How much of your time do you spend doing the same things every day? Here are 5 ways you can simplify your business with systems and processes.
Like most entrepreneurs, you might find that you spend a lot of time on tasks that are repetitive. If you could map out these daily to-do tasks and create business processes, you will…
Be in better control of your time
Streamline your tasks and save time
Focus on higher-level work
Scale and grow your business
Here are five ways you can simplify your business with systems and processes.
1. Identify and Map Repetitive Tasks
One typical challenge entrepreneurs have run out of time. Once you figure out efficiency in your business practices, you will get much more done and be a happier and more successful entrepreneur. Think about the daily or weekly tasks that can be applied to a process to save you time so you can focus on more important things. Determine which repetitive tasks are bringing little results by completing a time audit.
Sit down and make a list of the tasks you do every day, noting any items you can easily turn into a business process. Define a goal for each task that can be turned into business processes. I share some tips for goal setting here. Think about when it should be finished and how and why it fits into your business schedule. Starting with the goal and working backward is the best way to see if it’s working to help you reach the goal. I love this part because it’s how I create my courses, digital products, and freebies…instructional designers call it the backward design model. It saves you a ton of time and helps widdle down your list by prioritizing what WILL get you to your goal.
Next, break down each task into steps, map it, and identify any resources needed to complete it. I suggest using a flow chart to map out the task from the beginning to the end. I use Lucidchart when helping my consulting clients with systems strategy and when I build my visual sales funnels. The essential rule here is that it should be easy to create, understand, and change later if tweaking is needed. This is especially important if these are tasks that you plan to outsource, which brings us to number 2, outsourcing.
Outsourcing tasks is one of the best ways to free up your time, so you don’t get bogged down with repetitive tasks. This is an excellent option for solopreneurs or entrepreneurs who don’t want to hire additional staff. One benefit of outsourcing is that you can outsource tasks on an as-needed basis rather than cut into your business expenses by hiring someone. You can delegate tasks like copywriting, virtual assistant, graphic design, website development, etc. For example, you may need to create a launch a social media campaign. You may need marketing content, ad copywriting, and graphics created. Instead of taking time to learn the skills needed to master each of these, you can outsource this to freelancers or other service providers.
One of my clients, who is a writing consultant, loves to help other people turn their stories into books, but she hates all the marketing stuff like ads, content for the socials, and scheduling her email campaigns. Guess what she did? She hired a virtual assistant who is now familiar with her business and preferences. Her virtual assistant works with her social media content writer, and my client now spends more time with her clients and students taking her writing courses.
3. Delegate to Employees
If you have a staff of employees, you could always delegate these tasks to them. All you need to do is map out each step or create a standard process guide so that any of your employees can quickly take over the task. This is the best option because your tasks are completed in-house. For example, you could delegate social media management or answer company emails and inquiries. They could post, monitor, and interact with your followers online. Think about all the time you’ll have to do other higher-level tasks in your business.
Busy entrepreneurs can delegate administrative, accounting, customer service, website maintenance, and content marketing tasks.
4. Automate Tasks with Tools
My favorite option for creating systems and business processes is using automation tools. These tools are best for those repetitive tasks that do not require problem-solving or creative thinking. Here is a short list of tasks that automation tools can do
✔️Social media posts
✔️Email marketing and replies
✔️Registrations and signups
✔️Notifications of sales and new subscribers
...and so much more.
There are dozens of free to affordable uses that will up-level your business. Check out the tools I use to help my business run on automatic, so I don’t get bogged down with repetitive tasks. If there is a task that you’re doing that a computer can do, then you need to automate it.
Review your list of tasks and explore which can work best using an automation tool. The significant part is that most automation tools have a free trial, so you can use them and see if it works for you.
5. Improve Existing Workflow
If you already have some level of business processes in place, you take a close look to see how you can improve it and create seamless systems in your business. Analyze each step of your workflow and process and see where you can improve or if anything falls through the cracks. For example, a missed notification, failure to appropriately tag customers, or missed opportunity to cross-sell, upsell or down-sell a product or service.
Check your business processes for bottlenecks in steps that could be holding up the workflow. Return to the beginning and ensure the process fulfills your intended goal. Check for efficiency and check with your customers to ensure they receive communication. Check with your end of the business process to make the process work, like payments are received and posted, content marketing is posted, customers are moving through your onboarding or funnel, etc.
With your existing business processes, look for a way to automate further by creating systems that align with your small business guidelines and procedures so that every customer or lead has the same experience based on their selected preferences. I help entrepreneurs with this by taking their business to the next to automate and create not just business processes but a systems strategy so they can plan and anticipate weekly and monthly revenue for their business.
I often see entrepreneurs skip the part about taking the time to analyze and improve their processes until it’s too late. It’s like working to have a lot of website traffic, but that’s where it stops. Even if you are a new entrepreneur with only one customer or client, you must be ready when the floodgates open and you have multiple leads and paying customers. This is a dedication and investment in energy that is sure to save you time and money later.
Take the time today to prioritize creating business processes and systems so you can see better results from your work.
Do you want to learn more about streamlining your business processes, creating a systems strategy, or need a tool stack audit? Just Ask Sherry!
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