“You launched your new service last week…and when you called me…I could hear that frustration in your voice. Nothing had gone as planned. And while you should be happy that your new service was a big hit…you really just want to cry, because you don’t have any clue how you are going to manage all these new clients.”
Sound familiar? When we neglect to think about the systems of a new program or service in our business, the end results can turn out disastrous. It’s always great when our sales campaigns are successful, but neglecting the systems and processes before you sell can leave you feeling frustrated and your new customers less than satisfied.
Are you a systems thinker?
Most business owners aren’t. They are creatives…they create and build businesses. They have someone else in place to worry about all the details. But what happens when you’re on your own, and there’s no one to worry about the details but you?
A systems thinker looks at the big picture. For instance, the new service you are selling…from the point of sale, you need to develop each step of the process from start to finish. If you sold one or two services you could probably could wing it, but I am guessing that you want to sell more than that. And having a system in place to manage the service will help you become much more efficient and help your new customers feel better about working with you.
How do you create a system, and where do you start? Many times, business owners say to me…” Why do I have to write all this down, it’s just me? I know my system, and I know what I’m doing.”
The truth of the matter is that you probably do know what you’re doing, but when you don’t write down your system, pieces get lost, and consistency becomes a real problem. My advice to business owners is to create a basic system process when you get started. As your business grows, and the process or system changes, update the steps to create a nice clean flow.
You might be wondering what that looks like…let’s use my process of preparing for my week as an example. This is a step by step process that I do every Sunday to prepare for my week. I use a bullet list for this exercise, as the system is fairly simple:
- Pull all client files
- Review outstanding projects
- Create a list of all outstanding items in my Daily Work Notebook
- Prioritize outstanding items by due dates
- Fill in priorities in my Weekly Planner
- Make a note of outstanding items needed from clients
- Email clients to follow up for the week, and notify them of outstanding items needed
This is my system for building work priorities for the week. If I needed to hire someone to help me with this system, I would already have the bones ready. If I were teaching this to someone new, there would be more depth to it to ensure that the process was completed exactly the way I wanted it. But you get the picture.
A few months ago, I added the last two bullets. I found that I was not able to meet deadlines, because I was waiting for items from clients. Reaching out to them, and letting them know that the ball is in their court might help them focus on getting me what I need.
This system above has evolved over the years, and now it runs like a well-oiled machine. It didn’t start out with all these steps…it has grown into this system that I now use each week.
Same goes for creating monthly reports for my clients. I have a system in place that lists all the pieces so that I never forget or get confused. Each client report is different…one client needs this report, while another doesn’t. If I didn’t have a system in place, I might not service my clients to the best of my ability. My systems keep my business running smoothly.
You should know that I have not always been this organized and system oriented in my own business. While I worked with my clients to create systems, I got a bit of a rude awakening last year when I started hiring. All those systems were in my head and not written down. It made training and teaching so much harder than it had to be. While training, I missed important steps, and only after messing something up, was I able to say, ’Oh, I forgot to tell you about this or that…’ It was such a frustrating time for me. Instead of making it easier on me with new team members, it actually made it harder.
I have created a 6-Core Business System that I use with all my clients, and it focuses on the most important pieces of growing and building your business.
- Human Resource Systems (HR Process)
- Design Systems (Brand, Message and Website)
- Marketing Systems (Email Marketing, Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing)
- Customer Systems (Customer Service)
- Technology Systems (Technical systems and processes)
- Operational Systems (Operational processes that keep your business running smoothly)
Any of these systems make you cringe or make you feel like you’re not where you need to be? Don’t waste another minute ignoring the parts of your business that aren’t up to par. Creating the proper systems helps your business run smoother and generate more income!
Do you need help with systems in your business? Reach out to me and let's talk about how we can get your business running smoothly. Remember...not only do we create the strategy and detail within your systems, but we also handle all the details of implementation if needed.