Our Black Dress Circle (BDC) roundtable sessions delve into practical topics that members use to optimize their business operations; last month’s discussions were no exception. We had lively conversations and shared best practices for operationalizing and organizing our businesses. 

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

Please don’t think a product-focused business or assembly line operation is required for this topic to have a real-life application for your business. Every roundtable member, regardless of business model, left with action items to up their business game for efficiency, stability and profitability.

Systems and processes (S&Ps), or the lack of them, can mean the difference between a business that flourishes or flounders. If you have pains in your business, systems (or a lack thereof) are often the key missing piece. If you don’t already have solid S&Ps in place, no worries. We can help you get started. (Note: Completely avoiding this is just about the worst possible response if you don’t have S&Ps in place, so please don’t do that.)

Getting started building systems & processes

First step: Create a global list

Begin by documenting everything you need for your business to operate. Really dig deep here and document all that’s required to make your business hum on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. Examples: New client onboarding, client offboarding, event prep checklist, process for event marketing, etc.

Second step: Select your first process

Begin with a process that will give you a quick-and-easy win. Get right to work on developing it.  List and create all the steps involved in it. It will almost certainly be a semblance of order. Determine who is responsible for each step. Then select the format for it to best serve your business’ needs. For example, should the process be a simple checklist in Word that you print or should it be more dynamic in a project management software system such as Asana?

Let go to grow

The value of creating systems & processes

The value of creating S&Ps is something I clearly see in my clients whose businesses are flourishing. I wholeheartedly believe business owners need to set themselves up to be able to delegate and outsource work in order to grow into their best and brightest possible selves. This is especially true for routine and recurring tasks. When we make the time to document these tasks, we have a foundation for them to be effectively outsourced and performed to our own standards. This is a critical pivot point for expanding a business. We must let go to grow our business. If we are doing things that could otherwise be delegated (i.e. not letting go), we are leaving money on the table and limiting our business’ opportunities. This, my friends, is the case for delegation. 

I hope you can see how this can improve the day-to-day in your business (often it comes in hindsight though…a sudden realization of “Oh WHY did we do it the hard way (read: just winging it) for so long?”).

Whoever you create systems with to make your business hum at maximum capacity, I challenge you to think beyond your current boundaries. I often remind my BDC roundtable members: it’s easy to get mired in the day-to-day minutiae of working in our businesses; it’s the planners who get ahead by working on their business.


Erin Joy