Here’s a little business secret any serious entrepreneur knows (or at least learns after doing it the hard way for way too long).
The key to running a successful online business without running yourself ragged is to have systems in place for everything. You’ll be surprised how much time you’ll save each week and how much more productive you’ll be once you have a specific process for completing tasks you perform regularly.
“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”—W. Edwards Deming
Let’s take a look at a couple of different types of systems you may want to implement.
Don’t forget to document your systems and create checklists for them as you start to create them. They will come in handy over the coming months and years, especially if you start to build a team or outsource tasks to freelancers.
Your systems for product creating will depend on what your products are and how you will deliver them, but some of the things you may want to document in the form of a check list are:
- Topic Research
- Creating An Outline
- Writing or Recording the Info Product
- Editing and Formatting
- Uploading It To Your Site
- Creating Sales and Download Pages
- Creating Marketing Materials
In addition, it’s a good idea to create a template you can use for all your short reports and ebooks to make sure they look consistent across the board. This will also make your job a lot easier when it comes time to format your product.
Templates and calendars will make your life so much easier when it comes to content creation.
Spend a little time each month creating an editorial calendar for your blog. Figure out how often you want to blog and what topics you want to cover. With that in place you’ll never sit down at your desk with no idea what to write about.
Having templates in place is also helpful. Look at what content you create on a regular basis. Is it a newsletter, short reports and eBooks? Make templates for them. Most of your formatting will be taken care of and you don’t have to start with a blank page.
Make your social media interactions faster with a system in place. Figure out how often you want to post and during what times—when will you post your own content, when will you ask a question or make an observation, and when will you share other people’s posts?
Having a schedule in place allows you to work ahead when you need to and just like the blog schedule it helps you get things done faster if you know what you’re writing or sharing ahead of time.
Website Maintenance And Security
Here’s a big one that should not go overlooked. Ae you keeping your site safe, updated, and secure?
If you’re using a CMS like WordPress to run your site, you want to make sure it’s updated regularly. Make sure any plugins and themes you use are up-to-date as well.
Backups are also a must. Schedule them on a monthly basis, at least, and review your sites regularly to make sure everything is safe and secure. Set an alert on your phone or add the task to your calendar each month so you don’t forget.
Customer service is an excellent place to use business systems. You’re likely to have questions that get asked over and over again or get support requests for solutions the same types of problems.
Having a page with Frequently Asked Questions (and your responses of course) is always helpful. You’ll be able to point customers to the page and be done for most questions.
A list of “canned “responses to common questions will also save you a lot of time. Personalize them as needed, but have the bulk of it ready to copy and paste. This will also come in handy if and when you hire extra help to manage your customer service.
“In order for any business to succeed, it must first become a system so that the business functions exactly the same way every time down to the last detail.”—Rick Harshaw
Using systems helps you run your online business more productively, and it makes it easy to outsource those portions of your business to a Virtual Assistant. As you grow and there’s more work to be done than hours in your day, you’ll appreciate having having systems in place not just for yourself, but for your team as well.