If you’re a solo entrepreneur you can skip this entirely, but it might make for useful reading if you are planning on hiring in the future. In my years of putting systems into businesses and training their teams, I’ve seen many launches work brilliantly.
At the same time I’ve been met with a few “What on earth is this?” expressions when I sit down to do the training, only to find out the Managing Director hasn’t actually told the staff anything. Here are the simplest ways to get your team on-board so everyone can be excited about your new system, not confused or annoyed.
I know what you’re thinking, “I’m the boss, I’ll just tell them this is how it’s going to work and that’s how it’ll be”. You can try but you’ll find people hate change at the best of times, most of all at work and the last thing you need for morale is resistance.
In our experience of training people to use our systems, the best results come when the client has not only pre-warned the staff what’s going on, but has actively involved them, so they are excited about the upcoming changes to their job. The best thing you can do is continue to remind them that their jobs will become easier.
If you ask your staff what their biggest complaints are about their job, they will probably tell you a lack of communication between departments, spelling mistakes causing issues and having to type information into multiple systems. When you can confidently tell them that 90%, if not 100%, of those issues will go away, it’s amazing how quickly you’ll get them on-side.
I will often meet with or interview key members of a team and ask them about their pain-points. At what stage does the process start to fall apart? At what point do they stop relying on copy and paste emails and have to actually do their craft? What systems have they put in place off their own back to speed things up?
The key is to empower your team to speak up about the efficiencies they have created and the issues they experience on a daily basis.
Then you let them go.
You can’t be held hostage by your own staff. No one person, no matter how good they are is bigger than a company. Would FC Barcelona survive without Leo Messi? Of course it would be tricky in the short term but everyone else would pick up the slack, rise to the challenge and they would build new stars.
This is YOUR business. It’s not a vehicle with which to employ people and give them whatever they want at your expense. Consider their views about HOW you are going to streamline their workflow but don’t let them dictate to you and tell you it’s not happening.
If after doing this, their job doesn’t need doing anymore and you want to let them go because there’s nothing for them to do - go for it. If you want to offer them another opportunity within the business perhaps in a marketing or sales based role then great, but you must do what’s best for business.
Improving the efficiency of your staff can make a huge difference to your bottom line. It’s not uncommon for almost entire job roles to be automated or for a business to go from two admin staff to one by going down the path of automation.
Let’s say you have five staff including yourself, and our approach and systems save each staff member 15 minutes each day. That’s it - just 15 minutes. Lets do the maths.
Saving of £3,120 per year or £8.56 per day.
Our system for instance costs much less than this. I don’t want you to think of these as inflated figures. If your staff only saved 15 minutes per day I’d be horrified. It’s a beautiful realisation that you can not only grow your business without adding staff, but also scale down the staff count without affecting revenues or customer service, and dramatically increasing profitability.
Your focus should increasingly become geared towards marketing. Let me explain why… A new client of ours, we’ll call him Dan, had a business with a few partners and the business was split up so they could each go their own way.
It’s taken Dan a matter of days to set up new websites, re-do the marketing he’d done on Google Adwords and get ready to go again.
Because the others didn’t do the marketing for the business, they are now left with no idea how to generate enquiries from cold as that was Dan’s job. Dan got the short straw in the business split but because of his skills and foresight to focus on the marketing part of the business, he’s in a much better position than the others combined.
You can’t unlearn marketing. It stays with you forever. You need to protect yourself against any kind of downturn, rogue staff, big clients leaving and any other random event that could bring your business down. The only way to do this is to learn the skill that brings any business out of a slump.
Of course, once you become great at marketing, it’s unlikely you’ll have those issues to begin with. If you need convincing, how is it that Richard Branson can start hit business after hit business again and again? He knows marketing, he knows positioning and he’s rarely wrong. Focus on learning this as a skill.