Developing or re-engineering your business should be about the design and creation of a great business model and business systems – not about micromanaging.
Spend time developing systems and performance standards early on so that you can lead later on. Design an entire business template. Define and organize the work to “be done” rather than micromanaging the employees.
The more you systematize your business, the less everyone will rely on you for day-to-day questions and problem-solving. The more you eliminate those nagging “got-a-minute” interruptions from your employees, the more productive you will be. Also, the system you develop takes your place so that you can step out of the trenches and function as a true CEO. Replace yourself with the system!
Your goal is to plan and design the system and then let your employees work the system. Develop the recipe and then let the employees do the cooking! Get out of the hot kitchen. Educate employees on their roles and function and according to the system, and let them work. Once defined and documented, processes, policies, and practices should be the detailed guide.
Use your resources! A coach, or sometimes employees, can have you identify and document the processes, procedures, and policies necessary to achieve more effective, and streamlined operations. You need to get frank feedback at this stage to ensure that you have an effective business model laid out first before you start documenting your business system. A great place to start is with customers’ perceived needs. And then work backward, re-designing your business so that it consistently and predictably fulfills the promises made to a customer during the selling process.
Next, be sure all your back-office processes (accounting, finance, HR, technology, administration, etc.) are in alignment to effectively support the operations of the company. Design or repair any processes that are missing or faulty. Routine work should be systematized and only exceptions should be dealt with on an ad-hoc or improvised basis. A system should eliminate arbitrary work and discretion. Develop employee discipline to follow the system, but also allow the freedom and authority to handle the exceptions that do not fit neatly into the system. Over time, most potential problems and crises will be properly anticipated and converted into routine processes, which will reduce “fire drills.”
Once your system is fully in place, and your employees are running it, you need to let go and trust. Trust the system and your team. Step away from the day-to-day workflow. With this approach, twelve-hour days no longer need to be the norm. Once you allow the integrated system to run, the system itself and your employees will do the necessary work to fulfill promises made to your customers. You will not have to work as hard or as long. With effective systems, ordinary employees can achieve extraordinary results. The system is your solution to more freedom, fulfillment, and profits. Again: plan and develop the system and let others operate the system.