3 Systems You Need to be Using in Your Business – Right Now
Let’s talk about systems. Running a business or a side hustle takes a whole lot of time and energy. This is why it’s crucial to be putting the most effort into activities and tasks that produce major results. But let’s be real, when it comes to running a business venture, there are always those small pesky tasks that come up that we have to get done in order to keep the whole thing running. So, why not create systems for your business so that those pesky little tasks can run on autopilot (with little or no help from you)?!
Why are systems important in the first place? Well, implementing or creating systems for your business means you’ve finally admitted to yourself that you’re not here to just “play around.” You’ve admitted to yourself that your business is real, it’s going to be HUGE, and it’s here to stay for the long run.
Systems in your business give you the ability to take the thinking out of tasks or processes that show up again and again in your biz. Systems also give you the ability to offload certain parts to other people (hello, outsourcing + delegation!) and make sure they will be executed properly. Systems ensure that your business can be duplicatable and thrive for the duration of its (long) life.
Implementing organized and carefully crafted systems in your business also frees you up. Are you going to be running this business in the “go-go-go” way forever? Or are you creating a stream of income that can one day be self-sustained? Or maybe even sold for a hefty profit?
Real talk… you’re not going to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed forever, so why not start planning for a future of financial freedom and passive income for yourself? (Oh yeah, I can see you hanging out on the beaches of the world taking in the sun…) All of this starts with one thing: systems!
Every business calls for a different set of systems because each industry, niche, and space has its own needs. However, I’ve done my best to pull out the systems that are universal and that you can start implementing in your hustle or business TODAY.
System 1 | Scheduling Systems
One of those pesky little things that all of us (unless you have an assistant) have to spend time on is scheduling. We have meetings all the time to see potential clients, kick off projects, or knock out brainstorms. Meetings are not going away.
So, why not use systems for scheduling your meetings? One of the best tools I’ve found to help with this is Calendly. Calendly is a calendar tool that lets you create a custom meeting for yourself and send the link to meeting participants so that they can schedule time on your calendar. This means no more emails back and forth to find a time that works! Your time is way too valuable for that.
Calendly has been such a helpful system for me as I’ve ramped up the types of projects I work on and the types of meetings I need to set up. I now use the paid version of Calendly which allows me to send different meeting links for different types of meetings. I use Calendly for: 30 minute quick connect phone calls, 1 hour coffee meetings, 90 minute podcast recordings, and more. Using a scheduling system like this has been a game-changer for me.
I highly recommend checking this tool out and seeing how you can set it up as one of the systems in your business. Another scheduling system that I’ve seen entrepreneurs is Acuity. So do your research, and implement scheduling systems in your business today. Your time is way too important to be spending outside of high-value tasks and activities.
Pro-tip: Use a text expander to save snippets that you can easily put into emails to speed up scheduling even more! I use the Google Chrome Extension called Auto Text Expander. I have little codes like “m:coffee” that expand to “Here’s my calendar to make scheduling easier: [my Calendly link]”.
Now that you see how powerful great systems can be in your biz, let’s move onto System 2!
System 2 | Project Checklist Templates
Another game-changing system in my business has been the use of project checklists. I have standard project checklists for different projects I do for myself or for my clients. A few examples of these checklists are: Branding + Website Launch Checklist, App Prototyping Checklist, Course Launch Checklist, Blog Post Checklist, or Podcast Episode Checklist.
The reason checklists like these are important systems for your business is because they take the guesswork and memory games away. Now, all you have to do is refer to the place of truth, which is your project checklist, to see if you’re hitting all the important parts to complete the project or task!
I recommend having standardized checklists for all the different projects, big tasks, and systems in your business. Here is an example of a checklist I use in my business for Branding + Website Launch projects….
- Color Palette
- Mood Board
- Logo Development
- Check in with Client
- Create Brand Revisions
- Client Review
- Asset Development
- Review Assets with Client
- High Fidelity Design
- Client Review
- Developer Review
- Kick Off Development
- Design QA
- Client Review (Final)
I typically keep this template in my Asana and duplicate it whenever I have a project for branding and website design. This way, I never have to wonder what my process was the last time I had a client like this.
Pro-tip: Another added bonus is that in tools like Asana or Trello, you can put dates by each item as well. As soon as you do this, you have a timeline to share with a colleague or client! How’s that for an amazing time-saving system?!
System 3 | Time Block Systems
I’ve talked about this system before and I’m talking about it again 🙂 Blocking out time in your week to work on different activities is a great way to boost your productivity in the week. It also takes the planning aspect out of your week. When you have certain days (or times of day) assigned to specific activities, you no longer have a wide open (and daunting) calendar to fill. You know the specific pockets of time each activity goes into.
Another name for this system is called “batch work.”
Why batch your work together? Doing similar types of tasks one after another allows us to use our mental capacities more efficiently. For example, batch all your social media planning tasks and do them together in 1 afternoon so you don’t have to get your head in the “social media mindset” every single day. Having to switch tasks too frequently in a day causes brain fatigue…and when you don’t work in time blocks or batch work, you are most definitely task switching more than you need to be.
Here’s the deal: it takes effort to switch between tasks and we end up losing time when we have to refocus on new task types more frequently. So, in order to remove time wastage, implement systems like time blocking.
Here is a high-level example of my time-blocked week:
- MONDAY – Team Check-Ins, Client Check-Ins & Educating Myself (courses, etc)
- TUESDAY – Recurring Client Design Reviews & Client Tasks
- WEDNESDAY – No Meetings & Client Design Work Only
- THURSDAY – Recurring Client Design Reviews & Client Tasks
- FRIDAY – No Client Work, Only Content Creation (blog posts, podcasts, etc) & Biz Planning
- SATURDAY – Unplug & Recharge
- SUNDAY – Hodl Wear Work, Planning, & catching up on any loose ends from the week before
Pro-tip: If you want to go one step deeper in systems for Time Blocking, try out the Pomodoro technique and watch your productivity see an extra boost!
What systems do you implement in your life or business today? I’d love to hear! Hit “reply” or comment below with your must-have systems.