One of the most common reason clients reach out to me is because they are scared to implement new tools and systems themselves. We are always more comfortable doing the same things we are used to instead of trying something new and uncertain.
The way most tools and systems are built these days, it’s a lot more difficult to mess things up than it used to be. Early on in my career I worked with systems that had to be installed on your actual PC and upgrading them was scary. There were often blocks of code that were referred to as a ‘black box’ because no one really knew how it worked and chances are if you fix one thing, something else would break.
That is much less the case these days with many of the cloud-based tools we use. Coding practices have changed and become much more robust and efficient. In fact, systems and tools are coded to account for users trying to do things they shouldnt. A simple example, is that you may not be able to add a duplicate record if it already exists somewhere. Or you can’t submit a form or finish creating a record until certain fields are filled in. Or, my favourite, you can’t delete a record without clicking two other buttons to make sure it’s what you really want to do.
So, don’t be afraid to play around with your systems and tools to see what they are really capable of. You’d be surprised at what they can do for you if you take some time to get to know them.
#1: Create test records to play around with so you can see how data will flow throughout the system.
Before you start putting in your ‘real’ data, create some sample test records and go through some typical workflows of how you intend to use the system. It really helps if you have some of your processes and SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) already documented so that you can follow along and make sure that you cover your most common scenarios.
#2: Don’t be afraid to play around with your settings.
When getting started with a new system, or testing out something new you are interested in using, be sure to take a look at the settings. Some settings or features may be turned off by default. If you never go into your settings you may not even realize the full potential of what your system can do.
#3: Use the Help and training guides provided
Help and training guides available for most software and apps are a good starting point when trying to get to know a new system, or figure out how to do something in something you may have been using for some time. You may find that some systems have guides that are not very user-friendly, and don’t provide much valuable information. That can often be the case when using free versions of some tools. On the other hand, some systems come with very comprehensive help and user guides and it can be overwhelming to find what you may need. Try to use the search features on the tool’s support site to find what you need.
#4: Google your specific problem to find a solution, ideally on YouTube
If you are getting stuck in step 3, then Google can be your friend! There are many videos and help guides that others have created to fill in the gaps. Some can be very specific to solve for a certain issue, and others may be very generic and not helpful. But if you take the time, you may be able to find what you are looking for.
#5: You are not alone. Reach out to your community to look for help.
If you still can’t find what you are looking for, reach out to your communities. Find a helpful online Facebook or LinkedIn Group and ask your question. Maybe someone else has had a similar issue and can help you out.
And if you are still stuck. Not to worry! You are not alone. Book a one-on-one training/consulting with me. We can customize your hour to meet your specific needs, or add time as needed. I can walk you through a test account of most systems, or we can use your own.
Grab a beverage of your choice, put aside an hour or two, get cozy and just have fun with it! Hopefully these steps will take away some of the fear you may have with working with systems or implementing a new one.