As the inflation rate increases and the resignations pile up, you need to do more with less, especially in a small business. Time to really fall in love with creating systems. And I touched on it in our blog on working fewer hours, but I didn’t really give you all of the keys to building great systems.
The goal with systems is simple – help you unlock the doors to saving yourself time, energy, and money. Let’s break it down. We’ll start high level and get more granular as we go.
Do you have a 100-year goal for your business? You may have a general goal – a basic vision for how you see your company growing.
The 100-year goal should serve as a guiding light for the business. Every employee should know it and every team should work towards it in some capacity. Unfortunately, most day-to-day employees don’t know or care about the vision. What makes you think they will stick around if someone else offers them more money?
If you want people to care about coming into work every day to do a great job, they need that 100-year vision to drive them. The business can’t think like a small, “pay the bills” business.
Make your vision big and your people will follow it and stay to see it come true.
2. Mission Statement
Now that you have a guiding light, you need a roadmap. A description. The mission statement provides this, describing:
- What business you ARE and are going to BE
- The people who help us get to that vision, teammates, partners
- The customers you serve
- What makes you unique
You cannot create great day-to-day systems without a guiding light and roadmap, so understand the importance of these foundational principles.
3. Culture Statement
Refer to these as your core values. What methods and behaviors will your team achieve to build a successful business?
As an owner, create 1-2 core principles that you feel need to ooze out of the company. What does your business stand for? Then, create values that pertain to the company itself and the team who occupies it. Answers to these questions will attract prospects and customers to your business, plus you’ll spend less time motivating your “stakeholders”.
Finally, ask your customers about culture, because they serve as part of your “cult” too.
If we really start thinking about these first three keys, you realize that they set the direction for all of the other systems. If the systems don’t have direction, you will struggle greatly as you grow and scale. Your teammates won’t care about showing up, and your customers will leave for a business with well-defined vision, mission, and culture.
The vision and mission should be so big that you need a lot of goals to get there.
Start with 10 year goals, and work backwards to 5, 1, and quarterly. Because if you start with “today” or “this week” with goals, you don’t stretch your thinking. Nobody knew how to get to the moon when John F. Kennedy said that we “choose to go” there. But by setting that big goal, we worked backwards and figured out how to make that goal real.
When JFK said that, the folks at NASA likely thought “we don’t have enough time or money to do that!” So what did they do? They built systems and goals to break things down. And here’s what they likely did next…
5. Organizational Chart
You know what puzzle pieces you need to make the picture (vision) possible. Now you must learn how they will all fit together as you build the puzzle.
The question “how many” should pop up a lot as you build this organizational chart. How many people? How many offices? How much revenue?
Draw one up for your current organization, then draw multiple as they relate to the goals you set. Build out as you realize that you’ll need more from each department. Circumstances may change and allow you to require less people, but what if they don’t?
This won’t just take a day, and you won’t create one draft. Use Post-It notes to move things around or rip things up. Once you start to form the shape, size, and scale of your business, you will start to see the vision much more clearly.
Ok… we threw a lot at you there and you probably have 100 other things on the list. This can go on the back-burner… a little bit.
But as you start working towards your big goals, the day-to-day decisions get so much easier, so get going. You’ll think less and execute more quickly on:
The smaller, more intricate systems (that we’ll discuss next week) will also come together much more easily.
Hiring a business coach makes the creation of these first five keys so much easier, because a coach has done it a million times before, and they have zero day-to-day experience in your exact business. This will make that process of working backwards to grow so much smoother. Schedule a free strategy session with us, or check out some of our upcoming events to get things started.
And look out for part two soon…