Managing teams is hard work! It also takes a lot of time – much more than we think we have to spare right? But I think we can all agree that working with people is a very important part of any business. That's why we must find ways to systemize our business so that we can gain the most leverage in our business. This article will discuss:
Do you remember the feeling of hiring your first employee? I remember mine!
I had finally grown my company enough to where I could afford to expand my team. It was a mix of nervousness and excitement as I went through the interview process with many great candidates. In the end, I ended up hiring my first person in October 2020 and my second in March 2021.
As exciting as that process was, one thing I’ve had to face is this:
Managing a team is hard work!
I’m someone who has managed teams before when I was an employee of other companies. But I can tell you, it’s a lot harder when you’re the business owner. Between managing responsibilities, keeping people on task, providing the training needed, and working with unique personalities, it has made me want to pull my hair out!
The reason it’s so hard to manage a team as an owner compared to being an employee is mainly that we have to build our own systems. When we’re an employee, they teach us the systems that have been in place for years that are proven to be effective in giving the company results.
As owners, we have to start from scratch and it takes a lot of time, trial, and error. But ultimately, if we want to be efficient in our business, we must build these systems. Doing so will allow us to leverage our business.
First, let’s define “leverage”. Leverage has a few definitions, but today we’ll focus on one:
“the exertion of force by means of a lever or an object used in the manner of a lever.”
So, basically, leverage is about having the advantage. We want to have the advantage not only in our business, but in the market so that we can achieve “ever more with ever less”. We want to achieve more, reach more people, and get more profits with our already limited resources as small businesses. We must operate more methodically by systemizing routine tasks and ensuring we leverage the best practices for faster production.
Brad Sugars, founder of ActionCOACH, says to gain real advantage in our business, we must “systemize the routine”. We also have a cool acronym for the word system as a reminder,
Save Your(Self) Time Energy and Money
Systems improve efficiencies and allow the business to leverage data, marketing investments, and even the skills of the employees within the business.
Reduce the time you spend managing employees by implementing a few simple solutions:
80% of what goes on in our business can fit into some sort of structure, leaving us with 20% that actually needs our management. The 20% is what will require the human touch needed to build connections and clear up misunderstandings.
Think of it like this: if we build a system for customer relationship management then 80% of that can be structured with scripts, automation, and distinct processes that keep the process moving smoothly. The other 20% of that would answer specific questions, customer complaints and handle things that would not fit into that system.
Systemizing staff processes has two major benefits: it saves us time, and it means that when routine situations develop, all our team needs to do is follow the procedures we’ve put in place.
This is a proactive approach on our part as business owners. Doing this in the beginning before you hire someone limits the amount of chaos and confusion when the time comes. It requires us to create a job description that includes a detailed list of job responsibilities. List everything this person will be responsible for so that they are not surprised when they get hired. This allows us to create a focus for the position and really assess our needs on the team. We should also have a how-to for the different processes within the role. You can put it in the description or discuss it sometime during the hiring process.
For example, if we require our receptionist to answer the phone, we should include how she/he should do so, and whom they should forward the call to. This makes it easier for the employee to settle in and makes sure we understand what the position entails. This will also make it easier when you create an organizational chart later down the line.
For these systems to work, we must make sure we and our staff fully understand them. Discuss any misunderstandings or discrepancies as we introduce the systems. Rework and revise until you have a well-defined and documented system.
Once this happens, then we can start saving time. If there’s something that was planned that hasn’t happened, we should address this with our team. We must uncover the barriers that prevent us from implementing these systems and then hold our team accountable to deliver.
Once an organization has these fundamentals in place, it is able to apply the principle of leverage to get the best results and get more productivity from it's team. Like a lever we may use to gain some advantage when lifting a heavy object, using leverage in our business means we use our systems as the lever to move our business to the next level.
Leverage is the third step in our 6 Steps to Build a Better Business framework. If you’d like to learn more about leverage, we have monthly seminars discussing it in more detail. Sign up today or talk to a coach today!
I am a certified Business Coach, providing business help, business advice, business coaching and mentoring services to successful and emerging business owners. I have a passion for helping businesses like yours grow and become profitable, so you, the business owner can enjoy the lifestyle you deserve.
As your Business Coach and advisor, I will help you deliver the results you desire using proven tools, methodologies and systems, tested and perfected over tens of thousands of businesses worldwide for over more than two decades. I will hold you accountable for your results and just like a sports coach, push you to perform at optimal levels. Let's schedule a complimentary Business Coaching session to get started.