Let’s face it; process is boring. But what if I told you if you followed specific steps, you could be great at process?
I grew up in Minnesota, which is one of the most extensive hockey beds in the country. I loved the game of hockey. I found myself thinking about it day and night. You could even say I was obsessed with it. I remember going to hockey camps in the summer, and during my stay at one of them, I asked one of the counselors, who was already a professional hockey player, what he did to get to the level he was at.
He said to me, “Stay disciplined and follow your path. I had a plan, and I followed it every day.” Looking back, I realized that when successful people obsess over steps, they take each day, and imprint them into their brains, that’s a process they follow.
In EOS™ (The Entrepreneurial Operating System), I have my clients take what the best person does in the company and document the significant steps that made the process great. Therefore, everyone in the company can follow the same process every time.
To clarify, I’m not telling my clients to document what they do; this isn’t a training or SOP manual. I’m showing them how to document how they to do it their way, with their secret sauce every time. Thus, when the best person leaves, the next best person can follow the same process, and the secret sauce remains!
Have your team members document their steps at a very high level, using the 20/80 rule. In other words, capture the 20% that delivers 80% or more of your success — and keep it to no more than three pages. That’s it!
The last step is to teach everyone in the company to embrace it as an FBA (followed by all) process. In other words, you must train, measure, lead, manage, and hold people accountable. Then you need to circle back to ensure your team follows and updates the process. Success can and should be duplicated, and it needs to be repeated by driving process into the organization in a simplified manner.
My clients have to determine the handful of core processes that drives their business. Most of the time, it boils down to processes centered around people (hire, fire, discipline), marketing, sales, operations, accounting and customer service.
What are the handful (20%) of core processes that drive 80% of your business?
Once you take this step, your business will be more fun, predictable, manageable, scalable, and ultimately, profitable. This is especially true if you ever decide to sell the company because now the buyer is acquiring a proven, repeatable success machine. What’s more, if one or two people only know the process and they leave, you put your business at higher risk. I’ve seen sellers net more from their companies because they had their core processes in order.
Now, that’s process!