A couple of months back, Freedom Makers founder, Laura Renner, had the privilege of doing a webinar for VIB Network (Veterans In Business Networking for Success). Laura spoke to these small business owners who wear many hats in their businesses about what a system is and how to build one.
If a small business has a system in place, more can get done efficiently. Laura began by defining a system:
A series of repeatable actions with the necessary tools and information that are as automated as possible.
The ‘automating’ does not refer to technology, but rather an action that does not require you as the business owner doing it.
The trigger is what tells you it is time to perform a task. A trigger can be a notice that is set or an established repeated time. The more automated your trigger is, the better the work will be. For example, take the task of confirming appointments. To build a system for confirming appointments, you could establish a set day and time each week or day when this occurs. If you are running a spa, perhaps there is a set time when the calls will be made to confirm the next day’s appointments. That set time is your trigger.
The second component to a system is tools. You must have the tools in place to make your system run smoothly. Since you are delegating, the tools that are needed would be perhaps the login accesses, an email account or a website. These tools can range from logins to templates. The key is to have them at the ready and accessible. Going back to our example of the spa, for one to make the confirmation calls, they need to have access to the business calendar and perhaps a script of what needs to be said to remind the client of their appointment. The tools would be the access and the script and even a place and phone to make the calls.
Finally, actions are needed for a strong system. The actions of a system need to be consistent to bring true efficiency. If you are inconsistent with your actions, there is room for errors. For example, with the confirming of appointments, you must figure out what kind of update you want as the business owner from whomever is delegated to do this. Do you want them to send a text and let you know it is completed? Or do you want a full update with details of who confirmed. It is critical you know what type of update you want to receive. Having this action laid out ahead of time means your expectations will be met and the task will successfully get done.
Start small. Figure out what thing or things in your business are most bothersome to you. What is the pebble in your shoe? Ask yourself if you can truly separate yourself from it and delegate it to someone else. And then how long before you will have a return on your investment. Sure, the training of someone to do the task might take time, but the payoff in the end will bring increased efficiency for you.
And finally, use the 5 Steps of Delegation to find the right person to whom you can hand your tasks. Everyone has a different work style. Taking the time to know the person you want to delegate tasks to will help you build your systems. Will they be able to handle making decisions on their own? Or will they need to be given specific task and then need to report back to you? Taking the time to think through the task you want to delegate and automate will make the system you create all that much stronger and efficient for your business.
Laura’s full webinar can be found here.