Podcast Script - March 29, 2022
Subject: Want to work smarter, not harder?
Ever thought about getting things done faster? Eliminating bottlenecks? Reducing your workload? Taking a month-long vacation? Working in a different country? Hiring more people? Scaling your business to multiple 7-figures?
Systems allow you to do all these things and more.
A system is a set of processes, tools, people, and strategies that all work together to solve a problem or achieve a goal.
Have you watched the movie The Founder with Michael Keaton?
It’s all about McDonald’s—the hundred billion dollar company that’s arguably responsible for systematizing the fast food industry.
The McDonald’s franchise works in a way that anyone can go in and implement their exact proven system, and they’ll have a high chance of succeeding. They can also hire almost anyone to work in any McDonald’s kitchen and following a systematic set of procedures, that person can produce the same food every time.
That is the beauty of creating systems.
Systems allow your business to run like a well-oiled machine while making it more streamlined, more productive, and ultimately, more profitable.
You don’t have to be McDonald’s or some other huge corporation to utilize systems.
When a huge portion of your business is running smoothly and with less supervision, you can step back and let the systems do the work for you, thereby making you a smarter business owner.
You’re then free to focus on more high-touch and profitable activities that are the best use of your time, energy, skills, and expertise, all while you generate more and more profits.
Standard Operating Procedures.
Don’t tune me out.
Seriously, it’s no secret that those things aren’t exactly the sexiest of business topics.
BUT if you are someone who doesn’t have those things in your business and had to learn the hard way how much your business really, really, really needs those things…
Then this episode is for you.
(Honestly, this episode is for you even if you already have systems and SOPs in your business because all of us have room for improvement, right?)
And this episode is especially for you if you’re not even sure what systems or SOPs are.
(It’s OK. We’ve all been there at some point. Let’s keep going!)
Friday is April 1st and the start of our 2nd quarter of the year. This is the time to get these things in place if you don’t already.
In 2022, your business needs systems and SOPs if both profitability and sustainability are on your to-do list.
Since a system can cover anything from completing simple tasks (ex. sending email newsletters) to finishing more complicated projects (ex. creating automated sales funnels), you probably have your own business systems set up already.
But the same way that there are good systems and there are great systems, there are also bad systems or ones that are unnecessary, counterproductive, overly expensive, or too time-consuming.
So, any time you have a certain way of doing things, that in itself is a system. It’s just a matter of making your system the most streamlined, efficient, and effective it can be based on your business goals.
Systems come in all shapes and forms so take this opportunity to document the activities you do to run your business.
It could be activities you do regularly (ex. publishing blog posts, sending email newsletters, going on discovery calls) or a single activity that you think you’ll repeat in the future (ex. hosting a webinar, launching a product, writing a guest post).
I’ve found it very valuable to have a SOP written out for those one-off tasks that you might not do for several months again.
Make a list of activities your business needs to function, break down each activity according to the process, tools, people, and strategies needed to complete it from start to finish.
Process - the step-by-step sequence of actions
Tools - the required devices, apps, or software
People - the person/s in charge of each step of the process
Strategies - the tactics, tips, or techniques you use
A way to help you identify ways to improve your systems is to critique each of the four components separately.
Are all steps of the process necessary or should I delete some of them?
Are all steps of the process being completed in the correct order?
Are all steps of the process generating the results that I want?
Are the tools I’m using the best tools for the job based on price, performance, and maintenance?
Are there more sophisticated tools out there that could serve my business better?
Are there less expensive tools that could complete the job better or faster?
Are the right people in charge of the right tasks?
Do I need to hire more people or am I employing more than I need?
Who is able to take on more responsibility and how?
Are my strategies actually working?
Which 20% of my strategies are bringing in 80% of my results?
Are there other strategies I could implement to make my business run better and generate more profits?
The best way I can explain the importance of systems and SOPs is with an example:
Say you’re a mindset coach.
Your “job“ is to help your clients have a breakthrough or shift in their mindset to move forward in their business.
But as the owner of your business, let’s be real: your job is like a dozen other things (and you don’t have to be a mindset coach to get this):
Content creator, invoice manager, sales person, customer service, bookkeeper, client manager, website manager, blogger, video editor… and so on.
(And depending on how involved your business is, that might just be the tip of the iceberg.)
If you’re a team of one, without systems, you will probably find yourself spending less time working with clients and more time doing everything else ( or “playing desk” as I like to call it)— the administrative stuff, the marketing stuff, the sales stuff, the customer service stuff, and so on.
It’s such a shame. Because not only are you spending a ton of time doing the stuff that isn’t necessarily your specialty, but it’s pulling from time that you could be putting into doing the thing that is your specialty…
Serving more people. Helping more people. Sharing your gifts with those who need them.
And of course, we always think about how we’re spending our time — but what about the other resources?
What about how you spend your energy, your willpower, your creativity, your bandwidth?
(Anyone who has ever had a lot of free time but no energy or willpower gets why all of these resources have to be considered when we are talking about the real cost of something.)
If a lot of those other resources are being drained just to maintain your business, what does that leave you with when you are doing your client-facing work? Not much.
Without systems, it feels like you’re reinventing the wheel every time you go into your inbox, manage social media comments, respond to client inquiries or new leads, onboard new clients, and so on.
Without systems, a business is using everything they have in the way of time, energy, and creativity to simply get clients and maintain what they have… Without anything left to actually serve the clients they were trying to get in the first place.
But with SYSTEMS?
Lead generation, content creation, even sales can happen on auto-pilot.
New clients are on-boarded and served in easy, efficient, repeatable systems that make them say “I’m so glad I’m going to be working with you!”
And the tricky stuff: The difficult customers and even the Internet trolls are HANDLED because you have repeatable systems that you can rely on with no emotional labor needed from you.
And that’s just part of what systems can bring you.
Then when you’re ready to make your first hire or grow your team? The transition is easy peasy because you simply hand them the complete systems you’ve developed and they can start implementing from the beginning. Done.
If it feels overwhelming to create these SOPS and systems, just make a quick over the shoulder video explaining how you are doing certain tasks. Then when you hire your first team member, they can use the video to learn as well as type out the system for you.
You don’t have to always feel like you’re on a hamster wheel…
And you don’t have to always feel like you’re reinventing the wheel either…
Creating business systems allows your business to run as streamlined, efficient, and effective as possible. It might take some time and trial and error to get your systems up and running the way you want it to but the rewards of doing it will be well worth it.
Your business can be more profitable, but better yet, more sustainable, more productive, more efficient, and even more joyful!
Systems give you all of that and more. Systems give you freedom.