I want to share with you a little productivity tip that I’ve perfected over the past few years. But first, story time.
I can still vividly remember the first time I ordered in a pizza with my son. He was five and over the moon that someone came to our door to drop off our supper. At first, the delivery guy laughed at his excitement but was shocked when I explained it was because we’d never ordered in before.
You see, as a young mom just starting my career and business, I was too
cheap frugal to spend money on luxuries like pizza delivery when I had to pay for rent, daycare and the other slew of bills that come along with being an adult. It’s not that we never ate pizza, it was just that we cooked it ourselves or got the ‘walk-in special’.
Side note: don’t go after the customers who are still cooking the frozen pizza. They rarely turn into weekly full-priced orders.
The bright side of these financial restraints is that I learned how to stick to a budget and cut unnecessary expenses like a boss.
As the years trickled by and my business grew, ordering in a pizza became a saviour when life was just a little too hectic (read: when I worked crazy hours, my fridge was empty and my kitchen was a mess). At first, I would spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to find the best deal, ordering from different places regardless of the quality just to save a few bucks.
By the time I chose the toppings and placed the order, we would be starving and waiting anxiously by the door with my son repeating ‘when is it coming, mom?’ and ‘why does it take so loooooong?’. We mixed things up by ordering other types of takeout on occasion but repeated the process of looking for deals and ordering from everywhere under the sun.
And finally, I got tired to a point where all of the extra effort just wasn’t worth it anymore.
I stopped price shopping and we found a couple local takeout places we liked to order from. When I’d call the restaurant, they’d use their fancy CRM system to pull up my address and order history. It got to the point where I’d just call and say ‘Hi, send what you sent last time’ because I knew the product and service was exactly what I wanted.
This is how easy we need to make it for repeat and retainer customers to work with us.
I also knew how long the delivery would take, and that’s when the magic happened.
When you have 45 minutes before supper but you don’t have to cook, you can get. stuff. done. Somehow, the timer (aka delivery guy) made it possible to fly through my disaster of a home so that not only would supper be on the table, but the table would be freshly scrubbed, floors swept and counters decluttered.
The free time from not having to run to the store and plan or prep a meal allowed me to offset the cost of the pizza because I could get more work done, and the 45 minutes of cleaning made it possible for me to actually cook a meal the next night without feeling completely overwhelmed.
This is what you’re clients actually want – whether they hire you for your expertise or just to buy back their time, they want you to make it easier for them to keep moving forward.
I’m not saying that you have to literally order a pizza, although you totally could.
Whether it’s outsourcing or scheduling something to repeat automatically, it takes a little time up front to set up, but we all need to find the systems that free up that little extra time when things get overwhelming. Something that doesn’t require too many choices (decision fatigue is real, folks).
What’s a system you have in place that frees up some of your time and mental energy?