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  • Writer's pictureKayla Droog Consulting

Not everything needs to be automated!

OK, I'm going to say something that might sound a little controversial considering that I am a systems expert, but that is: not everything needs to be automated.

I know. I said what I said and I stand by it.

So how come not everything needs to be automated? Don't I want to automate and optimize as much as possible in my business so that I can save time and work less and earn more money? Yeah. OK. You do.

But there are times in your business where automation is not the right solution for what you are trying to do or it just won't work for that particular task or thing.

I have identified six types of businesses or business owners who may not need automation, or at least not where they are at right now.

Too new to automate

The first group of business owners who may not need automation are the ones who are just getting started.

If you're new in your business, you probably don't know enough to automate yet.

And I don't mean you don't know enough about business in general or different software or different types of technology to automate.

I mean, you probably don't know enough about your business to automate yet. You may not be exactly 100% clear on what you offer and who you offer it for. You might be tweaking your services and your pricing all the time. You might decide two weeks or a month or three months from now that you're going in a completely different direction.

There is nothing wrong with any of that, it just makes it very difficult to automate.

It may not be the best use of your time to set up systems and automation yet, because you don't want to put a lot of time, energy, money, and resources into it if it's something that you are not going to stick with two weeks from now because you're doing something different.

I would hold off until you have a more solid idea of what your business is and where it's going before you start leaning into automation.

Customization that can't be automated

The next group of business owners are people who do a lot of customization or custom projects.

If you don't have consistent packages or pricing, or a consistent pricing method that you use with your clients and your projects, again, it can be difficult to automate.

The exception is if you do custom packages, but you have a set process and consistent pricing. So the package might look different for each person, but the different items they have to choose from to include in their package are the same and have a consistent price every time. That's possible to automate.

Or if you are based on a set hourly rate, it's just that the number of hours change depending on the client, that's possible to automate.

But if your rate or what is included in the package or other areas of your services are customized for each person or most new clients, then you're going to need to do a lot of manual changes and updating when you bring on a new client.

I'm not saying you can't set up templates that you tweak for each client. You may not be able to automate that kind of process, but you can definitely make your life easier and get some solid systems in place.

Too busy to set up systems

The next type of business owner, and this is one that I see regularly, is the business owner who is too busy to either set up systems and automation or to learn how to use them if they get someone else to set them up.

I would argue that some of the people who think that they are too busy for systems and automation would still benefit from having systems and automation set up for them, because it is going to make them less busy in the long run.

However, if you are in a situation where you are too busy to learn how to use them properly, then you need someone on your team who is going to learn this system for you and start implementing some of the daily tasks involved with automating so that you don't have to.

The goal is to benefit from systems and automation making your business easier, but not to take up extra time that you don't have.

Afraid of new technology

Another group that I see regularly who are resistant to systems and automation are people who are afraid of tech.

Now this is a group of people that I love working with, because I love making tech less scary for people. I promise that I have yet to come across a business where we can't at least put some simple systems in place.

If you feel like you're not good with technology, you don't understand it, it makes you really nervous, then automation may not be for you.

If you're going to be overwhelmed and you're not going to use it, and it's just going to make you more stressed out, it may not be the right thing for you right now.

But if your business is starting to get busy and complicated, you need some systems. In that case, you need some assistance, quite likely from someone who knows more about technology than you do, and someone who is going to help you learn how to use it and support you while you do so.

When I'm supporting business owners who are overwhelmed by tech, I love creating step by step documents that they can follow so that they know exactly what to do and in what order. I also love creating walkthrough videos, because some people learn better visually.

If this is you, you need someone who's going to help you figure things out in your learning style, in a way that works best for you, so you can actually benefit from systems and automation without the overwhelm.

Businesses with demanding clients

The next group of business owners who might struggle with incorporating automation into their business are people who have demanding clients.

This might be clients who have tons of project specific questions all the time. Maybe they're making constant changes to their project or their package. Maybe they regularly need custom services.

If you have a lot of clients who don't fit into the regular mold or who need a lot of individual hand holding, it can be difficult to automate your entire client process, because you're sending a lot of one-on-one individual emails to these people. Or you're making changes to their project that mean that the workflow that you set up may not apply to them anymore, or they might have gotten off track with the due dates for things.

It can be difficult to automate a process for this type of client, and if you have a lot of them, it might be difficult to automate your whole business.

I would still say that setting up a process with templates, even if things are not going out automatically, is still really helpful. You may need to take that template and tweak it for those individual clients, and that's totally OK.

If you're not going to use it

The final group of business owners who may not need automation are those who are not going to use it.

I have talked to business owners who were interested in a specific platform, like a specific CRM, for example, like Dubsado or 17hats, but they were really concerned that they weren't going to use it, or they weren't going to use it enough to justify the price.

If you know yourself, if you know that if the new automation is too hard or takes too long to learn, you're just going to go back to the way you're already doing things, then automation may not be right for you at the moment.

The way you're doing things now may not be the most efficient - maybe you're doing a lot of things manually, but you know that you're used to it, and if you have to learn something new and it's going to take a lot of time to learn it, that you're probably just not going to bother.

If you know that about yourself. If you know that you are not going to get good use out of a system and that it may not be worth purchasing it, at least right now, or paying someone to get it all set up properly for you, again at least right now, then don't.

Don't pull the trigger on it right now. Keep working with what you have.

You may want to refine your process a little bit or get more templates set up in the programs that you already have. But it's not necessary for you to upgrade to a different software with more capabilities until you absolutely have to. Keep working with whatever is already working for you until it isn't.

Only automate what you want to

I'm not going to judge you for not automating or not using a specific platform.

And if there is someone who you feel is being pushy and trying to force you in a direction you don't want to go or you don't feel ready for, or someone who is really trying to talk you into a certain system or a certain software, even if you're not sure if that's best for you, ignore them.

I don't love those slimy sales tactics, I don't know about you.

I never push anyone into a specific software. I encourage people to do their own research and make the decision that is right for them.

If they come back and they want me to set them up in a software that I'm familiar with and I love working in, amazing. If they come back and they want me to set them up in programs that they already have that may not have as many capabilities, that's fine too. If they decide that they want to work with a software that I don't work with, and they want to go work with someone else, great.

As long as you have systems and processes in your business that allow you to get your work done, get new clients into your business, get them the services that you are offering to them, and everything is working well, you are not burning the candle at both ends, you are not exhausted, you are not stressed out, then great.

But if you are in a point in your business where it is becoming too much and you know that you need more support, maybe in terms of human support or technological support, then I encourage you to consider adding more systems and automation.

If you would like to talk about what this might look like for your individual business, then feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me.



Kayla Droog Consulting supports heart-centered small business owners with the back-end systems setup and updates they don't have time to do, so they can focus on serving their clients and growing their businesses!

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