Creating Systems for Success: Putting Order in Your Business

Gear systemThis past week I seemed to be talking about creating systems with all my clients.  Most of us run our lives on a handful of systems. Between our cellphones, our planners and our e-mail inboxes, we have organized ourselves and our time. And if you ever doubt the importance of these systems, recall your panic the last time you lost your phone or your planner.

Yet as important as our personal systems are, most of us don’t take advantage of what systems can do to improve our businesses. Systems are simply ways of automating or structuring processes so that they can occur systematically without so much thought or attention—and by more than just one person, so your business can continue to run when you  decide to take a vacation.

Where do I start?

For most of us, there are dozens of similar repetitive tasks, large and small, in our businesses or jobs that could be systematized. To identify where you can apply systems, take a step back and try to look at it objectively. There are three things you can take a look at to help you determine where to start:

1. Things that are frustrating you

2. Things that are holding you back

3. Things that are causing you stress

So where are you frustrated?

This is an important place to start for two reasons. First, you are more likely to be frustrated if you are redoing tasks that bring no particular satisfaction. Second, you are going to be frustrated if you have to relearn a task or “recreate the wheel” every time a specific need comes up. If you create a system for these items, you will already have in place most of what you need and it will save you time.

What is holding your business back?

Where are the choke points? Do you need to generate more prospects? Do you have prospects but a low rate of conversion? Do you convert customers but lose them through poor follow-through? By strategically focusing on your business this way, you will be more likely to spot high-value opportunities for systemization.   When you create a system for these items, you will notice (and correct) any weak points in your marketing, sales and customer support processes.  The transition from prospect to lead to client to happy client (who refers other clients) will be smoother and more productive.

What is causing you stress? 

Notice what parts of your business are causing you the most stress.  Is it that initial client call? Finishing your printed business cards or brochure? Keeping all your papers and files organized? Even if it is a task you do often and you know the steps by heart, systematizing at least part of these stress-inducing activities could yield big benefits to your business—and your well-being.

So take a few moments and go through your business looking for these areas.  I’ll be writing more this week about the steps to putting your systems into place.  Soon your list of frustrations and areas of stress will be eliminated so there won’t be anything to hold you back. And that will feel just amazing!

So I am curious, what are you ready to systematize?  Please share and comment below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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7 thoughts on “Creating Systems for Success: Putting Order in Your Business

    • Thanks Christopher. Systems are something I keep working through for myself and my clients. Great thing is once they are in place, so much of your time and energy is freed up for activities that are usually more creative, productive and fun!

  1. “choke points”… love that b/c that is what happens to me with certain areas… I literally choke just thinking about them! I have to get better at paperwork/accounting and follow up. I often say I have an “allergy to paperwork” and I have realized recently that I think I just hate it so much that it piles up and then I can’t get anything done! I have to find a better system to deal with it more regularly and more effectively so the stress eases and my creative stuff gets more brain cells!

    • Thanks for sharing Kristin. I like the 2 minute and the 4D rule with paperwork. You have a choice for every piece of paper you touch- 1) Do something with it (whatever it is- pay a bill, file it, fill it out) and if it takes 2 min or less, just do it. 2) Delegate it (my favorite) to someone else 3) Ditch it 4) If it takes more than 2 minutes, then Defer it but set a date and time to complete it. Having an assistant is a good way also to get beyond choke points.

  2. Paperwork and mundane tasks…..bookkeeping ARGH, I need systems but never seem to be able to get them written down so that I can implement them 🙁 Looking forward to your blogs on how to accomplish this task 🙂

    • Malinda-
      One of the easiest way to create a process and then a system is to write down all the steps of the activities you are already doing. So for each activity create a flow map of each step. If it is something you do often like a newsletter or a welcome packet, you can start by creating a simple checklist for each piece. This can help you see how you can simplify or automate or create a template that can save you time and energy.

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