Podcast 13: How to Get Organised in Your Holistic Business

business ethical business podcast productivity May 14, 2020
How to Get Organised in Your Holistic Business

There are so many choices of different software promising you the answer to getting your holistic business organised.  It’s hard to know which way to turn and what to use for the best. So, this week I thought I’d share the software I use every day that keeps me organised.

I’ve never considered myself as being particularly techy and groan when I have to work out how to use new software.  You can keep things simple by starting with what you already have available and growing from there.  You’ll be surprised by how much you already have available.  You don’t need to be a slave to all the new software to be organised.

Here the different areas and the software that keeps me organised:

General office tasks

Personally, I don’t think you can beat Microsoft Office 365. At just over £100 per year, it’s a great investment for a powerful system that allows you to organise all your general office requirements.  This subscription gives you an online version and you can download it to your computer if you want to work offline too.

It covers most of the areas needed to run your business and will help you create your marketing too.  As a side note, they have great customer support – every time I’ve run into trouble, they have the patience of a saint!

Outlook allows you to host your numerous email inboxes in one accessible place. The calendar allows you to link to other people if needed, and also to scheduling software. Also in Outlook is Tasks which will help keep you organised and you can use it as a reference folder, for to-do lists as well as managing complex projects.

You have a cloud storage system called One Drive which keeps your files safe and backs them up constantly.  Similar to the service you get with Dropbox but within Microsoft.

Word Excel and PowerPoint are fantastic for creating all your documents, spreadsheets and presentations.  I wrote my book in Word, I love a spreadsheet and have been known to use them for everything from doing my accounts (in the early days of my business), to moving house. And I use PowerPoint presentations for creating courses as well as some simple picture videos.

There are other elements within Microsoft Office 365, some of which will be featured later.

Google has an alternative to Microsoft Office 365 called G Suite.  If you’re starting out and not familiar with Microsoft, check this out, especially if you’re used to using Gmail.

Online Video Calls

My provider of choice for this is Zoom.  I absolutely love it and it’s been priceless over lockdown to both deliver client sessions and for me participating in my own personal development. I feel it’s more robust and professional (in my opinion) than many of the other video call software.  If you’re using it with clients, it is GDPR compliant.

The free version is great to get started with and you can use it for working 1:1 or groups for up to 45 minutes.  The paid version is more powerful and allows you to work with groups with no time limit, you can record sessions and there are loads of other functions that assist you to deliver your work online.  I’ve been using it to record videos and podcast interviews too so a great option for creating marketing for your business.

There are a host of other options available including Microsoft Teams and Skype if you’re not keen on Zoom.

Calendar scheduling software

This is a must if you’re taking client bookings and spend ages going backwards and forwards on email.  Especially if you’re asking clients to book online, you need to make it easy for them.

I procrastinated about getting one because my diary is complex and the thought of setting it up made me want to hide.  I finally got out of my own way and did it, and it’s revolutionary!  It did take an afternoon of sorting it out but it links to my diary, sets up calls in Zoom, collects client information and takes a payment without me needing to do anything.

I use Acuity Scheduling as it provides good functionality and suits my needs.  The other popular system many friends use is Calendly which is slightly simpler and cheaper but still a great option.

Creating artwork

You already know I’m a Microsoft fan so it won’t be a surprise to know I use Publisher to do my artwork.  If you’re familiar with the way Microsoft works, you’ll be able to pick it up pretty easily.

It has a number of templates and you can easily create your own to fit with your brand style.  It’s a publishing software so has the ability to create all types of artwork from images for social media to leaflets for your marketing.

If you’re new to creating images and artwork, there’s an online software called Canva which is free for the basic level but there are limits to what you can do with this.  Many of my clients and friends use this as they can get a professional look using the templates provided.  One of the great features is you can re-size your images for different social media platforms with a click rather than having to mess around.

Social Media scheduling

Scheduling social media posts to allow you to post your content in advance is really useful if you’re away or busy for a few days.  You do however have to be present on the platforms, be sociable and connect with people.

With lockdown, we’re living in an ever-changing environment.  You need to be careful how far in advance you schedule your marketing.  I’m planning my marketing for the week but I only schedule a couple of days at a time in case things need to change.

I’ve been using the free version of Hootsuite for years.  I use it for Instagram and Twitter and then use the scheduler within Facebook for my page and group.  Hootsuite is simple to use and you can see your posts both as a stream and overlay onto a calendar.  This helps you see an overview of what you’re posting in terms of the content and design.

Email provider

An email list is an asset for your business and the number one focus for many online marketers.  You can get super powerful systems that are all singing all dancing but if you are just starting out, start simply.  Start building your email list one name at a time and make sure you build it using an email provider. They will manage your list and ensure it complies with data protection regulations.

I use ConvertKit and love the potential it has to create powerful email campaigns.  You get the full functionality of the system whatever the size of your list.  You’re currently limited to sending out emails that are plain rather than fancy templates.  But it’s a great system that is set up for small businesses wanting to get serious about email marketing and the trend is away from over-designed looks.

The other system I’ve used is MailChimp.  This is favoured by a lot of practitioners as the free version allows you to have a list of up to 2000 emails.  It has lots of pre-designed templates you can use and produce professional-looking newsletters.

Whichever email provider you start with, you can always change at a later date if you decide you want to change your strategy.

Ultimately, software should support you to do a job, not make life more difficult.  You don’t need the all-singing, all-dancing software being offered.  A few basics will cover what you need and provide you with a powerful foundation to build your business.

If you’re struggling to get organised in your holistic business, book a discovery call and find out how I can help you.

Podcast 13 Show notes:

  • Software for your general office tasks (1:55)
  • Software for making online video calls (6:22)
  • Calendar scheduling software (8:00)
  • Software for creating artwork (9:39)
  • Scheduling your social media posts (11:10)
  • Software for emailing your list (13:20)

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