Many business owners struggle at first doing everything in their business because they are the business. Before you hire anyone, you are the bookkeeper, the form creator, the receptionist, the consultant and the sales person etc.
A major challenge for business owners is releasing some control and getting others to help run the business so that it doesn’t completely take over your life.
When you are at breaking point and recognise things have to change, you can do one of three things:
- You can continue to struggle by yourself
- You can delegate some of the lower value tasks to someone else and look over their shoulder watching every move they make
- You can invest in systemisation to free yourself and make life easier
It’s a no-brainer which one you should pick, but surprisingly most business owners will only choose number three when they are already in chaos up to their necks.
If you are a business owner and not quite ready yet to let go of certain tasks, that’s ok, just keep in mind that as long as your business is growing, that day will come and when it does, you can be totally overwhelmed with how you will train and delegate someone or you can be ready.
In order to set up systems, you have to get the knowledge in your head into a format that someone else can quickly access, understand and follow.
Start by delegating something that you do often that doesn’t require your level of skill to complete.
Knowing what to delegate requires identifying tasks that only you can do, or want to do. I’ve developed an exercise that will help you identify your role in the business and what you can get others to do, it’s called the 5 Lists to Getting Clear on Your Role in Your Business.
Once you have identified the most critical actions in your business and who is responsible for them, the next step is writing a process for how the process should be done.
Write it Down
Writing a process doesn’t have to be a time-consuming chore. Start with an outline of the steps, the rest can be completed in stages. A great tip is to have 2 screens open where you can be performing a task on one screen and writing the outline into a document on the other.
Each time you start that particular process, take an extra few minutes to build out the procedure, the “How To” information. Before long, you will have a collection of processes that are ready to delegate.
Writing a process is like following a recipe. Start with the description and what the expectation or the result will look like. You can even record things like how long a task is expected to take and what you need to have ready in terms of preparation such as what software or documents will you need to access.
Your “recipe” for success is having systems, making sure that are your people are following them and constantly improving them. Having documented systems means that your people become less dependant on you and that the business will perform in the same way as if you were not there. If you don’t have systems in place, you will be spending much of your time, explaining, training and being a slave to your business.
Want to learn more about delegation to avoid pitfalls?
Systems and Growth
If you have plans to expand your business such as opening up in other locations, you will most definitely want to replicate what has worked in your flagship business. Once you have mastered your processes and you know how to produce a replicable outcome, your documented processes are easily rolled out and your people will be able to follow a proven system.
Worried that other people will not perform a process or task the same way that you do? Simply explain the process using the documented steps so that there is no doubt in the minds of the staff about the way things should be done. Staff need to understand that “this is the way we do it here” and why it’s done that way. If you have done everything right and provide the “How to” and the purpose of a task or process and you are still having issues, that signals that you need to identify if the problem is with the process, or with the staff member.
At the end of the day, staff want to do a good job, systems not only make it easier for them but they understand clearly what your definition of “task completed” should look like.
Do you want to keep your sanity, stay healthy and have some time to grow your business? Systems will allow you that pleasure.
Maybe you want to grow your business to the point where you can sell it. Without documented systems, your business is not attractive to a prospective buyer. Building systems helps you to run your business easier will see your business become an asset.
If not now, the time will come to get all that knowledge out of your head and transferred to others so you have the time to focus on growing your business.
If putting systems in place has become a priority for you, I might be able to help. Book in a Systems Success Call and we can discuss strategies to transform your business.