What is a Business Hub - and do you need one?
This article may contain affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase with my link I receive a small commission, which will feed 4 hungry budgies 🦜. It’s appreciated.
One of the things that I have always been feeling pretty passionately about is not doing pointless things.
So when I was in school and the teacher said “do this exercise” my first question has always been “why?”. I bet, I was much loved back in the day. Having spoken to a friend of mind about this recently I learnt that this is just one of the ways in which my brain works.
This has pulled itself through into adulthood too. I have quit every single job that just existed for the sake of existing but didn’t really provide any value or fix any problems, because it’s pointless, and I don’t want to waste my time doing pointless things - even if I’m getting paid for it.
So here I found myself earlier this year spending hours every week looking for stuff, asking people where things have gone too, watching miscommunications on the daily, watching non-communication on the daily and I’ve found myself more and more frustrated, because when you’re faced with these problems you just cannot get any work done.
So what has the Business Hub got to do with it?
The problem with everyone has been the same.
Their business has grown rapidly with a larger number of people now involved and every person has tried desperately to make sense of their work and to put systems in place to make sure that they can actually get their work done despite the chaos within the business.
The result of that is more chaos - and this chaos is costing people their time and it’s costing you a lot of money:
❌ Money wasted in the time that your team spends looking for information somewhere in Google Drive.
❌ Money and time wasted in the time that your team loses because they’re switching between 10 different apps and task switching confuses our brain enough that it takes us a good time to get back into the swing of things.
❌ Money and more time wasted in meetings that wouldn’t really be needed if there was an organisation system behind what you’re doing.
❌ Money wasted in opportunities that you’re missing because you’re not able to act on the quick enough.
❌ Money and time wasted correcting mistakes that shouldn’t have happened in the first place, but did happen because of lack of communication between the team and lack of structure for your team members on how they should complete their work.
❌ Money and time wasted on hiring new team members because you’re existing ones are fed up and leaving.
And this is really just the start - and the Business Hub is your way out.
One of the things that is absolutely essential to getting your team and yourself back to being productive is to make sure that ALL INFORMATION related to your business is located in ONE CENTRAL PLACE - I personally have chosen Notion to build those places for the amount of flexibility it offers, but you could use Airtable as well.
✅ So whenever a team member needs a document - it’s in your Hub.
✅ Whenever we need to know to which standard something should be done - it’s in the Hub.
✅ When the question comes up who does what - it’s in the Hub.
✅ When I’m looking for my tasks - they’re in the Hub.
✅ Whenever there are external documents (for example spreadsheets for accounting) - they’re linked to from the Hub.
✅ When I want to know if a project is on track - I check the Hub.
This removes 95% of confusion within your team and gets your people back on track to getting work done.
How do you go about setting up a Business Hub?
The easy answer is you get me to do it 😂 (no kidding, if you want to, click here) - but if you want to DIY it because you’re into it, then here is what I’d suggest you do.
1. Get clear on the processes you follow right now
Start from macro and work your way to micro. So, start with the different areas that you have in your business (marketing, sales, delivery etc.) and then get detailed with everything that you do (marketing> email marketing, social media marketing, blogging) and then get even more detailed (marketing > email marketing > how to send the weekly newsletter).
Once you have a map of what it is that you actually do, move on to step 2.
2. Make a list of all of the data that you keep within your business
You need to set up your data storage, so for that you need to know what data you are actually storing, so look through all of your tools, your Google Drive etc. and find everything that you’re keeping around. These could be contacts of people, contacts of brands, notes, SOPs, Guides, Tasks, Online Course Info, Content for all of your platforms, various finance spreadsheets, testimonials etc. etc.)
3. Choose your tool
I personally chose Notion to build this because a lot of the things I store involve written text. So for me something like airtable was out of the question because I like the full page writing experience.
The main tools you may want to look at are:
Check them out and commit to using and learning one of them.
I am in the middle of recording a Notion training course for my business hub customers, so I will share that here once I’ve got it in case you want to learn to use Notion.
4. Set up your Data Storage
Now that you’ve picked the tool, we need to get started setting up your system. I always break it into 2 pieces - data storage and access points.
The data storage works a bit like a physical archive in an ancient library would. The physical books are old and kept safe in a controlled storage while people access scanned digital copies of the original.
I do the same in all Notion setups I build, very few master databases as an archive and then as many access points as your team needs to see the info.
There are now multiple different theories when it comes to creating these databases and organising your team depending on whose methodology you vibe with, but I’d always recommend setting up the least amount of databases that you need to get the job done. Eg. 1 database for contacts of people, 1 for brands (in case you work with them in a larger concept), 1 for all of your information (SOPs, Guides, Courses, Notes etc.), 1 for your projects, 1 for tasks.
You can then use the database properties to break all of the information into categories and build filtered views very easily.
5. Build your access points
Each person or each team in your business needs an access point to the information that you have stored in the main databases.
Your social media manager would probably like to see completely different things on their dashboard than your tech person right?
So you need to make access points for your team that include all of the databases that they need but filtered to show only the things that THEY need to see (eg. showing only tasks in a certain project, showing only tasks that are assigned to them, showing only tasks that are to do with their area of business etc.). This ensures that your team (and you!) don’t get overwhelmed with seeing information that is NOT relevant to getting their job done.
There are many more intricate steps to this process, particularly linking the information in different databases to each other (eg. linking tech SOPs to tech projects) so that the information is always quickly accessible, but these are things that go into too much detail for this.