Your business needs automation. No matter what you do, something, and usually a lot of things, need to be automated. Automation helps make your life easier and keep your business working, without having to spend hours doing the boring, repetitive work.
I've created a Facebook Group where we share and discover what can be automated. We find simple solutions to make your business more efficient and productive and it's free to join!
When you are ready to get serious about Business Automation, just click on the image and join us in the group, I can't wait to see you there!
Communicating With Your Team
I greet people I work with "How are You?". This is my first opportunity each day making sure I'm communicating with my team. I listen to the answer and find out if it’s “good, how are you” to “omg, the world is gonna end”.
You gain amazing insights into your team and find out some problems you didn’t even know exist, by listening to the answers your team share with you.
Communicating With Your Team
I always ask this it’s my opportunity to check in with my team. The tone, body language and how the reply sounds changes how you understand the answer.
Talking with your team is an essential communication skill to help us all to work better. This is how we find out how the day will go.
We can ask each other questions like:
- How is everything,
- What’s new,
- What’s changed
and the next question now can be:
- Is there a problem, and
- What’s the solution?
When I ask how are you going, the answers can be all over the place. I could get a personal response like feeling great, back hurts, my kids drive me crazy or more. I also get answers about work, this is working, I can’t figure out how to do this, this is an issue, do you know how to fix this.
I give my team the opportunity to answer the question with what helps them. It’s all about communicating and working with my team.
Have you ever talked with a teenager who’s not happy? Go ahead, ask what’s wrong and get answered with “nothing”. Parents know it’s code that something really is wrong. We have to find out what is wrong and depending on the tone and body language of the reply, just how serious it is.
Go ahead, ask what’s wrong and get answered with “nothing”. Parents know it’s code that something really is wrong. We have to find out what is wrong and depending on the tone and body language of the reply, just how serious it is.
In business, you ask what’s wrong and when you hear "nothing", you could take it as the answer. After all, we are all adults, we would say if there is an issue, right?
It’s much easier to say nothing is going wrong. You think it’s fixable, you can ask someone else to help you before you say it’s not working, you worry about the response if it’s not working, or you are flat out scared of the person asking the question. I’ve answered that way in the past for all those reasons, and more.
When I am part of a team where I feel trusted and valued, I can stop saying “nothing is wrong”. Whatever the issue is, I get advice to fix it. If I’m stumped, I ask for help. I communicate with my team what’s not working and we find solutions. I love building and creating teams with this way of working. This makes your business work.
Learning to talk with your team is so important. Figuring out what’s happening in your business and your teams is always about communication. If you don’t know, you don’t know. You think you know, but you really don’t, and when it goes majorly wrong and you start finding out ‘everyone knew’ but you, it’s so much more work to fix it.
So how does this work?
First of all, don’t say “let’s talk”. Most of your team will see it as confronting, think they are in trouble and start the whole conversation on the defensive.
How are you going, what’s new, how’s everything, is the start of a conversation where they can say as much or as little as they are comfortable with. You get to direct the conversation after you start them talking.
Take the time if they want to have a quick chat about the weekend, family, sports or anything interesting. Let them feel relaxed so an open conversation can start.
You are building relationships with your team so giving your time to listen to them builds a stronger, better relationship.
Your team knows you are interested and you will build trust. When you each trust, more gets done. Productivity increases, solutions happen and mistakes are notified and fixed. Your team works with you, and you are no longer alone.
Talking with your team is so important.
I’ve built several successful teams and been a part of successful teams. The big difference I’ve noticed in ‘good’ vs ‘bad’ teams is relationships. If there is a good relationship, you have the start to a great team. If your team doesn’t care what happens to someone else, if you “just do your job”, the team isn’t a team, it’s a group of people doing their own thing. If it gets in your way, it’s just the way it is.
I am a ‘communication enthusiast’. I write posts and ebooks about communication with your team, and train teams where most of the training is about how to communicate. It’s this important.
It also has to be genuine. Faking it till you make it doesn’t work with communications or relationship building. Asking how are you and not even listening to the response won’t tick a box. You won’t be building a relationship, you will be destroying it and making it harder for anyone to trust you.
I mentioned earlier about talking about personal things can be a choice your team member makes when you ask how they are going. Let them do it. If they don’t want to share personal information, this is fine also. Let them tell you their answer to your question.
How are you going might be answered with a lot of talk about business. Your team member might not be comfortable talking about their personal life. You are still communicating. Talk about what helps make them comfortable with you.
Let your team make the choice on what works for them to answer. Don’t push for personal information is they want to talk about your business. Don’t push for business information if they want to share some personal things with you. It’s all about talking with your team. Enjoy the talk, enjoy the relationship and enjoy seeing your team become stronger each time you talk together.
Your team being comfortable talking with you will allow your business to have wins and successes, be up to date with your business and have your team willingly to let you know when problems or mistakes happen. Your business success is built upon the relationship your team has with you.
If you have trouble communicating with your team, we have to speak to each other.
Book a call now. It's really easy and I promise I won't bite. I can help you, let's see how you are going.
Building Excellent Business Systems
I get it, you are busy. You don't have time to build excellent business systems because you are giving all your time to building your business.
Do you know you already have many of these systems already in place and you don't even realize it? Keep reading and I'll explain.
We are all creatures of habit. Every morning you get up, you use a system. It's what you usually do when you get out of bed. I get up, grab a glass of water, visit the bathroom and look at what my day is. I'm not a breakfast eater, and I had to devise a system so I do eat breakfast (most important meal of the day etc). I have systems in place for getting clothes ready, how I like to shower, brush my teeth and everything else I need to do to be ready to start my day. Throughout my whole day, I do things a certain way, from how I make coffee, check my phone and emails, eat meals and go to bed. Each one of these is a habit I do without even thinking, every single day.
Your business habits are exactly the same. You have a way of doing your calls, customer service, quotes, customer service, replying to emails, booking calls, and the list goes on. "Your way of doing" is your business system.
Your systems decide what, how and when jobs are done in your business. When you are the only person working on your business, keeping all your systems in your head can work fine, as long as you have a great memory.
If you don't, consider making some systems that help you get everything done.
In every business, there are:
- quarterly, and
- yearly tasks
Phew, that's a lot of things to remember.
Some of these tasks are easy to remember as you do them every day. However, have you ever forgotten to do something you do every day? I have, and just totally forgot about it. I've even started it, something came up and my mind was tricked into thinking I had finished it. It's not until the next day that you find out, oops, didn't do that.
If you forget things you do every day, so how easy is it to forget all your other tasks. It's really easy for me, as I have a rotten memory until I remember.
To protect my business, and myself, I build excellent business systems. I want systems I set up once, and know they will keep on working for my business.
Set Up Your Business System
How you set up your systems has to work for you. I am going to recommend things that can help you to start building your systems, so take what works for you, or use my ideas to find what will work for you.
These are simple solutions that don't take up a lot of your time. Remember how we talked about in the beginning that you don't have time to build systems? You don't but you do, so let me explain.
A small amount of time spent every day can build up your system to do one thing. You are already doing it, and you take a minute to start your system so instead of spending hours in one day, you can spend minutes every day until your system is finished. Then you can start on the next one.
Building Excellent Business Systems
Start with a new business habit and record what you do in a day. Write down or record as you do it, and use any of the following. On a piece of paper, a google or word doc open, Evernote, an email, recording, back of an envelope or in a journal whatever works for you. You need to record it, on something you can find later to look at.
As you think of something, add it to the list. If it's something you have to do next month, record it like this - Taxes - November. This is the quickest way of building your list of systems you need. You don't need to add in everything you do for that task, especially if you are the only one in your business right now. You just need the list.
Add to it over a week. If the envelope gets filled up, store it where you can find it and use another. You aren't going to do anything other than record what do you do. If you try to do more, you will stop doing it. Keep it Simple Systems is what you are doing. It is better if you can record it where you can access it later, like google or word docs, Evernote or in an email, as you can copy and paste it, however, if it's an issue to type it, do what work for you. Remember, this is about building your systems the way that you need it.
If you have no problems with daily tasks, start writing down any long-term systems you need to keep a track of. Start recording what has to be done every year and when and what to do each quarter or month.
Your First Excellent Business System
Your business system always has to save you time, so find the first task a system can help you with. Look over your list and see the main job you have trouble with.
Do you forget to send out a weekly newsletter, is there a monthly accounting task you need to do, have you checked your quarterly reports? Everyone's list will be different.
Try and find something that's due soon, as you want to see a result for setting up your first system. If your taxes are due in 11 months, and your accountant is chasing you for receipts this month, do the work your accountant needs first and set up your system.
If you are forgetting to do something, it's usually for a few reasons. You hate it, can't do it, it's difficult, time-consuming, boring, or you don't think it's important. There can be a lot of other reasons, but I find these are usually the main reasons. You don't have to tell me the reason, just work it out in your own mind. Why do you forget or don't do this task?
Next question has to be, does your business need it? This can be a fun exercise when you realize you don't need to do it and get rid of it. Most of the time, you do need to do it.
This is where setting up your first system will help you and your business. You had to do it before, so you know what to do. Find what you did the last time and refresh your memory. Write down the major steps, record a video so you can look at it next time, or find something via Google or YouTube that shows you how to do it. You don't have to invent the wheel, so find what will help you build your system.
Now you know what the task is, write down the major steps, record a video to look at next time, find something via Google or YouTube that shows you how to do it. You don't have to invent the wheel, it's making your system work for you.
Use a calendar system to help you to remember your system. If you use Google calendar, create a Business Calendar and you can do something similar with Outlook. Use a paper calendar, if it works for you. Spend a few minutes setting it up, and it's done, you have a reminder to do the job when it needs to be done.
Add in when tasks are due and add in the steps, links, videos etc that will let you know how to do it next time. Have it remind you to start the job when it's due. If your accountant needs all your receipts by the end of the month, set up a reminder a few days before to start gathering them. If you have to send out a newsletter every week, add the reminder in.
Your final task is to test it. Do the task and find out if it has all the information needed to get it done properly and on time. Did you record all the main steps? Was there enough time to complete the task? Did you get the result you wanted? If you answer no to any of these, then you need to make changes. If the answer is yes, then congratulations, your first system is completed.
Now you can look at the next one, and the next and the next. As each system is built, your business is stronger as everyone can do the job. As your business grows, you can give these systems to your employees, or virtual assistants and know the system works.
Building Excellent Business Systems will save your business time and money. You can be confident that tasks will be done on time, your way and the right way. As your business grows, hiring an employee or assistant won't be as stressful. Your systems can be handed to them to now look after, whilst you work on what allows your business to grow.
If you want to know more about building systems, check out this training.
Find out the Huge Importance of Leading Your Team Successfully
When you start Building Your Business Team, the importance of Leading your Team Succesfully seems obvious. You should know how to lead, after all, you ARE the boss and this makes you the leader and you will lead your team. A lot of "lead" in there, so I have to ask...
Do you really know how to lead?
Leadership is setting the direction for your business and helping your team do the right things to maximize your goals and move your business forward.
Sounds good and should be easy to do. It isn't.
I could tell you lots of sound good, warm and fuzzy stuff about how you are a natural leader and your team will come together. It's not true. Leading your team is hard work. It's good hard work as the results are worth it, and the value you and your business will receive is enormous.
Leading your team isn't just about making a decision and having someone else do the work. That's management. You are a manager as well, another hat you have to wear in your business, however leading your team is different from managing your team. Stay with me, I'll explain more.
I love Warren G Bennis quotes and this is one of my favorites. "Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right."
As the leader of your team, you give guidance, instructions, directions, as well as understanding the big picture and the strategies for what has to be done. You control who does what, who works with how and when it needs to be completed.
As the leader, you make sure your goals are met. You don't have to do the work, that's why you have a team. Your role is ensuring that who does the work, does it well and when it's needed to be done by.
There is a myth out there saying leaders are born. It's not true. Leaders are made and you make yourself into the leader your business needs. Anyone who is called a natural born leader needs to be congratulated for developing their skills to appear that way.
You started leading your team by finding the right team members, As the leader, you make sure they have the skills and training to be able to do the work. As you build your team, you delegate work to them and let them do it.
Your oversight is needed as you have the overall picture of where you want your business to go. You look to the future, meet your goals and keep the direction of your business going forward.
As the leader, you inspire and motivate your team. The best team in the world will not be productive if they aren't motivated.
Whatever task they are working on, your team has to believe it's important to your business and customers. Knowing it's needed will motivate your team to work harder. When your team knows your business vision, they can also see the future and be working towards that vision.
You also motivate your team by acknowledging the work they do and thanking your team for their efforts. Knowing when it's time to give everyone a break will also motivate your team, as they recognise you care about how they are feeling. our team on their .
To continue to motivate your team, communication is essential. Sharing knowledge gives to your team.
As a good leader, make time to talk with your team. It can be one on one, calls, meetings, emails or newsletters. Spend time sharing with your team and find out just how much more engaged your team is with both you and other team members. Communicating with your team will help you learn more about them.
Finding out how they think based on their personality, value systems, background, culture, education and personal life will help you learn how they process and understand the information you share with them. As a leader, you customize how you talk with each team member, based on what you know at the time. Knowing how important communication is, and how it's heard, gives you the ability to make sure your team understands what you are saying and does what needs to be done.
Honesty and Integrity
Your team will follow you as a leader when you are honest with them.
They know who you are and how you think. They trust your integrity and when questions are asked, believe answers will be given. They trust your promises and believe if you make a mistake, you will admit it. They have the confidence to do the same for you. You do the right thing and can trust you do your best. Respecting your team and being consistent will earn their admiration and respect.
Build the relationships in your team.
When they trust you, they can trust their teammates, strengthening their relationships with everyone. "Your team is as strong as the weakest member" is a saying that a strong team can overcome. As relationships develop with all of your team, weaknesses or barriers can be compensated for. Your team will help each other, which helps your business. Your strong team develops strong relationships with your customers and people in your industry.
Your business exists because you have a skill your customers need. You are an expert in your field and you know how to learn and build skills.
You CAN build skills in leadership. Building your leadership skills is as valuable as building your business skills. Continue learning how to lead your team, just as you continue learning your business skills.
Develop your Team
Your expertise in your business gives you the understanding as you developed your skills, you must develop skills in your team. Whether it's your time or your money, both are an investment in developing your team. Grow your team into becoming leaders who can grow your business.
As a leader, you find solutions. What your business needs, you find a solution for.
Building a team is a solution your business needed. Your team will need solutions to what they are doing or have to learn. As their leader, you analyze issues and solve the problems they have. Leading your team successfully is another problem you need to solve. It's a good problem to have, and one you can solve by understanding what being a good leader is. Your skills as a leader are not only to solve problems but to also analyze and strategize so your business grows.
Be positive and confident.
Your team looks to you for how to present themselves to the world. Show your team that you can work well with others and they can follow your lead. Positive thinking gives solutions to your team. Confidence in your leadership gives confidence to your team to keep doing their job well and to bring their best. A happy team is always more productive.
Leading your Team Successfully
As you grow as a leader, your team grows more successful.
Each skill you learn builds your own confidence and success as a leader. As a successful leader, your team becomes more successful. Your strong leadership inspires and motivates your team, who trust in your honesty and integrity. Your team is great at communicating and building relationships with each other and your customers. Your team has developed to solve problems and be positive and confident. Problems within the team are solved and your business grows more successful.
You understand the Huge Importance of Leading your Team Successfully and how essential your successful team is for your business.
If you need help Building your Team Successfully, book a call to discuss how you can below. Sign up for your 15 minute free call now and let's start building your successful team.
Build Your Business Team
You need help.
You can’t do what your business needs on your own anymore. There is just too much to do. You waste time doing jobs you don’t like, don’t know how to do or find boring. You aren’t growing your business, you are just surviving!
Is this you?
You aren’t alone, many businesses are in this same situation. As you build your business, you have more to do to keep your business working, so you are a success.
Enjoy that feeling and stop stressing that you can’t get work done. It’s not possible for one person to do it all anymore. Start building your team.
Step 1 - You!
Your team starts with you. Accept you need someone to help you. It can be casual, part-time or full-time and online or offline. The first step is realising you need someone to help you.
You can keep on doing it all yourself, and keep needing help. You can decide you can’t do it yourself anymore, and accept you need someone else in your business.
You remain in control, and decide what they will do for your business. It’s what your business needs. Each business is different in what needs are required. What my business needs, could be very different to what your business needs.
Create your perfect job list of what your business needs and make the decision to find the best person to fill those needs. You can read my post about “Wants vs Needs” to get some ideas.
When you make this decision, your business needs this person now!
Step 2 - Research
Don’t fall into the trap of immediately writing a job ad for this person. My post about Wants vs Needs can help you get started, however, you need to do some research first. Research your own company.
Of course, you know everything about your company and know what you need! Guess again, because now you have to research what you want someone else to do. There are many tasks every business needs to do on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.
Which of these tasks do you want someone else to do? How many of them are repeatable, so you can hand them over to your new team member. You don’t give to a team member, when you first start out, jobs or tasks that are one-offs. If you don’t know how to do them or have instructions, how can your team member? You give them the jobs that happen again and again. You already know the results you want from these tasks. You do them all the time!
You hate doing them, find them boring or think they are a waste of time but necessary and these are the perfect jobs to give to your new team member.
So start the research into what these tasks are, and these tasks will help you write your team member job description and start recording your business systems.
There’s a little bonus in this as well. Doing this research allows you to start building up a training library for your business.
Here’s an example. Every business needs record keeping. Records of sales and purchases, taxes, etc it’s something that has to be done. You might find it’s boring, or time wasting or something you hate doing.
Your research has just identified one task your new team member can do for you. Your system might be, every purchase gets scanned, then recorded into an accounting program, where you allocate it. You do this daily or weekly. Video what you do, why and how you do it, then save the recording. It doesn’t need to be fancy, it’s a training video for your new team member.
Your first job description was must know how to use your accounting software. You decide you need someone with an accounting background, to understand how to allocate costs and other actions. You decide you want to stay in control of part of this process and the team member can data enter the information. Your team member doesn't need accounting skills instead, you want data entry skills.
Your first job description has now changed. As you do the research on your company, you can drill down into what you want your team member to really do, and stop wasting time on extra’s that right now you don’t need. Each of these extra skills raises how much you have to pay your new team member.
Listing you want data entry and finding out your new team member has accounting skills, raises their value to YOU while still allowing you to pay the starting rate for data entry. As your team member learns the business, you have options.
It might be years before you need accounting skills and if you hadn’t drilled down to find out exactly what you need, you will have been paying for it, and not using it. Of course, once you do need those skills, your team member can get a raise because they can do more for your business.
Step 3 - Job Description
Write your perfect team member job description. Don’t make it a huge list. Your business research should have identified 2 - 10 essential skills you need to build your business team. List the skills in importance and put the most important first. List what level of skill you need and list desirable skills. If your applicant has extra skills, that's a bonus, and if they don't, you know straight away.
Work out what you are willing to pay. Check out other ads, look at the local paper and check online for the ‘going rate’ for what you want in your team member. Each town, city and country has different rates. Ask friends and colleagues what they are paying.
What your business can afford will also factor into your job description. You won’t pay a high rate if you can’t afford it, that’s simple economics.
Write your job description listing what you want, what you are willing to pay and when you need them to start.
Finding out when they can start is important for your business. The best person who can’t start for a month, might be worth waiting for or it will cause your business major issues, so go to number 2.
You can also add in some requirements to show that they really read your job ad. One person I know asks them to include animal picture when they apply. It’s not there, they don’t even get considered because they couldn’t follow instructions.
I used the word perfect team member before. You aren’t going to find them. They don’t exist. They may come close, and if they do, grab them fast. You will have to compromise. What you can do is find the closest to perfect for your business and the more information, research and detail you have before you start looking, the better the result you will get.
Ask for perfection and find the best result.
Where you place your ad depends on you and your business. If it’s local, you could use job boards, local papers or agencies. Check out this Google search to find local staff.
If it’s online, there are plenty of places to place jobs. This is a Google search to get you started.
Step 4 - Applicants
Selecting someone to find your new Team Member can be as hard or as easy as you want it to be. You already did the research for what your business needs. As people apply, check off if they meet your requirements.
Start with looking for someone to meet all your requirements. You have your 2 - 10 needs, does their application meet everything. Look for more details or start working out what more in depth questions do you need to ask. “Good at this requirement” - what does that mean - how much more do you need to ask. “Expert at another requirement” - how expert is expert. Better than you? Same as you?
If you don’t get all your requirements met, which do they meet. Start with meeting your top requirements, because well, they are want you want. Your research has worked out what you really need, and you put them in order for a reason. Get at least the top 2 - 3 met and don’t compromise on that.
Make sure if they aren’t meeting all the requirements, they are the best at the ones they do have. You don’t want ‘good enough’ for what you need, you want ‘I am the greatest”.
Select your short list and be brutal. Get what you need, before you even start interviewing. I recommend a maximum of 5 and prefer a short list of 3.
Step 5 - Interviewing
Whether local or online, you need to interview your applicants. Locally, you meet them. Online, get on a phone or skype call and talk to the person. Find out as much about the person before starting. Don’t waste time with someone you know you don’t want to work with
The previous step will have let you know what you want to ask your applicants. As you worked out what to ask, ask everyone who you are interviewing similar questions. If one is an expert, is the next one better, worse or the same. Rate them whilst talking to them as you can always amend ratings if someone is better. Start with a ‘wow’ of 8 and then you have wriggle room. Also go with how you feel talking with this person.
This team member is going to be a part of your business. Gut feeling, skills, personality and so much more make up what you need. Just don’t let it get personal whilst looking. A nice person who doesn’t have the skills and has no interest in learning, is a waste of time. An arrogant person who has excellent skills and makes you feel like an idiot, is a waste of time.
Your research into your own business will help with all of this. You aren’t guessing, you know what you need.
Step 6 - Hiring
Make the decision and offer the job. This is the time to get serious! You are about to build your business team and hire someone. Depending on how and where you hire them, laws come into effect. Go over the job offer, what you expect of them, and make sure to find out what they expect of you. This is also when you get personal. Talk to them about what they expect to happen. Let them know what you need. Don't waste time thinking they will know, make sure they do!
If you need someone who can travel, find out now they won’t now, and go to your second choice. If they have to work weekends, or live close to you locally, make sure they really can do that, and didn't say it just to get the job. Ask them if there are any problems doing what you need for your business. This is the time to be detailed. Working weekends means both Saturday and Sunday and they have Monday and Tuesday off. Being local means they can get to your business in 30 minutes, not 2 hours. You need to be very detailed.
It’s almost a second interview, going through exactly what you expect from them. Even if you did this in the interview, don’t skip this part of the step.
This is the first real business communication you have had. All the previous ones were if this or maybe’s. Now it’s real. It’s also an opportunity to find out if anything has changed, for both of you and to negotiate.
This is your opportunity to make sure that your team member understands what you said. No misunderstandings, no “I thoughts”, set out very plainly exactly what you want in your new team member. This can be when you find out, this team member is not right for your business. You may have to go to number 2 on your list, or even start again.
It’s frustrating, annoying and worth it. Every team member you hire, is an investment in your time and money. Get personal with your new team member and find out what they are really like. Spend the time now and make sure you are hiring the right person for your business.
Step 7 - Integrate your Team Member
Communication is key when you build your team. The very first step in Building your Business Team is you. Understanding what you wanted. Now you have to understand what your team member wants. You have a list of tasks they will do for you and how they will work as part of your team. You have to give them instructions, training, and integrate them into your business. They are now part of your business. What they do, reflects on you.
This is why communication is so important. Don’t believe they know what to do, ask them if they know. If they aren’t sure, find out now. If they need something, make sure they know they can ask. There are no stupid questions, because each question will help you understand what your team member needs. Building on the skills now available to your business gives your business so much more potential.
If you already have a team, communicating what you expect from them and the new team member is also extremely important. Fitting into a team is always about communication, negotiation and compromise. Building your team is a lot of work, I’m not going to hide that, and building your team is incredibly rewarding.
A strong team grows your business. Whether it’s you and one person or you and 100 people, you are all part of a team and getting it right from the start, keeps your business growing and expanding.
This is just the start of Building Your Business Team. There is always work to do to maintain and grow your team. It's worth it, when you do it right, as you free up time (and make money) as your business grows.
Need help setting up this or want more information, schedule a call below. After you enter your name and email, you will be taken to Calendly to book a call at a time we are both available. I'm looking forward to helping you build your business team. Book your call and let's talk soon.