You have probably heard the words structure and systems thrown around in the entrepreneurial world. You know they are needed, but you are not sure why. Today we want to share why structures and systems are essential to your business success and where you can start creating them!
When you started your business, you were likely a one-person operation. You wore all the hats and had your own systems (however rudimentary) to get things done. When you are the only person completing tasks, this is fine. If you want to grow your business, you eventually have to bring on contractors or employees. Often, business owners avoid hiring until the last possible moment because they do not know where to start with training. Having systems and structure before you hire makes that process so much easier. It makes the transition smooth for you as the CEO and starts your employees off on the right foot.
Planning for the Expected and the Unexpected
If your business relies on you being present daily, that is a problem. While it is likely that you will be able to run your business as long as you want, what if you can’t? Illness, family emergencies, and death can and do happen. If you have financial agreements with your clients, they will still expect your business to deliver even if you can’t work.
On a positive note, if you want to take vacations or step away from your business to spend more time with your family, you will not be able to do that if you are the only person who knows how to run your business. Systems and structure allow you to turn your business into an entity that can function without you. This is important for business longevity.
Structure & Systems Help Prepare for Your Exit
Finally, if you ever want to sell your business or step out of the CEO role and turn it over to someone else, you will need a company with solid systems and structure. When you sell your business, a buyer is looking for a business with a proven track record of satisfying its customers, bringing in profit, and operating smoothly.
If you want to step out of the CEO role, you cannot have all the knowledge in your brain and expect the new CEO to be able to run your business successfully. Systems and structure make your business sustainable and able to run without you for years to come.
Types of Systems & Structure You Can Add for Big Impact
If your head is swimming with all of the ways you can add structure and systems to your business, there are two places that you can start. Standard operating procedures and employee onboarding and training are two areas that benefit from having structure.
As mentioned before, hiring is often delayed because the business does not have a clear idea of how to train or even what the new hire will spend their time doing. If you want to hire anytime soon, creating systems and structure around hiring, training, and onboarding is an excellent start to developing structure. Some of the different things you can work to create when bringing on a team member are:
- Job Descriptions: This can be a description for a hire you need to make immediately and job descriptions for positions you might hire in the next year.
- Employee Onboarding: Have a clear plan for the first 30/60/90 days of onboarding and expectations for how the employee will be evaluated.
- Employee Handbook: Sets clear expectations for employees and gives them a clear picture of the company, culture, and benefits.
Standard Operating Procedures
A standard operating procedure (SOP) is a documented procedure specific to your business that describes the activities required to complete tasks in a particular fashion. A standard operating procedure should be a document that anyone in your business could pick up and complete the job without any problem.
A robust SOP library will make bringing on new contractors and employees easier. An SOP gives a clear roadmap for all the essential tasks in your business and allows you to be the CEO instead of constantly teaching the steps of important tasks.
SOPs are not created overnight; they require attention to detail and an investigation into your business processes. Once you have an SOP in place, remember that it is a living document. It can be updated and adjusted to reflect changes to the process.
Tools For Structure and Systems
There are many tools available to create structures and systems in your business. Here is a helpful list of our favorites.
- 17 Hats, Clio, Keap, etc. – Use a CRM to gather client information and create automation around invoicing and other processes
- ClickUp- Task management software that can be used on a computer and a mobile app to keap track of all those ideas, deadlines, and to-dos. You can even turn your SOPs into templates for your team to use and streamline workflow.
- Google Drive – Great place to house shared documents that your team needs to access. A Gdrive is a perfect place for SOPs, so anyone can quickly log in to review.
- Lattice – Team management system can be used for team goal setting, 1:1 meeting notes, training, and check-ins.
- Loom: A short video recording extension on Google Chrome. Short loom videos can be made to demonstrate tasks when creating SOP’s. The videos can be linked to your document for easy viewing.
- MarcoPolo – If you’re a perfectionist like me, one of the best ways to delegate without inefficient self editing is to leave a quick video message for my team or for someone on my team to turn into an email response when needed.
The more structure and systems you can add to your business, the more you can rely on others to help achieve your business goals. Think of structure and systems as the foundation upon which your business growth can flourish. If you would like to chat about the financial structure we can add to your business, book your complimentary discovery call today!