When I started my business, I didn’t really have any money, so I used the free platforms that were available. And they were fine to start off with

But as my business grew, the free programs didn’t work so well, they wouldn’t talk to each other, so I had to take data from one system and input it into another, or I would have to use Zapier to get them to talk to each other. It started to get quite complicated.

As a bit of a geek, for me, this was an intellectual challenge, which I thrived on. I wanted to work out how to automate and integrate. But as I’ve got busier I have less time to manually update and do stuff… I need to automate even more than I’m doing currently.

This is at one end of the scale. The other issue I see with new businesses is that they don’t really know what they need. One of their industry leaders recommends a product. Because that person has been in business for longer than them, they think they must know what’s best,  so they go out and buy that same system.

Or they start looking around at the different systems and see something that promises to be all things to all people, so they buy this all singing all dancing system, but they don’t know how to use it. They don’t understand its capabilities and they’re so busy building their business, they don’t have time to learn the new software.

And actually the business doesn’t need that yet. It’s not really big enough.…YET.

So they start using the functionality, but because they don’t fully understand it, and they haven’t got a big enough community yet, they get in a muddle and as they grow they find that the way they’ve set up the business doesn’t work for them. The segments, the tags etc don’t actually manage your list the way you want it.

So they blame the system.  Even though the system has done exactly what they’ve asked it to do, until it can’t do it!

And that’s where another issue comes in. I’ve had experiences where the business owner has bought a great system and because they haven’t realised what it can do, have bought another system and another.

Take Infusionsoft for instance. It’s got lots of technical capabilities. You buy it to manage your customer relationships, but if you don’t really know all of its capabilities. Then you buy Convertkit for your email marketing and Woocommerce for your shopping cart, when actually Infusionsoft will do it all for you. It’s got a customer relationship management (CRM) system. It sends automated emails and broadcasts to your audience. It allows you to tag people based on their buying behaviours and its got an e-commerce system to allow you to sell your products and services to your clients.

Any of this sound like you?

The first step before you set up systems, is to plan out your business.

Its not so bad if you set up free systems at the beginning if you don’t totally scope out your business strategy, but before you start paying for systems, you should have a really good idea of what you want your business to look like in the future, especially if they are a monthly subscription, rather than a one-off cost. Otherwise you might find yourself spending £500 per month on tools and systems that you are only using a small proportion of their functionality.

Know what products and services you are going to provide and how you are going to provide them. Then think about how you are going to attract your potential clients and how you are going to continue to communicate with them.

Rather than just thinking about how you intend to operate in the next 12 months, get a clear idea of where you want to be in 3-5 years. Not in detail, but at a high level, are you providing a coaching service? Will you have affiliates? Will there be products and/or services? Will you be looking at passive income opportunities? How automated do you want to be?

Try to identify the type of things you’re going to need. Will you want a CRM?  Are you going to send out emails to an email list? Will you be wanting to segment your list in order to be able to tailor your offerings better?

Really try to plan this out in as much detail as possible, right from the beginning. That way, you will know what systems you will need. Not just for now, but either ones that will scale as you do, or allow you to extract your information easily in order to transfer it to a more sustainable system in the future.

It may be that after a bit of research you still go with the free versions and use something like Zapier to integrate the different systems. If this is the case, then you need to think about your knowledge of Zapier. Do you know how to use it? Are you willing to learn? How is it going to work for you?

Of course, you’re not alone, if you need help and support in identifying the solutions you need, or implementing the systems you’ve chosen, look out for someone like me. Someone who loves the technology and thrives on implementing it so it increases productivity and enhances the effectiveness of the business.

If you can’t find someone like me.. then please. Contact me HERE