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Simple Systems That Can Set You Free
by Janis Pettit

Would you like to see your business running like clockwork while you're off vacationing at the beach, the mountains, or overseas?

If you want to get to the point where you can work on your business and not constantly have to work in it, you need to develop written systems--a step-by-step checklist, for each business function and activity, and then implement them. Everything from product development to marketing to invoicing to customer service needs a simple system. Once you've created these systems--and yes I know it's work--you'll be able to save a ton of time and effort.

Imagine you wanted to go on a relaxing vacation and you wanted to outsource much of what you do as soon as possible, but you wanted to be sure everything got done correctly--just the way you like it. First you would need to list all of the systems you use in your business. Here are some of the systems I use:

* Online lead generation system
* Social networking system for Twitter, Facebook, Linked In
* Tele-class and Webinar marketing system
* Invoicing system
* Accounting system
* Product creation system
* E-mail marketing system
* Customer support system
* Referral system
* Client retention system

All of these systems took time to develop and I'm always looking to improve them. But now most of these are outsourced, and since they are documented step-by-step, my awesome outsourced team members know exactly what to do. Then they report back to me to let me know when they've completed each checklist. That's why I take many of my private coaching clients through a system creation process.

So how do you start to create the systems that will set you free? Write down everything you would want the people managing your business to know so that things get done the way you want them done. Yes, this requires a bit of work, but imagine now that you hire a new employee or outsourced team member and want to train them. Your task is so much less time consuming. Let's assume that you're ready for a real vacation. Your systems are in place and everyone knows what needs to be done in your absence. If you keep notes on the process you go through each time you perform a task, then you can add to it a bit at a time and before you know it you will have documented each system.

Even if you're solo, as you get busy you'll need to outsource many functions, like administrative work, marketing tasks, customer support and bookkeeping. If you have recorded the system that works best for your business, you can feel more confident that your way of doing things is being followed.

Many business owners have complained to me that their employees just don't do things the way they've been asked to do them, and the owner ends up picking up the slack. Developing clear, written systems for how each job is performed and each task accomplished will make it much easier to get employees to comply with your wishes. And assigning tasks to employees based on their talents and passions will also yield stronger results. Best of all, it will free up that most precious of commodities--time.

Systems and processes are meant to put parts of your business on autopilot, but they should be reviewed and revised regularly so they don't become rigid and stale. Start with the tasks you repeat again and again, or that you explain to your assistant again and again. Once you realize the difference this makes in your business, you'll be hooked on this process.

Systems will set you free. Think McDonalds! Every detail is systematized. That's why they run so well and can be reproduced anywhere.

Janis Pettit may be contacted at

Janis Pettit is a small business coach and marketing expert who has owned successful small businesses for 21 years and has coached hundreds of small and solo business owners, showing them how to dramatically increase profits and build wealth. She is co-author of 136 Ways to Market Your Small or Solo Business and creator of numerous business marketing home-study courses and coaching programs. Get her free e-book, 12 Secrets to Building a Profitable Small or Solo Business, plus access to business building audios. Visit her blog at



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