Streamlined CEO

Behind the Scenes of The Productivity Impact's Operations

January 23, 2024 Karalee Gault Season 1 Episode 36
Streamlined CEO
Behind the Scenes of The Productivity Impact's Operations
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever feel like your business operations could use a magic wand? Join me, Karalee, as I pull the curtain back on the transformative journey of The Productivity Impact. In a candid narrative, I share how an operations audit led to a major overhaul of my workflow, freeing me from the chains of cluttered task management. Learn about the compelling decisions I made, from moving my office to streamlining client onboarding, and how the addition of a virtual assistant alongside joining a mastermind group provided the support I needed to turbocharge my productivity.

As your operations specialist, I take you through the heart of the matter: repurposing content and setting boundaries are not just buzzwords, they're lynchpins in achieving a work-life balance that doesn't leave you gasping for air.  I unveil the backstage of podcasting magic, showing how we're recalibrating operations to amplify efficiency, and also share the financial acumen behind software expenses scrutiny, and how setting non-negotiable business hours has changed the game for me—and how it can for you too.

Rounding off this episode, I delve into the sheer power of operational efficiency, and how it can reignite your passion for your business. I present a heartfelt invitation to journey with me towards decluttering your own systems, whether it's by rethinking office space or leveraging tools like ClickUp. I underscore the importance of choosing the right support system, be it an operations audit or specialist advice, and make a sincere call for you to play a role in shaping this podcast's future with your invaluable ideas. So, as we wrap up, remember that your insights are the compass that guides this show.

Grab your free DIY Operations Audit here: theproductivityimpact.com/operations-audit

Want to work with an Operations Specialist? Fill out the Work With Me Form here: theproductivityimpact.com/work-with-me


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Karalee:

Hello, hello, amazing humans, welcome back to Neurodivergent Bytes. I am your host, Karelee, and today we're going to be talking about the behind the scenes of the productivity impacts operations. Okay, I am Karelee and I own The Productivity Impact and I'm an Operations Specialist, and so I want to give you, like I'm going to like pull the curtain back and give you an inside look into what I've been up to in the past couple of months as far as operations. Okay, so things have been super, super freaking crazy around here, and I'm going to be straightforward and tell you why because it's super, super important, all right, ClickUp my had become super cluttered. If you listened to last week's episode, I talked about task management and how I use ClickU p, and it was getting super overwhelming. There was overdue tasks and there was things all over the place, but you know, I'm going to go into more detail here in just a minute my my became super cluttered. Another reason why things were been super crazy around here is that we're moving my office to another space. So, like, we've got things kind of been like more than one space and it makes things a little more difficult. Right, I'm taking on new clients, right? So you're like streamlining operations and you're taking on clients and you're you know this, that you know you want to make sure you're giving your clients your best right. So I'm also streamlining existing clients operations, right, as a retainer client for them, I am always looking for ways to streamline their operations, which is like the most fun thing about my job, for sure. I also hired a VA, so all the things that come with hiring a team member has been happening as well, so things have been really crazy, but she has been doing amazing. I joined a mastermind group, so you have all those other things you have to do when you first join a group.

Karalee:

I've been traveling a lot more, which, okay, that's one of my dreams is to travel more, so, like we're slowly having that come true as well, and I've pivoted my entire business model. So you can see that things are moving at a fast pace over here and that things have gotten a little crazy, and so I'm always someone that's like we need to streamline your operations before things get crazy, because when things get crazy, that means your time and energy just goes poof, like it's just it's going in every different direction, and so we need to make sure that things are in place, so things could have been much worse. I'm like thinking back to a couple of years ago, before I had like operations actually streamlined at all in my business, and I'm just thinking to myself like this it might have seemed crazy this time, but it wasn't for the same reasons that I felt crazy last time when I had to do anything like this. Right, and it's because things are much different this time and so, and it all comes down to actually streamlining some operations, and so I'm going to get into a few things. Like I said, I'm pulling back the curtain, we're going behind the scenes of the operations and so we're going to get right onto it. But I knew I needed to share with you like some of the crazy things that have been going on that you might be able to relate to, to get us started. So if any of those things like are also happening in your business, I would love for you to send me DM and we can totally have a chat about it, because I would love to know, like, what is new in your business that you are super excited about but might also be driving you insane because things are so crazy and all over. I would just love to have a conversation with you and connect, so you can go ahead and do that in the show notes and send me DM on Facebook, Instagram, wherever. Right.

Karalee:

So what I've done, though, because things were so crazy. When things get overwhelming and get crazy, I always have to go back to this one step, and I actually try to do this one step quarterly so that it doesn't get overwhelming and crazy. To begin with, all right, I just did a whole bunch of changes at the same time, which I don't recommend. I recommend that you do it a little bit slower, so hopefully it's not as crazy, but I did them all at the same time and I'm still here, breathing and doing fine. But it could have been simpler, all right. So I had to do my own operations audit on my business.

Karalee:

Now, you might have heard about an operations audit. I have a free DIY operations audit that you can do by yourself, and but I went through this framework myself and did this operations audit on my own business. Like I said, I try to do this quarterly to identify the bottlenecks. Right? I talk about bottlenecks every once in a while, and bottlenecks are where things slow down significantly in your business and we want to identify these bottlenecks before they become so very large that they're even hard to manage, which is why I recommend quarterly doing a business audit on your own business operations.

Karalee:

Okay, so I took this framework, like I said, I took this framework and put it into work in my own business and then I also created that free DIY operations audit for you to walk you through it, and I break down all the steps into bite size action steps, like I always try to do here on the podcast, and you can go ahead and grab that so you have it in your hands. There's journaling space, there's questions. It's all broken down. You can go ahead and grab that in the show notes and it's like I said, it's completely free to you to really really get you started. So that that's action step right now because I give you at least one in every single episode is to grab the DIY operations audit, if you haven't done so already, and then get started on it. I break things down literally individually in each email If you need the extra support, and then there's a fun bonus at the end as well, so you can get some personalized recommendations straight from me. Yes, I totally want to support you in the best way possible. Okay, so that is action step number one.

Karalee:

Now I also want to share with you, right, because we're pulling back the curtain. I'm showing you the behind the scenes. I told you why my why things are crazy around here. A lot of things changed all at the same time, but this is actually what the audit revealed to me, though. Okay, the audit revealed to me that I'm not repurposing enough of my content. I'm not utilizing the things for this podcast enough. I'm not utilizing the things from any of the offerings that I have. Like, I'm not utilizing and repurposing enough of my content, which means I'm spending more time and energy creating new content instead of repurposing content that I already have or pulling it apart even more, because people need to hear things so many times before they're like yes, I need to do that, that's what I need, so we need to pull it apart even more. So I wasn't utilizing the repurposing of this content quite enough, and so that is something that I have started to put into place, a process, right, and to be able to do that a little bit more and even automate it. But we're going to talk about more of that in just a minute, when I talk about what I've actually implemented from this audit.

Karalee:

So the first thing that my audit revealed is I'm not repurposing enough content, all right. So the second thing that this audit revealed is I'm doing things that I could easily outsource. Okay, there are certain things like producing this podcast itself, right, the actual recording as you're listening to it right now. I can't not do that part, but could someone else actually like edit the podcast or create some of the social media content based off the podcast, right? So, as you can see, one and two are kind of going together here, and there's a surprise here at the end where, yes, I did outsource some things, right.

Karalee:

But number three, the third thing that this audit has revealed is I'm working way, way, way, way too many hours on my own business to support my clients like I desire. I absolutely love to give my clients like the top notch VIP experience every single one of them. And if I'm too much in the weeds in my own business which I was and I explained a little bit of why right, and I'm spending too much time on my own business to really serve my clients like they deserve and I desire, Okay. So number four is I haven't been sticking to my own boundaries. This is something that actually my husband pointed out to me and I had also thought of, but the fact that he also saw it and said something means that it was a bigger thing than I thought. And so I wasn't sticking to my own boundaries in the respect of I was getting up from the TV or the couch or dinner to go answer messages or to do something right away, because that's not I would forget about it, right? I wasn't just like not having notifications on or putting in place a different process to where, when those things come up, I know what to do for the next thing. But so that was that one. So I haven't been putting into place enough boundaries and even my husband noticed that's huge.

Karalee:

Number five here is my task management needed decluttered because it was becoming overwhelming. I already shared that. My click up, I got an overwhelming right. So it was. It needed decluttered right. The audit revealed that it very much so needed decluttered. There wasn't just imagining it, it wasn't just you know, there was any other reason. It was just super overcluttered and I needed to take care of it.

Karalee:

Number six is I was paying for software and tools I didn't really need to. I went through all of my business expenses, all the things I was paying for, all of my software suite, all those things, and I was like what am I using? What am I not using anymore? Do I really need to pay for this? When are things do like, especially if you pay for it annually? Like, do we need to switch things? Like so many different things? So I was paying for software I didn't really need to, and so that was something that, when it comes to revenue, right expenses and time, I needed to evaluate those things, and so I did actually.

Karalee:

But number eight I believe the last one, for this is the onboarding process for new clients was mostly manual, which was cost to me so much valuable time, and so this has been something that, financially, was something I was like I don't want to pay $40 a month for one thing that I'm not going to use a whole time. I try to have retainer clients, which means you know they stick around for a long period of time, and so I was like I don't want to want to pay this much money. And so that's when I was like but I need something, because my onboarding process is literally 100% manual and that means I'm sending manual proposals, manual contracts, manual invoices. Everything has been manual, and that takes way more time than you would think, and that was something that was revealed on my audit as well. So, and there was, of course, a whole lot more. These are just the ones that are like huge game changer.

Karalee:

I don't want to overwhelm you with all the things, right and so, but the point is, even an operation specialist like myself has to do the hard things and do an audit. Okay, so I said I do this quarterly. I gave you the steps in the free DIY operations audit and these are things that I do. Those are the first steps that I do. Those are not all the steps. Understand that. Those are the first five steps. That which are the most common bottlenecks that are seen in many businesses.

Karalee:

Okay, but there is so much more behind the curtain that you wouldn't see in that DIY operations audit, but it's enough to get you really started, okay, so some of the things that I've actually implemented since doing my audit right, I told you why things were crazy and then I told you what my audit revealed. But all of those things, like by themselves, don't get you anywhere. It's awareness, but we actually have to take action now. We have to implement some things to be able to correct, pivot, modify whatever word you wanna say. Here are our operations, okay, so the first thing well, maybe not the first thing, I didn't put these in order, but one of the things I did was I hired a virtual assistant to mostly support me with podcast editing and content repurposing, and then what I just found out is that there's a couple more hours and I'm gonna be able to be able to really refine some other things that I'm able to do with her.

Karalee:

So her name is Aaron and she is actually an Operation Specialist in her own way, and so being able to hire her to come into my business and then ask her for any feedback on anything or how I can streamline even more things, because you know, when you look at your own business, you're like I don't see it, so it's fun to have another person's eye on it as well. So I've hired a virtual assistant to really be able to help me, and it has going to save me many hours a week, right. And so I've also joined a mastermind program to refine my business strategy and for networking, right, so I can have a better business strategy, a better plan where I can still work like I can really give my clients what they need. I don't have to work, you know, 10 to 12 hour a week or days ooh, 10 to 12 hour a week sounds better. We should do that one, not 10 to 12 hour days, which is what I was doing in the recent past year. And then being able to network right, growing, getting to know other people, seeing how you can support people that's what's that has been. The biggest thing about a mastermind that I have loved is being able to network with those other amazing humans that are in there. So that is one thing.

Karalee:

Another thing that I have done so I've also actually done the decluttering process of my ClickUp. I've went through every space, folder and list. I have archived, deleted, modified, created new, refigured it out all of those things to be able to really get it working better for me. And you know so I'm not so overwhelmed in the day to day right. Another thing I've done is I've actually put those boundaries back into place, not answering anything outside of the hours that I've set for myself.

Karalee:

This has been an interesting pivot, because I have always said that I need to do things immediately because it shows great customer service and client care, but it also shows that I don't really know how to say this. It doesn't show anything more about me. Are those people going to not work with me if I don't answer immediately? Are they going to understand that I do have business hours and I'm only going to answer inside of those business hours? That's what most people expect. I expect that as a business owner. I don't expect you to have immediate responses, because I get it. You have a life. Why was I putting that expectation on myself for my clients and all that? That was something I'm shifting and it has felt really good as well.

Karalee:

I've also decided to downsize the amount of things that are in my office. To keep the cutter away. We're already moving my office to another room in our house, which means I only get to take with me what I need and we're going to get rid of or store whatever we decide with the rest of the things. That has been really good. So my desk isn't going to be as cluttered. I'm not going to have things just thrown everywhere. We're going to have actual organization going on, and that's going to be game changer for me.

Karalee:

I've also looked into software that would support me in automating more of the new client onboarding process. I actually got this recommendation from Aaron, the VA that I hired. I can do an update on this later. I'm not going to give you the name of the software because I literally just started using it, looking behind the scenes, but if you're also looking for a client onboarding process like the software and things like that to get it automated, I'm very sure that I will figure this out very soon as something that is cost efficient and is very user friendly for yourself and your clients that's something you're looking for. I would love for you to drop me a DM so that way I am able to make sure I reach out to you when I do find something that's amazing.

Karalee:

There's been a whole bunch more things that I've also implemented from doing my audit, but, like I said, I don't want to overwhelm you, but having streamlined, efficient operations takes time and energy period. There is no getting around it. The real question here is how much time and energy do you want to invest in your operations? It's 100% up to you. Do you want to DIY all of it, so piecing together free resources or maybe some courses, things like that or are you wanting to have that one-on-one support, where you have someone come in and do all the things with you and you really get some personalized recommendations. Those two things have different time investments, different energy, takes different amounts of energy and also, obviously, it costs different, and so it's 100% up to you and depending on where you are in your business and what you need.

Karalee:

Right now, I'm going to give you what your next steps would be. If you're like, yeah, I would love to know more about how I can stream on my operations so that you can identify the bottlenecks in your business and being able to not have those things get so massive that they start causing actual, real, really big issues, okay, so the first thing you can do is what I already told you is grab the free DIY operations audit and I go through the same steps I took myself through. That revealed many of the things that could be modified to save me time and energy, so that way I could actually spend more time doing what I wanted. I just told you the things that were going crazy, things I wanted to do, like what I was implementing. Then I can also spend less time manually sending invoices Trying to find things right If I click up to hot mess. I can't find things as easily and doing things I could easily outsource. I started actually creating things, putting in place different things to be able to help with these biggest bottlenecks that were in my business.

Karalee:

Another thing that you could do is simply have me do an audit for your business. You have an operation specialist. Come in, you have me in your back pocket to give you the best information, to make the most informed decisions about the back end systems of your business. So the operations that you use to run your business. You can have the DIY kit for yourself here or you can have me come in and do it for you. Both of them are completely available to you. Both of these processes are very similar. I'm going to tell you that right now, the biggest difference between these two things is one is free and one is paid, but it's the amount of one-on-one time and recommendations that you get from me. I will absolutely get you started in the DIY operations audit and I will give you two bonuses the two personalized recommendations based off of your own audit that you did on your own business.

Karalee:

When you work with me in an actual one-on-one capacity, then that's when you get my one-on-one time and you get me real deep in your business, where I absolutely love to be to see how we can most efficiently streamline your business while keeping all of your desires, and how much you want to spend and all these things. We take all these things into account. You can have what you need either way. Figure out what type of support that you're wanting and if you're not sure, you can absolutely head to the show notes. You can fill out the work with me form to see what your next best step would be, or you can absolutely send me a DM and we can have a little chat to see what that next best step would be.

Karalee:

To conclude this, behind the scenes of the productivity impacts operations, I absolutely look forward to actually streamlining some of your operations in the future so that you can use more of your time and that precious energy doing the things that you actually really, really, really want to do, and less time like doing things manually. It's just taking so much more time and energy. I want you to love your business and so let me know how I can support you. If you have a podcast recommendation before I hop off here, right before you end this episode, I want you to fill out the form in the show notes that tells me exactly what you want to hear from me. If you want to hear anything specific, I will absolutely take your input and create an episode just for you. So bye for now.

Streamlining Operations and Repurposing Content
Uncovering Efficiency Issues and Implementing Solutions
Streamlining Business Operations and Setting Boundaries
Streamlining Operations for Increased Productivity