Updated: May 18, 2022
Systems are something that can be really supportive and beneficial especially for low energy entrepreneurs.
Having different systems for different aspects of business and general life can help us entrepreneurs manage our energy, work efficiently, and spend more time with our creativity.
Systems can ultimately provide support for different parts of business and other parts of life. Systems are personal though. The systems that work for one entrepreneur aren't always the right systems for another.
In this blog I am going to cover the different types of systems that are common for entrepreneurs. The reality is that for many of us, many of these systems are intertwined and are categorized together in your business. Take what resonates, what works, what feels supportive + helpful, and leave the rest.
Just because there are more systems, doesn't mean you need them or that you need a new one if you already have something that works and is supportive for you. (And no, it doesn't need to be more~ efficient if it is already doing what it is supposed to do!)
What are common systems for entrepreneurs and creatives?
Strategy + Project Management System- This is the way you manage the big picture pieces of your business. What are your overall goals? How do you manage those goals? What are all of the other systems and softwares needed to run the business? This could be as simple as a document, but it could also be organized in a software like Notion, Asana, Trello, Monday, etc. All of these also act as a project management system as well so you can organize tasks based on offers, different products, different projects, etc.
Customer Relation Management System— responsible for managing clients and the interactions with them. Many softwares have some sort of CRM component built into the overall structure. For example if you use Paypal for your business, they store the client's information and interactions you have with them via finances. Depending on your business, this might be a sufficient way to manage your clients! You might not need anything else or a specific CRM system for your business. You can also use project management systems for a CRM tool as well and many business management softwares have CRMs built in.
CRM Examples: Pipedrive, Hubspot, ZenDesk, Salesforce, Clickup, etc
Business Management Tool Examples: Dubsado, Honeybook, Monday
Marketing System- This is all of your marketing efforts. What is the overall goal of your marketing? What is the goal of each medium? What are the platforms you are using? What are you learning from them? What content is being created? I like to have a marketing ecosystem drawn out so you can see how all of the platforms are working and how they are helping achieve the goals you have set.
Platforms can include Tiktok, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Google, SEO, print materials, advertising, blogging, etc.
Systems can include scheduling softwares, analytic dashboards, Google Analytics, etc.
Operations System- This is where all of the important information for operating the business lives. Think passwords, logins, financial information, important documents, key contacts, etc. This is usually a personal preference and there are many ways for this to look as an entrepreneur.
Financial Management System- This is the system that controls and tracks your finances. This also includes creating financial projections and setting financial goals. Having some way to track finances as an entrepreneur is essential. When you work for yourself in some capacity, understanding your income on some level is key since we have to pay taxes ourselves.
Examples can include Quickbooks, Wave, Paypal, Stripe, Keeper Tax App, Venmo, etc. anyway you are collecting money and anyway that tracks your money. Some business management systems have his feature as well.
Care Systems- This is how you are caring for yourself, the person behind the business. Are you eating enough? Are you taking care of yourself by showering and brushing your teeth? What are your home task systems? As entrepreneurs and creatives it is easy for us to get caught up in the work and neglect the person behind it. These systems are going to be incredibly personal and are going to be what works for you. And it is likely going to include a mix of things!
For me, my care systems look like a white board in our home with important information on it, tasks in my Asana that are for care tasks and home care tasks, using a delivery service for my medications, using a Google calendar and building in breaks, and other little things that help me care for myself best.
What systems do I find the most helpful for entrepreneurs + creatives?
A Strategy + Project Management System- This is important for managing big and small pieces of business and tasks. You want to find something that really works for you though! An effective system is one that you use, so make sure you consider that when picking a software or building a system.
Marketing System- This is going to be how you are sharing your offers, creating community, finding clients or customers, etc. This is all of your marketing efforts from creating social media content, sending emails, sharing blogs, working on content, etc. This can be simple. To start, I recommend all entrepreneurs + creatives have a social media platform they like AND an email list.
Financial Management Systems- This is honestly one of the most important systems to have as an entrepreneur + creative. This is also where I personally know I struggle the most. Dealing with finances and money at any time can bring up a lot of emotions and many of us would prefer to just avoid finances all together. Having some sort of financial management system is a service and kindness to future you during tax season.
Care Systems- There is no business without you. Care systems and ensuring that, you, the human behind the business are able to sustain yourself and the work that needs to be done for your business. This is essential. Even over the financial systems in my opinion.
My Recommended Tools + Softwares for Entrepreneurs + Creatives:
Overall Business Management System- Honeybook- My favorite all in one that processes finances and has financial tracking as well as a timer, scheduling app
Here is a link for 50% off of Honeybook for a year! (Full disclosure: this is my affiliate link!)
Strategy + Project Management Systems
Asana- I use Asana for project management and daily task management. I know Trello has a similar layout, but I personally prefer Asana.
Notion- I use Notion for strategy management and further organization of projects, offers, brand strategy, etc.
Platforms I recommend— A social media platform you like and an email marketing software
Email Marketing Software- ActiveCampaign is what I use and recommend! (The link you will find here is my affiliate link).
Scheduling Software- Crowdfire is my favorite tool right now for scheduling. (The link you will find here is my affiliate link).
Analytics- I use Google Analytics and the analytics within the scheduling software I use
Design- Canva is my favorite tool for designers of all abilities! Canva has a lot of great features that are available for free as well as so many great features available for Premium members.
Operations Systems- Bitwarden- The one recommendation I have is to use a password + login encryption service, this one is opensource and free.
Financial Management Systems
Paypal- This is a great way to start your business and collect // send payments in a variety of different ways.
Wave- This is my favorite tool now for invoicing and tracking your finances as an entrepreneur and creative. This is what I recommend for folks who need basic invoicing and want the ability to track their finances.
What does my care strategy look like?
Utilizing Asana for care tasks + home care tasks (examples include brushing my teeth, showering, dishes, sweeping, dusting, groceries, etc.)
Alto Pharmacy-- this is a medication delivery service that has been so helpful for me! I don't have to go pick up my meds which really makes a difference.
Fig App- this is great for folks with food allergies! Or for those in your life who have allergies and you want to be sure they can enjoy the snacks you share.
Therapy on a set schedule
Giving myself credit for all the little things that get done during the day. Even all the small things. It adds up and it's important to acknowledge accomplishments even if they are small.