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The Systems That Keep Your Business Running When You Slow Down

by | Last updated: Jun 5, 2023 | Podcast

Can you afford to take 30 days away from your business? What would happen if you can’t but took the time anyway?

Sometimes, things come up. Personal or family illness, the impending birth of a new baby, or just needing a break can spark the need for taking some extended time off.

But for a lot of small business owners, taking that time would essentially shut the business down. You’d stop marketing, working with clients, and making sales… unless you have systems in place that keep your business running when you slow down.

This past April, I had to step away from my business because of a flare-up of my chronic illness that caused me extreme pain and kept me up at night. But if you listened to the show in April, you’d never know that because I had systems in place that could help me weather that situation.

So in this episode of the Promote Yourself to CEO podcast, you’ll learn the systems I use to make sure that my business runs smoothly even if I have to step back for a bit. By growing through some of the systems I use in my 5-part framework, I’ll teach you how you can keep on serving your clients and generating revenue while you’re away.

On this episode of Promote Yourself to CEO:

5:09 – I talk about the biggest changes I’ve made for more flexibility in the “delight” stage of my framework.

9:18 – What do these changes look like functionally inside of The CEO Collective?

18:20 – How do I make sure sales keep coming in even if I have to step away from my business?

25:08 – If you think you need to be active in the nurture marketing stage all the time, systems are your friend here. I reveal how.

31:29 – Where do I spend the majority of my time, and why should you do the same?

39:33 – It took me a long time to follow this final piece of advice.

Mentioned in The Systems That Keep Your Business Running When You Slow Down

What would happen if you had to take 30 days away from your business? That's right, an entire month where you weren't available to work in your business. You weren't available to work with clients. You weren't available to make sales. You weren't available to do all the marketing. What would happen to your business?

Well, for a lot of small business owners, the answer is pretty simple. The business would essentially shut down, it would stop making money, and those clients wouldn't be taken care of. In this episode, I'm going to share the systems that I have put in place in my business to make sure that even if I had to step away for a month, the business will keep on running, will keep on serving clients, and will keep on generating revenue. Let's get into it.

Are you ready to grow from stressed-out solopreneur to competent CEO? You're in the right place. I'm your host, Racheal Cook, and I've spent more than 15 years helping women entrepreneurs sustainably scale their businesses. If you're serious about building a sustainable business, it's time to put the strategy, systems, and support in place to make it happen. Join me each week for candid conversations about stepping into your role as CEO, the hard lessons learned along the way, and practical profitable strategies to grow a sustainable business without the hustle and burnout.

Hey there, CEOs. I really wanted to record this episode for you because recently, I had to take almost a month off in my business. The month of April, I was really struggling. I was struggling with a terrible flare-up. I was in extreme pain that kept me up at night. It kept me from sleeping. It really kept me from sitting for any length of time at my desk. Honestly, I didn't have the bandwidth to do anything other than focus on my own health and well-being and getting better.

This is one of those things that happen when you struggle with chronic pain and fatigue and the illnesses that cause those which I have several. I don't want to get into the nitty-gritty of my personal health challenges, though I do know from conversations with a lot of people who listen to the podcast and who follow me that this is not an uncommon story. There are a lot of us out there that have chronic health challenges.

Unfortunately, if your business isn't set up with that in mind, it doesn't take much. A couple of bad days, a flare-up, of not being able to show up fully for your business, that could make it really easy to believe that you can't thrive as an entrepreneur, as a small business owner, because your business isn't designed for you to thrive.

Regardless of if you have a chronic illness like I do, or you have other things in your life that might pull you out of your business for a period of time, I wanted to share some of the systems that I have in place so that I can dial back my personal involvement in the business when I need to prioritize something else, when I need to prioritize my health, when I need to prioritize my family.

I've shared that I have had to step in and take care of my mom's full-time nursing care. She lives at home, and we have a team of nurses who I hire, manage, schedule, and take care of which has also required me to step out of the business for a significant period of time a couple of years ago when I had to really wrap my head around everything I needed to do to manage that level of care. I've had to do this when I had my children and had maternity leave. I've had to do this when I want an extended vacation. I've had to do this for a lot of different reasons.

Despite taking time out of my business, my business has pretty consistently continued to grow. It's not magic. There is no magic involved here. It's not that I'm super special or exceptional in any way. It's that I have a game plan and that I have systems that are designed with this in mind. They are designed with the knowledge that I have a family, that I need time off, that I have chronic illnesses I have to manage.

When you are consciously designing your business, when you're being proactive about how you design your business, and the foundation and infrastructure of that business, you truly are able to set yourself up so that when these things happen, the business doesn't have to slow down or stop, the business can keep on going, the business can keep on taking care of clients, can continue to enroll new clients, make sales, and continue to be visible.

Chances are none of you knew that I was pretty much out of office the entire month of April. This is why the systems that I'm going to walk through today to share how I was able to do that. If you've listened to me for any length of time and you followed my content, you followed my framework, you know that I talk about this framework, The Marketing That Converts Framework, which is Attract, Engage, Nurture, Invite, Delight. I'm not going into a huge deep dive about each of those. I'm really just talking about how those are working in my specific business and the changes I've made to give me even more flexibility.

I'm going to start with Delight. One of the biggest challenges I had early on in my business when I was first starting my coaching consulting company is that I was primarily working one on one with people. If I was working one on one with clients and something came up, then I would have to cancel that call or I'd have to move everything around. It would cause a lot of challenges in my business.

I knew very early on that I needed my products, programs, and services to be able to be delivered without me. They didn't have to be 100% dependent on me, showing up live. I needed these things to be my intellectual property, my ideas, my frameworks, but I didn't want to have to be attached to a specific call schedule to show up for.

So over the years, I've shifted away from one to one where my calendar was always full with client calls to now I really only have a few calls on my calendar every single week. This is one of the biggest things for me when it comes to the Delight, the delivery stage of this framework, is thinking about what really works for you in your business. It took me a while to make the shift.

I've recorded episodes about this in the past, but it probably took me a solid two or three years to replace my one on one coaching and consulting income with a more group program coaching and consulting income, and even then, up until we launched The CEO Collective, I was the only person delivering in that group, meaning I was the only person hosting calls within the group programs that I was running. If I had something happen, like I went on maternity leave for my youngest son who's now 10, if I needed to take a month off, or three or four months off, I had to figure out what I was going to do.

Now one of the things I did early on is I would basically bring in other people as a one-off guest coach. When I was on maternity leave with my youngest son, I actually arranged for other people to come in and work with my clients and I arranged for other people to come run those calls for me, but they weren't really a long-term plan. It was like we knew maternity leave was coming, I knew when I was due, so it was a short term for this period.

But what I decided when I changed everything into The CEO Collective and we shifted in that direction right before 2020 was I knew that I wanted to go from me being the sole person who's delivering to The CEO Collective to a team delivering inside of The CEO Collective. This is where the flexibility really has come in my delivery.

Not only do we have systems in place, so we have a clear onboarding system in place, we have clear delivery every single month inside of The CEO Collective, we have processes and checklists for how all of our clients are taken care of, and how we deliver everything inside of there, but because it is a team effort, we can cover all positions. I can't tell you the relief this has brought to me because I wanted to be able to provide more and more value to my clients but I didn't have the capacity or the bandwidth honestly to cover all those myself.

What does that look like functionally inside of the business? When we are working with our clients, our onboarding is a combination of things that we've pre-created. They're automated emails from the time people start working with us. They're going to get this onboarding email sequence. They're going to log into our member's area, and there's an onboarding training process. Those are all automated, they were pre-created, and they can go through them on their own schedule.

Then there's a live onboarding component where my team actually joins new members of The CEO Collective to make sure that they are feeling really good as they're getting into the program. Our first 30 days inside of The CEO Collective, we have several onboarding calls for new members to make sure that they've gone through the onboarding process to help them get started creating their first 90-day plan, to answer some questions before they really get into all that's available inside of the program.

Then once they get into the program, we have, again, a combination of pre-recorded automated things. We have a whole CEO vault of basically every training, every template, every resource that I've ever created. We have a ton of master classes from guest experts that are all available on demand. We have a community that's available on demand.

Then every week, we have things that are going out that our team is actively managing. My team is actively writing up a little client-only newsletter that goes out on Mondays, letting them know what's on deck this week, letting them know if there are any additional things that are happening in the Collective that they need to know about, whether it's a bonus masterclass or an additional call. We also have a series of calls going on through the week and any given week, we might have anywhere from five to six calls inside of The CEO Collective.

Now the beauty of this is I'm only scheduled for one of those five or six calls. I show up every Thursday at noon for my strategy call. This is where I dig into the challenges people are bumping up against to help them get unstuck, help them really go back and forth and work through their specific challenge, and help them figure out the right next step to move forward. That is my call that I'm primarily responsible for.

But I also have someone on backup. We knew very early on that if I had this Thursday call and it was just going to be a regular standing call on the calendar, I would need time off. We decided early on that Amber, who is my director of operations and the person I go to when I need strategy help, we would alternate these calls. Usually once or twice a month, Amber will take over these calls. I can't tell you what a relief that is for me. Because on the days where let's say I know there's something going on in my family or I'm taking time off, I know that Amber's got it.

We've already decided in advance when she's going to jump in on some of those calls so that I have a few days off of those every single month. I'm still there the majority of the time, but because the team can cover all the different calls on the calendar, it means if I'm having an emergency with my mom, which I have had, I have had emergencies where I had to drop everything and run to the hospital, I can literally message the mentors inside of our Slack channel and say, “I need someone to take this call,” and someone is on it.

Everybody's aware of the calendar. Everybody's aware of what's going on in each other's lives. We proactively, as much as we can, try to cover each other if something's changed from our normal set schedule, but in the event of an emergency, we're responsive, we're able to jump in there within 30 minutes. One of us could move something, jump in, and manage a call.

That is true for my call on Thursdays at noon but it's also true for, we have two CEO Date calls on Mondays to kick off the week and we have two mastermind calls on Wednesdays, those are our standing calls in our calendar.

We have people who are assigned for each call but if for any reason, something came up and someone needed to step in and cover it, we have a system. We have a place where that person who's assigned that call, if they had an emergency, they could post in the group in our Slack channel and instantly it would be covered.

I cannot tell you the relief this brings, especially when you know you're the business owner, you're the name of the business, you always want to make sure everything is going swimmingly and it would be terrible if you have these calls on the calendar and then no one shows up to facilitate them.

But we have such a great system and such a great team that is on top of it, they're communicating with each other that it is very, very rare that someone needs to cover for someone else unexpectedly but we have that in our back pocket so that everyone can have a life-first experience working inside of The CEO Collective. That's how we actually live our values.

That's a huge piece for me is thinking about in the delivery of your products, programs, and services, are there components of the onboarding that you can pre-record, that you can pre-create, that you can automate in some way? Are there components of the main portion of what you're offering of that delivery that can be pre-recorded and made available on demand, emails guiding people through things that can either be created in advance, we create a lot of these things?

Even our client-only Monday newsletter, I mean, these are pretty much locked in our ConvertKit a month in advance. There are really not many changes we need to make. We make the schedule very far in advance so that we don't have any surprises. It is very rare that everybody's in an emergency mode because we do plan so far in advance because we have these things locked down in advance and because the team knows how to handle a situation if for some reason they had an emergency.

That means when in April, I was really really struggling and I didn't have a lot of energy, I didn't have a lot of bandwidth, I was able to ask for some support. I only had to show up for a few of those calls. It was only an hour. It was only an hour-long call generally, sometimes a little over so it wasn't a huge deal for me to be like, “Okay, I can do this. No problem.” I was able to jump on for the minimum I needed to jump on, but still able to take care of myself the rest of the time. I think that's just crucially important. That was the delivery component of running my business.

Pretty much everything else in my business, I am not involved in the delivery as much. The CEO Retreat, when we are doing that live, I'm delivering that live, but all of the automated onboarding, all of the reminders, we mail out packages for everybody, all of that happens without me, the team has a process in place so all of that happens. Literally, all I have to do when I'm delivering The CEO Retreat is show up live and deliver it.

In fact, now we are starting to have conversations about other ways we can deliver it so that other people in the team can step in and support me in that. Instead of me having to deliver for six straight hours, we have other people on the team who can take components and pieces of it and deliver it for me. The other programs we have are available on demand. The Marketing Strategy Intensive, that's all pre-recorded and automated, Get More Clients, all pre-recorded and automated.

If you order a planner from us, that is all automated. We have a shipping partner, a print-on-demand partner. If you go to purchase a CEO Planner, we don't ever touch it unless you email us asking a question. It is automated so that it happens like clockwork behind the scenes. Setting up the delivery of our product, programs, and services so that we're not manually doing everything takes so much off us as a team and me individually.

I think that's the biggest thing I want you to start thinking about is are there ways I can automate this, I can pre-record this, I can template this so that it is all created and I'm just rinsing and repeating those things? Is there a way that you can spread delivery of your product, program, or service through your team or bring on a team so that they can help you? This is a game changer and it means that you as a business owner can step away and it'll be okay. It means you have other people to cover for you and I think that is everything.

The next part, we're going backwards here in my framework, is sales. This is where a lot of people get scared because they're like, “Well, if I stepped away from the business, even if I didn't have to deliver everything, let's say everything's automated or let's say my team is managing the delivery, if I'm not the face of it making sales, then everything slows down.”

A few things that we have in place that, again, make sure that even if I have to step away, the sales continue coming in and new sales continue coming in addition to the recurring revenue coming from existing clients who might be on a payment plan or something, the first part is payment plans.

We love having that set up because it means every month, those payments are coming through. We have revenue coming through the door from sales we've made previously and that takes a lot of pressure off. It means you have a baseline every single month.

But what about new sales? That is where having these sales processes in place is so helpful. If you were to go to my website right now, you could click on the CEO Planner, check out the sales page for the CEO Planner, purchase it automatically, and get it sent to the delivery partner that we have. Within a week or so, you're going to have your planner on your doorstep. All of that happens automatically.

We have a lot of processes in place so that we can make sales all the time, we can make sales of the CEO Planner, the Marketing Strategy Intensive, of Get More Clients, of the next CEO Retreat, all of those you can purchase at any time because we have the sales page, the checkout process, and the onboarding, the delivery, all automated. That is a huge component of that.

The thing is, if you're not sending people to those sales pages, though, you're not going to get as many sales because people don't always know what you have available. A lot of small businesses don't have a ton of traffic going to their website all the time.

We have in our back pocket or really in our Google Drive folder, documented sales processes where we can go into our Google Drive folder, say we want to do a promotion for let's say The Marketing Strategy Intensive, we have an email series we can add to ConvertKit, our email service provider, and send out to direct our email list to go check it out.

We have these emails all ready to go, we have social media posts ready to go, we have content already to go to promote each offer that we have available inside of the business. Because those are already created, it's really a matter of just uploading them and scheduling them. Even though I was out for the month, we were able to go ahead and send out a few emails and get sales while I was taking care of myself. Again, this is all about being prepared in advance.

The best part is when you have these things in place, you don't necessarily have to rewrite everything each time you want to run a promotion. We have variations of each of these. We have a couple of different variations of all of the emails, let's say for The Marketing Strategy Intensive. If I'm out of the office, if I'm not well, I can say to the team, “Hey, let's promote The Marketing Strategy Intensive,” they have everything they need. They have all the assets. They can go in there, upload it, press schedule, have all those things sent, and promote it in front of our entire active community.

This is a game changer for a lot of small businesses. I'd encourage you to think about do you have in your business templated systems that you can rinse and repeat for your sales? Do you have a way where if you were going to say focus on one specific offer, one specific program that you have, or one product that you have, do you have those emails that your team could take and resend them? Do you have social media content that they could repost?

This makes it so much easier, again, even if you're taking time away, that you can make sure you're still making those new sales. Even The CEO Collective, our big program, this is our signature offer, this is what we're mostly focused on and we have a process in place to consistently be getting new potential clients to come check it out. We have a free training that is available on the website. People can come, opt in for that free training.

If you've been through the free training all about our 90 Day CEO Operating System, then once you do that training, you're going to get a series of emails inviting you to come apply for The CEO Collective. You can come to a page, you can fill out an application after reading all the details about how we work with our clients. Once you apply, that application hits our inbox, the business inbox, not my personal inbox.

We use a tool called HelpScout which allows everyone in the business to log into one place and see everything that we need so it's not like if I'm gone, people don't have access to the inboxes. We use the inbox platform and email platform specifically so other people can manage it for me. This means that they can go through and accept or deny applications for us. Once people are accepted or denied, we have a process that follows up with them automatically and invites them to take the next step.

All of these are running in the background with very little input from me because I took the time to develop the systems upfront, which means the team can go in and manage pushing out an email campaign about an offer, they can post on social for me about an offer, or they can accept or deny people into The CEO Collective and all of those things are running all the time. This is the beauty of systems.

I hope this isn't overwhelming you to think about all these things being created in advance. But what happens is it means that, again, I can step out and take care of myself and basically take a month off if I need to like I did in April. The most I did in April was show up for like three of my Thursday calls for The CEO Collective, everything else was running on the systems and the team was covering everything. I didn't have to stress.

When we pull back from delivery, we pull back from the sales, now we have to think about marketing, because this is another thing, a lot of people think, “Well, if I'm not actively marketing my business, then I'm not going to get the sales and then the people to deliver to,” again, systems are your friend here.

The majority of my Nurture marketing, for example, is a podcast, what you're listening to right now, everything we do in our Nurture marketing comes from the podcast. It is like the foundation of everything. Our regular emails come from the podcast. Our content on the website comes from the podcast, our social media content comes from the podcast. It all comes from the podcast. The most important thing is for me to sit down and record the podcast clearly.

The most important thing I can do is put my butt in this chair and press record. I also do this in advance. I work with Stacey Harris at Uncommonly More. She is fabulous. I absolutely love working with her. One of the things we do every quarter is we sit down and we plan out content. We plan it out well in advance.

As of the time that I'm recording this, I'm looking at the huge out-of-glance yearly calendar I have on my wall in my office and I have already mapped out the themes for the podcast for every single month this year going into next and our goal is that I am two to three months ahead of recording the podcast.

That means that if I have to take a month off, it's okay because I'm still a month ahead of what she needs in order to produce the podcast. Even then if it dropped behind, let's say that it took longer than April for me to start to feel better and I just didn't have it in me to sit in this chair and record for a long period of time, that's okay, because we have recorded so many fantastic podcasts, we will republish our best ones.

This is something I really want you to take away when it comes to your Nurture marketing is you don't have to be constantly creating from scratch. You can rinse and repeat existing content. If that content you created six months ago last year was good, it's still probably good, unless it's very time specific. But you can rinse and repeat that again. In fact, if you have listened to the podcast for any length of time, you've probably noticed that we have pulled out different series and rinsed and repeated them.

Our calendar has that built in. We not only are creating new content, but we intersperse the new content with our best of series that we will republish. Most of the time, I don't have to do anything with that unless I need to rerecord an intro or something. This means that our core content has started to build out this amazing library of assets.

It's really my goal with my content that I will be able to get to the point where I have two solid years of podcasts that we are just cycling through and I don't necessarily have to create new fresh content all the time, because I'm not focused on the latest tips, tricks, and tactics. I'm really focused on proven business strategy that stands the test of time. The content I'm sharing with you, if it's been reshared, it's still incredibly valuable content. We know that there are new people in our audience who never saw it, or people who've listened to it previously who need the reminder.

That's why things like our Fired Up & Focused Challenge remain, after 10 years, so incredibly popular and people will go through it again and again and again. The Best Year Ever Challenge, people will go through it again and again and again, because it's not about creating new, it's about making sure that you are staying consistent and on message and you are sharing content that ultimately leads them to take the next step about learning how to work with you.

Like I said, everything is based on the podcast. We have a game plan for the podcast, right now as I'm looking at it, I would say it's about 50% new and 50% repurpose the best of. We've had hundreds and hundreds of episodes so trust me, there's a lot of gold there. No one's listening through hundreds of hours of content, so it's helpful for me to pull it up into the feed for people to see it again.

This is true as well for the newsletters. This is true for social. We have built out a library of content. We document that. Inside of our Google Drive folder, if you go into an episode of our podcast, you're also going to see the corresponding newsletter, you're going to see the corresponding shownotes, you're going to see the corresponding social media posts. This makes it really really, really easy for the team to keep sharing that even if I'm not available that month.

Not only have we worked ahead, but we have a library that we are pulling from and this has given me so much flexibility. When we pull back even more than the marketing strategy, our Engage strategy, I'm not creating new things for people to opt into all the time. Like I said, the Fired Up & Focused Challenge, I've been running that for 10 years now. Plan Your Best Year Ever, it's been seven or eight years that we've been running that. Very little has changed.

We've actually made the Fired Up & Focused Challenge even shorter and more condensed so that people can get through it more easily. But it wasn't about creating new things. All the free resources I have available on my website have been around. I've been talking about the CEO Date Checklist for a long time. I've been talking about the Business Growth Checklist for a long time. These are all things we've had in place for a very long time.

It's very rare that I'm creating a new free resource that's available for people to opt-in for free. Each of those, when people opt into those, they have an automated email follow-up sequence. All of that is happening whether or not I'm available that month. It's all there. It's beautiful. It's amazing.

The next thing is Attract marketing. This is probably where I do spend the vast majority of my time and this is where I encourage a lot of people to spend more of their time, especially if you are trying to scale your business. I cannot tell you how much more Attract marketing you need than you might think you need if you're trying to grow your business, from multiple six figures, to high six figures, and even seven figures. It requires a lot of Attract marketing.

We have a strategy in place where there are a lot of different components there. Some of them do depend on me at specific times and some of them don't. For example, we have SEO happening on our website all the time, and I honestly don't know that much about what is working in the world of SEO but I do know my team does. They are regularly making sure that our SEO is optimized, tracking in our Google Analytics, and all that stuff to see the traffic. That is one thing that I don't have to touch that is driving traffic to our website.

Another thing that is driving traffic to our website and to the business is advertising. This is something I don't always recommend to a lot of people if you don't have the rest of the framework in place because if you're spending the money on ads, and it's not paying for itself and honestly getting a huge ROI, it's not going to work for you. But because everything is tested in my business, and we know exactly where we want to send people, we run ads on a pretty regular basis in the business.

Again, that is not something I do. I have my team running the ads. If I have to be out, it's okay, the ads are running. Honestly, if something happened where the person on the team who does SEO or the person on the team who does ads, let's say they had to leave for an extended period of time, that's okay because we have coverage or we could find someone else to fill in that gap. It's okay. It's not the end of the world.

The biggest thing that probably takes up time that you can’t always pass off to someone else is when you are getting in front of other people's audiences. If I'm speaking or doing interviews, that is something I would probably either have to reschedule with people, which I have done, I've definitely had to reschedule people when I'm just physically not able to or I'm dealing with something and I don't have the bandwidth to, you can reschedule those things, but I do have support in that so I have a team that is helping me schedule these interviews.

They're helping me manage those interviews. All I literally have to do if I'm going to be on a podcast is really just show up and do the interview. That is very low effort for me. As someone with chronic illness, this is one of the reasons I love podcast interviews, even if I'm not feeling that great, if I'm feeling okay enough to do an interview, I don't have to do video, I don't have to get ready, I don't have to leave anywhere. I can be comfortable and just do the interview, and that's it.

It's harder to get away with a speaking gig if you're not feeling well, that's just off the table. But a podcast interview, I can usually manage even if I'm not feeling that well. I will either reschedule it or just decide, “I can handle 30 minutes or an hour of doing this interview.”

The final Attract strategy that has been really working in the business has been TikTok. But here's the thing with TikTok, and this is true for a lot of the content I create, I knew going into using Tiktok that I could not depend on me being able to literally make a video every single day. It just wasn't going to happen. I don't have that energy or bandwidth. I definitely am someone who, because of the nature of my illnesses, I can have really good days and really bad days, I can have really great weeks and really bad weeks, so I make sure that I batch record those.

I work with a team. When I'm feeling well, I can knock out a ton of content in a very short timeframe. That means that now, again, we have a library of short-form video content that the team can now schedule and publish for me. That is going out on my TikTok channel but I'm not actually having to create that content every single day. It's been pre-recorded on my calendar on my terms when I felt good.

Now does this mean I've had to work with my video team where they know very well what my challenges are? I've had video shoots where a couple of days before, I had to call them and be like, “I am not well. This is not going to be a good time.” They knew that and they were able to work with me. That's a big ask, I know. But also we have done a lot of video shoots together and our relationship is built so strongly that they're willing to work around my challenges.

That means that on the days where I feel good, and I feel good enough to go ahead with a video shoot, I've also been doing everything I can to manage my health so that I do feel good enough to get through that much content, that means we can get so much done. I hope as you're listening to this, I think it comes down to a few things, it comes down to having systems, especially this framework that I am talking about all the time.

If you don't have a framework in place in your business for how you're doing your marketing, your sales, or delivery of your product, program, and services, then it is going to be really hard to step away and keep your business running. Even if it's for a short period of time, you're essentially closing down shop while you're out because nothing is set up to run without you or that your team can step in and cover.

We want to be thinking in advance and put the system in place. We want to think about batching. We want to batch things, meaning if you're going to write a newsletter, you're going to write a few of them. If you're going to record a podcast, you're going to record a few of them. If you're going to create social media content, you're going to create a lot of it all at once. This means you now have a library of things you can pull from.

This is the beauty of creating content that is not couch potato content. It is an asset that can be rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, you share it again, you share it again. It makes your life so much easier, I promise. Then having a buffer, making sure that you aren't working today on things that need to go out tomorrow. The more space you can give yourself between what you're working on today and when it needs to go live or when it needs to be delivered, the more flexibility you're giving future you.

I know future me needs a runway of a couple of months ahead on all of my marketing assets. It needs a couple of months ahead on all of our sales plans. We need to make sure that I've got as much flexibility as possible. That might mean that you have to slow down to get these things in place. You need to slow down to batch a bunch of things, and that's okay.

Because when you build that buffer in, you're giving future you such a huge gift that you can take care of yourself when you need to take care of yourself. You can take care of your family when you need to take care of your family. If you just want a break, you can say, “Hey, I need a mental health day on Wednesday,” it is okay because you've given yourself that buffer.

The final thing I'll say is making sure that you are thinking ahead about having people on your team who can cover the roles that need to be covered. This took me a long time to get to. I'm a total control freak. I want things done the way I want them done. I mean, if you were to talk to Amber, she's my director of operations, she would let you know that I for sure ask a lot of questions about what's getting done, who's doing what, and how is this and how is that? It's because I want to know, it's because I care so much about all of our clients and I worry about something getting dropped.

But because we have the systems in place, because everybody on the team knows what needs to happen, because everybody knows who's supposed to be doing what, when, where, and how, it all runs relatively smoothly with a few bumps here and there because we're not perfect at all. We definitely have bumps here and there.

But because we have designed the business this way, things can run as smoothly as possible. Because we've designed the business this way, I know that if I need to take time away, it's alright. If someone else on the team needed to take time away, it's alright. We can cover each other's roles. We can make sure that things still get handled, and we can take great care of our clients because of this clarity.

I hope this was helpful for you. If you are wanting to know more about how you can implement these types of systems in your business, I'm going to encourage you to go check out the free training we have available on the website all about the 90 Day CEO Operating System because this is the framework that we are running inside of my business and that we help our clients to implement.

In the upcoming episodes, I'm going to be sharing stories from some of our clients about how they have been able to take maternity leave, about how they were able to navigate having a broken wrist as a chiropractor, a profession that requires you to literally be hands on your clients. What happens if you physically can't do your job?

We're going to talk about how they've been able to hire people on their team to continue to deliver the service that people want and keep that revenue coming in the door even while they take time off, even if it's just for fun stuff like writing a book. We have so many great stories and things we're going to share with you about how these types of systems and structures in your business can help.

I hope you get a lot from today's episode. I hope you go check out that training and I hope you keep listening to the upcoming episodes. Make sure you are subscribed so that you don't miss these two upcoming interviews. I will see you there.