And it opened up my eyes I saw the sign. -Ace of Base
The isolation of COVID-19 has me feeling quiet and turning inward. Retrospection is easier without all the ‘noise’ in the world. Many of us don’t take enough time with our business to be introspective and take an overall assessment of how we’re running things.
Most small businesses I know don’t have a ‘manual’ that explains system processes to new employees/interns. Or if they do, it’s very outdated. Most system process training is on-the-job and when the new person has questions they go to you! This is actually a very inefficient way to do things. One of the most powerful ways to streamline a business is through effective delegation.
I recently heard of a new and improved way to identify and capture your systems. It doesn’t take long and you can complete the task as you’re capturing the system!
Step 1: Get your smartphone or a recording system on the computer.
Step 2: Record yourself performing the task and narrate with instructions.
Step 3: Upload to a shared file for your team to access.
Step 4: Have employees/interns/new hires view it.
Once the video or narrated computer instructions become outdated, have the person who is currently in charge of the system prepare a new tutorial to replace the old one! The task still gets done and they have ownership of it.
Most systems will fall into four major categories: Attract, Convert, Deliver, and Collect.
Here is an example from ClockWork to illustrate:
-Attract: website, email marketing
-Convert: phone email conversations, engagement letters, purchase of goods
-Deliver: shipping, admin, reporting, analysis
When you record any training video, determine which category it falls into and upload it under that category. Organize the shared folders to suit your business needs.
Once these systems are in place, employees are able to be trained, take ownership, and have measurable reporting outcomes to know they are performing them. The key is to have one accountable person for each project and make it abundantly clear who that person is. If there is a problem, there is a clear point of contact to discuss a solution.
A positive side of this isolation is to take a big-picture view of your company and what is working and what is not. We may all have a little streamlining in our future, so let’s be strategic about it!
Jordan Ilderton, CPA