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It’s February and I know you have a goal this year to get your backend in shape.
(No, not that backend, though that one is definitely on my list this year!)
What I’m talking about is your business backend. Optimizing your business. Getting your business in shape.
I’ve talked before about getting your backend cleaned up with quality systems. I’m a systems girl at heart and I know systems and workflows work for every business.
But for the business owner who struggles with systems (that’s a lot of ya!), get your systems in order seems like an impossible goal. Am I right?
Making a change in your business and the way you operate is all about small, actionable steps that help you move forward. You can’t just “set up systems” and be done with it (though I do walk you through this process in a recent blog post).
You need a lot of different systems in your business, not just the workflows that help you check client work off your to-do list.
Here are three quick and actionable things you can do today or on your next CEO day to help you clean up your backend.
1. Set Up a Dashboard
A dashboard is a go-to tool to help you see your progress–right on one screen. This is where you hold all the numbers that matter in your business.
You could track your email open and click rates, your accounts receivable, accounts payable, top line revenue, failed payment recovery, sales on individual products or services, overhead, booked calls, resolution time for customer service calls and so much more.
You need to decide what the key performance indicators are for your business and set up an Excel or Airtable spreadsheet as your dashboard. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy; you don’t need to add automation right now. Just get it done. And if you have team members who are responsible for things like your emails or customer service, assign them to update the dashboard on a monthly basis.
Having a dashboard will automatically make you more efficient and more selective about where you’re spending money or how you’re working with clients–because the numbers will illustrate your success.
I love a good automation, and thanks to technology there’s no end to what you can automate in your business. Let’s start small though and focus on automatic invoicing and appointment scheduling.
Imagine what it would feel like if your monthly invoices went out automatically on the right day–without you lifting a finger. Amazing, right!? Amen, sister! I use Dubsado and can set up recurring invoices that head to clients on the first of the month, every month. Whatever program you choose, be sure to set up a personalized email to go out with the invoice as well as any other steps they need to take.
Automated scheduling is like a gift from the business gods that saves everyone time. If you’re still emailing back and forth:
You: I can meet between 2 and 4 p.m. Eastern on Thursday and 8 a.m. and noon Eastern on Monday.
Your Client: Those times don’t work for me. How’s 4 p.m. on Wednesday?
You: What time zone?
Your Client: Mountain.
You: That doesn’t work for me.
And on…and on…and on… Such a waste of time, right? I use Acuity to book all my calls and can send out a link to clients, biz besties and prospects so they can find a time that works for them based on my own scheduled availability. I don’t know what we did before scheduling software, aside from wasting a lot of time and pulling our hair out!
3. Document Processes
Here’s where the big guns come in and you really start setting up workflows, but I encourage you to take it one step at a time. Documenting processes allows you outsource, which is key to scaling your business. (But you need those processes and systems in place first!)
Start by documenting one repeatable process you’re currently doing but want to outsource. Write down every step in the process; bonus points if you walk through the process in a Loom video.
Share your process with someone who is unfamiliar with how your backend runs and have them give you feedback.
- What’s confusing?
- What’s missing?
- What can be more efficient?
This will help you streamline the process so you can share it with a new team member–and boom you’ve started your standard operating procedures, if you haven’t gone there yet!
Getting systems in place means you can save time and money and double down on the things that are working for you. But if you feel like you’re not taking care of your business operations like you should, it’s okay to take it one small step at a time. Start with one small task and then do the next.
If you’re ready to dive in deep and really clean up your business to prep for big growth, however, my A-Team program just might be a good fit for you. Find out more about it–a new group starts soon!