Episode 58 - Using IFTTT to save you time

Have you wanted to automate a task for your business, but had no idea how to start?  We believe there is a simple place to start. IFTTT is an online service that allows you to connect other online applications with two simple formulas.  IFTTTT has over 350 channels, which is what it calls the other online applications.  

First, you can use the channels with a simple formula: If this, then that or IF something happens THEN do something else. So when something happens in a channel, do something in the channel of your choice. Also, you can create a more simple task with the Do formula, or just do a task in a channel. If you are looking for more solutions, we are also a fan of Zapier.

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Episode 57 - Phone apps for small business

There are so many apps out there to help you run your business. Which ones are worth downloading? In this episode, we share our favorite small business apps.

Social Media

  • Buffer
  • Facebook Pages
  • Facebook Groups
  • Periscope
  • YouTube Creator Studio
  • Adobe Photoshop Express
  • Photo Director

Calendar and Email

  • Business Calendar 2
  • aCalendar
  • Inbox

Document Management

  •  Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • G Suite (Docs, Sheets, Slides)
  • S Note (Samsung)
  • CamCard
  • Google Drive
  • DropBox
  • CamScanner
  • Evernote

Travel

  • MileIQ
  • Waze
  • Google Maps
  • Uber
  • Yelp or Trip Advisor
  • Airline apps (Delta, Southwest, etc)
  • Priceline
  • Transit Apps
  • Contacts

Money Management

  • Quickbooks
  • Wave Apps
  • Your Bank's App
  • Square
  • Facebook Ads Manager
  • Adsense

News and Books

  • Innoreader
  • Feedly
  • Kindle

Performance and Security

  • CCleaner
  • Speedtest
  • LastPass
  • Avast and Avast Anti-Theft
  • Built-in lock screen

Productivity

  • IF by IFTTT
  • Nozbe
  • Wordpress
  • Microsoft Remote Desktop

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Episode 56 - Reducing stress through automation

In this episode, we discuss how to create systems and use automation to cut your task list, save time, and reduce your stress. What could be better than that?

Assess your business for stressors

What stresses you out? Are there tasks you hate or dread? Make a list of all the things that cause stress in your life to see if there are ways you can automate.

Think about all aspects of your life. Could hiring someone to clean your house or mow your lawn help with your stress levels? Remember your own value when determining what to outsource and automate. This weekend, we purchased a $600 Dyson vacuum. Why? Because it cut the time to vacuum the house by 80%. We didn't need to vacuum the same spot over and over again. Instead of spending hours vacuuming, it took about 30 minutes. Our house will be less dusty, which will help with our allergies and it will save us time. This is an extreme example but for us, it was a worthwhile purchase and I (Kristin) am much less stressed out. The...

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Episode 55 - How to use storytelling in your business

Everyone tells you that stories sell but few people really explain how to do that. In this episode, we discuss how to tell stories in your business and the six elements needed to develop a compelling story.

Elements of a story

  1. Theme
  2. Conflict
  3. Characters
  4. Plot
  5. Setting
  6. Audience

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Episode 54 - Email list basics

Everyone says you need an email list but few people really tell you how to start one or what to do with it once you have it. In this episode, we will discuss email list basics to help you get started or to more effectively use your list. We will also discuss the basics of the Can Spam Act, which is the law that regulates commercial email.

If you aren't sure why you need an email list, check out episode 27.

Things to consider when setting up your email list

  1. Have a plan to monetize your list
  2. Figure out where to put sign up opportunities on your website
  3. Create an opt-in offer
  4. Develop a content calendar with email frequency

Creating an opt-in offer

A free email opt-in offer is a great way to get people to sign up. This offer does not need to be a full length book or course. It should have great value but does not need to be time consuming to create. Here are some examples of opt-in offers:

  1. Free PDF mini-book or checklist
  2. Promise exclusive content
  3. Short e-books or old books that...
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Episode 53 - Preparing for disaster

Do you have a disaster recovery plan? How would your business function if you were hit by a natural disaster or your computer died? In this episode, we discuss steps you can take now to make sure your business is prepared.

Start developing a disaster plan

Disasters can take on many different forms. It could be something as simple as your computer crashing to losing your entire home or office. You should take steps now to ensure that you are prepared. Here are a few things to think about as you start to put together your plan:

  1. What types of disasters could affect my business?
  2. Who are my most valuable people?
  3. What are my most valuable assets?
  4. Which documents need to be protected?

Protecting your papers from disaster

Most business have a lot of important documents. Here are some tips for protecting those documents:

  1. Scan all important documents, including your passport, licence, business licences, and tax returns.
  2. Consider a safe deposit box for documents that are hard or impossible...
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Episode 52 - Developing products and services

As we get into the final stretch of the year but before the holidays begin, Jeff and Kristin are starting to work on planning products and services for 2017. This is a great time to discuss developing new offerings for your business. We discuss how to begin the process of developing new products and services.

What products and services do you currently offer?

Do you have a menu of your current products and services? If not, this is where you need to start. If you can't clearly define what you currently sell, how do you expect your clients to understand what you do? Don't be cryptic about what you do. Clearly define your business for your customers. Don't use industry speak; use your customers' language. Take a look at your website or ask someone to do it for you to make sure your message is clear. This is also the starting point because this will give you an idea if there are gaps in your offerings. Do you need to offer supplemental products? Are there services that are outside...

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Episode 51 - How does back-to-school affect small businesses?

Many small business owners and customers are sending their kids back to school. As fall approaches, what effect does this have on your small business? 

Time

As kids go back to school, parents and teachers will be adjusting their schedules. What does that mean for your small business?

  • More traffic on the roads especially before and after school. Make sure to allow more travel time getting to client meetings.
  • More parents are available during school hours. If your ideal customer is a parent, consider offering webinars during the day. Also consider earlier bed times when scheduling webinars.
  • While days are less hectic, afternoons and evenings are becoming more hectic as kids get involved with after-school sports and activities. Again, make sure to plan for that as you offer live events in your business.

Money

According to the Montley Fool, consumers are spending more this year and expressing less pessimism about the economy. While slightly more parents with kids in K-12 are...

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Episode 50 - YouTube Basics

YouTube is a very powerful platform for small business owners, however very few actually utilize it for growing their business. In this episode, we discuss why you should be on YouTube and some of our top YouTube tips. 

Why your business should be on YouTube

Most people don't realize that YouTube is one of the largest social media networks. The site has 1.3 billion users (Facebook has 1.44 billion users) and 5 billion videos are viewed each day. However, only 9% of small businesses are putting videos up on the platform. There is a huge opportunity for small businesses to get onto YouTube before most of your competition arrives.

YouTube also allows you to easily share your content on websites and across social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. Facebook wants to keep people within the Facebook app which limits the ability for your customers to find you. YouTube is backed by Google, which means that your videos can show up in Google search results.

YouTube is also...

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Episode 49 - Stop the excuses

We all have a lot of hurdles that keep us from growing our businesses. In this episode, we address a number of those hurdles including time, money, skills, and fear.

Time

As small business owners, this is often the most cited reason for not being able to grow our businesses. We have found through monitoring our time, we waste a lot. Kristin has beaten over 2,500 levels of candy games. Jeff has gotten hundreds of character levels in games like Skyrim and Fallout 4. We can't even count how many hours we waste on social media. Do we all need down time? Absolutely! However, we often feel like we need more downtime because we aren't being intentional with it. Creating a time budget will allow you to be intentional with your time. It is based on the same theory as the zero based budget for your money. When you become more intentional with your time, you will get more done and enjoy your downtime more. 

Money

It often feels like you need a huge amount of money to start a business....

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