Scaling your business to the next level isn’t just a matter of spending more money on your business. In fact, sometimes, it means spending less. Nor is it spending six months in therapy, building your confidence, or investing thousands in a coach.
The good news about upscaling is that it is just a set of simple processes that any entrepreneur can put in place. That’s what we’re going to do this month, I’ll take you through those steps and if you take the time to implement these steps, any confidence issues will take care of themselves as you see the results and bask in the knowledge that you know exactly where your business is at all times. And you’ll find that people will be attracted to your impressive powerhouse of a business!
This month we are going to talk about scaling your business. Scaling your business to the next level isn’t just a matter of spending more money on your business. In fact, sometimes, it means spending less. No, it doesn’t mean spending six months in therapy, building your confidence, or investing thousands in a coach.
The good news about upscaling is that it is just a set of simple processes that any entrepreneur can put in place. That’s what we’re going to do this month.
Step One: Document and Systematize Every Process
Systems might not sound sexy, but the time they save you certainly is! For any process you do more than once – whether it’s sending a welcome email or setting up a new Facebook ad – a documented system will save you time and allow you to get more done.
Why should you take time to document your business processes and procedures? For one thing, you only need to do it once. When a process or task is documented, you should never have to explain it again; never have to relearn how to do something, over and over; never drag your brand down by letting your business suffer from that real brand killer, inconsistency.
Documenting your processes and procedures allows you to:
- Simplify and standardize repetitive tasks
- Prevent miscommunication
- Streamline and free up your time
- Avoid having to start over
It’s not good enough just to have your virtual assistant know what to do and how to do it: If she leaves or is suddenly unavailable due to illness or family emergency, and she is the only one who knew how to implement what you need done, the way you like it, you risk not being able to efficiently tell your next VA what to do — and what it should look like.
This may be true even if you are using a VA who has a back-up staff. If your VA herself hasn’t documented your system — and all the changes and tweaks you have made to it – you may still have to explain everything all over again to her representative.
The result? You end up trying to explain a process you didn’t personally handle, or taking time out of your schedule to create and give detailed instructions.
Part of streamlining your business involves making back-up plans for emergencies. These happen: Illness, tornados, hurricanes, power surges, hardware failure… Most of us know to back up our websites and content – but have failsafe back-up plans for your systems and procedures too, so you can deal with emergencies – and be able to instantly expand your team at any time.
Follow these two basic but sound practices:
For every process you perform…
For every piece of software or online platform you invest in…
Record the steps and specs
Locate and download the official manual
Print out and enter these in your Master Business Manual
Save these in their own directory
Share the spec sheet or style sheet with your VA
Share it with your VA as part of her welcome package
What you are going to do as your onboard your virtual assistant is explain “how we do things around here.”
The rule is document once for every new procedure, system or practice.
And if you don’t have a Master Business Manual, it’s a good idea to create one! This is a record of all your important business documents, preferably printed out in a binder as well as online. Some information – your logins and passwords – I recommend keeping in a password manager such as LastPass or RoboForm and then sharing with your team members as needed, no need to give away the farm every time you bring on a new team member.
You can use your Master Business Manual to document:
- Style guides for content and graphics
- Your branding information
- Guide sheets or specs
- Your mission statement
- File list for important files
- A copy of your Emergency Plan, in case anything happens to you
And any other core piece of documentation it might be vital for a team member or an executor to know.
If you already have significant assets or a larger or more complex business, I have a great resource for you – Annette Adamska has created a program called Back up Your Business. So if you want to take it one step further and create all this through Back Up Your Business go to letsbackupyourlife.com/back-up-your-business this is specially created for solopreneurs and small business owners.
Annette is a friend of mine and when I first met her and she told me that this was her business of course I was drawn to her like a moth to a flame. This was us last weekend at a book signing party. I’ll put a link to her program in the resource section below and if you get a chance to check out her backstory, her big why, be sure to read that, it’s fascinating.
Next week we’ll talk about hands-free productivity.
Catch up on other Systems to Scale Your Business episodes:
- [Video] Create Workflows for Hands-Free Productivity
- [Video] Stop Being the Workaholic Who Never Leaves the Office
- [Video] Kill Your Darlings
- Dropbox – secure file sharing, storage, & collaboration
- Lastpass and Roboform – remembers all your passwords so you don’t have to
- Back up Your Business by Annette Adamska – Detailed, document organizing and contingency planning services for solopreneurs and small business owners
Did you enjoy this episode and want to put it into action? Grab this kit!
SOP Templates & Process Library
This standard operating procedures kit includes:
- List of Common SOPs giving you samples of what areas can be included in your SOPs or company manual
- Standard Operating Procedures Library including 24 examples
- Sample Standard Operating Procedures Manual
- How to do an affiliate payout
- Chargeback procedure
- Email signature
- Resources and FAQ
- Email Management flowchart
- Handling declined payments
- Help desk procedures
- How to create a project plan flowchart
- How to send a broadcast
- Introductory / Discovery sessions flowchart
- New client setup (for both products and services)
- New team member onboarding checklist
- Newsletter process
- Overcoming sales objections flowchart
- Recording InstantTeleseminar events
- Refund procedure
- Sample JV Partnership flowchart
- Selecting a CRM/Database flowchart
- Task management flowchart
- Weekly blog posts
- Weekly tasks
All the examples are in Word or Powerpoint format so they are fully editable. The included SOPs are meant to give you a starting point, they are SAMPLE documents to show you what an SOP (standard operations procedure) for business processes looks like. Use the sections and headings to create your OWN. Please edit this document for your business; delete what doesn’t work for your business and add whatever you need to.