You’ve put years of blood, sweat, and tears into your business. You continue to devote everything you have—time, freedom, and money—to ensure that things get done exactly the way that you want them done. Your blood might have been crucial to getting things started and, even now, you still feel like you donate ten pints of blood each and every week. However, to stop bleeding you must move outside of yourself and get out of your own way. How do accomplish this? Systemize. This is my proven method as a business coach to stop the bottlenecks in your company.
In my years of CEO coaching and business coaching in San Diego I've found what really works. Your goal is to find that happy place where you have a solid and growing business that doesn’t need your blood anymore because the workflow is pumping just fine on its own. You can walk away guilt-free to focus on more important things while your team oversees the execution. But it will only work if everything is properly systemized.
In order to take action on tasks that lead to growth, you need powerful systems in place that accomplish the following:
- Free you up to work on your Big Picture Vision strategy.
- Enable your team to get from point A to point B in the most efficient manner possible, without sacrificing quality.
- Allow for new team members to step in and get into the rhythm faster with less on-boarding time.
- Limit the number of mistakes, redos, and general churn.
- Save your company money—unless the expenses lead to faster scaling and/or greater financial reward.
- Rely upon as few touch points—i.e., checks and reviews—as possible (again, without sacrificing quality).
- Make more money by selling and providing more products or services faster.
- Get a higher valuation on your company when it’s time to sell.
The good news is you don’t need to hire Six Sigma or Kaizen experts to identify improvements in your company. Sit down with your team leaders (freelance or in-house) for quarterly planning days in which you outline existing processes, identify problems and roadblocks within those processes, and then make the pivotal decisions about which steps can be improved, replaced, shortened, or removed entirely.
Once you have worked with your team to create a new and improved system, you don’t want to lose the threads of everything that has been accomplished or you’ll end up reverting backward and wasting time. This is where the Systemizer comes in. This system helps direct, structure, organize, store, edit, and simplify all of the actions of your daily business. The Systemizer is the glue that holds everything together. Here are five steps to systemize your company:
Step 1: Create systems for every division and operation of your company. Here is an example:
- 1.0 Onboarding
- 2.0 Administrative
- 3.0 Sales Process
- 4.0 Marketing
- 5.0 Financial
- 6.0 Legal
- 7.0 Client Training
- 8.0 HR/Team
- 9.0 Operations
- 10.0 Events
Step 2: Pick one of these areas and break it down into three to five subcategories and then break those subcategories down even further. This is how you determine every ongoing process, or Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), needed in your business that you can create a system around. For example:
- 4.0 Marketing
- 4.1 Marketing Funnels
- a. Webinars
- b. Facebook Ads
- c. Referral Program
- 4.2 Social Media Posts
- 4.3 Event Posts
- 4.4 Allie & You Show
- 4.5 Metrics
Step 3: Make a folder for each category. Drop in all of the tools, photos, files, and processes you already have so that you keep everything in one place. Only save items in this folder that you will continue to use. Archive old materials that you do not plan to use again.
Step 4: For each project or company process, write each step that needs to happen from start to finish and file that in your online folder.
Step 5: Create a document that lists each system, folder, and the titles you have given them so that you and your team can easily access them.
Step 6: You may also want to make a hard-copy binder in case there is ever a technology breakdown.
ONE CAVEAT: DON’T OVERSYSTEMETIZE
As much as I am screaming from the rooftops about systemizing, let me say that oversystemizing will have the opposite effect of what you are going for. If you have too many SOPs, they can have the reverse impact of slowing people down, confusing them, and overwhelming them. If your employees must check off, document, and report every single breath they take, they may not miss a beat—but it will take them ages to complete the task, which translates to lost time and money. Watch out for employees who realize they have a knack for churning out system and process improvements and go a little bit overboard, especially if they have been rewarded for them.
Let me repeat: While new systems and processes can revolutionize your company, they should always simplify—not overcomplicate. If you and your team execute the Systemizer properly, everyone will reap the rewards of saved time and be able to focus on more exciting, creative tasks that drive the business forward.
To be sure you have the right people creating and implementing your new systems and processes, watch Allison’s free video training on Super Pros to get clear on who you need on your team. Click to get access to the video and companion worksheet.
Voice for Business Success
Allison Maslan, CEO of Pinnacle Global Network, The World Leader in Scaling Businesses. She is the Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author of, Scale or Fail, which is endorsed by Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank. Allison’s built 10 successful companies starting out at age 19. Her client list has included Ben & Jerry’s, Supercuts, Charlotte Russe, and Allstate.
Now she and her team of CEO Mentors pay it forward by helping business owners scale their companies, fast-track their success and create a more meaningful life. The Pinnacle Global Network, her private mentoring and mastermind enterprise has guided thousands of business owners over the past 10 years. Allison’s been featured in Inc., Success, Fortune, Fast Company and Forbes Magazines, is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine and a featured expert on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox across the US. Allison has also hosted her own podcast, The Scale or Fail Show, since 2011.