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Zen and the Art of Automated Time Management

3 steps that might help your business

by Heather Allard, The Mogul Mom  |  2654 views  |  2 comments  |        Rate this now! 

It’s a well known fact that, as working moms, we do a whole lot of repeating ourselves. It seems I’m always telling my kids the same things over and over again. I often hear myself saying, “How many times do I have to tell you?” or “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times!” I sometimes wonder how many minutes I’ve taken off my life with all this repetition.

Recently, I discovered that as mom entrepreneurs, we repeat ourselves just as much -- maybe more -- with our businesses, and that’s a major time waster. We answer the same questions, reply to the same emails, and provide the same information over and over again. I’d like to share some tips that will help you stop duplicating and start automating!

1.) If you have your own website, create a FAQ section that answers the most frequently asked questions and offers the most frequently requested information. When my company introduced Swaddleaze, I began getting emails from customers asking how to choose the proper size, which fabric was better for warm climates ,and if I planned to come out with a larger size. Instead of answering these same emails countless times, I created an FAQ section on the site and posted size charts and information about fabric content. This made life much easier for me and the shopping experience much easier (and less frustrating!) for my customers.

2.) If you have a consulting business and your clients ask for the same help and information repeatedly, consider writing an eBook and making it available for purchase. While I was running my company, I received emails and phone calls from other mom entrepreneurs who were seeking advice on running their businesses. One woman actually called me at home! That’s when I decided to start writing The Mogul Mom Series of eBooks for women who run a business and raise a family.

3.) If you have email (and I suspect you do!), create an autoresponder that clearly states when a customer can expect to hear back from you and also sends out a link to the FAQ portion of your website. Don’t be a slave to email -- let your autoresponder and FAQ section answer most emails for you. And set times that you read and respond to email each day; two or three times per day should suffice.

I hope these automating tips help you save time -- even if you end up using that time to repeat yourself to your children!

About the Author

I'm a mother of three children and the founder of The Mogul Mom. I recently sold my first company, 2 Virtues, Inc. and now spend my time enjoying the chaos that is motherhood and the excitement that is entrepreneurship. For more helpful tips and resources, visit The Mogul Mom’s Blog and subscribe to email updates so you won’t miss a single mogul morsel.

Read more by Heather Allard, The Mogul Mom

2 comments so far...

  • Good article - thanks Heather!!!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Victoria on 7th February 2008

  • Thanks, Heather. This is some great advice. I so agree that many businesspeople could make their own lives easier and make it more likely to seal a deal if they made info more accessible.

    One examples I really liked: when our baby was born and we joined our pediatrician, the office manager presented us with their practice's booklet, filled with all the FAQs as well as other stuff like the parenting books they recommend and so on. Nothing fancy, but I'm sure it saves them a lot of repetition!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Diane on 7th February 2008