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The one with Charlotte Lester – Automation Unicorn

Charlotte Lester with Kendra Beavis on the Tribe of Unicorns Podcast

Creating systems and automation to simplify and streamline your business

Episode 8: Charlotte Lester

Ready to simplify and streamline your business? Who wants to get more time back in their day? I love the saying “work smarter, not harder” and Charlotte makes living by that statement a reality. Charlotte Lester is the Founder of CVA Associates and a business automation consultant. She supports ambitious female leaders to achieve their dreamy vision & increase their revenue without burning out by simplifying & streamlining their business using the best and right systems & support. She has been a game-changer in my business operations (and a few of my mom tasks as well), and I can’t wait for you to hear what she has to say.

If you are looking to streamline your business — you’re in luck! Charlotte is starting a group program for automation soon. Click here to get on the waitlist before she sells out:

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Having those sales and finance systems in place will really, really help because they're the main core pillars that you're going to need throughout your business journey.

Charlotte LesterFounder, CVA Associates - Business automation consultant



Welcome to tribe of unicorns. I’m Kendra and sitting with me today is my good friend, Charlotte Lester. She is the founder of CDA associates and a business operations consultant. Welcome, Charlotte. Hi, Kendra,

Charlotte 0:56
thank you for having me.

Kendra 0:59
Oh, I’m so excited to have this conversation. So my audience knows.

I am a creative brain and organization and systems are not at my core as they are at your core.

Charlotte 1:15
Yep, live and breathe.

Unknown Speaker 1:17
Yeah. So I’m

Kendra 1:19
Charlotte and I had met through a networking group. And her and I and our friend, Joe are

all part of an accountability group that we started together. And it’s such a beautiful union of people because she is the organization and type a person that I love to talk to about all of these things that I don’t understand and aren’t part of my universe. So I was super excited to get her on here and have these conversations because I think a lot of people in a creative industries, this is probably not an area of expertise for, for most of us. So I’m sure that might you talk a little bit about your business and your journey and tell us where you are.

Charlotte 2:04
Yeah, I’d love to. So I started out in the corporate world. So I worked in the corporate world, and as an executive, PA, a business manager, and slowly then progressed into running my own business. And she said, Kendra CPA associates where we primarily provide them for you support to ambitious female leaders that have big goals, and just need a bit of a hand to actually get there by simplifying their business streamlining, and using the right systems and support because a lot of the time, people tend to feel that they need that done for you support, but they haven’t actually got the budget there for that support. But actually, what they need are just some systems put in place that are documented that they can really use and utilize. So I really found a gap there where the business operations consultant side really comes into play. So I also help people that want to really just get that organized organization in their business, they don’t necessarily want to team, they just want an easier way to do things. And that’s what we all want, right is an easier way to do things, especially in business. Yeah. And so, CVA associates came to life in 2014. So it’s been up and running for quite a while now. And yeah, it’s, it’s great, we really help a wide range of clientele. So it’s, it’s, it’s amazing. See the transformation that that, that our clients go through when they actually get the support that they need from the tech and, and not worrying. So again, another major concern for people with tech side of things that I got, I don’t want to I don’t want to touch it, I want to break it. I don’t really know what I’m doing with it. So very nice for them to have the peace of mind to be able to hand that over.


Kendra 4:04
it’s so funny, because prior to meeting you, I’d never really considered I’m

Unknown Speaker 4:09
not that I hadn’t considered systems,

Unknown Speaker 4:12
procedures, but I never really

Kendra 4:14
thought about it the way you present it, that it you know, I it’s something I think a lot of people in my industry struggle with, especially when you’re a solopreneur or a freelancer, you’re you’re sort of every single time you do something, it’s like you’re you’re starting from scratch where you come at things with a system and a procedure that you can do and follow every single time.

Charlotte 4:41
Yeah, absolutely. And I think I think a lot of people the misconception with systems is that people think, Well, I’m not really going to be growing a massive corporate business. I don’t need them were actually even solopreneurs neither am I. I’m a firm as you know Kendra. I’m a firm believer in systems and happier things in place not only creates an age for actually doing the tasks, especially the repetitive tasks, but it also means that if you do get to a point that you need to hire some help or some support, you don’t need to spend the time training them. Because you’ve got that documented, you can hand it over. And it’s consistent throughout you, you know, you can kind of come up with a task, you if you’ve got a task that you think, oh, I’ve got to do, I don’t know my social media today. And then you get to it because you’ve had a really hectic day. And then you think, well, I don’t really know what I’m meant to be doing on here. Like, right, what worked? What like, what am I meant to be doing, and you kind of come up against that mind block and having systems takes that away. So it kind of just makes things a lot more easy, a lot more simplified, you can kind of just go in no matter how busy today days been, you can go in go rocket, see that, that that and you’ve done it and and you’re kind of giving your audience what they want. And that’s consistency. And now, they want to know when you’re going to show up?

Kendra 6:04
Yeah, yeah, I you know, even something as as little as that there’s so many tasks. And if you want to present a consistent message and a consistent tone. I know, at least for me, my brain just doesn’t work sometimes. And I’m like, okay, so there were 12 steps, what were they I don’t remember Step seven, or, you know, and if everything is written down and organized in a way that you can pass that off. Because when I was starting out, I was by myself. But then when I started to hire team members, it became wildly

Unknown Speaker 6:38

Kendra 6:39
To me just telling them over and over what to do was not a good way

Unknown Speaker 6:43
to work. Yeah. So many

Charlotte 6:46
faithful do that. I think everyone gets caught in that trap at some point where they kind of think, boy, everything’s in my head, I kind of know what I’m doing. And I can just get through it. And until we get to that point, you actually hiring a team, you then get a bit like, Oh, actually, I should have had this write down and it made life a lot easier.

Kendra 7:06
Yeah, but it feels so overwhelming, especially if you’ve been doing this for a really long time.

Unknown Speaker 7:10

Kendra 7:12
you know, so where do you even start yet?

Charlotte 7:15
So I am, as you know, Kendra, I’ve kind of been talking a lot about helping people that earlier on in their journey, because a lot of people realize that they really need systems, when they’ve kind of got into it. And they’re hiring the team. They’re so busy, they’re so crazy busy that they, they just don’t have time, they don’t have time to document them, they don’t have time to train the team and the ends in disaster most of the time. So I really want to help people earlier on in their journey. And also help kind of prevent that burnout that overwhelm that business owners thing get because they just they’ve been tucked in all directions near the bottleneck. So yeah, to start with, I always say about having a central business hub. And for me, that is on Asana. So there’s other ones you can use, click up and Trello. But I really like Asana. And what I mean by business hub is that is a place where everything is organized for my business. So I have my content library in there, I have my content calendar, I have my task list, I have my systems. So I I set it out. So I actually have my sales department, my marketing department and my finance department and within each will have the systems relevant to that department. So it means that I can literally go in and if I’m asking one of the team to pick up process for me, I can just assign that to that team member. I think what people find quite overwhelming is that they look at these documents, these Word documents and think, Oh, I really need to document this process in a Word document when actually, a lot of the time if you document things in Word documents, they get filed, and they never really get refresh, they never really get looked at again, because they get hundred percent. It’s like it followed by a nice, safe, safe space that no one ever goes to.

Kendra 9:16
Yes, it’s somewhere in Google Docs. I don’t know. I don’t remember what we named it.

Charlotte 9:22
So having kind of that central hub really takes that away, it just makes things a lot easier. And you can also what I really, really love if you are at the point that you’ve become quite overwhelmed and you think I couldn’t think of anything worse than sitting there trying to document protests. I haven’t got time for that. What I would say is a really good tip is to make sure next time you’re doing the task yourself. Just record your screen so you can use something like loom and record your screen. I do recommend that you talk through as you’re doing it because It seems better to have it documented as opposed to just videoed. Because if you have hands the over to a team member, that team member, if they’re going through carrying out the process for you, if they have to keep re looking at the video each time, it’s quite time consuming. Whereas if it’s Yeah, documenting it in kind of bullet point style, they can just go through and they can find the section, just make sure that they’ve actually completed each each section, whereas watching the video, it’s just quite time consuming. So I would say record your screen, and make sure that you talk us through because then you can just get a transcript of that recording. And then you’ve documented your process as well. Yeah, it makes it super, super simple. And you know, me Kendra, I’m all about keeping things super simple. And not overwhelming in slightest.

Unknown Speaker 10:53
Yeah, I like

Kendra 10:53
to approach systems and organization in the most complicated way possible,

Charlotte 10:59
which is why don’t do it.

I think a lot of people overthink it. And they think, yeah, all the systems that I really need to have like this massive process map and this massive what I need certainly so actually you don’t you, you just need to know what to do at any given time that it just makes it easy for you to be able to go in and say this what I’m doing. And you can mark, Mark through the things that you’ve done, and it just keeps it consistent. But yeah, so many people overthink it.

Kendra 11:30
Yeah, I mean, sometimes it just it feels like this huge looming balloon of of stuff and tasks that I have to also add at some point. And, you know, so

it’s, let’s talk about the two different types of

people that are at least in my head, listening to this podcast. So we have somebody who’s just starting out who probably is saying, Well, I don’t need any of that, because, you know, it’s just me and blah, blah, blah. But I as

because I was that person at some point, I beg to differ

from day one. So even as like an odd person starting out completely solo. You know, you’re, you’re recommending a business hub? What kind of procedures? What kind of processes would they do this for? I know, we talked about social media, do they get as granular as the type of social media post, or, like, you know, I don’t want to get overwhelming, but at the same time, like you do have a lot of different steps in different processes, and they change based on what type of client you’re working with? Or,

you know, how do you how do you not get so over complicated,

Charlotte 12:40
yet, so, um, for me, so I would say, so the different processes that you’d have in place starting out, you would always have kind of what you would call what I would call your core processes. So if your cells, your marketing, your finance, and really kind of the operation side that keep keeps your business afloat, keeps your keeps your business running, and you would need to have systems and processes in place for that. And even a solopreneur starts now. And you think why this is way over my head? I definitely don’t need this at the moment. Definitely, I would say everyone does. I don’t think there’s any, anyone that’s kind of exempt from system. And, and you’ve it, it really, really helps if you’re starting out, because you have a bit more time than people that are further down the business journey, to be able to actually sort them out properly to put them in play, play.

Kendra 13:39
And that is foundation.

Charlotte 13:40
Yeah, set the foundation from the start. Because you don’t want to get to that point that you are overwhelmed you you have no time at all, and everything is in chaos, because it’s a horrible, horrible place to be. So Oh, yeah, I always recommend people doing it from an S sauce. Now, a lot of the time people happen. To be honest, the majority of people haven’t put them in place, and that become established and become a bit lost. But having those marks in sales, finance, the systems in place there will really, really help because they’re the main, the main core pillars that you’re going to need throughout your business journey, right, you’ve got to go through. And it’s also a lot more important when you’re starting now to know what’s working in your marketing. So if, for instance, you started with marketing strategy, if you’ve got it documented as a process or a system, and it’s all there in front of you, and you’re following that, and generally the rule of thumb is about 90 days to work out whether or not something’s working for you, strategy wise. So if you’re following that process for 90 days, you know that you haven’t veered off track at all because you’ve followed that process. You will know at the end of those 90 days whether or not that’s working Whether or not that needs tweaking, or what could maybe be wasting your time, what are you spending time on what’s not working? And, and those kinds of questions you wouldn’t really know the answers to if you haven’t got the processes documents in place, because you come to do the task, and then you think, what am I meant to be doing? And then you kind of bluff your way through it and think, oh, okay, yeah, I think I’ve done it. And you’ve kind of missed a step, because it’s not there. And, and it’s not documented. So. And yeah, so I’d really, really say make sure from the start now that you get that in place with those three core pillars. And when they’re documented in the business hub makes it really easy to be able to adapt it as well. So all you need to do is kind of, I like to keep what the processes that I’ve used, I like to keep them in view. So I don’t just delete the process. I’ll keep it kind of in my archive folder and say, This is what I used.

Kendra 16:00
And we tried yet.

Charlotte 16:02
Something we tried could maybe look at in the future, but didn’t work out then. Yeah.

Kendra 16:09
So when At what point would you recommend, okay, now you’re at a point where you really should have a VA or something like that.

Charlotte 16:18
Yeah, so I would actually say that it’s, a lot of people think that they need a VA before they actually do. And which probably sounds quite backwards coming, because I’ve run an agent, until probably referred Well, you didn’t say that. But um, but it is actually the trivia it’s much better for clients to be in the position to actually need a VI and be in the right time and mindset to have VA, because sometimes clients will come on too soon. And now think that they needed to be a bit late, if they just haven’t got those processes set out, they actually, they actually want the VA to direct them in what they need to be doing where, right, that’s not actually the VA s role as such. And that kind of ends up as a, as a bit of a bit of a nightmare point really. And I, I would say if we were looking at kind of financially, and generally people that are earning a regular, I would say $4,000 upwards a month would be kind of the minimum that you would be looking at to then be hiring a VA. And, and I would say consistently as well, because some people will have months where they’ll have a really good financial month, but then it could drop back down for a couple of months. And I don’t tend to say that you would need a VA if you’re below that point, because you’re going to be worried about the financial cost of it. And everything you need to, you’d need to make sure that you’re in a comfortable place that you can actually pay yourself because again, we we’ve had clients that kind of come to us and they’re like, Oh, well, I’m just not going to pay myself. Because they’re gonna pay person support. And that’s not really the way they should be, you know, we want to make sure that you’re paying yourself, you’ve got that solid business ground, in order to really utilize the VA and use them for what they for what they can actually bring to your business. And there’s also the automation side as well, because some people think, well, I’m just gonna bring a VA on, but a lot of the tasks at the VA is doing or actual tasks that can be automated. So you can pay to get them set up as a one off. And once they’re set up, they might need a little bit of maintenance every now and then. And other than that, they can kind of run their self. So which again, having the systems and process in place really helps you to see where you can automate. Right?

Kendra 18:55
You know, is there it just makes me think like, um,

is there a bridge, or some sort of service in between those two things. So you’re saying, you know, don’t have a VA, really until you have the systems in place, because it’s really not their position or job to create them for you. But is there a bridge where you can get that help? You need to create the systems? And then you know, move forward after that?

Charlotte 19:24
Yeah, absolutely. So we have we have had clients that kind of come aboard, they haven’t got the systems in place. But we’ve said look, video your screen, and then handed to us, and then we can we can document the system and then we can take that process away and do it for you. So when I say kind of the system’s having those in place, it can just be something as simple as having a screen recording of the process that you want to outsource. And yeah, doesn’t need to be something looking really pretty set out right in order feeds get that support. But it’s the difference between having a client that’s got some kind of system there, or that provided a video of what they’re doing on the screen makes such a difference for the support that they get that, if they can’t, it’s kind of like it, you know, you know, when you’re driving somewhere and you kind of drive into a location, it’s almost like having your VA in the passenger seat. And it being a complete surprise about where they’re going, because they’re just for the ride. And it’s a site where we go in, I don’t actually know, but let’s just go Go ahead, and you’re not going to get to the destination without actually knowing where you’re going. So kind of having that set out, is it to me, it’s essential in order to have a real good working relationship with debt, that typically makes

Kendra 20:57
so much sense. I think, like using that same analogy, I think a lot of people that are in a position where they’re running a creative business, they almost need like a driver’s ed instructor. Yeah. to, to then drive the car themselves and explain where they need to go. Because a lot of times, we just don’t know, like, yeah, it’s it. I think a lot of people that start a business, especially a creative business, do it based on their passion and their love of something. And then they get hit with the whole business side of things. And it’s like, Oh, right, this is actually a business that I need to have structure to. And it’s not just fly by the seat of my pants and yet make. Yeah,

Charlotte 21:38
so Oh, by sight, like a grown up business. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 21:42
like an adult.

Kendra 21:46
Yeah, so I feel like a lot of people listening will probably somewhere in that, that I need a driver’s ed instructor position. Um, because I don’t think our brains work that way. Like, I just think most of the time. It’s just hard to even visualize what that will look like. That’s why having people like you, and what are the services that you offer? so important? And, you know, I, once you have these things in place, you can really fly and move so much quicker and be so much more confident and provide a better product and service because you are you have all this good foundation of what to do,

and you know exactly what you’re doing.

Charlotte 22:26
Absolutely. And you see the results as well, the difference. So I’ve kind of had clients that haven’t had anything documented, and they’ve come on board. And it’s always been very short lived, because they’re not actually sure where they’re going in their business that you’re greater. And there’s no real kind of this is what I want to do. This is what I want to achieve. And kind of just thought, well, this is what I like doing. So can you just tell me what I need to do? Were actually different businesses will go in different directions. So having a VA there, that’s actually got a clear view of what’s expected of them what what you want from them as a VA as well, is makes a huge, huge difference.

Kendra 23:13
Yeah, yeah. it you know, I think it’s, it’s so like, when you had to be talking about where you started, what we were doing before you were running this business?

Charlotte 23:26
Yes. So briefly, I’m I touched on it. So I worked in the corporate world. So I worked for one of the UK leading banks and at board level, so I worked in the executive office. So what is it take PA, a business manager, and kind of worked my way through there? So I’ve come from the corporate, which is renowned for having high expectations, I think so I’ve still got that ingrained into me, my perfectionist streak and that which I’m working on. And yeah, coming from that, I think that’s probably also where my love of processes came from. Because in order for me to do my job, I managed a team of 500 at one point. So in order to do that job, I needed to have real strict view of what I needed to do what what was expected of me. So I often created my own systems processes in order to actually do the job that I needed to do because I get so frustrated if I’m doing a doing a task and I come to it, and I’ve done it and then I come to and I think what am I meant to be doing and then you constantly feel like you’re reinventing the wheel. And it’s so frustrating, and I hate that. So my love of systems process really came from that in that I just saw, there’s got to be an easier way and when I started documents near when I started actually you It made such a huge difference to me, I’ve got so much time back in my role. And Marie, and kind of seen the difference here there are in the corporate world, there was other Pac eyes that kind of didn’t work like that. And, and they would constantly they, their working day will be longer than what my working day would be. Because I’d have my system set out there. And if someone came to me and was like, Oh, I need this thing, and they’d that tassels now, I would think, well, I’m gonna be asked to do that again. So I’m gonna create a process or a system so smart. And just more because of frustration. I just, it’s just so frustrating, isn’t it, when you just sit there and just constantly reinventing it, and you, you’re almost constantly starting a new strategy for the task, hands on you, and really give that one strategy a chance, I don’t think without those without those solid processes.

Kendra 25:59
Right, right. And as some of us get older, we forget what we did the 20 times before.

Charlotte 26:08
And when to anything, you could have done it yesterday, I think, well, even for me, I could have done something yesterday, I think, well, I can do that tomorrow. No, it comes in, you know, what did I do? How to get that massage.

Kendra 26:22
And your point about getting time back? I mean, that’s so huge, because that’s the most valuable thing we have, in my opinion is our day yet. So if we can do something in two hours that used to take us five hours. Yeah, that’s a well worth, well worth the effort to figure out how to systemize that or automate it, or whatever it is. Yeah,

Charlotte 26:41
I think it is just kind of sitting there and having that overwhelm that frustration. And I think everyone can relate to that, where you’ve where you’ve had a process. So you’re sorting out processes, sorting out something that’s happening, or you’ve got to action, and you sit there and you think, Oh, yeah, well, I’ve got to do. I’m not really sure. And I’m not really sure what, where where to start, and you kind of end up procrastinating, and then you start thinking of Okay, what else can I do? That’s more fun than this.

One, I think, a lot of people

Kendra 27:18
starting out, you know, depending on where you’re coming from, and what your background is. You know, when I started my business, I had had some corporate experience and different design studios and agencies and branding studios. And I started my business because I felt like I could do it in a more human way and a better way. And I just didn’t like what I was being exposed to. So, but I didn’t have the inside view on exactly how things worked. As far as I knew the design process I knew, interacting with clients, but like the actual function and setup of the back end of that business were completely foreign to me. And it was also something back then. I mean, there was no YouTube there was no, I couldn’t, podcasts weren’t a thing, like I couldn’t like, teach myself how to run a design business. I had to like figure it out. I think a lot of people now have so many more resources. Yeah, cool. They can kind of guide themselves, but a lot of us don’t even know. I mean, what would you even Google like, I’ve had no time and I’m overwhelmed. Somebody helped me.

Wave a white flag.

Charlotte 28:29
Absolutely. And it’s a lot of the time, it’s because the back end of the business to kind of box off is the stuff that people just renowned for thinking that the stuff that I hate, but they’re the ascent Yeah. That like they’re the things that you really need to build on solid foundations to be able to be successful in business. You could sit there and think I hate this. I don’t want to do it. But unless you’re doing that your business isn’t going to go forward.

Unknown Speaker 28:57

Charlotte 28:58
quite often, I think there’s also that kind of thing of, it’s boring. I don’t like it. I don’t like anything to do with backoff. A lot of what our clients feel when they come to us for the dump view support. They’re just thought, I don’t like it. I don’t like that side of business, if I want to do it, and I want someone else to do it for me.

Kendra 29:20
Great, great. Yeah, I get that. I think there needs to be a perspective shift. If you have to do it yourself and you don’t have the budget to have someone take care of that for you. You know, learning to love it because it makes your life easier or because it makes your clients happier. You know, a consistent onboarding process or consistent. Whatever it is to make everybody aware of this is how we do things. It just makes a better team. It makes it better everything.

Charlotte 29:48
Yeah, absolutely. And the onboarding process, I mean for a lot of people when you get to that established business stage and especially if you’re doing kind of one to one work and you need to Send contracts out to clients, etc. The onboarding process can sometimes become such a time suck for so many people. And you end up sitting and you think, watch, I don’t want this client sign up, because I haven’t got the time to onboard them. I don’t know what I meant to be doing to onboard them. And without having that kind of process, but what you can actually do is automate the majority, if not all, of the onboarding process. Talk to me

Kendra 30:27
about that, because I don’t quite like really, what is automation,

Charlotte 30:32
yet? So automation effectively is, is you’re automating the process. So I always work with the process. So I don’t like when people say, Oh, I want to outsource a task, I would generally always say, why don’t you outsource the process? Because if you outsource a tarsha route, so you’re not part of the jigsaw puzzle, it’s like handing someone a jigsaw puzzle and saying, Can you put this jigsaw puzzle together, but actually, I’ve taken away five pieces of it. And you’re never going to get to the end of it. Because without with the process, that person will know exactly what needs to be done and why it needs to be done, which I think is a real big thing. If you don’t know why something needs to be done, the VA isn’t or the person that you’re outsourcing to isn’t going to be able to pick up if there’s a gap or if there’s anything missing. So I’m a huge believer about trying to outsource the entire process, if not the majority. So I’m the same with automating. So I like to automate processes as opposed to tasks. So I use a tool called Zapier, which is, I love it. It’s about workflows. And people would say, Oh, I hate workflows is boring. But I’m a huge workflow geek. I love workflows. And so you can map out an entire process on Zapier to be able to automate that process. So with the automation, it means that you literally have to do real minimal touch. So for instance, with the onboarding process, if you if your onboarding process was that you had a call with the client, and then you send contracts or proposal, then you send contracts, then you set them up on your invoicing software, and you wanted to get them set up on your CRM, if you wanted to then get them set up on your business hub or your project management tool. You could automate all of those steps. So all you would need to do is to have to call with a client. And then everything else is done for you. That’s like, heaven. ways. It’s a massive game changer. But I think a lot of people just they kind of think automation, they think, oh, I’ve automated my email marketing, and Bri, but they haven’t automated all the steps around it. So they could actually automate a lot more than what they did what they think and save tons tons more time and money because I use the paid for version is up here. But it’s, but it’s only something like $20 a month, which I’m saving tons by using Oh, yeah. As opposed to outsourcing.

Kendra 33:23
you’ve walked through my entire onboarding process. And to think that I wouldn’t ever have to do that again. It’s

Unknown Speaker 33:27
incredible. Yeah.

Charlotte 33:30
And I think

Kendra 33:30
that’s a lot of people don’t realize this is even possible or even an

Unknown Speaker 33:34

Charlotte 33:34
Yeah, absolutely. And I think there is that kind of full set perception of what that automates needs. But I’m a real kind of some people probably look at it and think, Oh, well, that can’t be done. I am very mindset driven. Okay, well, how can I make that work? Or how great at it to make it work? Because I want to free up my time. I want to automate leads. I’m gonna roll tonight. So what can I What can I do to actually get that done? So, but a lot of the time people are people just don’t want to do that a lot of the time is more to do with tech. And the first time of tech is like, No, I’m running away. I don’t like it.

Unknown Speaker 34:17
Right, right. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 34:22

Kendra 34:23
it. I just love this conversation. Because I think like I said, I think a lot of people in in a creative industry oftentimes start their business, knowing nothing about how to run a business. And don’t know the options. And there are a lot of resources out there now where you can sort of research how to best do those things. But this sort of granular thing that is such a good foundation for a business. I feel like I never hear these conversations.

Unknown Speaker 34:50
I’m excited to

Kendra 34:52
be putting this out there in the world with you because I think it’s just so so so important. And so many people are doing this now. Because of the climate we’re in where they’re starting businesses, and they have no idea where to start, and will oftentimes go down the road of, you know, taking on more work taking on more work. Yeah. And then all of a sudden, they are so overwhelmed. Where if they just started out with documenting what they’re doing and automating and setting up these processes, you know, as they need to expand, they can quite easily.

Charlotte 35:25
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I’ve even got my content marketing automated, so and even that is real minimal touch point for me and I say something like 10 hours a week by doing Wow, sighs real real game changer.

Kendra 35:42
What is one system or automation that you would recommend? That’s gonna say somebody like, basically get them the biggest bang for their buck, as far as time goes, like, if you have nothing else, if you have nothing else, that you get nothing, instead of this conversation, remember this,

Charlotte 35:57
go do this. And your automate your marketing, more like the marketing, because without marks here, sales are driven by marketing, everything’s kind of driven by marketing the business growth is. So if you were to do anything it would be to really invest yourself in the marketing and track the metrics, because so many people just just don’t bother with tracking metrics. I think every client that has come to me and said, when I’ve said, Do check your metrics, so that now I know I should buy time, and track your metrics, because you’ll know what’s working. And you’ll get to get to your version of success a lot quicker if you know what’s working, because you can do more of that and you can utilize your time doing the stuff that’s working and stop using time on the things that aren’t and wasting time. Yeah,

Kendra 36:50
and the tools that you would recommend for doing that.

Charlotte 36:53
And my tools would be I is you know, Kendra, I’m a firm lover of Asana. So definitely say Asana, I use the free version, there is a paid version. But the free version does more than enough. And I would say Zapier, okay. Do you use a social media posting tool? Like it? Yeah, so I bet you’re using is quite a new one out, it’s called Hello, Wi Fi. Okay. And it’s, well, I’ll say new outs. It’s new out in 2020. And, and it’s, I haven’t heard that one. It’s really good. So it’s based on AI. So bearing in mind that they are still building it up. It’s it’s very geared towards the voice marketing, which I think and I think a lot of people will agree that kind of voice marketing is gonna really grow with Alexa. Usually. And that’s really gonna take off. So yeah, so hello, Wi Fi is absolutely amazing. So I automate posts through there, you can also automate your groups as well, which not many schedulers allow you to say.

Kendra 38:02
Right? Oh, I’ll have to look into that we use

I think it’s called tragic truck. trash it right now. It was social reporter. Yes, report. And then they got bought out? And yeah, I mean, all the ones I’ve ever used before, they all kind of do the same thing. But like you said, investing in that newer technology is something you want to make sure that you’re kind of onboard with a company that’s looking at that. And voice that’s huge. I can’t wait to look at that.

Charlotte 38:31
Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s gonna be a real game changer. So I’m really excited to see where they go.

Kendra 38:37
Yeah. And see if I had a system and a procedure in place, I could go and just change what the program is amazing. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 38:51
I need your help.

Charlotte 38:53
I love kokino systems, processes, workflows, all the boring stuff, but make

Kendra 39:00
it bakwin I always struggled with, do I hire another designer? Who’s going to actually produce work that’s going to make more money? Or do I hire an assistant. And for years, I was hiring designers and not hiring an assistant to help me structure and organize things. And the last two years, I went in the other direction, and I’ve, I’ve invested more in my support team, as far as that goes than my actual design team. And it’s allowed me to do more, to produce more

to let my team produce more to

because I’d always thought I’d had this mindset against

hiring someone that wasn’t directly bringing more money in.

Charlotte 39:43
That’s the thing and a lot of people think, but I can do that. I can do that. I promise you, you can’t. You cannot do all those things. You can if it’s just that, yeah, never just that. That’s often the mindset and I think If you look at it, if you if you look at you and what you’re doing, as the business owner, your sole responsibility will be to bring in more business. And the more you bring in, the more designers, the more people you’re gonna need working with you. But you can’t bring in that business unless you’ve got some time freed up. So you need time to free up by hiring the person to be able to really build and grow, grow the business and manage their team yet. Yep.

Kendra 40:30
Well, I love this conversation, I there’s so many links that I want to put in the show notes, to all of your things and to the systems and the tools that you’ve recommended. So I’ll definitely put that together. So people can take part and try out some of the tips that you’ve given? And is there anything else you want to let us know that’s coming up for you that people can start working with you other than your, your normal agency structure?

Charlotte 40:58
Yes. So I’m actually going to be launching a group program soon that suppress price all about systems. So it’s really going to be focused around creating those strong foundations in business, creating load systems that you need to really push the business forward. And we’re going to really delve into streamlining so we’re really going to look at the tools that you’re using that could you maybe be using different tools are using tools that you don’t need to be using? Are you duplicating them. So we’re really going to delve in audit audit business, and see what I spots happen in and see what we can actually put in place to to stop the overwhelm stop you kind of becoming so ingrained in the business and get back to start working on the business. I can’t wait. That’s gonna be amazing. I’m excited for that.

Kendra 41:58
Well, thank you so much for coming on and talking about all of this. I would love to have you on in the future and keep sharing tips with our audience because sometimes we’re messy bunch when it comes.

Charlotte 42:10
Thank you for having me. It’s been great. Yeah, I will talk to you soon. Yes. Thank you.

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