Workflow management is necessary for every business.  In this episode, I share with you how I use work flow management and optimizing processes for my business, and discuss how it affects every area of your business.  Before you can bring on anyone on board to help you, you have to get the kinks out first.

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Brainflow-Google-Drive-Vickie-SiculianoToday I want to take a break from the usual tips and tools that I share in helping you with smarter online marketing. I wanted to help you with some flow management. I wanted to discuss how you can get better at the processes that you actually do every day for your business.

And each process can be for any area of your business. It can be for your online marketing, it can be for your account, for your production. However you have your business set up, you’re going to have processes that run throughout your business, right?

So lately I’ve been taking a look at the processes that flow throughout my business and seeing where things get kinked up. Because I’m kind of getting closer to the point where I want to take on a virtual assistant. I’ve been reading some phenomenal books by Chris Ducker, Michael Hyatt, some leaders in the field who really are doing it right and they have these books on getting a virtual assistant.

It’s really going to be a great tool but unless you’re going to your processes right out of the gate, you’re just going to hire somebody to do the kinked up process that you have in place already. So the way I’ve been doing it, and I wanted to discuss with you, because it’s been very, very helpful for me, is to break down each process in your business in a flow chart.

Ok, so you have these deliverables, right? You have something that gets done. Say you want to send out an e-mail. So your deliverable will be your e-mail, so you go from the beginning, what you have to do to get that e-mail created. What is the content of your e-mail, you have to have an e-mail list, right?

So you have everything in place for some deliverable to happen. So take a look at your flow chart. In order to create a flow chart, you really don’t need something fancy, a fancy production tool. You have templates in Microsoft Office that will help, if you’re PC-based, obviously, that will help you build flow charts. But you can also just simply sketch it out on a piece of paper. And this is something that I have been doing. Where you each decision has a square. And then you fill in what decision needs to be made. What is it that you have to produce.

You connect all of the squares and you come up with a path to getting something done.
It’s going to be very helpful for you if you think of your goal, what your strategy is and how it has to be executed. So it’s really this execution process that is your flow chart. It’s not the what but the how you get things done. Ok, so, in order to get my videos done, right, I have a whole process in place. And I decided today to take a break from the video. I wanted to get this thought out of my head and help you today as it’s helping me as I’m talking it out rather than having to sit down and journal it and get it out my brain onto the computer, so I can journal it.

I wanted to get this out of my head, so I thought I would sit down in front of the microphone today and see how it works. So it’s still getting this thought out of my head, helping you with your processes, and helping me with the process of getting my thoughts to you so I can help you to.

My process for getting a video created, is I start out in Google Drive in the morning. I have a folder that I call Brain Flow. I’ve heard people call it Brain Dump. Personally I like to think of a more positive way of describing it because I’m not really dumping. It’s not really a nice term. I’m just letting my brain flow. My thoughts flow in this folder called Brain Flow.

Video-Ideas-Google-Drive-Vickie-SiculianoAnd I just type really quickly in the morning when I get up and I journal. Then I take any thoughts that might be juicy little nuggets that I want to develop even more, and I go into a folder called Video Ideas in Process. Progress, Sorry. So then I think of which videos I might want to take out of that folder and move into the Video Scripts folder.
And then I think of how I’m going to film this video. Is it a head video where I’m in the video talking to you, telling you, or asking you a question, what is the benefit of what I’m going to show you, how is it going to help you, and then I have to have a screenshot. Now

I’m actually preparing a great LinkedIn tutorial for you but I wanted to put that on hold because I wanted to share this process podcast with you.

And I also want to see if any of my current audience will move over to listening to audio podcasts rather than just always expecting me to produce a video. Because let’s face it, producing a video doesn’t happen, like *snap* that. It takes a little work, in scripting, in actually producing, adding your intro, your outro, just like I do to these podcasts, but I don’t have to look optimal to be behind my microphone, right? Because you’re not seeing me.

So I wanted to share this with you to see how you can also get your processes in place, right?

I broke down my video process. I have to have my Brain Flow where I get all of my thoughts out, I journal them. Then I move them to a folder where I have video ideas in progress. Then those get moved into a folder called Video Scripting. Then because I’m self-producing now, I have to do the actual editing as well, ok?

So were there any kinks in that process? Yes, when I started doing video marketing, I actually had to see what would work. And I would just sit in front of the camera and cross my fingers and hope that there would be a cohesive thought as to what I was going to talk about in front of the camera, and sometimes this would be after I get home after a full day of work, 8:30 to 5:30, holding down a full-time job, trying to get this off the ground. The time didn’t work for me.

So I had to figure out in that process that time just does not work for me. So by getting my work flow process in place, I figured out over time for me to start getting my ideas in order is early morning. And I’m doing this actually about a little bit after 7. I’m actually going to be heading out the door soon, and I knew that I would be able to sit in front of the microphone and kind of talk to you off the cuff and get this thing out, so when you map your processes out, you want to kind of cut those pieces out that don’t make sense.

For me, getting home after a full day of work, sitting in front of the camera, not going to happen. So I wanted to see if I could get my thoughts out to you by sitting down in front of this microphone.

It’s not the optimal set up here in my office but I’m trying to see what works for me.
So I have this Blue Yeti microphone. Phenomenal microphone. It has a USB connector to the computer. But it was a little low for me. I’m tall. I’m 5’10”. So it was too low, so I found a yoga block. I propped up the microphone, and it’s sitting on a little blue yoga block on my desk and then I would be in the microphone and I would figure out hmm, not sure if this would be optimal. Two big pieces of foam core sitting around the microphone to optimize that process.

Ok, so again, as I’m looking at my processes, this is totally not the optimal process that I want to have long term. So I might go to Guitar Center and get some egg crate foam core and just line my desk walls and maybe the wall with a little bit of foamy cushioning so it softens the sound.

But again, you want to look at how you’re doing things, not just what. You can always improve your processes and make it easier for yourself.  Ok? Because if you hire somebody to come on board, that’s great, but you’re just going to pay them to do the same thing you are, you know, still kinked up, even though it may be a little cheaper than if you had a personal right hand assistant right at your side. You’re still going to be paying and frustrating somebody to do processes that just don’t work.

So make sure that everything you do is really refined. So you can be happy. I did a video recently on Vishen Lakhiani who did Happiness is the New Productivity presentation. It was amazing. I think it was in Calgary on it really doesn’t matter what you’re doing unless you’re happy. So I really suggest that you take a look at the processes that you have in place so you can enjoy what you’re doing.

I know you work hard. Ok, there’s no question about that. You wouldn’t be taking the time out of your day to listen to me in this podcast to see how you might improve a process, right? But you could be working smarter. And that’s just what I believe.
I’ve become a queen of efficiency. I really don’t believe in taking extra steps so the things that works for me is to really break down all of the processes you have for a particular deliverable. Something that you have in your business, break it down. And the more you break it down, the more you’ll see that even those processes can get even more broken down.

For this podcast today, I just mapped out the bullet points I wanted to talk about. I have it open on my iPad. This is getting complicated, hold on.

So in Google Drive in the morning, right?  I have my Brain Flow because I knew I wanted to talk to you about this particular topic. Then I went into my Podcast folder, and I have ideas for podcasts, and I just broke this down into bullet points.

I knew that I wanted to talk about flow management, about flow charts, just the main thing, this is not scripted at all. Believe me, I just wanted to get in front of the mic and talk to you today and be authentic, because this is something that I’m going through. So I’m kind of looking down at my bullet points, just making sure that I’m not missing anything. My iPad is open, it’s working for me, this is a good flow, I’m just touching on this, because once I hit stop recording in Audacity, which is the program I’m using to record this, I’m not really going to go back and say, you know I really wish I would have told you this, folks. So here it is, this is it.

I wanted to talk to you about Work Flow Management. It’s very important. You guys work very hard on your business, there’s no question. You’re coming to me to hopefully work smarter, not harder, that’s exactly what I do, what I believe in, just because of my own limitations, just time, and maybe also physical. I wanted to make sure that I was just always in control of the way I do things so that everything is optimal and I can spend my time being happy as I want you to be, too.

So if you have any questions, check out my blog at http://saywowmarketing.com and just shoot me a link, I’d love to hear what you want to hear more about, and thanks for listening today. See you next time.

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