How to Create Processes And Systems For Your Business and Clients
Have you ever had a client that was unhappy with your services because you were totally blindsided by certain behaviors, expectations, and questions? Or, have you heard any horror stories about business gone south from others in your industry or niche? Bad business happens intentionally or unintentionally. Mishaps can happen because of several reasons such as miscommunication, bad communication, laziness, lack of organization, greed, unethical behaviors from either party and more. When we have bad experiences in our business, it’s crucial to respond positively right away! We must respond immediately.
One particular issue with a lot of businesses is lack of organization, processes, and systems to protect itself and its clients. The worst thing a business can do for itself is avoiding to incorporate processes and systems in its business. Internally, there has to be an organization system so the business doesn’t suffer with paperwork, accounting, branding, and marketing.
Externally, since brand image is extremely valuable to a business, processes and systems are needed for a great customer experience, for positive reviews, and for client retention. Granted, we can’t stop all situations, but we can prepare as much as possible. Below is a guide to create systems and processes for your business:
Brainstorm about the processes you take to satisfy a paying client
Planning is an important initial step to every successful plan. Plan every aspect in your business when you can and execute those plans accordingly. Brainstorming and writing the process that your business will have should be thorough. There are some things that will come easy to you such as the things you know you’ll need to begin business with. For each business, the core processes are the same. Let’s review the things we know we’ll need:
- Client Name
- Address/Email Address
- Phone Number
- Social Media Handles
- Your Knowledge/Talents/Expertise
- Tangible items (the products your business sells)
- Research Tools/Resources
We’ll also need to consider systems that we’ll need in place to complete the process of business. If you use Google Apps for forms or to keep clients files, Stripe or Gumroad to process payments, Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, orCanva to design for clients, consider the when these systems come into play. You have to consider your processes first before you implement and use your systems to complete your projects. Write all of your processes and systems down, then move to the next step.
Create policies for your business
Think about those horrible experiences you’ve had in your business. Or, think about some horror stories you’ve heard from others in your industry. What are some ways you can legally protect yourself and your business? Also, think about the kinds of clients you don’t like to work with. It’s completely ok to be honest with yourself here. It’ll save you time and money when choosing the right clients.
Creating policies creates structure for your business. It relieves you of stress in many ways. Creating policies also protects your clients. For example, a policy for a consulting business can be a two-hour minimum consult at $95/hour. Any time exceeding this time will be an additional $105/hour. Each client will have to sign a contract agreeing to these terms before services are rendered. This policy will bind your business and the client in a legal contract that can be honored in a court.
Create templates for the pieces of content you’ll need for each client
Templates will be extremely instrumental in your business. It will help you with repetitive processes like collecting data for projects and your clients. Develop one worksheet or form (or more depending on the depth of your process) that will be permanent for use for your business. It can be an electronic or tangible worksheet. Templates will save you so much time. They are lifesavers! They help you prevent re-creating forms, worksheets, and mock-ups for your clients and business projects. If you need help creating worksheets, I teach how to create them in my Killin' it On Canva guide. Just sayin!
Create a mock-up or presentation for your clients
Mock-ups and presentations are highly recommended in business. They can be sneak peeks and previews of what you have to offer and what the client can expect when doing business with you. Mock-ups can be included in your client packages or folders. They can also be included on your website. Your product mock-ups do not have to reveal the entire piece of your product but your client process should explain exactly what's going to happen with estimated time frames (if possible). It should be extremely clear and straightforward of what the client will experience. Take a look at the example below of a pretend male fitness trainer and consultant:
- Mini consult: We’ll discuss your fitness and nutrition goals.
- Agreement/Exchange of payment: Sign contract and submit payment
- Collect client information (including weight goals)
- Develop a schedule and plan: Map out a schedule for physical training [cardio, muscle building, etc] + Create a weekly meal plan
- Review Progress: Weekly review
- Reach Goals: Celebrate!
This fitness trainer will include this graphic on his website, in welcome emails and in client folders. By creating a visual client process graphic or presentation, each party will be on the same page and you are able to stay organized. Clearly defining processes and systems will help your business now and in the future. As you learn policies and procedures that your business needs, add and adjust your processes. Create templates within the systems that you work in and protect yourself and your clients. Whatever your business needs to ease your mind and the mind of your clients, do it!
Do you have systems in place for your business? What process, system, or resource is totally keeping you sane right now? Leave me a comment or two below.