Are Your Tools Breaking Your Toes?

This photo is not me.  I’m not a gourmet cook.  I got a crash course in cooking three weeks before I got married and 12 years later there’s still a 50/50 chance I’ll burn the grilled cheese sandwiches.

But about four years ago one of my sons got very sick and we found out he had Celiac disease.  Later we realized I did, too.  The only treatment is to go on a gluten free diet.

So there went convenience foods and almost anything processed… and my kitchen adventures began.  Cooking from scratch was no longer a choice, and learning words like Xantham gum was required (really, if I can’t pronounce it, do I have to cook with it?).

Thankfully there are some great books out there to help, and today many more foods are available for purchase in gluten free versions.

Last week as I was rushing around the kitchen, I grabbed for a pot out of the cabinet.  And yelped!  Everything had come crashing down on my toes. 

Totally my own fault.  Instead of nicely stacking those pots I had just shoved them into the cabinet the last time I put them away.  So I can’t even blame the kids for this one.

Because I wasn’t keeping my “tools” organized and secure, they attacked!

How about your tools?  No, not your pots and pans (though if they’re a mess like mine were I do suggest a quick organization minute to protect your toes).  Your business tools.

When was the last time you double checked…

  • Your sales process
    • Is it easy to find your products or services?
    • Is it clear how to check out and pay?
    • Do downloads get delivered properly?
    • Do you have a follow up sequence in place?
  • Your autoresponders/lists
    • Does your opt-in box work?
    • Does it deliver the confirmation and/or free download properly?
    • Have you checked your lists stats for anything you need to check into?
  • Your website or blog
    • Are the important links working?
    • Is it easy to contact you?

Make sure your tools are working smoothly and connected where they need to be.

You might find you need to make some updates.  Or switch tools.  As our businesses grow we often need to re-evaluate what we’ve been relying on and upgrade.  Don’t put it off.  Get the right systems in place and things will go much smoother.

One thing I had to do when I started cooking more from scratch was look at what tools my kitchen was missing.  I needed different tools to be able to make my own bread (thank you to whomever invented the bread machine!) than I did to grab a loaf of bread from the store.

Take a few minutes to evaluate what pieces might be missing from your business and upgrade your setup.  Have you outgrown your ecommerce system?  Move from those PayPal buttons to a solution like E-Junkie or 1ShoppingCart.  Are you ready to get serious about building a list?  Get signed up with Aweber or another good mailing service.

A little check up and organization can go a long way towards preventing broken toes and other accidents in our kitchens and our businesses.

Have you had business tools attack you?  Or kitchen tools?  Got any secret weapons or organizational tips to share?  What’s working for you?

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  1. I’m usually on top of things but I broke a toe or two this morning :) when I realized that my email address from my old blog was messed up (I use that address in multiple other very important locations). Turns out I hadn’t received email from that address in 8 days (I recently unsubbed from a bunch of stuff so the reduction in email didn’t even seem strange) and only discovered it because a new customer sent me a message through a different address to ask a question. I got it fixed but 8 days of email is lost in cyberspace :( and there were things going on that I wasn’t aware of in my business because I wasn’t getting notifications!

    1. Whoops! I always appreciate so much when clients alert me to things like that. I’m glad you found out so you could fix it. :)

  2. Great advice, Michelle. I recently reviewed my stuff and still have one piece to fix. I realized my free offer still has my old website name on it. Oops. It’s good to re-evaluate periodically not only to make sure things are working, but to be sure they’re working well for your business. I hope your toes recover soon!
    Lisbeth Tanz recently posted… Where’s Your Head At When You PostMy Profile

    1. Yes, that too! Sometimes things are “okay” but could be “fabulous” and working better. :)

  3. Oh Michelle! What a great reminder!! lol–it’s so easy to forget about all the tools we’re using and forget to double check that it’s all functioning the way it should!! I always try to make sure everything is working: autoresponders etc… thanks!
    God bless,

    1. It is easy to let it slip. And technology sometimes has a mind of it’s own, so it’s always good to double-check. Thanks for stopping by, Emily. :)

  4. This is a spectacular article! It really takes a nice look at the way we become lax, or kind of lazy even. I have needed some upgrades, but had been putting them off because older practices have been “working”… I have been inspired to get it going lately and your post has really pushed it more! Thank You for sharing this article….

    Oh- And I still burn at least the bread/rolls every. single. time. I. cook!!!!! LOL
    Organic SEO Marketing recently posted… Top 10 Must Have WordPress PluginsMy Profile

    1. Glad I’m not the only one, Brandy! It’s easy to think I can walk away just for a minute… but that never works out well. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Winning the Tug of War Between Your Home and Office LifeMy Profile

  5. Hey Michelle,

    If I keep up on my maintenance it is much easier than trying to catch up. Although I try to schedule regular checks of all my systems, some times I fail. It is pretty embarrassing to have some tell me a link is broken in an old auto responder series.

    I like your advice on deciding if it is time to move on. As our sites grow we have to consider the changes that go with that growth.
    Sheila Atwood recently posted… Fixing WordPress Problems- Is It Your Theme Or Your PluginsMy Profile

    1. It is, isn’t it? A few minutes here and there keeps us from having to spend a couple hours on it later. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… It’s All About Me Because It’s All About YouMy Profile

  6. Michelle,
    Thanks for the great reminder and gentle nudge. Unless it’s on our regular To-Do list most of us will probably forget these things. I think about it on occasion but don’t have a consistent system – I will rectify this. I often find broken links etc on other people’s sites and let them know immediately (by private message) I have had readers do the same for me. I really do appreciate it.
    Heather x

    1. They’re easy to forget or put off until something falls apart. I appreciate as well it when people let me know about those kind of things (broken links, forms, etc). There’s a lot to keep up with on a website and from time to time things are bound to stop working right.

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