Easing back into a school year routine is also a great opportunity to evaluate your current Systems and Processes. Sometimes, having a unpredictable or more relaxed schedule during the summer can expose weaknesses in your systems and processes, so now is the time to address them, so that when the next schedule disruption rolls around, your business won’t completely fall apart.
What are Systems and Processes, Anyway?
Even if you don’t call it Systems and Processes, you probably have some in place. It’s nearly impossible to run a business without them!
Your systems are the tools that help you run your business. For example, at MLC, we use a combination of Trello and Voxer for our communication system. We use WordPress and Divi to run our website. So, if you are using tools like Acuity or 17Hats or Trello, you have a system.
Your processes determine how those systems are used. What happens when someone signs up for your email list? Everything that follows is part of your process. What happens when someone schedules a call with you? Again, that’s your process. For example, we use Trello to semi-automate our submission process– an submission is emailed to us, it is added to a list in Trello, then the content manager takes it from there and pushes it along the path.
3 Ways To Know If Your Systems and Processes Are Working For you
The true test of the strength of your Systems and Processes is what happens when you’re not being hands-on in your business. Maybe you’re on vacation or you’ve hired a VA to help you out in your business. If your Systems and Processes aren’t working for you, balls get dropped or things come to a standstill because your touch is needed.
1. Are You Using Your Systems and Processes?
Actually using your tools, and procedures is the first and best measure of whether or not they working for you. Our friend Yvonne Marcus, founder of The Dahlia Scene, says:
If you aren’t using them, it is time to evaluate why. Are they taking too much time? Do they not actually fit your lifestyle? Essentially, if you aren’t using them, they either need to be tweaked or dumped for something new. You can’t fit a square peg in a round hole!
If you’ve tried them all and paid for them all, don’t beat yourself up over it. There is a lot of trial and error when it comes to business, trying to figure out what works for you and your business. The important thing is being honest about what really works for you, instead of thinking it SHOULD work for you because it works for a lot of other people. For example, Trello is very popular but for some people, it simply doesn’t work with how THEY work. Or even, despite our digital lifestyles, many people still gravitate towards paper planners. You do you. Make sure it’s working for you and you’re actually using the tools you’ve chosen.
2. Do Your Systems and Processes Save You Time and Energy?
KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) truly does apply when it comes to keeping your business organized and your processes flowing. When you are first setting up your Systems and Processes, you’ll spend a lot of time getting things in order and moving things around until they make sense, but once you’ve got that down, your Systems and Processes should be working for you, not the other way around. One way to do this is to figure out what can be automated. For example, if you spend a lot of time scheduling clients or potential clients for calls, investing in a scheduler will help you streamline that process. Not only will a scheduler take the actual work of scheduling off your plate, but you can set up welcome emails, reminder emails and add those potential clients to your email list, all in one fell swoop. Often, you can also collect information you need from your clients when they schedule the call, and collect payment as well.
3. Are your Systems and Processes helping you achieve your goals?
Whatever your goals are, your Systems and Processes should be designed to help you achieve them. Presumably, one common goal is to increase revenue. If your revenue goals are dependent on a high volume business, how are your Systems and Processes allowing you to manage a healthy client roster? If your revenue goals come from charging a premium for high-touch clients, how are your Systems and Processes helping you avoid being at a client’s beck and call? If one of your goals is to be able to spend more time with your family, how does your business run when you’re not there? Do you feel confident that things won’t fall apart if you decide to play hooky from work one day?
At Mom Life Collective, we’ve compiled a whole bunch of resources that will help you get Systems and Processes in order.
Join The Mom Life Collective Membership Library for access to printables and resources to get organized in both your mom life and business.
So what’s inside?
- Home cleaning schedules/ checklists
- FInancial planning
- Blogging/ business planning
- Seasonal planning/ checklists