The Design Business Show 130: Creating Detailed Foundational Systems with Kristen Westcott

Director : Melissa Burkheimer | February 15, 2021
Check out episode 130 of The Design Business Show with Kristen Westcott to learn all about setting up foundational systems in your business!

Kristen Westcott is a business growth strategist and founder of Kristen Westcott Media ( ) who has spent the last decade in the legal and education fields supporting leaders and students in the areas of goal setting, productivity and project management. After recognizing her true passion, that lies in serving entrepreneurs, she honed her skills as a Director of Operations. She quickly noticed that what was holding many business owners back wasn’t a lack of drive or ability, but a lack of foundational systems that could support the day-to-day operations of scaling their business. These days, she spends her time helping online coaches, copywriters and course creators scale without the frustration that massive growth can bring you.

Here’s what we covered on the episode:

  • How Kristen and I met at Sage and Tarzan’s Legendary Life Event in 2019 and how she reached out about coming onto the podcast
  • Kristen shares that she majored in sociology, which had nothing to do with business, management, or systems but was drawn to the legal side of the sociological studies she did
  • After school, Kristen became a law clerk and worked in a law office for 7 years doing commercial litigation, which included a ton of project management, so she honed in on the project management side of things
  • Kristen explains a lot of times in commercial litigation you work for the lenders of the banks — the big companies who are calling in loans on small businesses and shares she worked there during the 2008 recession and really struggled with the process she had to do everyday
  • How Kristen decided to leave that job and got into the education field which she loved because she was helping students with goal setting, time management, and helping them learn a new set of skills
  • While Kristen was teaching she got into coaching, which is where she stumbled onto the online world and got certified as a health coach and a life coach, which she did for a couple of years but realized she spent more time helping other coaches market their business than on marketing her own
  • Kristen explains she didn’t need to market her business because she was getting referrals and explains that as a business integrator, you work so deep with clients in the back end of their business that you aren’t in and out in a month, you work with them long-term so you can’t, and don’t need to take on as many clients
  • Because Kristen’s business was full as an integrator, she was looking for a way to help people that weren’t ready for an integrator but who were past the startup phase and in a growth phase, where they want to level up and need support but can’t afford the support
  • How Kristen is having to market her business more now in order to help people who might be interested in a membership or consulting model
  • Kristen shares that a virtual assistant can help support you through administrative tasks, tech tasks, invoicing, graphics, or social media, etc. and how she likes to train her VAs to be outcome driven versus task driven and what that looks like
  • What an online business manager is and how some are certified and how some people just call themselves an OBM because what their doing is a more than the tasks a VA does
  • Kristen explains that an OBM might manage the projects and give tasks to a VA or members of the team, they might write or execute project plans and help manage the team as they go through that project plan and also explains that some might do implementation on the back end of things
  • Kristen walks us through a corporate business structure versus an online business structure and explains that there are different things we need and don’t need in an online structure depending on where you are in your business
  • One mistake Kristen sees entrepreneurs make when trying to fill roles is hiring too abundantly before they’re ready because what happens is they hire someone but don’t have any systems in place to give them consistent work so then they think they need to hire an integrator to manage all these people when really they just need to clearly define roles
  • Another mistake Kristen sees entrepreneurs make is being leery of hiring because they don’t want to let go of any control over tasks in their business and will wait too long to hire which means they are overworked and stressed because they haven’t brought someone in to support them in any shape
  • When you want to set up the basic systems for your business, Kristen suggests tracking your time, regardless if you plan out your week because sometimes it doesn’t go according to your plan — this way you can see where your time is actually spent
  • After you track your time, Kristen says you will be able to see the smaller tasks taking up your time that you could offload to somebody else; then you can categorize the tasks into administrative, social media, back end processes, etc. and see what the best hire for your business would be
  • Kristen shares that the next step after time tracking is to document what you’re doing as you’re doing it and shares that Loom is a great Chrome extension, where you can screen record what you’re doing, narrate it, then save those recordings so when you bring someone into your business they can use those videos as references
  • When finishing a creative project, Kristen shares that an important step people miss is having an offboarding process because a lot of creatives pour their heart and soul into a deliverable and by the time they’re done, they email it to the client and that’s it, rather than having a nice offboarding process to wrap things up
  • Kristen explains the offboarding process, what it might look like and how you can include a folder that has links to all the copy, or content you created in one convenient place for the client, and how this can also be a great spot to ask for testimonials or referrals
  • One thing Kristen loves to do in her offboarding process is create videos on how to go in and make a change to something she’s done, which is great for web designers because you don’t want people coming back to you if they’re only changing one small thing on their website for example
  • Kirsten offers project management in an agency model, where clients work with a member of her team and helps them manage long-term or short-term projects
  • Kirsten’s two VIP Day offerings where she sits down with a client for 6 hours and they power through a couple things — one offer is a strategic planning VIP Day, where they map out their plan for business growth and the other offer is a hiring process VIP Day, where they look at what kind of support they actually need
  • In August, Kristen is launching a membership for people to work through those two VIP Days over a longer time frame, which is great for people who might not have a lot of time in their week, but want to start getting those back end, foundational systems in place
  • If you have a question about business and systems, don’t hesitate to message Kristen on Instagram because she loves talking about this stuff and wants to help you
  • Connect with Kristen on Instagram, Facebook, or on her website and look for the freedom track link, that helps you get started on setting up those processes so you can offload them to someone else


Links mentioned:

Kristen Westcott Media 

Loom Chrome Extension 

Connect with Kristen on Instagram

Connect with Kristen on Facebook 

Freedom Track 


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