Eleven months ago, I started my Virtual Assistant business as a side hustle to keep myself busy during a 6-month furlough from my 9-5.
As of today, my business is far from a side hustle. I’ve quit my 9-5, replaced (and surpass!) the income from my old job, hired my dream team members, and become fully booked.
I attribute a large percentage of my success to having business systems in place from day 1.
Business systems, also known as workflows or processes, are those repeating activities that you do to run your business. All businesses, big or small, require systems to work.
In this post, I’m giving you 5 actionable steps to create strong systems in your business and make auditing your systems in the future a breeze.
But First, Why Are Business Systems Important?
I was not expecting my virtual assistant business to scale as quickly as it did. In a matter of two months, I went from 5 to 8 clients and $700 to $7K months!
Managing 8 clients, a team, and preparing to launch my first course required me to have strong and efficient systems in my business.
Systems give your business structure; hence making it more streamlined, efficient, and profitable.
With strong systems in place, your business will run smoothly and with less effort from your end. You’ll gain back the time to focus on your zone of genius and on tasks that truly move the needle forward and make you money.
If you want to…
- Take a month-long vacay
- Reduce your workload to 5-hour weeks
- Hire more team members
- Scale your business to 6 & 7 figures
Then, creating systems in your business is an absolute must!
On your next CEO day, follow these 5 steps to create your business systems:
- Identify Your Workflows
The first step to creating strong systems in your business is to identify your workflows. Every business has unique systems so use this time to write down those repeating activities that your business can’t live without.
Some examples of such activities in my business include:
- Writing and scheduling my weekly newsletter
- Launching my course
- Onboarding clients
- Doing regular website maintenance
After you have a list of all the activities you do to run your business, I recommend grouping these tasks into general categories.
For example, writing my weekly newsletter falls under “Marketing” while doing my regular website maintenance falls under “Admin.”
By identifying and documenting your systems, you’ll give your business more structure.
- Record Your Workflows
Having video recordings gives you and your team a visual of how your business systems work.
As you work through your business systems, record your desktop using a video messaging tool like Loom.
Loom allows you to record your camera, screen, and microphone simultaneously so you can guide yourself or your team members through your workflow.
Be sure to save these in an accessible folder on your desktop for easy access. They’ll help you with step #3.
- Create SOPs
Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are the documented systems in your business that allow you to perform a specific process consistently.
SOPs are essential to every business. They help ensure you and your team are operating in a cohesive and productive manner.
Although they may sound intimidating, SOPs are as simple as a Google Doc including all of the pieces that come together to create your system.
Use the following sections to organize your SOP:
- Purpose – a short description of the purpose of the SOP and why it’s required
- Process – the step-by-step process required to complete the SOP
- Tools – the required apps, programs, templates, documents, etc.
- People – the team member(s) in charge of each step of the process
Having SOPs for your business will make auditing your business a breeze, which brings me to the next step.
- Audit Your Systems Regularly
No system in your business is perfect, and as new tools become available, you hire new team members, or time goes by, your systems will change.
You may realize that a system that worked 3 months ago when you only had 3 clients, no longer works now that you have 6 clients.
Running a systems audit means evaluating your current business operation and making necessary improvements.
Now that you’ve identified and recorded your workflows, and created SOPs, auditing your business systems becomes a piece of cake.
Questions to ask yourself when auditing a system in your business:
- Are all of these steps necessary? Can I get rid of some?
- Is the order of these steps most efficient?
- Can I outsource some of these steps, if not all of them, to a team member?
- Should I hire someone to outsource this process/step to?
- Can I automate a step in the process?
Asking yourself these questions as you work through your system will help you identify areas of improvement.
I understand that systems audits aren’t the most exciting part of your business, but giving your business more structure will allow you to gain back time to focus on your zone of genius and embody your CEO!
5. Consider Where You Want To Store Your Systems
You’ll want to house your business systems somewhere where you can easily access them when needed.
Although you may keep your SOPs stored in a Google Drive folder, I recommend using an organized and well-designed tool to store this valuable information.
Some great tools include Asana, HoneyBook, Dubsado, and ClickUp.
Creating and implementing systems allows you to run your business like a well-oiled machine, hire more team members, scale quicker and easier, and gain back time.
Follow the 5 steps listed in this post to create strong systems in your business and notice how much more smoothly and efficiently your workflows become!
What is a workflow in your business that you haven’t revised in a while?