How to Begin Systematizing Your Small Business
Have you ever looked at another small business owner and wondered how she manages to get it all done? The answer might surprise you.
She’s got good systems.
We frequently work with our small business coaching clients on understanding how to begin using systems in their business. The most productive business people all have one thing in common: they don’t reinvent the wheel every day. Instead, they’ve figured out the best, most efficient way to do every task, and they create a system to do just that.
No matter what business you’re in and what projects you find yourself tackling, a systematized approach will help you:
- Work faster and produce more
- Produce higher quality results with fewer mistakes
- Easily outsource the tasks you don’t like to do or are not strong at
The Magic of Templates
How many times do you answer emails from potential clients? What about responding to customer complaints? Or mailing your JV partners about an upcoming launch, event or promotion? How about responding to job opening applicants or inquiries?
All of the above tasks and more become effortless when you create fill-in-the-blank templates that can be re-purposed for specific cases/people. Templates can be as simple as a “canned response” in your email client or help desk, or you can use software such as Text Expander (for Mac) or Phrase Express (for Windows). You might even create a template document in Dropbox or Google Drive to house all your templates for easier access.
While templates will undoubtedly save you time, the real beauty is that once they’re created, you can easily outsource things like email and even sales. Simply instruct your assistant on the proper use of your templates, and you’ll be free to do other, more important things.
Checklists Prevent Mistakes
It might seem counter-intuitive, but when you perform the same tasks over and over again, it’s easy to miss a critical step. You might think you you scheduled your social media post for the month—you might even remember doing it—only to look back and see it was never completed.
But when you implement checklists, it’s suddenly much more difficult to miss an important task. Checklists ensure each step is reviewed and completed in a process. They may seem like a simple, childish thing for your business, but you will see how valuable they will become to your business quality.
You can easily create checklists for all your common tasks and projects using nothing more than a text document. If you’re managing a team, checklists in your project management system allow you to see exactly what tasks are complete, and which are still outstanding.
Templates and checklists turn smart business owners into productivity superstars, and it’s easy to get started. The next time you answer an email you’ve answered before, save your response. The next time you set up a new product in your shopping cart or create a new opt-in page, take the time to record the steps. These documents will make future projects easier and faster to complete, and best of all, you can hand them off to your assistant to do instead.
Systems work in every business know matter the size. If you need help identifying ways to implement systems, templates or checklists in your Jacksonville business, please contact us and reference this blog for a free consultation.