Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Small Business Made Simple Podcast

Apr 8, 2020

Hey there podcast family, welcome to episode 67 of the Small Business Made Simple Podcast.

Thank you for lending me your ears today – I know you have lots of choices, so I sincerely appreciate me being one of them!

If you’re a first time listener, super super welcome, I am so pleased to have you here.  I am your host Jenn Donovan, and, it’s my job, via this podcast, social media and everywhere else actually, to make your business life simpler. 

Business can be lonely and hard and complicated and it’s hardly ever easy, but it should be simple or at least simpler, so that’s my commitment you to on the Small Business Made Simple podcast!

One way I help to make your life simpler is by having a group of like-minded business owners all in one stop.  To ask questions, get answers and enjoy the journey of business! If you haven’t joined the Like Minded Business Owners Facebook Group, then hope over there after this episode and join!  Simply search Like Minded Business Owners in Facebook or come to the show notes for the like.  Show notes are at

This episode is being done on the fly a little.

It wasn’t planned but I’ve had this conversation a few times this week (a lot of few times!) and each person has gone “oh wow, hadn’t thought about that (insert whatever they hadn’t thought of)”

So, firstly, it’s a good lesson in life and business that just because you do something and the thought process comes a little easy – doesn’t mean that others think like you, and

Secondly, it’s good to listen to your clients and get them the content that would help them.

Now, after saying that, I feel like I’ve set the bar a little high, let me bring you down, my thoughts are ground breaking, just born out of frustration, and loads of distraction (you know, do what’s easy, leave the hard).

Because that’s a little of mind set in the past few days.

So, my tips for you today are not because I think you have lots of FREE time now we are almost in shut down – many of you are working harder than ever, my tips are to help with clarity and fresh starts or clean slates.

My episode today is about spring cleaning or autumn cleaning or covid-19 cleaning your business life – and if you’re anything like me, this sort of thing has driven you insane for a long time and it’s been on the “to do list” for longer than you would like to admit.

Ok, so here’s a nudge to do some spring cleaning in your business.

  1. Canva

If you have Canva (if you don’t know what Canva is go to and send me a million thank you later – it’s like a little pot of social gold on the internet).

But if you do have Canva then there’s a chance you have imported a gazillion photos into there to use – maybe just once or twice and now you scroll and scroll to find the photo you actually want to use.

It’s time for a photo cleanout! Get rid of all those photos you will never use again or only in a blue moon (perhaps make sure the blue moon ones are stored on your hard drive before deleting).

To delete, just go to uploads and hover over the photo that you want to delete, 3 dots will appear in the top right hand corner of the photo, click them and click delete.

Ta-da!  Your life will feel less full already!

  1. Canva

Yes, I’m staying here for a second or two.

If you’ve been using for a LONG time like me, you are likely to have all sorts of creative resources created – Facebook posts, Instagram posts, Presentations and the list goes on and on.

Did you know that you can create files in Canva?  Yep, you can organise all these creative assets into folders – so when you are looking for something, you can just go to that folder and find it – no more scrolling for ½ a day looking for something!

Also, a good time to be deleting all those posts you’ll never use again.

I had lots I had done for other people and from a previous business – all gone. 

It’s so much easier to find things and I feel less stressed heading into Canva to look for something because I know where it is!

Now I just pressed pause here and headed into Canva because I had this thought, hang on, can you do folders on the free version, and at the time of this recording, I am pretty sure folders (or the ability to create your own) is only on the paid version – so sorry if you’re on the free version – but I would still recommend deleting all those creative assets you will never use again and tidy it up that way!

  1. Emails

Arh, the infamous inbox. 

Today is the day you need to tackle it.

It’s time to firstly unsubscribe from all those emails that you really, seriously, never read.  Perhaps once upon a time they were relevant to you, but now, you’ve moved on or they are no longer serving you content that you can relate to or learn from.

(*Ahem, hopefully not mine!)

So, here’s what I suggest you do

  1. Instead of having your emails in your inbox in date order, put them into “from” order.
  2. Go through them person by person or business by business and ask yourself
  • Keep or
  • Unsubscribe and delete

I’ve done all these tips in the past week and I can tell you that my inbox tidy up took about 2 hours – yep, 2 whole hours.  So, depending on how full your inbox is, will determine how long it takes you!

I learnt some very valuable things via this exercise too.

So, my business is almost 3 years old.  In deleting emails and unsubscribing to things, I definitely saw that loads of people have either pivoted their business since I first subscribed (some good, some not so – as far as keeping me on their list – and that’s totally ok) and some not so good – lots of businesses I deleted had very consistent emails until they didn’t – lots and lots and lots of businesses have gone out of business and some have stopped using email strategically (which I think is a mistake!).

Here’s a massive pro tip for when you are cleaning out your inbox.

It’s a fabulous excuse to reach out to people you haven’t had communication with for ages.

I came across about 50 people I hadn’t personally contacted (many are on my list but I’m talking personally contacted) for a while.

So, between cleaning out my inbox and the cray cray world we currently have, it was a great reason to reach out and says “HEY”.

This had nothing to do with sales or selling or anything like that, it was about touching base with someone who is in business and genuinely wanting to check in with them.

Many of them, I must be honest and admit, I wouldn’t have touched base with had I not come across our previous email conversations.

It felt good to reach out and offer an unexpected “HEY” and I can tell you, I’ve learnt so much from their responses – I know some freaking awesome business owners who are taking all this in their stride and pulling on their big girl/boy undies and heading head first into any storm – I was so very proud of them.

I also discovered some business owners who I thought would be struggling (in retail) are going great guns!

Small business owners ROCK.  They just freaking ROCK.

Also, while you’re cleaning out your inbox, take note of emails you send.  Is there particular emails you send ALL THE TIME that you could make templates out of?

I know Gmail has canned responses – but you could set something like that up even if you don’t have Gmail set up.

Don’t go overboard – as H2H – human to human is so important – but some responses are ok as “canned” responses.

  1. Ok, my next tip is getting your office in order – your physically office.

Do a bin run – go through all those scraps of paper – some with amazing ideas, others with messages from phone calls 12 months ago, some (which is definitely me) with lists of TO DO activities for that week or day.

Oh, and yes, I read all those pieces of paper before they went in the bin – you just never know when I had the next “best idea ever” that got buried in “to do’s”!

Clean office equals clean head.

Uncluttered spaces equal uncluttered heads.

If you are in the situation where you have never worked from home, but you are now.  My tip for you is to, rather than cleaning your office, create an office space.

Hop online (shopping local of course) and create yourself a space for work.

I worked from my kitchen table for about 18 months when I first started this business – it was such a stupid decision looking back.

Cleaning out one of the spare bedrooms and making it into an office was the best decision I had made in a very long time!

Yes, I live in a 6 bedroom farmhouse – Mr Farmer is one of 8 – so loads of kids once lived here.

You might not have that luxury, but I am sure you can find a space to work, that’s just for work.

Oh, and pro tip of pro tips – don’t make it your bedroom – that’s never a good idea – EVER!

Other things that might help you whilst you’re in an organising mode

  1. Create a folder system in Google Drive
  2. Archive and back up your hard drive onto a separate hard drive (of course!)
  3. Maybe consider upgrading equipment like monitor, printer, chair, filing cabinet etc – purchasing online and local wherever possible
  4. Update your bookwork – yuck! Sorry Jenny Waterson if you’re listening (Jen was on the podcast a few episodes ago talking finance – check that out if you haven’t listened to it – ep 65    I have literally spend hours and hours getting this up         to date – it’s definitely a place I fall down in.  I can look at analytics all day to plan content but       actually doing me bookwork – again, yuck! 

So, don’t be like me – or do and just get it done because no one else is going to do it!

After I have done all this over the last week, I am feeling like I can tackle my goals for 2020 list – but that’s another episode.

But the one I did back in December and then again in January – is not going to happen in its current form – time to reassess and pivot just a wee bit!

That’s all for episode 67 – I hope I have inspired you to take some time out in the very near future and just spend some time getting organised but inside and outside your head!

I’ll be back next Thursday with another great episode to help you simplify your business in 2020. 

If you’re enjoying this podcast, which if you have listened to here – you hopefully are, don’t forget to subscribe, share this episode with another superstar business owner who’s doing the daily grind and would appreciate someone making their business simpler, and leave a rating or review to show how much you are loving this free weekly content.

Massive love coming your way if you do!

See you next week on the podcast for episode 68.  But in the meantime, let’s hang out on social and get social on social – you’ll find me on Instagram, Facebook and my fav LinkedIn.

But whatever you do,

……..remember small business peeps, as my opening song says, there’s no point in dreaming small!