You need a team to help you grow your business – whether that means employees, freelancers or virtual assistants. Without them, you would end up trying to do everything yourself, and be limited by the number of hours in your day (which should be 8, not 16!).
So without a team, your business cannot grow.
But your team can also be the biggest threat to growing your business.
Why? Because you hire them, train them, invest your time and money in them until you can rely on them and then, at some point…they leave. And then you are back to square one, having to hire someone else and repeat the whole process. If you’ve experienced this, it can feel like one step forward and two steps back.
So what’s the solution?
The solution is to make sure you do not have to rely on a particular member of staff for the success of your business.
If all of the important information and knowledge about any part of your business is in one person’s head, then you are relying on that person for the success of your business. If they leave, so does that knowledge. You are two steps back.
But what if all the important knowledge about that part of your business was contained in a system, which was operated by one of your team members? So instead of the information being in someone’s head, it was written down in a document, instruction manual, or checklist, which explained exactly how to operate that particular part of the business? For example, how to set up a new client account, or how to pay your suppliers. If the person who operated that system left, the information would still be there, in the instruction manual or checklist. Now you could hire someone else to operate that system. Yes, they would still need some training, but because you have a system to follow the training would be much quicker and simpler, and you would be relying less on the skills of the individual because there was a system for them to operate.
So systemising your business is key to growing your business without being reliant on particular members of staff for your success.
But what if your team members resist systemisation?
The bad news is that not everyone in your team may not be as enthusiastic about systemisation as you are. Some may see it as a way to make their working life easier and welcome it. But others may relish the idea of being ‘the only one’ who knows how to do certain tasks in your business, and worry that if someone else can do their job, they won’t be as important to your business. But the reality is that if your business operates on systems, rather than individuals, there are benefits for the employee too, such as:
- When they are on holiday, someone else can do their job – meaning they don’t come back to a pile of work that no-one else could deal with and don’t end up working more hours before and after their holiday to make up for the time they were away.
- Equally, if they are unwell and need time off, they can do so knowing someone else can do their job in the meantime.
- They are more likely to get promoted – once their role is systemised, and can be done by someone less skilled than they are, they can be promoted to a more interesting and challenging (and financially rewarding) role.
So if you find your team members are resistant to systemisation, remember that you need to sell the benefits of it to them, just as you have to sell the benefits of your product or service to your clients. Once you staff realise what’s in it for them, they are more likely to support your systemisation project and help, not hinder, the growth of your business.