The pathway to success in your personal or business affairs is seldom a straight and narrow one. Often events are filled with many twists and turns, ups and downs, and sometimes things seem to come to a screeching halt. But that pathway can be made much lighter if you have strategic steps in place to facilitate whatever you’re working to accomplish.
These strategic steps can be placed in systems that organize content, workflow, tasks, people and other resources, creating increased effortlessness in your projects. They also make it easier to hand over a task for someone else to accomplish, while providing peace of mind to you that the process will more likely be done in the correct sequence.
I love to use systems for my business and personal life. They facilitate my work to flow much easier. For example, I have 12 months of content all built out for daily and weekly guidance. My content is organized in a system I use to coach my clients to achieving breakthrough results, efficiency and profits. Because I invested the time to do this, each week I only need to pull the sheet to see what the next topic is. Now I can easily create my blogs, Facebook Lives or podcast shows, and even my sales offer for each month or for each quarter without sweating about what I’m going to do next.
I’ve found that helping my coaching clients create systems has also helped to eliminate tons of confusion and wasted time, not just for them, but also for the people they delegate to. Systems, when properly created, save money and time, while providing guidance to those who carry out your mission. It is organizing your processes so the guesswork and ‘trying-to-figure-it-out-on the fly’ can be eliminated. Using systems will organize and streamline your steps when completing the simplest to the most grandiose tasks. Systems create clarity and reduce stress.
If you find that every day, week, month or year when you do a task, it takes a lot of time to figure out what to do next, or if you find yourself stuck in your thoughts wondering where to begin or what the next step is, each time, then you need a system.
Whether you’re a business owner, CEO, stay-at-home parent, or a career professional, you’ll likely need systems to help you manage your tasks or the people you support. The components of the system you create will vary according to your overall goals, however, there’s a general process to follow which can guide all your future creativity.
This article provides an overview of where to start when you are considering creating systems for your organization. If this is too general, in a later article, I’ll break down the components into finer details and provide a template to help you get started.
Let’s First Consider Some Examples of Systems
Home of Office Systems
A simple place to start may be at home or in your workplace when trying to organize your space. For example, in general, my home is extremely organized, not because we don’t use the space and get it messy. We have a system of where to return things once we’ve used them.
If you have kids, organizing a system of tasks to help them learn responsibility while building structure in their surroundings will also help to lighten your load. As an example, when my kids were small, we had a responsibilities chart, which they used to guide them through the important tasks in their day. I used this as an opportunity to teach them responsibility. The tasks were agreed upon and they would check them off on a list as they were completed. Colorful stickers were their reward. They loved them!
Later, as they grew older and it became important to teach them about money, budgeting and borrowing, those colorful stickers were traded for real dollars, as allowances, through which I would teach them so many money principles. Those systems were set in place making it easier for me as a parent and for the kids too (I hope) because everyone knew what was expected.
Structuring Your Business or Organizational Systems
If you are still in the early stages of your business and lack financial resources to hire someone to create a system for you, my best recommendation is to become familiar with all of the areas in your business by doing them first. No one can create a system for you that you’ll be pleased with, before they learn the intricate details of your business, which can be quite costly. Knowing your business helps you to later create systems for each ‘department’ when delegating tasks. It also puts you in touch with the pulse of your business.
If you are an organizational leader, you can lean on the expertise of your staff to help you generate the systems for the processes your business regularly follows. Regardless of the type of organization, there are some general steps which apply, from which you’ll even be able to create operational manuals for future employees.
I’ve created a visual to explain the steps you can follow in creating your own. You’ll want to start by looking at your organization from a holistic view. If you don’t have departments already established, even as an entrepreneur, think of all the goals you want to achieve in your business and for your clients. Then you follow the chart to continue the flow.
Typically, as a service-based business owner or organizational leader, you have general goals that you’d like to fulfill. These are just general goals to help you identify the various categories or departments your business will need. In the next article you’ll create specific goals, actions and measures with the more detailed overview.
Structuring your system in this way will help you identify the expertise you’ll likely need to fulfill your tasks later.
As an example to consider, some departments or categories can be: Customer Acquisition—attracting the right clients; Branding & Design—creating images that match your message, logos, images for lead magnets, etc.; Marketing and Advertising—responsible for copywriting, and creating; Operations—carrying out the main functions of your business; Finance—typically a CPA or bookkeeper is necessary up front, but you may also need a system to help you organize your receipts and reports. With all of the above categories, software resources are great tools to facilitate any of your processes. I tend to do a lot of automation which software helps me facilitate. This way I only require part-time help for many of the minor tasks I delegate. But even so, later as you expand, these systems you create can become instructional manuals will help save headaches of training new hires.
Specific Examples of Systems
If you’re a coach, consultant or other service provider, you can build systems to help you get clients seamlessly on-board if this is one of the goals that you want achieve. Your goal may be an organized process to have them avoid any glitches in accessing the services you provide. So you list the steps your client will go through and all of the resources you will need to create a smooth experience along with timelines and measures to evaluate how this was executed. See the next article for details.
Or, you may want to start attracting new clients by providing resources and content to help solve problems along the way and offer your services to better assist them. You can create systems to organize content that aligns with your services and create a weekly calendar of topics with resources they can buy or download for free, while adding them to your nurturing email sequence.
To use the process for delegation to a Virtual Assistant, can save you on-boarding time. My virtual assistants are up on running from Day One because of the level of details, complete with video or screenshots, I provide for to take the guesswork out of the process. You can do the same to help your VA navigate the processes without wasting time figuring things out. It facilitates project completion with increased accuracy, in addition to providing a gauge for performance or evaluation of the work completed.
Systems are workflows or action steps that you can create for anything in your life or business that you need to simplify. Anyone can have systems, whether at home, in your business or in an organization you run. If you need to save time, money and the worry of retraining or on-boarding help, creating a system will help you to do that. To create a system, start with your general organization goals, then subdivide them into different categories. Work from each category to determine what is the most valuable system for your time, to start creating, then use the steps in the diagram to map out a plan.
Our next article will provide an outline of how you can create the details of your system effortlessly. To receive notification of the next publication click the button below to join our blog notification list.