You are halfway through Week 2: woot woot! Hopefully this challenge is getting you pumped and ready for whatever happens next in your business.
This is something that I personally struggle with: I am definitely a more creative brain, and getting tasks organized and mapped out is something that has always been difficult for me.
There are several different names for organizing the “business” part of your business: “systems”, “SOPs” (which stands for Standard Operating Procedures), “processes”, “process documents”, “workflows” or even a “playbook”. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to use the word “systems”.
Now if that just made you glaze over and stare off into space...come back to me! I know that feeling...just read through this and keep it in your back pocket if you aren’t ready for it *quite* yet.
Now if you already knew what these were, then you are way ahead of the pack my friend! It took me a LONG time to realize that all of these are just fancy ways of saying:
“a document that describes the steps of what you do”.
So, ok, why would someone want that? Why can’t you just do your thing? After all, you are the one who runs everything...so isn’t this just busy work?
It turns out that having set systems not only helps you to be more consistent, but it actually sets you up to be able to scale (exponentially grow) your business. While that might not be on your radar right now, it is absolutely something that could happen in the future.
BELIEVE ME, you are so much better served to create your systems now than to try to go back and create them all somewhere down the road.
I did not create my business systems when I started because I had no idea that someday I’d have a 6 figure craft business...but here I am. It’s well within your reach.
Now as a handmade business owner, your systems (documents) will look a little different than that of a more mainstream business. Some things that you can make systems for include:
Just the act of writing out the system can open your eyes to opportunities to save time or money. Mapping these routine business tasks out allows you to focus your attention and energy on the more creative tasks in your business, because there’s no longer any need to think about the steps involved in that particular routine task.
Let's say that someday, your business grows and you want to hand off the clerical tasks to a virtual assistant (which is something that happens regularly...it’s not far-fetched!): you will be able to easily share your systems with your assistant and get him/her up to speed.
As with all of the organizational tasks we are talking about in this challenge, you will have to tweak and try different things until you find what works best for you. My best advice is that, once you find something that works, be consistent and stick with it.
This isn’t something that is meant to be overwhelming or tedious: setting up your business systems is another brick laid in the foundation of a strong, sustainable, scalable business.
Take a look at how you are currently creating and storing your online documents. Do you have any systems created already?
Start by creating just one system document: make it an easy one like a show packing list or an outline of how you pack your orders for shipping (spoiler alert: this will come in handy for tomorrow’s topic, production & shipping organization!). I have included a template to get you started in the challenge workbook.
As you are writing it, think “if I gave this to someone who doesn’t know my business, would they be able to follow it and get the same result I get?”.