Episode 30: The Power of Reverse Engineering Your Systems with Brittany Dixon

Building Effective Business Systems with Reverse Engineering

Effective business systems can make or break your ability to scale your business. Creating systems is the way to automate repetitious tasks and outsource things a team member could be doing – so you can free up your time to strategize and be creative in your business.

What’s the best way to create systems? While there’s no ONE way, today’s guest Brittany Dixon, a systems consultant, shares her most effective methods to build systems that get results.

Brittany’s Top Tips on Reverse Engineering Your Business Systems

  • Brittany is a twin mama who shares her journey into the online business space. What lights her up in her business is not only watching her children be inspired by her work but also watching her clients thrive with effective systems.
  • Brittany and I talk about how to efficiently bring someone onto your team and delegate by creating systems. She says to start documenting your daily tasks so that when you’re ready to bring someone on, you can easily pass on that task list to your team.
  • Do you have a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software? Brittany explains what this is and how important it is to have one in your business. This is where you would keep all of your leads, contacts, networking collaborations, and more.

Listen to today’s episode to find out how to create simple, effective business systems that will help you grow your revenue – and your time!

About The Guest:

Brittany Dixon is a Business Process & Systems Consultant for Creative Entrepreneurs. She specializes in helping her clients create, document and refine structures and systems in their business to save time, create freedom, generate income and make a big impact in their own way.

A mother herself, of twin girls Kenna and Layla, Brittany started her entrepreneurial journey in October 2015 when she started her professional organizing business Clutter Control. She then ventured into the online coaching world in March 2017. Prior to starting her businesses, Brittany spent 10 years in customer service, event planning, and hospitality.

Brittany loves working with her clients to implement systems and processes that work for their lifestyle, as productivity is not a one size fits all approach. She loves showing women entrepreneurs how to get more work done in less time, more efficiently, so they can go back to spending time with their kids!

Where to Find Brittany Online:

Hey there, and welcome back. Today, I have Brittney Dixon. She's a business process and systems consultant for creative entrepreneurs, and she specializes in helping your clients create, document, and refine structures and systems in their business to save time, create freedom, generate income, and make a big impact in their own way. Thanks for joining me, and welcome.

Yeah. Thanks so much for having me. I'm super excited. So tell me

a little bit more about you and your journey. How did you get started? And feel free to add any more details you want to include in your Little intro, any personal stuff, that kind

of thing. Yeah. Absolutely. So, I actually started off in the wedding and event planning space. I was in hospitality and Charity and customer service for a while, and I thought I wanted to be j lo and be a wedding planner. I was always good at all the details. I was that, like, Crazy 16 year old with, like, color coded binders and labels and things. So I thought it would be a perfect fit.

So I actually dived into that. Did that for about a year, found out quickly I loved back end logistics and planning, but not so much weddings. So I actually worked For a corporate restaurant doing a similar thing with event planning and catering for about 4 years. I was actually let go from my job and decided to jump into this Entrepreneurship world. But when I first started, I actually was a professional organizer. So I went into people's houses. I helped them declutter. I'm actually a mom of twins and got twin girls at home, so I decided that my niche would be helping twin moms organize their life.

So I did that for about 6 months and then realized I needed help running like, learning how to run the business. So I hired a business coach, and then she introduced me to this amazing online business world. So that's kind of when I shifted in the online space was in March of 2017. Team. Found some really awesome groups that I was part of, saw all these people doing amazing things, and I was I was really doing like productivity and organizing coaching thing when I first got in But what I found in doing that was I was working with so many business owners that Couldn't even spend time doing what they started their business for because of all of the back end systems and processes and disorganization in their business that I niched down and started doing that. So, really, I help those visionary entrepreneurs that have, like, the plan and the dream that are not good at the execution and actually creating the structure behind their business. I help them refine all of that so that they can actually spend time doing what they started a business for. So, basically, I went from organizing events to organizing houses to organizing businesses, so it kind of all came full circle.

Yeah. And so natural progression and definitely needed in this space.

Yeah. For sure.

The importance of that firsthand. So before we hop into talking a little bit more about the systems and structures, and I'm excited to talk about that. But first, tell me now what's going on in your business that's really lighting you up? What lights you up and excites makes you wanna do this every single day?

Yeah. Yeah. So, couple things there. So my kids are, like, the whole why behind this. And when they come in and they see me working and doing this thing that I love doing, I just love that I'm showing them that they can do whatever they want. They talk about all the time. They're like, mom, I wanna have clients when I get bigger, and I wanna have my own business. And I bought them a, like, kid entrepreneur book, and my daughter yesterday was like, oh my gosh.

Mom, I wanna go look at that book. Let's read that together. So that is, like, the big why behind it, but What's really lighting me up is that I'm seeing these people that I'm working with then able to make a bigger impact doing what they're doing. So I'm basically creating a ripple effect Because the person I'm helping to organize their business and and make their business more efficient, they're then able to do what they do better. So I never wanted to be like The Tony Robbins on a big stage impacting people, I've always been the behind the scenes person, but I really feel like what I'm doing allows other people to go out and make those big impacts, and that's I I love the ripple effect of what I'm doing. So kinda twofold, but but that's what I'm loving right now.

Yeah. That's incredible. So What what are the types of clients that you serve? Who do you work with? And Yeah. I mean, obviously, there's this big impact. So what does that look like? I'm sure you work with a lot of different types of people.

I do. What I do is pretty general. I could really help anybody, honestly. I love focusing on smaller businesses because I am in the small business space, and I just see so many amazing people doing amazing things. I work with a lot of creatives. So anybody that has that creative mindset typically doesn't Have the structure and process mindset, and those are the people that I work really well with because I kind of have best of both worlds. I am Somewhat creative, and then I'm insanely process oriented. So, I can really relate to them, but I've actually been working with like, social enterprises here locally, which is really awesome because then I've seen the impact they're doing with their business, And that's yeah.

That's kind of who I love working with are those creatives and those people that are trying to do big things, but need some Infrastructure in the business to help.

Gotcha. Okay. And so you mentioned visionaries. And so these are people who have the big ideas. They know what they wanna happen, but they need the help making it happen. And

Yeah.

I know all about that because I've for a long time, of course, I operated in both states as most people do. Most start out as in a solopreneur role, especially in this online space. But then eventually, you find yourself in this spot where You need to transition. You need to delegate. You need to hand up the call, and you know how you do things. It's what you have done, and it's why you started your business, but now you've gotta create a way to explain that to other people and to make it up to your standards, and that's where you come

in. Yes. Yes. So that's what I have really seen is that the the person that's ready to Scale, and they are ready to make a bigger impact. They can't bring on the people to support them on their team because they don't have a lot of that stuff in place, And everything has been in their head up to this point, which makes it really difficult when you're trying to make that transition. So one of the things I like to tell people on Kind of the movement behind this is I'm trying to get people to just switch that mindset of, I know I know systems are not sexy, systems are not Fun. It's not the most exciting thing to document your processes, but to spend that extra 30 seconds documenting the things that you do It's really gonna save you a ridiculous amount of time in the long run, because then when you bring on a person, you can pass off an exact checklist. You can pass off recorded videos of you showing them exactly how to do that.

And there's amazing tools out there now that allow you to just Record your screen and talk while you're doing it. So it really just encourage people to switch their mindset instead of thinking, like, oh, I'm too busy to document that. Think about it long term as in if I do this now, I'm gonna save myself time in the long run. But, yeah, it it it is difficult because systems are not See, they're not the hottest new marketing tip, and it's not the most fun thing to do in your business for most people. For me, it is. But just really switch that mindset And document the things that you're doing to make it easier when you start bringing people on.

Right. And the thing is it might not sound that sexy, but it certainly will be in the long term when

you Absolutely.

Them and you're making more money because time is money. And systems help speed things up, not just freeing you up from time, but actually helping onboard new hires faster, get them up to speed, making sure everything's done up to quality like, there's so many benefits. So maybe Yeah. Yeah.

I I just went through it. I just brought on a new OBM to help with customer support, and I was able to basically onboard her legally and into the business in, like, an hour and a half by going through a Trello board and and all the things. And that right there saved me an enormous amount of time so that we're not having to go back and forth. Like, oh, how do I do this? How do I log into this? How do I get in here? It it really does save you lots of time. There's actually a case study, Starbucks. Right? So perfect example of repeatable processes. I think it was something in, like, 1989. They had, like, 27 stores or something, and now we know how many they have, right, on every corner, but they weren't able to scale.

I say that quickly. Obviously, that's a long period of time, but they weren't able to scale that way without having repeatable Processes that they could just pass off to the next store. And obviously, like, in the solopreneur space, we're not really looking to do that much scale, but To be able to scale it all and to bring people on, you have to have repeatable processes in place, even for the customer experience. Like, you want your customers to go through the same experience every time, and if you have messy systems, it's hard to do that.

Yes. It is. Because systems aren't helpful at all. And so I it's interesting. You mentioned you just went through this. You onboarded someone in an hour and a half. That's amazing. I just brought someone onboard as well.

I've got a 2 a new team member, and we are, at the time of recording this, 2 weeks in, essentially. Yeah. And I did I did have some processes in place, so that's great. But a large part of what I'm working on with her is doing these things you're talking about, like recording videos and documenting processes so that it's clear. What advice do you have in that onboarding phase I mean, what's what's the best way to get started?

Yeah. I mean, it really is just creating those checklists. And if you haven't done it In the past, it is gonna take longer, but really just thinking about all the things that you need to bring that team member on. So for me, like, I have them sign an NDA. I have them sign off on a contract. I get a w nine from them up front. I get a bio from them and a headshot. It it just saves you time from having to get the stuff down the road.

Yeah. So just thinking about all those things that you will potentially need in that working relationship and creating a and a way to collect that information upfront. And it is. I mean, I changed my process for this person from the last person just because you are learning constantly. So just know that if you put a process in place, like, that doesn't have to be the process forever, and it's not going to be. When you grow and when you change, Stuff's gonna get added to it, but that kinda goes back to that mindset switch of, like, documenting things, and when something changes, changing the process document, And when something is updated, making sure you're making the changes because then it's gonna save you so much time in the long run.

Yeah. I need to more formally document this because I've onboarded a team member in the past. And so I had I use Asana personally. So I used, Asana, and had tasks to onboard the last person that I brought on. And when I got ready to bring this new hire on, I just went back to the completed tasks from the onboarding project for that hire and created a new checklist. So, yeah, way, I kind of that kind of did it without intentionally doing it, but it's it wasn't Yeah. Yeah. Document.

So I think that

And that's that's really what it is is is Having that checklist and instead of having to think through that checklist again and create a new checklist, you're literally able to copy and paste it and repeat that process so that you have the same experience. Now again, you have to add stuff. I had to add things to mind. There were things that changed that Persons in a different role, so you may need different things for them. Right. But at least having that baseline of, like, this is what I did when I onboarded the 1st person. I need to do this and then add some things. Repeatable processes will take you really far.

Gotcha. I believe it. I've experienced it.

And And I tell people, like, it is totally fine that you have built an extremely successful business with messy systems. Like, That's absolutely okay, but the problem is you can't go to the next level, and you can't scale until those things are refined, until you have documented everything. You've got Processes in place for every aspect of your business, and your tools and softwares are all working together instead of you Having a 1000000 different things in a 1000000 places. So, you can build successful businesses with messy systems. I've seen it time and time again, But if you wanna go to that next level, you've gotta refine things.

That makes sense. And so you mentioned in every aspect of business, and we touched on onboarding. But what other major areas of your business should we be focused on when we're talking about systems and culture? Are there

some So CRMs, Customer relationship managers are another huge area that I see people have lots of inefficiencies. Either they don't Have 1, and they're using their Facebook Messenger, their LinkedIn Messenger, and Excel sheet, sticky notes, business cards. That's how they're managing contacts, or They have one, but they're not fully using it, and they haven't integrated it with their other tools. The CRM is the lifeblood of your business. Those are all of your contacts, Those are your leads. Those are networking collaborations. And if you're not properly following up with people, you're leaving money on the table. I did this in my business when I first started.

I knew I needed a CRM, and I had one, but I wasn't fully utilizing it. And I was using Facebook Messenger, which Especially in the online space, a lot of us do. And there were times that I would scroll through and somebody was like, oh, yeah, send me the thing. I wanna start working with you, and I hadn't sent it to him, Hadn't set a follow-up, and then a month had passed, and I lost that lead. Mhmm. So if you don't have some sort of Structured CRM and way to keep track of your contacts and your follow-up, but you are leaving money on the table because I did it a lot Yeah. Till till I learned.

Yeah. Okay. So there are lots of CRMs out there, and it might I don't know. Is there one that you recommend, or Does it completely depend on type of business and all?

So it is gonna depend slightly. I do have a trifecta of Tools that I typically recommend because they work extremely well together, and most of my clients are service based creative entrepreneurs, and it works really well for that. The c r CRM I use is Pipedrive Mhmm. And it's very visual. It's very easy to use, and it's very mobile friendly, which is nice if You're on the go for your business, and it's just a super simple way to see your pipeline of people and how much money you have in each stage. And then I basically use PandaDocs for my client onboarding, so proposals and contracts and payment, and they tie together. And then I use Trello for project management, and it ties together with Pipedrive as well. So, those are my favorite 3 tools, and I've implemented them for so many of my clients, and they just love the flow of them Because there is not an all in one tool out there.

There's some of them that have tried, but there's just not that are doing it super successfully.

Got it. Okay. So cool. Thank you for sharing those, and I know I'm gonna go check them out. Okay. So What other areas? So that's a couple of areas we've mentioned, onboarding and CRM. Are there some other major and we don't have to go deep into each one, but just different areas touch on?

Yeah. So project and task management obviously is a huge one. Having a streamlined way to manage your projects and your tasks And your team members and your clients really all in one space. I know you use Asana for this. I'm a Trello girl, but you have to have something. Yeah. And you have to use it consistently, and you have to be in it daily to make sure that you're actually getting your stuff done. So, yeah, project and task management is huge.

The client onboarding is huge. I would also say you are, like, Social media workflows because that was the first thing I outsourced.

Yeah. That's what I'm Process of handing that off right now.

Yeah. So social media workflows, blog workflows, basically, all the steps you do in the back end of your social media. Because when you pass it off to a VA, you obviously want it done the same way you're doing it. So tell them, hey. This is what I do for Facebook. This is what I do for LinkedIn. This is what I do for pinterest, and then they can just follow that process. So those are really big ones, but really everything in your business is a process.

That's right? Like, literally everything is a process and has a checklist of things. But a lot of those things that you know once you start Scaling you're gonna pass off, like social media, like website updates, like podcast management, making sure you have really great workflows for those things first So that those are the easiest for you to pass off and give to somebody else.

Cool. Yeah. You're right. It is really every aspect. So your finances, bookkeeping, it I mean, everything. Marketing. Yeah. Yeah.

All of it. Client I

mean, if you think about it, making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a process. Right? Like, there's

a ton of

work to that. Yeah.

That's actually really funny. I remember and I

don't remember all the details of it, but I remember

doing some exercises, And I don't remember all the details of it, but I remember doing some exercises, maybe even as a kid in the classroom where the teacher, like, asked us to write out the step by step process for tying your shoe and for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and then called people up to the front to demonstrate. And it's hilarious.

The differences that you see.

Oh, yeah. The differences and the steps that are completely left out. And the rule was, like, No. I'm sorry. Like, if you didn't say pick up the knife, then you can't use the knife to pick up butter. Like, you forgot that step. And so It was a really funny

And that's that's how detailed your business processes need to be. Because if you are not there And you're passing it off to somebody, especially in our space that's virtual. Right? So I'm passing it off to a VA who lives in Alaska. Right? If you forget That one important thing that you don't think is important because you already know, she's not gonna know that. They're not gonna know what that stuff is, and that's how detailed you need to be in your processes. Literally, step by step, every single checklist item needs to be documented, and that's what Especially in our space where solopreneurs are doing everything themselves. It's really hard to take that extra time to document that, but it's so important for once you get to that scaling phase.

Yeah. And I know for me, rather than trying to think through each of those steps. I know you mentioned video recording before, and that's exactly what I do. I just Yeah. Hop online, and I've gotta do it anyway because I haven't like, if I haven't handed it off yet, then I'm still doing it. And I'm like, okay. This is the last time I'm gonna do this because I'm gonna record myself doing it and explain it as I go and then hand off that video.

Yeah. No. That's The that's honestly the fastest and easiest way to do it. And if that's all you do starting out, do that. We can document them later and actually create process documents and create checklist and things like that, but if that's the, like, least thing that you do is record how you do a blog, how you input somebody into your CRM, record how you're creating a funnel. That's the fastest way to do that and pass that off for sure.

Got it. Okay. Oh, so many more questions. It's like, okay. So you create all of these. Where do you recommend storing them all? Do you just store them in, like, a Google Drive folder, or do you Is there something magical So

because I live in Trello, I actually store them in Trello because then those cards can be copied, and those checklists can be copied for each Time I do that task or if I'm passing off to somebody, there are some softwares out there that are actual process documenting softwares. I think one is Process street is one of the options. I mean, there's there's quite a few out there. I'm an all in one kinda girl, so if you're already using a tool that can do it, you might as well just Store them inside of that tool so you're not having to add an additional tool to your tool belt. But, yeah, I store my in Trello because I've got a whole board of processes. And then when my team members come on one of the steps in my onboarding process is to invite them to the board and they can search for any process that they need obviously, they're all organized by type and all of that because that's how I work. But, yeah, then they can go in there and search for it, and it's not You don't have to come back to me to ask me something, which is amazing.

Yeah. Okay. So if someone is listening right now and they're thinking, okay. This this All sounds good. What's the first thing that I need to do? Like, what's the very first micro step that you would recommend?

Yeah. So I think just documenting your day is probably the best way to do that, is To write down the things that you're doing throughout the day and then assessing that at the end of the day and basically saying, what things can I outsource? And in order to outsource that, what things do I need to document? Because really, I mean, even though our days change, we kind of go through the same flow of stuff. It's kind of the same like cycle of things that we're working on, so I would say document everything you do in one day, see what you can outsource out of that list, and then write down the steps that you'll have to take to be able to outsource that and what processes need processes you need documented.

Okay. And then if The same person is like, okay. I wanna take this even further, and I want some help. Then I know that you can help them. So where can they go to learn more, and what resources do you have to them get started.

Yeah. Absolutely. I have tons of free resources. I do Facebook lives and videos and content all over my Facebook, which is just britneyandcodot Consulting. I'm also on Instagram, but that's kind of more like the personal brand behind the scenes of Britney and Co. But I do have some Trello resources. So I have a content planner that they can get to help them with their content marketing and being able to outsource that. That's been the most amazing thing that I've put in my business.

And then I have a Trello course, like a full on, teaches you how to take my entire system, put it in place in your business, and have an Extremely organized business management system. So, yeah, I can definitely give you the links for those so they can check them out. It'd be awesome.

Okay. Perfect. Yes. I will drop all of those in the show notes so everyone can access all of those goodies and, Hopefully, get a little more organized in their business. Yeah.

A lot.

A lot.

A lot. Yeah. Yeah. And it is it it it's a lot. Right? So it saves you Time if you do it, but it also saves you like a lot of mental energy because you're not having to go through those checklists and those processes and those things constantly. So me putting this stuff in place in my business, like, I've seen my mind get clearer, which allows me to be more creative and actually work on projects In my zone of genius as opposed to, like, thinking about all the tiny tiny details of the day in and day out, which I think is what I'm Trying to help with those visionaries that want to do big things, but they need all the stuff to run those big things. So yeah.

That all sounds really incredible. That sounds amazing. So any last words that you wanna share?

Just get organized. Just start. You can't it didn't get like this in a day. It did not your business did not get disorganized in a day, so It's not gonna get reorganized and restreamlined in a day, so just start somewhere. Just record 1 video for a process. Just document one thing, and then just integrate that into your daily schedule and just do that consistently and obviously the ones that take top Priority, work on those systems first and just just do it because it makes scaling a whole lot easier when you have those things in place.

Alright. That's incredible. Thanks so much for joining me. And Thank you so much

for having me.

If you're ready to scale, then go check out Britney and all that she has to offer. I know that I wanna chat some more, and I hope that you'll take the opportunity to chat with her too. Until next time.

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