Why Systems Are Key To A Scalable Online Business - An Interview With Jessica Holsapple
Working from home can sometimes be a bit overwhelming especially when work life and home life seem to blend into one. Let’s face it… running an online business is tough stuff. Stress will start to build up and you might feel like you’re suffocating sometimes with the amount of work you have on your plate as a business owner.
Having processes and systems in place is one of the most important things to implement for being productive and efficient when working from home. Once you have your workflows nailed down, stress will start to lighten up because you now have your roadmaps in place for accomplishing different tasks within your business.
You will be ready to take on other employees if need be and all you’d have to do is train a new hire/contractor/ virtual assistant on your workflows. Over time you’ll be able to take one thing off your plate at a time.
I have had the pleasure of working with Jessica Holsapple, an Organizational Development Coach, who works with companies and organizations on organizational development. We set up an interview about the benefits of implementing systems and she also shares recommendations for the work from home solopreneur.
Here’s what Jessica had to say to the questions I asked…
When you start off working with a company and creating systems, what are your go-to processes you put in place for an organization? And why those?
I do an organizational assessment to discover what the desired outcomes are as well as team dynamics and challenges the company is faced with. From there, we’ll layout some major milestones and possibly put together a roadmap including 30-60-90 day objectives and what’s involved.
I always recommend using a project management software like Asana or Basecamp to organize these projects and assign responsible parties. I love using these tools because it can help leaders better understand the steps to each process and track progress in real time.
If you’re using it as a solopreneur, you can also easily track all of the hundreds of tasks that are on your plate, and categorize them by Project or Client. There’s a great sense of accomplishment you get when you check something off your list!
As someone who focuses on organizational development and setting up systems for small businesses, what can you say is the biggest benefit from implementing systems?
Repeatable and replicable processes are the key to scaling. It makes work and training new team members more efficient allowing you to focus on more important tasks and get more work done!
Can you give us a before and after scenario of a business that decided to work with you and get their systems in place? How did it affect the company?
While working with a financial services company that was growing rapidly, they needed to hire many staff in several departments in multiple locations quickly. They had most of the paperwork but no HR processes or systems.
Within 90 days they had an entire onboarding, offboarding and employee lifecycle process, and were able to hire and train 30 new people across several departments and cities. Managers knew how to collect, organize and file important employee documents. We also implemented an electronic document system company wide. Within 3 months the company increased their product output by 150%.
What should someone expect when working with a Small Business Coach?
Accountability, Leadership Training, sounding board, and the tools and resources every small business needs.
Which systems do you recommend for the work from home solopreneur?
Project management software like Asana or Basecamp
Plann for Instagram
HubSpot CRM (free)
With my audience being mostly work from home online business owners, what’s your biggest piece of advice for systems/processes to free up time and leverage their skills in other areas?
If something is taking you awhile to figure out and eating up your time, outsource. Use a site like Upwork to find freelancers who are specialized in web development, copywriting etc. Use templates like Stephanie has so you don’t have to create from scratch. Use a project management system to add due dates to keep yourself on track. Plan things for the future instead of focusing on the wrong thing at the wrong time — you might come back to it and realize it’s not a priority.
Who is Jessica Holsapple?
Jessica Holsapple is the Founder and Managing Director of SCG Consulting Group. With 15+ years of experience leading teams of up to 300 employees both remotely and in person, she is passionate about helping organizations find their competitive edge. Jessica is genuinely invested in helping other business owners and entrepreneurs address recruitment challenges, motivate staff, solve operational issues, build better company cultures and ultimately increase their bottom line.
I want to thank Jessica for taking the time to chat and provide a handful of takeaways for the work from home solopreneur.
The main points I want you to walk away with after reading through our interview are:
Putting processes/workflows in place allow you to scale more easily and quickly
Automation systems increase your productivity, allowing you to spend your time on the things you enjoy most
Even if you’re a one person business, using a project management software like Asana will help to keep you on track to hit your business goals
Time to take action…
If you currently do not have any systems in place, I want you to schedule time into your planner to get these workflows documented. Use a program like Asana, to keep a templated list of your workflow process for different areas of your business.
For example, if there are certain steps you go through to publish a blog post, write all those steps down in the order they happen so you can easily pass this off to someone else down the road or just have it for yourself to keep yourself accountable.
This can be done to so many areas of your business. Once you have these all down, you can start scheduling different steps accordingly using Asana and have a better idea of what needs to be done and by when.