How To Get Your Systems Setup in a Weekend

Business Systems

Today I am sharing how to get your systems setup in a weekend. This is pretty much the exact process I follow when it comes to setting up the basic systems for my clients.

If you are just starting out, or have perhaps been in business a while, I’m guessing that you probably have signed up for every software programme out there. Asana, Trello, Planoly, ClickUp, Later, Buffer, Dubsado, etc……the list goes on. But the fundamental problem you have it that so far nothing has worked. You’ve flip flopped from one system to another hoping something will work and wondering how the hell you actually create this time freedom every ‘guru’ keeps telling you about. The problem is you have no idea where to even start to maximise your productivity, simplify your business or make the tech work for you. That is because you are knee deep doing all the things, stuck in the day to day operations. Fear not, I’m here to help you get clarity on your processes.

By following these simple steps, you can get your systems set up with ease and get back to being the soul-led CEO.

Step 1: Define your Customer Journey

Your customer journey is quite possibly the most crucial step in your systems setup. Your whole business hinges on this, nail this process and the rest of the systems in your business will slot into place. Grab a piece of paper and a pain and write down every single touch point your customer goes through on their journey from cold lead to hot client.

Here is what it may look like:

Lead Capture: How do people find out more? Is it a form on your website? Your Sales page? Link from IG? Facebook? Download your freebie?

Discovery call: How do they book a call? Where do they schedule it? What does this look like? Do they need to fill out an application form? 

Proposal, Contract, Invoice: Do you offer a standard package, could you can turn it into a standardised proposal? What about a contract? Do you have standard terms or different terms for your services? How do you invoice them?

Onboarding – What happens after a lead becomes a hot client? Do you have an initial client kick off call? This includes things like new client forms, welcome pack, welcome email, next steps.

Working with you/Setting boundaries: What is working with you like? Do they need to schedule calls? Fill out forms or questionnaires? How do they reach you, if they need you? Is this covered in your welcome pack?

Offboarding: archiving files, reviews, testimonial, deleting from any systems, goodbye/closing email

Step 2: Choosing your Tech and Tools

You’ve probably already got all the tech and all the tools (hello shiny object syndrome), but what do you really need? Let’s take a look at the 3 main functions you need to consider in your systems setup, in order to create a seamless, stress free experience for you, your team and most importantly your customer

  1. Scheduling – This is going to save you a shit load of time because this is where your propects, team and clients have direct access to your calendar. No more going back and forth over emails trying to find a date and time that works for everyone. You get the appointments booked straight into your calendar, easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Ones to consider: Calendly, Acuity, Dubsado Scheduler (although this is still in Beta and can be a bit sketchy)

2. Client Management – Forms, emails, proposals, contracts, invoices.

For this I would consider 17 Hats, Dubsado, Honeybook (You can absolutely build a custom set up with a little bit of work and the help of Zapier)

3. Project Management – the last piece in the puzzle. The number one place to keep ALL your tasks, process, projects and SOPs in one place. Perfect for managing your clients and your team, so you can stay on track and super organised.

For this consider: Asana, ClickUp, Trello or Monday (my personal favs are Asana and ClickUp)

Step 3: Setup your Client Management System

Now you’ve take the time to think about your customer journey, you need to grab that piece of paper again and get to work creating the various elements. Here’s what you need to consider creating if you don’t already have it in place:

  • Contact Form
  • Initial contact email
  • Application Form
  • Scheduling email to book a discovery call
  • Proposals
  • Contracts 
  • Invoices
  • Welcome Email
  • Welcome Pack
  • Offboarding Emails
  • Feedback Forms
  • Client Testimonial/Case Study Email + Form

Do this once and you won’t need to do it again. It will not only save you time, but by using a tool like Dubsado you can automate a large part of the process, which will give your new and existing clients an amazing customer experience they’ll want to shout about from the roof tops.

Once you are happy with your customer journey, you can turn it into a process. List out all the steps as individual tasks and add it to your project management system, so that every time you onboard a new client, you know with certainty that every single step has been completed.

Step 4: Setup your Project Management System

A project management systems is the key to running a successful uncomplicated business. It’s a good exercise to sit down and draw an organisational chart, with all the different departments of your business and then set your project management tool up like this.

For Example: Marketing (department/team), Editorial Calendar (project) in Asana

There is no one size fits all up set up, you need to find what works best for you. Start simple, play around with your set up and then you can continually add to it.

Here are a few ideas for departments to get your started:

  • Vision + Planning
  • Team Management
  • Operations
  • SOPs
  • Sales + Marketing
  • Launches + Funnels
  • Products/Programmes
  • 1:1 Clients

Step 5:  Get More Strategic

Now you have found a set up that works for you, it’s time to build it out. Start adding all your projects to your project management tool of choice. Here are a few ideas to get you started and how I have mine set up.

Vision + Planning – great place to map out your goals for the year and the next 3,5,10 years. Also the perfect place to record your values, mission statement and anything else that is essential to building and growing your business. You could even put your vision board here, so you see it daily if a digital rather than a paper version works best for you.

Team – use this to create a list of all the roles within your business, who does what, their responsibilities, who you have already hired, what positions are still open, even the recruitment process with possible candidates could be included here.

Marketing – editorial calendar, instagram plan/schedule, FB Group, Pinterest, Ad campaigns, basically any marketing activities you do that will be useful to keep track of.

SOPs – this is your business bible, the guide to running your business should an emergency arise and you can’t be in your business running the day to day. Every task you perform is a process, whether you realise it or not. So next time you are undertaking a task, note down the steps, use Loom to create a video and add it in this section. You can either add all your project templates here or create a separate ‘team’ to put them in.

Step 6: Reflect, Review and Refine

Follow these simple steps and I guarantee you will be able to get your systems setup in a weekend. Remember, no process is perfect. As you grow and evolve, systems and processes change, and that’s ok.

It is important to regularly review processes, to reflect on what is working, review it in action and then refine it to make it better and more efficient. Don’t forget that some of the tools mentioned about enable you to automate some of these tasks, e.g. Dubsado. It is fantastic for this, it enables you to create workflows that just happen in the background, removing you from parts of the process completely. 

Never forget that this is your business, so you get to run it in a way that feels good for you. No one person’s processes are the same. We all do things differently, that is what makes us all unique. It is also the reason why it is important to create SOPs for every part of your business, it creates consistency and efficiency. We only want to do the hard work once, not continually recreate the wheel.

Building your business systems takes time. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to make a start.

If you still feel overwhelmed or feel like you don’t have the time for this, get in touch. Tech and systems are my jam and I’d love to help. Shoot me a DM on Insta or find out how to work with me here.


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I’m Emma

Emma O'Connell is an Online Business Manager and Business Strategist. She helps solopreneurs become soul-led CEOs, by implementing the right strategy, systems and support, so they can get back to making an impact. She firmly believes in working smarter not harder, setting yourself up for success and spending more time with the people that matter most.

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