I'm Dolly — a Nashville based family & branding photographer AND a systems + workflow educator (and Podcast Host) for creatives who want to be more streamlined and organized with Systems, Workflows & SOPS to better impact the backend of their businesses. I'm here to help you look awesome (for your photos) & feel great about workflows!
What if instead of needing an assistant, marketing manager, or business partner, you really just needed to take some time and streamline your business? (Yes, I understand the VALUE of outsourcing parts of your business, but if you are just getting started in your small business you don’t yet have the resources to pay an assistant, listen up this article is for you!)
If you don’t yet know me, hi! My name is Dolly and I am super passionate about automating and streamlining my small business and I love educating other small business owners to see the power of systems and automation. Why? Because, guys, it works. It really, really works. So in today’s blog, I’m taking you behind the scenes to my top five favorite tools that I use to streamline my business (and you can too)!
Okay, so Trello isn’t what you might think of when you think of “streamlining” your business. But it’s super helpful nonetheless. Trello is my home base when it comes to seeing the high-level picture of my business.
You can create boards for each pillar of your business, the content you’re creating, and even the strategy for where your business is headed. I love Trello because it keeps everything categorized for me and I can upload documents and keep everything housed in one place. Plus, it’s totally customizable, so you can tailor it to fit your needs for your specific business.
I get NO benefit or affiliate from talking about this, but one of the BEST $29 I have ever spent for my own small business was purchasing “Trello For Small Business” by Boss Project, and it was a GAME CHANGER in how I used this FREE Tool! (Seriously I get no benefits from talking about this resource! Please check it out!)
And if you are looking for a free template to use to get started with Trello, why not download the free planner I created where I show you how to batch out your month using Trello as a guide? You’ll love it, I promise!
Dubsado is my hub for all things logistical for my business. Think invoices, contracts, forms, workflows – all housed under one roof.
You can set up automations so when an inquiry comes in, the contact automatically gets a follow-up email. You can also get reminders for you and your clients about upcoming appointments and deadlines. It’s like having your own mini administrative team, but instead, you’ve just got great software!
An added bonus is this = Dubsado’s customer support is AH-MAZING! So if you are running into any issues someone will get back to you within 1-2 hours (which is HUGE)!
If you use this link, you can unlock 20% off either your first month or for the full year with my code “dollydelongeducation”
As a small business owner, you have to create consistent graphics and PDFs that move the needle for your business. Whenever I want to create content, media, lead magnets, or freebies, Canva is my go-to.
Plus – Canva is pretty much dummy-proof. You don’t have to be a professional graphic designer to create beautiful designs that represent your business well!
This saves you money from hiring an expensive graphic designer in the beginning stages of your business. Yes, again let me stress you should invest in your business by outsourcing ONCE YOU HAVE THE MONEY (I am a firm believer in not being in debt and living financially responsible because I’m a Dave Ramsey fan through and through), so keep in mind I am writing this blog post from the perspective of helping a NEW business owner see the tools that are already at their disposal while they build traction.
4) Excel Spreadsheets & Google Drive
Google Drive and spreadsheets are perfect for storing your budget and important documents that you need to frequently reference.
If you’re intimidated by spreadsheets, don’t be! There are plenty of free resources and tools that help you not only understand how to use these digital tools, but that really make them work FOR your small business.
Flodesk is email marketing at its finest. This tool is the perfect solution for an email service provider to store all your contacts and allows you to follow up with email marketing and communication so you’re consistently communicating with your list.
Plus — the email templates are absolutely beautiful. You’ll feel confident your business is being represented well when you use this tool to communicate with your email list.
If the very thought of streamlining your business is making you stressed, that might mean you need to do it even more. I’m here to tell you, it’s so worth it.
Streamlining your business doesn’t just free up some of your workloads. It allows you to do more of what you love in your business. That might mean more time strategizing, serving your customers, or refining your craft. Whatever that looks like, you’ll be able to do it with the power of streamlining on your side!
And I’m always here to help. As I said, I pretty much live and breathe this stuff. If you have any questions or want to find out more about the services I offer for better automating and streamlining your small business, please click HERE!
Dolly DeLong is a Nashville-based family & branding photographer and a creative business owner who educates on all things Pinterest, Dubsado, Lead Magnets & Email Marketing (aka pretty much all the fun automation stuff centered around those business systems)! Dolly loves serving families, and business owners with her timeless, radiant photography. She loves capturing the joy and emotion in both digital and film photos.
She also has a heart for serving the larger business community. Dolly shares her knowledge of tools like Pinterest, Dubsado, email marketing, and business systems with new creative business owners in an encouraging and supportive way because she believes that even muggles can become automating wizards!
Dolly’s faith and love for her family motivate her to help other business owners find the joy and freedom she’s found in running a successful small business.
Whenever she has a spare moment, she enjoys watching TV (i.e. Survivor), loves eating way too many sweets, and listens to podcasts while running or walking. To work with Dolly DeLong, fill out her contact form here.
Interested in learning how to best automate your small business but have NO clue where to start? Click here (or on the image below) to get started with learning the foundations of automating your business with Dolly DeLong Education!
Or maybe you're not really sure how you'd use your new collection of branded images? Download my free planning guide to learn how to plan an elevated brand photography session to impact your business!