Right around the time I left corporate to focus on my coaching practice, I had a networking meeting with another coach I had recently met. She was a few years further along in her business than me and was much more successful.
We were talking shop over coffee and I was 100% in fake-it-til-ya-make-it mode. You know the one? Perfect posture, smiling and nodding while I agreed with everything she said.
“Yep, business is great! Yeah, it’s amazing to own my own company! Totally. I’m a control freak too so obviously everything is under control!”
The truth is, none of that was true. (Hey, no judgement please. I’m not proud of this, ok?)
I was a ball of insecurity. An impostor! I had replaced my full time income while I was working – woohoo. Then I made the leap and… gulp… the net wasn’t there.
My income was up and down without any predictability. I felt like if I ever let off the client-getting gas, I’d bottom out and be one month away from having to go back to working for someone else.
I was in the entrepreneur’s version of living paycheck to paycheck.
Let me tell you, that is not the picture of freedom and financial security I had envisioned!
What I remember most about that conversation is talking about the importance of systems in business. At the time, I didn’t really even know what that meant. I thought it was all about being organized but it’s not. Having good systems in place means that you know exactly what steps to take to get the result you want – and those results are reliable.
It’s like that client signup script you follow that closes the deal almost every single time. Or the bookkeeping software you use that imports everything so you can get what you need with a single click of a button.
The best systems are the ones that are automated and working for you at all times, meaning you don’t have to work extra hours doing the same thing over and over again.
For me, my favorite system is referral marketing. It consistently brings me new leads without any extra effort on my part.
When you’re just starting out – or even a few years in – creating solid systems in your business is crucial for growth and longevity. The problem is - if you’re anything like my creative, big-picture-thinking clients – the thought of creating systems is probably a big snooze. Or it’s something you know you should do but don’t know how or where to start.
Which is a shame because it’s one of the easiest things you can do to help more people and make more money right now!
Once I got started with my very first system – referral marketing – client creation got easier. The highs and lows in my income started to even out and become more predictable.
Then I created another system – a client workflow – that kept my clients sticking with me longer. Even more financial stability.
Then another system to manage my finances and hey, what you focus on grows, right?
It’s not all about the money either. My clients were getting better results because things were running smoother on my end. Getting good systems in place improves client experience, hands down.
Look, I know creating systems isn’t the sexiest or most exciting thing you could be doing with your day… but it might be the most valuable to you if you want to stick with this crazy thing called entrepreneurship.
My encouragement to you is to take a hard look at your business. Notice what’s working well and celebrate that!
Then, notice what’s not working so well and think about how you can create a system to make things more reliable.
And if you need some support, I’m here for you. You’ve always got 30 minutes on my calendar when you need it.
If you know a new or first-time entrepreneur trying to make it work during this time and you think they’d benefit from this message, feel free to share! I’m committed to helping solopreneurs thrive during this crazy pandemic. I'll even give them access to my free download, 5 Pillars for a Profitable Business.