It’s no secret that, as business owners, we wear many hats. However, many of us also believe that we should be able to handle everything ourselves as well (spoiler alert: that’s 100% not true). In reality, most small businesses aren’t functioning without a full support team keeping everything running smoothly. In fact, having a solid team behind us frees up our time to remember the reasons why we started our business in the first place and stay focused on doing what we love.
One of the best things that you can do for your business is to have functioning systems that work for you rather than create more work for you to do. This is where a Systems Strategist comes in. When you hire a Systems Strategist, they are your go-to person for optimizing all of the systems and workflows that help your business run like a well-oiled machine. Your Systems Strategist will be able to put all the things into place to boost your organization, efficiency, and client experience so you can relax and focus only on the business aspects that you enjoy.
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3 Types of Support for Small Businesses
One of the biggest choices small business owners have to make is deciding when it’s time to start outsourcing. No matter how passionate you are about your business, it’s impossible to do everything without becoming overwhelmed and stressed. In order to scale and grow your business, you need to have support (if anything, just so you can take a well-deserved vacay when you need to!). So, whether it’s delegating pesky admin tasks or streamlining your operational systems, outsourcing is the key to success. Luckily, there are a few different support options for you to choose from.
The first type of support that business owners tend to hire is a Virtual Assistant or a VA. Think of a VA as your virtual office assistant. Many online business owners start their outsourcing journey by bringing a VA onto their team. VAs are versatile and can be hired to do general administrative work or more specialized tasks like photo culling or content writing. Whatever you hire your VA for, their purpose is to free up your time by taking over essential but time-consuming tasks so you can spend more time growing your business.
Another invaluable resource would be hiring an Online Business Manager, sometimes referred to as an OBM or Integrator. The main purpose of an OBM is to manage your systems and create strategies so your business can grow. While the difference between VAs and OBMs sometimes gets confusing, it’s easiest to break it down by the scope of their responsibility. While a VA assists by getting tasks done, an OBM helps manage your team and your business.
Finally, the last type of support that you can hire for your business is a systems strategist, which brings us to our next section…
What Exactly is a Systems Strategist?
Think of your Systems Strategist as the architect who builds all of your systems, processes, and workflows that keep your business running efficiently. And like an architect chooses the proper materials to go with their project, a System Strategist chooses the right tools to bring structure, clarity, and productivity to your business (our favourite core systems are Dubsado, ClickUp, Airtable, and Zapier!).
When you bring a Systems Strategist onto your team, they’ll start by auditing and evaluating your current setups and thoroughly examine them to see what can be improved. Once their evaluation is complete, they’ll use their expansive knowledge of tools and processes to provide custom recommendations tailored to your business. They’ll suggest areas where new systems can be built or offer new or updated processes to enhance what you’ve already been doing. Then, they can either implement everything for you or provide you with detailed instructions so you can do it yourself.
Systems Strategists understand how valuable your time is. Just by working with new and improved systems, you’ll be freed up to spend your time where it matters most rather than struggling with tech or trying to DIY your systems yourself. (Unless you want to, of course!) So, say goodbye to tech troubleshooting and DIY hassles and let a Systems Strategist work their magic.
5 Signs You Need a Systems Strategist
If you feel like you’re drowning in workflow builds and research while trying to get your business up and running, chances are it’s time to hire a systems strategist. Keep in mind a systems strategist is an investment. However, when the backend of your business is running as smoothly as butter, your investment is sure to quickly pay off.
Here are 5 signs you need a systems strategist ASAP:
1. You’re Flooded with Busyness Instead of Business
Remember, you’re here to run a business. Of course, you’re meant to be busy, but if you’re constantly overwhelmed with busyness, and it feels like nothing is getting accomplished, you might find yourself losing the passion and fuel needed to run your business. This is where a Systems Strategist can help. They can map out and create automations that take things like annoying (but necessary!) recurring tasks and help you regain control over your time so you can get back to what really matters.
2. You Love Creating… Just Not Systems
Most of our clients are creatives. They began their business because they are passionate about what they create. But what they create typically isn’t systems. You didn’t go into business to become a systems expert. However, functioning systems are a necessary part of keeping your business moving. With tools like Dubsado and ClickUp, your client and project management can be almost fully automated. A Systems Strategist already knows how to use these systems, so why not tap into their brains to help you map out and build the systems you know that you need?
3. You’re Struggling to Scale and Meet Your Goals
If you feel like you’re struggling to meet your business goals, launch new services or products, or simply scale, it’s time to consider a Systems Strategist. There is no way you can grow your business to be able to meet your goals if you’re working with systems that don’t match your needs. A Systems Strategist will know how to optimize your workflows and processes to set the stage for long-term growth and increased profits.
4. You Want to Be Able to Take on New Clients
No one said running a business was easy. If you feel like you’re in a place to begin to take on higher-end clients, now is the best time to take a deep look at your systems and figure out what can be improved. Sometimes all you need to revamp your systems is to have an outside perspective take a look at what you currently have going on to find and repair any gaps or holes. A Systems Strategist will be able to find those gaps and fix them to make sure you deliver the white-glove client experience you’ve always dreamed of in order to attract new high-end leads.
5. You’ve Been Considering Investing in Your Business
When it comes to putting money back into your business, a Systems Strategist is a great place to start. Your systems are the lifeblood that keeps your business running. They cover everything from client onboarding to team management and allow you to increase profits while decreasing costs. This ensures you and your team are working at the peak of productivity without making as many mistakes from simple human error. On top of all that, once your systems are fully established, they’ll make it easier to hire and train a new VA or OBM for your team.
How a Systems Strategist Can Work for You
Whether you’re a new business or you’ve been around for a while, setting up your client and team systems with a Systems Strategist early on will only help set you up for success. Let’s look at the two main ways System Strategists at TM+Co can work for you:
1. Strategy Sessions
A strategy session with us is like a turbo boost for your business. It’s your chance to get expert help and dive deep into specific areas that need a little TLC. Whether you want to level up your client experience, make the most out of Dubsado, or supercharge your entire business, these sessions are all about quick wins and practical steps. They’re great even if you don’t know exactly what you need yet, but you know what you have isn’t working. In the end, they’ll provide clarity and actionable steps to improve one or both of your Dubsado or ClickUp accounts.
Strategy sessions are a great fit for budget-conscious folks who prefer a DIY approach. Whether you’re a creative who needs a bit of guidance, need an audit of your Dubsado workflows, or want some insight on how all of your systems can better work together, these sessions offer tailored advice, helping you save time and money, all while taking your business to the next level.
2. Full System Builds
At TM+Co, our full system builds are a comprehensive transformation of your business processes. It’s like taking your systems and hitting the reset button to start fresh with everything tailored to your specific needs and goals. These sessions focus on setting up, optimizing, and fine-tuning systems that elevate your client management, workflow, or project delivery. They provide expert guidance and a done-for-you approach to streamline and set up your operations, saving you time and reducing errors. For designers and creatives, we even offer a package that allows you to have full creative freedom over your visuals. Just deliver them to us, and we’ll add them into the final system structure.
Whether you’re seeking to improve your client experience or enhance project management, a full system build ensures you have a solid foundation that aligns perfectly with your business objectives, allowing you to operate more efficiently and effectively.
A Systems Strategist is like your secret weapon to optimizing, streamlining, and supercharging all of your backend business operations. With their wide range of tech knowledge, they are sure to provide you with customized solutions to meet your unique needs.
Do you feel like you needed a Systems Strategist like yesterday? Don’t worry. Here at TM+Co, we offer everything from 90-minute strategy sessions to full system builds for Dubsado, Clickup, and more in both done-for-you and done-with-you packages. Just head over to our Systems Services page for more information.