What’s better than the copy-and-paste ease of a documented process? One that runs itself.
With automation and productivity tools, shopping carts, and member sites, making sales and delivering your programs and services will take almost no time at all — as long as you set them up with scale in mind from the start.
As your business grows, you will scale processes and operations to fit that growth, as well as your business budget and outsourcing needs. You need to build this in from the beginning. You need to know where you are going, as well as where you are now, so that you can plan for it.
In this quick video, I show you some classic mistakes business owners make when it comes to scaling options, productivity apps and software that will improve your workflows, and you’ll discover a different way of thinking about what you can “eliminate” while helping your business at the same time.
This month we are talking about systems to scale your business. Now let me ask you, what’s better than the copy-and-paste ease of a documented process?
One that runs itself. With tools like Zapier, IFTTT (if this then that), Meet Edgar, shopping carts, member sites – making sales and delivering your programs and services will take almost no time at all — as long as you set them up with scale in mind from the start.
As your business grows, you will scale processes and operations to fit that growth. I think everyone has realized that by now, as well as your business budget and outsourcing needs. You need to build this in from the beginning.
You need to know where you are going, as well as where you are now, so that you can plan for it.
Here are three scaling scenarios. Only one of them is correct.
Can you guess which one is correct?
Option 1: Starting with a free third-party platform that only meets your start-up needs with no room to grow
Option 2: Starting with a simple platform, ensuring it can export data and integrate with other platforms or versions you plan to use later
Option 3: Investing in an expensive, massive third-party platform with features you don’t yet need because you will want it someday
I’m also going to include the words customized or proprietary system, I see those a lot. People get sold on them not realizing that if they want to switch from them, it’s not easy, it doesn’t play well with other things, or it’s really expensive to get away from.
As you can imagine, Option 2 is best.
Options 1 and 3 are both classic mistakes start-up business owners make.
Option 1: Going with a “free” app, without considering later needs as your business grows in scale. Another fatal mistake you can make here is choosing something that won’t integrate and allow you to easily export your data to a new platform later.
Option 3: Spending a huge annual or monthly sum that you can’t really afford on an immense system with a myriad of features you don’t need, because the sales page convinced you it’s the best there is.
There’s nothing wrong with investing in the best, but make sure it really IS the best for your business.
Option 2: This is what happens when you do your homework, plan for the future but take your current needs, skill sets, and budget into account.
It’s a great idea to create flow charts for your business processes. Ones you can print out and stick in your Master Business Manual for documentation purposes. But you really don’t want a gazillion print-outs, it’s better if you choose a system that eliminates unnecessary steps and walks you and your team members through the workflow of a process.
For example, using Creately to create diagrams, mind-maps, and flowcharts. Your entire team can contribute to the flowchart if you simply click, “Invite Collaborators” and input your team member’s email address.
You can also get all your apps and devices “talking” to each other by using applets, which you can set up and customize using IFTTT (“If this, then that”).
This service allows you to do almost anything, via its many applets you can choose from (and if you can’t find the one you want, it’s easy to make your own). You can sync devices and platforms. For example, you could select the app that automatically sends all your Instagrams to you in a weekly email digest or automatically send a Tweet to Twitter when you post a Facebook Post.
Integrating these types of smart commands into your processes can vastly improve your workflow … and ensure that no step ever gets forgotten.
When you think “workflow” from now on, don’t just think “steps” or “processes” – think:
- eliminating or automating steps
- syncing with people, other systems and devices
Think of eliminating anything that weakens or doesn’t support your brand. For example, it’s great that you have five Facebook Groups for your five main membership sites, but what if you use that membership site mostly for general questions and discussions from all the related membership groups, plus you use it to tell them about new products or changes, then combine them all into one main group stamped with your main brand, as Amy Porterfield recently did with Facebook Groups specific to her different courses and products.
Your homework this week is to think about what you can eliminate or automate or sync.
Catch up on other Systems to Scale Your Business episodes + resources mentioned in the video:
- [Video] Systemize and Document Every Process
- [Video] Stop Being the Workaholic Who Never Leaves the Office
- [Video] Kill Your Darlings
- Zapier to connect your apps and automate your workflows
- IFTTT to get all your apps and devices talking to each other
- MeetEdgar is what I use as my social media scheduler
- Creately to create diagrams, mind-maps, and flowcharts that your team can be invited to contribute
Did you enjoy this episode and want to put it into action? Grab this kit!
SOP Templates & Process Library
This standard operating procedures kit includes:
- List of Common SOPs (15-page guide giving you samples of what areas can be included and bullet point ideas)
- Standard Operating Procedures Library including 24 examples
- Sample Standard Operating Procedures Manual
- How to do an affiliate payout
- Chargeback procedure
- Email signature
- Resources and FAQ
- Email Management flowchart
- Handling declined payments
- Help desk procedures
- How to create a project plan flowchart
- How to send a broadcast
- Introductory / Discovery sessions flowchart
- New client setup (for both products and services)
- New team member onboarding checklist
- Newsletter process
- Overcoming sales objections flowchart
- Recording InstantTeleseminar events
- Refund procedure
- Sample JV Partnership flowchart
- Selecting a CRM/Database flowchart
- Task management flowchart
- Weekly blog posts
- Weekly tasks
All the examples are in Word or Powerpoint format so they are fully editable. Use the examples in the SOP template library as a jumping-off point to documenting your processes and creating your own standard operating procedures!