If you’re running any type of service-based business or consulting firm, you know the irreplaceable value of your time. Your time is required to serve your clients, run your business, and manage your team. Of course, spending your time in your business is non-negotiable.
However, as a savvy business owner, you get to decide how much time you spend and on what. By implementing helpful systems and processes to streamline how you operate on a daily basis and how you complete event-based functions, you save yourself and your team from wasting time and energy on menial, repeatable tasks.
As you grow and bring on more clients, these tools increase in value and keep your business running smoothly without adding unnecessary work. It’s the magic that elevates your client experience as well as your team’s morale. Here’s part one of how you can work smarter, not harder, with these easy-to-implement software hacks.
Softwares I Use In My Agency
For every task that needs a systematic solution, there are a dozen or more potential software out there that could get the job done. Do you use Monday or Asana? Are you Team 17Hats or Honeybook? Do you like Calendly or Acuity?
Now, you have a new problem of wading through all the internet junk to find one that’s easy to use, simple to implement, and functional enough to do at least what it promises, if not more. The debate is endless, but I’ll solve what I can for you today by sharing what works in my agency and how it helps my team and me daily.
Acuity – Appointments, Reminders, and Calendar Management
I’ve tried several schedule applications, but Acuity is the one we landed on. Though more expensive than Calendly, it also offers more features. I can use my own branding with their calendar customizations, connect with Zapier integrations, use their payment processors, and send appointment reminders.
On my website and all social media profiles, I have a custom linktree-style link bank where clients and followers can book a call with me. I currently have four different appointment types. Two are free discovery calls for Ad Management and Funnel Building but the other two are services I charge for.
With the payment processor built in, I know my time is already paid for and can approach these consultations ready to serve the client’s needs. This bypasses the old “pick your brain” calls that sap time and energy with potentially no payoff in sight.
Honeybook – Contracts and Invoices
Honeybook is a critical software component for every part of my internal operation. Its primary function is for sending proposals, contract signing, invoicing, and taking online payments.
Honeybook comes with templates for proposals, contracts, and invoices, and you can create and rebrand your own templates, keep track of individual client projects, and manage timelines all within this one software.
However, the real magic is in its automation settings. Honeybook allows you to create internal step-by-step sequences and automate emails and tasks to virtually cut your workload in half. It also integrates with Zoom, Gmail, Google Calendar, and my personal favorite, Zapier.
Honeybook and Zapier Together
I’ll dig more into the never-ending magic of Zapier below, but for now, I’ll share how I use Honeybook and Zapier together. After a discovery call with a client, if we determine it’s a good fit, I will easily send a proposal, contract, and invoice all at once within Honeybook.
After the invoice is signed, this triggers a multi-step series of events within Zapier. These steps activate our in-depth onboarding process. These triggers include:
- Alert my team in Click-Up
- Create Google Drive folders
- Copy existing Google Drive files
- Rename those files
- Update the sharing preferences
- Create a Click Up client folder
- Create a client dashboard in Click Up
I just saved myself or my team at LEAST an hour of mindless clicking, a few emails, and clogging up the Slack channel. It’s glorious!
Zapier – Making All Your Various Applications Talk To Each Other
Zapier is the golden goose of integration software. It allows you to automate internal processes that would otherwise require hands-on clicks and attention. As you can see, I make Zapier my little errand software to do all the tedious workflow tasks that occur between closing a sale and starting the work.
But it can also filter out if/then actions, reduce data entry work, and conduct multi-step processes. Check out some of the top tasks Zapier can do:
- Add new LinkedIn connections to an email list
- Create a new Slack channel and add new members in
- Send email or text messages based on specific actions
- Complete entire sequences for multi-step actions
- Add email files to Dropbox
- Schedule social media posts
- Connect Google Forms to internal workflows with tasks and alerts
- Add new email subscribers to a Google Sheets list
And so many more that it would be impossible to name them all. It’s also incredibly easy to use with step-by-step integration instructions and thousands of existing workflow templates you can copy and paste into your own zap list and easily implement on your own.
Automate To Accelerate
I hope you found these software hacks helpful and are already thinking of ways to automate and accelerate your behind-the-scenes processes. Stay tuned for part number two, where I’ll cover even more of my favorite time and energy-saving applications!