How to Fix Your Business (6-Step Process for Improving Business Systems)

June 29, 2021
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How do you make your business better? It starts by identifying the gaps in your existing systems and then finding (and implementing) solutions for practical business process improvement. The path to more growth, better impact, and greater customer satisfaction all lie in the continuous improvement of working systems. In this episode, Emily shares 6 steps to improve the quality, productivity, and success of your company through process improvement.


How to Fix Your Business: 6 Steps for Business Process Improvement

What is a business? A business is a set of systems, strategies, and processes that work together, over and over again, to satisfy customers or clients. Yes, you likely have the passion and vision behind your business. But the way these things are expressed and delivered is through business processes.

Running a business means taking on constant change. It also means continuous improvements to the products, services, philosophy, and methodologies through which you deliver value to your customer base.

Recently, Emily shared her in-depth strategy for business process improvement with the Being Boss Clubhouse (the extra content tier of the Being Boss community) in the exclusive Making a Business podcast. Emily shared how Being Boss and Almanac Supply Co. spent the beginning of the year revising and digging into their systems to see where they can save time, improve efficiency, and save or make more money.

Who doesn’t want that? Here’s a brief breakdown of this 6 step process for fixing your business and leveling up your process management.

1. Identify the Process that Needs to Be Updated

Start by making a list of every process you currently depend on to run your business. Categorize everything in your biz as follows:

Working – doesn’t need to be updated at the moment

Kinda working – might need to be reconsidered for improvements

Not working – needs to be changed or updated to keep business running smoothly

What’s working, kinda working, not working? You can complete this PDF exercise to see where you need process improvements for your business. Just as importantly, which aspects are closest to becoming monetized to grow profit? These might be some of the business processes that need to be looked at first.

2. Reflect on Each Process that Needs Improvement

Now that you can see which processes aren’t working, identify what exactly each process needs in order to be improved. You can use the “what’s working, kinda working, not working” organization method for each process specifically.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Where are things getting stuck in this specific process?
  • What do I want to see in this process that isn’t currently being achieved?
  • How do my employees, team leaders, and I want to create better outcomes for our customers?
  • What can past data analysis show us about where outcomes are falling short? What required changes does the data show that we need?

3. Spend Some Time Researching Solutions

Next, you need to look into long-term solutions for fixing these broken processes. Interview clients and team members about what features of your business they love or where improvement is craved. Research new tools that can help you get the new solutions you need. Do you need new software, a workflow upgrade, or more reliable resources? Do you need help with process automation, project management, or new tools to measure desired results?

The research will give you more options, but setting some goals will let you pinpoint which potential solutions will be best for you to implement.

4. Goal Setting

Once you know what needs to be updated or resolved, moving forward you need to set goals for what achievements will actually need to happen. What do you want the necessary updates to do? Goals help choose the best options that can improve broken systems in your business.

5. Implement Your System Updates

Now that you know what needs to be updated, how you and your team want to update it, and what your goals are for these business process improvements, it’s time to finally implement the changes.

This step is the most important and requires a lot of time, so make sure everyone involved is included in the process in real-time. Host trainings, schedule a milestone calendar, and communicate with everyone involved so there’s no confusion. There might be a learning curve, but remember, improvement comes from continuous practice. It’ll be worth it when you start seeing results.

6. Utilize Your New System

Now that you’ve set some changes in your business processes, it’s time to use the new systems and tools. If the updates are working, great! Keep doing what works and move on to other areas of the business where improvement is needed. If the updates aren’t helping in the ways you need, go back to step 2 and go through the process again.

Updating and improving the systems of a business is something business owners do regularly. Things change, goals change, and technology changes all the time. Forcing yourself to stay stuck in old familiar ways just because you don’t want to take the time to learn new processes will limit your success. It will waste your time and prevent your ability to reach more people.

Don’t get stuck! Always seek improvement. Embrace the process as it presents your company with signs toward necessary change. Continue to shift accordingly, do the work, and be boss.

featured download!

In this episode, the What’s Working / Kinda / Not worksheet was mentioned. Download your copy here!


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Almanac Supply Co.

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[00:00:00] When you get right down to it, a business is just a set of systems and processes that are all put together to produce a desired result over and over for your clients and customers. Sure, there's passion and values and purpose, but that is all delivered through processes. Taking the predefined steps that will get you from point A to point B every single time.

[00:00:22] And it's one of your jobs as a business owner to be consistently working on tweaking and improving those systems to make your processes tighter and their result better for the health of your business and for the benefit of those you serve. But how do you do that? How do you make your processes better?

[00:00:39] That's what I'm here to share with you today.


[00:00:45] Hello. And welcome back the 10 minutes to Being Boss. A bite-sized show, offering up tips, tools, and tactics for helping you do business. I'm only Thompson. And today we're talking business processes. Specifically, I'll be sharing with you a six step process for reviewing the systems that make up your business so that you can continue to show up as the boss of your business to grow and improve, to create better results for your clients and build a business that's easier and more profitable to run. But before we dive in, I do want to share more about our sponsor Podia. A business system secret is that you need to keep them simple, as simple as possible because simple systems are effective systems and effective systems, make you more money and save you a lot of time. Podia is a great example of a simple system as an all in one digital storefront for selling your digital downloads courses and memberships.

[00:01:38] All in one place, all in one, it means that you don't need to hook up lots of different pieces of software. Learn multiple user interfaces or lean on too many automations between services to get the job done, you can just log in, create your content and sell it all in one place. Give Podia a try by signing up for a 14 day free trial with no credit card required and get 15% off for life.

[00:02:04] By going to .

[00:02:07] Okay. This six step process. I first shared this process a few months ago to the Being Boss Clubhouse, the extra content here of the Being Boss community. In an episode of the exclusive Making A Business Podcast, I was sharing how we spent the first quarter of this year, tearing it down and redesigning a lot of systems in our business to prepare for growth.

[00:02:31] From how we manage a wholesale accounts at Almanac Supply Co. To how we make our signature products, which over there is our candles. We spent months digging into many of the systems that make up that business to make them better, to save us time, make our effort more effective and efficient and to save us and make us more money.

[00:02:54] So here's the six step process so that you can do the same for your business. The first step is to identify a process that needs to be updated. To make this happen, I like to pull out our what's working kind of working, not working exercise. It's a simple one that has you taking everything in your business and categorizing it as it working, kind of working or not working.

[00:03:18] If it's working, it likely doesn't need to be updated right now. If it's kind of working or not working, it's a good candidate for the process you should currently update. I like to do this exercise just on a piece of paper, broken down into three columns. But if you need some guidance to make this do for you, I'll include a link to access a downloadable PDF worksheet of this exercise in the show notes of this episode.

[00:03:44] The next filter I run my processes through is which one or ones are closest to monetization or profitability, which is to say which ones are closest to making or saving you money. And when you get right down to it, just pick one, they all likely need to be updated, anyway. Second reflect on this process, you can begin by using the what's working kind of working, not working exercise again.

[00:04:10] But this time specifically for this one process, ask yourself, where are things getting stuck? What would you like to accomplish that's not currently being achieved? Third, spend some time researching. This can mean everything from interviewing or serving your clients or customers and talking to your team to spending time researching new tools, to help you get the job done, or even just new features for the tools you're already using.

[00:04:38] Take some time looking into possible solutions for updating the process you're focusing on and the implementation will happen that much more easily. And you'll be that much closer to getting the results that you want. In my recent process updated Almanac Supply Co., we set out to update our wholesale database, the place where we store information on our wholesale customers and their orders. I spent time talking to my team, the ones that are actually using the system. And I spent a lot of time just looking around the internet at possible tools from Google sheets,

[00:05:11] which we were already using, but maybe we could have used it better. To AirTable and Notion and Dropbox. And even did some Googling around to learn more about how other companies were managing this process.

[00:05:24] It was hours of my time that went into learning more about the problem and possible solutions so that I was prepared to choose the updates I believed would get us results. Which brings me to step number four, goal setting. Once you know what some of the options are for moving forward. It's time to narrow in on your path of execution by setting goals.

[00:05:48] What do you want this updated system to achieve? Your research will have filled your head with options, but your goals will help you choose the best option for you. When it came to our wholesale database, my team wanted to view all wholesalers at a glance. They wanted to see buying trends and to easily see what customers were buying what. They wanted to see lifetime totals and see where the customers were coming from. Those goals for this update helped me narrow in, on Notion being the best tool for the job at least to get started.

[00:06:22] Which brings me to number five, implementing your system update. This is where you do the work to set up the new system. we chose Notion for the tool, but that was only one part of the whole system for updating where and how we stored a wholesaler information to set up the new tool, I scheduled a workshop meeting with my team to begin setting it up together, and then I delegated off transferring all the old customer data into this new database And then spent some of my time updating the other parts of the process in our project management software, like when and how we gather the information we needed when and who it would be, who put the people into the system. And when we'd regular review, the data that was being collected. It takes time to implement your new system and dedicating time to this part of this process is the most important one yet.

[00:07:17] So put it into play and then step six is utilize your new system once it's in place, use it, see if it works. See if it helps you reach the goals that you have set for what you'd like to get out of the system upgrade. If it does help you achieve success. Hooray. You did it. You can move along into the next system that you'd like to update. And if it's not helping you reach your goals, go back to step two, reflect on what's working and what's kind of working, what's not working and go through the process again

[00:07:49] And there you have it, a six step process for updating the systems that make up your business. First, identify the system or process you want to update, reflect on what needs to be improved about that system. Research possible solutions, tools, and tactics to help you update that system. Set some goals for what you want this work to do for you, your team, your customers, and your business, implement the upgrade.

[00:08:11] And utilize it

[00:08:13] Updating and improving the systems of your business is something you should be considering and doing on a regular basis even here at Being Boss, some core systems like producing the Being Boss Podcast, goes through this system of updating as often as a couple of times a year, businesses change, tools change or goals change.

[00:08:30] So work on your systems. An outdated system will do nothing more than hold you back, waste your time and cost you and your business more money.

[00:08:40] And spoiler, is this a spoiler? I don't think so. Let's just call it an update. Just so you know, the new Almanac wholesale database is working like a charm so far weekly use as functional and effective. And we'll soon see if it's working in the larger picture when we do a full analysis of the past quarter, but so far so good.

[00:09:01] And with that go forth, be a business owner and build a better business for yourself and those you serve. And until next time do the work, be boss.