Entrepreneur, Organization & Productivity

Life Proof Your Business: How to Keep Your Business Running While on Leave

Episode 018: Show Notes

Ever wonder how to keep your business running without actually being in it? Today we’re lifting the curtain, getting super real, and giving you a behind-the-scenes look at how we’ve still gotten things done here at TCC even though we have had a hot mess going on in the background. We want to walk you through the systems, the processes, the mindsets, the workflows, and all the good meaty stuff that we were able to put in place in our business so we were ready when we had to step away.  

Ever wonder how to keep your business running without actually being in it? Today we’re lifting the curtain, getting super real, and giving you a behind-the-scenes look at how we’ve still gotten things done here at TCC even though we have had a hot mess going on in the background. We want to walk you through the systems, the processes, the mindsets, the workflows, and all the good meaty stuff that we were able to put in place in our business so we were ready when we had to step away.  |  The Strategy Hour Podcast

So, close your eyes for a second and imagine what would happen if you absolutely had to stop and walk away from your business today? Would you be able to just drop everything if you were forced to? Would you be able to replace yourself if need be? Sounds kind of scary, huh? In this episode we share the strategies that we put in place so that our business could run itself, rather than be an on call business (you know, the kind that buzzes you every hour). Plus, we’re covering some things that we wish we had set in place. So, come with us on our journey to see what’s been going on here at TCC and get some insight on some ways that you might be able to put your business on autopilot the next time life happens.

Life Is Not In Our Control

This last season of life and business has been super surprising and somewhat of a curve ball for us. In August of 2016, Emylee received the call that they were finally matched for adoption, so she started planning for maternity leave and we had to get everything in order for TCC to be a one-woman show. However, as life would have it, Abagail was caught up in a five car collision, which caused her to be in and out of doctor’s offices and unable to focus on the work that needed to get done. On top of all of that, one of our VA’s lost her mom in December, which was devastating and put another hold on things at TCC headquarters. Life is certainly not in our control — you have to prepare ahead of time so that you can rely on those preparations when life happens.

Knowing When to Take Off Your Boss Hat and Delegate

One of our biggest mistakes was not knowing when to pass off tasks that were not crucial to our roles in the business. Abbie spent months trying to keep a hand on all things design when she should have passed it off and delegated it way sooner! Instead of spending her time on engagement, she was caught up in doing all things graphic design. The key is having a plan in place to train, onboard, and easily hand off the work to a new team member. You need to be thinking about all the steps along the way, because if you do this on the front end, it’s going to be so much easier to hand off.

Making Your “Broccoli List”

Documenting all the processes in your business can take a lot of time. However, once the processes are put down onto paper, it is so much easier to hand over the instructions to someone new so they can take care of it. It is definitely something that takes time to do now, but you will value it later (trust us!). Not only that, but you can also use it as a reference to make sure that your processes are uniform and streamlined. The first step to getting your processes documented is to just start writing things down. Take the time to brain dump — not all at once though! Slowly but surely build your business manual every day, listing all the things you would never want to do again, ultimately creating your broccoli list (you know, that crap vegetable you’ve been pushing around your plate since you were young).

The Golden Ticket of Automated Emails

One of our favorite strategies is email automation. As you all know, we use ConvertKit, and our business would NOT be the same without it. They truly made our lives incredible from the second we met them. We were able to automate all of our emails, send to specifically targeted groups and convert at a higher rate. The 30 plus emails that we had written and uploaded prior to the shit storm of 2016 went out when they were supposed to and were sent to the right people. It was incredible! Bonus: even though we were both away, we were actually able to grow our list more than we had in months.

Using Courses As Recurring Revenue Streams

Course sales are definitely our main source of revenue for the business, and, although we were not creating new courses or doing fresh launches, we were still able to make money from course sales while we were away. This was largely due to the targeted, automated emails that went out to those who were interested. Plus, there were also payment plans that went through because of courses we had already sold months ago. The payment plans that we set up for our clients enabled them to continue to get great value while enjoying the course over a longer period of time, which, in turn, generated income for our business further down the line.

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Passive Income Through Affiliate Sales

Another shoutout goes to ConvertKit, who has the best recurring affiliate program. Along with that, we also have affiliate programs with Leadpages, and WebinarJam, Teachable, We Edit Podcasts, and Amazon. One of the things we created was a resources page on our website of all the things we love, listing the specific resources we use and support. That way, when we get questions from our clients and listeners, we are able to point them straight to our resources page, with everything all in one happy place.  

Keeping Your Business Alive and Socially Active

One of the hardest things to get right while you’re away is keeping your business looking fresh, alive and active every day. Mastering this means your audience won’t even miss a beat. They won’t think you fell off the face of the planet, your traffic will still go up, and Google will still recognize that you are doing things. Because, regardless of anything you have going on, if you take a three month hiatus and don’t post anything on your website or Instagram, it will hurt you. It is that much harder to get back on that horse and start over again, no matter what size of audience you have.

Highlights

  • Realize that life is not in your control, and how to prepare for the unexpected. [0:04:12.2]  
  • Knowing when to take your boss hat off and delegate work to others. [0:11:10.1]  
  • Learn what it means to make your broccoli list, and how you will be grateful for it later. [0:16:42.5]  
  • Hear how we used automated emails to make money while we were away from our business. [0:21:37.5]  
  • Understand how to use your established courses as recurring revenue streams for your business. [0:25:35.6]  
  • Find out how to use affiliates sales to generate passive income while you are away. [0:27:09.5]   
  • Learn what it means to keep your business alive and socially active while you are on a hiatus. [0:30:49.7]  

#TalkStrategyToMe [0:38:12.0]

  1. Go through and brain dump all the things that you can outsource and write a process for.
  2. Spend the time to make the blueprint of what it takes to do your job.
  3. Take a break and remember that your life is always more important.
  4. Look at your systems and see what’s missing to prevent a future burnout.

Today’sGuest

Abagail & Emylee

The Strategy Hour Podcast

Instagram | Facebook

We help overwhelmed and creative entrepreneurs break down their Oprah-sized dreams to create a functioning command center to tame the chaos of their business. Basically, we think you’re totally bomb diggity, we’re about to uplevel the shiz out of your business.

KeyTopics

  • Preparing for the unexpected.
  • Knowing when to delegate.
  • Documenting your systems and processes.
  • Automating your email newsletter.
  • Using established courses as recurring revenue streams.
  • Generating passive income through affiliate sales.
  • Keeping your business alive while you are away.

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