Jane believes her business is thriving because she is super busy.
Too busy in fact to go on vacation.
Her business runs because of her ability to do a multitude of tasks and hold a lot of information in her head.
Only she knows, for example, where to locate important documents like contracts, product lists, supply records…
Jane is quite proud of the fact that not only is she in her business, she IS her business.
But what Jane doesn’t realize is this:
If the business she started and is so passionate about cannot operate without her, then she doesn’t, in fact, have a business.
Let me put it this way:
If something were to happen to you tomorrow, would your business cease to exist?
This is where systems come in.
Implementing effective business systems will do two things:
- Solidify your business so that if you want to hire a team, or sell your business, you can do so because your systems are documented and can be replicated.
- End day-to-day chaos
So what are systems and why do you need them?
Systems are the process of collecting and documenting the way you run your business. Systems work well because they free up your time to focus on what really matters like having a life outside work and building relationships. Here’s how:
5-Step Process to Creating Effective Systems
The very first step is psychological. Many small business owners have a deep seated need to control every aspect of their business. This is especially true if you’re a TYPE A personality. If you know you struggle to let go of the reins, ask yourself why you started your business in the first place. Chances are you wanted more freedom to do more of what you love. Resist the urge to control everything and choose instead to work on your business instead of “in” it.
Watch for the following internal dialogue:
“Everything will fall apart if I’m not here to do it.”
“Only I understand my customers.”
“I’m the glue that holds this business together.”
“I can do it faster than trying to explain something to someone else.”
For as long as you believe you are your business, you will find reasons to put off implementing effective systems.
When you don’t have systems in place, it feels like no matter what you do, you don’t seem to have enough time to complete your tasks.
Systems will give order to your day and help you use your time more efficiently.
Here are two common time-wasters:
- Social Media: If you’re doing your social media marketing yourself, then your excuse will be that you have to be active on social media 24/7. The truth, of course, is that you don’t have to check Facebook every 30 minutes. Set boundaries around how often you will check your accounts during the day, and schedule your posts in advance using apps like Buffer or Hootsuite.
- Email: Schedule specific times to check your emails such as first thing in the morning, just before lunch, and in the afternoon.
Once you are clear on what is taking up your time and how you are going to rectify it, open a Google doc or spreadsheet and create a task list of the work you do every day.
This could be anything from accepting new clients to creating a newsletter.
Your business is comprised of many systems. Here are some examples of systems:
» Client/customer system
» Marketing system
» Administration system
» Financial system
Each system can be broken down into components.
For example, your CLIENT SYSTEM could have the following components:
Write out a process for each component. Make sure you list every step: how your prospect finds you, how you confirm appointments, when you send the contract and how you get paid.
An effective system has a clear starting point and ending point.
Don’t miss any steps.
Setting up systems is considerable work and can be intimidating! So give yourself time to work on this.
Once you have written out your processes, read over them and make sure you have listed everything in the correct order.
Each system is made up of repeatable and consistent parts so if you come across any inconsistencies or gaps, make the necessary additions or adjustments at this point.
Test your systems before documenting.
If you’re ready to stop winging it and start winning, then implementing systems is a must!
Now tell us:
How would setting up systems help your business?