You need to create new products, market those products, write helpful articles, interact regularly on social media, send out newsletters, create pretty graphics…
… oh, I could go on!
Just reading the list makes you feel tired, doesn’t it?
I felt the same way about running an online business too.
And then I discovered something that simplified it all for me…
What is a System?
A system is a procedure that you always follow to get something done. An online business is made up of numerous systems that can range from content creation and social media, to sales and marketing. And each of these systems have various tasks and activities that need to be done.
An experienced entrepreneur would do all these steps without thinking twice. But there are so many things an online business owner has to do, that having systems in place would drastically streamline and simplify things.
Why are Systems Important?
When you create definite systems for your online business:
- It gives you clarity on all tasks involved in running your business.
- It gives future team members a guideline to follow.
- It helps you identify those areas that take up more of your time.
- It shows you specific tasks that you can hire out.
- It frees up your brain from remembering all the trivial details, so you can concentrate on the important aspects of running your business.
The 3 Step Process to Simplify Your Online Business
Before you begin, you’ll have to decide where you’re going to jot down your systems. You can have a dedicated notebook for it, an Excel sheet, or even a Google document.
I’m currently in the process of launching a new online business, and I’m working on creating systems for it. Here’s the step by step process I follow.
Step 1: Identify all the roles in your business
As an entrepreneur, you wear many hats at the same time. You may be the creative writer, SEO specialist, web designer, business development manager, link building expert, accountant, graphic designer, and social media manager.
List down all the roles you are playing in your business. Whether it is getting sponsors, talking to clients, shipping orders, handling customer care or managing sales, make a note of every single activity you perform.
Step 2: Define the tasks that each role performs
Take each role, one at a time, and note down all the tasks a person in that role has to perform. Consider content writing, for example.
A content writer might be responsible for writing:
- Blog posts
- Guest posts
- Curated articles
- Sales page copy
- Press releases
Make a list of tasks for each role you identified in step 1. You do not have to go into much detail – just name the tasks a person in each role performs.
Step 3: Create checklists for each task
It’s now time to dive into the details. Each of the tasks you’ve noted down in step 2 has a specific procedure that is generally followed. Take the task of writing a blog post for example…
The procedure followed usually looks like this:
- Brainstorm content ideas
- Research online
- Draft the post outline
- Write and edit the article
- Add appropriate images
- Optimize the post for search engines
- Schedule/publish the blog post
All you need to do is create checklists to document each procedure. These would be the steps a person needs to follow in order to properly complete each task.
Here is a screenshot of a system I created for my new online business.
Role: Content Writing
Tasks: Blog Posts, Guest Posts
I use Google Sheets to document my systems, but I’ve also created a printable for all the pen & paper gals! You can print as many copies as you need based on the number of roles and tasks you have in your business.
Click here to download the free Business Systems printable
Today’s Challenge: Create systems for your online business.
What do you think about creating systems to simplify your online business? Leave a comment below, and you could win a $25 Amazon gift card!
I’m thinking of starting an online business, I love the summary on how to create systems! I am a “process” oriented person and this is a perfect template to follow – Thank You!
Thank you so much. I was just telling myself I need to develop more systems for my business. I actually been working for one for guest blogging. Thanks for doing the work for me.
I really enjoyed this post! I do almost the same thing. I write out the tasks that need to be performed weekly, and then distribute them over the weekdays based on what is due when. Then when I finish a task, I slide it down to the same day next week. I’ve found Trello to be great for this.
I have needed to hear this today. Thank you for this and all the amazing resources you make available!
oh Patricia, thank you. So very happy to hear that you are finding these resources amazing and helpful!