Business Systems

This is my first Year in Review post.

I love reading what other entrepreneurs share and thought it would be good to document my own progress.

It all starts with the Word of the Year for me. 2019’s word was ‘Systems’. I let this guide me through my year. Its what I really needed for my business.

System 1: start working in 90-day sets.

I worked with my business coach and small women entrepreneurs Mastermind group for the entire year (actually continuing on for 2020).

Its easier to think short-term and to goal set with what needs to be done, now. Previous to this approach, I’d set some lofty goals without any timeframe of accountability to achieve them. Things dragged on. Now I’m much more deliberate about starting and finishing.

Fruits of my 90-Day Labor:

System 2: Implementing a back-end system for my business.

My biz software of choice is Dubsado. It’s a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) that systematizes certain aspects of my client relationships.

With being a solo-preneur, the running of the business falls on me including the creative parts. I was a mess with billing, client on-boarding was a time suck, and there was no centralized place where I was able to access client information. Dubsado allowed me to clean all this up and automate parts of my process. Top features for me:

Invoicing: At the start of a project I set up invoices, they send on schedule and clients pay online. In the Dubsado dashboard, I can see open invoices at a glance (and know if something needs attention), view an income tracker, and set financial goals. I was able to get rid of Quickbooks (it was a glorified invoicing service for me) and now stay on track with my billing.

Scheduler: Dubsado debuted with a scheduler last year. It allows me to have appointments booked right into my calendar. It syncs all my calendars and provides a link to use on my website or send it to clients directly. Got rid of Acuity with this one.

Forms: Everything I need from clients for projects I put into various forms. I’ve thought out my process and set things up ahead of time. At the start of a project, I send few forms to the client portal, and they provide all the information that I need. The forms are pdf fillable, clients can enter their info right on the page and save it. This has streamlined my on-boarding and project processes saving me time and making it easy for clients to do. I have had a number of clients this year comment on how organized my onboarding process is.

I even had one client who remarked she “enjoyed” the form filling. That’s what I’m striving for, ease and flow.

System 3: Getting an online bookkeeper.

I LOVE Bench! I started working with them last January and they did my whole previous years’ books (what a relief) then worked monthly all through 2019.

This was huge for me. Think you know how much you are making? Believe me, you don’t, unless you have your books sorted out properly. Numbers are for real!

This system took such a load off my shoulders. It shows me everything: how much I’ve made, how much I’ve spent, how much I paid myself and more.

I reapplied for business insurance this year and the company evaluates and requests a financial statement. I was able to into Bench, pull a report and send off a pdf with ease. Its access to this type of information that takes the stress level down!

System 4: A new website.

Have you been to my website lately? I felt it was really important for me to revamp my presentation. My offers had refined and I had a new brand logo and photos that represent who I am. With my website redesign I lived one of my business tenets: 

You must work in your business for it to take shape.

Websites are malleable. The more you work in your business, the better you refine your offers, your voice, and the overall brand.

I have been guilty of helping others grow their brand but not giving enough to my own. 2019 I reclaimed some space for my brand and started to put out for myself what I know I have inside of me.

The other thing I did was add videos to my website. On my homepage and each of my main offer pages, I created a quick video of me talking it through.

Additional brand tenets that I implemented is, just go out and be you! We have heard it all about ‘be authentic’, on the other hand, we rarely go out and do it. We are getting caught up in what do I say, what do I look like. These videos for me were something I brainstormed and shot in a day. Can I revisit them, of course, but for now and for the ‘getting the project over the finish line’, they work. It’s me talking about my philosophy, my approach. I’m not overly made up (I’ve got beach hair). I’m coming to the video the way that I show up every day on Zoom to work with clients. This is how I am and this is what I say.

These videos, although not perfect, have prompted more booked calls on my site than I had in the past.

I’ve got more ideas for my website to build in, but it goes to show you can work in phases and that hitting a mark of done (phase 1) can be better than perfect.

Therefore, pull it together and put it out there, then refine it.

System 5: I launched a membership site!

Woo Hoo what a feat! I have decided to shift my membership site structure.

This project has been the single best learning experience of the year for me.

For one, it refined my Kajabi skills and processes. Kajabi is the best software for courses and memberships. I have created a customized process for building membership sites (and courses) using Kajabi that my clients and mastermind friends have benefitted from.

I have been studying membership models for the past two years. I’m in a number of membership sites, have taken a few key courses in support of membership strategy, including Stu McLaren’s Tribe Membership Course, and believe these models can be a great extension of business.

A definite direction I am moving in further for 2020.

Having my own has taught me more about what I want to offer in a membership site and what my community really wants. This insight is what working ‘in’ your business is all about.

System 6: I brought on a VA (Virtual Assistant).

This system is my favorite of all. Despite the fact that I’m still in the beginning stages and training – think about telling someone all about your business, teaching, and assigning tasks that you need them to do first. The time investment and effort are worth it though as in my vision for 2020, and her support is going to help me reach my goals.

So what do all these systems mean?
It means that I can help more entrepreneurs to build their businesses.
That I can grow my own business.
And that Words of the Year can be a great guide.

Choose them wisely.
I’ve got my 2020 Word of the Year all lined up.

I hope you take some time to reflect on all you have done this year as well. And be sure to pat yourself on the back. None of this stuff is easy. It takes time and clarity to move through.

Here’s to those things for you in the New Year!
xo

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my Lipton Green Tea with Citrus drinking habits if you use these links. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in caffeine. It’s a win for everyone, really.

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