Your Business Needs Systems!

No Structure = No Success. Thrive with intent and an a-hole filter.

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Hiya,

today’s edition is about what happens when your marketing works. Clients and money are rolling in, yay! That’s good, right?

Well…not always. When you have no idea how to actually deliver your service, because you’re spread so thin, then the joke’s on you.

In today’s edition, we explore the structures and systems you need in business.

Let’s get into it.

Systems Make a Business

Imagine this: your marketing is working, people are coming in left and right and you’re…not in the land of rainbows, unicorns, and throwing around money. Instead, you’ve truly and wholly f’ed yourself. You’re working constantly and it feels like you’re dropping the balls you’re juggling left and right.

That’s not how you envisioned it, right?

This is what happens, when you have no systems or structures in your business to speak of. You run the risk of providing a crappy service to your clients. Worse still, it’s overwhelming for you and a recipe for burnout.

As a solopreneur, it makes no sense to over-admin yourself. Structures and systems are important, though, and can help you work less and reduce your mental load. It took me forever to come around to this. And now I wish I had done it sooner.

Meet the Expert

Sara Loretta is a Creative OPs Strategist and the Founder of SYSTMS™. She is also the 10th Certified Notion Consultant in the US.

I’ve learnt a ton from her work. Her YouTube is a goldmine for actionable, clear advice on how to move away from chaos and run your business like an adult who has it together.

What’s great about Sara - and you’ll see this interacting with her work - is that she’s teaching through her experience. I appreciate her clear, no-nonsense break-downs for running a business. I think you will, too.

Connect with Sara: Website, YouTube.

The Systems You Need in Business

Why do you need systems in your business, even IF you think you’re a creative mind that can’t be constrained?

While many creatives feel restricted by processes and systems, I actually think it’s crucial to ‘build your own box’, and determine what your working-style is.

By streamlining or automating areas that take time away from the work you love, your creative work is guaranteed to excel. Now, that’s not to say you have to have a system for everything single thing, but if you genuinely dislike something, why continue to make yourself miserable? Figure out how to make the process work for you instead.

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Which one is the first and most important system solopreneurs should set up?

I will say this with my whole chest. Your contract(s) is the most important system your business needs. It provides the exact box I just mentioned, by determining timelines, scope, refunds, liability… everything. The rest comes from experience and can be created and tweaked as time goes on.

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Which other systems are absolutely necessary?

My answer here varies depending on the type of business you have. For me, I own a productized agency, so my entire workflow of how I produce deliverables is crucial. I have everything mapped out on a week-to-week level for my team and clients.

However, you don’t need to necessarily do that. If you do design work, a task manager to track all elements of project might be more important. If you’re a copywriter, streamlining your onboarding process to collect information is important. If you’re focused on marketing, a system for repurposing content matters. At the end of the day, I recommend completing an unbias audit of your business to determine any gaps to create systems around them.

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You mention you have an a-hole filter in your business. Sounds amazing! How do you set that up?

Have bad experiences. I love that I’ve become known for my asshole boundaries, but they all stem from not-so-great clients, and having to set harsher rules in my business to make sure future projects are successful.

One of my policies is centered around how I work. I make it very clear that I am not an admin assistant or full-time employee — I was hired for a specific job, and that’s it. For clients who need that extra support, I up-charge 30% of the project cost because it impacts my workflow and attention with other clients. So creating asshole boundaries are really about respecting your own time and peace, and if it makes clients uncomfortable, that isn’t your problem. It’s your business, run it how you want.

I’m off to audit my systems now with Sara’s guide. I’m so very stoked to get rid of unnecessary, repetitive tasks. Srsly!

Happy Marketing,

Johanna 📣

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