We’ve all had our bad run-ins with systems. As the ‘systems nerd’ for many creative businesses, the first order of business we work on is dismantling a lot of misconceptions the business space has about systems. Because ✨ surprise✨, the way systems are presented 99% of the time isn’t the full story of their usage. And if you are a service-based business, a space holder, or a creative-minded person it’s easy to feel like systems will dull the client experience you wish to have.
In this article, we are going to bust a few systems myths, and give you an inside look at how systems can work in your creative or service-based business! In fact, you probably are utilizing systems right now and haven’t realized it yet.
MYTH ONE: All Systems are Automated
When systems are talked about, it’s always from an automation standpoint. While automation is a great type of system, it’s not the end all be all of the systems inside of your business.
Not every area of your business will be suited for automation. It all depends on what direction you want inside of your business and what you want off your plate. It’s the reason I teach my clients about 4 different types of systems and when it’s best to use each one. This is dependent on where you are at in your business, the outcome you’re looking for, and how you’d like to run your business. For example, if you have a hyper-personalized service delivery process, I’m not going to suggest that you dismantle that and make it an automated one instead. I may suggest standardization or templatization instead to help save you time but keep your process wholly your own.
You need to know what works best for you, decide what type of system is going to save you the most amount of time, the easiest to implement, and is it going to cause you to vastly change how you do things to make the system fit (if it does, may not be the best system for you)!
MYTH TWO: Systems are only efficient with All-in-One software
Y’all I love a good tool, but that’s all that software is, a tool. Kajabi, Clickfunnels, etc. can be touted as the elite tools for ‘serious’ entrepreneurs to use, but the fact of the matter is, the software doesn’t make the system; you do.
It’s more accurate to say systems USE tools in order to be enacted in your business. But, if the tools being used are way more complicated than you just doing the actual task then of course you’re going to use the more efficient tool; you’re own energy. You’re a business owner, not an expert on every software available. Yet it feels like these are the only options available when you want to take items off of your plate. Software is a tool that acts out the system, but there are many tools that can do this.
For 2.5 years I was running my business out of G-Suite (Google Drive, Google Forms, Gmail, etc.). This was still a very clean process (not the prettiest but I digress). I’ve been able to keep most of those systems when I did upgrade to Dubsado, but what matters is that the software is able to help you enact the system easier.
MYTH THREE: Systems only support you financially
In the business space, there is this invisible tension between systems and their creativity. The way systems have been presented, it’s like sterilization of creativity: “you’ve had your fun, now time to make real money.” And that’s not the case at all with systems; they are meant to mold to YOUR needs.
When we don’t know what those needs are before we take on a system, it’s always going to feel bad or like it’s only serving one area of our life, which is the financials. But it’s, unfortunately, taking time away from other areas of your life.
So we want to make sure we are defining what those needs are, that the systems we are creating to meet said needs are custom fit to support you in those needs. Otherwise, those systems will always feel ill-fitting.
MYTH FOUR: Systems always remain the same
You are never going to make the perfect system in the first go. They will naturally have to evolve as you, as an owner, begin to grow. We outgrow them all the time, the kicker is you’re never taught
1.How to know when those systems have been outgrown and it’s time to update to suit your new needs
2. How to build from that system’s foundation to make your new one as opposed to starting all over with a new one. Which takes way longer to do
We can’t know if your system needs evolving though if we don’t do audits. Mind you, this isn’t just to see how you are doing financially but to see if these systems and operations are still serving the way you do this. Click here to see how I run my quarterly audits.
You want to focus on HOW the systems are all operating inside of your business, how they support you, and more. Or else you end up with outdated processes that slow you down and bring you right back into working in your business more than needed.
If you’re here and thinking “Um that’s a lot of info sis”, you’re right this is, and it’s sorely missing inside of the business space on how these are important for entrepreneurs, especially those who consider themselves creatives and/or service providers to do! Systems don’t need to be complicated, but their intent is what will lay the foundation of your sustainable business.
Ready to get systems to maximize your time and give you your time back (without bypassing your creativity)? Check out my Services page on resources to help you out. Together we look for those ill-fitting systems or gaps where you need systems in your business design systems that make sense for you, and how to implement these in a way that won’t pull your hair out but give you time back to focus on what you want inside your business (without losing sales) this is for you.
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I live in Melbourne, Australia, but I’m from the States (Washingtonian through and through). I’m a cat-mom, wifey, and in love with a good workflow (it gives me that warm, fuzzy, Christmastime feeling). My goal is to help female entrepreneurs stop having to choose between creativity and productivity to build a successful, sustainable business.