#47: Systems to Scale Your Business – Stop Being the Workaholic Who Never Leaves the Office

Nov 18, 2018 | Office Operations

It’s not enough to discard unnecessary aspects of your business. It’s not even enough to simplify, streamline and automate – necessary and great though such actions are. No plan for scale is complete without including the need to build a team of real, live experts whose experience and skills you can bring to your brand.

No matter how efficient your systems and automation, there are still manual processes that need to be done, and if you’re stuck doing them all, you’re going to hit your limit sooner than later.

In this video, I tell you what you need to be thinking about as your business scales, what are some good things to outsource and what to start outsourcing first, and why outsourcing can not only save you money, but MAKE you money.

Continuing with our theme of scaling your systems, and this step you’ll laugh because it’s literally to stop being the workaholic in your business.

It’s not enough to discard unnecessary aspects of your business. It’s not even enough to simplify, streamline and automate – necessary and great though such actions are – truly believe that. No plan for scale is complete without including the need to build a team of real, live experts whose experience and skills you can bring to your brand.

No matter how efficient your systems and automation are, there are still manual processes that need to be done, and if you’re stuck doing them all, you’re going to hit your limit sooner than later.

We’ve all done it: Tried to do every single task in our business – often to save money, when we’re starting up, I get that. 

When you stop to think of it, that’s about as wise as a fast-food restaurant with only the owner to peel the potatoes, cook the food, assemble it, serve the customers and handle cash. If you were running a fast-food restaurant, you just wouldn’t do that!

Why would you think it’s okay in your business to do the equivalent? Yes, it’s a common trap that online entrepreneurs fall into, for far too long before they bring new team members on board.

One of the flow charts you might want to start brainstorming now is who you are going to need as your business expands.

  • What areas of your business will grow large enough to split into an actual department?
  • What areas of your business are completely unrelated to each other?

For example, bookkeeping is a completely separate area from video production. If your bookkeeping is simple, your finance-savvy VA could do it for you; or you could literally outsource it to a bookkeeper. You can keep your videos simple by only making the odd Facebook Live video—but if you’re going to be doing heavy video teaching and presentations to VIP clients, you’ll need top-quality video editing, production, and assistance. Video is an area that can easily expand to warrant a whole team in itself.

Things that are good to outsource include:

  • Business admin tasks
  • Repetitive tasks
  • Areas of your business you don’t enjoy or feel unskilled in
  • Behind-the-scenes processes such as mailings, uploads, and customer service
  • Anything that requires specialized skills you don’t have

For example, it makes more sense, if you’re re-branding your business and upscaling it to attract VIP clients, to hire a professional photographer to take your photographs, and hire an expert web designer to give your ancient WordPress website a current, hot new overhaul.

And there’s one other often-overlooked reason to outsource: Investing money in experts to manage processes or do tasks can actually not only save but MAKE you money.

You can be focusing on your unique areas of skill – your real income generators that earn you your reputation – while your virtual assistant is taking care of back-end processes such as editing videos or installing and testing webinar services, or backing up your files, uploading articles, everything you need to get done in your day-to-day. 

Plus, you’ll suddenly find yourself with something you’ve probably never had, if you’re in the habit of trying to do everything yourself: And that ‘something’ is free time. Yes, actual free time you can use for some quality self-care. Things like:

  • Plan regular leisure activities
  • Have a date night with your significant other
  • Get a weekly massage
  • Go to yoga class three times a week
  • Take those riding lessons you always wanted
  • Go see your kids’ games!

You know, the reason why we started our businesses in the first place. And all those other good things important to body and soul.

As with other areas of your business, pay attention to scaling when you plan your outsourcing.

Start by outsourcing the most troublesome area of your business, or your most deadly tasks (the ones that make you procrastinate!) Otherwise, start at your goal and work backward.

Answer these core questions:

  1. How much do you want to earn, a year from now? Five years from now? Ten years from now?
  2. How large an audience do you eventually want to reach? To personally engage with?
  3. How big do you want (or need) your business to grow?

If you’re having trouble figuring that out, look at all the experts and top influencers in your field, and decide which of them you would feel most comfortable being. You might decide you really don’t want to be a second Oprah or Marie Forleo. You’d be happy if you simply broke six figures a year, and eliminated speaking on national TV or traveling all over the world to spend more time with your children.

Once you think about your ideal lifestyle – and think about it in detail – it becomes much easier to figure out what you’re going to need to do and invest in along the way.

That’s when you’re in the sweet spot for working backward, creating your perfectly scaled flow. Something to work on this week, for sure!

 

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All the examples are in Word or Powerpoint format so they are fully editable. Use the examples in the SOP template library as a jumping-off point to documenting your processes and creating your own standard operating procedures!

 

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