Starting a business is not for the work-shy, I can tell you that right now.
It takes grit and elbow grease to get things up and running and make a success of the venture.
There will be late nights and there will be early mornings.
It won’t be forever, though, and it doesn’t have to be either.
Not if you systemise your business, which means getting systems and procedures into place so that you, your employees and any service providers can get on with your roles, helping the business to run more efficiently and profitably overall.
More importantly, it gives you the freedom to really grow your business.
Here’s how you go about it:
Document tasks throughout the week
The first step is to log the different tasks you and others in the business do throughout the week.
Take notes. Film yourself and/or anyone else who is doing tasks. Does anything go wrong? Does the task run smoothly?
This is your starting point for improving processes as you move forward.
Review your notes and try to work out why something is working so well or why it isn’t returning the results you’d want them to.
Create easy access to documents for procedures
This is an important step that will provide clear direction for anyone working with you or for you.
As the business owner, you won’t always be available to answer questions about systems or processes.
Creating a resource hub, so to speak, of documents for different procedures will help employees, freelancers and anyone else who works with you.
They can continue with the task(s) at hand, rather than spending time calling you or sending emails or text messages.
Crucially, too, it ensures they execute tasks the way you want them to.
So, ask people in your team to create some procedure documents. Then place them online in the cloud and give the necessary people access to them.
You could also add documents that answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) and provide general information about the business to this information hub.
One of the keys to systemising a business is to train people.
Train them as much in the values and culture of the business as in helping them build the skills and knowledge to perform their duties.
This empowers them. The better they understand their role and more they develop their skills, the more effectively they’ll perform their duties.
Training must be continuous. Don’t hire someone, train them up and then forget about them.
Note that you should also keep learning. You may be able to systemise a part of your own role.
Provide people with the right tools
I understand it’s a business and you want to spend as little as possible but achieve maximum profit, but if you don’t provide people with the tools they need to do the job, you’re going to do two things:
- Diminish the efficiency of your business and, potentially, harm its profitability.
- Rattle your employees and increase your staff turnover (no one stays at a business where others make their jobs difficult).
Giving people the right tools will allow them to focus on the role, rather than force them to wrestle with old technology and systems, and look for ways to be more efficient or more productive with the current ones.
You might have heard me mention before that there are certain tasks a business owner should do as little of as possible, such as admin and social media marketing.
These are hands-on tasks that someone else could (and should) be doing for you whenever possible.
If you’re doing them, stop and delegate as much as you can of them to someone else. Train someone else to do them if need be.
Once you’ve done this, you can make these tasks a regular part of their duties while you concentrate on growing your business, which is what, as a business owner, you should be doing.
Systemising your business is about documenting and implementing systems and procedures so that your business runs like a well-oiled machine, even when you’re not around.
That’s because everyone who works for you or with your business knows what to do and how they must do it.
You don’t need to manage people as closely or waste time with low-value tasks, all of which leaves you to focus on building the business.
Ultimately, systemising your business is about freedom: the freedom to enjoy your business and grow it, by making sure you have the right systems in place.
Take that little bit of time to study systems closely.
To run an efficient, profitable business.
And to be free.