Don’t read any further if you missed last week’s blog on systems. You definitely should have the fundamentals built up before you continue.
Now that you do have those fundamentals, we can get more granular when it comes to systems. We’ll discuss the documents and procedures needed to boost the effectiveness of your team, give you great numbers to use as leverage, and work towards the true definition of a business – a commercial, profitable enterprise that works without you, the owner.
If I asked a business owner: “What does your marketing director do in a typical day” and have them list the top five duties/tasks, would it match the marketing director’s list? You’d be shocked at how much may misalign.
If you don’t know on a high level what everyone does every day, the roles of your team-members will never sync up with the goals of the business.
This common issue makes creating detailed job descriptions and expectations for every current/future key position critical. Spell these things out to team members, even if it feels obvious to you. Base these on everything we discussed in Part One:
- Your vision/mission: How does this person help us inch closer to that?
- Culture: How does the role align with the owner/team/customer values?
- Goals: What will this person do to get us closer to our quarterly, yearly, and longer term goals?
- Organizational Chart: How will this role contribute to future organizational growth?
You’ll notice how easy team alignment becomes. You’ll also know exactly who to hire next and exactly what they will do. The team will buy in more when the team expands – versus battling over responsibilities to “gain an edge” or “stay important to the company”.
How smooth would your business run if you had zero overlap or lack of clarity anywhere?
We list all of this positional stuff out. Then, we track it.
Identify a handful of KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) for every team member. Ask yourself and the managers/staff below you – What 3-6 things should we track or monitor (objectively) to know that an employee gets great results? Give KPI’s to everyone – even the receptionist or intern. Allow them to measure their own contribution.
Watch as you effortlessly collect predictive data on the business and know where things need to head. This instantly makes your business more valuable if you were to sell or exit.
KPI’s also motivate your people even when you as the business owner take a day off or go on vacation. No need for a Jordan Belfort-like character to get the team “pumped up” every day.
Great companies have every routine task documented step-by-step so that a 5th grader could perform it.
When you build a Lego set with your kid, the steps make sense, provide clarity, and serve as THE instruction manual – you pretty much have to build the way the manual says.
Assume that even your “simplest” business processes require checklists, infographics, and/or video how-to’s.
Another big thing to think about – If you can automate something, automate it. Remember that time is money and paying a little bit more for some software to automate tasks frees up tons of time to improve the business.
It will take a lot of time to document every task, so start with the tasks that you and your team perform the most.
“Systemize the predictable so you can humanize the exceptional” – Gino Wickman
Now that you have all your business systems and processes in place and the business works without you present, you might think about hiring a General Manager, putting your feet up, and jetting off to your favorite location. But before you do, create an overarching management system including these three parts:
1. A dashboard, which typically includes a maximum of 10 objective KPIs that indicate the health of the business, usually including profit, marketing effectiveness, productivity, and customer satisfaction.
2. Rewards and consequences for the team, for achieving or adhering to the business systems and processes. Make sure staff are aware of rewards and consequences.
3. Scheduled meetings that perform specific functions to be held regularly, such as work-in-progress, quarterly planning or even a daily huddle. Stay consistent and have a specific agenda.
When we really break down what it takes to have great business systems, we realize that every business can improve in at least one of these “keys”. If you need guidance and alignment to either build a foundation or improve current systems, reach out to a coach. Our free strategy sessions serve as extensive business diagnostics where we give you clarity and tools to succeed as a business owner.