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How to find clarity in your business systems and get results

How to find clarity in your business systems and get results

3 Simple steps to find clarity in your business systems

Grey areas in your business can be costly. Here’s a three step prociess to help you find clarity in your business systems, and reduce the grey.  I’ll also share 3 features of a project management software to help you find clarity in your business systems as you grow and scale.

In life, there are a lot of grey areas – in love, in relationships, parenting,
Grey areas give you room to move and navigate through life around all the things that you don’t know.

But in business, grey areas mean extra time, extra money, extra energy.

Here’s an example:

Before I started using a CRM, my lead management was definitely a grey area. Everything was grey. So the follow up emails that I used to send, gray area, every one was different.

The follow up times. So it was sometimes a week.
sometimes the next day, everything was different.
Winging it in my discovery calls and customizing every  single offer that I made to a client.
Oh-M-G!

Once I tided it up that aspect of my lead management, everything became so much easier because there were less grey areas.
So I realized that I had to decide, map it out in a checklist, templates, and a process so that it was consistent. I didn’t have to keep it in my head so that mental load was easier.

Once I did that, I had more space in my brain to think about more important things.

What are the grey areas of your business?

So grey areas are loose boundaries, the deferred decisions, inconsistencies, uncertainty.
As you can see, they sap your energy.

They are really time consuming and oh so costly, especially when you are the business owner.

So when your business evolves, there are more people involved.
You start to get a team, and even especially, they often are remote, and these grey areas can compound.

Problems take longer to find. They take longer to fix. They cost more money, the mental energy.

Once you have a team, you need to delete any of that grey, and fill it in with color!
Clear and simple is the best way to go. It doesn’t have to be complicated ever. Just keep it really simple.
It’s like the success to business.

How to find clarity in your business systems

#1  Decide so that it’s in line with your business goals and your business values
#2 Document it so that it’s out of your head.
#3 Organize it so that it’s easy to find and easy for someone else to use.

You’re the boss, right? So it’s OK for you to set the standards, but make them clear.

How to find clarity in your team management

When I started working in my business with a team, I really noticed that I couldn’t keep that information in my head anymore.
My VA was waiting for me all the time, definitely not the other way around.
I had to be so clear about what I wanted. I had to make it really simple for her to understand so that she could go on do it, otherwise it was backwards and forwards with questions because I wasn’t being clear,
and putting it into a project management system forced me to be clear.

These grey areas constantly popped up. It meant everything just took longer all because I hadn’t decided and I hadn’t made it clear enough for her. All my own doing.

It meant a simple task took so much longer and cost me a lot more.

Another client that I worked with wanted to expand the capacity off her business so that she could take on more clients.
To do that, she had to make her workflow super clear to reduce the risk of mistake’s when someone else was doing it and she couldn’t control all those steps, but also to improve that process so it was even better.

Once we were clear on every single step that she wanted to happen, to ensure that the creation process was thorough, and the publishing process was really clear and easy to follow.

I set the workflow up in Asana. The steps were detailed enough if required, but easy to follow.
So then she went on to hire a great coordinator and has now expanded her business and has doubled her capacity.

This wouldn’t happen without that clarity, making those decisions,
getting rid of the grey areas in the big vision and in the details.

I’m all about making things easier, and I know that when there’s a clear set of steps to follow, it’s so much easier to get it done.

Even when I’m when I’m when I’m working on my own and when I’m working with the team, it’s easy for a team to follow steps and achieve their outcomes. to a high level of quality and consistency.

It’s easy for client to follow steps once they have paid so that they feel in control and loved and appreciated.
It’s easy to know what to post when, and where to put all the captions or that kind of stuff when there are simple steps to follow.

If you can relate to any of these and so many more intricate little details and they’re grey areas in your business or the process is inconsistent or it takes too long, perhaps, is done by memory each time,
and it’s really important to make them clear.

Grey is hard work.
It takes more energy, takes longer to get the results that you’re looking for. Your business really needs to be clear and simple.

So where do you start with finding clarity in your business systems?

There’s three key elements to this to help you get started or if you have started in the past and dropped the ball to pick it up again.

#1 is to just put your CEO hat on. Systems are the foundation off your business. You don’t have to like feel like it’s set in stone. If it’s not right,
adjust.

#2 Document it so that it’s out of your head, because when it’s in your head, you’re the one that has to do the work.
Keeping it in your head is just keeping your business small.

#3 get organized and find somewhere to put it. Put your operations, your checklist, your templates somewhere.

Where do you go to find clarity in your business systems?

I recommend a Project management platform such as Asana or ClickUp.

Give everything a home, make a business hub, so that there’s one central place where everyone can find everything they need to be able to do their job – its really transparent and it’s it’s really organized, and it helps you and your team go out and do what they need to do effectively and efficiently.

This would be perfect for a small team so you can add all of your business operations and your marketing operations, your planning.

You can set clear tasks.
You can set due dates.
You can assign it to other people.
You can add checklists, processes, see how it’s forcing you to make those little decisions, so there are no grey areas.

3 features of project management systems

#1  is being able to capture tasks forcing you to be clear about having to set a due date, assigning it to someone, adding all the supporting sub tasks or checklists or information and allowing your team to have that transparency.

#2 The second one is getting you organized.
A PM Platfortm makes you more organized. It’s helping you create a business hub.

Similar to your to do list – the same categories. Maybe just starting to expand from your to do list.
Building this project management platform into a business hub for you again, creating such strong foundation so that it’s not just you doing everything and starting to expand all that information.

You can also organize and prioritize your work and your team’s work,
being able to plan your time – See the big picture as well as the details.
It reduces the need for sticky notes, for email, for lists, in your head, for notebooks.

All of those extra places that you have to check and scan in your brain ‘Have I checked my sticky notes?”
“Have a check my diary?” that’s extra work for your brain.

It reduces that and it reminds you of things coming up without you even
having to do anything.
You know that makes life easier for everyone.

#3 Track what happens in real time
So this improves your team’s accountability and improves their productivity because they have all the information they need to be able to achieve their work outcomes.

This means that you can look at the end of the day at the start of the day to see what other people are doing to see what’s being done rather than not knowing having that anxiety or having to follow up with someone.
Having information at your fingertips is such a time saver.

So once you reduce the grey areas in your business and focus on clear and simple.

All you need to do is add the information into a project management
system, you’ll have more space, you’ll have more time and you have more energy and you will be freer to do all the things that you love
doing.

You won’t be tied to the day to day operation off your business as much.

It’s allowing you to slowly step away from that tiny detail so that you can work on the big picture.

Your Next steps:

I’m an Asana certified Pro a Clickup Vetted Consultant.
I can help you set up your project management system, or I can improve what you’ve already got.

If you’ve already started with your team or if you want to know which one is right for you or how to make yours better, then book a call with me.

Already have a team?

Download the Remote Team Meeting Blueprint here so that you can set up your team meetings to run smoothly and get the advantages of streamlining your team meetings.

remote team meetings

aerlie wildy, business efficiency consultant, adelaide small business
Aerlie Wildy is a team management & business efficiency consultant and mother based in the Adelaide Hills.

I specialise in making teams more effective and efficient.

You can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, check out my Youtube Channel or Pin with me on Pinterest.

3 Simple tips for leading effective remote team meetings

3 Simple tips for leading effective remote team meetings

3 Simple tips on how to lead effective remote team meetings

If you’re a small business owner and know that your team meetings feel like a waste of time, here’s 3 simple tips on how to lead effective remote team meetings, to help your team be more productive, and your business be more profitable.

So, it’s that time again,right?
Time for the weekly meeting.
Everyone rocks up, but you kind of get a sense that your meeting is not going to be as effective as you wanted to be.
You might wish there’s a chance for your team to connect, or to ask questions so that they can save time during the week.
You might wish that they could start to look ahead for the week and see what’s coming so that it’s not a surprise.

Your meetings might even feel like they’re a bit ad hoc and just moving from one issue to another, not getting the big picture.
So it’s enough to make any business owner wonder why there should even have team meetings!

So today I’m going to be giving you some tips about how to run effective remote team meetings so that, you can connect with your team so that you can gain the benefits of actually having your weekly
remote team meeting and not dread it every time it comes around.

So as I mentioned in the intro, weekly team meetings can be a drag,
especially if you and your team don’t see the benefit.

I know that you value your team and you know they do an awesome job.
Their effort is not what we’re focusing on here.

If you turn up to your team meeting with the mindset that it’s going to be a drag, then it probably will!
If you show up unprepared or your team do, then no wonder it feels like a drag and feels like it’s wasting everyone’s time.

Business culture and expectations about how to show up comes from the top.
So if you take a second to get clear on the purpose of your team meetings, you can quickly swing them over to being a really valuable part of your team culture and business productivity.

Team meetings can be fun, informative and a strategic part of your business, especially if you have a remote team.

It’s essential that they are. So when you shift from feeling like a team meetings are a drag and a waste of time, to leading them, running them effectively and with purpose, then you can start to see the difference in your profits and your team energy.

So as I list through these tips relating your weekly team meetings keep in mind the team look culture that you want to create, and the business goals that you’re aiming to achieve.

But before I get into it, if you want the low down on creating effective remote team meetings then grab my Remote Team Meetings Blueprint.

remote team meetingsIn there, there’s a three step set up guide for streamlining your team meeting set up.
There’s a team meeting agenda template that you can swipe.
There’s guidelines on expectations for showing up to team meetings

Like: phones should be off, video should be on!

There’s a rundown on the different types of team meetings that there
are so that you have real clarity about what’s happening in each meeting, what happens in different types of meetings and when to have them.

3 Simple tips to lead effective remote team meetings:

Note:
These tips are for you if you have a remote team and can’t meet together, but they’re still relevant for face to face team meetings as well.
All right, let’s zoom….get it?

#1  Create a consistent structure

Make sure you have this clear and consistent agenda every week.
This means that everyone knows what’s happening.
There’s no kind of anxiety around what’s happening, and everyone can prepare.
They can report, they can ask questions, and everyone knows what’s going on.

This kind of transparency builds trust.

In having a structure for your meetings, it also allows everyone to do that mental preparation that they need because they know what will be discussed.
You can also set this up and automate it in a tool like Asana or ClickUp.

There are reminders so that it sent out every week.
You can have those reminders for preparation sent out as well,
and you don’t have to touch anything.

#2 Create connection

You have to have a bit of work,
a bit of play. so you can do this by starting and ending the meeting on a more personal connected style that’s more fun.

This helps everyone be included, and everyone can learn more about
each other.

Even the shy ones! just encourage them. It may take time.

Your meetings could even be a fun!

There’s no rule that says your team meetings have to be dreary!
Nor do you have to motivate your team.
Just be yourself, but switch the focus from work to the people as you start and end the meeting.
This also helps everyone connect and support each other during the week as  well.
If everyone’s feeling isolated, this could be a real issue, and can help if they are connecting with people.

#3 Create trust.

Trust has to come in to all teamwork, right? So I have to mention it.
Trust shows up in team meetings in several different ways, like celebrating individual achievements that people have done during the week, or even sub team achievements; by setting due
dates and holding people accountable week to week; by focusing on outcomes and not necessarily how long a task might take.

These are just a couple of ways that build trust into a team and keeping that consistent.
So if creating a more cohesive team meeting environment with  structure, incorporating stronger connection and developing trust will all support you to create team meetings that are valuable and meaningful
for your team members and ultimately help your team work more productively and with purpose.

Once you have set up and implemented these really strong foundations for your team meetings or you need to do is stay consistent with them and the benefits will snowball.

It’s like your team meetings are where everything collides in your team culture and your business.
Get your team meetings working really well for you!

So if you want the details on my agenda and guidelines on setting
expectations for your remote team meetings grab my Blueprint in the link below.
Thanks for watching

 

Your Next steps:

Download the Remote Team Meeting Blueprint here so that you can set up your team meetings to run smoothly and get the advantages of streamlining your team meetings.

remote team meetings

 
aerlie wildy, business efficiency consultant, adelaide small business
Aerlie Wildy is a team management & business efficiency consultant and mother based in the Adelaide Hills.

I specialise in making teams more effective and efficient.

You can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, check out my Youtube Channel or Pin with me on Pinterest.

5 Simple Tips to Improve Remote Team Meetings and Save Time

5 Simple Tips to Improve Remote Team Meetings and Save Time

Simple Tips to Improve Remote Team Meetings (and Save Time!)

Connecting with your team and setting up simple systems can help to improve remote team meetings, and save time during the week.

Consciously connecting with your remote team – and encouraging them to engage in your meetings will really help to improve remote team meetings.

They can boost your team’s productivity by:

▶︎ answering short questions quickly
▶︎ brainstorming issues around possible obstacles so that progress can continue
▶︎ highlight any roadblocks
▶︎ identifying any processes that aren’t documented, so that work can continue without interruption
▶︎ or just highlight the strengths that your individual team members have to everyone in the team, so that they can resolve issues together – instead of asking you.

These days, remote teams are so much more common. The meeting is also a reflection of how your business works. It’s where all of the information and people collide (and collaborate) and when it’s set up to run with ease, the team work flows.

 

Team meetings that are unstructured can reflect disorganisation, miscommunication and clunky workflows, which would no doubt be frustrating for the team members as well as the business owner.

Here’s 5 tips to improve remote team meetings, to empower your team, help them connect, and ultimately streamline your business towards achieving great customer service and delivering profit.

 

#1 Create a Weekly Agenda

Creating a clear and consistent agenda for your regular team meetings allows you or your OBM to cover all of the info that needs covering. It’s an opportunity for everyone to ask questions so that they can clarify exactly what they need to do.
 
 
 
If you have a remote team, the conversations that you might usually have in an office, or in passing don’t happen as naturally.
 
 
 
If you set up your agenda in your PM platform, you can add to it all week when you think of items to discuss, and your team can also have the opportunity to add items.
 
 
 
It’s then an easily duplicated or templated task that recurs weekly – the structure is always there, and you’re always prepared.
You can cover:
  • wins for the week
  • upcoming deadlines
  • over due tasks
  • upcoming projects & their status
  • content review
 
The main focus of team meetings is to bring the team together, refocus progress towards the goals you’re working towards and review any issues that have appeared, or may appear.
 
 
 
Each team member will already know what they are doing for the week, so this is to inform and reduce any blockages, as well as a visual check that your team are ok!
 
 
 

#2 Check in on all of your team members before getting down to business

 
When you have team members all over the country, or all over the world, it can be really difficult to get people to gel.
 
 
One way to learn more about your team, and for everyone else in the team to know more about each other is to take 5-10 mins out of the start of your weekly team meeting, or daily team huddle to check in on how they are.
 
 
You can do this by asking them to share a pic of a pet, or share something they did on the weekend, or a yummy meal.
 
 
These questions can still help team members connect and warm up to each other, without giving away anything too personal.
 
 
Don’t forget that you need to lead the way and answer the question too!
 
It’s like an ice breaker!
 
You can mix it up a little each week to keep it interesting too.
 
 

#3 Encourage everyone in your team to contribute to the team meeting.

When you have zoom meetings, it can be easy to hide behind a messy room and turn off the video, or only pay half attention whilst you do other work, but I don’t recommend encouraging this long term.
 
 
Team meetings, especially remote ones, are the one time that everyone is together, so it’s the perfect time to
 
 
a) connect with each other a little more and get to know them
 
b) model better meeting etiquette by turning on your video
 
c) encourage your team members to get involved
 
 
You can handover the reporting and updates to your team, so that they can update everyone, or encourage them to ask and answer questions.
 
 
The team meeting is the perfect time to quickly brainstorm any issues that might block progress over the week – and will also reduce the hours you spend on slack during the week!
 
 
 
 

#4 Acknowledge great work and celebrate wins – and build them into your agenda

 
I touched on this in Tip #1, but am extending it here because it’s so important!
 
 
You may feel like team meetings are to focus on all of the tasks that are still to be completed, but taking time out to acknowledge the good work your team do is crucial.
 
 
It’s another form of feedback, that encourages them to continue to work on your common goals, and helps everyone stay motivated.
 
 
Adding this into your recurring agenda just makes it easy to remember, so that it becomes standard practice.
 
 

#5 Trust your team!

Your team are not there to highlight your weaknesses, they are working with you to complement your skill set.

Give them the authority to make decisions, empower them with the information they need to get the outcome you’re working towards, and encourage them to ask questions if there’s anything they are unsure of.

Set up your team so that everyone is clear on what they need to achieve and what they are working towards.

Transparency and trust support the people, processes, platform to manage projects and planning.

Your team meeting is a reflection of all of these elements – make sure they’re evident!

Your Next steps:

Set up your team meetings so that they actually DO save you and your team time.

Download the Remote Team Meeting Blueprint here so that you can set up your team meetings to run smoothly and get the advantages of streamlining your team meetings.

remote team meetings

 
aerlie wildy, business efficiency consultant, adelaide small business
Aerlie Wildy is a team management & business efficiency consultant and mother based in the Adelaide Hills.

I specialise in making teams more effective and efficient.

You can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, check out my Youtube Channel or Pin with me on Pinterest.

How to create a Process Manual

How to create a Process Manual

How to create a Process Manual

If you or your team are ready to create a Process Manual, then this 6 step process will make it easier for you – plus there’s a handy process template for you too!
 
If you’re an Asana user or ClickUp fan, I mention how this can work for you too – so that all the tasks, projects AND processes are all within easy access.
 

Benefits of creating processes for your business

 
Creating a process manual is crucial for you when you’re scaling your business. It’s not just you doing all the work anymore – so you can’t keep everything in your head! Your team aren’t mind readers, so having clear processes around the tasks they need to focus on is crucial.
 

Here’s a quick list of why it’s important to create a process manual:

▶︎ Helps to clarify the roles and responsibilities, so that everyone know’s what they’re responsible for, and when.

▶︎ Creating SOP’s means the knowledge stays with the business, and not with any one person.

▶︎ Anyone can pick up the task and know how to do it, so the risk to business interruption is minimised.

▶︎ The quality is consistent. Once an SOP is documented, you can hand over the task without loss of quality or consistency

▶︎ Your team can get on with the task, so your productivity increases.

▶︎ SOP’s help save time – for you and your team.

▶︎ SOP’s SAVE MONEY – clear processes mean your team are working efficiently, and you can hire the right people for the task

 
Now that you’re sold on this, let’s get into how to create a process manual.
 

6 Steps to creating a process manual

 

#1 Identify the processes your business needs

Brainstorm a list of all the SOP’s you need to create.
Prioritise the top 3, so the task doesn’t seem so daunting!
 
Tip: if you have a team, or are planning to add a team member, think about the tasks they will need to be working on, and the outcomes you need.
 

#2 Use a template

Having consistent processes helps to create them with ease, and navigate them.
You can google a process template, or download mine here!
 
It has the following sections:
 
▶︎ Process Name
▶︎ Purpose
▶︎ When process is to be used
▶︎ Procedure (all of the steps broken down in detail)
▶︎ Supporting resources

Here’s the Process template to download ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎ 

 

#3 Start with the easiest one

It’s no secret that starting with something easy will give you some practise in getting your brain thinking about the steps involved.
I know from personal experience that if I set myself up to work on a difficult task, it can take a lot longer, and feels like a drag.
 
Set yourself up for a quick win!
 

#4 Dot points are often not enough – create visual cues too

As you or your team member go through the process in their usual way, take some screenshots, or make a video explaining the process.
 
This can be a great support to the actual dot point process and help clarify any additional aspects, things to look out for, or what it looks like when it’s complete.
 

#5 Test and improve

The big test is if someone outside your business can pick it up and complete it.
If you’re not brave enough to send it to your business bestie, then ask your team member to follow it step by step and provide any recommendations for improvement.
 
 
It probably won’t be perfect the first time you create it, so allow for continuous improvement (and your processes might upgrade over time with tech too).
 

#6 Save it in a Process Folder to keep it organised

Keep your processes clearly named and organised in a shared folder.
Organise your folder using subfolders for the different areas of your business, such as Marketing Processes, Financial Processes, Community Processes, Client Processes.
 
I recommend using a consistent naming convention such as ProcessName_Date
 

Additional Tips for creating your Process Manual

  • Remember to refer to the roles in your processes, instead of naming individual people. That way your process doesn’t need changing if the person leaves the position
  • If your team are creating the processes, double check them, and add an Approved and Date section to the bottom to keep the most relevant one  in the manual.
 
If you’re an Asana user:
Your tasks and team members will be mainly based in Asana, so set up a project where each process is a task. Then you can add in a hyperlink to the description for clickable access to the dropbox or Gdrive doc.
 
 
The project can then become a great reference point for your team and clearly organised so that they know where to find everything.
 
 
If you’re a ClickUp user:
As ClickUp has the added bonus of being able to add documents, you can keep them there.
You can also create a table of contents linking through to each process, so that  everything is easy to find.
 
You can also then embed the process doc into a workflow template so that the link to the process is embedded in the task. So many layers here!
 
Clickup allows you to add videos, images, link to tasks, checklists into the doc making it a great extension of your business hub.

Your next steps:

1. Download my template below to help you create business processes.
2. Start brainstorming the processes you need & use this 6 step process to create a process manual 
aerlie wildy, business efficiency consultant, adelaide small business
Aerlie Wildy is a business efficiency consultant and mother based in the Adelaide Hills.

She helps serviced based business improve performance by combining journey mapping, process improvement and productivity strategies through consultation, implementation and training.

You can connect with me on Facebook, join my Chief Executive Entrepreneurs Facebook Group, check out my Youtube Channel or Pin with me on Pinterest.