Systems Turn Your Business Into A Growth Machine

Read Time: 6 minutes

Welcome to BE THE EXPERT! In today’s issue:

  • Two systems help turn your business into a growth machine
  • NEW Learning Phase is Great News for Facebook Ads!
  • Notion AI Updates…

Systems Turn Your Business Into A Growth Machine

The secret to online business success is establishing the systems that will automatically guide you to the fastest growth and impact.

Way back In ​BTE #3​, I introduced the 9 essential systems for online business success (ex. Traffic, Marketing, Funnels, Sales, etc.)

I discovered those after reverse-engineering 20 very successful online businesses and finding what they had that mine and others did not.

There were two systems that make all the others possible and determine whether your business will be successful AND how fast you achieve success.

These are Project Management and Process Management.

BORING! (you may be thinking…)

I get it; most of us, as creators and entrepreneurs, are idea people and visionaries.

At the same time, many (most?) of our ideas never make it off the drawing board.

Why?

Because we don’t have the systems, tools, and team/AI in place to help us implement them!

While you need these, it doesn’t have to be YOU doing it all.

In BTE #30 I covered the Visionary + Integrator model where the latter works hand in hand with you to define and implement all of this.

But first, we need to unlock the secret to accelerated growth.

Successful online businesses are able to get all of the essentials in place very quickly while ALSO operating and improving them over time.

One vs. Many

Most of us falter because we spend all of our time trying to get specific “things” done instead of putting in place the systems that enable our business to get MANY “things” done at the same time.

Quick thought exercise: Who will produce and sell more cars?

The founder who builds a car from scratch (even with some help) or a founder who builds a design shop and assembly line first then builds cars?

Related, who will likely produce better cars over time? The latter founder, because more of his or her time will be available for design since they are not bogged down in assembly.

They can focus on continuous improvement.

Successful companies have the ability to design and create new things while efficiently producing and improving their existing things.

For online businesses, the same holds true.

We have to be able to build all the elements we need AND we have to be able to run and improve the elements we have.

Version 1 of a funnel or product is rarely successful. It may be version 3 or 10.

The faster we learn and improve, the faster our business will grow.

So how do we do that?

By implementing project AND process management systems where self-improvement is baked in. That is what accelerates growth.

Project vs. Process: What’s the difference?

I like to keep it simple:

  • Projects are how we build new things.
  • Processes are how we run and improve existing things.

Take a sales funnel as an example. There would be a project to design and build version 1 of a sales funnel.

Critically, a sales funnel is never “done”.

Once it’s live, we need to monitor it, we need to track metrics, see what’s working, see what isn’t, etc.

That may need to be daily and certainly weekly.

Those are processes: recurring tasks or work required to maintain and improve something we’ve built.

Then, occasionally, we may need to make more significant changes (or replace a funnel entirely), in which case we’d define a new project, Funnel v2.

Now that you understand the difference between the two let’s look at how to establish project AND process management systems in your business.

Project Management

My simple definition of a project is a set of tasks with a start and finish date that produce deliverables.

In the sales funnel example that would includes tasks like writing copy, creating images, building pages, and so on.

The deliverables might be a draft design, the completed pages, etc.

Sadly, most stop there. Just design and build.

But that is only half of an engineering and growth system.

The most basic is: Design – Build – Test – Improve.

In that model, nothing is ever “done”.

Sounds bad at first but is actually the difference between success and failure.

When we define our projects, we need to add tasks for determining what metrics will tell us if the funnel we’re building is successful.

We need to add tasks to document how to monitor, measure, and operate the sales funnel.

Then we need to add tasks to document how we’ll improve it like how to run split tests of multiple headlines, images, calls to action.

The project should deliver the funnel AND ALSO documented processes for operating and improving the funnel.

Processes are recurring actions we need to happen daily/weekly/monthly.

We break them down further into procedures: the step by step details for executing them.

You’ve probably heard the term SOP or standard operating procedures. That’s what we’re talking about here.

In ​BTE #16 – Delegating Doesn’t Mean Losing Control​, I talked about our three-step process for systemizing anything, which is:

  1. Figure it out
  2. Write it out
  3. Delegate it out

That is how we create SOPs.

During Project Management we do those so that we both build the “thing” AND build the SOPs for operating the “thing”

Examples would be:

  • Check the funnel daily to make sure all links are working.
  • Check metrics weekly to see which step is the bottleneck.
  • Run a split test monthly for the given bottleneck.

Those then need to be passed to a process management system that ensures they happen.

That is essential for creating a self-improving system vs. a static asset.

Process Management

This is where we need to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

We need to be able to execute projects to build new things

WHILE we operate and improve our existing things.

A process management system has to support several key capabilities:

  1. Create robust SOPs and organize them
  2. Enable us to assign SOPs to be run on recurring schedules
  3. Enable us to track whether SOPs have been completed
  4. Enable automation of as many SOPs as possible

The more thinking we can take out of these areas, the more we can automate or delegate.

If you have the ability to hire help like a virtual assistant, freelancer, or fractional team, having a process management system with SOPs is the crucial enabler of their productivity and alignment with your needs.

On the flip side, even if you are doing everything solo in your business, this is still critical.

We all have varying levels of mental and physical energy through the day or week.

Sometimes, we are good at innovation and building new things (projects), and other times, we may be tired or low on energy but can still execute a checklist or simple tasks (processes).

With them in place, you can delegate the instant you are ready.

By automating and delegating they day to day processes, we can do MORE testing and improvement projects.

Systems = Projects + Processes = Growth

This is one of the most important factors for your success.

A system is the combination of projects and processes. The sales funnel example is actually what we call the Sales Funnel System – one of the 9 essential systems online businesses need for success.

What makes it a system is the flow of Design – Build – Test – Improve.

We consider all operations as being an ongoing test, so that is where the day-to-day processes fit.

This equals growth because your system self-corrects: you test and make small improvements daily, and then each quarter or year, you undertake a major improvement project to build the next version.

When you do that across all the key areas like content, traffic, marketing, funnels, sales, and support, then you continuously improve in all areas.

Of course, when choosing between all the improvement projects you might do, you would look to see which area of your business is performing worst and focus there first.

As you grow, you’ll be able to hire help so that you can execute more projects and processes at the same time.

This is the growth flywheel and why it’s so important to bake in the test and improve cycle in everything!

Take Action

To accelerate your business, take a step back and see whether you have project and process management systems in place.

Whether solo or with team members, you should be able to execute 2 – 5 projects and 5 – 10 major processes at the same time.

If not, I’d suggest focusing most of your time on establishing those.

That is the only way to overcome the overwhelm many of us feel when trying to juggle all the things we know we need to do.

You can start simple:

  • Make a project template that includes the major task areas mentioned: Design, Build, Test (SOPs), Improve (SOPs)
  • Make an SOP template that includes sections for purpose, steps, demonstration, and QA checks.

From this point forward, decide that you will populate those for everything you do.

So if your next task is creating some social posts, document your process step by step as you do it in your SOP.

If you are planning a new funnel, use your project plan template and add all the categories of tasks mentioned.

It doesn’t have to be a “shut my business down for three months and document everything.”

You can do it as you go; the key is doing it!

Whenever you’re ready, here’s how I can help:

Solo to Virtual CEO™ – Training + Community: All of our core training in one community! Includes courses and detailed tutorials for each of the nine foundational elements all online businesses need and our Expert Business Operating System for planning and managing your entire business…

Solo to Virtual CEO™ – DIY/DWY/DFY: All of the above plus our entire tech platform (DIY), daily coaching/support (DWY), and MY team working FOR YOU (DFY) to build your expert business…

Expert Business Content Engine: Done-For-You content editing, repurposing, and publishing! We help you create and publish content at scale across all channels (YouTube, Podcast, Blog, Socials)…

Saturday Spotlight 💡

Content Spotlight:​

In this episode, I cover all 9 essential systems online businesses need for success.

You can’t build an income and impact-generating online business if you’re missing even one of these systems because they all work together to enable growth.

If you’re not making at least 6 figures in revenue, it’s because you’re missing one or more of these systems.

Tool Spotlight:​

​Notion AI and Websites!​ – Notion

Notion AI now with Slack, GPT-4, and more!

Build a Notion Site in minutes – Launching a website should be easy—not a task that requires yet another tool! So we turned Notion’s one-click “Publish“ button into a full suite of features called Notion Sites.

Several great updates to Notion, one of my favorite tools of all time!

News Spotlight:​

​NEW Learning Phase is Great News for Facebook Ads!​ – Ben Heath

Ben’s channel is great for up to date Facebook ads news and strategies. In this case, the “leaning phase” in Facebook ads campaign is being updated in ways that will help a lot of us with smaller ad budgets but higher ticket offers such as courses, coaching, etc.

David Ziembicki

CEO, Expert Business Agency

David Ziembicki is the founder and CEO of the Expert Business Agency, which helps coaches, course, and membership creators build their online businesses. David has been an industry-leading technology and business consultant for over 25 years having worked at Microsoft, Deloitte, SAIC, and Avanade.