When I first met Cairene, we were in a business-y group together. It seemed at every other turn the other business folks were talking about their systems…and I was thinking What systems?
Cairene is super smart and she knew what I really didn't get was the WHY of systems. Once she explained it, I was sold.
In the intervening years, I've (over and over and over) realized the bliss of systems and I've worked out my own little formula to explain systems.
Systems allow consistency.
Consistency opens flow.
Angel Oak, 400 years old.
Well, yeah, that's lovely, but if you have a to-do list the size of a 400 year old oak tree, why stop to systematize?
Why take the time to build systems when you're overwhelmed responding to the immediate?
Because of that: the immediate.
There will always be new immediate.
At every stage of business you will have a great big list of immediate things that mustbedonerightnow.
Without systems you won't be able to tell the immediate from the important.
And once you get your systems in place, you'll know the important is getting done, no matter what immediate thing pops up.
In other words, systems ensure you get that important stuff done. And that getting-important-stuff-done turns into consistency.
Consistency allows for flow.
Consistency via systems makes things flow because each action (a sale, packaging orders) has a clear path to completion.
You don't have to think “Oh! A sale! Should I email them? What do I say? What happens next?”
or “I need to let people know I carry X? What do I do? A tweet? An email?”
When you're not thinking through every task every time (because you have a system in place for it!), you get flow.
Flow of growth.
Flow of sales.
Flow of money.
Flow of successes.
Because your business isn't new each day.
It's cumulative. Each new action comes from past growth.
The more people who find you, the more people they'll tell.
Happy customers today lead to future sales.
Systems allow this consistency to build and build until your business is flowing without every action being an emergency. Or a reaction.
Systems in shipping = consistency in providing an awesome customer experience = flow of repeat sales and building a reputation for good service.
Systems in production (crafting, making) = consistency of new product = flow of sales
Systems in marketing = consistency of reaching new people = flow of new people (or reminding people to come back) = flow of sales.
Need some systems, consistency and flow in your crafty biz?
Make a plan, reassess it monthly and get consistent with Lift Off.