Does this sound oh too familiar?
You’re a small business owner feeling like there’s just so much to do that it’s completely overwhelming.
You’ve been trying your best, but deadlines are slipping, and customers aren’t getting what they were promised.
It doesn’t have to be like this.
The time has come for a change, and that change is systematizing your business.
Every small business owner knows that staying organized and on top of countless tasks is a tall order!
That’s why efficient processes are so critical to managing your company’s operations.
And at its core, business systemization is simply about having processes to manage how your business runs.
Without processes, deadlines can be missed, or important activities left unchecked. And nobody wants that!
In this article, we’ll discuss how systematizing your small business can help streamline operations and give you nine steps to systematize everything.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link. For more information, see my full disclaimer here.
3 Reasons for Business Systemization
A systematized business is a well-oiled machine.
Establishing organized processes provides clarity so you can focus on growing your business, which I’m sure is one of your main goals.
1. Improved Efficiency
Systemization allows you to streamline processes and reduce manual labor while using automation tools helps save time on repetitive tasks.
And systematizing makes it so much easier for you to track progress and identify any inefficiencies that need addressing. That way, you can ensure things stay humming along as smoothly as possible. So if achieving greater efficiency with an eye toward future success is what you desire, then don’t overlook the value of systemization.
2. Clarity in Processes
Without clear, organized processes, how can you effectively manage operations?
By systematizing, you can create a consistent set of steps so that everyone – you and your team members – knows what’s expected. This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page and tasks get done correctly and on time.
3. Increased Productivity
The last and most far-reaching benefit of systematization is increased productivity.
By setting up processes and automating mundane tasks, you free up time for more complex activities that actually move the needle in your business. This is how systematizing can turn a good business into a great one!
Now let’s dive into how to systematize your small business.
How To Systematize Everything in Your Business
1. Identify Key Tasks That Need To Be Systematized
The first step is identifying the key tasks that need a system to keep them running efficiently.
Start with your critical processes – the things that absolutely must be done for your business to operate. Everyone’s critical processes will be different based on your business objectives.
You might think about your social media marketing, onboarding new team members, and even how you manage meetings and create new blog posts. Of course, these are all activities worth making more effective with an efficient system, but you need to identify which ones are a priority for you.
Once you know what needs improvement, assess each activity, considering the following:
- how much time it takes to complete
- how complex it is,
- how many people are involved in the business process
This way, you can work out the best place to start streamlining things for maximum effectiveness. Then give each area a priority level from high to low and use that to determine what to systematize first.
2. Break Down Tasks Into Smaller Steps
Once you’ve identified the key tasks that need to be systematized, break them down into smaller steps to make them easier to manage.
For example, how you market on social media can be broken down into separate processes, such as creating content and scheduling it for posting.
Breaking everything down helps ensure you don’t miss any essential details – and makes the systemization process much easier to manage. It also allows you to optimize how each part of the process works.
3. Automate or Outsource Repetitive Tasks
Many tasks can be automated.
Email marketing is one example that comes to mind. All email service providers offer some level of automation. For example, you can set up email sequences that will be sent automatically at designated times or when someone takes a particular action.
Other tasks can be automated with tools like IFTTT and Zapier. For example, you can integrate your shopping cart platform with your email service provider so that customers are automatically added to the right email list.
Automation and outsourcing free you up from having to do these tasks manually every time – meaning more time to focus on other, more critical tasks.
You may also choose to outsource certain tasks, like social media management, if you don’t have the time or it’s not your zone of genius.
4. Develop Templates and Checklists
Templates and checklists make it easier to be consistent. These will be especially useful if multiple people are handling the same task.
Templates and checklists will help ensure that you follow the same process every time. And everyone follows the same process, no matter how many people are involved. If you use a project management tool like Asana, you can keep all your checklists there.
You can also create how-to guides for tasks that require more complex instructions – and make them easily accessible to everyone.
You can even create short videos demonstrating how to complete certain tasks for visual learners – this is a great way to provide training for new team members.
5. Create a Timeline
A timeline is vital to ensuring your business system runs smoothly and efficiently.
Timelines can help you set expectations for how long a task should take or how often it should be performed. For example:
- How often do you want to post content on social media?
- How often should you review team performance?
- How much time will you spend editing videos?
Having timelines in place helps you establish how to prioritize tasks and how frequently they should be completed.
6. Establish Clear Communication
Clear communication and easy access are fundamental to successful systemization.
Make sure everyone has the information they need at their fingertips so that they can work efficiently. Even if you’re a one-woman shop, it’s still critical to have systems for communicating with your customers and tracking things like orders, invoices, and payments.
A central repository – aka operations manual – is also essential. No more hunting around for those crucial documents. I like to use Google Docs as the repository for my operations manual. You can set up a folder that holds all your standard operating procedures (SOPs). And if you have team members, sharing the folder with them is easy.
When you get this right, you’ll be so much more effective!
7. Set Up Procedures for Tracking Progress
Keeping track of how well your systemization efforts are working is really important. That’s why you want to set up a tracking system.
I use Google Sheets with it’s helpful checkboxes so that I can
- Keep an eye on ow long tasks take
- Make sure nothing gets overlooked,
- And look for any chances to improve
This way, I’m in the best possible position to make sure everything goes smoothly when running my business!
And once you have these processes set up, it will be much easier to identify where you need to tweak the system or how you can make improvements.
8. Monitor Effectiveness
You also want to measure the effectiveness of your systematizing efforts.
One way to do this is to track the amount of time you’re saving. Another is to look at how quickly tasks are being completed and if they are accurate.
You can also look into metrics like conversion rates for email marketing and other systems.
Plus, don’t forget to ask for feedback from your VA, team members, clients, customers, etc! (And, in fact, you can systematize asking for feedback, which makes it much easier to get!)
All of this info helps to identify any areas where improvements can be made.
9. Make Adjustments As Needed
Once you have the above steps in place, make sure you don’t forget about them!
You’ll want to ensure that your systems stay up-to-date and effective. That means reviewing them on a regular basis. So, set aside time every quarter to review how everything is running and how each process could be improved.
- Are you running into any problems?
- Are there opportunities for improvement?
If yes, take the necessary steps to make adjustments. This could mean updating how-to guides or reorganizing your Operations Manual.
Don’t be afraid of change – updating your systems can have powerful effects.
You might also consider looking into new tech or tools that could make operations even smoother.
Systematizing is important in building a successful business – and it’s much easier than you think! By using these steps, you can create smooth-running systems that will help streamline and optimize operations. It’ll make running your business a breeze – freeing up more time for you to focus on your passions and grow. So, don’t wait any longer – start systematizing today!
Bonus: Books to Read
If you’re looking to take your business game up a notch, reading is the next step! There are so many excellent reads out there that can provide unique perspectives on how best to systematize operations. Here are a few of my favorite books that I recommend to gain those all-important insights.
The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
This book will give you valuable insight into how checklists can effectively reduce errors and improve outcomes – from small details to big-picture strategy. It uses a lot of “big-industry” examples, like medicine, aviation, and construction, but I think that makes it even more enlightening.
Profit First by Mike Michalowicz
Of course, your primary goal is to be profitable, right? Profit First is an invaluable resource for putting your business finances on autopilot, prioritizing expenditures, and how systematizing all of this can help you save money and make more profits. It literally changed the way I operate my business.
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
This is a classic book, that I consider a must-read book, Gerber explains why most small businesses fail using his own experience. And he shares how to avoid business failure by focusing on systems.
The word “systematize” means to organize in a systematic way. This could be organizing according to a set of rules, or putting things in order. In business, it often refers to how processes and tasks can be organized and automated so that they take less time, are more efficient, and have better results.
Systemizing your business means organizing and improving the various activities required to run a successful small business. This includes automating some tasks so that they can be done more efficiently.
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