Building systems in a business are a common pain point for many business owners. It can seem very overwhelming to start creating business systems and processes when you’re starting from the ground up. Often times beginning business owners look at the systems of people who have been in business for a while and wonder how they will ever get to that stage.
I’ve been there too. In fact, I think every business owner has been there. When I worked as a recruiter for a small company I was fascinated by the operations manual and tracking sheets they’d put together. When I started working with a business coach I was mesmerized by her contracts, processes and delivery. I wondered how on earth I would every figure this stuff out.
Now, a few years down the road, I get asked the same questions by readers and clients. How do you automate things? How do you start setting up business systems? How do all these things even go together?
Step 1: Have patience.
When it comes to creating business systems it’s important to remember to have patience. The businesses you’re admiring probably didn’t come up with their systems overnight, so it’s unlikely that you’ll come up with yours in an instant.
I recently had a coaching client who was impressed with her initial conversation with me. “You knew exactly how many coaching sessions I needed, you had a workbook ready to go and you had client onboarding. How do you figure all that out?” she asked.
I responded by saying it’s taken me a while to get it together. In my case I had to hire help in the form of a VA who specialized in systems. I also had to actually put in the work so I could notice patterns among coaching clients and create workbooks based on what I was seeing.
Again, this stuff doesn’t happen overnight. So please be patient with yourself as you undergo the process of creating business systems.
Additionally, don’t make the assumption that you need to invest in the most expensive email marketing software, CRM or scheduler when you’re just starting out. Most businesses build up to the expensive stuff, so don’t let anyone pressure you into thinking you need to spend a lot of money to begin building business systems.
Step 2: Hire help if you need it.
As I previously mentioned, I ended up hiring a VA who specialized in business systems. Since this was an area where I really struggled (I’m a messy creative person) I needed some guidance. I didn’t even have a CRM when I hired her!
If you feel like systems are a massive challenge for you, it may be helpful to hire someone so they can point you in the right direction. Sometimes it ends up costing less money to hire someone else than it does to try and figure stuff out on your own.
Step 3: Build systems as you go along.
You can begin building systems for your business as you go along. For example, when I first hired my VA I made sure to create videos of everything I was using in my business – from WordPress to invoicing software. She also helped me create my first Operations Manual which we now update at least once a year.
Take note of everything you do in your business and begin building a manual from that. You can check out 4 Ways to Pay for Your First Virtual Assistant for more specific guidance on this process.
Setting up business systems is a process that takes time. You will perfect them as you go along, so don’t worry so much about having to figure out your business systems right away. However, do make sure to hire some help if you need it and begin building systems and processes as you go along.