Make your business run it self

January 15, 2006

*This article is reprinted with the permission of SolutionBox

You are so excited to have your new business. You love to interact with clients or customers, and to create, create, create!

Then you are hit with realization that paperwork, finances, marketing and all that business stuff is eating away at your time. And much of it you don’t even like to do. Your own business starts to become just another job– with more responsibility.

The answer is ‘systems’. You want to set up systems so your business practically runs itself. You can think of a system as a recipe for a part of your business.

Part of being your own boss is the flexibility of working when you choose and traveling when you want. When you are doing everything yourself and doing it the hard way, you lose this flexibility. You become tied to your job 24-7. Put systems in place so you don’t always have to be there.

An Example

As an illustration, say you had a chili making business in your backyard. Taking orders was wasting a lot of your time. So, you decide to systemize it. You create an order taking process- what you say, forms to use, how payment is taken, and so on. Once you have a good system in place you can hire a high school student to take orders for you, teaching him or her the system. It’s easy for them to remember because you wrote it all down and put it in your Systems Manual!

So which part of your business takes up a lot of your time? Write down the process for handling that area. Refine it. Improve it. Then put it in your Systems Manual, and find someone who can learn to do it well, at the lowest possible price.

Checklists

One way to systemize is to use checklists. When you create a system, remember it by writing it down or typing it up. You could have a checklist for proofing your web site, checking your newsletter or submitting articles.

Checklists are also great for routines. You can write down what you want to do every day, every week, each month and every year for your business.

Here is an example for a coaching business. Suppose you wrote a list of what you’ll do every week…

Weekly Coaching Checklist

Top of Form

Billing

Write follow-up letters

Write one article

Get completely caught up on e-mails

Contact 3 former clients

Have lunch with a colleague

Do a weekly review

Make sure calls are set up for clients

Set up 5 exploratory sessions

Contact one radio station to suggest an interview

Bottom of Form

Software

A lot of software exists now to help systemize your business, from accounting to promoting your web site to working your affiliate program (automatic sales force) to compiling your e-books.

Out Source…

If a part of your business is difficult for you, too time consuming or you really don’t like doing it, hire it out. Find a virtual assistant to do customer service, go through your e-mail, research, or organize your travel plans. My assistant Carmel has eased up my workload tremendously. Your accountant can handle your finances. The kid next door can stuff envelopes, or even clean your house! Now you can concentrate on your business.

Note: Of course you may not be able to afford all this at once. That’s where profit comes in. You want to generate a small profit in the business. Then use some of that to invest in a system. Then grow the profit a little more, and use some of that to invest in another system.

Where can you systemize?

Here are some examples to get you thinking…

  • Taking phone calls
  • Billing
  • Tracking your time
  • Using autoresponders for e-mail you send frequently
  • Cleaning your office/house
  • Paperwork and filing
  • Online tracking system for your web site
  • Marketing
  • Book keeping
  • Product delivery
  • New client or customer welcome packs
  • Client Follow-up

Get started on creating systems for your business today!

For some great products from SolutionBox click here

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