Foundational business systems.
Do you have them?
If you do, your business feels solid and efficient–humming along like a well-oiled machine.
If you don’t, you feel it.
You know, that uneasy feeling that something is always about to fall through the cracks; like your business is being held together by duct tape and a wish?
The backend of your business feels clunky and disjointed–juggling all the moving pieces just feels time consuming and hard.
So what’s the first step in creating a solid foundation of systems & processes in your business?
I start each of my client system setups by conducting a systems assessment (or audit). This step is vital, as it creates a basis for determining where holes or inefficiencies are hiding in your current processes.
By conducting a systems assessment, I am able to identify a clear roadmap for building out each foundational system that each of my clients need in order to scale and grow their business past their current threshold–without the overwhelm.
Wondering how you can conduct a systems assessment in your own business?
Let’s dive into the framework that I use to audit systems, processes, and automations for my clients!
First, set your mindset to know that you’re not going to be fixing anything at this stage. You’re simply going to be walking through each system step-by-step, noting areas that could use improvement, streamlining, or automation.
There is a 0% chance you’ll remember everything that you come across when conducting your systems audit so you’ll need a place to document your observations, action items, and action plan.
TIP: Use the method that works best for you for this. If you’re a pen and paper girl, grab your favorite notebook and pen. If you’re a Google doc lover, open a new doc. Clickup fan? Create a new list and get going!
Using your preferred recording method, review each of the systems below, working through each step of the process, looking for gaps, missing information, updates needed, opportunities for automation, and outdated/inconsistent information.
TIP: Be sure to look at each of these systems from both the back end AND the client-facing perspective.
Start from the very first touch point you have with a lead and look at how you’re currently tracking (or not tracking) leads and how someone can schedule a Discovery or Sales call with them.
In order to determine a baseline for how each of these pieces is currently functioning in your business, create a mock project and review how your contract and invoice are customized and delivered to the client. How are meetings scheduled? Record each of your observations in your tracker.
Continue working through your mock client project. When going through your client onboarding & offboarding process, be sure to look at both the backend AND client-facing details. Record how you are currently wrapping up projects, sending deliverables and super important (but often overlooked)–how are you requesting and cataloging testimonials and offboarding your client with intention?
For more ideas on ways to uplevel your client experience, click here.
The below systems are crucial if you have an existing team or are planning to hire employees or contractors to help you scale your business. If you don’t have a current project management software in place, I highly recommend Clickup to keep all of your one-off & recurring tasks and projects organized for yourself and your team.
Click here to read more about preparing your business to hire a team.
After you’ve combed through each system above and laid out all the areas for improvement, it’s time to create a plan so that you’ll actually have the time set aside to work on improving your systems.
Be sure to pace yourself and block off time on your calendar to work on process improvements.
TIP: A plan isn’t really a plan unless it has a deadline and someone assigned to complete it–even if that someone is you! Be sure to move the notes from your systems audit into your project management tool or calendar in order to ensure that you make the time to complete your process updates.
This process is by no means a quick fix and your business won’t be running like a well-oiled machine overnight.
Be patient and keep in mind that every minute you spend building out your systems now will pay off in the form of HOURS saved down the road. Not to mention the peace of mind you’ll feel knowing that your business is built on a solid foundation that will serve you for years to come.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Systems are my love language. If you KNOW you need streamlined systems in your business but would rather have a root canal than build them yourself, click here to apply to work with us.
*Some of the above links are affiliate links, for which I will receive a small commission if you sign up through my link. I only recommend products that I use and love in my own business.