When we read about multi-million dollar corporations, the success, the people behind them, and the vision that enabled them to go from post-it note to world renowned brands we wonder what must go on behind the scenes to make that success happen.
It’s of course a multitude of people, purpose, idea, market, finance and motivation. But I guarantee, the one thing these corporations have in common is systems. A common, documented way of achieving every facet of their business activity. A culture that takes action. The A to B approach that is then brought to life by the people behind the business.
That simple? Well, not quite, but systems and processes are the backbone of any business. However small. They pave the way for growth and development, for review, and are the building blocks of how we make our business work well and how we stop it failing should the unforeseen happen.
It’s easy to think that as you are your business, you don’t need them. You’re too small. It’s just you and your laptop, and you know what you’re doing. You’re never going to be the next CocaCola or Facebook, so there really is no need to add something else to your to do list in an already overflowing period of your business.
Stop for a moment and think about this.
You want to expand and grow your team. How will they know what to do without you spending hours showing them?
You’re travelling and delayed, you’re not going to get back in time for a project meeting and you need a VA to step in to contact your clients and manage expectations. Where are they going to find the information, and how do they know where to look?
You’ve reached the position where you’d like to completely outsource or even sell your business, but your existing clients need business continuity. How will your new team know how to manage your client base and continue the value and goodwill that you have built up?
One of the most common blocks small business owners have from taking on team members is how they will pass over what needs doing and, more importantly, how it’s done, where to find all the information that is necessary to carry out a task.
This is where systems come in. With operating procedures, processes, or whatever you call them, there is a directory of information at your new team members fingertips. A comprehensive guide to what goes on, all you need to do is fill in the blanks. This is much less stressful than trying to tell it all in a Skype conversation, scribbled notes or an email trail that’s over complicated and open to translation.
Where do you start?
Your foundation systems should always have a process against them, regardless of whether anyone will need access to them or not. What is your workflow? How do you do things?
After you have documented the foundations, move on to what you’re planning to outsource. What are you going to be asking your new team member to do, and how do you want them to do it?
If it’s social media scheduling, what platform do you use. How many social media accounts do you have and what content do you want going out on what platform. What’s your tone of voice, your etiquette?
If you have your sights set on growing a large team, then I would suggest using a system like Sweet Process or Process Street. Tettra is also good. Great platforms for checklists and processes to keep your team aligned. You can always start with a folder in Google Drive or Dropbox, with Word or Google docs in (use version control and PDF the current copy to make sure you’re always up to date).
You may not want to bring on a team, you may just want ease and flow in your own business. This systems approach is still perfect for that too. Try it, even if it is a simple spreadsheet listing what you use for what, key tasks and dates. They are all processes in your business.
Still not sure where to start?
If you’d like to simplify your systems, bring ease back to your business, or just get something documented somewhere, then you’re in the right place. Get in touch to find out how I can help.