While every business is set up and run differently, there are some common systems every business should have.
5 Systems every business should have
These include bigger picture systems, kind of like the system for marketing and promotion we reviewed earlier (and that we’ll cover again here).
My goal with this post is to list the top 5 systems every business should have, along with the specific steps these systems include, in order to give you a place to start when it comes to creating bigger systems for your business.
Keep in mind that each of these systems presents an overall framework, and depending on how your business is set up and run, the smaller systems that are born from these may look very different.
If you’re looking for one-on-one guidance as you start to create and implement the right systems in your business, submit your application for my Systems Consult: a 4-week program where we’ll work together to create systems in your business that will give you freedom in your life.
Top 5 Systems every business should have
1. System for setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Without goals for your business, you’ll never be able to track your progress or stay focused on the activities and projects that will help you get where you want to go.
Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is integral to your success, and this is the system we use to set them.
Step 1: Reflect on previous goals / milestones hit in your business (what has worked well for you, what hasn’t worked well for you?)
Step 2: Based on your reflection, what’s a new goal you want to set for yourself / your business?
Step 3: Make sure your goal is S.M.A.R.T.
Step 4: Put a plan in place to help you accomplish your S.M.A.R.T. goal
Step 5: Take action! Start executing the plan you put in place (The Freedom Journal can help!)
Example: I want to write and publish a book on how to create systems in your business. The book will be at least 200 pages in length and I will publish it on the Kindle Direct Publishing platform by August 1, 2016.
2. System for content creation
Every business needs a system for content creation; without valuable content you can share with an audience, you’ll have no way of:
- gaining credibility and authority in your niche
- a reason for people to want to come to you
- a way for followers to get to know, like and trust you
- visibility on platforms like Google, YouTube, etc.
While there are several different types of content you might be creating for your business, the overall system for creating that content will look the same.
Here are the steps:
Step 1: Confirm the WHO – who are you creating the content for?
Step 2: Set your purpose – every piece of content you create should have a specific purpose
Step 3: Choose your medium (blog, podcast, video, social media)
Step 4: Determine the format
Step 5: Set your consistency
Step 6: Schedule time to brainstorm & research
Step 7: Create the required assets (images, ads, etc.)
Step 8: Identify repurposing opportunities
Step 9: Create your content
Step 10: Schedule & share your content
Examples: Your blog content, creating a new podcast, starting to do YouTube videos, your weekly newsletter, etc.
3. System for marketing and promotion
What’s the result of the amazing things you’re creating if you don’t have a marketing and promotion plan built around them?
Whether it’s a single piece of content you create for your blog, a podcast you’re marketing on an ongoing basis, or a huge, one-time product launch, you should be following a system every time you go to create a plan for marketing and promotion.
Here’s the overall framework that will help get you started:
Step 1: Who/ what / why – Who is it for / what is it / why will they care?
Step 2: Where are the people hanging out you’re trying to reach? Establish where you’ll be marketing / promoting.
Step 3: When will you launch / what will the frequency of your marketing / promotion be?
Step 4: Assets (based on the info you’ve collected, what will you need to create?)
Step 5: Action plan – put your plan together, including the prep and ‘live’ time for your marketing and promotion.
We dive into this system in detail here if you want to check that out!
One example we share is how you might use this bigger system to create a more specific system and plan for marketing and promotion around your podcast.
4. System for outreach
Outreach encompasses anything and everything that involves people / businesses outside of you / your own. This might include you reaching out to people who you want to start a mastermind with, or if could include you reaching out to a company to see if they want to sponsor your blog / podcast.
Regardless of the type of outreach, your ability to be successful with your ask is dependent on your ability to communicate the value that will be transferred.
Here’s how to set it up:
Step 1: Choose your purpose (why are you reaching out to people?)
Step 2: Based on your purpose, write out a list of the top 10 people / businesses you’re interested in connecting with.
Step 3: Write out what value you can provide to each individual on your list.
Step 4: Try connecting with each individual via email or social media if you haven’t connected with them previously; get to know them and start building a genuine connection / relationship over several weeks.
Step 5: Once a relationship has been established, reach out to each individual and make your ask; include what value you can provide to that individual, and the reason why they should want to accept your ask (what’s in it for them?)
Step 6: If they accept, make it EASY for them. Whatever you’re asking of them shouldn’t require they set up or coordinate anything on their own.
Step 7: Follow up. You can’t expect people to get back to you the first time you reach out, every time. Follow up on your request – it is your responsibility to do so.
Examples: You’re looking to bring on a sponsor for your podcast, you want to start contributing to Forbes.com, you’re looking to put together an online summit, you want to connect with like-minded people at the next conference you’re attending, etc.
5. System for 1-time projects
This has been a long-time coming here in Season 2: what does a system for a 1-time project look like exactly?
I’m excited to dive into the SCRUM method, because let’s face it: systems are incredibly powerful for recurring tasks and projects, but they can be just as powerful for 1-time projects.
The SCRUM method is something every business should implement for 1-time projects, and it follows these steps:
Step 1: Create a list of the 1-time projects you’re currently working on
Step 2: Choose just one project to focus on during your Sprint period (based on priority)
Step 3: Do your Sprint prep (break out each individual step necessary to accomplish your project, including dependencies and a timeline)
Step 4: Start your sprint (the bulk of your time is fully focused on your one project)
Step 5: Celebrate! If you’ve followed your plan, your project is complete!
Examples: Publishing your book, doing a blog audit, launching your first product, creating your first email campaign, etc.
The Top 5 Systems every business should have aren’t all-inclusive of the many systems you might find or be creating for your business.
This post is meant to be a framework you can use as a place to start when it comes to implementing the most common systems that are at the very foundation of a strong, efficient business.
I can’t wait to focus on the top tools and resources you can use to help create and document systems in your business. That’s coming up next in Season 2 on Creating Systems!