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.
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:
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.
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. (more…)