If you’re a busy agency owner like myself, you know that systems are so important, but likely the last thing on the never-ending to-do list. 

My secret sauce? Standard Operating Procedures (living, breathing documents) so that at any point in time, your team can hand over the SOP to someone else on the team and they can jump into the role no problem. But, where to start? 

Here are some of my top tips to get started on building systems your team will love, and actually use: 

Sharpen up your client onboarding system. How do you hand over a new client from sales to client manager? If you’re shaking your head, I’d recommend peeking at what your workflow looks like. Of course, there will be clients that need to have specialized onboarding, but for most, it’s the same! What are the assets you need? The briefing docs? The email templates? Workflow that into your systems so it’s not stressful to onboard a new client. And bonus— it’ll allow your team to scale quicker because you have your team confident and waiting on the other side of that sales call. Get a copy of our Client Onboarding Checklist here.

Who’s responsible for what? This is a super important element to any agency, and it’s really important in understanding the roles within your team! This is key to getting buy-in from your team so they’ll actually want to use these systems! Who’s responsible for sending the client onboarding package? Who’s sending reports? The definition of each team members’ role should be identified in an org chart or job description so it’s super clear. 

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Documents. When you create these documents, share them with each team member and keep them accountable. For us, we have a mandatory bi-weekly update that is shared with the team member’s manager. The manager goes through the SOP with a fine-tooth comb to look for cracks. She’ll comment on the document where there may need clarification and the Client Account Manager goes in and edits as necessary.

And since we’re all about WOW-ing clients, here are some tips to remember:

  • Book off 15 minutes before every meeting with your client to go over the agenda and important information you need to crush the call. Get in the zone!
  • (Arguably just as important) Book 15-30 minutes after your meeting to gather notes, items, and a follow-up to your clients that goes over the next steps. 
  • Set up tasks in your project management software as a reminder to yourself to Get. It. Done.

Now you’ve got some work to do on getting these systems up and running. If you haven’t yet, take a pause to measure the health of your existing systems, specifically, your client management systems.