Most business owners want to grow their business; they want more clients and want to make more money. Yet, growth requires advance preparation to succeed when the clients come through the door. Systems, or workflows, are an essential piece of this advanced preparation since they provide the structure that is needed to handle growth.
Simply put, a system is a set of procedures. Every business has a system, although it may not be documented. Documenting your current procedures is the first step you need to take to build the structure to grow. Once you have documented what you are currently doing, you can examine your procedures to find ways to automate to work more efficiently. For example, I recently documented my workflows and found I needed to find tools to make my procedures more efficient. I went to the QuickBooks® Apps website and found a project management tool to achieve this.
Often, in service-based businesses such as tax and accounting, systemization is one thing that can take a practice to the next level. Here are three areas to consider when creating your systems or workflows to create the structure you need in your business to go to the next level.
#1: Service Delivery. Let’s begin with the end in mind. You should be clear on the service you are delivering to the client and you need to know the steps to achieve this. Here are some questions to consider when building the steps to your service delivery workflow:
- What is the price?
- What materials am I delivering?
- Who will be doing the work?
- In what timeframe will I deliver the work?
- What software or tools do I need?
#2: Client Onboarding. The next step is to systemize how you will interact with your clients. The major question you are answering with client onboarding is, “How will you integrate the client into your business so you can deliver the services?” Here are some questions to consider when building the steps to your client onboarding workflow:
- What information do I need to deliver the service?
- How will I get the items I need?
- How will I communicate this to the client?
- How will I document what I have received?
- How will I know if I have everything I need?
#3: Sales. Now that you are clear on what service you are delivering and how you will work with the client to get it, you need to sell the services. The major question you are answering here is, “What happens when a prospect contacts my business?” Here are some questions to consider when building the steps to your sales workflow:
- What medium will I use to get prospects to contact my business?
- How will I track and follow up with prospects who contact my business?
- How will I determine what services prospects need?
- What tools will I use to interact with the prospects?
- How do I close the sale and turn them from a prospect to a client?
Systems are the foundation of your business. Systems are the key to consistently delivering services to your clients. They are constantly evolving as your business may grow in client size or services offered. No matter where you are in your business, your systems are the key to achieving the next level of success.