Through my work as a web designer/developer, I work across a whole range of industries. It’s something I really enjoy. And it’s made me realise that some business struggles are universal. The biggest being, that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day!
I can definitely relate to this so instead of letting it wreak havoc on my calendar, I got serious about setting up systems to support my business.
“Systems” can sound like a fancy word for MBA types in big organizations but it actually has a lot of value for businesses of all stages and sizes. Since implementing systems in my business, I’ve reclaimed hours every week and become a much more productive business owner.
Systems not only help keep me focused and organized, they also:
- Save time and allow me to scale my business
- Incentivize me to delegate
- Allow me to automate tasks
Let’s look at these benefits a little further before we dive into systems you can implement for your business today.
To be honest, the #1 reason I needed to create and implement systems was to save time and scale my business. When I was involved in every area of my business, I wasn’t able to grow at the rate I wanted since my day was filled with so many low-level tasks.
I began by batching related tasks to do at set points each week. For example, I started by blocking off time one morning a week to schedule all my social media posts. After that, I dedicated one afternoon a week to writing out all my blog posts as part of my content marketing efforts. Next up, I picked another morning to write and schedule all my email marketing communications.
When I decided to stick to one task at a time, I was more focused and efficient and ultimately got way more done than when I was constantly flipping between tasks.
After I started looking at ways I could save time and scale my business, it became clear that I was spending a huge amount of time every week on tasks that weren’t necessarily helping to grow my business. Yes, they were all supporting my business, but they weren’t directly bringing in money.
I realized that so many of the tasks could easily be done by someone else for not a whole lot of money.
At first my biggest hurdle was how to find someone to do those tasks but then I realized I had a hearty network and knew of a few young people who had the necessary skills and time. I pitched them on a few one-off projects and the results were great! Yes, I had to get creative with my budget but the payoff was totally worth it.
If you’re looking for ways to delegate in your business, consider hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) for a few hours a week, bringing on an intern, or reaching out to a freelancer and hiring them for particular tasks. Word of mouth is a great way to find people so don’t be afraid to ask your network if they know anyone.
Since I started delegating, I’ve been able to focus on tasks with a bigger payoff, which in turn has helped grow my business and make it more enjoyable.
Many of the tasks you do are repetitive and manual until you discover the glorious world of automation. Not only will it save you time, automation also improves and streamlines your business.
I first started out with social media, which was a major time suck. After I began batching this task, I then progressed to using a social media scheduler. There are a lot of different options out there, depending on your needs, but I’ve used and liked Hootsuite, BoardBooster and Meet Edgar.
Tasks that can be scheduled are great because then you don’t have to do those tasks in real time. You also have the added benefit of not switching through tasks through the day.
How to Map Out Your Systems
Once you have a better understanding of the types of systems that exist, you can apply it to your own business in a way that makes a lot of sense. To start, make a list of all the projects you do on a regular basis. Next, outline all the steps that make up each project. Put a star next to each task that could be delegated. Go ahead and circle anything that could be automated with a software. After that, group the tasks that could be batched together. Now you should be able to map out a new process for every project that includes automation and delegation.
Once you’ve outlined your new ideal workflow and figured out how you can break up the order and process of each project, you’re ready to assign each step to the appropriate person.
This might take some time, but trust me, the payoff is worth it.
Systems You Can Implement Today
If you’re ready to give systems a try, here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Scheduling social media
- Client communications
- Blog posts and content marketing
- Work flow process
- Pitching new business
- Email inbox management
I have no doubt that once you give systems a go, you’ll be kicking yourself for waiting so long to try them out! Creating and implementing systems has been one of the best decisions I’ve made as a web designer/developer and I have no doubt you’ll see similar results in your own business.