Why Business Systemization Is Important and Steps To Get Started

Why Business Systemization Is Important and Steps To Get Started

What do you think when you hear the term 'business systemization'? This is one of those 'buzz words' you hear a lot , but what does it really mean?


Quite simply business systemization means making your business more efficient to the point where it can run without your input and where it will be better designed to deal with challenges and obstacles. Especially like what we are going through right now. Business systemization then allows you to either step back and loosen the reigns, or it allows you to expand and take on more challenges.


If you run a business, then you should constantly be looking for ways to improve your workflow and to automate and systemize as many processes as possible. This is what’s referred to as ‘business systemization’ and there are several reasons that it’s such an important idea. 

You Get More Time Freedom

If you are currently putting in late nights and feeling as though you’re not getting the results you deserve, then that’s a clue that your business isn’t capable of operating without you. By improving the ability of your staff to work independently and putting systems in place, you’ll find your ‘hands on’ time is reduced and as such you can spend more time with your family, travelling or enjoying your hobbies. And isn’t that the point of having your own business?

You Save Time, Money and See Improvements

Systemization can simply be introducing flow charts and checklists that automate the processes that make up your company’s workflow. By using these systems you ensure that you use the same efficient method for every new job and every new client. This is important because it means that every client and customer will be equally satisfied and will know they can rely on you for a certain quality of service.

PowerUp Your Business Processes Course

Get started documenting your business processes and systems. This course will help you do that and more. 

Moreover, having systems in place means that you can then assess those systems and find ways to improve them. Once you know the exact checklist your team is following, you can look into slightly altering that checklist and seeing how that impacts on your profits, your overheads and your ratings. If you are all over the place though and you attack each problem in a different way, you'll never know how to improve.

You Can Expand

If you are dealing with issues as they arise then you will be working 'in' your business rather than on it. Instead, use systems and you can take a 'step back' from everything and gain the time and perspective to actually improve your business model. Meanwhile, extra efficiency will allow you to spend less time on each job thus meaning you can afford to increase the number of jobs you perform and thus your turnover and profits.


Business systemization is the answer to many business woes and can make a huge difference to your efficiency, happiness and growth. It's time to apply some systems thinking!

The First Step to Systemizing a Business

So, what does business systemization look like for your business? How do you begin? It all begins with a single step.

Analysis and Reflection

The first step towards business systemization is to analyze and assess your current systems and how they are working. Don’t drop off here. I know this isn’t what you wanted to hear but it must be done. You will be powerless to make any effective change to the way your business runs if you don't recognize the systems that are already in place and if you aren't able to find the stress points that are slowing your business down.

This initially requires something of a shift in the way you are thinking about your business. Here, your organization itself can be thought of as a kind of 'master system' which is made up of much smaller parts.

You can demonstrate this as a flow chart. So say your business deals with web design, you might have a simple flow chart for your main input > output system that represents your business as a whole. This might look as follows:

Client Gives Instruction > Time Invested in Site Design > Profit > Marketing

A good business model like this should ultimately loop back to the start so that you are perpetually gaining new clients and customers and starting new projects for more profits.

But each of these systems can be broken down into smaller systems and contingencies.

For instance, 'time invested in site design' might mean another flow chart, like this:

Initial Meeting and Discussion > Moodboard > Second Meeting > Wireframes > Initial Construction > Feedback > Refinement > Launch

You could then break down the 'Initial Meeting and Discussion' further and on and on.

Once you've done this, you can then assess each of the miniature systems and look at how much time they're taking and whether they could and/or should be more efficient. What is taking longer than it should do? What is taking up too many resources? And what other systems are in place as contingencies should everything not go as planned? By asking yourself these questions, you have begun the process of business systemization.



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Let’s Talk Google Analytics

Let’s Talk Google Analytics

Google is the largest search engine in the world, responsible for 65% to 80% of all web searches depending on what estimates you refer to. As many as 50,000 search queries are processed every second by Google. This means that the traffic coming from Google to your website, whether paid or generic, can provide you with the best possible view of important business metrics.

Google Analytics (also referred to as GA throughout this blog post) is a Google product. It is a web-based application that reveals important traffic and behavior patterns in relationship to your online business. In Google’s own words, GA is:

“… a freemium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic.  Google Analytics is now the most widely used web analytics service on the Internet.”

Google.com

The free service has evolved since 2005 to answer, among other questions, the following:

  • How many unique and repeat visitors go to your site/blog each month?
  • What countries is your traffic coming from?
  • Which websites, blogs, and search engines are referring your visitors?
  • Do your visitors prefer to access your business on their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop PC? (Super important info when having a website designed)
  • Which web browser do they use?
  • Which pages of your site attract the most traffic? (This helps you know what content to keep producing and what to stop)
  • What type of content engages your prospects and keeps them on your site, and what kinds of content have them leaving in a hurry?
  • Perhaps most importantly, which of your marketing campaigns and strategies are the most and least effective?

Understanding the answers to those and other important traffic questions is extremely powerful. Google sends two to three times the traffic to your website as all other search engines combined, so it makes sense to pay attention to what this Internet giant has to say about your traffic. Google has created this intelligent and free piece of software which integrates perfectly with your website to reveal important information you need for optimizing your online web properties. Read on to find out how to get started with this awesome free tool.

Creating a Google Analytics Account

Creating your Google Analytics account is a fairly simple process.

The first step is to visit the sign up page. If you currently have an email account through Gmail you can use it to sign into your analytics account. For those without a Gmail account you will need to create the entire account first.

Once you have created an account or signed into your gmail account you will be taken to the signup page. (More info on accessing analytics)

All of the information on the sign up page is quite self-explanatory, simply enter the URL of your website, create an account name, enter your time zone, country, etc. Once the information has been entered you will then get a tracking ID after agreeing to the terms and conditions.

Installing Google Analytics on WordPress

After you have created your Google Analytics account, it is important to copy your tracking code to use on your website.  Since WordPress is one of the most popular website platforms out there, we will look at it.  

There are several ways for installing Google Analytics through WordPress. They are:

  • Using a direct copy/paste to your themes footer/header file
  • Updating the functions.php page
  • Or with plugins.

The recommended method is to use a plugins as this will make the entire process much simpler.

There are a ton of different plugins that are available that will help you add Google Analytics to your website. Using one of the simple, lightweight plug ins is recommended when you are first starting out. I use ExactMetrics on my site.

The direct paste method is fairly simple as well. You will simply copy your Google Analytics code to the header.php (or footer.php) file of your theme. It should be pasted right after your <body> tag (or right before the </body> tag in footer).

You should really only use the Functions.php method if you absolutely know what to do. You will want to use the appropriate code in the functions.php file for your theme on WordPress. You will also need to paste in the Google Analytics code you received when you signed up.  

Using Google Analytics

Google Analytics is really a must have for every website. This service is free to use and will provide you with valuable insight into your websites traffic. By using the data provided by Google Analytics to fully understand your audience and what they are doing while on your site you will be able to improve our marketing campaigns and provide even more value to your audience.

Strategy Is The New Game Plan

Strategy Is The New Game Plan

If you have been overwhelmed or frustrated by implementing technology and automation in your business it could be time to get a new game plan. It’s time to look at strategy!

“Your strategy is important for using technology tools.”

Samantha Pointer Foxx

Season 3 Episode 1 – click below to listen.

My 3 Words for 2020

My 3 Words for 2020

Every year I share my 3 words of focus for that year. It took me a while longer this year to get them and settle on it and I even have a bonus word that I will keep to myself, but trust it is going to spearhead EVERYTHING this year.

I usually pray about what should be my words and see what comes up in my spirit. After much praying this is what came up for me.

Drum roll please 🥁🥁…

  1. Focus: I am going to focus on the vision and prize for this year. I have things that are in the works that need to be accomplished and that will only happen with steadfast focus. I can’t let setbacks and other people and circumstances throw me off what I am supposed to be doing and God’s plan for me. (Scripture to meditate on: 1 Corinthians 15:58)
  2. Words: This year I will be watching my words. The Bible says that death and life are in the power of the tongue. A lot of what I went through last year was nothing but what I had spoken carelessly in previous years. Words are so important and can create your reality. So I will be putting a muzzle on my mouth and only speaking LIFE to me, my spouse, my kids, my family, my business, my friends and my clients. No complaining this year! No matter what! (Scripture to meditate on: 1 Peter 3:10, Proverbs 18:21)
  3. Relationships: I am going to be real intentional about the relationships I have and creating new ones. Nurturing those relationships I already have is really important to me. I only want to make real true connections. No ulterior motives. No selfish ambitions. Only positive vibes as they say 😄. (Scripture to meditate on: Matthew 22:36-40)

As for my bonus word, I will be practicing that daily. It’s something that has taken me a lifetime to work on but now more than ever I need to really bring it to the forefront.

So there you have it. My 3 words for 2020. I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! Make sure you don’t bring into 2020 what you needed to shed in 2019.

Samantha

Do you have a word(s) or theme that you focus on for the year? If so sound off in the comments. I would love to see them!

It’s All About Process!

It’s All About Process!

3 Signs To Know When It Is Time To Make Putting Together Your Business Processes A Priority.

In today’s video I am talking about how to know when it is time to really focus on making sure you have your business processes written down.

Key Points Discussed:

  1. Overwhelm
  2. “Leaky Boat” Syndrome
  3. Change
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The Importance of Automation in Your Business

The Importance of Automation in Your Business

Everyone needs to employ automation into their business. When you aren’t doing launches, or marketing pushes, you can have  marketing automation in place so you can make sure that your content shows up all of the time even when you aren’t around to post it. 

Watch as I talk about batching and pre-planning and how automation helps. 

If you are ready to take your business to the next level and stop running on the “manual” bus, I invite you to jump on a FREE 20 minute call with me to see how I can assist you in your business. 

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Waiting On The Right Time Yields No Results

Waiting On The Right Time Yields No Results

I thought about waiting during a Sunday evening sermon at my church. The pastor was talking about the man laid at the gate beautiful and how he told Jesus that he was waiting until someone had taken him to the waters edge and put him down into the pool when the angel appeared to heal. 


The pastor explained he would have been pulling himself and doing whatever he needed to do in order to get to that pool and be ready to be the first in if it was him. 


That got me to thinking about how often we wait on things in life waiting on someone else to help us get there or waiting for a perfect time. How many blessings have we missed? How many opportunities for business growth have we missed by waiting on someone else?


I’ve waited on implementing or launching things waiting on conditions to be right or a “better time”. What I have learned is there is no better time. There are no right conditions. 



If you want change – GET MOVING. Get implementing. Quit waiting!


If you know you need it, or need to do it then get it done. Pull the trigger and execute. It’s time to get off your excuse bed and walk.


Nothing changes until you do.


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Favorite WordPress Plugins: W3 Total Cache

Favorite WordPress Plugins: W3 Total Cache

Everyone wants a speedy website. A fast website means happy customers and happy customers mean repeat customers. Even Google pays attention to your site’s speed and has even started penalizing slow sites in their search results and no one wants that.

To test the speed of your website you can use tools such as Google Page Speed Test, Pingdom, and GTMetrix. Perform a speed test before taking any actions to increase the page speed. Once you have taken steps to increase the speed of your website, perform the test once more to see the difference. These sites will also give you suggestions on how to improve your site’s speed and if you use WordPress to run your website a plugin like W3 Total Cache can fix most of them.

What is W3 Total Cache?

W3 Total Cache is a web performance optimization WordPress plugin. It has been around for a long time and has a 4.5 star rating in the WordPress plugin repository. While W3 Total Cache boasts numerous benefits, it’s biggest benefit is the decreased load time of a WordPress website.

The biggest features of W3 Total Cache include:

●     SSL Support

●     Content Management Delivery Support

●     Caching of not only pages, but categories, comments, Javascript, CSS, search results, database objects, and more

●     Minification of Javascript, CSS, and posts/pages,

Installing W3 Total Cache

Installing W3 Total Cache works just like any other WordPress plugin. In the administration area under the New Plugin option simply search for W3 Total Cache and click on the install and activate buttons. Setting the plugin up does take a little thought but it is not hard or complicated to do. There are just a lot of options. I promise it’s not as intimidating as it looks.

The first task to take, under the general settings tab for the plugin, is to make sure Page Cache is enabled so W3 Total Cache can do its job. Cache is a collection of your website pages that is saved and then shown to visitors as they visit the page reducing download speeds. This will allow W3 Total Cache to create the static pages needed to reduce the load time of your website. For a beginner or website with low traffic this is probably all you need to do in order to speed up your website and all the configuration needed.

If after enabling the Page cache you need your website speed still seems slow, you may want to take further steps by minifying your Javascript and CSS files. This will remove all the extra white space in the code so it’s less lines to process in the browser. Google defines minification as the “process of removing unnecessary or redundant data without affecting how the resource is processed by the browser – e.g. code comments and formatting, removing unused code, using shorter variable and function names, and so on.” You turn this feature on in W3 Total Cache under the setting’s Minify menu option. Just click the enable checkboxes for HTML, JS, and CSS. Be sure to remember to save your settings.

If after enabling cache and turning on minification of Javascript and CSS files, you still feel like your site is running slow, then W3 Total Cache also works with CDNs – content delivery networks.

According to CloudFlare a CDN “refers to a geographically distributed group of servers which work together to provide fast delivery of Internet content.” There are numerous CDNs available so do you homework and research before choosing one.

Other items to consider when troubleshooting a slow site is the size of images being used and the WordPress database itself.  Both can be optimized. Also check to make sure your site is secure and hasn’t been compromised.

Overall W3 Total Cache is an excellent WordPress plugin to help enhance your website’s speed.

Featured Image by alan9187 from Pixabay
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8 Reasons Why Nozbe Is Great for Your Small Business

8 Reasons Why Nozbe Is Great for Your Small Business

When deciding on the best project management tool to use in your small business you have a lot of choices. I have used a ton myself looking for the perfect fit as my business grows. That’s when I ran across Nozbe a couple of years back. Since stumbling across Nozbe, I haven’t looked back.

What is Nozbe?

Nozbe is a project management application available for use on a web browser, Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iPad and iPhone.

Nozbe has been a around since 2007 and isn’t going anywhere but forward. It was initially inspired by David Allen’s book: “Getting Things Done (GTD) – The Art of Stress Free Productivity” and you can see the inspiration throughout the app.

It has since evolved into it’s own thing with the creator showing how he runs his entire company with only an iPad and Nozbe. They don’t even have an office (learn more about that by clicking here)! But enough about the background let’s jump into the reasons why you should be using it too in your business.

Below are 8 reasons why Nozbe just might be right tool for your small business:

  1. Time Estimations – While Nozbe does not offer time tracking it does allow you to enter the estimated time it takes to complete a task. This helps to schedule the right amount of time to get the task completed. It is also a great way to let a team member, such as a virtual assistant, know how long they should expect to work on a task.
  2. Recurring Tasks – Recurring tasks are a must in project management. It’s time consuming and frustrating to have to copy the same task over and over again. If you need your virtual assistant to accomplish a certain task every week just set it up as a recurring task and they will be assigned that task every week without you having to lift a finger. I personally use recurring tasks for office admin tasks like writing my newsletter and blogging because I do it the same day every week.
  3. Templates – Templates are great for product creation and business processes. Create a template with all the tasks and details needed for the project. The next time you have a similar project just use the template to save time and have your project tasks ready for you to start taking action on.
  4. Listed Based – Some people are visual people and some are list people. Nozbe is for list people. There are no distractions of graphics or visual pieces. Just the tasks you need to focus on to help move your business forward.
  5. Third Party Apps – Nozbe plays nicely with numerous third party apps such as Evernote, Google, Microsoft Office, Box, and Dropbox. I love that I can sink my tasks into my Google Calendar.
  6. Desktop and Mobile Apps – While Nozbe is available to use over the internet in a web browser you can also download a desktop and mobile app. The mobile app is great to add items as inspiration strikes while you are out and about. The desktop app is for those who don’t like to have too many browser windows or tabs open at once. The  desktop app is a stand alone software application that works the same way as the Nozbe does in a web browser. Keep in mind you will need to be on a paid plan for your information to sink across all of the platforms. Very worth it for me.
  7. Categories – One of Nozbe’s most popular feature is categories. Each task within a project can be assigned a category. Tasks in this category can come from multiple projects. For example, you may have a task to make a phone call in project 1 and project 2. If you categorize those tasks as ‘phone calls’, when you view the category you will see all the phone calls you need to make regardless of the project. This allows you to knock out the same type of tasks for multiple projects at the same time. This saves tons of time and a great way to use “batching”.
  8. Priority Tasks – Nozbe is unique in that it has a priority tasks tab. If you added a due date to tasks when the tasks is nearing the due date Nozbe will automatically put it in the priority list for task to do. You can also add any tasks you want to this list. This is a great a way to stay on schedule and not to let anything fall through the cracks. I put things that I absolutely must do in the priority tasks list. My brain dumps can be put in the regular list. Only clicking the star will cause it to be priority. You can also turn tasks by clicking the star on any tasks.

Everyone works in different ways and Nozbe works great for those who love the “Get It Done” system and checking off lists.  It offers the most important features needed for a project management app while still keeping it cost effective for small businesses.

Want to check out Nozbe for yourself? Click the image below and check it out.

6 Simple WordPress Security Tips

6 Simple WordPress Security Tips

So you’re using WordPress and you want to keep your site safe from hackers, malware, spam and other threats… where do you begin?

While WordPress does have some security risks, most of these are relatively simple to plug as long as you know where to look. This post will provide some easy and straightforward tips to help you fortify your site and to avoid common mistakes.

Tip #1 – Consider Your Host

WordPress security isn’t all about WordPress! Another weakness can often lie in your hosting account, so make sure you research the security of your hosting provider thoroughly before choosing one. Look for hosts that are willing to discuss security concerns and offer the most recent stable updates to server software. My host of choice is WPX Hosting.

WPX Hosting Rocks!

Tip #2 – And Your Computer!

Likewise, another alternative ‘way in’ for hackers is through your computer. If you have malware on your system, this can do things like record your keystrokes in order to isolate passwords. Make sure your security software is up-to-date and that you do regular scans.

Tip #3 – Keep Updated

Many vulnerabilities exist in WordPress itself and the plugins that you install, but as long as no one finds them, you’re safe. The problem is, people do find them and when that happens you can briefly be vulnerable.

In the vast majority of cases, the developers of WordPress or the plugins will identify the flaws in their security very shortly after they come to light. They will then issue an update to fix them. This is why it’s so important that you update not only WordPress but also all of your plugins every time a new update is issued. I can’t stress this enough! If you don’t, then you might be leaving well-publicized flaws in your security for hackers to take advantage of!

Tip #4 – Avoid Unnecessary Plugins

Every plugin you add to your site presents new potential security flaws in your code. Having too many then will unnecessarily leave you susceptible to a number of possible attacks and can also slow down your site. Don’t use more plugins than you need and make sure you research the quality of any that you do decide to use.

Tip #5 – Install Security Plugins

Some plugins that are useful are those specifically designed to provide additional security to your WordPress site. This is a very easy way to upgrade your sites fortifications that takes minutes – so do it! My security plugin of choice is Wordfence.

Tip #6 – Choose a Smart Password

This is a simple and easy one but it’s too often ignored. Make sure that you use a strong password and username combo for your admin login. And for the love of God please don’t use ‘Admin’ for your username. My password manager of choice is LastPass.

Having a WordPress site is the best choice in my opinion for your website needs, but don’t neglect keeping it safe. With these steps you will have a safe and sound website.

Favorite WordPress Plugins: UpdraftPlus Backup

Favorite WordPress Plugins: UpdraftPlus Backup

The UpdraftPlus plugin is exactly as it sounds, a plugin to backup your WordPress website. A backup plugin should be one of the first plugins you ever install on your WordPress site. Along with a security plugin, but that is another post.

You can’t depend on your webhost to backup your site (although my webhost WPX Hosting does for free), it is your responsibility. Luckily the UpdraftPlus backup plugin makes this a simple job. 

Some key features include:

  • Restore backups directly from WordPress
  • Schedule backups
  • Send your site’s backups to the cloud for safe keeping
  • Migration – move your site from one place to another easily
  • Supports backing up multiple and non-WordPress databases

UpdraftPlus is easy to install and setup. Just install UpdraftPlus like you would any another WordPress plugin. Once the plugin is installed and activated you will notice a new menu option in your WordPress admin area named UpdraftPlus Backups. 

If you just want to do a quick backup and download it to your computer then when you navigate to the UpdraftPlus settings page, simply click on the blue Backup Now button. This will start a new backup of your WordPress site. Once it is finished you will be able to download it under the Existing Backups tab. The amount time for the backup to finish will depend on the size of your WordPress site.

Of course, it is best practice to schedule your site’s backup so that you always have a good recent working backup. To setup a backup schedule simply click on the Settings tab and choose how often you would like the backup to run. I personally recommend that you backup your database daily if you publish a lot of content. The files backup includes uploads to the media library, plugin files, and theme files. Unless you are constantly altering your theme a weekly or bi-weekly backup schedule will work just fine.

When scheduling your site’s backups don’t forget to set a destination for the backup. You don’t want to save your backups on your web host. The backups will take up a lot of space and if something happens to your web host you may not have access to the backups. With UpdraftPlus you can send your backups to Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, or you can even have it emailed to you.

Updraft plus options

You set up the destination for your backups on the same page you schedule backups. Just scroll down a little bit and you will see your options. Choose the destination of your choice and the plugin will walk you through the rest.

Unlike some other WordPress backup plugins, you can restore any backup created by UpdraftPlus directly from WordPress. There is no separate script or file you have to copy over and install to perform a restore. This also makes it simple to move or copy a WordPress site to another location.

Installing a backup plugin should be one of the first tasks taken when creating a WordPress site.  UpdraftPlus makes it very easy to schedule your backups so you don’t have to worry about it and can spend more time completing money making tasks in your business.

How to Backup Your WordPress Website…for FREE

How to Backup Your WordPress Website…for FREE

In today’s training, let’s see how you can back up your WordPress site for free and do it quickly.

If you don’t want to read you can always watch the video below.

Learn How To Backup Your WordPress Website

Let’s Begin…

The first thing you need to do is log in to your WordPress administration area. Be sure you’re logging in as a user who has administrative privileges. Once you’re logged in from the left menu, we’re going to click on the plugin option. This will give you a list of all the plugins installed on your website. You may have just a couple. You may have a lot. Every WordPress site is different.

We’re going to add a new plugin, so at the top click the add new button. This will show you all the available plugins on the WordPress repository. We’re going to do a search. In the top right hand corner is a search box. Type in backup and hit enter. You will get a lot of results. The only one we are interested in is the UpDraftPlus WordPress Backup plugin. It should be the first result.

We want to install this plugin, so we’re going to hit the install now button. This will download it to your WordPress site, and once it is downloaded, you will be shown a blue activate button. Go ahead and click the activate button and this will turn on that plugin on your wordpress site. Once that is completed, you’ll be taken back to your plugins page and you will now see you have the UpDraftPlus Backup/Restore plugin listed. From here, we’re going to click on the settings button just under the UpDraftPlus plugin title.

You may also get to the settings page by the left menu under settings and UpDraftPlus Backups. Now, to do a single backup, all you have to do is click the backup now blue button, you will be shown a pop up, which gives you a couple options.

Your options

The first option says to include the database in the backup. You almost always want this checked. The database includes all your content, your posts, your pages, your comments, your categories, or tags, all that kind of stuff. The next option is to include any files in the backup. Again, this is another one you’ll probably check. This one include your plugin files, your theme files, your Media Library, such as images you use in your blog posts, all that kind of stuff. So next all you have to do is click the backup now button.

Backup Now!

The amount of time it takes depends on the size of your site. It may go through pretty quickly and it may take a little while to do a backup. To view backups that have been completed, all we have to do is click on this existing backup tab and you will now see the backup that you just completed.

Under backup data, you will have five different options. The database, plugins, themes, uploads, which is your media library, and others. These are all the backup files and database that the plugin backed up. To download these, you just click on the one you want to download. For instance, the database, and once it is ready for download, all you have to do is click the download to your computer button and it will download the backup to your computer, and once that is successfully downloaded, you can delete it from your web hosts to save space.

Something else you can do with UpDraft is you can set it up to automatically trigger backups, so you don’t have to do it manually. Just click on the settings tab. You can set up schedules like a schedule for the files backup. So where it says files backup schedule, it currently says manual. You can click on that drop down box and choose how often you want the files to be backed up. Again, this is your plugin files. Your theme files, graphics that are in your media library or anything you’ve uploaded to WordPress.

A lot of people just choose weekly, but you need to assess the needs of your website and your blog. So for this example I will choose weekly and then you need to also choose how often you’d want to backup the database. Again, this is all your content, your recent posts, your pages, your comments.

So next to database backup schedule. Again, it says manual right now, let’s change that to daily. Again, based on the needs of your personal website and your needs, you can change this to whatever option is right for you.

Now the next option is where you want this backup to go. You have an option to save it to a third party site such as Dropbox or Google Drive. You can have it go to Amazon S3 and of course you can also have it emailed to you. So in this example let’s choose email. When you email it to you it will automatically go to the admin account on your website, so whoever’s the administrator, it will go to that email account.

You now have a scheduled back up, and that’s how quickly and easily you can backup your wordpress site for free.

Grab this PDF to go through the steps easily.

Automation in Action – Your Website

Automation in Action – Your Website

Having a website is like having a 24 hour sales assistant. Your ideal client can go there anytime of day that is convenient to them and inquire about your services and even buy products. No need to hop on a phone call with you. They can either setup an appointment via your scheduler that should also be accessible on your website or buy your services directly.

Now you can rely on just a Facebook or Instagram presence, but eyeballs being on your posts are not guaranteed even if you pay for the privilege.

I always say you want to have a homebase. Something you own. No matter what the economy is doing or whatever the circumstance you can revamp the space you own. You own your own leads.

If someone inquired about what you do and how you can help them you can quickly send them over to your website.

Learn more about getting automated by going to organizingguru.com/getautomated!

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Automation in Action – Email Marketing

Automation in Action – Email Marketing

Now let’s talk about email marketing. To grow your business you have to communicate with your tribe. Preferably on a regular basis. 

By setting up email autoresponders, you can still communicate with your audience or tribe via your email list. This is great if you are going to be away for an extended amount of time. Set it and it keeps running without you having to get it started. 

I just completed a training on setting up your own email autoresponder in MailChimp. Just click here to check it out.

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MailChimp training for the small business owner
Automation in Action – Mobile Phone

Automation in Action – Mobile Phone

Most people don’t realize the asset they have right in their hands. The phone is the most underused business accessory. You can literally run your business from it with automated systems in place.

Some of the apps I use on my phone help me to create graphics, memes, videos and short tutorials. I can also access client files on the go and work on documents/projects on the go. Another great benefit is being able to create content on the go as inspiration strikes. This is great for when you have downtime while traveling.

Make sure you have the apps loaded on your phone so you can still conduct business.

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Automation in Action – Social Media Dashboard

Automation in Action – Social Media Dashboard

By using a Social Media Dashboard, you will be able to schedule your social media postings ahead of time and still be engaged with your audience. Even while vacationing! Having your cellphone makes it easier to post lifestyle photos in real time and answer in real time.

Also using a dashboard can help you schedule out your marketing pieces so you can be selling daily and making money daily. Get more tips at bit.ly/3systemautomation

My Social Media Dashboard of choice is CoSchedule. You can learn more about CoSchedule by clicking here. If you are a beginner on a budget and just starting out you can’t go wrong with Hootsuite

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Automation in Action – The Scheduler

Automation in Action – The Scheduler

This is part one in my series on utilizing automation in your business. In this video I talk about using a scheduler. 

By using a scheduler I was able to take appointments from prospective clients while I was out of the country. I was also able to block off when I was not going to be available. The great thing was that I had future appointments already lined up when I got back.

My scheduler of choice is Acuity Scheduling. You can get a free trial by going here.

Listen in.

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Are You The Lid On Your Own Business Growth?

Are You The Lid On Your Own Business Growth?

In this video, I talk about a aha moment I had at a business conference I attended. As I was listening to the speakers of this panel, one of them talked about being the lid on your own business growth.

Whether that is from not doing the things you need to do or getting the help you need. If you are procrastinating on getting help or doing certain things you could be capping your business growth.

Listen in and hear what other thoughts I had.

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If you find that you want to get automated in your business but don’t know where to start, pick up this FREE checklist –> Bit.ly/3systemautomation

Start Small When It Comes To Automation

Start Small When It Comes To Automation

Most businesses don’t get automated or start the process because they feel it is too much to do or don’t really know what to do first. In this video I share with you how easy it is to get started automating your business.

The big take away from this video: Start Small. Focus on 1 business function when it comes to automation.

The 3 systems I recommend everyone should have when getting started is:

  1. Scheduler
  2. Email Marketing System
  3. Social Media Dashboard and/or Payment System

Listen in. 

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Automate my biz Sam!
What Every Small Business Needs To Know About Web Hosting

What Every Small Business Needs To Know About Web Hosting

If you want to have a successful business a website is essential. You can’t rely on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media sites to run your business. You need what I like to call a home base. A place to send people who are interested in what you have to say and sell. 

The first step in starting a website is to choose a web host and then the type of website you want to have.  Web hosts are computer servers that act as a storage center for your website. It stores your website files (HTML, PHP, etc.), video files, audio files, images, databases, etc. It is where your website lives on the internet.

A web hosting provider is the company that supplies the server that acts as your web host and connects that server to the internet. 

If you do a simple search for web hosting you will be instantly inundated with thousands of results that will just add to the noise and confusion surrounding web hosts. There are thousands and thousands of web hosting provider and each web hosting provider offers different types of web hosting plans.

There are 4 main types of web hosts, Shared, VPS, Dedicated, and Cloud. They all vary in type, features, and prices. Every business has different website needs and those needs will determine the type of web hosting you need.

Shared Hosting

Shared Hosting is probably the most common and most talked about type of web hosting. It is widely accepted as a great beginner option. Shared hosting is exactly what is sounds like, you share a physical web server with hundreds, and often thousands of other users and businesses. It is normally the cheapest hosting option but it does come with some drawbacks and concerns.

Pros

  • It’s affordable. Since shared web hosts can host thousands of users on one web server they are able to offer their services at a cheaper more affordable rate; a lot of times as little as $3.95 a month. It is very cost effective.
  • It’s beginner-friendly. It is very easy to get started with shared web hosting. It is very beginner-friendly and you can usually install programs such as WordPress with just one click. 
  • No real technical knowledge of web servers is needed.
  • It’s maintenance free. You are not required to do any maintenance on the web server.  Security, upgrades, and maintenance of the server are managed for you. (This does not include any updates to installed software such as WordPress.)

Cons

  • Security Concerns.  Because your website sits on a web server with hundreds or thousands of other sites, another site’s activities can affect your site.  Another person’s hacked site can easily become your hacked site.
  • Shared Resources. Shared space means shared resources such as CPU time, memory, and disk space.  If someone else’s site is hogging CPU time and memory it is going to affect the speed and load time of your site.
  • No Control of Server.  With shared web hosting you have no control over the server or it’s performance.  Your site will not be able to use resources beyond the maximum your web hosting package allows.
  • Limited Usage.  While on shared hosting you will be limited to the amount of CPU usage and bandwidth your website can use.

VPS

VPS stands for virtual private server and it is similar and yet very different from shared web hosting. It’s similar in that you are physically share a web server with other users, but, different in that you are not sharing resources.

A VPS is a physical computer that is divided into several virtual sections with a web server setup on each section.  This separates users’ accounts and allows each section to function independently as if it was on its own physical computer.

Pros

  • Security. Security concerns are less with a VPS than with shared web hosting since each user is compartmentalized into their own section. 
  • Limited Shared Resources. With a VPS server you have your own space on the web server and you don’t have to share with anyone else. This allows you to have more access to resources such as CPU usage and memory.
  • Greater Control of Web Server.  VPS servers allows you to have root server access.  This allows you to have greater control of your web environment.
  • Rapid Growth.  VPS is great if your site is growing rapidly. It allows you to grow as your business grows. Web host providers can easier allocate more space and resources to your VPS as business and traffic to your site increase.

Cons

  • Maintenance. Unless you choose a managed VPS plan, which usually cost a little more, you are responsible for managing everything on your VPS server including the web server software, updates, security, and more.
  • More Expensive.  While A VPS web host is more expensive than shared hosting, it is not super expensive and can be pretty affordable depending on the web hosting provider you go with.
  • Technical Knowledge.  Some technical knowledge is required with a VPS.  You need to know the basics of web hosting and how a website works. 

Dedicated Server

Using a dedicated server means you have a web server all to yourself.  You are basically renting a whole computer server to use for your website and your website alone. 

Pros

  • Security. Security is usually best on a dedicated server because you are the only one using it. If you practice safe security policies you shouldn’t have any problems.
  • All the Resources. Since you are the only user on the web server you get full access to all the resources. No waiting for CPU time or bandwidth.
  • Control of Server. With a dedicated server you maintain control of the server and performance. You can configure the web environment to the exact specifications you want.

Cons

  • Most Expensive. Using a dedicated server is the most expensive option since web hosts cannot offset that cost with other users.
  • Technical Knowledge. Technical knowledge is a must have with a dedicated server. Unless you have a managed account it is completely up to you to fix anything that goes wrong.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is relatively new. Clouding is a team of servers, which is called the cloud, that work together to host websites. It allows multiple computers to work together to handle the needs of any website. 

Pros

  • Very Scalable. It has the unlimited ability to handle high traffic or spikes in traffic without slowing your website.
  • More Resources. While you technically have to share resources with others like in a VPS, there are so many more servers involved and that means more resources are available.
  • Extremely Reliable. Because the cloud has a team of servers working for you, if one server goes down another one is waiting there is to pick up the slack.
  • Cost Efficient. You only pay for the resources you actually use. 

Cons

  • Advanced Technical Knowledge is a must have. Cloud hosting is not easy to setup and you must have knowledge of the resources you have and know when you will need more.

Web Host Providers

Once you have decided which type of web hosting you need, next is to decide which web host provider to go with. 

There are thousands of web host providers in the world today. Some of these are really big companies, others are owned and operated by two or three individuals, and some are even  resellers of of the bigger hosting companies. Some web host providers will even give you a free domain with your hosting account, so be sure to check that out as well. One of the important things to consider is your skill level and how much customer service and hand holding you might need.

You will also need to decide what type of website you want to have, such HTML or WordPress. I highly recommend using WordPress for your website. It’s easy to use, secure, and is highly customizable. WordPress can also be installed on almost any web host. When shopping for a web host provider just make sure they offer the minimum requirements for WordPress (most do!).

The minimum requirements are:

  • PHP version 7.2 or greater.
  • MySQL version 5.6 or greater OR MariaDB version 10.0 or greater.
  • HTTPS support

If most of this is Greek (or Geek) to you, the thing to do is ask the web hosting company if they support WordPress and if they have access to Cpanel.

One way to find good WordPress host is to ask your friends who have WordPress websites. Ask them to tell you about the uptime, the customer service, and other factors that you care about so that you can make a good choice about WordPress hosting. With so many choices it won’t be long until you find the WordPress hosting account that works for you.

My favorite WordPress web host provider is WPX Hosting. They are affordable and the support is amazing. They have helped me out several snafus quickly.

When making a choice about web hosting do your research, ask your friends and colleagues who they use, and remember, while it may take some work, you can always change your web host if you are not satisfied.

Below is a list of Web Hosting Terminology to help you with your search. Make sure you bookmark this page so you have a reference when on the hunt.

Terminology

  • Apache Web Server – This is server software that delivers your content to your readers via web browsers.
  • Bandwidth – Bandwidth is the rate of data transfer, or how fast your data is moving. It is usually expressed as the amount of data transferred in a second, such as kilobits per second or gigabits per second.
  • Cloud Hosting – Cloud hosting allows multiple computers to work together to handle the hosting needs of any website.
  • CMS – CMS which stands for content management system is an interface that allows you to manage your website content, for example add and edit pages, such as WordPress.
  • Cookie – A cookie is Information a web server gives a browser and used to save information about web usage.
  • cPanel – cPanel is a web hosting control panel that enables you to quickly and easily configure many account settings.
  • CSS – CSS stands for cascading style sheets and is programming code that adds additional detail and functionality HTML-based web pages, usually styling functionalities.
  • DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) – DDoS is an attack on your web server when multiple computers flood a server with network traffic hoping to bring down the server.
  • Dedicated Server – Type of web hosting server where the hosting company gives you your own server.
  • Disk Space – Disk space is how most space your website will how on the web server for storing files, such as HTML, images, videos, etc.
  • DNS – DNS stands for domain name services and translates human-readable domain names, such as yourwebsitenme.com, into numerical IP addresses that computers can understand, such as 64.233.160.0.
  • Domain Name – This is the uniform resource locator (url) where your blog can be found. This is what your readers will type in their browser to find your site. Ex: www.yourwebsitename.com
  • FTP – FTP stands for file transfer protocol and is a service for transferring files over the internet.
  • HTML – HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language and is the standard programming language used to create web pages.
  • HTTP – HTTP stands for hypertext transfer protocol) is the protocol used to transfer media across the internet.
  • MySQL – MySQL is a popular database system used to store data for content management systems such as WordPress.
  • Nameserver – A server that translates domain names into IP addresses using the DNS record.
  • PHP – PHP is a programming language that allow you to generate dynamic content by embedding code directly into the HTML of a web page.
  • Platform – The platform is the software that runs your website.  Some examples are WordPress.org, WordPress.com, SquareSpace, and Wix. This is where you write your content and set up the look and feel of your website.
  • SEO – SEO stand for search engine optimization and is the process that helps raise the ranking of your website in search engine results listings.
  • Shared Hosting – Shared web hosting is when you share a web server with other users.
  • Server – Servers that act as a storage center for your website. It stores your website files.
  • VPS – VPS stands for virtual private server and allows a user to share a web server with other users but not share resources.
  • Web Host – The web host is where your website lives online.
  • Uptime – The amount of time a website is fully functional.

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How Much To Budget for Automation

How Much To Budget for Automation

I am often asked “How much should I budget for automation?” by potential clients. So I decided to do a video to answer this question. It is the start of a New Year and you should be thinking about what to plan for.

In this video I break down a few of the tools I use and how much to expect at the time of this recording to pay monthly. Getting automated isn’t as expensive as you may be thinking.

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Watch on YouTube

Tools Mentioned In the Video (Some Affiliate Links):

  1. Acuity Scheduling – https://organizingguru.com/Acuity
  2. ActiveCampaign – https://organizingguru.com/activecampaign
  3. CoSchedule – https://organizingguru.com/coschedule
  4. QuickBooks Online or Wave Accounting

My 3 Words for 2019

My 3 Words for 2019

Every year I come up with 3 words to guide my next year. Well this year is no different. I got word number 1 a couple of months ago, but I patiently waited until the Lord told me what my other words would be. I finally got them on Christmas Eve. So I wanted to share with you what mine are and I want to hear from you what are your word(s) for 2019 that you will use as a guide for what you want to see happen. 

A little background on where I got my 3 word concept 

I originally use to do just one word but a couple of years ago I stumbled across a blog post by Chris Brogan about his 3 words and I liked the concept. So I immediately put it into practice. Here is a link to his post so you can get a great explanation of the practice. 

So that is why and how I started this practice. But let’s get to my words and what they mean to me.

The first word I got for 2019 is Partnerships. This has really been strong in me and I have already taken steps in that direction before the year has even ended. I want to focus on partnering with other businesses to help them grow and to help me grow. I want to partner on events and workshops next year. I want to partner on products and ideas. All of these things and more is what I mean by partnership. I’m already excited about a couple of new partnerships that will kick off this coming year and look forward to more opportunities moving forward. 

The second word is Rest. I spent a lot of 2018 running from pillar to post. I felt I pushed hard in some areas and burnt myself out in others. And more importantly I felt I wasn’t doing what the Bible says by resting in the Lord. So in 2019 I will be resting in the Lord more because He got me and He’s the expert in what I can’t do myself or by myself. 

The third word is Trust. These last few months have been a little tough and has really reiterated the fact that I need to Trust in the Lord. With EVERYTHING! I’m casting my cares and trusting that He has me. I know He does, but when faced with everyday life you can get caught up with what you see and not with what we as believer’s know to be true. So 2019 I will be fully trusting and walking by faith more. 

So that’s my 3 words for 2019. I would love to hear what your 1 or 3 words are for 2019. Drop them in the comments below. Let’s do great things in 2019!

Samantha

Just one more thing or two 😉

When I get my 3 words I like to create a graphic that I then put on my phone and wallpaper of my iPad and laptop so I can always be reminded of what I am focusing on. You can also use a reminder app on your phone and set it to pop up daily for the year (I do this too). Try it yourself to see if it helps you too. 

Websites and Automation – Social Power Summit Interview with Dr. Finch

Websites and Automation – Social Power Summit Interview with Dr. Finch

I really loved speaking at Dr. Finch’s Social Power Summit 2018 on the Content Panel. I had a great time and can’t wait to be apart of it next year so keep an eye out for the announcement when tickets go on sale for that. But in the meantime you can check out an interview that was done by Dr. Finch where she interviewed me and we talked about all things website and automation. Listen in!

Needing help getting your business automated? If so check out my Tech Academy where you can join the membership and get access to all of the information you will need to grow and scale your business. Click the link below.

Sam’s Tech Academy ALL ACCESS Monthly Membership

How to Manage Your Time Effectively as a Business Owner

How to Manage Your Time Effectively as a Business Owner

Let me ask you a question. Are you managing your time effectively?

As business owners we’re bad about falling in the trap of counting every hour at the computer as “work time”. But if we were honest with ourselves we would see a different picture. Ask yourself – How much of that time is spent browsing through Facebook, checking the latest Instagram posts or going down the rabbit hole of “research”. 🙋🏾‍♀️I’ll raise my hand here, because I am a “fact finder” and I’m constantly looking for everything I can find on a given subject.

So you can see that we’re all guilty of it, but to be more profitable and productive we have to manage our time effectively. While the ideas below will take some work, the end result will be to spend less time at your desk and more time away from your computer doing the things you love to do and focusing on your talent.

Make A Plan And Break It Down

Start by figuring out what you want to get accomplished. What’s your next big project and what ongoing tasks need to be taken care of on a daily or weekly basis. Don’t skip this step. They say “Those that don’t plan, plan to fail.” Don’t let that be you.

If you’re working on a new coaching program, that could involve outlining what you want to teach, writing the training course, editing and formatting, creating worksheets and slides and figuring out how you’ll sell and deliver the program.

You may have daily or weekly tasks that you need to account for. These can be blogging, social media posting or interacting in groups online. Figure out what you need to get done over the next few weeks and write it down. Knowing what you should be working on to be more profitable is half the battle.

Write Out Daily and Weekly To-Do Lists

Write your to do list outNext it’s time to write out your to-do lists. Start with everything you’ve written down in the last step and break it down into daily or weekly tasks. Use whatever method works best for you. I make a schedule in Google Docs and share with my accountability partner. I get what needs to be on this schedule from my Nozbe tasks and my Google Calendar. But again, use whatever method works for you. Don’t get hung up here.

Use a weekly list if you prefer working on larger tasks or projects all day long, or try daily lists and break larger projects up into manageable chunks that you can accomplish quickly. I also use Time Blocking or “Chunking” to further help me get things done. You do this by grouping like tasks or projects together. Either in blocks of time or on specific days. So you may do all of your blog posts and writing on one day, and your video recording on another.

Set A Time And Get Working!

Get to workThe tasks on your to-do list will take as long as you allow them to take. To stay productive use a timer and get them done. Pick an item on your list, estimate how long it should ideally take you to get it done and then set that timer. I’m a big fan of the Pomodoro Technique. I use it to get things done in 25 minutes blocks. I even have expanded it to 90 minute blocks I call Power 90.

Don’t forget to schedule in breaks after each block of time so you don’t burn out. Do anywhere from 5 to 10 minute breaks after each session and then a hour break after your 3rd session. Do something different like go for a walk or

Continue to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t. Do more of what’s profitable and less of what you don’t need to be doing. That is the key to getting back to loving what you do and doing it well.

Do you want to learn more things that will help your business? If so check out Sam’s Tech Academy ALL ACCESS Monthly Membership. This membership is for the entrepreneur who needs to get up to speed with technology in order to run their business.

 

Automation: The Key to Customer Follow-up Success

Automation: The Key to Customer Follow-up Success

It’s not enough to get your client to buy. You need to keep them buying by building a long-term relationship with them. The key to doing this effectively is to offer follow-up customer service. Through follow-up customer service you continue offering valuable content, keeping lines of communication open, communicating your appreciation to the customer, and offering more deals.

A great deal of time, work and effort goes into effective customer follow-up, and this is why automation can help. Automation takes over routine tasks and does them for you so that you can focus on more important things. So what are some of the automated tasks we can do? I’m glad you asked. Listen in to this week’s #TechChat to find out.

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Recap from Video

Areas you can automate are as follows:

  1. The “Thank You” Message
  2. An Email Course
  3. Customer Loyalty Program – especially if you are a business coach you can offer an extra 15 to 30 minutes with you for referrals or discount when they buy in bulk.
  4. Customer Feedback

Now while we are talking about automating customer follow-up, let’s discuss what not to automate. That is when people need to speak to a human being. Whether for a problem or more clarification.

Learn more ways to automate your complete marketing with my new course in Sam’s Tech Academy. You can find it here 👉🏾 Marketing Automation Domination – Introductory Price (Very Limited Time!).

 

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