You didn’t start your business to feel more overworked than your 9-5…
If running your business feels like you’re always one step behind, overwhelmed with admin work and wondering how the hell people *actually* fun these freedom businesses you see all over your IG feed, I am about to change your life. As a self-proclaimed systems geek, but someone who hasn’t always been the most organized (anyone else have a million unused journals in their desk?!) my business – and life – changed when I started automating recurring tasks using some really helpful tools I am going to share below. Firstly, this post does contain affiliate links (marked *), which means that if you decide to subscribe to any of the tools using the links I share then I may make a commission – this is at absolutely no extra cost to you (you even get a discount in some cases!). Side note – if you want to learn more about how you can use affiliate marketing in your business, read this post.
So what am I talking about when I say systems and automation? Don’t panic, this doesn’t involve you becoming a master database builder. I’m talking about introducing some easy-to-use digital tools that help you organize and simplify your processes and in many cases, automate tasks so you can free up some much needed head-space. This is specifically from the POV of an online service provider (hello, web designer here if anyone needs a new site to grow their business), I’ll talk about how I manage my client onboarding, project manage and run the behind-the-scenes stuff of my business.
First up… let’s talk websites: Weeknight Website*
I know, it’s the obvious choice for a web designer is to focus first on your website, but I just have to share my go to website builder with you: Weeknight Website*. This is the builder that I recommend to all my bespoke build clients because it is just so user friendly. It’s a code-free, drag-and-drop website builder AND a fully maintained host, which means you have zero worries when it comes to your website maintenance… it’s all taken care of. The team at Weeknight are so helpful for any website questions you may have, plus they have a whole library of tutorials, a Facebook support group and a Circle community, seriously where else can you find this much support for your website.
BONUS: the CRVS website & sales page templates are all built on Weeknight Website, so if you want a pre-made strategic website or sales page designed to get you clients, check the templates out here.
Managing your clients: Dubsado* is the ultimate CRM to offer your clients a dreamy experience
I am such a fan of Dubsado I even became a Certified Dubsado Specialist in 2022 so that I could get to know the platform inside out (I did mention I’m a systems geek). And because of that, if you choose to sign up to Dubsado with this link, in addition to a 3 client free trial, you also get 30% off your subscription!
There are so many reasons I love Dubsado so let me list the main ones I think will be a game changer for your business:
Automated proposals, invoicing AND contracts
Seriously, I cannot tell you how much time this has saved me in my business. As someone who offers pre-made packages and custom quotes, I used to spend a couple of hours getting a proposal and contract together for a client and then I would manually create an invoice (or multiple if they were on a payment plan). Dubsado works with templates so it really is as easy as selecting the right package on your proposal. This still works if it’s a custom quote, you can add multiple items, you can even give your client options to build their own package in your proposal. Once they agree to the proposal, Dubsado can automatically send the contract for you both to sign and issue the invoice. If they opt for a payment plan, it even sends automatic payment reminders. You don’t have to do a thing! Hands down this is my favorite feature.
Lead capture forms linked to your website
I’m all for making life as streamlined as possible, so I take full advantage of being able to put a Dubsado inquiry form directly on my website. So when a potential new client applies to work with me on my website, it automatically creates a new project in Dubsado with all of their information. I even have it set up so that it automatically sends a scheduler email to book a call (integrated with my calendar of course, no double booking here). This is all taking place while I am focusing on other, money-making tasks within my business.
Automated emails and workflows
Dubsado lets you create no end of automated workflows, customized to fit your business needs and all of the emails can be pre-written with smart fields. For example, as part of my onboarding process, once a client pays the first invoice they automatically receive a welcome email, access to their client portal and questionnaires for them to complete before the build. Again, did I mention I don’t have to do anything to make sure they receive all this?! Magic.
If automation feels a bit scary for you at this point, its worth noting that Dubsado is worth it for having the pre-made templates alone. Instead of spending time writing emails or creating forms, all you have to do is press a button to copy, make any edits you want and then click send. What a time-saver.
BONUS: if you choose to sign up to Dubsado with this link, in addition to a 3 client free trial, you also get 30% off your subscription!
Project management: Notion* let’s you create the perfect system for your business
So I’ve tried several different project management tools at this point but, in my opinion, nothing beats Notion in terms of being an all-in-one tool that can be as simple or complex as you need it to be. I literally use Notion to manage my whole life from content creation, to meal planning for my toddler. Notion works by using databases that can be viewed in a number of different ways: take your to do list for example, you can organize it in a simple list, you could add due dates and view it on a calendar, you can even view it kanban style to see tasks in their different stages.
COMING SOON: Get my exact Notion templates for Content Creation & my 2nd Brain System (a.k.a how I plan my whole life).
If you’d like to be one of the first to hear when the new templates are released (and receive a Big Beta Discount) sign up for the alerts here.
Meet THE AUTHOR AND FACE BEHIND CARA ROSE VIRTUAL SOLUTIONS
I'm Here To Make Your Website DREAMS A Reality
Hi I'm Roisin
My vision is to help passionate (but overwhelmed!) entrepreneurs create a thriving online presence with beautiful and strategic website templates; because the tech shouldn't be the barrier to you becoming wildly successful.
This blog has been created as a tool to help you enhance your online marketing and build out your online income streams, and helping you to combining the two to create automated passive income while you build your empire.
I'd LOVE to hear from you... leave a comment to let me know what you think, or you can send be an email.