As I’m moving through the transition from a solopreneur to a full service agency, I’ve realized even more how important it is to have my systems organized. Because while having everything in near-chaos has been passable while it’s just me, bringing in multiple team members, a project manager, and other professionals means that I’m not the only one looking at things anymore.
So I’ve been working longer days the past few months, trying to spend at least an hour or two dedicated to reorganizing my systems and making sure I have a Standard Operating Procedure documented for everything that we do in my business.
Going through this process, while also having Systems Intensives with other business owners, has found me asking the same question multiple times: Are your business systems organized?
To me, that question can be broken out into two smaller questions that ultimately point to whether your systems are organized or not. They’re questions that I’ve been asking myself and my clients a lot over the past few weeks, and I want to share them with you, too.
Can you clearly explain the process from beginning to end?
The key word in the question above is clearly. While I can explain my process for different tasks to our project manager, I realized that it wasn’t very clear at all. I had a template in Asana that was missing half the information, which are things I had been just keeping in my head.
Looking objectively at how clear and simple it was to explain my systems to someone else immediately showed me that no, my systems have not been very organized. Whether you are hiring a project manager, a virtual assistant, a copywriter, or anyone else, you want to make sure that you can clearly articulate the process you’re handing off to them.
Take Action: Imagine you’re hiring someone to handle administrative tasks for your business. Try explaining your process for publishing a blog post to them and see where you get tripped up, where things seem convoluted, or where you have trouble explaining things. Those are the areas you need to turn your attention to simplifying!
Are all of the steps written down somewhere?
As I mentioned above, part of organizing my own business systems has meant writing up Standard Operating Procedures. While that term may make you want to hide from the shadow of the corporate world, don’t be afraid of it! SOP documents, and a procedures manual, will make your life SO much easier.
Don’t believe me?
Let’s take the action step of explaining your process for publishing a blog post to someone. Imagine that you had to explain it every time you needed a post published. That would start to eat up a lot of your time, especially if you’re publishing multiple posts per week.
Now imagine that you can hand someone a clear checklist of every step that goes into publishing a blog post. Instead of asking you to explain the process over and over, they can refer to that document and know exactly what they need to do.
Do you see how that makes your life easier? ;)
The ultimate goal would be to have a SOP document for every single thing you do in your business. My rule of thumb is that if you do it more than twice, you need to have a system and a SOP document made for it.
Building up this library of standard procedures means that things happen consistently - in their frequency, their execution, and the level of detail.
Take Action: Schedule in an hour each week (minimum!) to start creating your own library of Standard Operating Procedures. Then go through everything you do in your business and start writing down the steps.
Now that you are armed with the two questions you need to ask yourself, it’s time to start organizing your business systems! If you’re still not sure where to get started, I’d recommend starting with my free business systems audit:
I want to hear from you! What part of the post resonated with you the most? Which action step are you going to start with?