I’m willing to bet you didn’t know that in my first business lifetime, I was a photographer…with no clue about systems or how to streamline a business.
Of course, I knew they were important, but there’s a huge difference between knowing something deserves your attention and actually knowing what to do when you sit down to work on it. I mean, taxes, anyone?!
So, just like anyone else, I royally sabotaged my systems.
I started off by signing up for Dubsado right off the bat. It seemed like a solid investment with a solid return—I thought I would get my time back and have these incredible workflows inside of the software that would save my business behind.
Well, that wasn’t entirely what happened…
I wrote and manually sent the same dang ‘welcome’ email about 8,238 times.
I created proposals from scratch every single time a potential client came along.
I wasted precious time and energy on tasks that should have been templatized and automated.
Taking the time to set my systems up the right way seemed overwhelming and cumbersome, so I just kept doing a lot of manual work that made no sense for me to be doing! Proof that having the right technology at your fingertips does literally nothing to change your business. You’ve got to know how to use them.
SABOTAGE FIX → Only purchase software you’re ready and able to implement properly. Cancel subscriptions for tech that you only dream of being able to use or that you signed up for because so-and-so guru told you it was going to make you five figures overnight.
Many of my clients come to me now with systems that are hacked, pieced together, and full of ‘shortcuts’ they’ve taken to make things work. What I see in their patchwork of softwares is hundreds of hours spent and thousands of dollars lost. When it comes to creating a solid foundation in your business, there’s no substitute for putting in the work (or putting the right expert to work for you) to create something that is truly sustainable and works for you.
SABOTAGE FIX → You’ve changed lives and are making an impact in the world, so ditch the metaphorical duct tape. What are the tools that will support your biz? Do you need to switch to a more comprehensive email system or pay more for client management software that works for your business type?
“I had 6 or 7 tools [when I started working with Alexis] and I didn’t know where to spend to upgrade because I felt like I would choose wrong and waste money while continuing to waste time.” – Meredith, client
There are SO many different tools out there. It can be easy to fall into the endless pit of research and testing. And before you know it, you have a whole bunch of half-assed systems, and you’re STILL left running around like crazy trying to do everything.
Thankfully, things DID get much easier for Meredith after we worked together to streamline and optimize her business:
“Less than 48 hours [after Alexis] handed the keys to my kingdom back over to me, I already onboarded a new client and it was AWESOME! I’ve been able to schedule calls without all the back and forth, I am able to track clients without manually updating their status, and I’m going to be able to see how my different packages/offerings are performing <– I’m beyond excited about this because before it was on a spreadsheet and I could never remember whether I’d put this client or that client in it.”
Not knowing when or where to upgrade can make things chaotic and cost you an absolute arm and a leg. For instance, if you’re growing faster than you realize and running your email list beyond its current contact limit, you could get charged hundreds of dollars extra every month for that tool. It pays to know how your systems are working or not working for you as you scale!
SABOTAGE FIX → Map out your systems, subscriptions, and softwares to get an accurate picture of what you’re using and paying for right now. Make a note of what you’re using each for and decide if they need to go or grow with you.
There are a lot of people out there telling you to ‘follow your intuition’ within your business and to figure it out as you go, amirite?
They say you don’t really need systems or plans because it’s just too rigid and doesn’t allow for flexibility and flow. And maybe you feel some of that pressure yourself because you hated how structured school was or you don’t like operating on someone else’s time clock.
I get it. Entrepreneurship is often an escape from that life! But, good structure isn’t as restrictive as it might seem.
When you have a solid foundation in place that is designed to support your unique style of work and flow, it sets you up for success, not another struggle. And when your systems amplify your superpowers, you’ll be able to get where you want to go even faster.
Not only that, but you can also save a boatload of time, money, and energy on the way there!
SABOTAGE FIX → This is a belief thang, but it’s about the action too. Look at what comes up for you when you think about systemizing your business. What are you most afraid of? What freedom don’t you want to let go of? Let that inform the systems you do choose to implement. Protect your creativity with your systems!
The only people who need complicated systems are the ones who want to prove they’re tech wizards with a ton of time on their hands. I doubt that’s you, and I know it’s not me—or my clients!
The most effective systems are the ones that are LEAN and SIMPLE.
Even if you have your systems expertly set up by someone like yours truly, they should be simple enough that you can at least understand them if not run them yourself. The whole point in hiring someone to manage your systems (or entire business) is, after all, to have someone who can do things more effectively, efficiently, and with way more enjoyment than you can. Not to have someone come in and bog your business down with more complexity.
SABOTAGE FIX → Streamline, baby! There’s no reason to keep the fluff or overcomplicate your business back end. If you need help figuring out where to get started…read on!
I truly believe great things in business are never done by one person—they’re done by a TEAM of people. If you’re spinning your wheels when it comes to systems, maybe it’s time to bring a little bit of me on board. #shameless
You don’t need a full time OBM or even an OBM on retainer to get your systems in order!
Which is why I offer a little sweet something called the Save Our Systems Audit.
During this audit, I’ll dig into the actual back end of your systems, softwares, and teach to help you spot the gaps in your business so you can cut your workload (and even your team’s workload!) in half.
You’ll walk away with clarity around what tools will work best for your specific business, as well as an expertly laid out, actionable plan to make it all happen. Of course, I can always step in and implement with you, but this is a truly stand-alone service. It’s perfect for those with a team who can put my plan into action or those hardcore DIYers who want to get their hands dirty themselves.
We kick off the SOS Audit with a 60 min call, then I take a look ‘under the hood’ and deliver specific, targeted recommendations for your business in a shiny report and walk-through Loom video. We wrap up your audit with a 30-minute call to make sure you have all of your questions answered and are well on your way to optimizing your business systems.
“Before I started working with Alexis, I was SO LOST! I was over-engineering simple things and wasting so much time manually handling every process in my business – I was so overwhelmed by the various systems I used. After working with Alexis, my feeling of overwhelm became a feeling of excitement about how smoothly things could run!”
June 13, 2023