While discussing life problems when in the company of fellow cell phone users, you’re bound to hear, “I bet there’s an app for that!” And there usually is an application that will help solve whatever issue or bad habit you want to correct.
The same is true for your business. Name any irritation in your biz, and I bet you can create a system that will smooth the rough waters.
Think of your top 3 problems right now. I’ll name the ones I see most from my surveys of entrepreneurs:
- Increase cash flow
- Attract ideal clients
- Create a website (or make over current one)
- Create and launch new product or service
- Pay off debt
- Create marketing plan
- Create business plan
- Get out of overwhelm
While you may think the secret formula to get your perfect solution is something you can’t access, nothing is further from the truth. Systems play a key role in having a breakthrough in every topic I mentioned above. Plus, you can use systems to have continued success and flow.
As a business coach, I help my clients find systems that work with their natural work style. A system has zero value if you won’t use it or your team isn’t on board. It’s important that the system is easy to follow and implement while making your life easier once you’re in the habit of using it.
My intention is to light a fire under your bum to create at least one new system as a result of reading this, then implement it in the next week. Are you willing?
I’ll give you some examples of systems you can use. It’s up to you to fill in the blanks or get with your business coach or mentor to fine-tune your ideal process. I could write a 1000-page book on this topic, so I’m very aware that I’m not giving you as complete of an answer as I’d like.
If you already have systems in place, think about how you could radically change them if you were to think like a rock star CEO. If you could create the most efficient, easy, and boldly you system, what might you change?
Increase cash flow:
A decade ago I created follow-up emails for all of my products. Now when a customer orders a product online, through a series of emails, I make sure they use what they bought, motivate them to implement the information, and suggest other products they may benefit from. A lot of writing up front, but now my autoresponders do all of the work.
If you contact potential customers through emails, phone conversations, or in person, I’d create a structure for when, how, and what you’ll say. Do you have a system for tracking the conversations?
You could also create a system for increasing cash flow and attracting your ideal clients that involves a personal process that you do every day to amp up your vibe.
Do an activity that totally gets you in your power zone.
Attracting ideal clients:
I’ve created a process to attract 5-Star Clients. It includes writing down every little thing you’d want to have in that client, from they way they treat you to paying ahead of schedule. I also use this process for attracting my ideal team members, gardeners, house cleaners, etc. You can also create a checklist of what they have to have in order for you to say yes to them. (You don’t have to say yes to anybody who will put a coin in your pocket!)
Do you have a welcome packet ready for all of the new clients you’ll be attracting? Do you make it easy for them to pay you? Do you describe their hot issues on your website and in other marketing so they know you’re speaking to them?
Launching new products, services, and websites:
Projects like these usually include many details and moving parts to complete. They also require help and a learning curve. All of this means they’ll take longer than you expect and longer than most experts tell you. Whatever system you use, you’ve gotta chunk down the steps into doable-size actions over the course of a month or more.
I personally like to do a data dump from my head onto paper. Then I talk to any contractors or team members who are going to help me, to find out what they say are my most important priorities for the project.
Then I do a mind map of sorts. Break down the projects into categories like:
- Create my intention for what the new product, service, or website will do for my customers and what it will do for my business.
- What is the main message?
- What are the topics I will cover?
- Write content.
- Plan for how I will market.
- Calculate when and how I will launch with pizzazz.
- Calendar out when I will work on the project and for how long.
Business and marketing plans:
Find a format that will inspire you to do it every year. I’ve used many fill-in-the-blank business plans from popular books and eventually created my own 1-page HELL YES business plan. I believe in one-pagers because they keep things simple and you can post them on the wall or keep on your desk year-round. Carve out time to do it in a day or in one-hour chunks until it’s done.
The business owners in my live event did theirs in one hour total. It was easy because they’d spent the previous day and a half getting clear on their vision, issues, and solutions. That’s what you should do first too!
Then calendar your inspired actions monthly and weekly by checking in with your plan. Do the same with a marketing plan.
I’m old school. I like to do everything on paper. First I write down my calendar of launches… what classes, programs, and products I’m going to launch in the upcoming year. I use a month-at-a-glance calendar and then write in when email promotions need to be sent to promote each launch. Then I create an email to my assistant with the schedule listed, and she starts connecting with other business owners in the industry who will help support my launches.
Overwhelm is a perspective. Train yourself to focus on the “now” moment and give yourself less to do each day. I’m a HUGE fan of using Stephen Covey’s “scheduling the Big Rocks” to organize my daily tasks. All of my clients use my Speed Dial the Universe journal to get grounded and prioritized for the day. It IS a system.
Prioritize by using your business and marketing plan and chunking things down into small bites. We also use online systems for reminders (I like Google calendar). I can’t live without my Day Runner organizer (I told you I was old school!).
Make a plan or don’t complain. A plan will make you feel in control. The system can be as simple as making double the minimum payment on your smallest debt each month. See? Systems can be easy.
When I was knee deep in debt and making about $3,000 a month (not enough to even cover my expenses), I used a spreadsheet to track the balances owed on each debt. I focused on appreciating every dollar that my debt went down each month. Nine months later I was debt free (a miracle in my eyes!) and doubled my income that year.
Just to set the record straight, all problems and solutions come back to you. You have to shift the way you relate to your business to make real change.
Where do you need to break the current model and upgrade? Use systems to support the transformation.