Imagine that everything you do in your business today is streamlined and recorded. That every task is simple, logical and repeatable. Imagine that you recruit to your vision and values; your training systems enable your high-performing team. Your ‘customer journey’ is simplicity itself, not a hoop in sight. That the customer is at the heart of everything you do.
Now imagine for a moment that you’re going to open a replica of your business tomorrow. How simple will it be to achieve that essential of scaling – consistency? How seamless will it be that your customers don’t suffer at all, aren’t even aware that they have been dealt with through a different branch or office?
Now, take an honest look at your own business today and ask the same question, ‘How simple would it be?’
If you have ambitions to scale you need systems that run your business and people who run those systems.
If you want to progress beyond startup mode you need systems that run your business and people who run those systems.
If you want to grow from solopreneur to entrepreneur you need systems that run your business and people who run those systems.
Why the repetition? Because until you accept that this is the key to scaling success, you may as well not start!
Lesson 1 – Start with your mindset
- Do I have a clear vision of my future in life and business?
- Am I really serious about making this happen?
- Will I commit to creating systems throughout my business, to recruit people to my vision and values and invest time in training them to run the systems?
(By systems I mean a uniform and consistent way of doing everything in your business – the one right way – that you will achieve by having ‘How-To’ guides that make it clear what that one right way is.)
Lesson 2 – Know your customer
The most successful businesses, big and small, know their customers intimately, and have them at the centre of every decision, every service change, every new product. Companies like Virgin, Disney, Apple and more recently Metro Bank, were all founded on the belief that the customer’s experience is everything, and they do what they need to do to make that experience not only the best it can be, but special.
Every small business is well-intentioned but it’s too easy to get so tied up in the day to day of business survival, that you focus only on your side of the equation:
- What do we want to sell to our customers?
- How are we going to tell them what we have?
- Where will we sell our products?
- How do we want them to pay us?
We really need to turn this right on its head and ask what our customers want from us:
- What need are we satisfying?
- What problem are we solving?
- Are we selling the right products and services to meet their need?
- Are we where they need us to be; on the internet, on the high street?
- How can we make it easy for them to do business with us?
Lesson 3 – Focus on priorities
‘Work on your business, not in it’ – Gerber
Building on lesson three you need to take yourself from micro-managing, fire-fighting and getting bogged down in the daily chores of your business. You need instead to be focussing on what will help you scale – strategising, learning about your customers, developing systems and your people. I can see the irony that the very thing that will free up your time – systems – is the very thing you need time to build. But until you call timeout and invest time as a business owner you’ll be forever in your Groundhog Day of being busy, working so hard and standing still.
If you are a solopreneur or a very small team that is stretched already, then this is no mean feat and we don’t ask this of you lightly.
Initially, you will need to be strict with yourself. Tighten up your routine. Highlight where you procrastinate.
Then ask yourself:
- Can you outsource some of the chores that sap your time and energy?
- Could you delegate anything else to your team?
- Could you work with a virtual assistant?
- How about setting yourself an admin morning each week, so that the rest of your week is focussed on the bigger things?
And most importantly – free up another slot for strategising. This is where the magic will happen. You have made this time for yourself, so you will not waste it.