I’ve been talking a lot the last few weeks about embracing processes in your business and the shift in mindset that has allowed Conquer Your Business to grow so quickly. If you read my recent article, Creating Systems and Processes in Business, then you may recall that I used to be extremely resistant to following processes. In my mind I equated them with following the rules – and if you know me, I am not one who likes to follow a lot of rules if I don’t see where they add value.
Fortunately, I realized that it is not my job to make the processes in my business, or even to do all of the work that has to happen. One of the things that has served me well going from corporate to being a business owner is that I embrace delegating tasks that I don’t need or want to do. As a result, I brought Andrea Elibero onto our team and she has been instrumental in making sure Conquer Your Business is dependent on processes instead of people.
The Role of the Business Owner
For most of us, when we started our businesses, we were wearing all of the hats and doing all of the things. But as you grow and scale your business, the business owner is not supposed to know or do all of the processes. It’s not your job. The role of the business owner, and most entrepreneurs, is to create the strategy, the vision, and set the stage for the team. In order to grow, the business owner needs to lead the way.
I am lucky that coming out of corporate, delegating was one of those things that I learned in previous jobs that I held onto as a business owner. And that worked really well for me. But even with that mindset, when Andrea joined us at Conquer Your Business almost 2 years ago, it was just my Executive Assistant, Allison Hansen, and myself. We were getting everything done, but we really needed to add additional team members to get to the next level.
A lot of the processes that we followed were in Allison’s head, and Andrea was instrumental in getting all of those processes put into Standard Operating Procedures, and into our project management tool. By doing this, we really became process dependent rather than people dependent, meaning if Allison needed to take time off, I could find someone to step in and complete those processes in her absence.
This situation was not unique to Conquer Your Business. Andrea sees this happen in many businesses. With us, and other businesses she’s worked with, she helps them have the management and planning tools to make everything go faster and smoother. These tools also allow you to complete these repetitive tasks without thinking about them as much.
We know that business owners are already feeling a lack of hours in the day, and when you put processes in place, you get some relief from that feeling of not having time to do all of the work that you need to do. You also avoid that feeling that you’ll just do it yourself because of the time it will take to train someone else to do it. When everything you do in your business is in your own head, it takes up so much mental energy, and you cannot scale your business from that place.
The truth is that if you want to scale and grow your business, as a business owner, you have to let go. If you do not put repeatable processes into place, you simply will not have the time, the mental capacity, or the energy to be creative enough to come up with things like your strategy, your marketing, or your message. The time will be shifted to other areas. Having the systems and processes outlined, and offloading them from your plate onto someone else’s plate who can make things happen for you, will give you the freedom to be able to grow.
One important thing to remember is that as the business owner, you still have the ultimate veto power and you do have to stay involved. This is not about removing you from the business or the processes, but you become free from the mental weight that overseeing everything puts on you. Not only do you gain that freedom, but you have the space now to focus on the vision, the next initiative without being the one who needs to figure out how to do it. That is extremely freeing, as there is a tremendous amount of mental weight and exhaustion when you want to do something but do not know how to make it happen.
People Dependent Versus Process Dependent
Andrea shared a story with me about a client who was having some challenges with one of the people on her team. That person is not doing the job the way it needs to be done, and it is creating challenges with another member of the client’s team. When your business is process dependent instead of people dependent, you can more easily let go of the person who is creating the problem, and hire a new person to put in that role.
This applies to other situations, too. Life happens, and sometimes people need to take time off unexpectedly. So even if all of the members of your team are phenomenal and doing their jobs to the maximum ability, things happen. A team member might need time off to tend to a family member, or they themselves might be sick. Or someone could simply leave their position without much warning.
When you have processes in place, and there are standard operating procedures, instructions, and training available, it is a huge relief for the business to be able to hire someone and quickly teach them everything that they need to do. Even when you have a team on which you know you can depend, who are dedicated and loyal, it is still important to be prepared for someone else – or you yourself – to step in.
Andrea’s Best Practices for Implementing Processes
One of the reasons I was drawn to Andrea and hired her to become my COO is that her education is in psychology, and she has done extensive research, training, and learning in the world of mindset and how people think. It has really benefited her because she approaches processes as someone who understands that no matter how many processes are in place, businesses are still made up of humans, and all their intricacies. She has worked with a variety of clients and has experience with some of the biggest pitfalls that are common as people work their way across the bridge from being an entrepreneur to a business owner. These are some of her best practices for becoming process dependent instead of people dependent.
Embrace Delegating and Building a Team
So many business owners have a fear of letting go of control of the day-to-day tasks and delegating them to a team member. According to Andrea, you have to trust in the processes and know that doing so will help you grow and scale your business. You’re not just letting someone come in and do things, instead you have clear instructions for people to follow, and you have a way to train the person.
Your processes have to be in place to bring in the people to do them, not the other way around. This way you have a foundation to set people up for success. And the good news is that you don’t have to be the one to do all of the work to build that foundation. There are people you can hire, like Andrea, who will do all of that for you.
When Andrea started working with Allison and me, we really did some deep dives into how everything was happening. There was a lot of work that had to happen in the beginning, and we had to all learn to function with each other. I had to learn new technology, but we built the foundation and so the rest of the processes were created as we built it. And as we went along, I learned and was able to predict the questions that Andrea was going to ask me. And along the way, after we built the foundation, it became easier to go back to the processes any time we launch anything new.
I am a firm believer that these types of team members don’t cost you money. They make your business money. Too many people see their businesses as an extension of themselves in a way that is unhelpful. They feel like a failure if they cannot do everything, but it’s perfectly natural for there to be things in your business that you are not good at doing. As a business owner, you should only be doing the things that you are the absolute best at doing.
Avoid Creating Processes For New Projects
Another thing that went well was that we did not do a deep dive into our processes until we knew we were sticking with something. Creating processes is a lot of work, and was a major project for us, but it was worth it because it’s how you scale processes and systems, and ultimately how you scale your business. What you don’t want to do is to create a process for something that does not exist yet, or something you don’t know is going to work. You prove the concept works first, so that you do not waste time, and then create the process after you’ve worked out the bugs.
Start with a Project Management Tool and Training Tools
When you are first getting started creating processes in your business, Andrea suggests starting with a project management tool. A project management tool like ClickUp, Monday, or Asana helps everyone be on the same page. At the bare minimum, the business should have tasks in a project management tool with the task, the person responsible, the instructions, and the due date.
Part of becoming process dependent is to create training tools. This can be as simple as doing a screen recording if you are doing something, where you talk through doing the task. That is where the process starts, so that if you want to delegate something, you can record yourself doing it, and then the person doing the task can create a standard operating procedure by writing step by step what they do.
Let us do it for you, too!
So many people have told me that they are not organized enough yet to create processes. But it’s a catch-22, because if you were already organized, if you were already the type of person who was good at it, you wouldn’t have the problem. This is how you become organized. That’s why it is so important to have a team member who is a grounded person who embraces processes and can help you bring your vision forward and give you the space to create the vision.
One of the biggest challenges we see over and over with our clients is they have no processes to create sustainable, scalable growth. And on top of that, they just didn’t know where to start to create them.
This is why we are so excited to offer a “done for you” option for getting your own ducks in a row. So while you cannot “have” Andrea, you can rent her from us for a short period of time. Yes, our very own COO, will put your processes together, and then teach you and your team how to use them.
So many times when you work with a coach, they give you XYZ to do, and you have this overall vision, but then it doesn’t get implemented because it’s so overwhelming. This doesn’t happen because the business owner is bad at running their business, it’s that they just don’t know how to do it. So that’s the exciting thing that we’ve been now solving for clients so that they do not have this challenge holding them back from having the business that they want to have when they first set out to have a business.
To schedule your conversation with us, click on Book a Discovery Call.