I reckon most of the things that get in the way of running your own business being easy, lucrative and fun can be categorised under one word:
Uncertainty around your ability to make it work.
Uncertainty around where your next lead is coming from.
Uncertainty around how to sell.
Uncertainty around what to do next and how to grow.
Today I want to address one simple yet significant – and nearly always overlooked – activity you can do right now to eliminate most if not all of your business uncertainties.
Worry is a total waste of time. It doesn’t change anything. All it does is. steal you joy and keep you very busy doing nothing.
It’s a ridiculously basic activity that will give you total clarity over everything you’re currently doing, as well as everything you’re NOT doing and need to do.
In last week’s Game Changer Webinar, we talked about the three steps to building a ‘freedom business’: Leverage, Systems and Outsourcing. There’s actually a fourth step that needs to happen first if you’re going to make a serious success out of implementing those three essential features into your business. That first step is WORKFLOW.
Not very exciting huh? Well actually I disagree. I think it’s INCREDIBLY exciting because I know it’s the missing piece of the jigsaw for you.
In an industry where pretty much everyone is focused on marketing and nothing else, the fact that when every other foundation of a solid business is ignored to wither away means almost NO ONE makes it in the long-term is calmly ignored.
Think about it: how often are you reinventing the wheel? How often do you sit there wondering what the hell to do next? How often do you fail to turn a lead into a sale because you forgot to follow up? Right now I bet your business is so full of holes it’s practically swiss cheese…
Now instead imagine your business running along a pre-defined set of routes, based on an overall blueprint, designed to achieve your goals. That’s what a documented workflow will do for you.
And once you have a documented workflow not only do you make sure everything gets done, you’ve also taken the first step away from being a one-man-band where you’ve really only gone and given yourself a job, to having a real business that can grow through leverage, systemisation, and the development of a team.
How do you create workflow for your business? Super-simple. Just mindmap it. I’m old school – I draw mine on big sheets of paper or whiteboards first, and then I use an online tool like Mindjet to formalise each flow.
The goal of this game is to write down every single step you take in a specific process within your business. Examples might include:
- Handing enquiries from your website
- Social media content distribution
- Invoicing and collections
- On-boarding new clients
Start by making a list of each department in your business (even if you’re a sole trader you have departments: admin, finance, marketing, sales, customer service etc.) and then list every single process that has to happen under each department. This will be a living, organic document and you’ll find yourself noticing more and more where the gaps are, and where you can make improvements.
Eventually you’ll have your very own ‘operations manual’ for your business which will help you be more efficient, outsource, close more deals.
You’ll also sleep better at night without that niggling little voice telling you you’ve forgotten something….
Start now. Even if you only just started your business. The sooner you start developing your workflows and systems, the faster and easier you’ll be able to get out of the time-for-money-trap, stop losing sales, stop working 100 hour weeks and instead feel completely in control of your business, and in a strong position going forward.
If you’d like help with this exercise – that’s what we’re here for.