There are so many things in business that are important to have workflows for. If you’re not intentional about finding the areas of your business that will be most impacted and improved by implementing a workflow and system, you could go down the rabbit hole and be gone for quite a while. When we start working on workflow outlines and building a system that works for your business and lifestyle, we start with the most impactful ones. What kinds of workflows are the most impactful? While that spectrum varies, let’s talk about the top 3 types of workflows that will likely provide you the best ROI!
If you went through the exercise of brain dumping and tracking how you spend your office/work time to get started with workflows, then you should have a great idea of where you are spending your time and opportunities to streamline. If you haven’t, I highly recommend you pop over here, get your free e-book and take the hour or so to complete the exercise.
Once you’ve identified where you can streamline and standardize, where to start? Let’s look at what workflows and processes make the most sense to address first– The ones with the most impact for your clients and your time.
The first piece I look at with my clients is their inquiry to booking process (often referred to as onboarding). This can be a big time suck and vary widely depending on the quality and quantity of incoming business and leads you have. If you are focusing on catering to each inquiry with from scratch email responses and testing various methods, you’re likely investing a lot of time in these inquiries and a certain percentage of them may not book you. If that’s the case, that is lost time and opportunity that you could streamline and devote to paying clients or building the business through other efforts.
Please don’t misunderstand me – you should absolutely be pouring into your inquiries, getting to know these potential clients and loving them well regardless of whether they book. BUT – you can do that in a standardized way that allows you to add custom touches much more efficiently.
Once you have your onboarding workflow in order, I suggest looking at your various services. Start with the one you book most, then the one you want to book more of (if they are different). Once those two are squared away, work your way through any other services you offer. The idea here is to standardize as much as you can while leaving flexibility to customize. Especially with my wedding industry clients, this is often an area that they don’t feel is possible to standardize. Friends, I promise you can and it is. By implementing workflows and standardizing as much as possible, you are improving your client experience, not diminishing. You are creating a consistent experience and allowing yourself more time to elevate that experience with custom touches sprinkled throughout.
Now that you have your customer experience streamlined and creating a consistent, caring experience for them, it’s time to focus on your business workflows. Some may argue the other way around, but these are recommendations based on established businesses with clients currently on the books. If you are newer to business, we would absolutely start from the ground up and make sure your back end systems are well-oiled first.
Business workflow areas that I recommend addressing include accounting, duty days, and your marketing/social media workflows. From a time saving perspective and making sure you’re optimizing your productivity, I’d argue for most of us the marketing and content piece is going to be your biggest ROI workflow.
Making sure you have a well-defined workflow to account for your blogging items, social media calendar, and other marketing efforts will not only help you if you’re DIY-ing them but when you’re ready to get help, too. If outsourcing is on your long term goal list, this is a great one to start with. Before you can do that though, you need to make sure you have a workflow that allows people to come onto your team relatively seamlessly.
If you’re of the DIY mindset and/or looking for great content planning tools, Megan Martin has a wonderful content marketing bundle and her content planning sheet, coupled with CoSchedule, keeps me on track!
To sum it up, the three workflow types that will make the most impact are:
Have you found this to be true in your business or something else to be a better value add for you?
If you’re ready to start streamlining with workflows and systems, get in touch! I can’t wait to help you feel more in control and get off your screens and back to living the life you dream of!