If you’ve ever wondered about the quickest way to lose morale and excitement on a Monday morning in the office (other than an unnecessary, two-hour meeting to go through last Fridays four-hour meeting) – try having a meeting about introducing systems or procedures to your business. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz!
But guess what’s not boring? Making more money with a whole load less effort.
There are a few massive benefits to systemising your business and I’m going to show you the easiest ways to start implementing systems into your business right now.
If you haven’t already got Trello, do yourself a massive favour. It’s simple, visual and very easy to use – perfect for creating procedures that your whole team can engage with. And it’s free. ProcessStreet is another great alternative, with a lot more features but keep it simple to start with.
Do not create the procedures yourself
I can already feel the control freaks having an internal meltdown. Calm down Larry, there’s a method to this madness – you will still need to create the first formal procedure explaining how everyone needs to create their procedures and outline the importance of why it must be followed. The keyword here is “why”. So many business owners miss this fundamental step. You can tell people what to do all day long (good luck with that strategy) but if they don’t understand the “why”, you will forever feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall. If an employee understands the why, they will understand its importance to you and the business – ultimately giving you a team of engaged and informed employees that do need to be told over and over again – because they understand the why!
Keep it simple
Even the most complex businesses can be broken down into a series of simple, bite-sized instructions. That is your goal. Do this and you will find a level of flow and business continuity you never thought possible. Your procedure needs a title, a short summary explaining the why, and a set of steps from start to finish. You can add photos and videos if they help but don’t get overwhelmed – just get started.
Empower your team
Allow your employees to have full control over creating the procedures. You have set the standard and explained the why, now you need to get out of their way – I cant begin to tell you how many times I thought my way was best, only to then realise that the employee doing the task everyday had a much better set of tasks to achieve the same goal. Outline the objective, support your employee then let them get on with it.
Test, simplify and repeat
It needs to be tested and not by you! Get someone from a different department, who has no experience in that field – let them complete the task and see if they end up achieving your why. If not, tweak it! It should be simple enough for my six-year old to follow. If you have more than 10 steps, then it should be broken down into another procedure. Break things down and continually simplify. Your business will thank you for it later.