Small businesses need to look for ways to streamline some of the tasks that take us an inordinate amount of time. I have been working on creating some for myself and my team. One of the things I get a lot of is people who want to “pick my brain”. When my business was starting out, I had the time to spend chatting with anyone who would listen, since I love this stuff so much. Now…if I did that, I would never get my work done.
So, I created a process where I could do a consulting hour with someone and, if that person continued to do work with me, I would roll that hour into the on-going work. Otherwise, they could pay to have my perspective on their project, which, in most cases, would be entirely worth it, even if they did not continue on with me. Thus, the Talk it Out Session was birthed.
The cool thing is, I put a description of this consultation service on my WordPress website and created a form for them to fill out if they’d like to schedule a session. I created the form using an easy to configure plugin, Gravity Forms. The prospect is able to fill out their contact info, as well as the background information I may need when I speak with them. Once submitted, the person’s information is automatically sent to my Freshbooks account. Freshbooks makes them a client and creates an initial invoice for the session. I, along with my assistant, receive an e-mail containing the contents of the form. My team can then go to Freshbooks to approve the invoice and push the button to send it.
It was a big transition to go from being very available to anyone, anytime, to having to put some boundaries in place and delegating more, but I have to say it has been really good. I love that all this technology makes it so much easier.
Do you make it easy and clear how people can work with you? Is there a way you can automate this process making it even easier? Please share your ideas.