How to Set Up a Facebook Shop: The Quickstart Guide for Beginners

You’ve got to be proactive.

If you want to be successful, you can’t sit back and wait for customers to come to you – reach out to them.

So where are they? Facebook.

Facebook is the largest social network in the world, with more than 1.09 billion people logging on daily to spend an average of 58.5 minutes on the platform.

That’s insane.

If you sell products online and you don’t have a Facebook shop, you’re missing a huge opportunity.

Plus, the Facebook shop feature isn’t just available to major retailers – anyone can get in on the action.

In this article, you’ll learn how to create a Facebook shop and how to integrate your Shopify store with Facebook. Plus, make sure that you stick around until the end to learn how to tag your products in Facebook posts.

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What Exactly is a Facebook Shop?

A Facebook shop is a tab which you can configure on your Facebook page to promote and sell your products directly to Facebook users on the platform itself.

Here’s an example of a Facebook store from Shopify user Best Self Co:

Facebook Shop Example

When Facebook users click on a product, they’ll be shown an expanded product page. On this page, they can see product pictures and videos, and read the product description.

Facebook Shop Product Page Example

What Are the Benefits of a Facebook Shop?

Before we look at how to create a Facebook shop, it’s important to understand exactly how a Facebook store can help you grow your ecommerce busines

Here are the three main benefits of having a Facebook store:

1. You Can Tag Your Products in Facebook Posts to Boost Sales

Once you have a Facebook shop set up, you’ll be able to start tagging any of your products featured in your images.

This ensures that everyone who views your posts will become aware of the products you have available.

In the example below from Nike, you can see product listing thumbnails under the heading “Products shown.”

Facebook Shop Product Tagging

Plus, notice how each product in the image has a price tag icon? When users hover their mouse over the icon, product information is displayed.

Here’s the best part: Once you’ve set up your Facebook shop, tagging products in posts is quick and easy.

More on that in a minute.

2. You Can Tap Into Facebook’s Social Engagement

People hang out on Facebook.

Remember, the average daily user spends nearly an hour on the platform every day.

By adding a Facebook shop tab to your page, you can capitalize on the way users engage on Facebook.

Unlike your website, when people view your products on your Facebook store, they can Like them, save them for later, share them with friends, or leave a comment asking a question or sharing their thoughts.

Social Selling

Each of these actions will help to expose your brand to new people in the best possible way – through a friend.

These engagements work as a powerful form of social proof – meaning that people are heavily influenced by the opinions and actions of others.

3. A Facebook Shop Can Help to Reduce Friction in the Sales Process

You want to make it as easy as possible for people to purchase your products.

The more hoops you make customers jump through, the more likely they’ll give up or get distracted and not complete their purchase.

Simply put, a Facebook store makes life easier for Facebook users.

They can browse your products in the same window they’re using to chat with friends. Plus, they can add products to their cart and then check out on the platform, or head to your website to finish purchasing your products.

The Problem with Facebook Shops in 2019

Unfortunately, the Facebook shop feature isn’t currently available in all countries. So, which countries can access the feature?

Good question – no idea.

Facebook isn’t super helpful in this regard, saying only, “This feature is being rolled out gradually and may not be available to you yet.”

Facebook Shop Roll Out

There’s really only one way to find out if you can access this feature: Try to create a Facebook shop and see if the option is there.

What’s more, even if you can access the Facebook shop tab feature, Facebook only provides a shopping cart and checkout service for sellers in the U.S.

And once again, we don’t know when other countries can expect access to this feature.

However, it’s not all bad news.

If you’re not based in the U.S., you can still use a Facebook store to hook in new customers and send them to your website to check out by using the call to action, “Check Out on Website.”

Check Out on Website

Okay, now let’s look at how to set up a Facebook store with Shopify. Then, we’ll take a look at how to create a standalone Facebook shop.

How to Set Up a Facebook Shop with Shopify

We recommend this route for serious sellers (and for existing Shopify or Oberlo users).


Firstly, you’re in control – your business won’t be completely dependent on the whims of future Facebook policies.

You’re also able to utilize Shopify’s powerful ecommerce management software.


Plus, Shopify allows you to integrate multiple sales channels.

This means that you can sell on your own website, Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Amazon, eBay, and more, all from one dashboard.

In other words, it will make your life way easier.

Shopify Facebook Shop Integration

Okay, ready to get to work?

Step 1: Create Your Shopify Store

If you don’t already have a Shopify store, head to and create an account.

Shopify Sign Up

Thankfully, Shopify offers a free 14-day trial, so you can test it out before committing.

However, to create a Facebook shop, you’ll need to sign up to one of Shopify’s plans, which start at just $29 per month.

When you’re done, you’ll be taken to your new Shopify dashboard – A.K.A. the command center of your future ecommerce empire:

Shopify Dashboard

At this point, Shopify will prompt you to add a product, customize your theme, and add a domain name.

It’s best to get your store set up now – for more help, check out: How to Set Up Your Shopify Store.

Also, if you don’t already have a Facebook page for your business, you’ll need to set one up before we can continue. For help, read our guide, 19 Easy Steps to Setting Up a Killer Facebook Business Page.

Done? Awesome!

Step 2: Connect Your Shopify Store to Your Facebook Page

Head to your Shopify dashboard, click “Sales Channels,” and then click the plus icon to add Facebook as a new sales channel.

Add Facebook Shop to Shopify

Once you’ve done that, click “Connect Account” to connect Shopify with your Facebook account.

Connect Facebook and Shopify

Facebook will ask you to allow Shopify to “manage your Pages and publish as Pages you manage” – click “OK” to continue.

Next, use the drop-down menu to select the Facebook page that you want to create a Facebook shop for. Once you’ve done that, click “Connect Page.”

Connect Shopify to Facebook Page

At this point, you’re asked to read and agree to Facebook’s Seller’s Terms and Policies. Make sure to read these before clicking “Accept Terms.”

All done?

Okay, it can take up to 48 hours for Facebook to review and approve your store. In the meantime, let’s break down what you’ll do once you get the green light from Facebook.

Once Facebook has approved your store, you’ll need to sign up for one of Shopify’s plans and click “Enable” before you can start selling through your Facebook store.

Enable Facebook Shop

Step 3: Choose Which Products and Collections to Show on Facebook

Now that you’ve linked your Shopify store to your Facebook page, it’s time to set up your Facebook shop.

To add products to your Facebook store, click the “Products” tab in your Shopify dashboard and select the products you want to add.

Next, click “Actions” to open the action menu, and then click “Make products available.”

Shopify Product Management

A popup window will ask you which sales channels you want the products to be displayed on. Check the box next to Facebook and click “Make products available.”

Make Products Available on Facebook Shop

You can also add collections to your Facebook shop in the same way. Just click the “Collections” tab in the Shopify dashboard and repeat the process.

Now, to edit how products are arranged in your Facebook store, head to the “Publishing” tab under “Facebook” in the sidebar.

Here you can add, remove, and arrange collections of products shown in your Facebook shop.

Shopify Product Management

Once you’re done, head to your Facebook page and you’ll see a new “Shop” tab featuring your products and collections.

Here’s an example from Shopify user KKW Beauty:

Facebook Shop Tab

If you’d like to change the order of your Facebook page tabs, read “Step 1” of the next section.

Congratulations, you’re now the proud owner of a Facebook shop!

How to Set Up a Facebook Shop Without a Third-Party Service

In this section, we’ll work through how to set up and manage a Facebook store using only the platform itself.

Again, if you don’t yet have one, make sure to set up a Facebook business page before continuing.

Okay, let’s jump in.

Step 1: Add the “Shop” Tab

Navigate to your Facebook page and click “Settings.”

You’ll then be presented with a huge menu of Facebook page options. Now, click “Templates and tabs” so that we can add the Facebook shop tab.

Facebook Page Settings

This will show you all of the tabs you’re currently using. Scroll to the bottom of the list and click “Add a Tab.”

Facebook Shop Tab

Now, find “Shop” and click “Add Tab.”Add Facebook ShopThis will add the shop tab to your Facebook page.

If you’d like to rearrange the order of your tabs, just click the three horizontal lines and drag your tabs into your preferred arrangement.

Facebook Shop Tab

However, when doing this, make sure that your shop tab is in the top three. This will ensure that it’s still visible when your tab list is shortened by the “See more” link.

Facebook Shop Tab

Step 2: Configure Your Facebook Shop Tab

If your shop tab isn’t displaying correctly, head back to “Templates and tabs,” click on “Settings,” and make sure “Show Shop tab” is on.

Facebook Shop Tab

Once you’ve done this, head back to your Facebook page and click on “Shop.”

To continue, you must agree to Facebook’s Seller’s Terms and Policies. Make sure to read these through before agreeing and clicking “Continue.”

Set Up Facebook Shop

Next, Facebook will ask you how you’d like people to purchase products from your shop.

Anywhere outside of the U.S. has two options: “Message to buy,” or “Checkout on another website.”

Facebook Shop Checkout Method

If you live in the U.S. you’ll also be given the option to accept payments directly from your Facebook page by linking your bank or stripe account. (Click here to learn how to do this.)

Once you’ve chosen your shopping method, it’s time to add products to your Facebook shop!

Step 3: Add Products to Your Facebook Shop

To start, head to your Facebook shop tab and click “Add Product.”

Add Product to Facebook Shop

Next, upload your product photos and videos. Then, type in your product name, price, and include a compelling product description.

In this example, I opted to send buyers to a website to complete their purchase, so I would need to add the website’s URL for this specific product.

Facebook Shop Add Product

Now, Facebook has detailed guidelines and recommendations for product listings. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most important points.

Facebook Product Image Guidelines

You must:

  • Include at least one image for each product listing
  • The image must be of the product itself (it can’t be a graphical representation)

Ideally, you should use images that:

  • Show all of the product
  • Show the product up close in a well-lit setting
  • Have a resolution of 1024 x 1024 or higher
  • Are in the square format
  • Have a white background
  • Showcase the product in real-life situations

Don’t use images that contain:

  • Text (e.g., calls-to-action or promo codes)
  • Offensive content (e.g., nudity, explicit language, violence)
  • Advertising or promotional material
  • Watermarks
  • Time-sensitive information (e.g., limited time offers)
Facebook Product Description Guidelines

Your descriptions shouldn’t include:

  • HTML (Rich text only)
  • Phone numbers or email addresses
  • Long titles
  • Excessive punctuation
  • All the letters capitalized or in lower case
  • Book or film spoilers

Ideally, your descriptions should:

  • Only provide information directly related to the product
  • Be concise and easy to read
  • Highlight unique product features and benefits
  • Be grammatically correct and properly punctuated

When you finish, make sure to click the toggle to enable sharing and then click “Save.”

At this point, you’ll need to wait for Facebook to review and accept your product. This usually takes a few minutes and Facebook will notify you when processing is complete and your products are visible.

Once your product is approved it will look like this:

Facebook Shop Product Page

Then, simply repeat this process until all of your products are added.

Step 4: Manage Your Products and Orders

To manage your products and orders, click the “Publishing Tools” tab at the top of your Facebook page, and click “Shop” near the bottom of the sidebar menu.

Facebook Shop Management

If you’re based in the U.S. and opted to allow users to checkout on Facebook, you’ll get a notification each time you receive a new order.

You also have an addition tab under the “Shop” menu to manage your orders.

Next up:

How to Tag Your Products in Facebook Posts

Let’s quickly run through how to tag your products in Facebook posts.

First, share a new Facebook post or bring up an old post featuring products that you’d like to tag.

Now that you have a Facebook shop tab with products on it, there’ll be an option to “Tag products” next to the usual “Tag photo” button.

Tag Products Facebook Shop

Simply click “Tag Products,” select the product you’d like to tag and click “Finished Tagging.”

That’s it!

Now, whenever a user views your post, they’ll be shown thumbnails of your Facebook shop product listings alongside the image.

Facebook Shop Product Page


Facebook shops are an incredible opportunity to place your product offerings inside the most popular social media platform in the world.

Remember, with a Facebook shop you can:

  • Capitalize on Facebook’s incredible social engagement to expose your brand to friends of shoppers
  • Tag your products in Facebook posts to boost sales
  • Reduce friction in the sales process by allowing users to shop for your products without leaving the site

If you’re serious about selling online, it’s best to create a Facebook store using a service like Shopify.

This way, you’ll retain complete control over your business while also getting access to a suite of features designed solely to help you grow your bottom line.

If you’re based in a country without access to the Facebook shop feature, don’t worry – it’s on its way. And in the meantime, you can still take advantage of other Facebook features to grow your store, such as Facebook Stories and Facebook Live.

Do you have a Facebook store? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below!

Want to Learn More?

23 Inspirational Videos That Will Completely Blow You Away

Are you lacking inspiration?

Do you lack direction, have bad habits, unhealthy relationships, and a mindset that has prevented you from achieving success?

Well, these inspirational videos can help.

They don’t contain the answers – instead, they remind you of the deeper truths that you already know.

Let’s dive straight in.

Inspirational Video #1: Do What You Can’t by Casey Neistat

Perfect for: When you need to be reminded that you have fewer limitations than you think.

Key Quote: “When you’re a creator, all you need is your phone, an internet connection, and a good idea – a story you want to share, something you need to say.”

In this inspirational video, creator Casey Neistat encourages you to pursue things that other people say you can’t.

It’s a powerful reminder to ignore the limitations others put on us.

My favorite quote: “The haters, the doubters, are all drinking champagne on the top deck of the Titanic, and we are the f***ing iceberg.”

Inspirational Video #2: Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

Perfect for: When you’re feeling like you haven’t made any progress.

Key Quote: “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

In this inspirational video, Steve Jobs shares the pivotal moments that shaped his life and career.

He explains how seemingly meaningless moments, can have a profound impact on future events – such as when he sat in on calligraphy classes at college.

“None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me.”

Jobs ends his speech with the immortal words, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

Inspirational Video #3: The Best Gift I Ever Survived by Stacey Kramer

Perfect for: When life deals you an obstacle, set back, or tragedy.

Key Quote: “The next time you’re faced with something unexpected, unwanted, and uncertain, consider that it just may be a gift.”

This inspirational video features a moving story from Stacey Kramer about her struggle with hemangioblastoma – also known as a brain tumor.

Kramer explores all the positive life-changing benefits that were a result of her condition.

Inspirational Video #4: The Basketball Scene from The Pursuit of Happiness

Perfect for: When people try to hold you back or tell you to “be realistic.”

Key Quote: “Don’t ever let somebody tell you [that] you can’t do something. You gotta dream, you gotta protect it.”

This emotional scene from The Pursuit of Happiness is pure gold.

At some point, everybody has been told – directly or indirectly – that they shouldn’t pursue something.

This inspirational video ends with the line, “People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you [that] you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.”

Inspirational Video #5: Get Back Up by Nick Vujicic

Perfect for: Gaining perspective and remembering everything you have to be thankful for.

Key Quote: “It’s a lie to think that you’re not good enough. It’s a lie to think that you’re not worth anything.”

Nick Vujicic is an inspiration.

Despite being born without arms or legs, Vujicic embraces all that life has to offer with love, compassion, and gratitude.

The video features Nick taking part in sports and waterslides, combined with a powerful speech delivered to a hall of young students.

Inspirational Video #6: Rocky Balboa’s Speech to His Son

Perfect for: When you’re not taking responsibility for your life or situation.

Key Quote: “If you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody!”

In this inspirational video, Rocky hands out a hefty dose of tough love to his son.

The message is clear: We must stop blaming other people or things for our life situation. Instead, each and every one of us must take responsibility for our lives.

The speech ends by saying, “Until you start believing in yourself, you ain’t gonna have a life.”

Inspirational Video #7: Damian Aspinall is Reunited with Kwibi the Gorilla

Perfect for: Remembering the deep connection that we share with all living creatures on this planet.

Key Takeaway: Animals have just as many emotions and feelings as humans.

Kwibi the gorilla was raised by Damian Aspinall in England.

When he was five years old, Kwibi was released to live in the wilds of Africa. Five years later Aspinall went to visit Kwibi.

This is the dramatic and uplifting story of their reunion.

Inspirational Video #8: The Death Crawl Scene from Facing the Giants

Perfect for: Reminding you that you’re more capable than you think you are.

Key Quote: “Don’t quit ‘til you’ve got nothing left.”

The key to this inspirational video is the blindfold that the coach places over the player’s eyes. It stops the player from quitting when he’s reached what he thinks he’s capable of.

The blindfold frees him from his self-imposed limitations and allows him to reach his full potential.

The lesson: We’re far more capable than we think we are.

Inspirational Video #9: Kid Gives Speech After Learning to Ride a Bike

Perfect for: When you feel like you’re not getting anywhere and want to give up.

Key Quote: “Everybody, I know you can believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself, you will know how to ride a bike. If you don’t, you just keep practicing. You will get the hang of it, I know it!”

This six-year-old has a simple, but profound message: Believe in yourself and the power of practice.

His words of wisdom have struck a chord with people online – not only did this inspirational video go viral, it’s also been made into dozens of autotune remixes.

“Thumbs up everybody – for rock and roll!”

Inspirational Video #10: The One Thing Only 1% of People Do

Perfect for: Anyone who has bad habits, procrastinates, or wants to change their life for the better.

Key Quote: “You cannot win the war against the world if you cannot win the war against your own mind.”

In this inspiration video, entertainer Will Smith and accelerated learning coach Jim Kwik share their wisdom.

The upshot: “The road to sustained happiness is through disciplining your behavior.”

Inspirational Video #11: Jim Carrey’s 2014 Commencement Address

Perfect for: Learning to live a life of abundance.

Key Quote: “You will only ever have two choices. Love or fear. Choose love and don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”

In this inspirational video, Jim Carrey shares the lessons he’s learned throughout life.

It’s packed with words of wisdom, such as, “You can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

Inspirational Video #12: Olympian Derek Redmond Finishes the Race

Perfect for: Understanding that the journey matters more than the destination.

Key Takeaway: Finish what you start.

At the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, Derek Redmond was favored to win the 400-meter sprint, but tragedy struck 150 meters into the race.

Instead of quitting, Derek continued.

Inspirational Video #13: Neil Gaiman’s 2012 Commencement Speech at the University of the Arts

Perfect for: Anyone who wants a career as an artist, creator, or entrepreneur.

Key Quote: “And when things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art.”

This inspirational video of Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech is packed with wisdom for budding artists and creatives.

Gaiman also explains how people manage to maintain freelancing work: “Their work is good, they’re easy to get along with, and they deliver the work on time – and you don’t even need all three. Two out of three is fine!”

Inspirational Video #14: Success is a Continuous Journey by Richard St. John

Perfect for: When you need a reminder to not become complacent.

Key Quote: Success isn’t a one-way street… it’s a continuous journey.”

Once you’ve achieved something, it’s easy to sit back, relax, and stop doing the very things that got you there.

This inspirational video is a reminder that success isn’t a destination, but a process.

Inspirational Video #15: Everyday

Perfect for: Anyone unhappy or unsatisfied with their day-to-day life.

Key Quote: “Life is 10% what happens to you, it’s 90% what you do about it.”

This inspirational video is 15 minutes of quotes, clips, and music that will help you to awaken your higher self.

It addresses the fact that how we approach every day shapes our circumstances and the effect we have on the world.

“What you do every day is far more important than what you do once every decade.”

Inspirational Video #16: Finding Your Meaning of Life

Perfect for: Anyone searching for more meaning and purpose in their life.

Key Quote: “If you don’t know why you’re here, I encourage you to find out what your purpose is here – what is the meaning of your life. Because once you find that, it puts you in your power place.”

This inspirational video features words by motivational speaker and author Les Brown. It’s a call to find true purpose and meaning in your life – before it’s too late.

Because as Brown says, “Most people, they go to their graves with their greatness still in them.”

Inspirational Video #17: Balance

Perfect for: Anyone who spends lots of time online or consuming news and media.

Key Quote: “People have to understand: Are you using your device, or is your device using you?”

This next inspirational video features different quotes addressing the unhealthy aspects of the internet and the media.

It also touches on society’s view of so-called “success”:

“The well-trodden path is the scariest way… because then you just spent the last 80 years of your life doing everything that everybody else told you to do and you’ve never really lived, or produced anything unique.”

Inspirational Video #18: Christian the Lion Reunion

Perfect for: Seeing the bond that humans and animals share.

Key Takeaway: Animals are just like us.

In 1969, John Rendall and Ace Berg saw a lion cub, “cramped and lonely, in a small cage.”

They adopted him and raised the cub in their small apartment. Once Christian grew too big, they released him to live wild in Africa.

A year later, they went to visit.

You might want to grab the tissues.

Inspirational Video #19: Dream – a Compilation

Perfect for: Anyone with a dream who is doubting themselves.

Key Quote: “Greatness is not this wonderful esoteric, elusive god-like feature that only the special among us will ever taste. It’s something that truly exists in all of us.”

This inspirational video reminds us that we all have so much potential – that we must face adversity if we are to improve our lives for the better.

It features quotes from Les Brown, Eric Thomas, and Will Smith, as well as clips from popular films like Rocky, The Pursuit of Happiness, and Into the Wild.

Inspirational Video #20: The Story of Your Life

Perfect for: Anyone trying to make a positive change when surrounded by negative people.

Key Quote: “Choose the people that you surround yourself with wisely. That can make all the difference in your life.”

This inspirational video tells the story of a small boy who asked his father what is the value of his life. It shows us how people value things differently – us included.

The takeaway is simple: Surround yourself with people who value and appreciate you.

Inspirational Video #21: Be The Change

Perfect for: When you need to be drenched in inspiration!

Key Quote: “If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up doing nothing for nobody.”

This inspirational video was created with the sole intention of inspiring viewers. It features clips of people doing remarkable things, powerful music, and quotes from motivational speaker Les Brown and entertainer Jim Carrey.

Inspirational Video #22: The Social Revolution

Perfect for: Remembering to seize every moment and create the life of your dreams.

Key Quote: “Your memories are your life.”

This stirring speech given by Memorize founder Antoine Cartier-Wells reminds us of the power of the human mind and spirit.

Combining dramatic music with video footage from filmmaker Devin Graham, the video was actually made to promote the game Remember Me.

This inspirational video is a call to realize our full potential.

Inspirational Video #23: The Teacher Who Changed My Life by Dan Lock

Perfect for: Reminding us that every interaction we have with another person can have far-reaching consequences – good or bad.

Key Quote: “Understand the impact that you can have on somebody [with] one gesture, one encouragement, [or] one story.”

In this inspirational video, entrepreneur and author Dan Lock shares a story about how one teacher believing in him, made him believe in himself.

It’s a stark reminder of how we all have the power to help one another in immeasurable ways, through the smallest actions.


Remember, the power of these inspirational videos lies not in the videos themselves, but in their ability to remind you of what you already know.

Here’s a quick summary of some of the key takeaways:

  • Take responsibility for your life situation.
  • Most limitations in life are self-imposed.
  • You are more capable than you think you are.
  • You must believe in yourself.
  • Follow your heart and intuition.
  • Sustained happiness is a result of discipline.
  • Success isn’t a destination, but a continuous journey.
  • All living things are connected.
  • Choose the people that you surround yourself with wisely.
  • Ignore the haters.
  • Do what you can’t.
  • Our entire lives are made up of this single present moment.
  • If you have a dream, protect it.
  • Don’t wait to make a change, start now.
  • “Thumbs up for rock n’ roll!”

Have we missed any great inspirational videos? Let us know in the comments below!

Learn More

How to Break out of Reactive Mode and Get Back on Track to Managing Business Growth

This may sound like a sleazy, too-good-to-be-true marketing pitch, but you could be doubling or even tripling your business growth, without any kind of dramatic pivot, new business plan, or aggressive new program. In fact, there’s a good chance you need to be doing much less.

See, most startups and founders get so lost in the hustle of finding success, they end up taking on way too many projects. And the results are lousy, because you and I both know, as hard as we might try to change the fact, there are only so many hours in a day.

Taking on more projects doesn’t always translate to growth. In fact, it can easily lead to things like rescheduled meetings, putting projects on the backburner, and leaving your ideas sitting and waiting until you can find time to get around to them…someday.

If you’ve found yourself in this situation—where you’ve spread yourself so thin, you feel like you’re constantly taking two steps back in order to take half a step forward—you gotta find your way out.

Fortunately, all it takes is a little house cleaning. Clear away all the clutter you’ve surrounded yourself with, and watch your growth trajectory surge.

Keep reading to learn how to stop feeling like all of your days are spent catching up or putting out fires, and instead, get back on the path toward increased productivity and business growth.

Are You Managing Business Growth? Or Are You in Reactive Mode?

Reactive mode is a term I use to describe far too many entrepreneurs and founders (at one point, I used it to describe myself). It’s often the result of starting up quickly out of pure necessity, and growing alongside customer demands until they swamp you.

Now, don’t get me wrong—reactive mode is typically the result of success. What’s wrong with growth and customers needing your help, right? The “problem” is when you’re not sufficiently prepared for that success and don’t have a proper plan for managing growth.

Let’s say you come up with a business, product, or service to solve an immediate solution in your market. Maybe you start small with a minimum viable product or prototype. You might even get funding to move forward and launch to an even larger audience.

As a new founder or entrepreneur, though, you might not be set up for a larger audience yet. And when customers come knocking at your door, it can be nearly impossible not to “react” and simply give them what they need before stopping to analyze how you should best provide those needs.

In reactive mode, you might find yourself:

  • Hiring employees or assistants out of desperation and overwhelm
  • Feeling too disorganized to visualize continued business growth because you’re focused on playing catch up
  • Working, working, and working, but never feeling caught up

The problem with those scenarios is, quite simply, the lack of a solid plan.

Do you have an onboarding process set up for bringing on new employees or assistants? Have you put actionable steps in place to help clear out your long list of “to-dos?” Is all the work you’re doing actually moving you forward, or is it completely burying you, with more and more projects piling up?

Reactive mode often eats up and spits out new entrepreneurs. They get a taste of upfront success, but once they’ve reached their limits, find themselves in a plateau because, to put it simply, they’re swamped.

Technically, it looks something like this:

Managing business growth the hustle plateau

Realistically, it looks a little more like this:

Reactive mode can leave you overwhelmed and exhausted, like you’re running on a treadmill and constantly increasing the speed, but never actually getting anywhere.

It doesn’t have to be your new norm, though. You can break free of the “hustle plateau” and finally manage business growth.

Need a Productivity Boost? Download Our Free Ebook, “The Ultimate Guide To Doubling Your Productivity In 30 Days.”

Pinpoint Priorities and Cut the Fat

To get yourself and your business out of reactive mode, you need to start with the absolute basics.

Find Out Where Your Time is Going

Pull up your last month’s schedule. If you don’t have one, write out a list of all the tasks you completed. It could be things like “fixed the email marketing campaign,” “reached back out to Jane about partnership,” or “fixed responsiveness on our home page.” No matter how big or small, write down everything you did last month.

Here’s what a month of reactive mode for me looked like:

Manage business growth screenshot reactive mode

There’s something every “reactive mode” task has in common.

They’re all about fixing things or catching up.

Fixing broken email sequences. Fixing forgotten business relationships. Fixing bugs and errors.

It goes on and on.

What you don’t see in reactive mode are things like “launched a new sales campaign,” “published three new press releases,” or “used data from our survey to implement X change.”

The problem is, while “fixes” involve a lot of work, they don’t produce results. It’s the results that are missing. But it’s the results that matter.

Now take a look at what a results-driven month looks like for me:

results driven month Increased productivity

Compared to reactive mode, the tasks are no longer about fixing what’s broken or catching up with late tasks. Instead, projects are results-driven—they’re all focused on producing positive outcomes.

So, how do you get there? How do you go from a constant state of “fixing,” to a task list that actually produces results?

Categorize Your Tasks

You have a list of all the tasks you completed last month. Now, it’s time to categorize those tasks using three different labels:

  1. Low priority and low urgency
  2. Medium priority and medium urgency
  3. High priority and high urgency

If you’re more of a visual person like me, you could use post-it notes with different colors and write each task on individual post-its based on a color category. (Green, yellow, and red are good choices.) You could even list out your tasks on a Google Doc and highlight them with category colors.

Here’s an example of what that might look like:

tasks categorized by color with high and low urgency priority

Once you have all your tasks categorized, not only can you see where all your time is going (and how important those tasks really are), but also how you can strategically change the way those tasks can be handled in the future.

Any low priority, low urgency task (or green task), for example, can be handed off to an assistant, employee, or app in the future. Examples of such tasks might be things like social media management, sending follow up emails, or backing up project files. They’re tasks that need to be done, but could easily be done by someone other than you.

Mid-level tasks (the yellow ones) might need to be completed by you or a partner, but don’t necessarily need to be taken care of right away. They’re important, but not highly urgent. These tasks should be scheduled into your calendar to be completed one at a time—pace yourself so you don’t feel overwhelmed or burnt out.

The high priority and high urgency tasks (the red ones) need to be handled by you, right away. Those are the tasks you should be tackling at the very start of each day.

tasks categorized by color task assignment for Increased productivity

Start Trimming

As an entrepreneur, cutting the fat when it comes to your long list of to-dos can feel like the ultimate makeover. As someone who’s motivated and driven to build a successful business, though, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you have to do everything all at once.

You see other businesses running Facebook ads, so you decide to do the same. You read how every blog needs at least 2 new posts per week, so 2 new posts per week is what you write. You heard Instagram is the new Snapchat, so you quickly immerse yourself in the world of hashtags.

Not every endeavor produces results, though, and if you fail to step back and analyze where your time is going, and whether or not it’s giving you any return, you’ll spread yourself far too thin to ever see real progress.

My own perfect example of this was a foray into the world of Reddit. Despite the fact that I had a new product launch in the works, a series of broken email marketing campaigns, and a website that desperately needed its responsiveness fixed, I’d read how advantageous Reddit can be for business.

As I dove into Reddit, though, I saw absolutely no results. The reason? I didn’t have the bandwidth to learn how to properly use it. Therefore, not only was my focus being taken away from other, far more important and immediate projects, but my efforts on Reddit were futile because I simply didn’t have the time to learn how to use the platform for business.

With that in mind, let’s look back to your list of tasks from last month. For each one, ask and answer the following questions:

  • Did this task produce a specific result—one I can measure in numbers? (Alternatively, will this task produce a specific result?)
  • Is there a specific next step to take with this task?
  • Was the result of this task worth the amount of time it took? (This one, of course, is a bit subjective.)

Go through every single one of your tasks and ask each of those questions. If any task gets a “no” for all three, it’s time to cut the fat and get rid of it.

Cut the fat

Now, I do want to point out that so far, you’ve evaluated a month of tasks that have already happened. In the future, however, you should be doing this for upcoming months. Write down all the tasks and projects needing to be done, categorize them, and then assign or schedule each one accordingly.

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Turn Success into a Cycle

Now that you know where your time is going, where it should be going, and how to plan correctly for the future, you need to turn the process into a cycle. Otherwise, all the steps above will just become another project added to the list, rather than a way of organizing and trimming that list.

Let’s recap before moving forward. Up to this point, you know:

  • Which tasks you can completely eliminate from your business
  • Which ones can be handed off to another person or automated with the use of an app or software (like your social media efforts)
  • Which tasks bring real results and need to be scheduled and completed by you or a partner

By going through the process of categorizing, eliminating, and delegating, you should already be seeing a significant reduction in your workload, which means you can finally start looking forward again.

Keep It Organized

Before you do anything else, find a good project management app. My favorite is Asana, because it lets me create multiple projects with tasks, due dates, and assignees for each.

Whichever you choose (here’s a great roundup of options), consider it the new framework for your business. Use the app to schedule your following month’s tasks, set repeating dates where necessary, and delegate those tasks.

From here on out, every project should be added to your app and tracked until it’s completed (“completed” is the keyword here because remember, if you’re just “working” without producing any results, you’ll find yourself stuck on the hustle plateau).

projects added to Asana app to Manage business growth

With a consistent schedule where projects are seen through to completion, you’ll find yourself making progress without any drastic changes. You don’t need to launch a new project to put yourself back on the track toward managing business growth, for example. Simply finishing your existing tasks will do the same.

Plus, with unnecessary tasks no longer taking up your time, and low-priority projects being handled by an assistant or app, you will have time to start envisioning the future and looking forward again, which is exactly why this next step is so important.

Schedule Quarterly Maintenance to Manage Growth

Going through the process of “cleaning house” with your business is great, but if you only do it once, those same tasks and unfinished projects will start piling up again.

To make sure you continue managing growth and don’t accidentally slip back into old habits, schedule two or three days of business maintenance per quarter.

During that time, go through the exercises above where you looked back at all your tasks, decided which ones to eliminate, and categorized/delegated the rest. Instead of doing it for a single month, though, do it for the entire quarter.

By going through this process on a regular basis, not only will you be able to continually produce solid results in your business, you’ll also keep it agile, which means you can adapt, change, or pivot if needed.

With that flexibility, you can do things like hire a new employee with a specific job scope (versus hiring someone out of desperation and spending more time explaining the back end of your business to them than the amount of time they’re saving you). It could also mean seeking and gaining funding because you’re actually focused on numbers-driven results instead of tedious “work.”

To put it simply, keeping your business maintained and running like a well-oiled machine won’t just lift a huge weight off your shoulders, it’ll also open up new opportunities for your brand to expand, without you having to feel overwhelmed or overworked in the process.

Need a Productivity Boost? Download Our Free Ebook, “The Ultimate Guide To Doubling Your Productivity In 30 Days.””

Get Back on Track, Manage Business Growth

As the CEO or founder of a business, it’s nearly impossible not to feel stressed at times. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you probably have an “I can do it all” mentality. Unfortunately, loading yourself up can quickly (and all too easily) lead you down a path toward burnout, and potentially failure.

That’s why giving your business a full evaluation and cleaning up your practices is so vital. It allows you to break free of the mindset that it’s all on you, and make room for positive growth.

But, how do you prepare? How do you find the time to sit down and go through each of these processes?

Alright, it’s time for a little tough love.

To be blunt, you will never have time. Never. You have to make it.

As a business owner myself, I know if I don’t set my schedule in stone, things won’t get done, because there’s always something else needing attention and somewhere else my time should go. You simply have to make the time to sit down and evaluate.

Think of it like a financial investment into a retirement account. Does it feel good to see a chunk of your paycheck being pulled out each month? I mean, you’re confident it’s going toward something that’s slowly growing and creating security, but it’d be nice to have that money go toward other bills and payments happening today, right?

There are a million ways you can invest time in your business. You can either focus on the “now” and handle all the little tasks as they come, or you can invest time for future success, even though you could definitely use that time now.

My money’s on the latter.

So go ahead and take a step back from your business. Give it a hard assessment, and see where you can clean it up. Doing so is the only sureproof way to stop yourself from constantly backtracking or sidestepping, and finally get back on the path toward managing business growth.

Are you in desperate need of a business clean up? Unsure about which tasks you should be letting go? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll help where I can!

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