Why You Should Systematize
Whether you manage a remote team or are a solopreneur, systematizing your business processes allows you to capitalize on the knowledge you’ve acquired thus far in your business. Systematizing involves documenting each step of every process you and your team go through in a typical task. Sometimes it takes a single day to document repetitive processes, but longer or one-off tasks may take longer. Excellent systems are implemented based on these processes to streamline your operations, and they allow you to integrate new team members into their tasks more quickly.
What Exactly Is Systematizing?
Systematizing is the process of documenting what you do and how you do it, maintaining that document, and updating it as processes change. The processes you document should be those that you and your team complete on a regular basis, including sales, marketing, customer service, billing, content creation, and many more.
What are the Benefits of Systemizing?
Simple. When you systematize, you’re taking the time to pay attention to each detail of your process and identify what you are doing well, what can use improvement, and what can be automated. Documenting all of your systems highlights areas where processes can be combined, eliminated, or transferred to increase your efficiency.
I won’t sugarcoat it, systemizing takes dedicated time and effort, but it reaps benefits in efficiency and increases your profitability. Systematizing also paves the way for success for when your business is ready to hire additional employees or outsource to a virtual assistant or contractor. You can hand a new hire a list of their responsibilities, tasks, and your documentation on how those tasks are to be completed.
How Do I Start?
Systematizing is the first step on the way to full-fledged automation, and it digs into the weeds of your business. You’ll want to create a list of all of the different categories your tasks fall into each week. Think larger scale categories like bookkeeping, marketing, sales, production, and customer service. In each category, make a list of the tasks you complete…be sure to note how frequently you complete these tasks (daily, weekly, monthly, etc). This information is the foundation of systematizing your business.
Use your foundation as a guidepost for documenting the process of each task – listing each step that you take. I find it easiest to create a Loom video as I am completing a particular task that I then send to someone on my team to write out the steps for that task using our SOP template. Once created, it is stored in the appropriate folder in our online HQ system as well as added to our master SOP excel file. If you don’t have a team member to delegate to, you can create your SOP as you create the task.
Another suggestion is to write out the workflow from memory and/or using Loom or a voice recorder to make notes to transcribe later. Use this information to create an organized step-by-step guide to complete the task. Be sure to include all platforms someone will need to complete this task at the top of the document!
Create a company HQ folder system on your computer (or in the cloud) and create a separate document for each system using a uniform labeling system. This ensures that you can find the documents when you need them to pass on to the appropriate contractors and new hires! I also suggest printing them all out into a physical binder if you are more of a pen and paper person.
What Do I Do After Documenting My Systems?
Take a moment to congratulate yourself…documenting your systems is a labor of love for your business and it’s a fantastic start towards increased efficiency and profitability.
If you see any systems that seem particularly bulky, or just don’t interest you – think about streamlining and/or outsourcing. A virtual assistant is a great resource for those day-to-day processes that are constants in your business, such as bookkeeping or content creation.
Be sure to keep your systems up-to-date, they won’t be helpful to you or your team if you let them get outdated! Schedule time in your calendar every six months to review your documentation and update it to reflect your current operations.