3 Strategies to Get Your Business Out of Your Inbox
Does your business live in your email inbox?
You have all your messages (and the reminders that you email yourself) all in one place where you can search, sort, and find exactly what you need… sort of (but more on this later)…
This is super common.
I know so many business owners who use their email inbox as their rolodex, project and task management software, and CRM – all rolled into one.
And I get it.
Because well… email is SOOO easy.
It’s so easy to have one central location where you keep all your important notes, tasks, client details, marketing ideas, and everything in between.
It’s ever present. It’s easy to access. You have total control over it. And most importantly, you KNOW how to work in it. No extra training or habit forming required.
So I get why it’s the tool that so many business owners land in to organize and do their work.
BUT you might already be feeling the strain of running your business in your inbox.
😕 It might be frustrating to burn time sorting and searching for the email where you can pick the sales conversation where you left off.
😕 It might be frustrating to burn more time searching through email chains to find the most recent versions of documents or messages that you want to use for the next client.
😕 It might be frustrating to delegate work when all the details are spread through various emails in your inbox.
😕 It might be frustrating to stay on top of your current business (let alone where you want to grow) when the number of unread, missed, or otherwise passed over emails in your box swells 100, 1,000, 10,000+…
Running your business through your email is not a scalable strategy (and you know me, I am all about scalability).
So if this is where you’re at, that’s ok. I guarantee you are not alone.
I’m going to share three organizational strategies to get your business out of your inbox so you can save time finding the right documents, delegating more, and focusing on growing your business instead of trying to find all its pieces.
Organizational Strategy #1 - Templatize follow up messages
Do you want to guess how many hours you might spend in your email trying to find templates, messages, documents and files so you can use them again for your next launch, sale or client?
On average, we spend over 3 hours a day sifting through business emails, more if you have a full inbox or aren’t using the search functions to find your work (according to the Harvard Business Review, anyway…)
To cut back on the time you spend in email searching for past messages or retyping common replies, spend a little bit of time thinking through the most common responses that you send (think follow up emails).
Follow up on leads, referrals, clients, next steps, etc… I guarantee there are at least a handful of follow up messages that you send regularly. Standardize the message and set up an automation to send it based on a trigger. Or simply delegate the template and follow up to your VA.
This will get you out of your inbox and out of being the only one who can do the follow up work in your business.
My clients breathe a huge sigh of relief (and can refocus on growth!) when they realize it’s not 100% on their shoulders to keep track of every contact, lead, client, request, and tasks, and they can lean on their VA to respond the same way they would.
Organization Strategy #2 - Move Files to the Cloud
It might seem logical to keep template files – like client materials – in your inbox because you can just forward it out when you need to.
But keeping key documents in your email (or worse on your personal hard drive) is one of the ways you lock yourself into doing work that should have been delegated to your VA ages ago.
Give your team the ability to step into your shoes and do work for you by putting your business materials in a central cloud drive that everyone on your team has access to.
This DOES NOT mean dumping a huge archive of files into a single Dropobox folder and telling your team to figure it out. Set yourself up to ease by creating a standard folder structure so that client materials, marketing materials, contracts and agreements, etc. are all clearly grouped together so that you and your VA can find what you need quickly and without wondering if you have the right version.
In my business, it’s so easy for my team to collaborate on marketing content and client deliverables because all of our documents and reports are built into our shared drive.
I can open any client folder and find everything from their contract to their drafted deliverables in 1 spot. I can jump in, add my comments and then tag my team in for the rest.
This saves me not only time in searching, it also lets me delegate MORE and it saves me from the headaches of wondering if we got all the client materials and if we’re working on the right reports.
Organization Strategy #3 - Move Task Management to where it’s meant to be
Listen, I get it, email is so easy. It’s at your fingertips so you can fire off an email to remind yourself to send a proposal, or even fire one off your VA to send it for you… But what happens to the work that isn’t just 1 step and done?
What happens when you’ve sent your VA 50 emails about different tasks you want them to complete?
❕ No matter how much you try, your email will not be a replacement for a project and task management software.
So put your tasks where they were meant to be.
This means a task or project management software so that you can rely on more than your sent box to remind you of the work your team has in process.
The actual software you pick doesn’t matter as long as it is outside of your email inbox and your team has access to it. Use this as the place to assign tasks and due dates so it keeps track of it automatically.
One of my clients saw an immediate shift in their business when they finally (FINALLY) moved away keeping track of their work in their inbox and moved to Asana. Not only did they feel more secure delegating, they cut out the stress of managing their inbox AND were able to keep track of their leads and close more sales (over $10k a single month).
These are some of the strategies that I help clients master as we build out their core tech and systems in my new 3 month 1:1 coaching and consulting program that helps online business owners build their core tech + operating systems so that they’re in control of their business, can confidently make decisions, raise their prices and make their next $25k faster and easier.
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