My friend, you and I need to create business coach systems for every repeatable process involved in the daily operations of our businesses. You need to create systems for the automatic e-mails you are going to send out to your new leads and prospective clients. You need to create systems for what managers are going to say in a hiring interview. You need to create systems for how the phone is going to be answered. I cannot stress this enough, THE BUSINESS COACH SYSTEMS THAT YOU CREATE MUST INCLUDE EVERY PIECE OF COMPANY SPECIFIC KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU AND YOUR COMPANY HAVE. THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE TRAPPED WITHIN THE MIND OF AN INDIVIDUAL MEMBER OF YOUR COMPANY.
“(Without a checklist) the volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correctly, safely, or reliably. Knowledge has both saved us and burdened us.”
-Atul Gawande (The bestselling author of The Checklist Manifesto, a surgeon and a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)
You may be one of those humans who likes to say, “Well, it’s really hard for me to document our systems because every customer is different.” If you keep saying that, your business will never scale. Once upon a time, I was explaining to my very successful uncle Clynt how it was impossible to teach adult men who had no entertainment and disk jockey experience how to become successful DJs. He explained to me that if I believed that, then my company would never grow. He said it is entirely possible to duplicate nearly any process if you are detailed enough and fully committed to training. Seven years after that conversation, I had built such a duplicable system for DJing that I am 100% confident that I could teach you or any other coachable human with integrity how to become very successful as a corporate and wedding entertainer.
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right.” -Henry Ford (The self-made millionaire and founder of the Ford Motor Company)
If you create business coach systems the right way, they will make life much easier for you and your company and it will become very easy to produce predictably happy clients. As you begin to introduce these systems to your team, you must know your team will initially push back and fight against the idea of systemizing every aspect of their job. They will start to worry that they can now be “easily replaced” as a result of these business coach systems. However, you must point out to them that great business coach systems are not in place to allow for the replacement of people; they are in place to enable your team to consistently wow clients and even allow members of your team to occasionally take a day off without a nuclear meltdown occurring at your business. Imagine that!
“We don’t like checklists. They can be painstaking. They’re not much fun. But I don’t think the issue here is mere laziness. There’s something deeper, more visceral going on when people walk away not only from saving lives, but from making money. It somehow feels beneath us to use a checklist, an embarrassment. It runs counter to deeply held beliefs about how the truly great among us—those we aspire to be—handle situations of high stakes and complexity. The truly great are daring. They improvise. They do not have protocols and checklists. Maybe our idea of heroism needs updating.” -Atul Gawande (The bestselling author of The Checklist Manifesto, a surgeon and a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School)
5.1 – Marshall Marination Moment: Moving from Working IN the Business to Working ON It
This section may have the biggest impact on a business owner who simply feels like there is no progress being made growing their business because they are working so hard at operating it. I recently finished coaching a group of business owners who ALL were victims of working feverishly in their businesses, week in and week out. They each longed for the ability to focus on growth with the confidence that their businesses would continue to function. Work ethic was not their issue, as they were already working 60, 70, or 80 hours every week. When we covered checklists in the weekend workshop they were attending as a part of their Thrive15.com membership, I watched light bulbs flash on as they began to see the viability of hiring others to join their team and take on the responsibilities that the business owner did not need to be doing.
I beg you, make checklists a mantra for your business. Not only for the added benefit of consistency, accountability, scalability, and quality, but also because it is the single most significant component that you can IMMEDIATELY act upon and begin seeing dramatic results.
Alright, you may need a glass of wine for this next segment because we are about to get DEEP for a second. Grab your yoga mats and your incense sticks and let’s make it happen.
5.2 – The Three Levels of All Successful Business Systems
My friend, I have worked with thousands of successful companies and I want to clearly lay this out so that we don’t have a bunch of pushback later. Every successful and duplicable business that I have ever coached or observed has three levels of systems that support it.
5.2.1 – The Processes Layer
The processes layer basically is all about the check-this-box and do-that-thing systems. It’s all about the processes that your team must follow to produce the given result your company has promised customers. As an example, my super wife has some incredible recipes for creating some incredible organic and fruit-based smoothies that my kids love. The two times I followed her recipes and made the smoothies, the kids loved them. However, the other 994 times I have produced smoothies without using her recipes, my kids acted like a bee stung their tongues and they still talk about how terrible those smoothies were. There is a specific and right way to do things and a wrong way to do things. To quote the R&B pop artist who has now become a pastor, Montell Jordan, “This is how we do it.” My friend, you have to document the super moves that you have developed that actually work.