Being in small business can be fantastic, but it can also be hard. Along with the rewards of being self-employed comes the day to day to do’s of being in your own business. Having systems in place to help you know where you are going, what you are doing and why will make this all so much more comfortable.
Has your business just grown from an idea or was it started from a plan? Do you have weekly, monthly or yearly goals? Do you have a system in place for your repetitive tasks?
A big problem that business owners have when they start to grow their business in the amount of time they spend “on’ the business instead of being ‘in’ their business (doing the things that inspired them to get into business in the first place). Spending all this time on the wrong thing can cause stress, inactivity and even burnout.
By putting in place systems, you can reduce your work on the repetitive aspects of your business and spend more time doing the things you love.
So, what can you systematise?
Think of the things in your business that you regularly do, i.e. social media, bookkeeping, buying office supplies, customer profiles.
- What happens on a regular basis?
- What frustrates you when you do it?
- What takes a lot of you time to do?
- What are you not great at and you should give to someone else to do?
Grab a word doc or a piece of paper and identify anything that would fit into those four issues
What Happens on A Regular Basis?
These could be jobs such as bookkeeping, invoice creation, online content, social media management, customer enquiries, and client appointments.
What Frustrates You When You Do It?
Once again these can be bookkeeping, tax preparation, online content, cleaning, website creation, business goal setting.
What Takes a Lot of Time To Do?
Such as tax preparation, customer follow-up, sales, social media content, goals and planning.
What are You Not Great at and You Should Give to Someone Else to do?
Such as tax preparation, bookkeeping, website creation.
How to Create a System that works for You
To create a system that works for you, first, you must decide what are you going to keep doing and what are you going to find someone else to do for your business. Many times, new and small businesses say they cannot afford to hire someone to do something, but when they look at it from a systematic standpoint, they cannot afford not to.
Think about it; if you spend a couple of thousand dollars getting things set up that allows you to make the same money back in the first few months and spend less time on the aspects of your business that you don’t like, would it be worth it?
The First step in your system should always be a business plan. Now it does not need to be 100’s and 100’s of pages, but it should have given you an outline and feel of where you are now in your business and where you want to go.
Here is an excellent link to a business plan
Next, you should look at your list and see the things that are in multiple issue lists, start by finding the top five that come up repeatedly.
Now decide are you going to do the issue yourself? Get someone more qualified or competent at it? Is it a priority (i.e. is tax due soon)?
Let look at some examples.
Business Goal Systems: Working with your business plan, make a weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly business goal plan. For example – talk to five people each day (on the checklist you write down whom you talk to, their response and add follow up to correct place in the diary). Another example may be on target sales (on sheet write down the target, then daily, weekly, online or sales etc. – Sales targets can be done through an accounting system, then you can see when you are on target and if not why and what action you will take.
Accounting Systems: Use something like Quickbooks (use affiliate link) to do your record your accounts, work with a bookkeeper monthly to ensure the process incorrectly, and you are aware of your income receivables and payables. Setup system for submitting to accountant and tax payable.
Cleaning System: Have a routine (checklist) of what needs to be clean and when for yourself or your staff or have a cleaning service come on a regular basis.
Email System: Use an email service for automated emails, have a signature set up for all email accounts, set up standard response emails that you can quickly copy into the body of the email and then add personalisation to the email.
Appointment Systems: Create a system (which may be online on your website) where people can find and book available times to schedule a meeting with you.
On a final note make sure your systems detailed. The more detail there is in your systems, the better it will be to use it to repeat the task. It will streamline your processes and free up more time to being in the business you dreamed of running. Setting up your systems may take a bit of time, as you may think it is not worth it, but in the long run, you will see the difference it makes to you and your business and love have business systems in place.