Monday, May 21, 2007

Week 35 - How To Get Your Business Running Without You

Over the next twelve weeks we will look at perhaps the single most important area for all small business owners – the systems that support what they provide each day. Here is what I will cover:

  1. Why implementing systems will improve your business dramatically.

  2. How to develop your Operations Manual and why it is critical to your success.

  3. The difference between internal and external performance.

  4. How to ensure your product or service is consistent and tap into what the marketplace thinks of your business.

  5. Some simple techniques to get employees to really understand your business and act accordingly.

  6. Why training is critical to your short and longer term success.

  7. How to improve your marketing and advertising, week in, week out.

  8. How to ensure that your referral programs are an on-going success.

  9. How to create an experience for your customers that will keep them coming back time after time.

Systems are absolutely critical to your business success. Without them you can almost certainly not franchise your business and will find it much more difficult to sell, or indeed put in fewer hours. Systems are developed by paying attention to what goes on in your business at the lowest level. Systems are about treating the root cause of the things that happen day to day. We are all familiar with putting out fires but how many of us make an effort to ensure that a specific problem does not reoccur? The business owners who do this spend far less time answering the same questions or dealing with the same problems; they have freed themselves.

If you ever said “…I cannot take a holiday, this place would collapse if I didn’t show up every day…?” you will get a lot of value from the next 12 weeks. Many business owners feel exactly the same way; that is, “…none of my employees can do things the way I would do them so how can I leave them to run the business?”

If this sounds familiar I don’t need to know anything about your business to guess that you do not have policies and procedures for each aspect of it. The reason is that when left to their own devices, even the most dedicated and intelligent staff will fail to be consistent. What choice do they have? They do each job as they see fit and according to their mood in that moment. Let's get to work on fixing this.

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