How to Systemize Your Small Business to Have More Freedom and Flexibility

I LOVE my work.

I love helping solopreneurs become more efficient and more productive, so they too can love their work!

What I don’t love?

When I find myself wasting time doing recurring tasks…simply because I don’t have a system in place to handle them.

As “they” always say: it’s not about working harder, it’s about working smarter.

And THIS is what this post is all about.

If you want to know how to systemize your small business so you can spend less time on the day to day tasks, and have more free time – or more time to serve your clients – keep reading.

How to Systemize Your Small Business

As you work your way through these steps, keep in mind your goal here is twofold:

1. To get all the processes and procedures you already use OUT of your head and onto paper (or computer), and
2. To make sure you’re being as efficient and streamlined as possible so you don’t waste time or let important tasks fall through the cracks.

This will be absolutely necessary if you’re looking to hire new team members, outsource your work, or grow your business in a sustainable way.

Get all processes and procedures you already use OUT of your head and into written form so you don't waste time or let important tasks fall through the cracks.Click To Tweet

Step 1: Note Down each Main Area or Department of Your Business.

You might be saying, “But it’s just me! I’m THE department in my business!”.

But whether you’re a solopreneur or have a full team in place, you DO have a variety of departments you have to know how to systemize in your business. These can include:

  • Human Resources
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Administration
  • Customer Service
  • Marketing
  • Distribution

As you can see, even the smallest business will have tasks that fall into each of these categories.

And these are just a few examples…others could include sales, operations, PR, research, etc.

For a great list of areas or departments you might have within your business, check out this post from Founder’s Guide: Functional Areas of a Business.

Step 2: Break each Area or Department Down into Individual Tasks or Procedures.

In each area you’ve identified above, you’ll likely have anywhere from 3-10 tasks or procedures you regularly carry out. Before you actually create detailed documentation for these procedures, it’s important to simply identify as many as possible.

For instance, let’s take marketing.

Within marketing, you might have:

  • Posting to social media
  • Updating the website
  • Writing blog content
  • Holding local marketing events
  • Social media analytics
  • Implementing lead-generation strategies

Or for finance and accounting, you might have:

  • Creating the annual budget
  • Managing bank accounts and cash flow
  • Billing clients
  • Paying invoices
  • Bookkeeping
  • Completing annual tax return

Be as thorough as possible here. You’re not going to document all of these processes right away, so don’t be afraid to identify too many so you can systemize your business!

Step 3: For each One, Note Down the Process Involved, From Start to Finish.

For each of the tasks listed above, you’re now going to want a detailed, documented process – remember, we’re trying to make sure we get this stuff out of your head, and onto paper!

Here’s an example of a very simple process you might use for your social media marketing manager:

  1. Produces marketing analytics report on the last day of the month.
  2. Shares a report with marketing assistant so he can create content based on current reach and engagement.
  3. A Marketing assistant posts to Instagram and Facebook 3x each day.
  4. Marketing assistant reads and responds to questions and mentions once each day.

Obviously, your social media process will likely be far more involved than this one, but hopefully, this gives you an idea of what a simple process might look like.

Remember to include as many “what’s, when’s and who’s” as possible to make sure everything is crystal clear!

It's Important to Set Up Appropriate Systems in Your Business

This 3-step process will help you identify and document key processes in your business.

But … don't worry, you don’t need to systemize everything in your business, all at once!

I would recommend that you start by identifying your top 3 most critical processes and go from there.

But … don't worry, you don’t need to systemize everything in your business, all at once! I would recommend that you start by identifying your top 3 most critical processes and go from there.Click To Tweet

Ask yourself: If someone else needed to step in and run my business tomorrow, what are the 3 main processes they would need to know?

Starting with these 3 processes will get you started on the path to freedom and peace of mind as quickly as possible!

Looking for specific examples of business systems you can put in place? Check out my post, 3 Business Systems That Automate Growth and Create Freedom.

Are you going to systematize your business using the steps above? Which process are you going to start with? I’d love to know! Let me know in the comments below.

UPDATED on August 16, 2021

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