22: Is It Time To Automate or Delegate in Your Animal-Based Business?
As an entrepreneur you have to know all the moving parts of your business, but that doesn’t mean you have to do all of those moving parts, yourself, forever! Is it time for you to add an automation system that will handle things for you or an employee that will take on some of the tasks in your business?
Our Big 3 Takeaways
Automations and Delegations are employees
Hire to shore up your weaknesses.
Start by honing your processes.
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Mentioned in the episode:
Book: The E-Myth
Art of the Cowgirl
Ipoint Touch & Carmi Swift
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Transcripts are autogenerated and may contain typographical and grammar errors. This transcript is copyright©2021 Kimberly Beer and Cara Taylor Swift. DO NOT COPY in whole or part without written permission.
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Welcome to The Business Animal podcast. Saddle up for a gallop to the top of the animal industry, where you’ll learn how to tame your wild business beast, with tips, techniques, and tools that will take overwhelm to obedience school, and have you wagging your tail with joy. And now your hosts, Kim Beer, and Cara Taylor Swift.
Kimberly Beer 0:23
Hey there everyone, it’s Kim with Be More Business
Cara Taylor Swift 0:26
and Cara with Fast Horse Photography.
Kimberly Beer 0:28
Welcome to The Business Animal. And today we’re going to be talking about automation and delegation. So it raise your hand real quick. Of course, don’t take your hand off that tractor steering wheel or the truck steering wheel, if that’s the only hand you have on there. So metaphorically do it, then. But Raise your hand if you are overwhelmed in your business and would like some help? Yeah, I bet you everyone raised their their hand to that one, right. Today’s episode is going to be talking about taking the very first steps into getting that help that you need in your business. And for me, there’s two ways that you can do that. You can do it by hiring somebody, which is delegating that particular task to someone else. Or you can hire software as such as automations, and be able to use automations to take over that task for you. So that’s what we’re going to be talking about today is how do you automate or delegate those tasks in your business that you either don’t want to do or are stopping you from being successful in your business with time in particular, like we all need more time, right?
Cara Taylor Swift 1:40
I think automation and delegation is essential.
Kimberly Beer 1:43
you have any thoughts about that?
Cara Taylor Swift 1:44
Yeah, I’m dancing over here. I just think automation and delegation is essential. Because the thing is, is we’ve got this idea we know we want to do, we can do it ourselves. But if you want to grow, and you want to go to the next step, there are things that you have to be able to release and put on something else or to someone else, because you can’t do every single thing and you can’t grow and you can’t expand your business and you can’t try new things or start a new business. You’ve only got so much time in the day. So I am a big fan of automation and delegation. I do it in my business. And what I have found is the more stuff that I can thoughtfully put on either an automation or thoughtfully put to someone else to work on and work with me and my business. It frees me up to bring more magic. So I’m a huge fan. And I’m excited about this topic, and I can’t wait to hear what you’re going to say about it, because you’ve got this awesome freebie we’re going to give to everyone to get us moving forward and to get folks moving forward. So I’ll let you jump into the big three. Kim.
Kimberly Beer 2:45
You bet, Cara. So I do want to share with The Business Animal listeners before we continue Cara was literally dancing. Yeah, it was. So what’s fun is you guys don’t see the video piece of this. But we can see each other when we’re recording it even though she’s in Florida. And I’m in Missouri, and she was literally sitting over there dancing, swaying back and forth. I don’t know where the music is in her office, because I don’t hear it. He was definitely dancing to her own drummer. So that is awesome. You guys should know that we have as much fun recording these as we hope that you have listening to us, we get a little silly sometimes. But now we’re going to get back to serious and let’s talk about the big three for this episode. So the first of the Big Three is that automations and delegations are employees. And it’s important that you understand that they need to work for you or you need to fire them and hire something different. The second of the Big Three is that you need to hire to shore up your weaknesses or things that you don’t want to do. So you need to hire or automate accordingly to make sure that you’re making yourself stronger in that process. And then the final piece of it is getting started with it. And you’re going to need to start automating or delegating, or the process of that, by honing and figuring out what the processes are in your business, it’s going to be super important for you to do that. Because you can’t automate or delegate until you have those things in place. Let’s start out with the first one automations and delegations are employees, they need to save you time or create opportunities, or they need to get out of there and something else needs to take their place to do exactly that create more time or more opportunity now for me in in my business and for the entrepreneurs that I work with. In general what we need is more time to be the CEO of our business. Now I’ve referred to this but it’s been a way long ago, I referred to a book called The E myth and the E myth posits that we need to become better CEOs as entrepreneurs. We tend to spend too much time being technicians in our business and not enough time working on our business. And so we need to work less in our business and more on our business. Now, a lot of times I work with entrepreneurs who get a little bit worried about being that CEO. In other words, let’s say you’re a dog groomer, and you’ve worked all of your life as a dog groomer, you know how to groom the dog, you’ve worked for another groomer. And now you’re going to go out on your own and you’re going to start your own business. Well, here’s the problem you spend your time is what you’ve been used to doing. You’ve been used to grooming dogs all day. But now you have a business that has all these other moving parts to it, you need to create opportunities for that business, you need to bring in new clients, you need to work on your marketing, you need to do your social media, you need to do your email marketing, you have to worry about cash flow, and accounting and legal and taking care of your building and maintenance and tools and all of this others sundry list of things that really are things that you need to concentrate on. And some of those things are more important from the CEO role than even grooming the dogs. Because you can’t have a full slate of grooming clients if you don’t have access to be able to market or network to fill up your schedule. So it’s very important that in your work environment that you create a space and time to make those opportunities happen for your business. And that’s how you kind of choose what it is that you want to automate, or delegate and to really make your business move forward. Once you have chosen something that you want to automate, or delegate, you need to understand how that works, which we’re going to get to and the third of the big three. And then when you choose that final, is it a person? Or is it a piece of software that really has to work for you so that it frees up your time in the CEO role and allows you to be able to do more for your business. That doesn’t mean you have to quit grooming dogs. But you might want to hire a second groomer that would be able to pick up on the schedule while you are out working on the business and creating those opportunities that are going to grow the business. Do you have anything to add to this first one, Cara? Yeah, cuz
Cara Taylor Swift 7:27
if you’re as busy as you want to be like if your business is as busy as you want it to be, so that you can make the money that you need to make the issue comes down to you can’t always be working in your business, you have to be working on your business too. And when you make that transition, maybe from working for someone else, that sometimes is a hard shift, because you’re used to going in clocking in, you can do X number of sessions a day or dogs a day. But then when you start your own business, you think, Oh, I just have to do X number of sessions or dogs a day, but you forget, or maybe you just don’t realize that you have to be working on your business at the same time. So those sessions, those dogs, whatever it is that you do continue to happen. So I think that is where a lot of first time business owners, small business owners solopreneurs, that’s where they think they get the hiccup. So starting to think about it from I’ve got to work in my business, and I’ve got to work on my business. But there are people that can help me with this side of it. So I can spend more time working on it and bringing in those new clients and growing that side of my business.
Kimberly Beer 8:25
Yeah, and being the face of the business being out there. When you start a business, you are the person who cares the most about it, you’re the one that’s responsible for making that business grow. And you can have the best idea in the world. And if you don’t push it out there, if you don’t really work it and get behind it. It doesn’t fly, it just will not go anywhere. It I would love to say that it’s a rare business that will do that there. There probably are examples. But for most of us, we can’t just build it in, they’ll come you have to build it and you have to work at it. And Cara, you mentioned something else in there that I think is really important to address. And someday we probably need to do a whole episode on it. But that is someone who comes from an environment where they’ve been used to getting a salary or a per hourly wage. It’s a really hard transition to make it over to a business owner. And this past weekend, you were at Art of the Cowgirl I was at art of the cowgirl our good friend Phyllis Burchette was at Art of the Cowgirl and Phyllis and I were leading a retreat for photographers and a lot of them were novice and wanting to really go into photography as a full time business and most of them had some type of a day job that was either salaried or hourly at the moment and they want to move away from that and we got into the discussion of the fact that if I offered you $75 an hour to come work for me in my business, you would probably think Wow, that’s a really good salary for a photographer I’ll take $75 an hour but when you own your own business, you have realize you’ve got to double that triple it, quadruple it in order for you to be able to charge the appropriate fee in order to be able to maintain your business and to give you the amount of time because money buys time as well. So it’s a shift. And it’s a lot to think about. And I think a lot of times when we get into hiring someone to kind of fill that piece of things are automating someone to do tasks, or automating the hiring software to do the task, we get stuck in the cycle of learning how to use that software or training that employee, and sometimes it’s more work to have the employee and more work to have the automation. And it should it be, it should create more opportunities, and it should allow you to do more of those things that create large amounts of income for your business.
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This second part of the Big Three is hiring to shore up your weaknesses. And sometimes a weakness isn’t necessarily what I would call a weakness. It’s something you absolutely loathe to do in your business, like accounting, I hate accounting, I like money, and I like spending it but I don’t like counting it. And I don’t like having to balance the books and do my taxes and all of those kind of things. I really want someone else to do that one, I’m not good at it, I make a lot of math mistakes. I’m not detail oriented. At one point in time in my life, I changed my major to engineering and trust me, you would not want to drive over a bridge I built.
that sucker would fall down, I just know it. And I’m really well aware of that. And I’m well aware of the fact that cash flow is what landed me in bankruptcy court with my first business. So even though I know about taxes, I know what my business needs to keep track of as far as taxes are concerned, I know where things need to be filed. I know what the basics are for my budget, I know where my bank accounts are, I know all of those little details, the actual doing piece of it, I want to hire out to somebody else. Because I don’t want to do it. That does not absolve me of not knowing all about it. I need to know all about it. Because what if my accountant, I don’t know, just decides he wants to retire? Oh, my God, what would I do? You know, I need to know all of the things about my business to make sure that I know how to get through that. And accounting is something I think we all can understand. Let’s hire a professional to be able to do that. But there’s other things too websites. Here’s another one. That’s a perfect example. I have a lot of people who hire me to build their website. They don’t know how to log into their own website. They don’t know how to add something to their website. They don’t know how to take something off of their website. And you shouldn’t do that, guys, you need to know basics of how to do these things. So that if your website designer has a problem or quits business, or I don’t know, gets married and moves to Bermuda, they need to be able to get into your website. Don’t you agree Cara?
Cara Taylor Swift 13:52
Yeah. 100% One of the things that I have delegated is blog posts, I do not enjoy writing them, I understand though what they need to like the components like what needs to be in there in terms of SEO help and keywording. And I know the messages that I want to put out there, but that’s one of the things that I have recently delegated because it was one of those things I would sit down and it would be hours agonizing. And it would be something I wouldn’t look forward to every single week and I was like, You know what, I know what needs to be in here. But there’s somebody that can do this better and quicker and my time can be spent elsewhere. And it has been an investment but also one of the best things I think I could have done for my business at this time. I strongly encourage people to start thinking through some of that
Kimberly Beer 14:36
and this is a good point in time for me to bring this up. I created a little workbook and I created this workbook in conjunction with one of my clients whose name is Karmi Swift and she’s with a company called Ipoint Touch and I point touch is a software product that helps you automate your integrative veterinarian medicine practice. So it’s specifically for chiropractors, acupuncturists, and they’re adding in Some things for all kinds of other animal integrative animal therapy. So it’s constantly growing and evolving for that particular audience. But I gave a presentation and in that presentation, there was a workbook. And that workbook is something I’m going to offer to you guys to go through. And in that what it asks you to do is to take a look at your processes, which we’re going to get to more in a minute, but it also asks you to take a look at what is it that you need help with, or what is it that you don’t like doing in your business and doesn’t bring you joy. So I’m all about creating sustainability in your business as an entrepreneur, and you won’t be sustainable if all of the things on your to do list are things that you hate to do, I realized working on your business is really important. But to go back to my dog groomer example, dog groomers like to groom dogs. And that’s the reason they became a dog groomer. They enjoy it, they enjoy the solitude, they enjoy the artistic capacity of grooming a dog, they enjoy the time that they get to spend with the dogs that they groom. That’s a big part of their enjoyment factor in their business and in their life. But there are points in their business that they probably don’t enjoy. Again, for me, it’s the numbers piece of things that I don’t enjoy that part. So I want to be able to look at the parts of my business that don’t bring me joy and happiness, it could be that there is a really mathematically inclined dog groomer out there that goes, Hey, I love my accounting and taxes. I want to do that piece Do I have to push it off? Absolutely not. But maybe what you don’t like to do is you don’t like writing the blogs, for your business or posting the stuff on social media, you still need to guide that you need to know your messaging, you need to know what you want to say you need to know what you want to do. And you need to have a plan and be very in touch with it. But you don’t have to do the physical posting, or maybe even write the blogs or I don’t know how your does your person writes the blogs for you. You give them an idea. How does that work for you?
Cara Taylor Swift 17:04
Yeah, we have a system where we meet and talk about the blog ideas. And then that we have and the things that I’ve got coming up that I’m working on. And then it took us a little bit to read like she I needed her to understand my voice, the way that I spoke the terminology that we use here in Florida, that sort of thing. And then we have kind of like weird
Kimberly Beer 17:25
terminology in Florida, I know you do, there’s
Cara Taylor Swift 17:28
just words that I use normally. And it would be weird if I wasn’t using those
Kimberly Beer 17:33
to know your voice, they need to know where you’re from.
Cara Taylor Swift 17:36
Right. And then we have a questionnaire that we use for the blog post that she’ll sends me and I fill out the questionnaire. And then she writes the blog post. And then we go through a couple little revisions, but it takes so much time like we have such a system and a routine now that I don’t even think about it until they’re ready to be proofed. And then I do the posting of them when I want to post them. It’s been huge for me. And it was such a time suck for me before and almost to the point where I just wasn’t doing it consistently. And it was it was one of those should have tasks that we’ll talk about, but I wasn’t doing it. But now I am doing it because I see the value in it. But I had to figure out a way that worked for my business. And for me that was hiring that out.
Kimberly Beer 18:16
Yeah, and having a good process that you could rely on with that person. So that it was you guiding that rather than that individual taking over that entire part of your business. So yeah, so the workbook that I did with Karmi, it comes up with a lot of questions to ask you about your processes, but also about what is it that you don’t like? What is it that you do? Like what is it that you don’t want to turn loose of? Because you enjoy it and it brings you happiness, and there’s no judgment there is some people like accounting, some people love writing their blog posts, Cara is just like, I’m not one of them. Nope. So yeah, keep the things that you love to do, and move off the things that you don’t. And finally, the third piece of this is honing those processes down as an entrepreneurial strategist and a business consultant, I can tell you a lot of people come to me with their businesses and enter like, I need to do something with this, I’m overwhelmed. It’s a mess, I don’t quite know where to start to peel this back. And they have no processes whatsoever, or they do the process absolute differently every single time that they do it, they don’t have a process automations and employees both need those processes to be consistent, and they need it to be something that they can learn step by step. Now, from the automation perspective, the automation is 100% predictable, it’s what you tell it to do, it’s going to do and so it’s going to continue to do it that way every single time until you change it or to whoever you hire, to change your automations changes that an employee may be able to make up you know, they’re human, they can think strategically and critically, so they can use Those and make that process better. But you still have to have a place to start. And if you haven’t defined your processes in your own business, then it becomes super difficult for you to be able to tell either automation software, or the employee how it is that that particular task should take place. The workbook that I’ve given you guys, it starts out with time, what is it that you do in your day? What is it that you do the very first thing when you get into work? Is there something specific that you repetitively that you do every day repetitive tasks are the ones that are easiest to start the automation or delegation process with, so you start looking for those in your business, and I know your business has them. Every business has repetitive tasks that you have to do every single day, every single week, every single month, every single quarter, or every single year. So they’re going to repeat over and over and over again. So if you have a boarding barn, horses have to be fed. That’s a repetitive task, that probably happens twice a day, there’s certain things that you have to do for grooming, you know, a groomer has to have an intake place where they intake their animals and put them back into crates for the day. So there’s the first thing in the day, a lot of times is drop off an intake. So every one of you out there you have something that you do over and over and over again, start by thinking about it in chunks of time. So start with your day, what do you do to begin the day, right before you take lunch? If that’s something that you do, or midday, if you don’t take time for lunch? What is it that you do kind of towards the middle of the day? That’s repetitive? And then again, when you come back from lunch right after midday, what are some things that you do repetitively there? And then towards the end of the day, like closing time or shutting down or getting ready to shift gears from being entrepreneur to being a private citizen again? What is it that you do at the end of the day? What are those tasks? Are they repetitive? Is it something that you absolutely love? Or is it something that you really loathe and would like to push off on to either software or on to another person who may really enjoy that particular task, there’s people who enjoy every type of task in the world.
Cara Taylor Swift 22:29
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Cara Taylor Swift 23:15
Oh, absolutely. There’s always somebody out there for the most part. I mean, if there’s a business where they’re scooping the poops, I mean, there’s a poop scoop in business in my town that I saw the other day. And I’m like, really, I could have someone come to my house and scoop the poop out of my backyard. There are things out there that people that’s what they want to do. They’re ready to do that job for you. They’re ready to help. And really, as business owners, what can you take advantage of out there to make your business run smoother, and to open you up to have room to do new things?
Kimberly Beer 23:42
I have to tell you in our farm, we don’t have stalled horses anymore. But when we did, I actually enjoyed cleaning the stalls. I found it very cathartic. You know, there’s there’s an adage that says, speaking of scooping poop, that’s where this came from. But there’s an old adage that says cleaning stalls is 10% cleaning the stall and 90% solving the world’s problem.
Cara Taylor Swift 24:04
It’s true, it’s true.
Kimberly Beer 24:06
And that’s the truth. It’s the truth, you know, so at whatever it is that’s in your business, it’s a repetitive task, there’s somebody out there that’s willing to do that. And there’s a lot of people that are not only willing to do it, but would enjoy it. And if it’s something you don’t like to do, hey, here’s the opportunity to give somebody else some joy.
Cara Taylor Swift 24:26
Another place that I think you could look for tasks that are great for outsourcing or automation is the should a task and we were laughing about this earlier because every business has the should a task and I think that there could be a lot of guilt associated with the should a task like what I should be doing in the business. I mean, how many times have we had this conversation where we’re like, oh, I know I should be doing email marketing I know I should be you know, there’s always those should be more I should have been so and then it’s so think about that, you know, what should you be doing in your business? Why aren’t you Doing it in the business. And then the next step would be what would be the first step you need to take to get this done? And I think that’s the big thing is like, what are those things that you feel guilty about? Because you’re like, I really should be doing this in my business. But what does that but how do you move it forward?
Kimberly Beer 25:14
Absolutely. I should be doing this in my business. But yeah, get off your but. We have a whole episode. That’s true. So go back and listen to that episode if you have some, buts some of those tasks I think, are highly associated around service. Because we get so busy in our day to day, a lot of times we aren’t able to deliver the level of service we’d really like for our brand. And that’s another place that you need to start auditing your business and saying, okay, could I uplevel my service, because your service is really what sets you apart from your competition, it’s what’s super important for you to really excel at. And there are parts and pieces in that, that you could definitely delegate and automate. So here’s one that’s, that’s a typical one, how about a thank you, after the customer has been to your business, it’s really difficult for you to find the time to sit down and maybe email or text someone to thank you after their appointment every single time that they’re in. But you know what, there’s software that you could create an automation that would do that for you, with just you clicking a button. So and that and it would feel very personalized to that individual. And it makes a huge difference to them. Because it’s, it’s that little tiny Thank you, that will bring them back again and again. And again. And I think that one’s a really important one.
Cara Taylor Swift 26:38
And you can take that one step further. And there’s even ready to go like little gifts like thank you gifts like that company Greetable. I’ve used them before, where with one click pretty much I can send a thank you gift. Yeah, you know, that’s in the price range that I want it to be in that contains what I want it to contain. And you know, there’s so many easy ways to do the thank you that above just saying thank you that can be automated and can be done super quick.
Kimberly Beer 27:03
Yeah, in your business model, Cara, you have people that spend a lot of money with you. And a lot of time with you. And it’s a lot of effort to get those photos and it’s it’s a big deal to them this is this is a major thing that they’ve committed to with you and a small gift can make all of the difference in a referral, it can make all the difference in that person coming back. So it’s a really important piece of things. And it’s something that when you get super busy or you get Not you, but people get super busy, or they get overwhelmed with other tasks of just working in their business. It’s something that falls by the wayside, and that they don’t tend to do as much as they should. So it’s a should task. Email Marketing is another one blog writing is one the SEO on your website. I mean, there’s an endless list for most entrepreneurs of things that they should be doing, but they aren’t doing for one reason or another one of those obstacles may be education, I see in a lot of automation software, which is something that I work with and consult with. We also had the lovely Lindsay Ardmore on the show a few episodes ago who does automations as well, her and I see in our businesses, business owners that are confused by the software or are struggling. And that’s a point when you need to reach out and get help. Because if you as the business owner don’t fully understand the capabilities of that software, at the very least, and the basics of how it works. It makes that really hard to be able to grab on to. But if you get a little help from someone, and then you can really start to delegate offer, automate off those things that you really want to be working in your business and that you should be focusing on. So don’t let lack of knowledge or fear of technology be an obstacle to your automation process. On the flip side of that with an employee, don’t let hiring someone or training someone be an obstacle to those should have tasks as well. You have to define the process, you have to hone it, you have to figure it out, but you only have to figure it out well one or two times. And then you can train the person how to do it. For me personally, one of the hardest lessons I learned in my own business is that when I have an employee who works for me, I have to know exactly what I’m doing in order to be a good leader. For you guys out there who are dog trainers and horse trainers, you know exactly what I mean. You need to know where you’re going or your horse doesn’t go there. You need to know where you’re walking to or the dog wanders off. The same thing happens with your employee. If you don’t have a clearness in your direction and you don’t have a clearness in what you’re doing then it becomes very difficult for them to be able to learn how to do your job. So the best way to do that is to take all of those tasks like I was saying, take them by time, take them by category in your business, the audit workbook that I’ve given you guys has a customer service audit, it has a sales audit, it has things broken down by time by business process. And then what it asks you to do is start listing those tasks out and taking a look at it, can you automate it? Can you delegate it? And then to take a look at the tasks that you should be doing that you’re not currently doing? Why are you not doing them? So you can solve that problem? And then can you automate or delegate that task, and there’s no judgement again, if it’s a task that you really enjoy, even though it may not feel like something that’s creating a lot of time or opportunity, you don’t have to get rid of it, we’re not going to make you. But you should take an examination of that. Now, the ultimate goal here is to take all of those processes and create a standard operating procedure manual so that they’re all written down and step by step so that you don’t have to go back in and change things if you have an employee change. Or if you want to change automation software, you actually have a manual or a book of how you do this in your business. And then you’re able to reprogram the automation software, or hand that off to an employee for their training process and how they do their job in that position. All right, Cara’s? So that’s a lot of what I have to say about automation and delegation. Do you have any final thoughts to add, before we wrap up on this particular episode,
Cara Taylor Swift 31:42
Only that we’re going to make a workbook that you’ve created accessible to all of our listeners as a download that they can put to work right away in their business and determine what it is that they can start thinking about delegating or automating in their business. So we’d love to hear from you guys, what you think about that workbook. And if you have started delegating something, or automating something that you want to share with us, we want to hear about it. So let us know what you are making room for in your business. Tell us hop on Facebook, social media, Instagram, let us know, absolutely, I
Kimberly Beer 32:13
would love to hear I’d love to have feedback on the workbook about things that I forgot to stick in there. So if there’s something I forgot that would make it better for the next person, or you have an addition that you would like to make or to have in that I would love to hear about that as well. And again, we think Karmi from Ipoint Touch for allowing us to be able to hand this out as a download to The Business Animal listeners. And I encourage you if you have a integrative animal veterinarian practice, to look up, I point touched calm, because it’s a pretty cool software that fits right in with this because it acts like an employee in your business. And it allows you to automate a lot of things in your business that are repetitive tasks. I think that’s a big piece of the automation process is anything you repeat over and over and over again, being able to move that off your plate and allow a piece of software to be able to do it. So thank you all for tuning in with us today. And we will be back next week with a new episode. We’ll see you then.
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