February 14, 2013 Josh Cantwell (0) “Leadership must focus on improving processes, not on performing the work or on repeatedly snuffing out brush fires. Quality products or services, a stable staff and profitability are the result of the quality systems that underlie them… not the reverse.” ~ Sam Carpenter, Work The System Some days it can be overwhelming when you look at your business and see everything that needs to get done each day and each week. You may know that having some sort of system in place will help, but don’t bother to take it any further than that. Sometimes it takes getting to the point of being fed up of doing the same things over and over again before you implement your own systems. But when you do, you’ll find that things begin to streamline immediately and you can spend more time actually building your business. A business process is a repeatable activity that allows you to leverage time, talent and money to do more, get more and accomplish more without investing more time. There may even be systems within systems as complex processes or procedures are further divided. Creating an accurate, workable system is not difficult and doesn’t have to involve any sophisticated tools, but it does require you to invest a little bit of time up front to get it all down on paper. Once you do, you can let the system do all the work. How To Leverage Your Business With Systems If you systematize the business, you will find it easier to then “bolt on” something new. But first, focus on what you have in place or what you think will become your most profitable component, and start there. Build it out, scale it out, systemize it, and then expand and add the next thing. • Begin with brainstorming all the elements of the process/system. Don’t worry at this point about the order of things, just brainstorm all the elements. Write them down in any order, as things pop into your mind. • Take your overall business and consolidate it into departments – group tasks together that logically belong together or make sense. For example, you might have tasks related to lead generation, marketing, finance, accounting, finding sellers, and so on. Again at this point, you’re not worried about putting things in order, you’re simply grouping. • Schedule department meetings once a week, even if there is nothing in that department. If you don’t have a staff or team to meet with, schedule that time for yourself to focus on that specific area of the business. • Brainstorm and identify key performance indicators (KPIs) for each department. • Create a Google form for the appropriate staff member to record KPIs. • Schedule reminders via auto responders in the Google forms. • Establish a deadline for the KPI report prior to the department meeting so you can review them during the meeting. • The department meeting takes place and KPIs are reviewed, measured and edited based on what is working and is important. • Training is scheduled for areas that need improvement. • Training is captured in an evergreen system (a mind map or video). Future questions are asked. Answer = refer to the evergreen training system.