In the last newsletter I introduced the idea of the owner’s success formula. To refresh your memory, I’ll provide a brief a recap of what I covered.
The owner’s freedom formula is simply this: Systems = Freedom.
So what is a system? Simply put, a system is a documented way of performing a task that solves a problem and ensures that the task is performed properly and consistently. Creating successful systems means having effective forms, scripts, follow up, marketing processes etc. that are used by you and your staff. In also includes an effective carrot and stick management plan that helps your staff to manage themselves.
The Starbucks System:
Let’s take Starbucks as an example: What happens when you walk into a Starbucks? Usually you have the feeling that you’ve just walked into a friend’s living room: jazz is playing in the background, people are relaxed and talking, some of them are having business conversations, someone may be typing on a laptop, there’s a cool ambience and décor, the colors are warm and rich and there is a smell of robust coffee in the air. The menu even has its own system: short, tall, grande and venti. None of this is an accident- all of it is a perfectly integrated system.
Every time you walk into the Starbucks it’s the same experience; same quality of coffee, same uniforms, same ambience. They’ve been able to kill their competition due to their precision. The subtle message to you as a customer is: we offer a consistently good service and you can trust us. This consistency makes people feel comfortable with your service.
Here’s an example that comes from professional football. The most popular offensive system in professional football is the West coast offence. This system was perfected by Bill Walsh and the 49ers. Joe Montana is considered by many to be the best quarterback to ever play the game and he worked in this system.
The West Coast offence is a system with unique characteristics; lots of passing, screen passes, fast receivers etc. It is a system that started in San Francisco and has now been successfully duplicated in many other cities. So systems apply to business and they also apply in many other contexts as well.
The Franchise Prototype:
Michael Gerber suggests that owners pretend that their businesses will be the prototype for 1000 other businesses exactly like it. Pretend someone is going to walk in your door next month with the intention of buying your business- but only if it works and works without a lot of work for the owner. Imagine that your prospective buyer will need to see your formula on paper.
Could you explain to a prospective buyer how your firm ticks and hums and makes a solid profit each month? Is there a documented “operating system” that you could hand to that person? If not, then you may want to start to think of your business in a new way. It doesn’t matter if you will ever open a second office or sell your firm because it’s the process of thinking this way that will give you the payoff.
So, if you want more freedom and peace of mind then you need to systematize or “bottle” your very own proprietary success formula. Once you have these systems in place, you will be able to trust in your unique operating system. This will allow you to enjoy more freedom and less stress while you’re sipping your next blue Hawaiian.
Gary Stauble is the principal consultant for The Recruiting Lab, a coaching company that assists Firm Owners and Solo Recruiters in generating more profit in less time. His free monthly e-zine, “Creative Recruiting” will help you to attract premium clients, make more placements, and still be home in time for dinner. Subscribe today at www.therecruitinglab.com. There are also over 20 Free Special Reports online covering advanced marketing, firm management and recruiting best practices. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation, visit the site or call 408-847-5049.