What is a System?

What are “Business Systems?” 

Think about it – systems and processes are EVERYWHERE!  They are in every single part of your life.

Systems are the backbone of everything you do. They are the steps you take every time to achieve an end result. They are those things that take you from scattered and chaotic to composed and orderly.

Here’s an example. When you visit a McDonalds and order a Big Mac (or Burger King and order a Whopper, because I’m a Burger King girl. That was my very first job!), you’ll notice that they always look and taste the same.  How do you think that happens?

McDonalds and Burger King have processes in place that all their employees at all their different stores have to follow.  When everyone follows the same process and system, the customer experience is the same, regardless of which restaurant they visit. This enables these chains to grow and scale their businesses.

Specific Systems for any Online Business Industry

Client onboarding. This can also be called the “customer experience.” It is the process that you take your client through from start to finish. You want the whole experience of working with you to be easy for your clients, consistent and efficient.

As an example, one part of the customer experience is your communications. If you send a contract through a signature app, then send an invoice through PayPal, and a welcome email from your email application, it creates a disjointed experience.  The client never knows where to look for the next communication from you.

Your project management system.  How do you track all of your projects, tasks, business information, team communications, big picture plans, marketing plans, etc? You want to create a streamlined, consistent place to track all of these things so that you are not wasting time switching back and forth between multiple systems.

Workflow documentation.  Creating checklists for everything you do in your business will help to streamline your workflow.  It takes all the guess work out of what to do next, saving you time and removing the anxiety of never being sure if you forgot something or not!

Examples of this would be the checklist of things to do to write and publish a blog post, a checklist of what you need to do when you have a coffee chat, the steps you take to post content to your social media, and so on.

It is important to have these documented processes in place for multiple reasons. 

  1. Get things out of your head, so they stop taking up all of your excess brain power.
  2. Having everything documented allows you to pass things off to a team and enables you to scale your business.
  3. Following the same processes over and over gives you consistency in your business and frees up time.

Why are systems so important?

You must have systems in place to improve your client experience, develop consistency in your business, have the ability to pass things off to a team easily to scale more quickly, get things out of your head to free up creative space, avoid missing deadlines and opportunities, and to give you the ability to plan for the future so you can jump off of the hamster wheel of “what MUST I get done today?”

Repeatable systems are the nuts and bolts of your business. If you are missing them, the business as a whole doesn’t function properly.

Mistakes Entrepreneurs Often Make Regarding Systems & Processes

A mistake I see many entrepreneurs make is to put developing systems on the back burner. They don’t see them as revenue generating tasks, and so would rather spend their time developing courses and programs to produce money right away.

The problem with this is that you can create all the courses, all the programs, all the 1 on 1 coaching services that you could want, but if your task and project management systems are broken, you will have a hard time keeping up with everything.  You will waste time and miss deadlines, and you will feel cluttered because all of your pieces and parts are in different places.

Another problem develops if your client onboarding process is clumsy. If you spend all that time developing services and offers, but don’t streamline your client onboarding process, you’ll max yourself out on the number of clients you can accept.

It Takes Time to Develop Systems

Your business systems don’t become a mess overnight, so they cannot be fixed in a day.  Systems and processes take time to implement or fix and they are always going to be an ongoing and ever-changing thing as your business grows and changes.

It doesn’t have to be scary, though. In fact, it can be a simple process.  Start with streamlining just one system.  Start documenting the steps you take for each thing that you do.  Once you get into the mindset of documenting everything you do, it will become easier and easier to see where your systems and processes need tweaking.

My Favorite System and Process Tools

There are lots of great tools available, but these are a few of my favorites.

  • Trello, with Planyway and Butler
  • GSuite – Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Sheets, etc.
  • Ontraport/Panda Docs
  • Voxer
  • Loom

To see more of my favorite tools and resources check out our Toolbox

To get my EXACT Content Marketing Planner and Behind the Scenes video of my Trello system check out our FREE Template! 

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