Autopilot Income: The Secret of Three

Regardless of your business model — be it online or offline — the concept of autopilot income is attractive. You remember “autopilot income” — that’s the income that comes in regardless of your efforts.

Once established you can set it and forget it.

So what’s the secret to setting up an autopilot income? It lies in the Rule of Three. Basically, if you do it three times or more — automate it!

Start right now to make a list of tasks you do — then add tick marks next to each one as you do it. If you see three tick marks, it’s a candidate for automation. If you are planning a new project, ask yourself what you will do more than three times.

For example, do you sign your email the same way 3 times? Set up a signature file. In fact, set up a group of signature files that you can rotate. After all, if you’re setting up one signature file, it’s  just as efficient to  set up three. That’s how you leverage your time and efforts.

Do you send the same message to more than 3 people? Either automate it with a merge file or use a signature file you can quickly insert. Or set up an autoresponder sequence and subscribe them to it.

Do you answer the same question more than 3 times? Either use a signature file or a text automation program, such as QuickKeys. Instead of typing your response, consider recording an audio postcard which you can send in answer to the question. Or set up a “canned” reply in your customer support program.

You can even anticipate the question — and include it in the autoresponder sequence of email messages you send out after someone purchases your product. That way you answer the question before they have a chance to ask! By grouping the frequently asked questions into a single email early in the sequence, you can head off a lot of customer service issues.

Do you do a process more than three times? For example, if you are going to create a favicon for just one website, it’s  more efficient to have someone do  it for you. No point in spending all that time learning when you’ll only do it once. On the other hand, if you have more than three websites for which you will be creating favicons, you may want to learn the process at EasyFavicons.com.

Does anyone  else  in  your company need the Rule of Three? If you have contractors or staff members who work for you, consider what they do  three times or more and have them automate it as well. That saves them time that they can spend on other projects.

Do you send the same message to more than 3 people? Either automate it with a merge file or use a signature file you can quickly insert. Or set up an autoresponder sequence and subscribe them to it.

Do you answer the same question more than 3 times? Either use a signature file or a text automation program, such as QuickKeys. Instead of typing your response, consider recording an audio postcard which you can send in answer to the question. Or set up a “canned” reply in your customer support program.

Do you explain the same thing more than 3 times? If you teach other people how to do something more than 3 times, do it in a screen capture video. They can watch as often as needed — and you only had to do it once. Include in this category your how-to videos, process improvement videos, even an introductory orientation to your company.

If you teach people to use your product or staff members how to do a process, set up an autoresponder sequence to do it. Writ the messages once, then set them on autopilot. You can even include links to the videos and audios you’ve prepared to cover this material.

Your job as the business owner is to figure out what needs to be done and how to most efficiently accomplish it. Any time yo see something that needs to be done more than three times, automate it. When your training is automated and your sales and follow up processes are automated you truly have an autopilot business.

Jeanette Cates

Dr. Jeanette Cates is a 20-year veteran Internet strategist, known for prolific product production. After a brief retirement she has returned to launch OutsourceBees.com to help others build their online success.

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