Tasks that you do each week repetitively are supported by systems. The bigger your business, the more time you're likely to be spending on building systems, alongside being a 'manager' and being an 'employee'.
Some businesses become so systemised that they can run themselves without the owner... wel almost. In Mike Michalowicz's book Profit First he says:
"Even if you are a master of building systems and spend 80% of your time in that magic zone, you'll still spend roughly 20 percent of your time handling the big sales."
Marketing systems create a repeatable pattern that chunks your effort to reduce switching costs or can make it possible to outsource the task altogether.
Let's take an example where I create a group of quote images to be used across Insta, LinkedIn and Twitter. Here's the system:
1. Find business owner quotes.
The quotes should be from New Zealand business owners or from well known international names. Sources include books or my interviews... or Google as a last resort.
Here's one from Ethan Todd at Backlanz in Invercargill talking about turning ideas into a patent.
2. Add the quotes with a reference using the quotes-master.psd template.
Note: do 7 quotes at a time for Instagram scheduling every Monday two months in advance.
3. Upload the quote images into Plann for Instagram scheduling.
Note: Add hashtag sets all in one go to save time.
4. Upload to Google Drive for sharing on Twitter / LinkedIn and adding to my next blog posts.
Note: Create descriptive filenames so that the images are SEO optimised.
Get Into Your Marketing
Getting into your marketing is the best way to create marketing systems.
As you put the systems in place and your revenue increases to accomodate them, you can slowly plug in great people to implement those great systems starting with contractors and then employing when you're ready.
Where I Learnt Process
It was 1998 and I had joined Telecom Business Systems, which it turns out, was big on systems. They had recently acquired a data sales company called Netway and with it, a whole new way of building businesses using technology.
Building a data network was complex, so Netway created a series of processes that you could easily follow called QF's. The Quality Forms (QF's) outlined all the steps to complete a task and the QF's' were sorted like the dewey decimal system so that QF100's were about sales processes, QF200's were about order handling and QF300's were about billing.
There were QF owners who could update the processes and also link in with how other areas created their processes.
Less Craft. More Process.
Too many business owners approach the work they do with a craftsperson's mindset, taking on every job and sticking to the ones they love to do the most. While craft is great for making, it doesn't scale well for going beyond an owner operator. Key nuggets here:
🧶 If you have to craft it, craft it in bulk to reduce task switching costs. ie: Create and tie 100 personalised notes at a time, not one with every order.
📑Try spending 20% of your next week documenting marketing processes as you do them. Its laborious yet it can be the first step in offloading that process to another person.
Then once you've documented the processes, look at it and ask yourself two questions
1. Is there someone more suited to this process role than me?
2. Is there a higher value activity that I could be doing than this?
If you don't have enough money to pay for a contractor, you are not paying yourself enough to do the same job...and you may want to consider putting your prices up.