You know you need processes in place to grow your team, but how will you ever begin to create them when you can’t find the time? This is just one of many hurdles that my clients often face when they are attempting to put better processes and systems in place within their agency.
In this episode, I talk about why we often struggle to create processes for our business and the challenges people face when putting procedures in place.
You’ll hear a personal story about how I created a standard operating procedure for my baby (and how you can use a system JUST like the one I explained for your business). I also walk you through how you can begin to put processes in place when you don’t have any time to spare.
Welcome to The Scale Your Way podcast episode number 71.
You’re listening to the Scale Your Way podcast, where we share simple, proven strategies just for done for you service based companies here, you’ll learn how to scale your business on your own terms so that you can have more time, money, create a bigger impact and a better life. I’m your host, Nicole Jackson Miller. Let’s dive into today’s episode.
Hey there and welcome back to the show. So today I want to talk to you about systems and processes that are needed to grow your team and the hesitation in actually implementing some of the processes that need to be done inside of your business because you can’t find the time. Raise your hand if you’ve been in this position where you either have team members in your business right now and you know that you need to hand more things off or you want to hire, but you know that if you were to take these things off of your plate, your team would have a bunch of questions, because a lot of what goes into doing this, these tasks are inside of your head.
So today we’re going to be talking about really getting clear on why this is happening, why processes are important, and more importantly, how to actually make sure that these things get done so that you can get the support that you need when you have a lot going on.
And if you are a done for your service provider and you’re in the position right now where your business is growing, there’s more interest in your services, you are feeling almost booked out or even fully booked out. Maybe you have a wait list. It is very likely you are in the position where you need to be able to delegate more of client delivery. So this stuff is super important. This topic has come up on many a coaching call inside of my program AGENCY. It has come up in side of some of my Instagram direct messages. And I’m really excited to dive in today because this is one thing that’s going to make a huge difference and really allow you to be able to grow your business past yourself or past yourself in the few team members that you have on board right now.
So the problem that we’re talking about is needing to create these processes in order to hand off more work to your team. And every time you go to create them, I bet something else comes up that distracts you. It could be you doing client work. And so maybe some client work has been taking a priority. Perhaps there are other things that are going on in your business right now or team members that you’re trying to hire and you just don’t seem to have the time.
And one thing that pops into people’s mind is that when they’re in this position as well, maybe I need to hire this out. Maybe I need to hire in somebody to create standard operating procedures for me or to create processes for me. But the problem that I see happening is that the knowledge still lives inside of you. So while someone may be able to come in and take a look at your processes or the way that you’re doing your business and suggest ways to make things more efficient, they still need to start with something. So you can get support with standard operating procedures and also you still need to be a part of the process.
So I actually have a way that I used to work with my clients that I recommend doing instead of hiring someone else to do this for you. And this is so important because without actually taking that knowledge that is inside of your brain and putting it down on paper and I say on paper, but you know what I mean? It could live in a Google document. There’s a lot of different places where you can put the stuff where other people can access it. It’s needed in order for you to be able to hand things off and really get out of the client delivery that you’re involved in right now so that you can spend the time growing your business, so that you can spend time hiring the people, so you can spend time managing so that you can spend time getting more sales in the door and really growing your business. It’s going to help remove you as the bottleneck. It all comes down to processes.
Now, what you need to know about this is the good news is that you really only need to do this once. And it sometimes feels very challenging to actually sit down and brain dump all of your processes and get it out of your head and put it on paper. But once you do it once, you really never need to do it again. Now, I will say that because your business is likely growing and evolving, there will be processes that need to be revised probably frequently. It might be every few months, it could be every month, it might be every year, just depending on where you are in your business journey. But the hardest part is just getting started. And so oftentimes it can feel so like so much work and so heavy to do it. But once you do it, I know that it is such a good investment of your time because you will likely never have to do that again. And once you hand off the work to somebody else, they can also be the ones to update it.
I will give you an example. I just had a baby a few months ago, and I wanted to bring in somebody to help with babysit my baby during the week, and I knew that there was so much that I was learning about my baby and so many different ways and things that we had tried and things that we had tried that hadn’t worked and things we had tried that worked. And I knew that bringing in somebody else to care for my child, I wanted to be able to provide them with some direction.
For example, when does my baby how much does the baby what does the baby eat? When do they go down for naps? What does it all look like? What’s the flow? Right? Where are things located? Because I knew that by bringing in a baby sitter, I wanted to be able to step away to actually do work right. Without there being a ton of questions. Now, it doesn’t mean that there wouldn’t be any questions. I was hoping there would be some questions. I’m sure I would have missed some things right. Or there might be things that I just hadn’t figured out yet that I needed her brain to help me figure out. And then we could put it in, you know, a standard
operating procedure for my child. But the point was the most time consuming thing was that I was just doing it the first time.
And I remember I said I was nursing my baby. I was sitting in the chair. I opened up a Google document and I voice recorded. It was like voice to text a lot of that first round of, of processes. And it sounds so funny to say like standard operating procedures for a baby, but that’s really what it was. And once I did that, I was able to go back when he went down for a nap and I edited it, I added in some things and ended up just becoming really helpful. And then since then, especially because babies, just like businesses, they grow so fast. Right. And there’s things that change. I have been able to go in every few weeks and edit it based on how he’s changed. And I’m sure I could get to a point to where, as he’s changing, the babysitter could also go in and make those edits as well as we kind of grow together and figure out things about him together, too.
So I share that story with you because it is it’s very similar to having a business. And I have interviewed two people on this podcast that talk more about standard operating procedures and how freeing it can be once you have them in place for your business. You can check out episode number 47 with Sarah Fox. She talks a lot about how she was able to create processes and get them out of her head. And it’s been tremendously helpful. She is delegated almost all of client delivery, including sales and account management and the actual implementation of the work inside of her business. So definitely check that out.
And another episode you can check out is episode 38 with Ali Morris Nute, where she talks about how, by creating standard operating procedures and processes in her business, she was really able to step into the visionary role. And I know that that’s a big thing that a lot of business owners want to do. They want to be able to step out of being an implementer or an integrator on their team to being the visionary. And Ali, who is extremely creative and really someone who was braving, stepping into that visionary, creative, visionary role through creating processes where she was really able to get some things outside out of her brain and onto paper, was able to flourish in that role.
And it starts with standard operating procedures, which sounds so not sexy. Right? It’s like visionary and creativity and, you know, being able to focus in on my own marketing, those all sound so sexy. And but when you look at the how of how you actually get those things done, it doesn’t feel as sexy, but it feels so tremendously good once you have it done. So definitely check out those two episodes. All right.
] So how do you actually do this when you have no time? I don’t know about you, but when I look at a project and creating new systems in my business or revamping things, sometimes I take a look at things that I’m like, you know what? I want to do the whole thing. It’s like decorating my house. You know, I look at my house and I’m like, you know what? I want to decorate the whole I want to redecorate the whole place. I need to completely upgrade everything. I want a new kitchen. I want a new bathroom. I want different I want all different pictures on the walls. Right? It’s like, let’s just do it all. And then that feels so tremendously overwhelming and then nothing ever happens.
Have you ever been there? I know. I sure have. So what do I do? I started with my bedroom. Right. I got, you know, a new headboard. I got a new picture on the wall. And it slowly started to feel more like the upgraded version of what I was looking for. And then I was able to focus on the next thing. The same thing goes for standard operating procedures.
You need to prioritize what you want to do first, and the best way to do this is to figure out what is it that needs to come off of your plate next. And so this is something that we go through inside of my agency program and the agency delegation method that I have laid out for everyone to follow. One thing I recommend and teach people how to do is exactly how to prioritize what they need to hand off, because there is a lot of things that you can delegate to other people. But oftentimes I find that people aren’t picking the right things first. So we want to make sure that not only you get the stuff off of your plate, the things that you’re getting off of your plate first are going to give you the biggest return first so that then you can get the rest off of your plate.
So once you’ve decided and gone through that exercise of prioritizing, then you create the processes based on what you need to delegate next. And it’s just taking it one task at a time. So create the processes based on what you need to handoff and it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Sometimes when we take a look at, like renovating the whole place, you know, not everything has to be redone. Just because I want to redo my bedroom doesn’t mean that I need to pull up the carpets and redo the carpets or put in hardwood floors and do the rug. And like, I can start with the headboard and a picture. Same thing with SOPs. I can start with creating a Loom video of me walking through an actual piece of something that I’m working on and just talking into a microphone and telling people what it is that I’m doing. It doesn’t even really have to be written down yet. Right? You could get that transcribed or you could just give them a video and either they could write it out or you could write it out later.
So that’s a big thing to know is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be the way that it ultimately ends up inside of your systems. It just needs to get out of your head. And so this could be if you are delegating something for the first time, it could be if you’ve delegated, you know, if you’ve delegated a certain amount of tasks inside of your business. But now you’re wanting to delegate maybe some management or some decision making and actually teaching people how you think through different situations in your business to make those decisions. So, again, you have like those tasks that are kind of the first things to delegate outwards. Like you do this first and then this first and then this first. But then there’s the whole next level of delegating decision making to people on your team where instead of telling them, you click this button and then click that button, you’re saying, OK, if you’re looking to solve a certain situation or make a certain decision, these are the three things I need you to think about. This is what’s important and this is what’s not important.
So this is something where, again, it might start a process, might start as a step one to three of people actually doing implementation work. But as you practice doing that, you can also apply that practice to outsourcing larger things like the management and decision making inside
of your business as well. So to recap, you have to create processes in order to remove yourself from client delivery. It is extremely important and really no one can do it but you, at least for the first round. So it’s not unfortunately, it’s not something that you can just hire someone in and never talk to and they create everything for you. It’s just not going to work the first time around.
You only need to do it once. So it is a great return on your time investment. Just know that you’re just doing it once and you don’t have to do everything at once. Pick the things that you need to hand off and next inside your business and start there.
And lastly, it doesn’t have to be perfect, right? Even if you were to sit down and let’s say you’re doing something else, maybe you’re cooking or you’re going for a walk or whatever you can record on your phone and you can simply talk through what it is that you’re trying to hand off. You can talk through your process. You could record a Loom video as you’re actually doing client work to show people what you’re doing. And then later on you can edit it to make it look better or to be to include more things that maybe you didn’t realize you needed to include that first time around.
All right, everyone, so thank you so much for being here with me today. I hope this has inspired you to go and to actually get the things out of your head and onto paper so that you can delegate more of client delivery and really grow your business and be able to support those team members who are coming in to support you. I will see you next time.
Thanks so much for tuning in, if you are ready to stop settling for being a done for your service provider and really fully step into the role of agency owner and CEO and lead a team that you love that just delivers excellent client results, then you have to check out my new program called AGENCY, which is specifically designed to remove you from at least 50 percent of client delivery in 12 months or less, so that you can have the time and the space to be able to run your business and, you know, to take a tech free vacation, too. That’s always nice, right? So if you’re interested in learning more, head over to NicoleJacksonMiller./Apply. You can learn more about the program. If it looks like a good fit, then apply. And we will send you before our call. We’ll send you a free business assessment that will really explain more about the framework that we use to remove you from client delivery. And it’ll give you an assessment that you can take to really show where you are now and where you’re going. We’ve had so many people get a lot of insight just from taking that assessment, so I can’t wait for you to check it out.