Routine systems are key to growing a healthy business.
From ensuring you can meet customer expectations to supporting your team to do their best work, creating a systematic approach creates a win-win solution for all.
But let’s be honest. There’s one systemization benefit that supersedes the rest …
And that’s the ability to design a business that runs like a well-oiled machine.
While there’s always room for improvement, creating strategic systems can help your organization focus on the work that matters most — and leave the redundant tasks to software tools instead.
Let’s take a closer look at what systemization means and how to implement it in the workplace.
What exactly is systemization?
The process of building a planned routine of regulated, repeating actions is known as systemization. Most things can be systemized, from dealing with a customer complaint to hiring top personnel to holding weekly team meetings.
Creating a system may appear daunting at first, but the better your system, the better — and easier — your business and life will be. Systems save time and keep you efficient, productive and creative.
By incorporating the latest advancements in technology, companies can streamline their internal processes, freeing up valuable time and resources. The integration of tools and techniques such as business process automation, for example, can significantly improve the efficiency and accuracy of daily operations, enabling teams to focus on more strategic initiatives.
This becomes especially crucial for businesses with remote or a hybrid work model where information silos and process bottlenecks can spike.
TL;DR: Systemization means creating a set of shortcuts to help fulfill a business objective correctly and efficiently.
What can you systematize?
You can systematize virtually anything in your business.
From order fulfillment to accounting to marketing, if there are steps involved, you can systematize it.
Here are some other examples of areas you can streamline in the workplace:
- Taxes and finance.
- Employee benefits.
- Business development.
- Lead generation.
- Content generation.
- Customer support.
TL;DR: There’s no limit to what you can systematize in the workplace.
How to systematize
Ready to systematize your business?
Here are five simple ways you can make your business work for you.
1. Start with your business framework
When systematizing your daily operations, you must also consider your business’ legal framework.
Unfortunately, legal entities are often overlooked, but the truth is you need to choose the right structure from the start, as it’ll determine multiple aspects of your day-to-day operations.
Your business structure outlines how you’ll need to approach payroll, taxes, banking and much more.
To discover whether an LLC (Limited Liability Company), Sole Proprietorship, S or C Corp is best for you, hire a registered agent or business consultant for support. They’ll work with you to determine your personal and professional liabilities, how to save money on taxes and how to structure payroll and other financials.
If you’ve already chosen an entity, it’s worth taking a second look to make sure the one you originally set up is still optimal for your current business stage and future goals.
At the end of your time together, make sure you’re walking away with strategic systems that support the entity you chose.
Some examples of systems you should have in place after meeting with a registered agent or business consultant include:
- Banking system: The process of managing your checking and savings accounts and paying yourself in accordance with the legal entity you choose.
- Payroll system: A system for orchestrating employee direct deposits, withholding taxes and tracking worked hours or projects.
- Tax system: The process of handing out and processing tax forms, paying taxes, filing returns and setting aside funds to pay taxes.
- Employee benefits system: A system to manage sick time, vacation time and other employee benefits.
- Financials and budgeting system: A process to manage and allocate company assets, investments and budgets.
2. Outline the rest of your operations
Success! You’ve systematized your banking, payroll, taxes, financials, budgets and employee benefits!
Now, take a look at the rest of your routine functions. In what other ways does your business operate on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis?
Grab a planning doc or productivity tool and break it all down.
For instance, if you run a hybrid language academy, you could have the following operations:
- Review class schedules: Ensure all teachers and students are scheduled appropriately.
- Manage correspondence: Respond to all enrollment inquiries.
- Outreach: Schedule class demos and parent-teacher meetings with warm leads.
- Business development: Fulfill cold pitching goals via sales calls and cold emails.
- Review submitted lessons and tasks: Ensure all teachers and students follow the prescribed curriculum.
- Team syncs: Weekly meetings to make sure teachers feel supported and have proper resources.
- Parent corespondence: Respond to all parent emails, set meetings if needed and support parents and their children to succeed at our academy.
- Manage academy marketing channels: Respond to social media comments and questions and ensure marketing campaigns run smoothly.
- Curriculum meetings: Monthly meetings to discuss and revise the academy curriculum as needed — it’s a work in progress!
- Academy events: Monthly events and parties to celebrate holidays, nurture teacher/parent/student relationships and attract new enrollments.
- Content batching: Monthly marketing meetings to plan and batch content for the following month.
- Progress reports: Quarterly analysis to determine and document students’ language learning progress.
- Parent-teacher meetings: Quarterly meetings to help nurture parent-teacher relationships and offer additional support to parents and students.
After you’ve finished outlining your operations, move on to step three.
3. Turn operations into workflows using efficient tools
Now that you’ve documented the operations you haven’t systematized yet, it’s time to turn your list into a processing powerhouse.
For every operation on your list, create a new, efficient process.
Here’s how to do that:
- Analyze your current operational procedure, then set clear goals and expectations for the new process.
- Understand the current hangups, bottlenecks and time-sucks of your current procedure.
- Map out a new, efficient step-by-step process.
- Find a tool that aligns with your new process.
- Use said tool to create a workflow for your new process. (For example, Scribe saves you from the old, grueling process of manually documenting your workflows. At the click of the button, you can generate visual how-tos.)
- Automate as much of the workflow as you can.
- Review and finalize the workflow.
- Record your process in a process overview doc (bonus points for adding a video version, too).
- Record your workflow in a workflow overview doc (bonus points for adding video, too).
- Train your team on the new process and accompanying workflow.
As far as tools go, you can use general tools to set up most workflows and automation, such as a Work OS or project management platform.
Or, you can opt for more specialized tools if needed.
For instance, you could use help desk software to create customer support workflows. A screen capture tool like Scribe for team training workflows. And sales software for outreach workflows.
Contact a system integration and workflow specialist for support if you need help mapping out processes, choosing tools, and setting up workflows. They’ll help you define tasks and business processes and design, plan, implement and deploy workflows.
Once you’ve solidified which tools you’ll need to build optimized workflows, document the tools you’ve chosen in a shared team doc. You’ll also need to provide your team with tool login credentials or set up a password manager.
4. Train your team
After you’ve set up your workflows, ensure everyone on your team understands how to use them.
Host training sessions, document how your workflows function step-by-step, and always encourage your team to ask questions if they’re unsure how a tool or feature works.
Use tools like Scribe to cut your time in half. Scribe turns any process into a visual how-to. All you have to do is click "Record," and go through business as usual. Build step-by-step guides in seconds, without disrupting the flow of work.
Here's one in action.
If possible, set up controls that prevent employees from configuring or breaking the workflows you set up. While this is usually unintentional, it can cause a process bottleneck, preventing your organization from performing optimally. This can also cause a full host of other technical issues, so make sure you have a contingency plan in place in case this happens.
For instance, if you’ve set up a workflow that automatically moves tasks from the “in progress” stage to the “done” stage when a checklist item is complete, you could have a broken workflow on your hands if an employee manually moves the task to the “done” stage instead.
To do your best to prevent this from happening, train employees to understand which aspects of the workflow they can manually touch and which aspects they’ll need to leave alone so the automation can work properly.
5. Revise your systems as needed
As your business evolves, keep a close eye on your systems and update them as needed.
Over time, you might discover newer, better tools that can help you design quicker workflows, or you might realize that some of the software you’ve chosen is obsolete.
To create a healthy checks-and-balances approach, consider hiring an operations director to audit and revise your systems as your business grows and changes.
Systemization: Wrapping up
Revolutionizing the workplace has never been easier than it is today — and that’s thanks to systemization.
From focusing on the work that matters most to ensuring you can meet customer expectations, creating a systematic approach can help you design a business that runs like a well-oiled machine.
If you’re ready to work smarter in 2023 and automate redundancy, save this article as a guide and inspiration.
To your success!
PS: Tired of spending grueling hours creating guides and training materials? Turn any process into a step-by-step guide instantly with Scribe. Try it for free today.
About the Author
Ioana is a Business, Digital Marketing, and SaaS content writer for B2B brands. Born in Transylvania and raised in Texas, Ioana has been living the digital nomad life since 2016. From Barcelona to Puerto Vallarta to her new abode in windy, Oklahoma City, you’ll never know where Ioana will head off to next.