5 Steps to Create Systems in Your Business

Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, CDN, CSCS

Mentor Services Coordinator 

Systems can dramatically increase your business productivity and profits. Most importantly, systems allow your business to work without you. Creating systems allows you to take some of the day-to-day business operations off of your to-do list, allowing you to work “on” your business instead of “in” your business. With the right tools, you can set up a system for almost any aspect of your business. 

Step 1: Take inventory of your business. Make a list of all the different types of tasks that you do regularly. For example, writing social media posts, emailing with clients, responding to prospective clients, writing email newsletters, blogging, invoicing, etc. 

Step 2: Create a process for each of those tasks. What needs to happen from beginning to end for each action to occur successfully? Write it down and map it out. For example, the process of my client onboarding includes the initial discovery call, purchasing a package, sending a receipt, scheduling the appointment, providing registration forms, reminding them to send the forms back, reminding them about the appointment, carrying out the appointment and invoicing.

Step 3: Brainstorm ways you can automate or streamline each process. What types of tools, resources or help do you need in order to make the process you’ve just created become either fully automated or more efficient? Is there any software you can use in order to automate part of the process? Or any steps that you can delegate to another person? 

Step 4: Implement the process. After you’ve brainstormed, implement and test. Sticking with my client onboarding process, here is how I automated using Acuity Scheduling and Hello Sign:

  • When a client decides to start work with me, I have a canned email response set up in Gmail that I send to them. This sends them directly to my “storefront” on Acuity Scheduling, with options to pay in full or utilize a monthly payment plan.
  • Once they purchase, Acuity sends an email receipt, which includes a link to schedule their appointment. They click the link, see my availability, and select a time. At that point, they also sign off on my cancellation policy from within Acuity. 
  • Once they schedule an appointment, another automated email is sent to them that includes my registration forms and instructions on how to fill out and sign. When they click on the form, it takes them to Hello Sign where they can sign it right within that window. 
  • For clients who select the monthly payment plan option, Acuity Scheduling automatically bills their credit card each month and sends a receipt. 

Step 5: Improve the process. Don’t worry about having the process “perfect” right from the get-go – nothing is ever going to be perfect! What’s important is that you try and implement something, then continue to learn and improve over time.  

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