Who’s really in charge here? You or your business? Look down at those “mind-forge’d shackles” as poet William Blake might have said, that are binding you to your nightmare. Yeah, the business started out as a dream, but that was when you were not living it 24/7. And living a nightmare is no fun. No fun at all. So, is it truly possible to have your business running smoothly…even when you’re not there?
“The secret,” says business coach Stacie McKibbin of San Diego, “is to implement systems that fuel business development.”
Still, creating those systems that run every aspect of your business (so you don’t have to) is where most business owners working 24/7 come to a crashing, exhausted halt. Like any nightmare, the best way to get rid of it is to wake up. So, let’s wake you up to some key ways to put effective systems into place without causing mass panic at work and improving processes at every level of your business!
Repeat after me, “It’s time to stop wasting energy and money. It’s time to wake up.”
I bet you feel better already. Okay, so where can a business owner start? Here are essential tools you’ll need to reawaken your dream:
* Identify the 4 key areas in your business to systemize
* Develop and write the systems
* Know the 9 steps to systemizing your business
* Know when to hand over your duties to a worthy staff
Okay, take a deep breath. I can already feel you tightening your muscles, but now comes the quick lesson in “how” to do all these key things. Before diving in, however, take a moment to look around you.
How nice would it be if your business was simply a computer that could be reprogrammed. But, wait! It can be reprogrammed. The problem isn’t reprogramming your business, it’s reprogramming you! Yes, that’s hard to hear, but think about it. Does change come easy to you? Or do you look around and shudder at the thought of revising the way you do things? Do you way down deep think that even though you’re doing the same things over and over that are creating problems that those problems will somehow go away?
Don’t beat yourself up. We all do that. We allow the nightmare to seep into our business processes, and almost without our knowing, it starts to take over. And we all know what comes next: late hours, cranky moods, the blame game…sound familiar?
Well, all that’s about to end, because WE ARE WAKING UP!
First and foremost, let’s identify the 4 key areas you’ll need to systemize. These include:
* People and Education
* Delivery and Distribution
* Testing and Measuring
* Systems and Technology
Let’s begin with people and education. Go back to that initial chart you’ve tucked away in some file somewhere that says who does what and who reports to whom. Can’t fine it? That’s okay. We’ll make a new one. Make it simple and be prepared to make lots of copies, because EACH PROJECT that you do will be filtered through this chart.
The “parts” of this flowchart may include a top box marked Managing Director. Under that box would be four new boxes marked:
* Sales Manager
* Marketing Manager
* Finance Manager
* Administrative Manager
Under Sales Manager would be Sales Rep, and under Finance Manager and Administrative Manager would be Clerk, or whatever names you have given each of these positions.
Now, you might be saying, “Yeah, I already do that,” but the question is: Do you use it in each functional area of your business?
To do that:
1. Take one functional area at a time and work it through the chart.
2. Start at the first point of contact, so if the project, for instance, falls under the “Sales Reps” area, start there.
3. Document the path as the project passes through to the next functional area.
4. Draw boxes around each function and connect them with lines and arrows to show the flow
Essentially, what you are doing, besides tracking, measuring, and documenting each project in each functional area, is involving your team. This eliminates any question of who’s doing what and where, in the process, each project is, and you can involve your team in creating their own organizational charts per project that they are responsible for. This leads to tracking KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and will be a huge help to you when evaluation times come around.
Okay, so clearly, to develop “systems” you must have a strong team in place. To do that, have each team member identify the following by creating a list of:
* Their top 10 most time-consuming tasks
* Their top 10 stressful tasks
* Their top 10 productivity-related tasks
* Their top 10 tasks that bring them the most happiness
This not only educates you about your team, but helps you streamline, adapt, amend, or try something new, should change be necessary.
While this gets you started in revitalizing your “systems” to get your business back on track and functioning smoothly, it is only one area that needs attention. A business coach works with you through each of the 4 key areas, resulting in a commercially profitable business that runs with or without you being there.
Just think of all the things you could do with the extra time, energy, and money you will be making by streamlining your business systems! Isn’t that what the initial “dream” started out as? It’s truly time to wake up and remember, you’re not alone. Let your business coach help put systems in place that will help you, your team, and your business prosper.