Nine out of ten times the guests I bring on Entrepreneur Before 25 tell me that they decided to be an entrepreneur because they wanted to live a freedom based lifestyle. They want to be their own boss- work when they want, play when they want and ultimately live their life the way they want.
However, unfortunately it’s not as simple as that. I always forewarn people that one of the hardest career paths they can take in life is choosing to start their own business. Yes, they have ultimate control, but their business can have ultimate control over them too if they’re not careful. Once the honeymoon phase is over, the reality of responsibility sets in. This is the part of the journey the sifts out the true entrepreneurs from the “wantrepreneurs.”
So how do you gain that freedom based lifestyle that you started out to achieve in the first place? The answer lies in one word. And it’s not a sexy word. The way to not only achieve your dream lifestyle but still grow and scale your business simultaneously is through systems.
EB25 guests usually chuckle when they bring up the concept of systems. It’s like some hidden secret power that only those with extreme patience and persistence have access to. But when giving the advice they have for young entrepreneurs on how they’ve gotten their business to where it is today, “I built systems” is a common response.
Let’s break the vague concept of systems down into to the super power tool it is.
What are systems:
Systems are a step by step process on how to accomplish a task within your business. When this process is followed consistently, it yields consistent results. The goal of a system is for you to be able to hand it to anyone (even people who know nothing about your business) and have them be able to accomplish the task almost flawlessly. When this is achieved, you know you have a good system.
You know those turn key operations like Starbucks, McDonalds and Walmart? For the most part, no matter if you go to a location in your home town or across the world, you’re going to have a very similar experience. That’s because these businesses are composed of an array of systems that are implemented on a day-to-day basis by hundreds of team members.
For example, Starbucks has a very detailed Learning and Development system that involves intensive training processes for each level of team member from first level barista to district manager. Their consistent step by step process for training their staff is one of the top things that yields them consistent results throughout all their locations. All and all, this achieves that almost “flawless” Starbucks experience that we have when we visit their stores.
How to create a system:
To build systems, you must first know how to do what you’re requiring someone else to do. The person who has done the task themselves multiple times should be the one creating the system for that task.
Log your steps in immense detail from start to finish a couple times when doing a task even if you’re just typing in a browser name to order more inventory.
Systems can and should be used for every aspect of your business- from closing up your brick and mortar shop to handling customer service complaints. Anything that is done on a regular and repetitive basis warrants a system.
One of the best episodes about systems on Entrepreneur Before 25 is with Amy Guild– an extremely successful wedding photography business called Memory Montage that has seen immense growth every year since Amy and her husband, Tavis, started it in 2008. This power couple knew that they wanted to design their business around their life, not their life around their business. So they went to work on the task of creating systems for every aspect of their business. Now, they have systems for customer acquisition, customer service, photo editing, blog writing, etc… With their system-proof business they are able to live a freedom-based lifestyle. In addition, since their team does the majority of the “hands-on” work, Tavis and Amy are able to focus the majority of their time and energy on managing, growing and scaling the business.
If you want to see how simple it can be to create a system for your business, here’s a real-life example of a system our management at NUYU Juice Bar use to communicate with the rest of our team.
How systems can help you scale your business:
Success is directly correlated to consistency. And consistency is directly correlated to effective systems.
Once you have a baseline of a system, test it over and over again until it becomes refined and bullet proof. From there, grow and build on top of that system. If you’re the one stuck doing all the work in your business and you can’t leave or work on other aspects without things falling apart, you cannot expect to scale your business to a booming growth level.
With systems you go from being self-employed to being a business owner. With your systems in hand, you can train team members to accomplish and replace you in different aspects of the business. This enables you to step away and have the ability to grow and scale your business beyond you.
In summary, successful entrepreneurs understand that systems are not only the key to designing your dream life around your business but they’re also the key to scaling your business to the next level.
Are you utilizing this super power in your business? If no, give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised at their ability to transform not only your business, but your life as well!
For more principles and information on building systems not only for your business, but your life as well, go to: http://systemsforsuccess.com/