If you want to run a successful business, you’re going to need to have systems in place. There are systems every online business must have if they want their business to run smoothly.
As explained in my last blog, What is the difference between a tool, system and a process, a system is:
“A system helps your business run. It’s the core ‘thing’ or element you’re looking to implement – your blueprint. Think of your system as the things that make your business run as a whole. Simply put, they’re the things that make your business run well and in a way that suits how you work.”
So here’s a quick breakdown of the 7 systems every online business must have in place.
[Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.]
#1: Note Taking system
I don’t think I’ve met an online business owner who doesn’t like to take notes! Whether it’s ideas, goals, plans, training or client notes, there’s a lot of written notes you make during the course of an average week. So you need a note taking system that works for you, and there are lots of options to choose from. You can decide to have different physical notebooks, use Trello cards and boards, a note taking app such as Evernote, or go with an E Ink writer tablet like a ReMarkable.
#2: CRM system
A Customer Relationship Management system is essential if you’re looking to work with clients. It allows you to store and manage customer and lead information, track interactions and better support your clients during and after purchases. A CRM system enables you to create better workflows for all of your customer-based activities. Check out HubSpot or Zoho.
#3: Document organisation
If you’re taking a lot of notes, there’s a high chance you’ll have a lot of documentation to organise too. You need the right system in place for handing your documentation. As mentioned earlier, Evernote is a great solution, as it enables you to store, organise and manage your documents. But Dropbox and Google Drive are also suitable for document organisation. Both allow you to store, sort and share documents in the cloud, as well as access important files when you’re online, offline and on the go.
#4: Financial system
A sound financial system isn’t just about being able to send invoices. You need a financial system that enables you to track your income and expenditure, as well as checking your profit margins and ensuring you’re on track to reach your income goals. You want a system that works for you. I personally would recommend checking out Xero or FreeAgent.
#5: Scheduling system
Having a good scheduling system in place will save you a lot of time and when it comes to call planning, a lot of toing and froing too! Use something like Acuity for your client call scheduling, so the entire system is automated. Look to also create a clear content scheduling system for your social media content too. Look into Buffer and Later for Instagram.
No matter what you’re planning, you need a clear system to document and follow your plans. There are a lot of different tools you can use for organisation and productivity. With choices including Slack (for email and instant messaging), Trello and Evernote, the key is to find the tools that best fits how you plan for your business.
#7: Project Management
When it comes to project management, again there are various tools and apps available to help your system run smoother. Many will also automate parts of your project management too. Trello is one option, as it’s quite simple to use and can be used for various projects and plans. If you’re looking for a dedicated project management option though, check out Asana, Monday and ClickUp.
The 7 systems every online business must have will help business run smoother for you. But once you have a system in place, you need to look at the available tools to find one that works best for you. I’ve mentioned a few great options above – but if you’d like to see the complete list of tools I recommend, download a copy of my productivity toolkit here.