business-processes-model

What you need to know, now that your business runs without you

If you’ve been reading our last few blogs about the business processes model and have now set up your Vision, Mission, Culture, Goals, Org Chart, Position Commitments, KPI’s and Procedures Manuals – your business will be running smoothly, even when you take off for a long weekend (have you tried it yet…?).

Read these blogs to get up to speed.

Your new found flexibility is all thanks to your brand-new business processes and procedures: your team now understands what the business is all about, they behave appropriately and consistently, they have clear goals and KPIs, and they know who is accountable for what, as well as how to do it.

But if you want to really step away or work solely ON the business not IN it, you will need a way of quickly viewing or checking-in, to prove to yourself that the above is all happening. In short, you need to now implement Management Systems.

There are 3 elements to implementing Management Systems.

The first element is a ‘Dashboard’ to monitor what’s happening. The management dashboard is a small collection of information (ideally less than one page) that is sufficient to reassure you that the business is strong and operating in line with your expectations.

Include a few (no more than 10) numbers or objective facts that indicate the health of the key elements of the business. The most important data to capture on this system varies from business to business, but could include revenue, monthly profit, the lowest point on the quarterly cash flow forecast, leads generated, conversion rate, repeat business rate, staff satisfaction and productivity.

The dashboard could also include a couple of questions like ‘are there any new market opportunities?’ or ‘are there any new risks that might threaten the business?’

The second element of the management system is rewards and consequences. Does your team know what rewards are available if all business processes and procedures are adhered to? A bonus, a gift or an award will incentivize and inspire your team to achieve the business goals and let you continue to manage (from your desk, a cafe or a tropical Island). On the flip side, any consequences if things go wrong should be clearly stated so the team is aware.

The third element is Scheduled meetings. You might not have thought about this as an actual step in the business process model, but there should be a regular and predictable rhythm to your business. And the easiest way to do this is to set scheduled meetings. These could be in the form of a weekly team meeting, half yearly planning sessions or a daily huddle. Planned in advance, you can be sure that the right people in the business know the right things at the right time. Each meeting needs a specific agenda, to ensure important points are covered and no time is wasted.

With the Management System in place and your business process model complete, you can have confidence that your business is running reliably and consistently, and begin to achieve more in your life and give you the lifestyle you desire.

For more ideas on how to implement these processes, register here for the 6 Steps to Building a Better Business Seminar.

business-processes-and-proceedures

How to Engage your Team in setting up Business Processes and Procedures

Who in your business team is accountable for doing what? Do you have one person assigned to each task that keeps your business functioning and makes your customers happy?

If you don’t, then perhaps it’s you, the business owner who ends up doing more than you should. We see this happen all the time, and it’s the key contributor to business owners not having time to work ON the business or not being able to take time off.

But before you throw your hands in the air in despair, we want to share a few steps that help set up your business processes and procedures so that each person on your team knows their job, does it right and lets you get on with your role (and your life!)

And you don’t have to create these business processes yourself. You’ll get a better response and take some of the load off if you engage your team to help set them up.

First up is the Organisation Chart. Many businesses don’t have one, but it’s the easiest way to see – at a glance – who does what in your business and the lines of reporting. Each ‘box’ should include the person’s name and their role. Org charts help when it’s time to make major decisions, resolve minor internal conflicts, recruiting and growing the business.

Make sure your Org chart is designed for the ideal future of the business; with some names appearing in multiple boxes in the first instance and with lots of blank boxes for future growth! Get your team on board by placing and moving post-it notes up on a wall until you get one that the whole team is happy to go with, instead of getting one person to draw it up alone. Keep it up to date and display it prominently.

Next up in business procedures is Position Commitments, which should articulate, in a single line, why that job exists. What overall outcome does that role need to achieve? List key activities, processes and outcomes that the role is accountable for. Again this is a business process that the team can brainstorm and have a hand in. After all, it’s their career you’re shaping!

Remember that every business activity should be listed in someone’s Position Commitment, because if no-one is accountable for it, chances are it won’t get done.

To make it easy to track that these Position Commitments are being fulfilled (and you are not doing a whole list of activities you shouldn’t be doing), identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for each of them. KPIs are simply objective and measurable outcomes aligned with your company’s vision. There’s a business expression “what gets measured gets done”. If you set a goal around a certain outcome, the chances of that outcome occurring are much higher, simply because you have committed to managing and measuring the results.

What are the four or five things you can objectively monitor to know that a role is being done properly? Each role in your Org Chart will need its own set of KPIs.

For other tips on business processes and procedures that you can engage your team in, check out our eBook ‘Make your business work without you being there’.

business processes and systems

9 Steps to Building your Business Processes and Systems

Airline Captains put their aircraft in motion and then switch to autopilot. They are then free to take a nap or do a crossword puzzle while the plane flies safely all by itself. So, are you flying your business like a state-of-the-art dreamliner, or more like a monoplane from the early 1900’s?

 

ActionCOACH has developed 9 steps to take your business processes and systems from zero to hero, so you can make more money and have more time. And isn’t that why you started your business in the first place?

 

Step 1. Set your Vision. First, ask yourself: “Why do I get up and come to this place?” and “Why does my business exist?” Make your vision aspirational so your staff and team are eager to get on board with it. Download our eBook to read the vision we have for ActionCOACH.

 

Step 2. Set your Mission. Ask “What do we do, and for who?” and “What makes my business so special?” Aim for 3 or 4 lines so it has some level of detail, to give management direction for decision making.

 

Step 3. Develop a Culture Statement. The best businesses operate largely because of a strong and consistent culture. This ensures behaviours are consistent and clear, so that the team can live up to them. What systems or processes do you need to put in place to create a fantastic culture in your workplace?

 

Step 4. SMART Goals. Does the business have clear goals and does everyone in the business know what their goals are? Your goals must be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, a Result and Time-scaled. Getting clear on your goals and putting together a plan on how to accomplish them, multiplies your chance of success.

 

Step 5. Organisation Chart. Your Org Chart is a business system in itself. It should make reporting lines clear and provide clarity around each person’s role in the company and what they’re accountable for. If no-one is accountable for it, there’s every chance it won’t get done!

 

Step 6. Position Commitment. There should be a Position Commitment for every role in the business, and it should articulate why that job exists. A Position Commitment should also list key activities, processes and outcomes that that role is Accountable for. If your business is tiny, create an Org Chart with the full future of the business in mind, even if some boxes are blank right now!

 

Step 7. KPI’s. In order to track that the Position Commitments are being fulfilled, identify a handful of KPI’s for each of them. What are the four to six things you can track or monitor (objectively) to know that a role is being done properly? This business process will motivate your team even when you are on holidays or out of the office.

 

Step 8 – Procedures Manual

Having a procedures manual lets everyone know what needs to happen in each area of the business, so if one or more key people leave, the knowledge stays. They also give new employees a resource point while they are learning their role. Putting these procedures manuals in place usually has the effect not only of making the business operate reliably but also of improving the way it operates.

 

Step 9 – Management Systems

Now that you have all your business systems and processes in place and the business is working perfectly, you might be close to putting your feet up or jetting off to your favourite location. But before you do, create an overarching management system including these three parts:

  1. A dashboard, which typically includes a maximum of 10 objective facts that indicate the health of the business, usually including profit, marketing effectiveness, productivity and customer satisfaction.
  2. Rewards and consequences for the team, for achieving or adhering to the business systems and processes. Make sure staff are aware of rewards and consequences.
  3. Scheduled meetings that perform specific functions to be held regularly, such as work-in-progress, half yearly planning or even a daily huddle. These meetings need to be consistent and have a specific agenda.

 

In summary, the less about your business that is undefined, the less people will have to rely on you to answer their questions and help do their job every day.

 

Check out our “Plan for a Successful New Business Year” eBook here.

business systems and processes

How to make your Business give you back your life

Remember when you first started your business and you were excited as you thought you were going to be your own boss, work your own hours, make lots of money and have this wonderful lifestyle? A year or few in, how is that going for you?

If you are like most business owners you probably find yourself flat out running from day to day and wondering how you will deliver to tomorrow’s clients, eating lunch at 4pm, never feeling like you have enough time to prepare, let alone think about taking a holiday.  Sound familiar?

Some of the biggest challenges we hear from business owners is that the business has ended up owning them and not the other way around. The fact that the business can’t run without them being there means the owner is working in the business and not on it.

Smart business owners always have a focus on profit. Without profit margins – regardless of how many sales transactions there are or how much the gross revenue increases – every business will eventually run itself into the ground.

Intelligent business owners understand that the key to business success is to combine a profit-making strategy with a vision of personal fulfilment.  So what does this look like?  It means that the business generates profits while the business owner is enjoying a life elsewhere – maybe on the beach with family, on the back nine at the golf course, on a trip to explore new and interesting investments in future businesses, or at home asleep.  Sound a bit far-fetched?

Setting up your company so that you can generate cash flow while you are sleeping is a great way to build a business. A smart business leader knows how to use waking hours for dreaming, and sleeping hours for banking profits. While that might sound crazy, becoming rich and living a lifestyle that fulfils your lifelong dreams is definitely possible.  Many of our clients who are running established businesses have achieved this change in a matter of months!

The skilful and resourceful business owner rises to a level of ownership that allows for continued improvements in profitability but does not require that the owner assume a hands-on role of day-to-day responsibilities and on-site oversight.  Looked at the other way, what happens if you don’t achieve that outcome?  If the business still relies on the business owner then, at some point, it will fail….he or she won’t be there for ever!

Henry Ford was a great example. He made money by systemizing the production of his cars. By speeding up the production process and reducing labour and human error, he revolutionised the automotive industry.

Bill Gates presents another great example of a business leader setting up the right processes. He became the richest man in America not by only making computer software, but by inventing a system for selling software around the world without having to be physically involved in each of the transactions.

Having business systems in place allows business owners to do the same thing with their companies. Those who keep enhancing their systems and processes are soon retired from the business with a steady stream of monthly income to live off, invest in new ventures, spend on hobbies and vacations, and fulfil lifelong dreams.  You might not want to actually retire, but having your business set up this way gives you the freedom to do more of it or branch out into new ventures. Imagine being able to have a successful business and a life at the same time!

In our latest eBook called “Make your Business Work without you being there” we show you how to follow the 9 Steps that you can implement to make your business run itself.  These steps are guaranteed to help you create a shorter and more enjoyable path to personal and professional satisfaction and financial wealth.  They are all about making the business operate reliably and without depending on the owner’s day-to-day involvement.

You can download your free eBook “Make your Business Work without you being there” here.