Secret File #023: Systemizing Your Business in 3 Ways

 
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In the last episode, we talked about managing your time better. In today's episode, we share the 3 ways you can systemise your business for growth. You'll need to refer to the show notes here for the full understanding of today's episode.

 

In this episode, you'll hear about:

  1. Using Trello Board with SCRUM Method

  2. Build a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

  3. Creating Templates For Your Business

 

Listen to the Episode below:

via FempreneurSecrets.com

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+ TRANSCRIPT

Welcome to Fempreneur Secrets where business secrets are revealed. In the last episode, we talked about five time management habits for success. In this episode as promised, I will be talking about the 3 ways that you can systemize your business for success.

This episode is heavily dependent on the show notes, so what you can do is to go on over to fempreneursecrets.com/023, to follow along the show notes with today's episode.

Why do you need to build and create systems for your business?

Right now, probably you are alone in a business, but there will be a time in the future, hopefully in the near future, where you will be growing and building a team. Not everyone will be on the same wave length as you, if you don't get started and prepare for better systems in your business right now.

Do not underestimate the importance of systems in your business.

Systems are the one that will help you run your business far better and it helps to convey the things that you normally do in your business which turns it into muscle memory. While there are a lot of things that you can do to systemize your business, in today's episode we're only going to talk about

3 ways that you can systemize your business better


#1. Use Trello board with SCRUM method

The first way is to use a Trello board using the SCRUM method. SCRUM say what? Don't worry.

When I first started using Trello, I wasn't sure what kind of systems would work for me and my team. I spoke to a few of my friends and they shared with me about the Agile SCRUM method, which is usually used by software developers. I made a little tweak to it, and you can see from the screen shot in the show notes, how it looks like for my team.

Trello is the “easy, free, flexible and visual way to manage your projects and organize everything, and is trusted by millions of people from all over the world.” Well, as you can tell, I actually took this directly from the Trello's website.

What it essentially means is that, Trello is able to help you organize and systemize your time and your activities using a Kanban style* method. I left a link in the show notes about what Kanban style method is really all about.

*I actually meant to say that there’s another method called the Kanban style method of using Trello. You can learn more about it here and here.

So, Trello has a board, cards and list.

We want to create four list: The first one is called backlog, followed by current sprint, followed by approval and last one is done.

Backlog

In the backlog, you're going to create cards of individual thoughts that you will want to accomplish or you want to complete at the end of every single day, or every week depending on when is your SCRUM period. I also include a due date and sometimes, I label it.

When they're working on a certain task, they would move the card from left to right. Whomever oversees a task will take that card and move it to the current sprint list.

Current Sprint

In the current sprint it will show to me, who is managing the account and managing the board, that my team member is working on this task right now in the current sprint. That gives me an idea that the project has already started.

Approval

Once it's done move the card over to approval, where I would review their work and then determine whether it is completed or there will need to be some amendments~.

Done

On a most regular situations, the task is completed with no requirements of amendments. I will further move the card along, into the done list.

~If there’s amendments, move back to backlog: If there are some amendments that is required, what I will do instead is to move that card, which was initially under the approval list back to backlog. And this person that is working on the task, will know that there's some changes that need to made.

If you would like to prevent confusion, you can create an additional list called amendments. That's entirely up to you. But this is an adjustment of the SCRUM method that has work perfectly for my team.


#2 Build a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

The second thing is to build a standard operating procedure or SOP to follow.

When I first started, I didn't ever imagine that I would be outsourcing my work or delegating my task to someone else. The biggest challenge for me when I started was that, I needed to train someone without them having to constantly ask me and be dependent on me for answers.

I recorded my step by step activity and I uploaded it into a shared area where my whole team can access. I created an SOP library, where I store all the videos together with the step by step instruction, of how I completed any task. I would tell my team members to go and look at the SOP in the SOP library.

If they have questions, I would be there to respond for the first time only.

Subsequently I would still be continuing my day to day activities. I won't be around my phone all the time to respond to my team.

What I do instead is to tell them to:

  1. give it a try first; and
  2. if you're still unsure, try to figure it out.
  3. But if you can't figure it out, then give me a call.

At least I would have given them that independence to learn on their own. It also shows to them as a team member, that you value their learning experience. You will be there for them, but you want to make sure that they are practicing the task, without being dependent on you. Sometimes you just can't be around to help them.

With the SOP library in place for your business, you get a chance to not be involved in your business all the time. You get to travel and continue going out to do the things that matters the most for your business, without having to worry about your team not knowing what to do. You really, really need to start building your SOP library and store all your day to day operations and activities in there.

You may not have a team right now, or don't intend on building a team yet, but these videos could also refresh your memory on how you do some work tasks. Constantly update it, refresh it and you will start to see the improvements that you have done from the very beginning all the way until your team grows.


#3. Create Templates

The third system is to pre create templates for your business and for you specifically to follow.

Why are templates so important?

Templates are the key thing to determine the success of your business. Simply because templates —they're just like cheat sheets — where you get to refer to something to utilize it, so that you don't have to think for the when you're doing the same task.

Let's use an email template for an example.

If you are like me, and you are a service-based business, you have a lot of inquiries coming in. Usually the questions are pretty much the same; the product offering is the same. All you have to do, is to send your invoice or your quotation, or your estimate over to your potential client. The content is pretty much the same right? The only difference is probably their name, their company name and the project title.

You could just templatize your email when you're sending out your quotation or estimate over. Just send out the same email. Like:

Dear {first name},

Thank you for your interest in {project title}. Here is the attached quotation for you.

If you have any questions, feel free to respond in this email and I will get back to you as soon as I can. I look forward to working with you.

Best regards,

{sign off with your name}

That was easy right? Let me tell you straight off, templates are not just emails, there's a lot of other forms of templates that you can think of.

For example, social media templates.

When you have templates, you just move so much faster.

You can put all the three things that I've shared with you today together. Using a Trello board with a SCRUM method, building an SOP library and creating templates for you to follow. You would have already created a user-friendly system for you to run your business with success. Once again, do not underestimate the importance of systems in your business.

You’re right now probably a one-woman show, but you want to grow your business eventually. By the time you need to grow your business, you wouldn't have time to create the SOP libraries and the systems.

Now is the best time to build the system, so that in the future, when you have the means and resources to build and grow your team, you would have already started with your SOP library (your system of using a Trello board with a SCRUM method and to create templates) that you would be using on a day to day basis.

Just like what Benjamin Franklin says,

"By failing to prepare, you're preparing to fail."

That's so unfortunate right?

People: get prepared now.

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Also, if you have any questions that you would like me to answer in our podcasts, go on over to fempreneursecrets.com/podcast to drop those questions.

Keep learning and keep believing in yourself because the world needs an inspiration just like you. I will see you in the next episode of Fempreneur Secrets podcast.

 
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