Have you ever had a really junky drawer in your home or office or a really cluttered closet that you cleaned out? How did you feel once it was cleaned? Maybe you felt lighter and you could breathe a little easier?
That’s how creating a business process makes me feel. It’s like it was chaos before and now it’s a clear path ahead. I see people all the time who struggle with the day–to-day things in business because they lack systems and processes in their business.
I love systems! I love creating and using them. Because I work with many clients I couldn’t succeed without them. I have systems in place in my business and my clients have systems in theirs that I use. It makes life so much easier.
A system doesn’t have to be complicated, either. It can be something as simple as a checklist. Create whatever works for you, that you’ll use.
Why are having business processes in place so important?
First of all, it simplifies a repeatable task. There are some things I do for my clients that happen every week. I don’t want anything to fall through the cracks, so I don’t leave it up to myself to remember. I use a project management system so I can see what needs to be done for my clients on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
Yes, some of the items I might do from memory, but I don’t have to remember them – which is a big relief, and everything gets done on time.
Secondly, it allows you to keep things standardized. It’s easier on you and your business if everyone who purchases your coaching program receives the same contract, emails and info about the program. You don’t have to wonder if someone received the info you want them to have.
Lastly, having a system or business process in place makes things scalable. You may start out putting your business processes in place yourself, but as you grow and hire team members, they’ll be able to implement your systems and it will make for a smoother transition when bringing on new members.
Don’t forget to document your systems as they’re created. I can tell you that it’s much easy for someone who is supporting you to be able to reference a document in Dropbox than to wing it every time. It’s also easy to update the written instructions if you need to change something in the process you’ve created.
What type of business processes do you need?
Any time you find yourself “re-inventing the wheel” in your business, it’s time to implement a system. Here are some examples of some business processes you might consider:
Client onboarding. What do you do when a new client signs on to work with you? Let’s say this is more of a one-on-one type of work and not a product. If you don’t have a system built around this yet, you’ll definitely want to create one.
Think about all the pieces that come together when you sign on a new client, from contract signing and auto billing to scheduling sessions and setting them up for bonus material.
You’ll want to go through that process and write it all down. Are there templates that are used (for the contract and emails)? How will they pay? As you decide what kind of experience you want your clients to have and what you have in place now, you’ll be able to see any steps to your process that are currently missing.
If you have team members, be sure to include who’s responsible for which items.
Networking Follow Up. This is one where a lot of people drop the ball and I’m sure it’s because they don’t have a system in place for it.
You may want to send a handwritten thank you note stating how nice it was to meet them or follow up with a short phone call. If it’s someone you’d like to get together with for a one-on-one discussion, you may want to schedule that during the call as well. You may decide to send them a link to a blog or some information that you think they may be interested in based on the conversation you had at the event.
Keep in mind, that many of these things can be automated or partially automated to make it easier to follow up (I’ll be writing about automation in my next blog).
The important thing is to do something, whatever works for you and set up a system around it.
Social media. First and foremost is to have a plan in place. Once you know where you’re going with social media, you’ll want to create systems. This will also help you from dropping into the black hole of time that social media can be.
Some of the things you may create a system around is how you will connect with/friend/follow others. Even if you have posts scheduled, you’ll want to schedule some time to like, comment, share, etc. and have a system around that, so you aren’t spending a bunch of unnecessary time there.
What has been the most helpful system in your business? Please let me know in the comments below.