Almost 2 weeks ago I found myself in a Cambodian hospital with 3 stitches in my head – ouch! You can read more about that on our travel blog, Up Sticks And Go. The experience meant we were not actively ‘working’ in our business for almost 2 weeks – in fact I think Simon still has a mild case of PTSD after seeing me pass out 🙂 The upshot is that we’ve been useless as far as the business has been concerned..
Luckily for us our business did not stop dead for two weeks, in fact thanks to our fabulous staff and the few systems we have in place the business kept ticking over!
If we had been taken out of our business for much longer, I’m not sure what the result would have been – but it has reminded us that we need to develop even more systems in our business so that if that were to happen, either accidentally or on purpose our business would continue to tick over and even grow! A mentor of ours once said, “your main aim as a business owner should be to get out of the business as soon as possible”.. He didn’t mean you should sell (although that is an option for some), instead he was referring to creating a business that runs (and grows) whether you are actively in it or not!
When you first start a business it is your baby and you can’t imagine not being actively involved in the everyday – however as time goes by many business owners (including us) realise that they aren’t enjoying the demands that their business is putting on them. Every waking minute is spent keeping things floating in your business – and you can’t stop because theres no one else to do it! You end up hating the thing you once treasured..
The solution to this is creating and setting up systems in your business. Whats a system? The best way to describe a system is to say the word MacDonalds. No matter where in the world you got into a MacDonalds you’ll get a similar service and similar products – you know what to expect. They have every step in the processes of making and selling their burgers down pat – all written up to train new staff as they go through the MacDonalds process.
Love or hate them they are a great example of what systemisation looks like. In our business a system looks like a bunch of documents that describe the process our staff (and us) should go through when providing each of our services. For example, when Simon and I do our fortnightly coaching webinar a video is automatically uploaded to Youtube, one of our awesome staff in the Philippines will go watch the video and create time stamps (notes about what is said at what time in the video) and paste them with the embedded video on our membership site. This way the video and time stamps are ready for the members who want to watch the recording. At the moment I then email our members to tell them its ready, but this is something we could get the staff to do.
Another way that we’re creating more systems in our business is to have the staff create the ‘how to’ documents themselves. So as they do a new task they have to take notes on how its done. These notes are then put into a document area that everyone has access to – like our own work wiki. Now when the next person comes along and is not sure how to do a new task, they can first check in the work wiki to see if its already been documented! This cuts down a lot on how many times we are asked by our staff how to do particular tasks! Plus our services to our clients are consistent because, just like MacDonalds the detailed step by step instructions are there.
Another benefit of systemising is the ability to grow your business exponentially – a system that works is just a matter of rinse and repeat.
So go out there and start taking your self out of your business as much as possible by creating and implementing systems and then you can say you have a business and not a day job (24 hours a day!) you call a business. Plus you’ll have the piece of mind that if anything takes you out of your business for a while, it will survive (& look after you and your family) – or you just might like a holiday!
You should run your business rather than have a business that runs you.
Do you already have systems in place? If so, how have they changed your life?