I wax poetic for my love of systems – I mean there are some pretty amazing programs out there that help you manage the chaos of running your business while keeping your sanity.

But here’s the thing.

Sometimes, the more you automate your business, the farther you get from your clients and creating a personal connection with them.

Day in and day out, I have the same conversation with my clients – how do I automate my systems but still keep that human element so they don’t feel like they are part of the “machine” of my business? And more to the point, where does one “need” to be involved and where are points when you can let the “machine” take over?

Let me tell you, it is a tricky, fine line. You need to have a system in place to bridge the gap and stay in communication with your clients and potential clients, but also to allow you to take a breath, not be working around the clock, and also just to be able to put your “all” in where it actually counts. Trying to figure out your systems really starts with you thinking through your business and how you interact with your clients. It seems like such a rudimentary step, but honestly, really mapping out your business is the cornerstone to effective client management, but even more so, helps you see where you can put your systems in place to manage some of the heavy lifting. It helps you also put more calories and energies into the parts of your business that absolutely need your direct involvement.

There are many steps to the process, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you learn to break it down and complete one step at a time, it will make the process of system implementation and organization much easier. And in the long run, make the balance of automation/system and human interaction so much easier. You can see the forest for the trees.

Step one in the process? Take the time to map out your business. The best place to start is your Business Plan. Don’t have one? Then you need to stop everything you are doing and work on that first. No really, go pull out a sheet of paper and start working on your business plan.

Why is this important? Well if you don’t know WHAT you do, how you do it or how it all plays out, then you absolutely don’t know how to interact with your clients and potential clients. Or even who they are. What they value, how much time you need to invest in them, and on and on. Creating a business plan isn’t just a b-school exercise or something that sounds like homework. It is the lifeblood of your business. Seriously.

Then what?

Well, there is a whole list of things you need to do to work out your systems. It kind of looks like how you set up my favorite client management system. But it is even more than that. It is part self introspection, organization, trying new things and so much more. Which is why I am super excited about the next evolution of the tutorials I have on my blog and have put together for my clients – a community that focuses on creating an ecosystem for your business along with the support of others in your field and experts that help you break down various aspects of your business – from marketing to task management to business finances and more.

We are launching soon, and hope you will join us. To be notified once the community is live, be sure to join our interest list: