When I read articles about how robots are taking over the work force and will one day replace humans completely (or was that Terminator…) I have to say, I disagree. While I certainly think automation and robotics will replace an increasing amount of the work that humans do, I strongly believe there is an important factor that’s been overlooked. I have (very scientifically) dubbed it “the secret sauce.”
Your Secret Sauce
The Secret Sauce is the stuff that makes your business yours. It’s the unique way you solve your customer’s problem, or your oddball branding. It’s the thing that differentiates you and your business from everyone else in your niche, and from everyone else in your market.
For most of my clients, I find the “secret sauce” is usually some combination of the following:
- It’s how they communicate and collaborate with clients – the customer experience
- It is the particular knowledge or skillset that they leverage for their business and clients
- It is their branding, and how they present themselves to the world
So what does this have to do with robots taking over the world?
Simple: You can’t Automate your Secret Sauce.
When I work with clients to build delegatable workflows (yeah that’s a word…), this is one of the very first things we discuss. I help them identify the stuff that makes their business unique, so we can make sure to build processes that leverage their time better while keeping them in charge of the stuff that must be done by them.
Here are some example ways that we’ve created workflows that are authentic but still take things off the owner’s to do list.
- Kickstarting Client Onboarding
When someone submits a “Consulting Request” form on your website, automatically send them a welcome email (written in your own unique style) that lets them know your assistant will reply to coordinate an introduction call. (Use your email service – like Mailchimp – to set up this autoresponder.) Also, use [eafl id=290 name=”Zapier” text=”Zapier*”] to add a task to your Assistant’s to-do list, along with all of the information he/she will need to set up the meeting.
- Drafting an Email Newsletter
Using an email template, have your assistant plug in all of this week’s posts and add links and images. You can also ask your Assistant to keep track of reader questions you receive, and add these (along with your answer) to your weekly newsletter. Once that’s done, all you have to do is add an introduction and closing that’s in your own style. This saves me at least an hour a week!
- Finding Curated Content
This one’s for the bloggers out there. Curating great content for your audience is a great way to be valuable while leveraging your time. Choose the topic (for example, “10 Unique Bar Spoons” for our bartending site) and ask your assistant to find double the number of examples you need. Then you can review the list to find the best options without doing the digging yourself. Then, leveraging a pre-made template, ask your assistant to create and format the blog post using the items you chose.
Workflow Creation, Step Zero:
If you’re getting to the stage where you’d like to get help with your business, start with your secret sauce. Which parts of your business must absolutely be done by you? Which can be started by someone else and double checked / finished by you? And what templates can you create so the experience still feels like you?
The work that YOU do – that is authentically and uniquely do – cannot and will not ever be replaced by robots. (Sorry, Stephen Hawking.)