To run a successful business, an entrepreneur needs to have the workings behind the scenes go smoothly. This is especially true when you delegate to a team or work with a virtual assistant – she needs to know what to do and when to do it.
While it takes time and effort, it really pays off in business to document all the systems that you need so, if anything were to happen to any of you, someone new could come in and keep the ball rolling.
So what do I mean by system?
The system is not what you’re doing but how you do it. It’s the steps you follow in order to get from Point A to Point Z. Winging it is not an option if you want to be a successful entrepreneur. And these systems can be as simple as when and how you handle phone calls to technically loading information onto your website.
There are three steps to building any system:
Step 1: Pick one thing to focus on.
This may seem very simple, but it’s the foundation for moving forward. Identify what’s not been working smoothly in your business lately. Are you always searching for information in emails you’ve read? Are you having scheduling issues? Are you searching for information on small, crumpled scraps of paper in the bottom of your bag? Do you need to update your follow-up systems?
Step 2: Identify what you want to accomplish with that one project.
Think of your ultimate goal with that project, but also list contingency plans if different situations arise and what you’d like to accomplish at the very least.
For example: say you’re on the road a lot and you find you’re losing business because you’re jotting notes on slips of paper that gets thrown away. Can you make a system where you have one notebook you write the information in to keep it safe? And, as a contingency, if you’re not in a position to write notes, can you say, “I need about half an hour of your time to talk about this. I can’t do that right now. Let’s schedule an appointment.”
Step 3: Specifically list the order of the steps to accomplish that project
Now you need to list every single step needed in order to get to your desired outcome. You start by asking yourself, “What’s the first thing I do? What’s the next?” You write it all down.
As an example, let’s take my Get it Done Action Club calls. Each call is taped and transcribed. It’s made into a CD and is also listed and archived on the website.
When I dissected all of the steps that take place for each call, there were probably 30 steps. Some occurred prior to the call, and some were after the call. I put it into a document. I could clearly see what were “Kim things” and what things my virtual assistants could do to support me. Then we discussed it.
Now after each call my assistant will jump in, grab the audio and do the 10 or so things that she need to do. Then she’ll send me an email the next day saying, “Kim, it’s all taken care of.” It’s not only wonderful for me, but I know it also helps her. She knows what to do and feels that sense of accomplishment. It’s so refreshing.
As I’ve grown with my business, I’ve developed a 5-step get it done system that works for any project an entrepreneur needs to get done and perhaps has been really struggling with. Learn more about each of the 5 steps in my short video series that will give you the tools to get any project done in record time.
Dynamic, creative and always resourceful, Kim is the founder of Get It Done University and Metromom.com. She’s committed to helping entrepreneurs “get it done” so they can make more money, help more people and get their brilliance out into the world…..(read more)