Creating Systems for Success

Posted on February 15, 2011. Filed under: How To ..., Smart Business Strategies, Virtual Assistant | Tags: , , , , , |


[tweetmeme]Most of us run our lives on a handful of systems. Between our cell phones, our planners and our email in-boxes, we have organized ourselves and our time quite effectively.   Yet as important as these systems are, most of us don’t take advantage of other creative ways to improve our business procedures. By documenting processes, they can occur without so much thought or reinvention.  And most especially if you are a solopreneur, having your processes documented and in the hands of your Virtual Assistant, your business can continue to run smoothly, even if you are sick or on vacation.

For most of us, there are dozens of similar repetitive tasks, large and small, in our businesses that could be systemized. To identify where, step back from your routine and look at it all objectively. As you go through the analysis, ask yourself why you created a particular process in the first place.  For every process you find that could be automated with a new system, you may find another that can be eliminated altogether.  Reviewing your business this way may in fact prove to be both valuable and enlightening.

What exactly is the process you go through to handle, for example, a sales lead? If you are struggling to get all the steps down, try the “backwards” approach. Start with the end result and then determine what you did before that, and so on, for each step. Often, the documentation you create in this process is all the system you require. It also becomes the core of an Operations Manual for your business, which is one of the most valuable systems you can build.  For example, in my business, when a prospective client contacts me, I am triggered to take certain steps to keep them in my pipeline.   Some of these steps may include any or all of the following:

  • Request to schedule a consultation;
  • Use **email template to send proposal and customize as necessary (I also have a list of the items I attach to the email as a standard process i.e. list of client references, FAQ’s, Rate Sheet, etc.);
  • Confirm appointment;
  • Review client information including website;
  • Add to potential client spreadsheet; capture all relevant information;
  • Add date to calendar for follow up;
  • Add to ezine mailing list;
  • Etc.

**For practically any email communication, I have created a system of templates (or what I refer to as scripts), which can be customized to fit any situation.  Why reinvent the ‘wheel’ each time?

When prospects become new clients, another set of documented steps is then triggered which may include:

  • Send Agreement for Services & Payment Authorization Form;
  • Customize and send Welcome Kit;
  • Add to Database & Skype;
  • Create & send Invoice;
  • Process payment;
  • Make folder for contract, invoice and other documents;
  • Send referral credit (if applicable);
  • Request connection on LinkedIn;
  • Follow on Twitter and/or Facebook;
  • Create outline of marketing ideas (if applicable)

One of the best systems you can employ is to hand the process of documentation to a Virtual Assistant. You will need to provide initial guidance on the steps involved and how to achieve and measure the necessary outcomes, but an experienced and organized Virtual Assistant can be a major help in establishing systems.  In addition to printed documentation, a Virtual Assistant can use video as a tool to provide step-by-step directions for processes difficult to outline in writing.  They can include the video hyperlinks directly into your company’s Operations Manual.

Once all your business processes are documented, they can be easily accessed, updated and customized as needed.  This saves time for both you as the business owner and your Virtual Assistant.  Then you can both spend your time focusing on new projects that will generate more income for your business.

A Virtual Assistant 4 You is experienced with creating systems, providing documentation of business processes and recording steps via video for your company’s Operations Manual.  Please visit www.AVirtualAssistant4You.com, email Jaimie@AVirtualAssistant4You.com or call 877-798-7701 for more information.

*To receive a FREE copy of my Ebook, “Social Media Marketing Strategies”, use this link to subscribe to my mailing list: http://bit.ly/A0pq0Y.  

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