Systems + Processes + Why You Need Them

Remember how last time  I said that there are three specific principles that all successful business owners have in common and one of those is Systems.

And then you probably did a groan and eye roll.

Because in your experience, systems are boring and structured and cookie cutter and limiting. Everything you were trying to get away from when you started your business.

A refresher: systems are documented processes for how to accomplish your business’ operations and strategies.

I’m in agreement with you – that is not the most enticing definition.

Did you know that putting systems in place is what produces bigger and bigger results in your business?

You are no longer using your mental energy and time reinventing the way to do a repeatable task each time. You simply follow the steps.

Let’s take the process of onboarding a new client. You probably have a very specific way you start working with clients, from how to collect payment, send welcome materials, keep track of client details, schedule sessions, etc. (if you don’t, you need to – keep reading!).

If you change up the way you start working with every new client, you’ll likely begin to loathe working with new clients. And then, you’ll start to muck up the sales calls because you don’t want to go through the painful steps for starting the work with that client. And then you won’t meet your revenue goals.

Whew…. what a downward spiral that can turn into.

So let’s make it easy and put a system in place!

Here’s how:

The next time you go to perform a repeatable task, like onboarding a new client, take a few extra moments to write down what happens at each step along the way, from start to finish.

Make the steps action-oriented by using verbs and detailed enough that someone else could step in and complete the steps with little to no intervention from you.

For example, instead of listing “Send invoice to new client.” Try “Send program payment invoice to new client within 12 hours of getting their ‘YES!’ through PayPal.” See the difference there?

As you go, you’ll find that some steps aren’t as clear as you thought they were. That you’re changing it up each time (that’s a big sticky point). Take extra time right there to get really clear and intentional about what needs to happen at that step each and every time.

This is the point where most business owners tell themselves they’re too busy to give added thought to how they want to run their business and bypass this step completely. Don’t! This step will save you time, money and loads of mental energy now and in the future.

Don’t over complicate how you’re going to document the system either. Writing it on paper or typing it as a numbered list into a Google Doc is more than enough right now.

The next time the task comes up, run through the process steps to make sure all important information has been captured.

Then, try your hardest to stick with it each time the task comes up. Most likely, it’ll be uncomfortable at first. That’s okay. Acknowledge the discomfort and continue on with your plan.

Still not sure you’re writing your processes correctly? No problem! Post one of your business systems in the Comments below and I’ll take a look and provide feedback.

Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

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