Why Your Small Business Needs Systems And Processes
3 No Nonsense Reasons Why You Should Have Systems And Processes Set Up In Your Business
- Systems and Processes will save you time, each time you need to do a job you will have a checklist handy to ensure you don’t miss anything important – it can happen to the best of us even when it’s a job we have done a hundred times before. Having a checklist will also keep everything consistent.
- It will make outsourcing jobs much easier. Once you have a system set-up, you can hand it over to your VA and get on with whatever you need to be doing.
- It will save your butt if you ever have the situation where you can’t do a specific task but it needs to be done. Imagine if you got sick and your partner had to step in, if they had a step by step guide, wouldn’t that relieve the pressure?
For us busy moms and business owners it is important for us to make the most of our time. One way we can do that is to systemize our businesses using and we can set up systems and processes easily using tools that are available, often for free, on the internet.
Today I’m going to share with you my favourite tools that’s how I use to run my business, I’m a big fan of setting up systems And processes so that you waste less time and use templates to set things up much quicker.
What you may not know is that I spent many hours in my college days in a cellar, yes a cellar! Photocopying systems manuals for big companies. The business I had my summer job with certified and made ISO 9000 manuals for different companies in numerous industries. It was hardly the most exciting job in the world but it paid my beer and gig money.
I took two things from this job, the first was that I NEVER want to work in a windowless room and the second was that every tiny little step needs to be documented and that when you are creating your system’s documentation you need to assume that the person doing the job has no idea what they are doing. As one of my university lecturers said, “Design instruction manuals as if you are writing for idiots!”
Sounds a bit harsh, but if you assume that the person taking the job knows nothing (or imagine a five-year-old doing it) when you are putting together your system’s documentation it will be much easier for your VA to understand exactly what needs to be done.
Psst. Those of you who are members of The Kaizen Revolution Club will be getting a bonus on this soon shhh….
When you first start out in business, often you don’t think of hiring out or you can’t afford to and so the systems don’t get set up from the get-go. These systems are not just for your VA though, you can use them yourself. If you have a checklist set up then it’s much easier to make sure that you have done everything that you need to do for that particular job.
For example, I have a blog setup checklist that I used to make sure that I have completed all the tasks that are involved with setting up a blog post. I can quickly run through the checklist to make sure I have done everything, more often than not I have forgotten something, and I have been blogging for years!
I wanted to share the three apps that I use for all mine, I have tried and tested several, these are the keepers.
Just a quick heads up some of the links in this post may be a referral or affiliate links. I only refer to projects that I truly believe in and use or have used myself.
Organize, Track and Manage Your Work With Asana
Asana works well either by yourself or with your team. I have only ever used the free version and found it completely adequate but you may want to upgrade to the paid version once your team grows. You can also use Asana for your clients, to keep a check on their progress or onboarding with a new client for example.
It is easy for project management you can set up deadlines and pass work from one person to another if you are working with a team. You can use it to keep your meetings and projects organized and actionable also for ideas and brainstorming. It’s also integrates with numerous other apps.
Asana also has a mobile app so that you can sneak in some work here and there, while your kids are busy playing in the park or when you are waiting in the queue at the doctors. You know, the usual thing that we entrepreneur moms are trying to do.
I find it really easy to plan out my social media posts from here.
Asana is very similar to Trello and when it comes down to it it’s a personal preference from one over the other.
Checklists, Workflows and Standard Operating Processes with Process Street
Process Street is perfect for setting up step-by-step checklists and SOPs. This is extremely useful if you are passing work over to a VA or to another team member to take over a job that you have currently been doing. Process Street is like a checklist on steroids not only do you make the checklist but you can add notes videos images links to the various stages within the checklist making it’s an extremely powerful tool for your systems and processes. You can also run the checklist as a new entity each time the task needs to be done, very slick and easy to use.
Again I have only used the free version for this on this is always being perfect for the jobs that I’ve needed it for. When my son first started his YouTube channel I set up a Process Street checklist to make sure that he understood and could follow exactly what he needed to do to publish his videos each week.
Now I use it to pass jobs to my VA and it saves me time because I don’t need to train her!
Organize Anything with AirTable
AirTable is my new favourite thing. I actually signed up for Airtable back in 2015 but back then I didn’t really like the interface and never used it with much success. I recently logged back in and fell in love with the way that it’s now set up and the capabilities that it has. Airtable is really a collection of databases. One of the great things that you can do with it is to change the view so that you can see your database in different ways and also to sort the database as you would with a spreadsheet. Again it can be integrated with many other apps making it a very powerful tool.
If you like to organize anything then you can do it using AirTable. I recently set up a gift list for my son’s birthday which was quick and easy and took the hassle of emails flying back and forth out of my hands.
I also love how you can change the views depending on what you are working on. This is the same base as above but in the Kanban view – works much better if there are images in the records.
You can separate your bases into different sections, I have personal, work and templates. They are also a library of templates that you can copy and they have what they call the universe section where you can see how people are implementing the bases that they have created.
Like Asana, AirTable also has an app that can be used on mobile devices making it super easy to update and input information while you are on the go.
I do use many other apps within my business (you will find them here and on my resources page here) but Airtable, Process Street and Asana are the three that I value most for saving time and allowing me to set up systems and processes in my business so that when I need to hand over job to a VA or similar it is a really simple process and I don’t need to think about training new member of staff because all they need to do is to follow the steps already outlined.
I know many small businesses don’t think that having systems and processes in place is important or they feel that they will do it when they grow but it’s actually more important if you are a one-woman show to have these set up and ready to go.
This could make the difference to your business crashing and burning or carrying on as business as usual for some reason you have to hand over the reins maybe due to illness or some family issue. and of course, the time when you are stretched and you need to hire an extra pair of hands is the time when you don’t have the extra hours to train a new member staff. If you have the systems and processes already documented it’s just a matter of handing over and asking them to follow the steps.
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