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5 Must-Have Systems for Your Coaching or Consulting Business

Your Minimum System Stack to unlock more time, be biased-towards-action and find exactly what you need in under 5 seconds

Hey friend!

There are two types of coaches and consultants…

Those who keep everything in their head, struggle to stay organised but don’t have time to deal with it and are afraid of dropping the ball…

And then there are those who don’t just rely on their busy brains to store everything, and instead use processes and systems in their business (and life) to unlock more time and accomplish their goals without burning out.

If you have these 5 must-have systems in your Minimum System Stack, I think you’ll see unlock some major time savings in your business.

💡 Today at a glance

  • The top reasons coaches and consultants can struggle to put in place systems in their business (and life)

  • A breakdown of the 5 must-have systems for your coaching or consulting business

Whether you’re a seasoned coach or consultant, or are in the early days of your business, do you have these 5 systems in place?

If you don’t, or if you feel like your systems could use a bit of improvement, read on.

There are literally dozens more systems you can put in place in your coaching or consulting business, especially if work with other team members or contractors to deliver your services to your clients.

But I believe in simplicity and only creating more systems if they serve a purpose.

These are the 5 systems that should form your Minimum System Stack to help you get organised and keep track of everything that’s important.

So you can unlock more time and productivity in a sustainable and human way.

The reasons coaches or consultants (sometimes) don’t have these 5 systems

Coaches and consultants are some of the most passionate, motivated and high-performing individuals in the world. Otherwise they wouldn’t be helping their clients the way they do.

So why do they sometimes struggle with having systems and processes in their business?

  • No time.

  • Don’t how to get organised.

  • It’s not broken enough to fix.

  • Not a naturally organised person.

  • Systems and processes sound so dull to them.

  • Too overwhelmed with their workload to know where or how to begin.

  • Love the 1:1 action with clients, don’t love the back-end administration side of the business.

I know what you’re thinking, the upfront time and effort investment is high.

But like many good things in life, it’s short term “pain” for a long term gain. Having systems you enjoy using is how you can leverage your time to do work that matters to you (or better yet, use the time you saved for living your life outside of work).

If you want to practice Slow Productivity in your business (or your life) so you can accomplish your goals in a sustainable way without burnout, I’ve found these 5 systems are the foundational to any business, but especially solopreneur or tiny team businesses focused on coaching and consulting.

Lets dive into each of the 5 systems and why they might be important to you and your business.

Breakdown of the 5 Minimum System Stack for your coaching or consulting business

These 5 systems are a key way to track mission-critical things, help you focus on doing your high impact work and leave the mental clutter at the door.

1. Tasks & Projects

What does David Allen, Cal Newport and Tiago Forte have in common?

They’ll stress the importance of having a system to keep track of your commitments (e.g. tasks, projects, goals) somewhere external to your brain.

  • David Allen talks about his Get-Things-Done system.

  • Cal Newport talks about his approach in both his books: Slow Productivity and World Without email.

  • Tiago Forte talks about his Second Brain system.

“Your Brain is for having ideas not storing them.”

David Allen

Unfortunately, we we only have limited brain power and attention each day.

So we should prioritise that for ideating, thinking, analysing and doing deep work. Instead of holding and tracking the overwhelming information we face in our heads.

I also believe productivity is personal. 

I have experimented with different systems, and taken what worked for me from each of these experts to create a system I enjoy using, and leave what doesn’t work for me at the door.

I encourage you to do the same.

(I previously shared my thoughts on the second brain system and Tiago Forte’s CODE Framework if you’re interested)

2. Client Management (CRM)

Since starting my own Notion consulting and done-for-you service, a system to keep track of the clients I’m working with and the various projects have been a no-brainer.

It’s also been a great way to keep track of interesting people I’ve connected with over time.

I don’t mean tracking people in a creepy way or with automated systems like Hubspot or Salesforce.

As a soloprenuer those tools are overkill for me right now. The complexity would cause more friction than freedom.

I’m here to make genuine connections with people and don’t have hundreds of people-relationships to “manage”.

A simple and functional CRM has been immensely helpful for me to:

  • Stay organised in my business.

  • Have contact information within easy reach.

  • Know exactly where I’m at with each person (e.g. who I need to follow up with and when).

3. Client Meeting Notes

Good note taking and record keeping sounds a bit boring.

When working with coaching or consulting clients, especially for long periods of time.

Keeping good meeting notes, tracking actions and tasks and knowing when you need to follow up is critical to progress.

Both for your client experience, but also for your own sanity.

You need an easy way to take notes (and find them under 5 seconds when you need to) and quickly add tasks to your task manager. This stops you from wondering if you captured all the information or whether you have outstanding actions for you (and your clients) to do.

When you’re juggling 5 to 10 clients concurrently without a system, it’s going to start to feel overwhelmed quickly.

4. Content Studio for sharing thought leadership and building authority

Last week, I talked about the importance of having an easy to use system to share your thought leadership.

I won’t go into everything here, check out the article if you missed it

The bottom line is coaching and consulting is a people business.

That means building trust and authority in your niche (e.g. Burn Out Coach, Decision Coach, Wellness Coach, Business Coach for first-time momprenuers, Outbound Sales coach) using content is a big pillar in your business in today’s internet age.

Having a content system and flywheel that makes it easy for you to ideate, create, write, publish and track your thought leadership content (and repurpose it) is really important.

A system streamlines the process.

So you can focus more of your time working with your clients or growing your business.

Or better yet, free up more time to live your life outside of your business.

5. Knowledge Bank

I bet you’re a bit like me, you’re a curious person and have a passion for learning.

Self-development is such a critical trait for coaches and consultants.

Why? Because if we want to do a great job helping our clients, then we have to be open-minded to recognise our gaps so we can improve our knowledge, learn new skills and tools, and ultimately get better at our craft.

A personal and professional knowledge bank is a must-have system in your business (and life) to keep track of interesting articles, podcasts, courses, videos, books, and your notes and personal insights on them.

That then feeds more ideas into your content system.

If you expect your clients to grow and challenge themselves, then what better way than to set the example of doing just that for yourself.

💡 Bonus Tip:

Digital tools like Notion, Obsidian, Tana etc. makes it so easy to link different system together (e.g. your Knowledge Bank to your Content System).

Making it easy to cross reference knowledge you’ve consumed with thought leadership content ideas, saving your time and effort.

Imagine this. Fast forward 90 days, you’ve implemented these 5 systems—how you feel about your business (and life)?

What you would do if you unlocked an extra hour each day just by getting a bit more organised and systemised?

Sure you could work more (if you need or want to), but you could also use the extra hour to spend with your spouse, kids, friends, or hang out in nature or pick up that guitar you’ve been meaning to practice.

A Minimum System Stack helps you practice Slow Productivity, regain more time, become action-oriented and free up more mental headspace.

That’s it! Thanks for reading.

Following my own advice about having intentional breaks from writing a weekly newsletter, I’ll be doing some summer travels for the next few weeks.

I’ll be back in the second half of July, see you in your inbox then!

Just one more thing, I would love to hear what YOU would do with an extra hour each day (that’s 5 hours a week!)—hit reply and I’ll share a specific tip or suggestion to help you get one step closer to that.

Have a slow week!

Janice

📌 Noteworthy

Just one thing this week.

No matter how experienced you are, we all experience imposter syndrome at some point in life.

In fact the high-achievers ironically experience that more than others, because they’re always striving for better. This episode shares how we can leverage imposter syndrome to our benefit (e.g. becoming more mindful and resilient, grow our network of support, develop our skills further)

Whenever you're ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

  1. Book a 1:1 strategy call with me. I’ll help you level up your Notion workspace with my 5 years of Notion experience and 13 years of experience with workflow and process design, productivity, organisational management and project management expertise. You’ll walk away with a strategy roadmap to get unstuck with Notion. Here’s what people have said. 

  2. Ultimate Guide: How to create your digital writing system in Notion under 1 hour (Free!): Ready to learn how to use Notion to create your own writing system so you can write consistently?

    Join 110+ people who have downloaded this guide to build their own Writer’s Hub OS in Notion with built-in slow productivity principles.

  3. Travel Hub Notion Template (Free!): All-in-one Travel Planner that helps you ideate, plan, research and organise your trip stress free using Notion.

    Join 780+ people who have already downloaded this system and upped their travel planning game.

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