I was eating at my favorite restaurant the other day (Harlow here in Portland!) when I looked across the room and noticed something brilliant.
It’s something I’ve seen about a hundred or so times before, and didn’t really think much of it.
But when I looked at it the other day, I had a huge “Aha!” moment. It was genius.
Now after all this build-up, please don’t laugh at me when I told you what I saw.
What did I see?
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A stack of to-go boxes.
“Wow… Genius, David… To go boxes… So glad I’m reading this article right now…”
Hold your horses! Hear me out…
Harlow has a station over in the corner where you can pour yourself a glass of water.
Above the water station is a shelf where to-go boxes are stacked.
(It’s the kind of restaurant where you order at the counter, then they bring your food out and that ends the service. You don’t have a waiter or anything.)
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Here’s why this is genius, and how mastering this concept is going to save you tons of time and energy with your customers:
How many times do you think Harlow was asked, “Hey, can I get a to go box please?” before they implemented this system?
How many combined hours did their staff spend stopping what they were doing to go fetch a box for a customer?
Now, think of how much time they’re saving by just putting up a new stack every week or so.
Think of how much energy they’re saving.
Suddenly, those to go boxes are pretty brilliant, right?
That’s because they’re just one example of a system Harlow implemented to free their staff up to focus on their most important jobs.
The key to saving your own time and energy
The key to saving your own time and energy is to look for “to go box” opportunities in your own business.
The goal is to eliminate as much of the “clutter” that stands between you and your core strengths.
The more of that you free up, the more time and energy you have to focus on what you’re most passionate and competent at.
Here are a few we’ve implemented at our company Reliable PSD:
Moving client interactions over to our project management software
When clients had changes in the past, they’d send them over to us, then we’d insert them into our project management software and tag everyone who’s necessary.
But by moving client interactions over to our software, we developed a new system:
The clients simply create a checklist of all the changes right there.
This is awesome for them because creating a checklist feels much more concrete and accountable than emailing a list. Also – they can check on the status at any time by logging in and seeing what’s checked off.
This is awesome for our team because we’d spend literally up to hours per day copy / pasting from email and inserting into Teamwork.
Just like at my favorite restaurant, I’d much rather go and grab a box than waste time waiting for someone to grab one for me.
Both of us save time and energy.
Having pre-written snippets for proposals that we insert with an automatic text tool
By now we know the main functionality people request, so we start their proposal by inserting pre-written templates using a tool called TextExpander.
We have TextExpander snippets for so many parts of our business. It saves time from re-writing the same things over and over.
Clients get answers and proposals quicker, and we save more time and energy to put care into the more important stuff like ensuring they’re happy.
Switching to an online browser & device testing tool
Right now, multiple team members test projects on multiple devices and browsers. This means you have to have a pool of devices and computers and it takes a lot of time to go through them all.
They then take screenshots of bugs and fixes on each device and mark them up with notes.
In recent years, online-based testing platforms have come a really long way though.
Companies now have devices hooked up to their apps so you can test on real devices from thousands of miles away – and you can take screenshots right from within the app.
We’re just now switching over to this so we can test all projects in one place and provide our team with fixes faster.
How about you?
What “to go boxes” have you added to your business? Or what areas are you struggling to figure out a good “to go box” for?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment and let’s talk.
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