5 Must-Have Checklists for Small Businesses to Turbocharge Productivity

Executing on Plans / October 30, 2019 / Kristie

While checklists may seem like a very basic tool, they can amplify your productivity by preventing avoidable mistakes and save you so much time, you won’t believe how much easier life just got! When it comes to getting more done, a checklist is a crucial part of your success that aides your decision-making, processes, and discipline for higher performance.

animated characters on yellow autumn background holding a checklist

Checklists save you time because you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, you’re simply laying out the process in a digestible format. When you run a small business, deconstructing complicated tasks and processes into easy-to-follow, verifiable steps can make a large impact even when the steps may seem obvious. You can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having the confidence that your team is following the right steps and avoiding things slipping through the cracks, allowing you to streamline almost anything. Most importantly, you can prevent you and your team asking yourselves, “What do I do next?” Whether it’s the nagging anxiety of wondering if you’ve missed a step, feeling like you need to micromanage to get things done right, or just being overwhelmed by every detail you need to be on top of, checklists are the answer! 

How checklists have transformed the way we work

In our own experience, checklists have saved us many times when preparing for a new macOS release, launching a new feature, or making sure our new team members are set up for success. We’ve been able to save time, free up our mental resources while not overlooking the basics, and stay disciplined when it’s easy to go on autopilot. Our customers have even shared how much they love having checklists built right into Daylite to make sure they know their business is running smoothly and keeping their team on the same page. 

Below, we’ve included 5 examples of checklists both we and our customers have used to transform the way we get things done, redefining our productivity, efficiency, and workload: 

Onboarding a new employee:

When you bring on a new hire, you want to get them up and running as soon as possible, but there’s so much to do! Having a checklist for this process helps you make sure you’re setting up the new employee for success and getting them up to speed in a way that improves both of your experiences. For example, your checklist may look like this:When you bring on a new hire, you want to get them up and running as soon as possible, but there’s so much to do! Having a checklist for this process helps you make sure you’re setting up the new employee for success and getting them up to speed in a way that improves both of your experiences. For example, your checklist may look like this:

  1. Set up payroll and benefits
  2. Set up company email
  3. Provide access to company tools such as Daylite, 1Password, Zoom, Slack, etc.
  4. Add to the internal newsletter mailing list
  5. Set up meetings with the new hire and each department head
  6. Provide list of company-required reading materials, books, etc.

Announcing a new service offering, product, promotion, or event:

When you’ve put a ton of work into creating something new, you want to make sure everyone knows! We use this checklist when we’re launching a new feature to make sure none of the details slips through the cracks and our customers are well-informed – all while also juggling our other work and projects: 

  1. Update the website 
  2. Blog post announcement
  3. Send to mailing list 
  4. Post on social media 
  5. Publish press release
  6. Include in newsletter

Bringing on a new client:

First impressions are crucial! Your customer’s first interaction with you can make or break the deal and can even have an impact on potential referrals. You’ve worked hard to close the deal, so you don’t want to lose your new customer over a small detail you should have been on top of. This checklist ensures that you and your team are giving your new customer the best possible first experience with your business: 

  1. Set up meeting
  2. Intro meeting to establish needs/requirements
  3. Send proposal/plan
  4. Follow up to review/modify proposal
  5. Confirm and sign contract
  6. Send thank you to client who referred them
  7. Set up checklist for new client project 

When a client project completes:

The end of a project is also the beginning of a long-term relationship with your customer if you play your cards right. Not only can you be creating repeat business with a happy client, but you can also be generating new business through referrals and word-of-mouth! This checklist allows you to maximize the benefits of a happy customer, not only by creating the potential for future business but also by showing your customer that you care about their experience with you:  

  1. Follow up with client to ensure satisfaction
  2. Send invoice to client
  3. Send client satisfaction survey with feedback for improvement
  4. Ask client for a referral 
  5. Ensure invoice is paid and follow-up if necessary

Rolling out a new tool:

With a team of about 50 employees, when we roll out any kind of new tool we have to make sure we do our due diligence for GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), security, and privacy reasons. We also have to ensure everyone on our team is aware of the rollout and knows how to use the new tool. A checklist like this is a great way to formalize your procedures and prevent any mistakes and wasted time, resulting in a smooth process: 

  1. Review terms and service to ensure they align with GDPR requirements and our privacy standards
  2. Get signed DPA (Data Processing Agreement) for the new tool
  3. Add the tool to our DPA and Privacy Policy
  4. Document use case for tool in Confluence
  5. Create account
  6. Add additional necessary users
  7. Provide any necessary training for users
  8. Revisit to ensure tool is meeting requirements and review feedback of team members using the tool to ensure satisfaction

Using checklists with Daylite

You can create checklists in Daylite using Activity Sets, which allow you to set up a series of tasks and/or appointments that you can then apply to People, Companies, and more! You can also make sure you focus on the right things at the right time by defining each stage of your Project or Opportunity by using Pipelines. By building Pipelines, you can ensure your process is completed in the right order every time with a streamlined checklist.

What are your favourite checklists to use? Let us know in the comments! 

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