You’re driving home after a long days work and your phone rings with yet another call from your team. They need your direction on something that should be routine for them. Yet again you have to pull up your sleeves to do a task you know is way below your pay grade. The task should be delegated to a team member but you just can’t shake free of it because you fear if you don’t tackle it yourself, something will go wrong. Sound familiar? Unless you do something about this boomerang effect now, you’ll be trapped for life with a business that cannot survive without you.
So how has your business come to be like this? The number one reason being that you lack systems. Currently you’re acting as the system; you’re either giving the step-by-step instructions every day or you’re doing the steps yourself— tasks you need to let go of.
Supporting your team with tools, templates, checklists, and other forms of systems is important for a number of reasons. The most compelling is so the owner can run the business without being run by the business. Systems should run your business; your team should follow the systems and your task should be to lead your team.
If you don’t have systems in place you’ll find it difficult to:
- Scale your business
- Create consistency amongst your team and their tasks
- Concentrate on high-value tasks as owner
- Maximize profits
- Assess employee performance
- Set targets for growth
Henry Ford made a profit by building and selling some of the first automobiles in America, but he became one of the wealthiest and most successful entrepreneurs in the world by figuring out systems that produced, marketed, and sold his cars for him. We need to do the same for your business. I’ve created a tool called “The Service Call Success System” that’ll help get you started. Download it here: http://bit.ly/28LXDyH
Now that you’ve got the tool and you’re ready to follow along, we need to figure out where to start.
Here’s a list of common areas contractors have problems with due to a lack of systems:
- Administrative duties
- Tracking labour and material
- Marketing and sales
What are some areas in your business that are lacking systems? Create a list and then determine what tasks can be delegated from those areas. Start with planning to delegate the lowest-value tasks first— that way you can start to focus your time doing higher-value tasks in your day. You may want to do this in a team meeting in order to get them to understand what the benefits are for the business and for the team and what this means moving forward. Delegating lower-value tasks is all part of creating systems that will increase your teams’ ownership and accountability so it doesn’t always fall on you.
It’s time to create a system:
Step 1) Break the steps down into phases: For example, your service department would include 3 core phases of START (Prior to the service call itself), RUN (During the service call), and FINISH (Service call is complete.) Use different coloured sticky notes to list tasks specific to START, RUN, and FINISH.
Step 2) Measure each step: Rate out of 10 how well each step is being performed. Once finished, you’ll see the lowest rating is the weakest link and that’s where we’ll need to create our first system.
Step 3) Create a system: Ask yourself what type of system is going to work best for each step. Is it going to be a checklist, a form, a white board, some type of spreadsheet, or maybe new software? Get your administrative assistant to create something on paper and do some research into some software systems that may help, and then test it for a couple of weeks and tweak accordingly.
What we’ve just covered is going to give you the insights for some quick wins in order to get you moving forward now. If you’re interested in what other topics we teach and tools we have to help you enhance your business, then come out to our live webinar sponsored by Electrical Business Magazine on August 23, 2016 at 2 p.m. EST. Click here to register to the “Cash Flow Problems? 5 Ways to Maximize your Profits” live webinar. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.