Make it Easy to Work for You
We've been really talking about actually the kind of foundational mindset, organizational changes that you need to make and get clear on so that you can even consider bringing in help for your business and if you've had a challenge with bringing in help in the past and it didn't work out. Maybe you just have a lot of fear around hiring or maybe it was never part of the vision that you had for your business in the first place. Just getting clear on the things that we've done over the course of these first three and now this fourth session as well is going to help prepare you for making a really intentional decision about hiring. Whether you decide to hire or not, you're gonna be more productive, you're gonna feel more efficient, you're gonna feel more in control of your business and you're gonna know what you're creating as opposed to just the work that you're doing on a day-to-day basis. We've also really done this class a lot differently than a lot of the other, well really all of the...
other classes that I've taught here on CreativeLive because it's really been sort of a campfire discussion. It's been more of a retreat than a class and that's because I know as well as anybody that these questions around hiring and about rethinking the very foundations of our business are big, big, big uncomfortable questions. And you guys have been so awesome for getting real with us, sharing kind of some of the things that are going on in your head as we're having these discussions. So I wanna thank you again for that. We're gonna start to move away, I think, from maybe some of the things that are a little more emotionally shaky and get into some of the things where we might just have some judgment, as Nicole was talking about earlier for ourselves around. And specifically that means talking about systems and procedures and organization. And when I say judgment, again, this is something I know well from my own personal experience because I have often judged myself for being less organized than I should be and being less organized than I should be, has made it not easy to work with me. You can ask my mother. Seriously (laughing). But this is something that I've really committed to improving over the last year and I hope that my team would agree, I've improved on it. Because I want it to be easy to work for me and my team. Not only do I wanna create a great working environment and have a great company culture, I just want it to be easy to do your best work on my team and in my company. And so that's what we're gonna be talking about today in this session, really making it easy to work for you, to work with you and to help create value for your customers. So I'm gonna start off in a place that you're not going to expect. I'm gonna tell you you're more organized than you realize. I know because I was more organized than I realize (laughing). I think it's really easy to believe that because you don't have beautifully organized Asana board or Trello board or Basecamp thinger majiger that you're not organized the way you should be. Or maybe your file system on your computer is just all a mess and so that makes you a terrible person and a terrible entrepreneur, right? You're just not as cool as Natasha Vorompiova who has everything organized perfectly all the time. But the truth of the matter is, and Natasha would be the first one to tell you this, thank you Natasha for telling me this and making me realize this, you're more organized than you realize. You already have things that you do on a regular basis, that you have a process, you have a procedure for and the way we make our companies easy to work for, make you easier to work for, is simply by documenting those things. Not by creating systems, not by imposing structure on yourself, but actually recognizing where there are systems and structure that you've already created and simply making it easier to understand. So I'm gonna walk you through how me and my team, how I and my team have done that over the course of this year and actually show you inside our Asana systems. But before we do that, I want you to realize how much more organized you already are or how much more organized you are than you realize. So I want you to take a moment here, close your eyes and think about what tasks in your business recur on a daily basis. What tasks in your business recur on a weekly basis? What tasks in your business recur on a monthly basis? What tasks in your business recur on a quarterly basis? You can take this out as far as you'd like. We're gonna stop there. So what tasks recur? What do you have to do over and over again on a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly basis? And I'm gonna write some of these down for the folks at home to help them understand that they're more organized than they realize too. Beril, what's something you have to do on a daily basis or that your team has to do on a daily basis?
Sending client emails.
What's something else that happens on a daily basis?
Hosting a social media.
Hosting a social media. What's something that happens on a weekly basis?
Sending out lessons for classes, blog posts or content marketing in general.
What about on a monthly basis?
How about on a quarterly basis? Do you have anything that happens quarterly?
Accounting and planning we are doing quarterly as well. More of that.
Excellent. How about somebody else. What's something you do on a daily basis? Feel free to shout 'em out.
Check Instagram. (mumbles)
Check Instagram. Other daily tasks?
Contacts with people.
Oh, make contacts, got it.
Networking. What about on a weekly basis? What are things that recur in your business on a weekly basis?
Deliverables. For clients?
Other weekly tasks?
Podcast. The whole gamut, recording, publishing?
Editing, the whole thing.
Anybody do anything on a regular basis that we have not covered in one form or another here?
Website updates, good one.
Learning and continuing education. I try to set aside a little time each week for that.
We should have an SOP for that, write that down. (laughing)
I'd also say networking in person, but I think you've got networking on there.
Audits and checking numbers.
What is that again?
Audits and checking numbers of previous metrics.
Metrics. Oh, we're just rolling now. I'll be here all day.
Day off? I don't think we need an SOP for that (laughing). Okay, so like I said, you're more organized than you realize. These are all systems that you follow. Now, those systems may or may not be documented yet, but each one of these things, you already have a system for. It might not be the most highly optimized system. It might not be the most efficient system. You may not have all the steps in there yet that you'd like to have. But each one of these things is a system in your business. So I always get a little twitchy when people say well I need to systematize my business. No, thank you Natasha, systems rock dot com. You need to document your systems. Then you can optimize your systems, but you don't need to systematize things. If you're a creative person, if you have a high value for flexibility as I do, the idea of creating systems or better yet imposing systems is scary and awful feeling. (laughing) But instead, recognizing that just as being human beings who have a tendency to like to not spend too much time doing the same thing over and over again, we create systems naturally and the only thing standing between us and having a really organized business is the documentation of these things. So how do we go about actually documenting systems? I'm gonna flip the chart and I'm going to move the slide forward, whoa, okay. Every single system has a why, what, how, who, and when. Why, what, how, who, and when. That's sort of how you create your documentation. I'm gonna put somebody in the hot seat this time. Beril, can you come on up here?
I can do that. Which seat do you want me in? This one right here is the hot seat.
That is yes, excellent. Remind me one of those systems that you told me you had, recurring tasks.
Let's do client on boarding. That one's top of mind.
Excellent, client on boarding. Is this for montography or is this for your licensing program?
This was gonna be for one-on-one clients.
Oh, one-on-one clients, okay. So we've defined the system that we are documenting. Why is client on boarding important to your business goals?
Because it's a primary money maker in my business. And it's the first experience. The client on boarding is the first experience the client is getting with me as a paid experience.
Beautiful. What are the things that need to be done in client on boarding? Walk me through it.
Yeah, so before the client pays they have to get on a discovery type call with me.
And that discovery call needs to be scheduled. Do you send a reminder email?
I do not at this point, but I think the program does that automatically.
Okay, that's fine. Alright, so it needs to be scheduled. Is there any prep that the perspective client needs to do?
They do not. They get on the phone with me cold. Well it depends on what kind of client. Sometimes there is like a survey that they fill out or an application that they fill out. After the call, then there's followup. They get some sort of assignment or homework.
Okay, I'll say that's homework. What else?
After that, then they are also given the invitation to pay an invoice to start a more intensive coaching relationship, so eight weeks.
Is there an agreement?
There is an agreement. So they pay an invoice and then the agreement is sent.
Okay, what else?
After that, then they need to schedule their calls with me, their sessions. And then also I need to start sending emails to them 'cause there's an email portion of that as well.
How many emails?
They are daily for 21 days. They're short emails.
Do you hand send those or are they automated in your email program?
Right now they are hand sent.
So we could like write this all out, but we're not gonna do that right now. Anything else in terms of the client on boarding? Or would you say that's the end of the procedure?
I'm gonna call on Jen 'cause she helps me with some of this. Am I missing anything? That pretty much takes care of it.
Okay, awesome. The next piece is how. And so I'm not gonna ask you to do, we're not gonna do this whole thing, but we would want to document how each of these things are done. So the discovery call needs to be scheduled. What's the process for scheduling?
There is a link in Calendly.
Okay, Calendly, beautiful. And who sends? Oops sorry, we're not to the who. Getting ahead of myself. Anything else about the how of scheduling that discovery call that would need to be documented?
Is there an email template that gets sent? Like do you have a script?
No, there's not a script either.
Should there be a script?
Probably, because it may not be my job at some point.
So right now you're doing this.
I am doing that portion, yes.
Okay, great. So someone applies or reaches out to you.
Reaches out to me and then I respond and send them a link to schedule.
Beautiful. So as you refine this procedure, then I would add a script in there. Okay, great. And then the who for now is Beril. Who would you like to do this in the future?
Jen and I have been talking about this. I would eventuallY like an admin person to do that, so it may be Jen, it may be someone new in the future.
Cool, so kind of in keeping with this idea that we wanna keep track of what hats you're wearing when, maybe you say this is Beril the admin as opposed to Beril the CEO.
Interesting, okay. I like that.
I mean, just in terms of forward thinking so that you can keep track of what is gonna get handed off and how. And then when does this get done?
Like when during my day does this get done?
No, like when is the deadline or what's the trigger for it?
After somebody reaches out to me.
So yeah, it's not something you're necessarily gonna put like a deadline in on your project management system, but it's kind of a standard operating procedure, which is where we're going next that you're gonna follow every time you have a client inquiry.
And some clients are going to drop off somewhere in here. They might not all decide to move forward, but you still start the process every single time. So yeah, so you've got this system. Do you have this documented anywhere now?
It has started to get documented. It's not this full thing, but we've started using Trello in the last six weeks. Yeah, it's starting to get documented through there.
Excellent, excellent. Any questions about this?
No, okay. It's that simple.
Are you too damn busy? Your business can’t run—let alone grow—without all the hard work you put into it on a daily basis.
What’s worse, you don’t have the time to hire anyone, you’re not making the money you need to hire anyone, and you don’t see how anyone else could do the work you do.
If you keep at it this way it’s just a matter of time before you burn out. You will end up closing up shop, not because the business wasn’t working but simply because it wore you down. You had something and couldn’t make it last because you just couldn’t do it all.
There is also the problem that if you hire the wrong people you will be wasting time and money on a series of hires that don’t alleviate your stress.
Set up your business to be the best place to work—even for yourself.
Finally retire from being “too busy” and once and for all streamline your operations and systematize your workflow.
By the end of this class, you will be able to:
- Describe your company culture and why it makes for a great place to work
- Streamline your business operations, focusing only on what really counts
- Systematize your workflow so that you never have to reinvent the wheel
- Create a plan for fulfilling the roles every business needs to succeed
- Identify who you want to hire and when
- Craft a job description that brings in the right folks