Whether you are a creative who hates checklists or a solopreneur doing everything on your own, everyone needs systems. Systems allow you to run your business efficiently, save time on repetitive tasks, and never miss a deadline. Moreover, systems open up time in your schedule to pursue your true creative passions, and there is nothing better than that! Today, I want to discuss and debunk 4 common misconceptions about having systems in your business, cause heck! I could not run EITHER of my businesses successfully without systems. Eventually, you will crumble without them.
#1 – “I don’t have the time to create them.”
Ah… more time. We all want that, right? It is no secret that creative entrepreneurs have too much on their plate. Your to-do list is already a mile long, I get it! You’re probably thinking: “Thank Laura, just one more thing to add to my to-do list!” WELP. The time you invest now will save you HUNDREDS of hours in the future. Systems are like savings accounts. You have to put in the initial investment to see the long-term benefits. Once you create and implement your systems, you will begin saving hours each week.
Honestly, it’s kinda insane how many hours systems will save you.
So, action item! Take a look at your calendar for the upcoming month. Find a day to dedicate solely to writing down everything you do on a weekly, monthly, yearly basis. This is the first step to building systems for your business.
To learn more about how I create systems, check out a few of my other related blog posts:
#2 – “As a solopreneur, I don’t need systems because I do everything myself.”
Your one woman (or man) team is thriving and you feel like things are under control (even though you feel like you’re treading water most of the time). But, what happens when your business grows? Will you hire someone to join your team? How will you train them? Will it be easy to delegate tasks to your new teammate? Enter systems. Right now, it might not seem like a priority to write down your systems and workflows because it’s just you. But, I promise you it will be worth it as you continue to grow. Start writing down systems now before you are overwhelmed and buried with client projects. Then, when it comes time to hire someone for your team, you will be set-up to delegate and continue growing your business and passion! Not to mention, using the systems YOURSELF, even if you NEVER grow a team will save you SO MUCH TIME because you are doing things CONSISTENTLY, and you are STREAMLINING. Sorry for yelling at you, I’m just excited!!
#3 – “I have an excel spreadsheet with some tasks to do for each client…that’s good enough right?”
Well… this might work when you have somewhere between 1-5 clients, but heck… as your business starts to grow, lemme tell ya something. Having your to-dos in a google sheet or in excel will kill your business and things will slip through the cracks. Why? Because your excel sheet is not giving you due dates, and it’s not automated. Writing down your workflows and storing them in an excel spreadsheet is a great start, don’t get me wrong. But if this is where you’re at, it’s time to take it to the next level. First, you need to write down everything, not just the major action items. Then, once you have every step written down, you need to find a software that will automate the workflow for you. Say goodbye to manually tracking to do’s and due dates. I use Honeybook to store all my client projects and Asana for content and internal project deadlines!
Check out these helpful posts to get you started with something BEYOND excel. 😉
#4 – “I’m a creative, checklists don’t work for me”
As a fellow creative, let me assure you, systems are your best friend. When I first started creating systems for my photography business, checklists and color-coded content calendars were both scary and foreign. Following strict systems and keeping up with them, can be intimidating for creatives, we just wanna be freeeee! But we also became our own boss because we want FREEDOM. Trust me when I say, systems will not take away from your creative energy or passion. If anything, systems will create more time for you to think about and pursue what really matters most to you, (helloooo your art, your family, your friends, vacations, and self-care). When you create systems and follow them, it frees you up to start a new project or focus more on your client relationships (and so much more!). Because I know your true passion does not live in your Gmail inbox!
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