As a business owners, there are certain buzz words you hear over-and-over again, in any industry or on any topic. You hear them so many times you start to think, “I’d better get on that," but then you think... "I don't know what or how to do it?"
When it comes to owning a business, one of those buzz words is 'systems' for your business.
And you think to yourself... "Great. Systems. Ok… I guess I’ll figure that out… later."
I want to share a bit more about what systems are and what they can mean for your business – because systems do not need to be complicated and having them can mean creating consistency in your business. Consistency means less headaches for you, more brand recognition and a great reputation.
SO… what is a system anyways?
It’s pretty simple, a system is when you write down how something in your business should be done – step-by-step.
Think of it as a way to have someone else be able to do what you do in your business should you have to walk away.
“Lara, I’m not going to walk away from my business and if I do, the business isn’t going to exist any more! I don’t exactly have time to write down all the things I already know how to do just so I can do them myself.”
And therein lies the problem with systems – that’s how most of us feel about them and what stops us from getting them down on paper. We don’t see any kind of pressing need and so it gets put off and put off... and put off.
The thing is, until you get them down it can be really hard to grow your business and on top of that, no matter how well we know our own business, we forget steps too, especially when we get really busy.
Examples of Systems
A system can be as simple as a bulleted list of actions and steps you take in your business. It can also include instructions, templates of content for different things, and more. It’s basically whatever you think you need to run your business efficiently, which means that it’s hard to explain and possibly vague for you to grasp what you could do. So, let’s go through a few examples:
You probably have a process for your sales.
If you sell a product, this includes creating a receipt, putting the product into a bag, box or envelope (possibly in a very specific way), and maybe writing a nice note to include in the package. That’s a system – if you wanted someone else to deliver your product to a customer exactly the way you would so that it always has a consistent look and feel to it, you've already got a simple system, you just need to write it down.
When you have a new client, what needs to happen? How do you want to welcome them? Right now, are you being as consistent as you want to be and are all the steps happening every time?
There are all kinds of things you could include in a system for a new client:
Do you want to send them a note or a gift?
Do you need to create a paper folder and a digital folder?
Do contracts and non-disclosure agreements need to be signed?
Do they need to be added to any email lists or Facebook Groups or membership sites?
What are all the pieces that need to take place to make sure that your new client has an amazing experience? List them in a document, and you've got your onboarding system.
When you invoice someone, do you always include the same information? Do you have a process if they paid by email money transfer that’s different than if they pay by cheque or by Paypal or credit card? If there are multiple payments do you have to manually input anything?
If you need to track any hours for your invoices, how do you track those, where do you track those, what information do you need to extract for the invoice?
Invoicing is a task that often gets outsourced sooner than later, if you have your process written down, you'll be able to share that with someone else so they can take invoicing off your plate and you'll feel confident they can do it the same way you would.
For all three of these examples, putting every step down for something that you do on a regular basis will help make sure that you maintain regular quality and that you can pull people in to help support you when you’re ready.
How will you start creating systems in your business? Where will you start and what are you going to get on paper first?
1. Read/listen to the E-myth Revisited.
2. Make a list of all the things you do regularly. Then, pick the thing you most often miss steps on or that you are most likely to outsource and outline it step-by-step in a Word document.
3. Leave a comment and let me know what system you’re going to be working on so I can cheer you on!
4. Check out the Biz Advantage and get feedback on your systems during the weekly coaching calls or in the Facebook Group!