6 Ways to Streamline Your Workflow and Upgrade Your Biz Systems

business systems automation alexis fortier

If the mere mention of “systems” has you eyeing the nearest exit, wait! I promise this blog isn’t your typical snooze-fest business advice.

Today, I’m sharing six low-lift ways you can upgrade your systems, streamline your operations, and make scaling your business feel less stressful and more like sipping your favorite tea in a cozy cafe corner. 

From unraveling the mysteries of meaningful metrics to hopping on the S.O.P. bandwagon, I’ve got you covered. Get ready to streamline like a boss while you inject your unique flair into every nook and cranny of your business. Let’s get this systems party started!

#1 Identify the systems that already exist in your biz

When most entrepreneurs — especially creative and inspired ones — hear the word ‘systems’, they want to run! They hate the idea of conforming to how someone else does things. 

The good news is that the best systems don’t require you to stuff yourself into anybody’s box. Even if you describe yourself as disorganized, chaotic, neurodivergent, or simply a hot mess and you’ve never intentionally created them, your business already has systems and processes.

You’ll find them by looking for how you get *ish* done. That’s it! 

Examples of systems in your business would be:

  • Marketing System
  • Sales System
  • Client Management System
  • Onboarding/Offboarding System
  • Service Delivery System
  • Operations System

Start with the above list of systems and add any others that come to mind. Make a list of how you handle that part of your business under each one. 

Then, note how you run these systems (your processes). Most entrepreneurs have some level of consistent inconsistency in their systems; that’s okay! You’re looking for just what you already do so you can evaluate.

Look for small ways to make big improvements. How can you take a few steps out of your processes? What could you automate or outsource? 

#2 Stop tracking vanity metrics and do this instead

Every number has its place in business, but if all you’re doing is peeking at your numbers haphazardly and deciding that an increase in sales and subscribers means your business is healthy…we need to have a lil’ heart to heart. 

So many business owners get distracted by the surface-level numbers we call vanity metrics. They compare their Instagram following with viral creators and businesses with half a million followers and thousands of likes on every post. If you do this, too, you’re probably familiar with the downward spiral of self-doubt and overwhelm it can create when your numbers seem ‘low’ and the dopamine high of ‘I’M WINNING!’ you can feel when you hit a milestone like ten thousand followers. 

When you’re engrossed in vanity metrics, you can easily think that bigger numbers = bigger success and more money. And while that might be true in some cases, it doesn’t actually account for the nuances and actual operations of your business. You will need more than vanity metrics to help you plan for growth. Start tracking meaningful metrics instead, ones that will help you make data-driven decisions in your business.

In general, you’ll want to track metrics like:

  • How many leads you’re getting
  • Where your leads are coming from
  • How many sales calls you are booking 
  • How many no-shows you have
  • How many sales you make
  • Your sales call conversion rates
  • All of your email open rates and click-through rates
  • Your revenue

To determine if a metric is worth tracking for you, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What business decision can I make with this metric? 
  2. Can we make changes to influence this metric? 
  3. Does this metric drive the result I want? 

#3 Get on the S.O.P. bandwagon

As an OBM, this is my personal bandwagon that I’m happy to invite you to ride on. With S.O.P.s in your business, you’ll be able to: 

  • Onboard and train new team members with ease.
  • Delegate work and start to ‘replace’ yourself in your business. 
  • Simplify your audit process.
  • Create consistency and efficiency to manage your time more effectively.

A quality standard operating procedure has three key components. It’s recorded, readable, and repeatable. It should answer the classic questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? These answers should be clear enough that someone other than yourself/the creator of the S.O.P. can repeat the process without help.

You can keep your S.O.P.s in a well-organized Google Drive folder, but a tool like Click Up or Tango might be a worthwhile upgrade as you start to build your team. 

Bonus Tip: With tools like Loom (screen recordings), you can even create S.O.P.s on the fly that pack a punch — no writing or spreadsheets required!

#4 Automate your client communications

If you’ve been in business for more than a day, you’ve probably heard about how important it is to build your email list, schedule your social media content, and use automation for client follow-ups and reminders. And I’m willing to bet at least some of what you’ve heard has given you the ‘ick’ because you don’t want your clients to feel like they’re interacting with a robot, you want a personal touch. Authentic business really matters to you.

I hear ya! So, instead of telling you all about how to automate on the tech end, I want to send you off with four ways to keep your automations feel-good:

1. Always Personalize Your Automation

Use your recipient’s name in communications, and test, test, test your emails to make sure you’re not sending out an email that says something weird like ‘%nmae%’ because you spelled something wrong when you inserted the field!

2. Infuse Templates With Your Brand Voice 

Templates are a time-saving treat, but they can be so darn boring! Make them sound like something you (or your brand) would actually write yourself.

3. Screen Record Tutorials

Tools like Loom allow you to quickly record screen-share videos with voiceover (and the option to display your face). These are incredibly handy when you’re automating communication. Use these videos to show clients around their dashboard or account with you, explain relevant SOPs, and even pass on a mini-training for their VA or another team member that will help your work together go smoothly. 

4. Use Videos With Your Face in Them!

Gone are the days when every video published online was supposed to be perfectly lit, polished, and professionally edited. Everyone is getting comfortable with video that feels more like chatting with a friend on FaceTime. Get creative to connect!

#5 Hire experts, not unicorns

You probably know that hiring team members (or more team members) is an inevitable part of scaling your business. But, hiring can either streamline your workflow or sabotage it. To ensure you end up with the former, you’ve got to stop looking for a do-it-all unicorn in your talent search and start seeking out experts you can’t imagine running your business without!

Hire specialists instead of generalists. Get specific about the support you need. The expert you’re looking for will fall into one of the four layers of support:

Implementers (aka hands-on doers like copywriters, graphic designers, and admin support)

Managers (OBMs, project managers, customer service managers)

Strategists (marketing, branding)

Visionaries (in most small businesses, this is just the CEO, but coaches and mentors support this role). 

Be willing to pay appropriate rates. The value an expert provides your business is, put simply, immense. As the CEO of your business, your time is likely worth at least $200-500 an hour. Paying someone $30-200 an hour who can be efficient, self-led, and proactive about their contribution to your team will save you thousands of dollars and hours upon hours. They’ll also save you from heaps of stress!

#6 Plan your holidays like a CEO

Let’s not forget that we all want streamlined and systemized businesses because we want more flow and freedom! As you get ready to take some time off, use these guidelines to plan when you need to send an email to let your regular and ongoing clients know you’ll be away:

1 business day off → One week in advance.  

2-5 business days off → Four to six weeks in advance. 

6-14 business days off → Six to eight weeks in advance. 

More than 14 days off → Eight to twelve weeks in advance. 

With a longer time off, you’ll also want to remind clients somewhere around the two-weeks-before mark and the week before. 

Now, don’t just read and run. Take a moment to jot down at least three ideas from this blog that you can implement this week!

Want to take a little bit deeper dive into what’s working and what’s not working in your business back end? Grab my free 7-Pillar Business Assessment here so you can audit your business, find out what’s keeping your biz bogged down, and refine your focus so you can move the needle every day!


Meet Alexis, your go-to online business manager (OBM) and systems expert! With a knack for helping online coaches, course creators, and service providers streamline their businesses and achieve sustainable growth, Alexis has become the trusted ally of many entrepreneurs in the online space.

Having spent years partnering with passionate CEOs and navigating the dynamic world of online business, Alexis brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. She’s known for her strategic approach, meticulous attention to detail, and unwavering dedication to her clients’ success.

Alexis’s mission is simple: to empower entrepreneurs to focus on what they love while she takes care of the nitty-gritty details behind the scenes. From implementing efficient systems to optimizing workflows and providing comprehensive support, Alexis is committed to helping her clients thrive.

Whether you’re ready for all-hands-on-deck support by bringing her onto your team as an OBM, or you just want someone to help you map out what comes next in your biz (and how to make it happen efficiently), she’s got you covered!

When she’s not busy supporting her clients, you’ll find Alexis indulging her passions for film photography, hanging out with her chickens, or hiking on the coast of Maine with her husband!

Want to connect with Alexis? Here’s how to get in touch: 


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