Good-Hearted Business Owners: Systems

By Christina Suter on May 07, 2016 at 11:30 PM in Business Issues
Good Hearted Business Owners: Systems

One of my favorite groups of people to work with are good hearted business owners. Conscious minded business owners believe that running their business fulfills their purpose. However, those same conscious minded business owners don't always pay a good deal of attention to their business' systems.

Generally, good hearted business owners over commit. They have a tendency to want to not to say no, and to take on any person who wants to do business with them. The fear of losing out on business or not having customers causes them to say yes when they should actually turn some opportunities down. 

Sometimes, the business grows to the point where you're chronically overworked and over committed. You will know that you're over committed when the voice in your head is telling you that you haven't been on vacation in years or that you can't remember the last time you got a full nights' sleep or were able to attend an event for your child. 

Signs that you're over committed:

  • Too much business/too many clients meaning you don't have enough time to service he clients you have.
  • You offer too much service to the clients that you have. It takes you too long to service one client, even if you've carefully priced your product, but because you want to make a difference to your client, you go way outside of your established boundaries.

Track your hours and see where you're spending your work hours. Write down three categories, 1-general business, 2-marketing, 3-clients and track your hours for five days. On day six, look back and see where you're spending the majority of your hours; this will tell you where you can say no or to rework a contract and re-negotiate a fee. Being good hearted isn't about you being in pain, nor is it about costing you quality of life. This doesn't mean to be selfish or mean. The reason we run our businesses is so we can contribute and make a difference, but it's not about exhausting ourselves.


Do you avoid being a taskmaster? Do you believe that it is unkind to have a list of tasks for your employees? Are you scared of being the person you hated working for years ago? Maybe you let your employees create their own system.

If that sounds like you, let me suggest that you're avoiding systems to the point that it's detrimental to your business and to the point that you're damaging the consistency of your service, product, or brand. If your receptionist hasn't had the identity of your company explained to them or shown what the systems they're to work within are, they may feel lost and they may be hurting your business. If you continue to get questions from employees about the same things, that's feedback that your expectations, processes, and systems haven't been made clear to them. It is your job to go back and write down for them some kind of system or, even better, create with them, the system they want. This works best after they've been at their job for a couple of weeks so they have a frame of reference within to work. You want your employees to have a checklist or a starting point so that they can feel part of the business and so they can feel good about their work and that they too have made a difference. Create job descriptions so that every employee knows what's expected of them.

Do you personally avoid systems because you've experienced systems as being confining or contradictory to your self-care. When you nourish your creation and you're contributing, paying it forward and making a difference, consistency will help you do those things even more. 

On a piece of paper, write down these elements of your business:

Customer Service
Time Management
Systems Forecasting
Cash flow management

Write a task list and a vision for each one followed by 3-5 simple commitments that you feel you can fulfill. Your target for the week is to do 70% of that; if you keep 70% of your good ideas going, your business will flourish. Make the task list in a way that works for you so that you give yourself the best chance to be successful. This will give you a greater level of self confidence in your ability to run your business and a certainty that you're making a difference.