Systems Are The Key
Systems are key to growing a business.
A system is a documented way of doing a task – it can be written, or on video, or a voice recording, doesn’t matter.
But a system, that everybody follows when they do that job takes a business from being a collection of people to a business – where things are done consistently no matter who does them.
Systems make it easy to delegate – there’s a system to follow, it’s written down so you don’t have to remember it all (that’s you and the person you’re delegating too).
Systems mean whoever is doing a job doesn’t have to figure out how from scratch, they can follow the system. It make life easier for them, less stressful and frees up their mind for other stuff. Perhaps, they can be more creative, for example.
You can (and you should) write systems for every part of your business.
I usually explain them as useful for your trades out there, on the job, with access to the system (the instructions) and the instructions specific to this job and a checklist so they don’t forget anything. (After all, that’s the main cause of mistakes, isn’t it?) So jobs are done on-time, and on budget (or more so), and mistakes and call-backs are fewer.
But, as I say, this applies to all the parts of your business from how to prepare an estimate or how to present that estimate in a proposal through how to raise an invoice, pay wages, write a job description or conduct a review.
I’ll show you the systems you should be building into your business and, of course, you can use technology to help you – Job Management Systems and computer systems, etc..
But, to remind you, I mean deciding and documenting the way we do this things.
I call this my triangle mode and it’s a way of explaining the systems you need if you want to grow you business properly.
First, I draw a triangle and inside it we write your business goal for the next 3 years or so. Let’s make a number up and say we want $3M revenue with a 10% net profit (after you get paid wages), less stress and working normal hours. I’ll draw a happy face to represent that. That’s you.
In order to get there you need to build systems → Systems to get the work IN, get it DONE, and look after your people.
(You’re a trade business, you grow by having real people out there in the world doing work. You need to look after them.)
So, IN, DONE, PEOPLE – 3 sides of the triangle.
Pretty fancy model, right?
Let’s start with getting the work in.
First, you have to find it.
And to do that we’re going to build a ‘Marketing Machine’.
Your marketing machine’s job is to find work – to generate leads in a steady flow – the right kind and the right amount.
Different business’s marketing machines will look different and I’m not digging deep into it here but you’ll pick from our marketing building blocks, the ones that are right for your business at the moment.
Once you’ve found it, you need ot WIN IT so you build a ‘Sales Machine’ to win the work.
It’s job is to take the leads and consistently turn them into jobs at high margins, using a consistent process and making sure your customer understands your value.
Okay, our Marketing Machine is finding lead and our Sales Machine is turning them into jobs.
We need to build an ‘Operations Machine’ to do the work.
(FIND IT → WIN IT → DO IT)
It needs to do it – on time, on budget, without too many mistakes and call backs and without you needing to be there all the time.
I’m talking systems and checklists for the jobs, instructions for a particular job and project management for bigger jobs – need to maintain those margins you built into your quote.
Once the jobs are done, you need to make sure you get paid, so you build a ‘Back Office Machine’.
It takes care of the admin including raising invoices and collecting payments; it manages the money and helps you make sure you understand your numbers properly; and it makes sure you stay on top of your compliance obligations (you know, because you have to).
Importantly, your Back Office machine shouldn’t have too much of you in it.
To the people – there’s You and there’s Your TEAM.
We need to Manage You – make you productive and effective, and make you focus on the right work.
And you need to Manage Your Team so they perform well and support you on your growth journey.
I’m talking hiring, leading, managing and setting a great culture (so they stay).
So those are the systems you need to build to grow your business properly.
If you’re keen to talk further about whether we can help you build those systems into your business, please book a call.
There are four ways you can engage with me:
1. Subscribe to these emails and get them once a week in your inbox so you never miss a video from me.
2. Join the Trades Business Toolshed Facebook Group where you can watch these videos, ask me questions or talk to your peers.
3. Attend my next Tradie Profit Webinar.
4. Book yourself a 10-minute chat with me. We’ll talk about whether coaching is right for you now and if it is, we’ll go further into the process before you have to make your mind up.
See you later.