[Video] Systemise your business to build a scalable life without needing to build a business at scale
Whether you run B2B or a B2C business, the buying experience your prospects have has dramatically transformed over the last five to ten years. We've been taught to expect high levels of consistency when we buy from a service. A great example that has changed the way we think about buying is the way you now buy from Amazon Prime, where delivery the very next day is the norm, not the exception. In fact, the way that we buy services nowadays has more in common with the way consumers buy than the way business buyers traditionally have done. As a business owner, this has a big impact on how you systemise your business.
The 'Amazon Prime' factor doesn't necessarily mean that your business needs to deliver the value that your customers demand 'next day' but your customers' expectation levels are far higher now because of their relationships with other services that they buy from.
They expect every single buying relationship to have high levels of consistency and quality that they demand as consumers.
Every experience that our prospects and buyers have with us needs to be consistent, and avoid peaks and troughs in their client experience. If that's something that's missing from your business then I'd encourage you to watch the video below. It's an explanation of the method to systemise your business that - at Connectably - we call The Simpler Method®:
Table of Contents
Introducing: The Simpler Method® by Connectably
What the software industry wants you to believe versus reality
Let’s clear something up. Despite what the software industry would have you believe, a ‘system’ is not a piece of ‘software’. Multinational software companies have spent billions of dollars on marketing and PR to convince you that ‘system' equals [their piece of software]. But it’s not. And it’s misleading.
Let's explain the difference.
A process is a series of steps for anything in your business that needs to be repeated more than once. If a task needs repeating, you need a process for it. You’re paid to solve problems for your customers so you need to have processes in place that provide the steps necessary to solve those problems repeatedly.
An example of one such process is how you book meetings with potential clients:
Do you send an email first including a call-to-action for prospects to go to a calendar link and book a time for the meeting? If so, do you then follow up with an email confirmation and the calendar placeholder? Do you send prep materials? Or a reminder on the meeting day?
Systems are a level above processes. Systems combine multiple processes together with people, technologies, and customer contact points to create a core function in your business.
Systems: Save Yourself Stress, Time Energy & Money.
The above diagram summarises the systems and processes in your business using Connectably's Simpler Method®.
Simpler Method® helps you to avoid peaks and troughs that your buyers and prospects often have when interacting with you and your business.
To describe this, take a moment to imagine your customer's journey as a series of mountain peaks they have to cross to work with you successfully:
When business systems don't work
Left to their own devices, if your customer feels that they have to manage themselves what they want to get from working with you, it makes them feel like it's a slog to get from end to end, scaling every mountain peak along the way themselves:
- If they ever do make it to the end they're exhausted, and probably vow to never repeat the same experience again.
- Often they feel that it's easier and less hassle to do it themselves next time, or to use somebody else.
- They feel flat and unfulfilled.
- In addition, you feel that you could-, should- and would like to do more.
- And it also feels like you're acting as a mountain sherpa for every single client, carrying the heavy burden of all their work.
- It's becoming tiring and frustrating for you too, not just your customers.
What changes when business systems do work?
Turn those peaks with repeatable, consistent processes, however, and the experience can feel to them like you've created safe and simple bridges to manage their enquiry, what they buy from you and how you deliver that service:
- They stroll from end to end, delighted with the outcomes.
- They've received everything you promised.
- They've been happy to pay a premium to receive it.
- But most importantly, they want to tell everyone they meet about you, especially those who have the same problems you helped them to fix.
- As a result, you feel energised too.
- You find the work easier to deliver. It's also easier to train others to deliver it for you.
- And so, you feel you can concentrate on working 'on' your business, instead of being stuck in the weeds 'in' it.
If you've ever hiked in a mountainous area and had to carry your own backpack up and down hills, but then discovered an alternative of being able to walk across a bridge or a ridge and save the effort, you'll appreciate the difference in experience.
Where might your systems falter? And what happens when they do?
When you fail to systemise, your prospects and customers are left floundering in the gaps between those process points. Examples of these frustrating experiences are:
- Propose: When they've booked and attended a discovery call with you, but you've taken too long to follow-up with a proposal afterwards, or the energy and positivity of that follow-up doesn't come close to matching the enthusiasm they felt you had for helping them when you were on the call.
- Launch: When they've accepted your proposal and - perhaps even - paid for your services, but are left wondering 'what comes next?' This is also known as 'buyer's remorse'; the expectation gap between enthusiasm to get started and the reality of what your 'start' looks like.
- Expand: You've done the work, the client's reasonably happy with it, but you or they have got a few things in mind beyond what you've done to get them started. But the trail goes cold. You don't follow-up to make the suggestions you've thought of. And you don't ask questions to understand if there are other things that the client would love your help with further. Guess what? No testimonial or referral, and you miss the opportunity to build further on a profitable relationship.
What are the customer systems in your business?
There are three customer systems in your business:
- Acquisition - how you find prospects, nurture them and agree what you’ll deliver
- Onboarding - how you sign off work to be delivered, then deliver it to new customers
- Delight - how you get one or more of: (1) more paid work; (2) a glowing testimonial, or; (3) referrals to others like your delighted customer.
If you're not hitting one or more of those 'Customer Delight' objectives in your business, then it's time to look at if you're failing to take your customers from 'peak to peak' in terms of their experience through these seven processes along the way:
What sales and marketing processes are in your business?
There are seven core sales and marketing processes in any small service business:
- Sign-up - Getting web visitors to become leads, or recording leads you met on social media or offline.
- Inspire - Using planned follow-ups (email / letters) to nurture prospects to take a next action with you.
- Meet - How interested leads schedule appointments with you, your communications leading to the meeting, and managing the meeting to gain verbal agreement for what will be delivered.
- Propose - How you document and send a professional looking PDF-format quote / proposal that summarises what you agreed to deliver in the sales meeting. This is the first part of successful onboarding. Your customer feels fully in control of the process without having spent money with you.
- Launch - How you onboard new clients, manage expectations and deliver the work.
- Expand - How you manage an upsell or cross-sell process to turn first-time clients into repeat ones.
- Refer - A systematic process for clients to endorse you with testimonials and/or refer warm leads.
Having repeatable business systems and processes in your business enables you to deliver a consistent and predictable experience for your clients and prospects.
The Simpler Method® by Connectably is our recommended way to help you to implement these consistent, scalable and repeatable processes. We believe so much in the power of consistency and systemisation in client experiences that Connectably software is pre-built with your business' systems in mind. To find out more, watch the quick demo now.