When you go into McDonalds (a rare event, but I admit it does happen occasionally), you’ll notice that their whole business is developed around systems.Â The new incoming franchisee can just pick up a manual and find out how when the place opens, shuts, when the tables should be cleaned, how many burgers to cook and how many fries to give.
This means the whole operation runs smoothly and efficiently, with everyone fully aware of what they’re supposed to be doing and when.
If you look at the average service based entrepreneur, you’ll find that they do a bit here, a bit there, stop because the phone rings, stop for a tea break, check emails, get back to that proposal that was being written, stop for another tea break, follow up with a potential client, answer a call about an extra special deal for an ad this week, make another cup of tea, think of an ad to send to the paper, answer some tweets, meet with a client?and?well it’s a bit of a mess!
This type of approach will stop you from creating the business that you deserve.Â Instead, look at changing it around so that you give your business the McDonalds effect.
Marketing your business is vitally important, but will only work properly for you if you know what to do with incoming prospective clients. And you can only serve your clients fully if your mind is uncluttered and free, and you’re not worried about what you’re supposed to be doing and when.
Systemising your business means looking at how each area of your business works from an operational point of view (a great book to read on this is “The E Myth Revisited“ by Michael E Gerber).
For instance, a couple of hours planning your social media strategy (ie what you’re going to say, where and when) and automating the process can save you hours of wasted time and money.Â Â In fact writing a marketing plan in the first place will do this for you too!
I could write about this aspect of your business for ages, but I know you’re busy, so here are my top three must-do’s that you could do over the next week:Â
- Plan your marketing activities in advance.Â Write down how you do what you do (for instance, what is the process you go through when you do article marketing): imagine you had to tell someone else how to do it.Â Automate as much as possible: there’s no excuse these days for not automating a large proportion of your marketing.Â Dedicate a day a week for marketing and cross that day out in your diary.
- Write down your process for dealing with incoming clients.Â What do you send them and when?Â When do they pay and how much?Â How do they pay?Â When do they start working with you?Â Do they need to sign a form, or do some preparation work before your meeting with them?Â By doing this, you’ll come across as far more professional and confident, and show yourself as the leader that you are.Â And people follow leaders.
- Decide the areas of your business that you’re brilliant at.Â Then look at the flip side of that coin and decide the activities that are holding you back from doing that all the time.Â These are the activities to consider outsourcing.Â And it’s not expensive as you think: someone recently quoted me $3.80 to do some thinking work for me!!Â Look at hiring a book keeper and/or a virtual assistant.Â But also look to sites such as www.guru.com and www.elance.com to find other professionals who would only be too willing to help you out.
Invest some time to create your systems and outsource what you can, and you’ll find that in doing so, you create yourself masses more time, and allow your business to attract more clients – and you know what that means for your bank account and lifestyle!
Have a great week,