The mere mention of the words “systemise your business”, let alone processes, templates or standard operating procedures, can make your eyes glaze over, raise your hackles and suck yourenergy away. Like a fanged vampire, with a big black cape, who swoops down and sucks the joy out of your business.
Here’s a little secret…
I don’t love systems. Say what?! That’s right, I’m not the kind of person who is going to geek out over the latest tool or get my kicks from conversations about automation and integration. I don’t like the word “standard operating procedures” as it feels way too corporate; I’m constantly on the lookout for a different phase – Checklists Of Awesome is my current favourite.
What I love is what happens when you systemise your business.
Systems give us more time and freedom
My clients say that as well as the time their newly organised systems save them it’s the extra energy they regain that they love. No more worrying about things falling between the cracks, no more guilt that they STILL haven’t gotten around to streamlining that part of their business. Bit by bit I see their confidence increase as their customer experience goes up a notch.
What takes away the energy in your business?
Systems! Ha. I bet you thought that for a moment.
There are areas in my business that take away my energy; a task that I’m repeating more than I need to, that document that I’ve stored somewhere odd and can’t find.
When something bugs me I ask myself “is there a solution to this?” The answer is always yes because if I’m asking the question then it’s guaranteed that someone else has already asked the question, and received an answer. All I need to do is find that answer.
For many of those energy-suckers, having a plan can take care of them and reduce their impact on you and your business.
Don’t like scheduling out your blog posts? Have a glass of wine, while listening to a favourite podcast, and batch schedule a month’s worth of blog posts. Even better write yourself a checklist to record how you do each step of that task then keep a look for a VA who can do a couple of hours a month for you to schedule out your blog posts.
With a little time and attention we can minimise the time that we spend on the tasks that suck up our energy.
Where do you start to systemise your business?
“That’s all fine and good” I hear you say, “but where do I start? And where do I find the time to get started?”
Start by writing up a list of what bugs you in your business; be specific. You might think that you don’t like social media but when you break the task down into idea creation, writing, posting and engagement you may find that it’s the thought of having to come up with all of those ideas by yourself that is the problem. If you had an idea a day to write about you’d be just fine.
Keep adding to that list as you encounter tasks that you do weekly, monthly or every now and then.
Next, take a look at that list in terms of what can be done to solve the thing that bugs you.
For an admin task write, like scheduling out your social media posts, write VA beside it.
When I begin working with my clients I suggest they keep a list of future tasks for a VA; that way when you feel that you have your business organised, and are ready for that step, you have a delegation list all ready to go.
For the other tasks ask yourself if it’s something you need to learn (setting up a freebie and emails in Mailchimp) or something that you need expert help on (how do I come up with ideas for my social media?).
You now have a business development list and an expert shopping list.
Having an hour or two blocked off in your calendar each week will allow you to make headway on your business development list. One week may be learning Mailchimp, the other week might be training relevant to your industry. We’re constantly learning as business owners so why not set aside dedicated time for it?
For your expert shopping list you’ll have two options – use a freebie that they provide or pay for their services.
As an example, I have a free Social Media Editorial Calendar Template that will help you come up with ideas for your posts (you can grab your copy here). This freebie includes:
> Social media editorial calendar template (created in excel so you can fill it in)
> Written instructions on how to use the template
> A video walking you through the template
> 30 topic ideas for your social media posts
For some that freebie will be all that they need. Yet I know that many people don’t want the DIY option, they want to jump straight to the “help me get sorted now” option which is why I have a paid service ($97 for an hour) that will create tailor made ideas for your social media – in that hour I provide you with a system you can use month after month to come up with ideas.
Not everything on your expert shopping list will need a paid service, and not everything can be fixed by reading yet another freebie. Choosing an expert doesn’t always mean committing to thousands of dollars and months of working together. Sometimes an investment of an hour will provide fantastic dividends for you as you’ll save hours of trying to figure things out for yourself (that is a lesson it took me a while to learn!).
What gives you the most energy in your business?
We all want to spend most of our time in our business doing the work that we love; whether that is s your 1:1 work with your clients, creating your next course, recording your podcast interviews or running retreats in Bali.
By putting aside a small amount of time to work on your business systems (and that areas that suck up your energy) you’ll see that investment paid back to you in numerous ways – more time, more energy, increased confidence.
When are you going to start to systemise your business?