thinking of hiring someone? wait, try this first.

Plenty of experts in the online space will tell you that you’ll have more success if you hire a team of people you can delegate tasks to so you can focus on working in your zone of genius.

I agree that it’s a smart move – and yet, it isn’t the first step I advise my clients to take when they want to start delegating.

Because even though I see immense value in having a team, hiring one can be a big commitment and can take up valuable resources. That's why I took a smaller, more affordable approach when I first started delegating. Instead of immediately looking to hire, I identified the to-dos I needed to stop doing and the areas that were huge time sucks in my business. Then I explored how I could delegate those things to a tool or software instead of an actual person. 

This is an option many entrepreneurs and small business owners overlook when it comes to delegating. Because of that, they miss opportunities to get time-consuming tasks off their plate without adding big line items to their expense sheet.

Are you getting curious enough to ask what kind of tools and software could do that for you? Good, because I’m about to give you a list of my three favorite places to start. 

Here they are:

A tool to manage your schedule
I’m always amazed when a client tells me they’re booking all of their appointments themselves. They may not see it but they’re wasting a ton of time going back and forth with people just trying to find a time to do a call, a session, a photoshoot, a coffee chat. (It gets even more cumbersome if they’re trying to factor in time zone conversions!) An online appointment scheduler does all that work for you and keeps your appointments organized for a few dollars each month. I've used Acuity Scheduling for years, and highly recommend it.

A tool to manage your invoicing 
When you’re running a busy business, invoicing can take up a lot of your time. But in a lot of cases, it’s really not necessary for you to manage your invoices each month. Instead, you can use invoicing software or a customer relationship management tool (otherwise known as a CRM) to set up automatic invoices for your clients and keep track of who’s paid and who hasn’t. I use a CRM called Dubsado that's been a great help in streamlining this part of my business, and much more.

A tool to manage your inbox
Email can eat up hours a day for most small business owners and entrepreneurs – and I believe we waste the most time writing the same types of emails to clients and prospects and potential collaborators day after day. By using a tool like the gmail plug-in Streak, you can create canned templates for frequently sent emails. Then you can use those canned messages to autopopulate the body of your email within seconds. It’s a bit like magic and, even better, the plug-in is free. 

Getting tools like these set up in your business will help you get time-consuming tasks off your plate and free up your time for more important activities. It doesn’t mean that you won’t want to hire an actual person to delegate to in the future. It just gives you an easy, affordable place to start – and it even frees up dollars for really impactful team members to come on board down the road.

What do you think about this simple approach? Do you use tools and software like these suggestions in your business? If not, what’s holding you back? 

Comment below and let me know – I’m happy to tell you more about my experience and also share additional resources if you need them.

With love,

Ashley

P.S. If you sign up for these tools using the links above, I may receive a credit to thank me for the referral. That said, I would recommend these tools either way because I only highlight the ones I love and use in my own business