How to audit your systems for success in a digital business

when you know you have great systems

During the last years businesses were increasing their presence in the digital space, but now because of COVID-19 more are more businesses are facing the need to step into this space.

In today’s episode, Claire will talk about what you can find already in the digital space, how to know what could work best for your business and the way to implement it.

Listen to find out:

  • The differences between the Digital Business model Vs the traditional business model.
  • What different of offers you can find already digitally.
  • How to find what is preventing you from growing your presence digitally.
  • Some shifts you can apply to help you do it

References and links:

Four Week MBA Digital Business Models

Book a discovery session: 

Try Siteground Hosting:
https://artificiallyintelligentconsulting.com/siteground/

Get in Touch:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/claire-whittaker-37636a65/

https://www.instagram.com/artificiallyintelligentclaire/

Transcript of this episode:

The consumers shift to digital has been expedited by COVID-19 and the worldwide lock downs that have come into place as an output. Those businesses that have been able to pivot to a digital business model will be able to thrive. But not all digital business models are created equal. Furthermore, the world of digital can be a scary place with its own language, its own rules and countless options for marketing and delivering your services. How do you know what’s the right one? In today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about setting up your systems for digital, designing efficient workflows and how to scale your business to take advantage of these opportunities. 

My name is Claire, and over the last nine years, I’ve worked in innovation teams across industries including research, manufacturing, retail and technology. I’ve seen the good, the bad and the downright ugly when it comes to innovating on behalf of customers. And now I alongside my esteemed guests, I’m sharing these learnings with you to help you avoid the mistakes and capture relies on the learnings to grow your business with innovation and processes that help you to scale. This is the innovation and business podcast.

let’s dive on in digital business models. There are a lot of different types of digital business models, and you can spend a lot of time choosing the one that works for you. In fact, I’m going to share a link in the show notes, show notes to four week MBAs overview of all the different types of digital business models and I thoroughly recommend you check it out because it is a very, really interesting and really helpful article. 

However, to summarize some of the things that you might want to look into are

– Freemium models, where you offer free service that people can upgrade to access special features.

– SaaS (Software as a Service), where you build software which you then offer to individuals and companies to use online stores or ecommerce -I’m sure I don’t need to explain this one, but these are the likes of Amazon which is an online store- and also you’ll get a lot of independent brands available on different platforms, but also on their own shops. 

– Subscription and membership models. This is where you can sign up and pay a monthly fee for access to specific information. It could be educational, it could be subscription boxes, so where you get something delivered through the post, there are all sorts of different types of subscriptions

– Online services, this is like artificially intelligent consulting, where I offer my consulting and coaching services digitally to you.

– And then you can also have online education, platforms like Udemy offer these at scale, but you also have independent online course providers that you can purchase their online courses and that’s their digital business. This is just kind of a small summary of some of the more common ways that people offer debits, services online. However, there are many more. 

When choosing your digital business model, here are a few things I want you to consider. 

Number one, who is your ideal customer.

We always want to be thinking about the customer when we’re building our businesses. So before you decide on the module, it might be worth thinking about who is the customer that you’re trying to target? What are they going to be most interested in? How do they like to engage with online and what’s going to be the most exciting offer for them? The next point I want you to consider is how available do you want to be? Some of these digital business models require you as the business owner, to be available for people and to be online on social media, answering questions, running webinars, doing live events digitally. And If that’s not what you want to do, you might want to consider different options. So really think about how available you want to be and the lifestyle you want to lead before diving into a specific business model. Next, I want you think about what are your goals, where do you want to get to some of these models will scale more than others. Some of them offer you different benefits than others. And it will really depend on where you want to get to? How you want to live your life and where you find the most joy in building something? Because it’s not going to be easy. The final point I want you to consider is what kind of skills do you offer. Are you a great teacher? For example, do you have a lot of programming and product management experience that would allow you to build great software?

Do you know physical products? Do you know a lot about selling physical products and you might want to set up an online store? wherever your skills set and whatever you most enjoy about business, you really want to think about how, what are the skills you offer and how they can relate to your digital business model.

So let’s imagine, and it’s probably not too much of a stretch for the majority of you listening. But let’s imagine that you’ve set up your digital business. And now you’re building it and looking at scaling it. 

Now it’s time for us to talk about some of the different systems that you want to have implemented in your business. The first thing you want to think about is what parts of your business are holding you back. Where do you get frustrated? What things just annoy you? Do you see that a lot of your customers drop off at a certain point? Do you have to always run around fighting fires to make sure that things are working properly when your customers are going through your service? What is putting you off wanting to grow your digital business? What do you think is holding you back? Is it that you don’t think you can manage any more clients? Is it that you’re fed up with the long hours? Is it that you don’t have a smooth system and you’re struggling with outreach to get more leads for your business? Whatever it is that’s putting you off, write that down. Then if you’re working with a team, think about what they’re always complaining about.

Why do they come to you? What are they struggling with? And what are their issues? These could all be good things for you to tackle when you start setting up good processes within your business and good systems. If you’re still struggling here, then I recommend you try completing a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is where you look at your strengths, weaknesses in your business. Think about what opportunities are presented by your strengths and what threats are apparent because of your weaknesses. How does this compare to your competitors? Think about how your competitors would be able to come in and steal your customers if you’re not tackling your weaknesses, and then use this SWOT analysis to form a basis of your strategy and what you want to tackle.

Okay, so now we’ve thought a little bit more about where some of the problems are in our business. I want you to move on and think about what is the ideal situation?

Do you remember why you got into business?

I know for me the joy, the law of being my own boss and being able to decide my timetable work from anywhere able to make the same amount of money but just working fewer hours. These were all big reasons why I decided to start my own business. And they’re the motivators that still keep me going today. But what about you? Why did you get into business? Were you just incredibly frustrated at the way things were? Were you too looking for more freedom and more time? Where did you feel like you had something to offer that no one else could and that there was a great opportunity, or did you just think you can make way more money by running your own business, all of these are great reasons to get into business, but when you’re in the in the grind and trying to grow your business and things aren’t going well, it can be really easy to lose sight of that. So right now before we start thinking about the ideal situation, I want you to picture those reasons why you got into business and remember why you started on this journey. Now that you’re clear on where you want to get to and your goal, we want to design clear systems and processes that help make that goal a reality. So if you’re looking to get more freedom and more time, we want to think about how we can streamline things as much as possible, so that you’re not having to spend time doing all of the admin work in your business, and can focus on the client work and just enjoying more of the freedom.

When you’re thinking about setting up a system, before you dive into software, automation, or any of that kind of fancy, sexy stuff, I want you to think about from a practical perspective, what are the key milestones that need to happen in your process? What are the steps that you need to take to deliver something to your clients? Let’s take the example of customer onboarding. So you have a client, they’re really interested, they want to sign up to your services. What happens then? If you’re thinking about my process and how my clients sign up with drive, once they’re interested, they sent me an email to confirm their choice of programme. When I received that email, it then triggers a process of onboarding that allows them to sign up for me. First things first, we send the invoice. Next, there’s a contract that needs to be signed. Once this is all done, they get their welcome pack, which contains more details about their programme, how to schedule their fare sessions, and a few little bonuses that I like to offer everyone. And then once they’ve received that, and scheduled their first session with me, they then enter into a process where any online materials that are relevant are automatically delivered. They are set up with their own folder as a client so that they can kind of get access to the relevant materials for them. And they can see and I can provide feedback for them. We set up our contacts all of these things. Make sure that each time a client is ready to work with me, I’m not having to spend time thinking about, okay, what do I need to do now, it’s all automated, the process is seamless. And everyone gets the same experience every time, which is super important, particularly if you want to onboard more high end clients. 

Think about what this might look like in your business. I love to use post-its for this, I’m a big fan, but map it out, however works for you and try and kind of make it into a step by step kind of like an SAP. Once you’ve got that SAP in place, now we want to think about, okay, let’s be super critical of this. What are the steps that we can take out? Is there anything that’s not adding a lot of value to our customer? Think about things that have to be customised. Do they really need to be customised or can you use a template? How can you remove the variants, reduce the amount of time needed for you to set up an on board this person, and make sure that you can create a consistent experience every time. Once you’ve cut out anything you don’t think is adding value or could be simplified, it’s time to think about software and automation. Take a look at the different steps. If you’re already using software within your business, see if any of the systems that you already have are able to kind of automate or semi automate your process for you. I really encourage people to try and get the most out of systems that they have already running in their business. Rather than always purchasing new software or new tools to help them run things. If you’re always looking to have super specific software for every process in your business, you could end up spending an awful lot of money on having these systems set up, when actually you could do it a lot scrappier and a lot simpler, while increasing your profitability by doing by using just the one tool.

Another thing you can look at is automation. If you’re thinking about this, so you can use your email service provider and set up automated sales funnels automated processes for this to happen. You could think about if you’re always getting some of the same questions asked, creating an FAQ page, you can even add chat bots to answer some of the simple questions that your customers have when they’re onboarding with you, for example, those ones that you get every single time and you know that you can provide an answer simply just using a bot. Once you’ve kind of got this in place, it’s time to start implementation. I strongly encourage that whenever you’re implementing a new process, you run it for a couple of weeks, and then do what is called a retrospective. This is where you look at the different steps in the process and see what went well, what went badly and what do you want to start doing next time. This is to help you instil a model of continuous improvement, because very few of us get things right first time and you want to make sure that you’re continually developing and improving on your processes, so that you can run your business more efficiently and your clients can enjoy your services. Now, you’ve set up your systems and processes. And I know that this can feel like a lot of work. And it’s time for the most important step of all, rewarding yourself. This work, though, it may seem boring, and it may seem tricky when you first get started it’s so important to help you build and scale a business that you love. And you need to give yourself credit for actually taking the time to do all of this, and to focus on your long term happiness as opposed to what’s going to give you joy in the moment. So I want you to really celebrate the fact that you’ve sat down and gone through this process and mapped it all out and reward yourself whatever that looks like. Just make sure that you’re celebrating your successes, and you’re ready to just bring back Some of the joys your business. So there you have it. This has been a whistle stop tour of how to set up systems and processes, and audit your processes within your digital business. As the world continues to evolve and transform, you will have the opportunity to set yourself up for success while delivering to your customers in the world of digital. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. And you can tune in next Tuesday for your top of inspiring innovation stories and process techniques. Next week, we’re going to be discussing experimentation and identifying new opportunities to grow your business. Make sure you subscribe to the podcast on your podcast provider so you don’t miss an episode. And if you have time, please leave a review as it helps others find the podcast and it helps me get great guests for you. 

Right now I’m offering free 20 minute one on one coaching calls to help you implement seamless client onboarding and management processes in your business. 

If you’re interested in learning more, please click the link in the show notes to apply for one of my five weekly slots. 

Thank you and have a great week.

Related articles

Stories that shaped my career

How to use your systems to build resilience in your business

We already know what happened with all those new decade 2020 plans we had. But that doesn’t mean we should give up. How can go back to the roots and start growing again better and […]

Learn More
2020 Trends Innovation

5 Exciting Innovation Trends for 2020

On today’s episode, Claire will share five of the trends she is excited about in 2020. Trends from sustainability to connectivity and beyond, where innovation has big opportunities! Listen to find out: Some ways you […]

Learn More
Delegation SOPs Training

How to leverage chat bots to grow your small business

There is a point where we realize that many of the tasks we do daily are similar and repetitive, and would like to have an assistant to help us do this. Thanks to technology and […]

Learn More