“But how do I create a system? It sounds complicated”
I hear this a lot.
Entrepreneurs who are used to doing everything themselves feel intimidated by the idea of systems (and delegation).
They think one or all of these thoughts:
- No one can do it as well as me so I’ll just do it
- It will take that person longer to do it so I’ll just get it done really fast
- The task is too complicated to have them do it
- Training them will be too long and hard so I’ll just take care of it
And the list goes on and on.
These entrepreneurs, while well-intentioned and hard working, will inevitably hit a glass ceiling in growth. There will come a point in their business that the day to day work is too much for them to handle.
What happens then?
Either sales fall off, or delivery falls off, causing a never-ending seesaw of stress and urgency.
This usually happens around the 6 figure mark as businesses start to take off.
The entrepreneur has two options here:
- Adapt, learn to systemize and develop a team
- Continue doing what they’re doing, stay at 6 figures forever and eventually burn out.
That’s it. Adapt or die.
That is exactly why systems are so important if you want to break that glass ceiling build a scalable company.
But how do you create a system? How do you actually ensure people will do the job right?
How do you systemize a company where you can take a vacation for 2 weeks (2 months?) and it cruises right along, never missing a beat?
Start with one. Make the first system a super little, non-critical task that is easy to teach (how to upload a WordPress blog, how to upload a podcast,etc.)
This first task should be:
- Unpacked (so one step in a longer process)
- Repeating at least 3 times a month
- Simple to teach, simple to learn
Once you choose the task, follow these 3 steps to create your first system:
1. Record yourself doing the task
You can use a screen sharing software that records your voice like Loom to record yourself doing a task.
Let’s say you are wanting to delegate posting a blog to your website. You would simply post a blog to the website and record your screen the entire time while explaining what you are doing.
This way someone can see your screen, hear your thought process and what you are doing, and follow the steps themselves.
In my own business, I send Loom videos at least a few times a week. This allows systems to be created, it allows me to avoid answering questions multiple times (because they have the video), AND it removes time-wasting meetings explaining to someone how to do a task.
2. Create the process on Good Docs using screenshots
So you now have the video of a task. From here, you will want to document this on Google Docs.
Few things to cover here:
The definition of a process: Something you follow and walk through step by step to complete. An A, B, C process to get the desired result.
This is a step by step of the video you just made. It’s important to put screenshots with arrows pointing to important items, notes with contingencies (if this then that, if that then this), and any other important notes that someone should know when completing this task.
Processes should be so specific and deliberate that an inexperienced A-player can immediately be effective.
The inevitable question that comes up here is “I have the video already, why do I need to document this?” The video serves as a fantastic overview and beginning step of a system, but eventually, the process will get tweaked. Step 3 will turn into step 4, step 5 will be removed completely. When the process is in Docs, it is easy to swap these changes out. But when you just have the video, you have to redo the video each time, which is a complete waste.
The video is a great start, but it is not the 10/10 system. The documented process is.
3. Organize the process in your Drive so that it is easy to find and easy to use.
I walk into businesses all the time that have processes documented. When I interview their employees I find that no one is using them. Why?
The number one reason they give me is:
“I can’t find the one I need. It takes too long to find them.”
If you’re systems and processes can’t be accessed quickly, they are useless.
Which is why the third step in creating a process and delegating your least favorite task (and every one after that) is organizing the process in a structured way that is easy to find.
There are 2 keys here:
- Make sure the process is titled accurately and effectively. A sales script should not be titled “ABC Company master conversation template” – It should be titled “Closing sales call script
- Make sure everyone who needs access to them has access and can get to it in under 30 seconds. Some ways to do that is to make sure your team has it bookmarked, making sure your Google Drive is organized, and having a Playbook (organization system that categorizes all documents in your company in one simple to use Google Sheet).
The faster people can find the process, the more they will use it. It’s that simple.
Systems can make or break your company. Without them, you are the CEO, Head of sales, Assistant, and Janitor.
But if you record the tasks you want to delegate, get them into an easy to follow, documented process, and organize them in an easy to find way you can breathe easy knowing your company is running without you.
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