Tips for Creating Systems and Processes in Your Agency

December 7, 2022

On the back of last week’s episode, I was asked to talk you through the steps of creating systems and processes for the client delivery tasks I hand over to my team. I give you…SOPs!

This may come as a surprise, but just like you, I have a business mentor*.

Her name is Tracy Harris. She’s a gem.

This week, Tracy sent out an email that resonated with me. It lays out the seven lessons she'd learned while growing her digital business. I liked it so much I decided to share it with you here.

Tracy’s 7 Lessons From A Growing Digital Business

  • Lesson 1: Your business only grows when you grow.
  • Lesson 2: You will only attract what you're ready for.
  • Lesson 3: Investing in yourself changes you in an instant and for the better.
  • Lesson 4: Your business needs systems and processes, in addition to a dream team. Even if it's a tiny one.
  • Lesson 5: Learn to ask better questions to the right people.
  • Lesson 6: Know your numbers and then choose one metric to improve every quarter.
  • Lesson 7: You are the secret sauce to your business. Feeling light, easy, insanely abundant.

Now we could spend quite a bit of time discussing every one of these lessons in depth. We probably should at some stage.

But right now, I want to put a magnifying glass on lesson number 4, about systems and processes, because it ties in closely with last week’s episode, where we talked about how you as the business owner, need to cut the time you spend in the service delivery side of your business.

10% involvement in client delivery (Yes, that little!) is the magic number if you want to scale your business beyond a certain point.

One of the key points I mentioned was that you need to create systems and processes for repeatable tasks so that your team can do the work consistently and reliably without your constant involvement.

This triggered the following question on the BYW Facebook group: “ That’s all fine and well, but how do you create business systems and processes for things like client onboarding? “

So with last week’s episode fresh in our minds, I thought we should have a go at answering this question.

$10 Vs. $100 Tasks

First, let me introduce you to the idea of $10 tasks vs $100 tasks.

$10 tasks are the mundane tasks you do as a business owner. They don’t bring in any money. They take up time, but I guess somebody has to do them. And until this point, that person has been you.

Then there are the $100 tasks. These are the tasks that bring in money for your business.

It doesn’t need much explaining that the first tasks you want to take off your to-do list are the $10 tasks.

Start with listing all your tasks. Then identify whether they are $10 tasks or $100 tasks.

The Thing About SOPs

Second, let’s talk SOPs.

SOPs stand for Standard Operating Procedures.

These are documents or videos that outline how a task is done. They're a step-by-step guide to completing a task or a job in your business.

Why are they important? Here’s why…

You, as the business owner, KNOW how you want a task to be done. You’ve been doing it from day one.

But now that it’s time to hand the $10 tasks over to the team, you still want it to be done to the same standards. And unless you are specific about what this is, they probably will do it differently from you. Which means … you need to let the team know how you would like them to do it.

As a busy owner of a growing business, you want to be smart about it too, so you don’t need to endlessly explain the same simple task over and over again.

I mean, time is precious.


Step 1: How To Set Up A Business Filing System For SOPs

First, decide how and where you want to file your SOPs.

This may seem a very random suggestion, but it’s actually very important. Think about it: what use is a step-by-step guide when nobody knows where to find it!?

As for the filing, I have 4 big categories for my SOPs:

  • Sales and Marketing
  • Service Delivery
  • Planning
  • Admin

Each of these categories has subcategories. It’s very straightforward and my team easily finds their way around it.

With my earlier statement in mind about reducing your ‘Client Delivery’ involvement to 10% for the business owner, I suggest you start with documenting the client delivery systems and processes for your business.

Next, you need to decide where to store these files. This can be Dropbox, Google Drive, SharePoint or another filing system that takes your fancy. It doesn’t matter, as long as it is accessible to the team and you use it consistently.

Step 2: Documenting Standard Operating Procedures

How to write an SOP for a process?

Let me start by saying you don’t need to write it. You can, but you don’t have to. I’m not a writer either, so I use video. Problem solved.

But no matter whether you write or record, you always start off by making a list of all the steps that are involved in each process. Then record yourself doing it as you move through the different steps. It will take a bit of time, but it’s totally worth it.

I also involve my team in this. After all, they may have valuable input. We fine-tune as we go. All the time updating, until we’ve perfected it.

On a final note, a word of caution: you won’t be able to do it all overnight, so give yourself some time. As long as you DO IT!

With that said….ONWARD!

*Why does a business mentor need a business mentor????? I’ve talked in a previous podcast about how being a business owner can be a lonely place to be and what I do to deal with it. You can find it here.

Need Help With Setting Up Systems And Processes For Your Agency?

Still don’t know how to document SOPs? Are you the queen of chaos, struggling with everything systems and processes and very aware it’s holding your business back?

It’s time to call in for some help. Because we all need help from time to time!

Simply book a FREE Scale Strategy Session, and you’ll get my eyes on your business for 60 minutes. Together, we’ll determine exactly what you need to do to get your business ready for the next stage.

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Discover how to use your unique personality to systematise and streamline your digital service business or agency so you can scale without sacrifice (do more and work less!)

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