October 27

Build Strength

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A business that lasts has a strong foundation built on how shit gets done. So how do you go about developing and implementing good systems and process? It’s like eating an elephant; you do it one bite at a time.

So you have a business that is viable and making money. Your mother built it from nothing and she wants to give it to you. Or you built it with your own sweat and tears and you want your nephew to take it over. Now what?

The days of flying by the seat of your pants are behind you...

There is the initial growth stage, where the company went from an idea to a going concern. Then comes a leveling off period. Or the thing has been banging along for years but it is dependent upon your daily input. And you want to hand over the reins. These are the times to start taking those small bites. The days of flying by the seat of your pants are behind you and now it is time to work on process. This is not as exciting as those heady days in the beginning. Downright boring would be closer to the truth – but critical to the long term. Process and systems can ease the transition of a business from parents to children. Good metrics can ensure that everyone knows the score.

Mapping process is like building a playbook for a hockey team.

Documenting the critical processes of your business is a giant step. A big benefit to any business is the clarity that this will bring. Imagine no more arguments over how stuff got done when dad ran things. Mapping how to do things ensures that ‘the good old days’ don’t only portray the good parts leaving out the bad. When you go through all the steps of running your business as a team, it can be amazing. Seeing all the great ideas that your people throw on the table is invaluable. They are the best resource you have and they have the deepest insights into how to improve their work. Mapping process is like building a playbook for a hockey team. Winning teams all have a set of well practiced and well executed plays. They stick to them through thick and thin. They review and improve them after every game. They keep on winning.

Team meetings, strategy sessions, huddles and timeouts during critical points in the game.

Another thing that winning teams do is to communicate well. Team meetings, strategy sessions, huddles and timeouts during critical points in the game. This exchange of information leads to high performance. Your business needs a similar, well structured approach to communicating critical information. Morning huddles to review daily sales figures. Weekly sessions to review production targets against actual. Your company data is like player and team stats. Capturing and reviewing key performance indicators means decisions made with facts and figures. Rather than gut feelings. This can make a big difference in any business. Individual emotions can run high and intuition is a big factor. When trending charts are on the table with hard facts, your business will win.

Documented process is the key to building a business that lasts. A fancy word for how you do things. The tough part comes when you decide to tackle it. And that is where one bite at a time comes in.

Breaking it down:
  • identify your critical processes
  • document them
  • develop and improve them
  • implementation them

Start eating that elephant now and your team will win and keep on winning. Season after season, generation after generation.


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