If you work with clients, are you clear on exactly what happens and when in your business?
Or is it more a case of “ooh I need to send over the contract” “ah okay so I’ve done that, erm what else..”
So often it seems that unless you happen to stumble upon or actively seek to learn about these great techniques for streamlining your business it is more a case of trial and error. I was very lucky to win access to the course Stress, Less & Impress by Leah Kalamakis right at the time when I needed it in the early stages of setting my business up. I really learn’t so much from her experience rather than trying to figure it all out on my own.
From that point I’ve been inspired to chip away at setting up complete systems for my business. Don’t get me wrong I still have a lot more I can do, but every time I get one of the things on my list ticked off I feel such a sense of relief! So I like to share things like this in the hope that it might help you, even if I don’t have it all figure out myself…
How I’m Optimising My Business
1. I only recently mapped out my whole design process so I can follow a flowchart to know what the next stage is and ensuring that clients get the best experience from me. – inspired by Marie Poulin’s blog post ‘Why you need to design the experience of working with you’
2. I have a project management system setup to reduce back & forth emails as it keeps communication in one place on the relevant task! This works well as clients can also see where we are at on a project as it gets clearly indicated as complete once done (and I try to remember to choose labels such as ‘in progress’ too). I use a modified version of PancakeApp that is self-hosted after a one-off fee rather than ongoing monthly costs.
3. Still a work in progress but I am creating my own cheat sheets for each of the steps in the process, yes I could rely on memory but why not have a foolproof method that I can just follow every time for setting up wordpress, adding essential plugins, transfer to live, browser testing etc
4. I have created a START HERE folder that I will add resources that I need whilst working on a project
+ Re-iterating in future to continue in improve my processes, ultimately to create the best results and experience for my client.
There are so many bonuses to taking the time to create your systems/processes:
- less time wasted (hello, email templates and project templates)
- clear direction and clarity on what you are doing
- helping your clients more
- less room for error as you are following steps that work – phew!
- nothing slipping through the cracks
- potentially being able to hand it over to an assistant as and when needed – could you take a holiday knowing someone else knows exactly what to do?
- better results for your clients with a proven system
Other areas to systemise
– Blogging: capturing post ideas, style guide, checklist, quickly adding to social media
– Email marketing (such as autoresponders)
– Sales: Confirmation message, delivery message etc
– What can you think of to optimise your business?