As a multi-passionate entrepreneur, I know that to run my business efficiently and with as little time and input from me, it’s imperative that I have systems and processes in place.
Even small one-woman businesses need systems, believe me, if you are constantly dropping the ball, missing appointments, not getting work out on time and/or working every spare minute of the day that you can… then you need to change something. Because burnout my friend is not a good look on anyone.
Many moons ago, when I was a college student, I spent many hours of my holidays days in a cellar, yes a cellar! Photocopying systems manuals for big companies. The business I had my summer job with certified and made ISO 9000 manuals for different companies in numerous industries. It was hardly the most exciting job in the world but it paid my beer and gig money.
I took two things from this job, the first was that I NEVER want to work in a windowless room.
The second was that every tiny little step needs to be documented and that when you are creating your system’s documentation you need to assume that the person doing the job has no idea what they are doing.
Thankfully, these days we have plenty of apps multi-passionate entrepreneurs need and many of them are available for free. Take advantage and get your systems in place, it’s super easy now!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which means I will make a commission if you decide to buy something, at no cost to you.
How to create systems and processes for your multi-passionate business
There are hundreds if not thousands of apps for multi-passionate entrepreneurs out there, and I have tested loads. I’ll share what I use in my business and how. But first, you need to be clear on what you need to create.
As one of my university lecturers once said, “Design instruction manuals as if you are writing for f***ing idiots!” Sounds a bit harsh, but if you assume that the person taking the job knows nothing (or imagine a five-year-old doing it) when you are putting together your system’s documentation it will be much easier for your VA to understand exactly what needs to be done.
What you need to do is document each step within a process. There are a number of ways to do that:
- Screen share video – record what you are doing as you complete the task
- Written step by step guide in the form of a PDF
- Written step by set guide in the form of a checklist
- Visual guide using screen shots for each step of the process
You might want to mix things up as some processes work better on video whereas others work better as a checklist. Or maybe your checklist contains mini videos! There is no hard and fast rule, do what feels best for the process you are documenting.
Keep It Simple
One of the problems with being multi-passionate is keeping on top of all of the things. And it is really tempting to bundle everything together. DON’T do that! Keep each part of your business as its own entity. This will make it easier to stay organized as your business grows and if one of your passions fade or you decide to ditch it, it will be easier to remove the deadwood as it were.
It will also make things easier when you get to the point where you are hiring a VA (virtual assistant)
Apps multi-passionate small business owners need to run their business
Asana is one of my all-time favourite apps. It’s a project management tool. For small businesses, you can easily manage using the free version. I have friends who run multi-million dollar businesses and still use the free version of the app.
As always keep it simple, yes it can do some pretty fancy things and even though I was in the first batch of Asana Certified Pros I rarely use any of the bells and whistles.
Asana has a desktop and mobile app, it can be hooked up to your email address and calendar so all the information can be centralized.
You can also change views so I find something like the checklists that I use to make sure all the Wonder Mom Success Club is set up each month, which is better in the list view. I can see straight away which tasks are near a deadline and which priorities I need to focus on.
Plus when you check something off, every now and then you get a rainbow unicorn or narwal flying across the screen! What’s not to love?
But then I use it for the boards view for my SPARK Masterminders as visually it is easier to understand…
It’s basically a to-do list on steroids.
In the wonder Mom setup, I have notes in each list item with what exactly that item means and how to do it. So if I even need my VA to step in and take over, the handover is easy.
Alternative Apps to Asana?
Trello, Jira, ClickUp, Wrike, Monday are all similar, project management type apps. I do use Trello on occasion but I prefer the way Asana works. I think mostly it is a personal preference thing. I love that Asana is quirky, a bit of an oddball!
Sometimes you will need to try a couple out to find the one that fits best for your business.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that most of my life is organised in Airtable! This is basically a database on steroids. Again, you can get away with using the free version. The paid version is a little complicated because you don’t pay a set fee and be done with it, you pay for a workspace. So you might have 20 bases and 6 in a specific workspace then you pay to have the pro version for that one workspace.
I do have the paid version for one of my workspaces but to be honest the only thing I actually use it for is the different colour checkboxes 😂
How do I use Airtable for my business?
I have all kinds of bases set up, one of the great things about Airtable is that you can add all kinds of data which is why it trumps Google sheets and it’s also easier to switch views. Some of the bases I use:
- Blog planner
- Wonder Mom masterclass experts (I collect their information via a form ready to input to the website)
- Digitial printables
- Shop listings
- Affiliate links
- Instagram hashtags
- Wonder Moms content
- Guest post strategy
- Blog posts
- Blog internal links map
Again this is easy to share with my VA. Some of the bases I am the one running the base, others my VA is in charge of and others we both use.
We have a masterclass in Wonder Moms with Sandrine Coosemans talking all about Airtable and the things you can do with it, it’s in the Masterclass library that you get access to as soon as you become a member.
I also use it for mom life, I have all my favourite recipes listed which is brilliant. If ever I’m out and about and need to check what is in a recipe, I have a go-to place to find it and it also makes meal planning a doddle.
As a visual person, I prefer the gallery view which looks like this…
But it is also easy to switch to grid view…
I have a post diving in deeper with how to organize life with Airtable here.
I will have to admit that even though I use Slack, it’s not my favourite thing in the world. But one of the apps multi-passionate entrepreneurs need is a solid communication tool. Not just for messages back and forth but to have a good search function and the ability to upload different file types etc.
We have channels set up for different things such as SEO, social media, Pinterest, and blog posts.
Again, the free version is all you need and it is a good way to keep things organised but you can probably do everything in Asana. If I hadn’t already got the systems in place I would just stick to Asana and Airtable.
+ 1 Google Drive
I can’t really ignore the fact that I also use Google Drive a lot when it comes to keeping my business organised. My biggest advice here is to make sure you have everything set up in folders and give your files proper names.
I had a client that had loads of content but it was so disorganised and badly named it was impossible to see exactly what she had got. So when you add a new file or any description, give it a sensible name and file in a folder, that also has a sensible name. It is one of those things that seems so obvious but so many people don’t do it.
Don’t put off setting up your systems until another day, start today. Just screen record what you are doing when you are completing a task and boom! Done.
Think about what your business needs and choose an app or two that fits your business. Don’t try and make your business fit someone else’s blueprint. This might mean setting up templates from scratch but believe me, it’s easier in the long run.
Whenever you are creating a process for someone to follow always imagine that they haven’t got a clue, include very tiny steps, no matter how easy you think it might be. Think of a Lego manual, they show you how to build something brick by brick.
You can see what other apps and resources I use to run my business on the Resources page here.
For more time-saving tips and resources plus plenty of things to keep the kids busy, sign up for the free resource library…