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I'm Dolly — a Nashville based family & branding photographer AND a systems + workflow educator (and Podcast Host) for creatives who want to be more streamlined and organized with Systems, Workflows & SOPS to better impact the backend of their businesses. I'm here to help you look awesome (for your photos) & feel great about workflows!
When you think about what “cost” something has towards your business, I bet the first thing that comes to mind is that new software you just purchased. Or maybe that course that you just know will help take your business to the next level. That’s not what I’m talking about today. In this episode, I’m going over the consequences of not implementing proper systems and workflows on the backend of your business could cost you way more than you think.
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Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the Systems and Workflow Magic podcast. I am so glad you decided to listen in. I am your Systems and Workflow Magic BFF and guide, Dolly DeLong. And whether you’re tuning in to the podcast or you’re watching on YouTube, I’m so grateful you are here today. So today’s topic is a topic I have been Chewing on, sitting on, whatever you want to call it for a while.
And I’ve kind of been putting it off because honestly, it’s not a fun and sexy implementation topic to talk about. We’re not talking about like the latest and greatest systems and workflow automation strategies to impact scale and grow your business in a day. we’re not going to talk about that.
All right. I might have some people just tune me out right now, but I want to encourage you to continue to watch or continue to listen in. Also, I dragged my feet on this because I wanted to do some research on this topic first and actually like give some good. Talking points, thinking points for you to chew on, because this may resonate with you as a listener So there are so many different paths I could take with this topic. And while I was scripting this podcast episode, I was realizing how passionate I am about it and kind of getting angry about it. Angry in a negative way, but just worked up like, wow, like this irritates me so much, or I’ve been guilty of this, or I’m experiencing this by watching somebody do this.
And I just want people to know, that I hope that this episode inspires you to take action steps and do something to impact the backend of your business. before I, go on and on, you’re probably like, What is Dolly talking about? What is she referring to? Why is she getting all worked up?
And the main thing is, I believe that there are consequences or I don’t like saying there are consequences cause that kind of sounds, you know, that sounds a little like doom and gloom, but there is a real cost of not having systems set up for your business. And if consequences are the appropriate term, I don’t know, but
I’m just calling them, let’s look at these as consequences, and not like doom and gloom consequences, but like consequences of, if this happens, then this won’t happen, or if this happens, this will happen, sort of thing. So there are so many things that can happen if you do not implement systems and workflows into the back end of your business, but I wanted to just simplify it for this episode and keep it at three main things that a lot of business owners drag their feet in so this episode is not just like all doom and gloom and dreary, but hopefully you will walk away with some action steps.
All right, so consequence number one, you are losing out on potential clients from working with you by not having systems set up on the back end of your business because you’re overcomplicating it. Okay, so now you may either be you. A brand new business owner listening in, or you may be in the messy middle of growing your own business.
Like I know a lot of my listeners, a lot of my viewers are in that messy middle of owning their business. And you want to implement or learn how to implement systems and workflows to impact the backend of your business. but the thing is. If you don’t have a way for a person to work with you, that is a concise way to work with you, that is a to-the-point way of working with you or an easy-to-understand way of working with you, you are missing out.
, This could be a multitude of things, such as one, you don’t have a website set up, two, you don’t have any social media presence that’s consistent, or you’re just not on social media, or three, you don’t have any consistent way to For people to contact you to work with you.
And I want to peel back, like what I mean by this. So let’s take it back a step and I might ruffle some feathers when I say, like, when we talk more about this point, but here it goes. Okay. I believe you do not need to have a website to run a successful business. All right, especially at the beginning of your business, and if not having a website is what is stopping you from truly working with clients, then you need to get over that like right now.
All right, the fact of the matter is, if you have a skill set and people want to work with you, they will work with you regardless if you have a website or not. All right, sure. And I will counter this argument because I have a website. I believe in the power of websites. I believe in the power of visualization and visualizing how a person can work with you.
Like I will use a counter-argument, but what about people who need visuals and who need to see client testimonials and the process of what it looks like to work with you? Yes. Like in the long run. It is good smart and strategic to have a website, but if not have a website, this very beginning stage of your business is what is stopping you from working with clients.
If that is what you’re like, I do have the skillset, but I don’t have a website. you are causing that roadblock block roadblock for yourself. Like with that, I don’t know what to call it. A perfectionist mindset, a limiting mindset. I don’t know what to call it, but it is a roadblock for you.
Now you can build a website on your own with some great templates. You don’t have to be a designer yourself. You don’t even have to hire a designer yet. Because of that, that costs a lot of money. But you can use great templates. Depending upon what platform you use, I use Show It Show.
It has great and free templates to use. so I will link it, show it like if you want to check it out, and show it for free for, I believe it’s 30 days. I have a link for that in the show notes of this episode. but again, let me remind you. You don’t have to have a website to, convey what services you do to work with people to help them transform, help them go from point A to point B.
So the system, let’s take that back to a system. Okay. Dolly, what does this have to do with the system? So the system you can set up here is through your CRM tool, like Dubsado or Honeybook, or this is going to blow your mind or even a free form on Google. Okay. So if not having a CRM tool set up is like stopping you, cause you’re like, that’s.
I don’t know, 35 a month. I don’t know if I can afford that. We’ll then set something up on Google. Okay. I know I’m ruffling a lot of feathers by being sassy, but I just want you to know, that you can do this for free. Okay. And you can even use, I’m just, I’m like going off script right now. You can even get a free trial of Devosado or HoneyBook or some sort of CRM tool that works for you and your business and check it out.
Okay. So again, what’s stopping you is you, okay? There are free trials. There are free ways to set up a form for you. Okay. So the system you can set up, like going back, you’re like, okay, I’m ready to set up the system, Dolly. I want to work with clients, even if I don’t have a website, even though I’m not on social media, but I know I have the skill set that can help a person with a B or C, like whatever skill set you have.
So set up. A form can be as simple or as complicated as possible for a potential client to fill out. And that will be the beginning point of their consistent client experience. So that way, if a person is reaching out to you, you’re not allowing them to reach out through email or let’s say you’re on social media, like they DM you or they send you a Facebook message or they send you a LinkedIn message, whatever platform you are deciding to be on you, regardless of where they meet you, you will have one form that’s consistent that you can send out to everyone. So they reach out to work with you, you send them this form and it’s the same form for everyone. So that way it’s very streamlined for you.
All right. And you can also share this form with anybody who refers people to you. because there are a lot of business owners who work with contractors who may not necessarily, these contractors, subcontractors may not necessarily have a website either, or they may not have whatever. But there is a consistent way to work with them.
So give that out to anybody who’s talking about you, who wants to refer you to other people, all right? And so make sure it’s clear and it’s very easy for a potential lead to fill out. And in this contact form, I’m calling it a contact form, all right? make sure it’s as clear as day as to what services you offer.
And that way they can check off like what? How you can help them, what they need help with, and again, make it easy for you, make it easy for them, and that is the first step, and it’s that simple, and this whole process of setting up this form can be complicated, or it can be simple and take upwards of, let’s say Brand new at doing this, give yourself 45 minutes, set a timer, do it for 45 minutes and set up that form.
And now if you decide to take me up on the advantage of using Dubsado for free, remember I have a link to use Dubsado. It’s in the show notes. you can create a lead capture form. Okay, the contact form. And then if you want to take it a step further, you can attach it to a simple workflow on the back end of this lead capture form.
Then make sure that the workflow’s First action step is to send out an automated canned email and it lets that person know when to expect to hear from you. So let’s say somebody reaches out, they fill out that contact form, and they fill it out like two in the morning. You’re obviously, you’re not going to contact them back at two in the morning.
Hopefully not. You’re hopefully resting. but you contact them when it’s consistent for you when you’re actually in the office. So it’s that simple. All right. Like you’ve created a system for yourself for how a person can reach out to you and work with you. And it’s not, they’re not like blindly guessing like I’ve heard about this.
Like this person from this referral from this other business owner who used them. I need their services and I want to work with them. And I don’t care if they don’t have a website. I’ve heard great things about this business owner, about the service provider. And I want that type of help there.
Believe me. Some people are business owners, and I will use myself as an example. When I need help with something within my business, I normally now don’t post about it on Facebook anymore, or if I do, I post about a question in a trusted Facebook group, but I just don’t blindly ask a question anymore.
I. Go to other business owners who are steps ahead of me and I ask them their opinion. do you have any referrals or do you know of anybody that I can trust? That way they can give me their referrals or the people that they have been contracting out or working with. And believe me, I have received referral contact information from people who have given me the same excuse, that I’m sharing, they didn’t have a website, and that’s why there’s no consistent process of contacting them.
You can set up a simple contact form and, cut out the middleman of the website if that’s what’s stopping you, okay? So that’s consequence number one, okay? To reiterate, you’re losing out on potential clients from working with you if you don’t have one simple process of them contacting you.
one form, alright? This is just one form. I’m not asking you to create… A website, like a branded website on day one of your business. I’m just asking you to create a simple process for a way for a person to work with you and make it super simple. All right. see. I told you I was going to get super worked up about this, but I just, I’ve been noticing this, like there are so many.
Amazing creatives with great skillsets that, that service business based business owners, I just said service-based business owners, like 10, 000 times in my mind, but I like, I will use myself as an example, there are so many different facets of what goes on the behind the scenes of my own business that I want to hand off certain tasks to specialists.
Okay. when I seek out help, I’m expecting to receive a response from someone, and when I don’t receive a consistent response, or I receive nothing, I’m like, I guess I, they don’t want to work, or I guess this is not what they want to do, and then I hear, That’s what they want to do, and it’s just so confusing to me.
so set up a simple system for yourself, okay? From the get-go. Okay, here’s consequence number two. because you are not setting up a simple system for a person to contact you, The consequence of this could be it is negatively impacting your financial and operational pieces of your so-called business.
And I say this in air quotes because if you’re not treating your business like a business, It’s not a business. All right. again, let me lift you and reiterate. You have been gifted with this amazing talent for a very specific reason. And I bet you want to offer it as a service. You’re showcasing that you can do this transformation with two people and you’ve offered the service for free in the past to other friends business peers or clients.
you’ve tested it out and it’s been transformational for their businesses and you’re passionate about this service or business. So why do you keep on dragging your feet, treating it like a business, and the longer you’re dragging your feet, creating a negative domino effect of you not making money, therefore impacting the operational side of your business?
Therefore, not being a business. All right.
Yes, it may be just you, like, You, right now, as the expert in your business, but I know you want to make money doing the thing, the service that you are so gifted at. I had shared this earlier, but some people will pay you for what you do, and people who want to be referred to you. But if you don’t have a system set up for receiving payments, That is also costing you money.
So that kind of goes in with consequence number two, if you have no way of people consistently paying you, then that has a negative domino effect on the financial and the operational side of your business. let me break this down even further. Okay, so you need to have a system, or you need to create a system.
Again, when I say create, I’m not talking about An in-depth system. This is the simplest system. You need to set up a way for yourself to get paid. And this is easy, and so many business owners overcomplicate this. it’s simple. You just need to set up a business bank account. Keep it separate from your personal bank account.
You need to set up either a Stripe or a PayPal account to get paid. To deposit into that business bank account, all right, and then set up a cart system, like set up a cart system in Stripe or PayPal, whatever you decide to use. I’m using those two payment plan processors as examples because they are trusted and reliable payment processors.
I’m sure that there are others, but. These are the two that I use and you can easily set up a cart system meaning an invoice system to be paid and then you can attach that to your business bank. And we overcomplicate that as business owners. I’m sure my talking about these steps is stressing you out, but it’s so simple.
And you don’t need to have an overcomplicated teaching platform with all the gadgets, with all the zaps, with all of the automation that you assume you need to have based on what you’re seeing. Business owners who are 10, 000 steps ahead of you. Okay, and you’re starting and you also assume This is too complicated of a setup.
So I’ll just have someone pay me via cash or check Or through Venmo or some app. Okay Do not do that. you’re bottlenecking You are the bottleneck and you are overcomplicating it so Let’s take a step back and let’s set up a system for how you will get paid for this service.
It’s super simple. All right. So hopefully you already have a bank that you use for your business. All right. Super simple to open that up. And then I also want you to set up either a payment processor like Stripe or PayPal. Those are free to open up. All right, then, if you already use, let’s say, HoneyBook or Dubsado as your CRM tool, let’s use Dubsado as an example.
I’m passionate about Dubsado. And let’s say you have, from point one, you’ve decided, I’m going to set up my lead capture contact form to be through Dubsado. Guess what? You can also use Depsado to connect to PayPal or Stripe and get paid. So whenever a client wants to work with you, then all you have to do is invoice them and everything will be streamlined from there.
You do not, I repeat. You do not need to have people mailing you checks, paying you under the table in cash, or paying you through a weird app. You need to keep things streamlined, and everything needs to be treated professionally in your business, especially when it comes to the money of your business.
treat your business like a business. Shocker. I know. Gasp. Somebody’s gasping and passing out right now because I just said that. how this is A twofold system when you have a system of a way to pay yourself to receive money that helps out the operational side of your business. All right, so that way you’re not like even more scattered with well, asked for a check from this person and I think I got cash from her and let me check my Venmo and see if I like got paid from this person.
No, you need to cut all that. Junk out, and you need to streamline the way you are paid, and that’s a very simple system to set up from the get-go. Okay, so consequence number three is, I’m going to call it cost of delay. not setting up systems is causing you the cost of delay. what I mean by cost of delay is this. So, imagine, okay. You do have, I’m not gonna, you’re, you don’t have to imagine, you know, you have a great service that you have to offer to so many different business owners.
So if you take too long to turn that idea into a real business, actually serving clients, that is the cost of delay. Okay, because you might be. Missing out on the chance to sell your service to customers who are ready to buy. There are people ready to buy. And if you are dragging your feet, well, you are also delaying potential income, and potential sales to your business.
Okay. That kind of goes with consequence. Number one. All right. how does this affect the cost of delay there might be competitors that get ahead of you like right now, your service is great and is like one of a kind, but there are going to be other people that pop up and offer the same thing as you and you might be using the excuse of, they’re just other people that will offer it.
I’ll just let them have it. No, like only you can offer your service with your amazing personality. I know this to be a fact like people want to work with you. And so don’t use the excuse of well. This is oversaturated or this is going to be oversaturated or just what’s the point somebody else is going to hire somebody else?
And it’s so competitive. And so this might also be a mindset thing that you have to overcome a block you have to overcome. So you need to like, the cost of delay is you are just like. Letting other your competitors go ahead of you or you’re letting the assumption that there will be competition when in reality is like you have an amazing service to offer.
All right, another cost of delay is this because you’re not offering the service right now, you don’t have any system set up to offer the service to your clients. You’re therefore not getting feedback from these clients on how to make the service. Even better. Okay, there is an amazing thing that happens when you constantly offer the same service over and over again, you can refine it over and over again and get feedback from all of your clients over time and refine your service.
Okay, you’re not going to get it perfect from the get-go. That’s impossible. All right, you will refine it over time from customer feedback, but if you don’t start offering your service, then what do you know what to refine? All right. And how do you know what future clients and customers want?
So the whole point is that the longer you wait, the more opportunities for money and customer feedback you are losing, acting promptly and making decisions swiftly can make and help your business succeed. and thrive. So I do want to point out that there is wisdom in doing things nice and slowly, but there’s also wisdom in taking action steps.
The two can go hand in hand. You can do things very mindfully, but while you’re being mindful, You can take action steps. You can take baby steps. You can do both at the same time. All right, so overall, I could preach on and on about the consequences of what happens when you do not implement systems or take baby steps and implement some sort of system to impact the back end of your business.
And I don’t want you to walk away from this podcast episode feeling defeated and you feel even smaller because you know, you struggle with taking action steps. And I’m not trying to dog on you or make fun of you or belittle you like. Please hear me out. I’m not trying to do that.
I’m trying to encourage you to just take action steps now and take the next best step that can help you create some sort of system to impact your business. So if you know, it’s okay, I’ve been making the excuse of not having. a website. So I’ll just make a consistent lead capture form and start from there.
All right, so that people can work with me or I don’t have a system to have people pay me. Okay, start from there. Or you know, you are the bottleneck in some way. Shape or form. so what steps do you need to take? And if you are truly wanting to get started in these baby steps, I have a free workshop with you in mind.
All right. So in this free 90-minute workshop, I go over the five systems. I believe you should be refining the back end of your business so that it can impact the way you run your business. Now, I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback on this class, and, honestly, I can’t believe this is a free 90-minute-long workshop.
I’m calling it a workshop, but it’s really a master class, and it’s like a coaching session with me, where I walk you through five essential systems that you should be implementing in your business, regardless if you are brand new or in the messy middle of your business. Either way, I just want you to get started.
So there you have it, my friend. You can either continue to suffer the consequences day in and day out of not taking baby steps to implement systems and workflows to impact the back end of your business there are consequences. All right. And I don’t want that to happen to you. I want your business to grow and I want you to enjoy having your business So please take that first step today.
And if you loved this episode, you could share it with your biz bestie and leave a review on your favorite podcast app. And I would love it. If you tagged me on Instagram at Dolly DeLong Education let me know how it specifically helped you. All right. Now I cannot wait. To hear about the wins you experienced by taking that first baby step into systems and workflows to impact the backend of your business.
So until then, I hope that you have a streamlined and magical week. You amazing muggle. I will talk to you next week about a new systems and workflow magic podcast episode. Bye.
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