This is a Guest Post by Deidra Miller
No matter what size your business is – whether you’re just starting up, you’re a solopreneur, or you have a staff of employees, good business systems are most definitely a best practice for helping your business run smoothly and grow. Business systems do include software, which is what many think of as systems. But they’re also the other more intangible ways that you do any part of your business. It’s how you do things.
As a business owner, you should get everything you know about your business out of your head and commit it to writing. Create a procedure manual (in either physical or digital form) and start writing out how you do things in your business. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to get it all completed at once. Start with one or a few items at a time then add as you are able to. Just get down as much as you can, then you can always expand on and edit what you have written. Eventually you will have a complete, comprehensive manual.
Some systems you can include (but are not limited to):
- Your mission statement
- How you treat your clients and handle complaints
- How you market to clients
- How you process new clients
- Customer relationship management service procedures
- Email marketing service for sending emails/newsletters
- How you post blogs and articles
Do this in detail. For each area, make a very detailed description of every step in the process. Include what you do and why you do it. Include the subtle parts that make your business uniquely you. Include the parts that you are proud of, the tricks that make it efficient, what you tried that didn’t work and explain why. Each system should become a very rich, highly detailed system.
Why so much detail? Because this is the beginning of being able to consistently deliver results. And delivering results is vital to the growth of your business, so that clients will want to continue to work with you and to refer you to others.
And when you’re ready to delegate tasks to an outside team member, documented systems make that much more manageable. Delegating is one of the keys to having a successful business while still having a life. Maybe you don’t want a bigger business. Maybe you want to keep yours small. Still, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to go on a long vacation and turn the keys over to someone else to run and make money for you while you are gone? Without systems, that wouldn’t be remotely possible.
What are some other systems you have documented (or need to document) for your business?
Deidra Miller is the founder of Magic Wing Administration, providing administrative and customer service consulting to entrepreneurs and small business owners in a collaborative relationship. She works with her clients to determine how they can best establish systems to optimize their business and enhance customer relationships.
Deidra is the author of the ebook Entrepreneur Strategies: How to Optimize Your Business, and has published several articles on business strategies.
She began her career in the corporate world, learning hands-on in various roles – as executive assistant, office manager and project manager. But in 2010 she decided to leave that path to follow her passion to help entrepreneurs create a business they love!
You can learn more about Deidra at http://deidramiller.com