)⁣⁣⁣

  • 3 unexpected ways to grow your income without trying any new marketing strategies.

  • How I helped a solopreneur double her income just by streamlining her business.

  • The top 3 mistakes you must avoid if you want to streamline your business FAST.

Sign up below!


More From Nesha

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Hey there! I’m Nesha, the host of The Simple Business Show. I teach solopreneurs how to organize and simplify their business so they can do less and earn more. When I’m not podcasting or helping my course students, you’ll find me sipping caramel lattes in Starbucks, binge-watching This Is Us or traveling the world with my backpack and my laptop! 

Looking for more ways I can help you? Here they are:

Organize & Automate - Use my premium course to organize your entire service-based business in just two weeks (on the side of your regular routine!) so you can stop stressing and fall back in love with your business.


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Nesha Woolery

I build beautiful brands & websites for passionate entrepreneurs!