Streamline and Simplify Your Business Back End with 3 Batching Habits

April 2, 2024

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Mastering Task Batching: The Key to Business Efficiency

Discover how batching can revolutionize your approach to business management, making your workflow more efficient and giving you back the precious time you need to focus on growth and innovation. Learn the ins and outs of managing social media, finances, and networking in a way that sets you up for long-term success.

In this episode, Rochelle talks about how to make work easier by doing tasks in groups, called batching. If you find it hard to keep up with social media, money stuff, and making new friends for work, this is for you!

Rochelle shares her insights on the essential practices of batching in business for those feeling overwhelmed by the day-to-day tasks. She highlights three key areas where batching can significantly improve efficiency and reduce stress: social media content creation, financial management, and networking follow-ups. Whether you're a solopreneur planning to scale with a virtual assistant or just looking to streamline your processes, these tips are geared towards making your entrepreneurial journey smoother and more organized.

Key Points Discussed:

  1. Social Media Content Batching: Rochelle walks us through the process of planning, creating, and scheduling social media content in batches. This approach not only saves time but also ensures a consistent online presence without the daily hustle.

  2. Financial Management Batching: The importance of regularly updating expenses and investments to keep financial records straight is emphasized. Rochelle suggests using tools like QuickBooks or simple spreadsheets to make tax time less daunting.

  3. Networking Follow-Ups: She advises on setting aside time to reach out to professional contacts and maintain relationships. Using templates for outreach emails can make this process more efficient while personalizing each message.

If your business to-do list feels endless, social media tasks are eating up your time, and you're struggling with finance and networking organization, this episode is packed with strategies just for you.

Feeling overwhelmed by your never-ending business to-do list?

Are your social media tasks consuming too much of your time?

Struggling to keep your finances and networking efforts organized?

This episode offers practical strategies to lighten your load.


TRANSCRIPT (CLICK TO EXPAND)

[00:00:00] Hello, friends. Let's talk about some things that you should be in the habit of batching out for your business, and these things will help you out in the long term, especially if you plan on bringing on virtual assistant later on.

[00:00:12] If you plan to do everything yourself until eternity, and you have plenty of time and you don't get flustered or overwhelmed, then these probably won't be that helpful for you.

[00:00:22] But just in case. You're like most of us who get overwhelmed with all of the things, then focus on these three and I think you'll feel better.

[00:00:31] 

This is Compassionate Side Hustle Strategy, hosted by me, Rochelle Sanchez. I help solopreneurs like you build good habits and compassionate systems that allow you to show up consistently and authentically in your business.

The end goal is to help you onboard a virtual assistant who is 100% aligned with your mission and within your budget, but there are a few things you should probably get in place first, right? That's why we're here.

You deserve to do what you love for a living. And I believe that you're closer than you think. So clear your schedule and let's get to work on the next best step for you on your business journey. 

[00:01:10] All right. The first thing that you should get in the habit of batching is social media content. Big surprise. And I know that this is like a touchy subject for a lot of people because we all think that it takes a long time because it does. We all think that it might not be worth it. And sometimes it really isn't.

[00:01:28] But at the same time, the process is sometimes really good for us. Right? Sometimes it just feels nice to express yourself on the internet. And if it happens to fall on the algorithm front page of the right person on the internet, then you know, it's, it's worth it, I suppose.

[00:01:44] Personally, I am trying to make intentional steps away from relying on Mark Zuckerberg to do all my marketing for me. But I get it. Social media is a thing, and so if you wanna get into the habit of batching it, then you're gonna have to first of all, designate some time a regular schedule.

[00:02:04] It doesn't have to be like super blocked out in your calendar if you're like, if you're not like that kind of person.

[00:02:11] Personally, it never works for me to block things out into my calendar. Like I'll just ignore it.

[00:02:16] But if you think of it as chunks of things that you need to do in order to have a full batch of social media content ready to go, then here are the components that I think that you should focus on.

[00:02:30] First in your social media is just the planning, like deciding how much content you want to create and writing it down so that it's in front of you and could potentially be passed on to somebody else who also has eyeballs to read it.

[00:02:45] So you have the planning and then the next step after you've done the planning, not moving on beforehand. Right? Planning first, the number of posts or whatever it is that you wanna get out there.

[00:02:56] And then the next step within that is to create those videos and graphics. So just the assets. Usually that means a video or a graphic or a carousel or and some kind of written content, because that's usually the caption or the onscreen text.

[00:03:12] So you want to have all of them created. Okay. You're not making just one, but you're making all of them and you're not posting them just yet.

[00:03:22] Like maybe you'll do the one for today if you're really cutting it close to the, the deadline, then you can go ahead and do that. But you're planning out phase things in advance, and then you are creating the videos and the graphics, and then you move on to the scheduling part where you have the whole list of all of the captions, all of the hashtags, all of the videos and carousels, and then you sit down for a good like hour. It really won't take that long, honestly, once you get into the groove of scheduling and, Creating these things in chunks, then it'll go a lot faster.

[00:03:55] You're gonna sit down and schedule all that stuff and then you'll be able to just kinda cruise for a few weeks, right? Depending on how many content pieces you create and schedule out.

[00:04:05] So that is how you wanna look at your social media content. Don't see it as a perpetual thing that you have to always have in your pocket or in the back of your mind.

[00:04:16] Most people who are really good at social media or who are thriving on social media platforms aren't doing it on the fly. They have someone else doing it for them, or they're sitting down in the privacy of their own office or their home and creating things in one big batch ahead of time.

[00:04:33] So you're actually seeing the stuff that they worked on like last quarter.

[00:04:37] The second thing that you should get in the habit of batching is your financial stuff. And by financial stuff, I don't mean just looking at how much you made every day, because I know that we all do that anyway. Like we're checking our inboxes, looking for that, you know, payment received purchase received.

[00:04:52] But what I mean is like updating your expenses. Keeping them all in one place so that when tax time comes, you don't have to flag 'em all down. And by that I mean like, I mean, I find it worthwhile to pay for QuickBooks on a monthly basis because it automatically pulls everything from my business account and sorts it for me, at least, most of it.

[00:05:14] Not all of it. But taking the time to look at it and make sure that it, it seems accurate, that it's not, making things up on its own, you know, just sometimes software does that.

[00:05:24] But even if you're not using something like QuickBooks or some kind of accounting software, maybe you hire an accountant to do your taxes and so you don't, you know, mess with all the software and all that stuff. Then at least having a spreadsheet that has all of your expenses. Like maybe you have one tab that says all of your monthly expenses that you are expecting and the dates that they usually bill onto your business credit card or debit card.

[00:05:49] And by the way, if you don't have a business bank account, like get one immediately so that you can start building that, building that up, and having that in place for like, you know, grants and loans and all that stuff. But if you're just using a spreadsheet, make sure that you're tracking all of your expenses.

[00:06:04] And if you have a one-time expense, then like put it on a stack in your office, or, you know, on your desk or on your, I don't know, put a binder clip on it and put it on your key rack wherever you're gonna see it. And return to it often. Like have the papers in hand so that you can scan them or do whatever.

[00:06:23] But don't try to do it every day. As soon as you get those, those invoices or receipts and bills, like keep an eye on due dates. I mean, at this point in, in your business, if you're a solepreneur, you're probably not doing anything that's on a line of credit.

[00:06:39] But just in case, you know, like keep track of the due dates of all those things, but make sure that they're consolidated in one physical place.

[00:06:47] If there are physical papers that are printouts that you have to reference later or get in the habit of flagging receipts so that you can find them easily. Maybe like at the end of the week.

[00:06:57] For me, Fridays are good because that seems to be when like the internet disappears and no one's really responding to anything.

[00:07:04] So I just take Fridays as my backend day where I just work on things that need to be cleaned up. So keeping those expenses in line. Also, things like your own owner investments into your business.

[00:07:18] Like if you are personally funded then I hope that you have a business bank account. And when you are investing in your own business, I hope that you're just putting money into the bank account rather than like paying for everything off of your personal credit cards. You know what I mean? Like that's not really an investment.

[00:07:37] And that's harder to track. But if you have everything consolidated into a business bank account and you're personally investing in it, then at least that's traceable.

[00:07:47] Obviously I'm not an accountant, I'm not a certified bookkeeper or anything like this, but if you're curious, the book that I like to reference is run like Clockwork and it's by Mike Michalowicz, and it's actually really helpful.

[00:08:01] It's very hefty, like there's a lot of detail in there and so it might, it might be better if you just go to his website and grab like the, the PDF explainer of it.

[00:08:11] But it's actually really cool because it's a simplified version of having your books in order and also feeling like you're getting paid for your business even if your business is not turning a profit yet.

[00:08:23] It's, it's pretty neat. So I recommend that. Whatever your financials are, make sure that you create some kind of system where you can return to them and keep track of them on the same date every week. If not for the sake of organization, but just for your own sanity.

[00:08:40] Because sometimes it just, it can really eat at you if you feel like you should be paying attention to something and you're just not. And you might be saying some not so nice things about yourself as a business owner that don't need to be said because really you're, you're doing your best and you just need to put some things together. And so the financial stuff is often a big component of that self-talk or that negative self-talk.

[00:09:05] So just decide on a schedule for revisiting your financials, even if they depress you. Because that's a real thing, but also so that you have a schedule to visit when they don't, when they actually are fantastic, because you should have that appointment with yourself. Like if you were working for a company and you got to be in the room when they say.

[00:09:28] You know, we made this much money and these are the people that we served and we really made a difference this week, then you would wanna be there, right? And that would feel good. You can do that for your own business. Okay? So just create that schedule. You're in charge so you, you do what's right for you.

[00:09:43] And now the third thing that I want you to get in the habit of batching is your networking. And by this I don't mean like schedule all your calls on the same day, I mean the follow up or the outreach. So reaching out via email to the people that you said you would follow up with or that you're interested in, just like checking in on.

[00:10:03] This happens a lot if you've been in like a bunch of programs masterminds, memberships, where you made some good connections.

[00:10:10] And you just wanna be able to follow up with people and keep that relationship going. And I don't mean it mean that in like the gross kind of like yeah, this is a business relationship. Let's really, I dunno.

[00:10:22] There's, there's a certain way that I don't like talking about that because I have certainly had my share of women and being like, oh yeah, we wanna help and uplift each other.

[00:10:32] And it's like, no, you just want to use me, but. Let's assume that there are lots of good people that you wanna keep in contact with. I'm talking about those people, not the skeezy ones, but the good ones, right? The, the people that you were like, dang, I really like them. I wanna keep in touch, keep in touch with them.

[00:10:51] You decide on a day, maybe a day of the week, that you reach out to all those people. Maybe you write their names in a note on your phone when they come to mind, and then you forget about 'em. But on a certain day of the week or a certain day of the month, I don't know, maybe you can do like the first of the month is when you decide to reach out to people.

[00:11:13] And so hopefully you can grab all those people or you can designate like 30 minutes on that day to think up all the people that you would like to catch up with. You track them in a spreadsheet, probably like an Excel spreadsheet or a Google sheet, and you use templates.

[00:11:32] And I don't mean like extensive spammy email templates, just like a, a few sentences that, you know, are written that like you write in your own voice, like, hey, blank. I'm going through, let's see it's me, Rochelle, from the, and then, you know, you say where you know them from. I was wondering if you wanted to have a quick call to catch up and just talk about what's going on and because I miss you. I'm the kind of person who will just say that. But like, or maybe you say, because I'm trying to stay on top of my networking efforts and I hope that's okay. Or I hope that, and I hope that we'll be able to keep in touch over the long run, even though our program is over.

[00:12:16] Something along those lines that isn't too salesy or weird or suspicious.

[00:12:23] And just, you know, write it however you would write it to like a good friend. Because in my opinion, the people that you're networking with should feel like good friends. I don't really like having for -business -only relationships. But I don't know, that's, maybe that's just me and my, my very, in my extremely feelingsy compassionate way of doing business.

[00:12:43] But yeah, you can decide for yourself how you want to go about that.

[00:12:45] Other ideas for keeping track of your networking are to write down your LinkedIn connections. Like check out your new LinkedIn connections. Look at your most active fans on Instagram and TikTok. Like the people who are always commenting, the people who are always liking. Those are worth a phone call, right? And then lastly, people who open your emails regularly.

[00:13:07] So if you're using an email service provider, then it will show you who's opened your emails and who has not. There are probably people in there who are really active and actually following and opening every single email that you send them, possibly even several times. Right. Those people are worth talking to, too. So gather all these people, put them on a list. Meaning like a, a spreadsheet of some kind.

[00:13:32] And then batch out your outreach. Make sure that you track who responded, who you end up talking to, and then you'll feel a lot better when it comes to doing, you know, staying organized and all that stuff.

[00:13:45] So to wrap up. The three things again, were your social media content that included the planning, the videos and graphics, the scheduling and the prepping of everything all in batches so that it can go a lot faster than thinking them up on the fly.

[00:14:01] The second one is the financial stuff, which was the updating your expenses either in QuickBooks or on a spreadsheet. Also tracking all of your owner investments into your business account and just making sure that the business account account is nice and clean in case you ever need to use it for a loan or a grant application.

[00:14:20] And then finally, your networking. Reaching out to the people that you really wanna keep in touch with via email, most likely. But also keeping in mind that you know, it might be LinkedIn connections. Or it might be active fans on Instagram and TikTok, or the people who are really engaging with the emails that you send them.

[00:14:38] So I hope you found that helpful.

[00:14:39] Let me know if something else comes up for you that you think should have been on this list.

[00:14:43] But otherwise get on that batching wagon. Do yourself a favor and just make things easier. It'll be a little weird at first, but it'll be worth it in the long run.

[00:14:53] All right. Thanks everybody. Bye.

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