Creating systems within your trade business can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. In this blog, we’ll go over how to easily create systems within your business that you can’t forget and that have a framework that can be duplicated.
First, it’s important to understand what a process is. Essentially, it’s an instruction or framework that can be followed to deliver a specific task. For example, a plumbing business might have a process for scheduling appointments, a process for diagnosing and fixing plumbing issues, and a process for billing customers. These processes are important for the business to operate efficiently and effectively.
Processes can exist to help you complete your work, and they can also exist as part of daily operations behind the scenes. When we talk about processes in this blog, we are referring to the tasks that exist, or could potentially exist, to help your business automate and grow.
For example, if you want to offload a certain task to a team member, creating a process for it means that you don’t have to do it again, and it gives your team member clear instructions on how to do the task in the way you want it to be done.Now when we talk about systems, the business system includes the overall plan for how the business will create and deliver value to customers. In a service-based trade business, this might include the marketing and sales strategy, the process for training and managing employees, and the financial management system. The business model describes the services the business will offer, the target customers, and the channels through which the services will be sold.
The first step in creating systems within your business is to create a workflow. This is a breakdown of the steps involved in a specific process. For example, our sales process includes steps like qualifying leads, booking calls, and carrying out triage calls. It’s important to understand your workflow because it enables you to turn it into specific tasks that can be assigned to team members and tracked.
Tasks and checklists can be deployed at various stages of the workflow, either manually, or via automation using tools like The Hub, our CRM for Tradies and Contractors.
Checklists are the WHAT.
SOPs are the HOW.
Once you have the workflow, and you have the relevant checklists, some of the items on those checklists may need further instruction to explain how to carry out that task correctly. This instruction is typically documented in the form of an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure).
Note: Not every step, or item in a checklist, will require an SOP. Always start with the items on the checklist that your team are tripping up on. And gradually grow it from there. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to create SOPs on every item on your checklist.
(Truthfully, the tools are far less important than the process. Just use something.)
Document Management (for SOPs).
Keep it simple. If you use Google Workspace, Google Docs is fine. If you use Office, use Word Docs.
There are many great system-specific tools out there, which I’m not going to name, because it doesn’t really matter. Just get started.
Once you have your workflow and specific tasks identified, it’s important to decide on the best place to store and manage them. There are many project management tools available, such as Asana, Trello, and Monday, that can help with this. It’s important to choose a tool that works best for your team and business.
We like ClickUp, because it enables us to have our SOPs (documents) and tasks (checklists) in the same tool.
Here’s a YouTube video on how we specifically use ClickUp –
In summary, creating systems within your trade business involves creating a workflow, identifying specific tasks within that workflow, deciding on the best place to store and manage them, and documenting your processes and procedures.
By following these steps, you can create systems within your business that can be easily followed and duplicated. If you’re familiar with systems and want to take the next step towards automating your processes, check out The Hub by Tradie Web Guys.