Good day, good day, and welcome to the Business Made Easy podcast where we
make business easy. Jason Skinner, your host here for another week of the
podcast which is all about growing your business bottom line and giving you a
better life as a result. We will want one of those that we hang, less stress, more
money in the bank account would be fantastic. Well, we’re gonna help you do
that today with our, episode just me again today.
We’re gonna be talking about a really important topic in business and hopefully,
it’s something that you are already doing and want to improve. We’re gonna talk
about that. If you’re not doing and I hope this episode encourages you to,
actually take action and start implementing what we are gonna talk about today.
I won’t spoil you just yet before I do, if you haven’t joined our Facebook group
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value, of course. I don’t, don’t expect any sort of false reviews or anything like
that. But certainly, if you have been and you haven’t reviewed it I’d love and
really appreciate you doing that for me. Alrighty! Let’s get into today’s show and
today, I want to talk with you about systems and procedures.
Now, systems and procedures are one of those things that always seem like a
pain in the neck to do that often things we know we should be doing. But just
never get around to doing them, but I wanna just ask you this question, Have
you ever been frustrated in your business where, why have I got to be the one to
do this? Why am I the only one that can do this properly? Or the other one that is
quite common in businesses:”I can’t get anyone else to do it like I do it, or I can’t,
if I give it to someone else, by the time I explain it I’m just gonna–, it’s quicker to
do it myself.” Now one of them, I’m sure we are all guilty of that one, well I know
I am myself.
And, you know you can just struggle to get a lack of consistency across the board
in your business just, and it seems to get what actually doesn’t seem to–it
actually gets worse the bigger you grow as you, sort of put on a new employee
and you start time and you train them and you spend days inducting them into
the way you want things down within your business and showing them around
and doing all these things, to make sure that they can be as efficient and up and
be running be making you money as, as quickly as possible.
Now the problem with that is if you don’t have a system in process and
checklists and things in place if that person leaves then you have to start and go
through that whole process again. So this is one great argument for making sure
you’ve got profit systems and procedures in place.
The other one is, without proper systems and procedures you will be continually
chained to your business. You will find that you’re gonna be forever tearing your
hair out and the more people that you get, the more staff you get, the more
room there is for error. The more customer complaints happen because things
didn’t happen the way they should happen. Staff becoming inefficient because
they don’t know what to do, though they might learn things by rote, they might
learn things because they’ve done that task a million times the same way.
But what happens when that procedure that, task actually changes the
circumstances around that change?
And this goes on, in business all the time; that the more people you get, the more
it just becomes inefficient and then you feel like you need more people and it
goes around, it goes around. So systems and procedures are absolutely, critical if
you want to build a business that you can step away from and build a business
that’s not gonna be consuming you and is delivering consistent predictable
results every single time.
Now Michael Gerber, first, I’m a big lover of this book the “E-Myth” and I’ll put a
link to this in the show notes. But Michael Gerber talks about this concept of the
turn-key business, the turn-key revolution. And this is how a lot of franchises
operate. I mean if you look at McDonald’s it’s a turn-key operation because
McDonald’s has successfully built a system that can get a 16-year-old child that
parents can’t get to make their bed or do anything around the house or even get
out of bed, probably get off the computer games or anything like that.
Parents struggle to get these children to do these simple tasks around the
house. Yet McDonald’s can get them to turn up to work, wear their uniform with
pride and make a consistent hamburger and consistent products, out of
everyone from the outlets all over the world.
You’ve never seen a better system than in something like that, I mean the
system has controls and check, check mechanisms and, right down to the nth
degree. So it doesn’t matter where you go and buy a McDonald’s hamburger. It’s
going to be the same and you’re going to experience the same consistent service
and product across the whole network.
And this is why I love the example of McDonald’s because if you think about it, if
the big mac maker in the McDonald’s doesn’t turn up for work that day,
McDonald’s hamburger, that big mac still get made. That I’d stop making big
macs because the guy who puts the gherkins on hasn’t turned up for work
today–the gherkins still go on.
Because there is a system that they’re all following and they’re, inducted into
that system using the induction method systems. So systems operate right
through your whole business right from your very first customer coming in the
door, what the greeting procedure is, how you answer the phone within your
business, what does the receptionist say when they answer the phone, how do
you want the phone answered?
How do you want this, what you want the staff to do when they come into work
in the morning? What machinery needs to be turned on, what machinery needs
to be turned off? What needs to happen when the very first person comes into
the office, and then what happens in the next step and then what happens?
So you’re gonna have all sorts of systems within your business? You’re gonna
have human relations (HR), systems and processes. And a system is not
necessarily a big lengthy document. But the system could be as simple as a
checklist. I’ve seen them in the hotels, and they quite often behind the door of
the amenities have a checklist where the janitor has to sign off at different
intervals that the toilets are being cleaned.
So that’s the system that they have to make sure that the toilets are cleaned. If
you go to cafes and restaurants and things like that, they have a system to
monitor the fridge temperatures so that you know the food sorta stays at a
consistently cold temperature. And we don’t get food poisoning and all that sort
of things. So a system can take many forms but it really needs to be,
implemented. And you, as the business owner have to be the driver of these
You have to be the one that actually sits down and maps all these out. You don’t
necessarily need to write them but you need to make sure you, sort of steward
of them that, is gonna make sure that they all, all come together. Now a lot of
people write systems in manuals like big lengthy books and things like that.
I’ll just say a couple of things around that. Firstly, with any systems and
procedures that you write, you wanna make sure that they are accessible by the
people that need to access them. And by accessible, easy to find, easy to locate
that system, so some sort of search indexing that system–the location for them,
central location. The way, that, that’s the way and I love this term, “That’s the
way we do it here.” And that when you’re writing your systems, you’re talking to
you, your staff about the systems, that’s the way we do it here and, and that’s
why we have the system in place or the procedure in place.
So, the other thing with this systems, writing them out, some people, I’ve seen
them done them before in sort of large tombs of, written and printed out
material in folders. The downside of having them written out like that is that,
your systems and processes, particularly in the current business environment,
with technology and things, will change rapidly and it’s very, very easy for those
systems and processes, and procedures to get out of date and out of whack and
then they become redundant and then what you’ll find is that the stuff that
we’re relying on them, now that they’re out of date stop, I won’t, I won’t go to
that because it’s, out of date; I’ll just do it this way.
And you can start to get that creep into your business culture. So I personally
prefer to have a more digital format of, of the procedures so that they’re easily
updatable. You can usually search and find them and I’ll give you some tools to
help you do that, shortly.
It makes it a lot easier to find those procedures and update them. It’s a good
idea, I feel, to have somebody champion the procedures, for instance, so we’ve
got an accounting practice, and I would have the receptionist write the
procedure for the first draft, for the receptionist procedure. The tasks that she
does because that way she knows full well step by step what, she does et cetera.
I don’t have to go on and sort of try and know everyone’s position to the nth
degree. But what I wanna do is sit and review that system and procedure with
her and, or them and go through it with them so that I know and I’m checking
that it is in line, all the steps are in line with, um, with the way I, I expect things to
be done. And then once, once I’m happy with how well that’s come together
then I would get a person who is not the receptionist to actually test that system
so they actually get to sit in that role and follow the procedures for a day or two.
and just really flesh it out.
So if you’ve got somebody who is responsible for cleaning the warehouse floor
each day; get them to write down all the tasks that they do, in a format, get it
into an electronic document–review it with them, and then get somebody else
to, perform that task where you gonna walk through that system and procedure.
And then you have that job, you have that job description. You have that
procedure for that role within your organization. The other thing, when you’re
sorting out your procedures would be to have some form of broad category,
broad category so you might have, an HR procedure or HR procedure systems.
So that’s everything about HR within the organization, how employees apply for
leave, what the process is if you’re sick.
We actually have in our practice an induction manual so when a new employee
starts, that’s virtually the written procedure about all the ins and outs that they
need to know about working for our company. And, and what’s expected of
them, what’s expected with social media policy, what’s expected with email
policy, what’s expected if you’re sick, social behavior, antisocial behavior,
uniform policy, we have everything listed out in that procedure — induction
menu for, for a new employee.
So, we give it to them before they come to their new role and then we sit with
them before their very first day and we say, “Have you been through the
procedure and, did you understand what goes through on that and get
acknowledgment from them that they understand all the pertinent points.
Then I have them sign a document at the end to say that they have read it
thoroughly, they do understand everything in there and there is no mistake,
whatsoever about how we expect our employees to behave and perform within
our organization. And, that does a few things it takes all the guesswork out for
the new person because starting a new job can be a really anxious time.
You’re worried about what you don’t know and who you don’t know, what’s
expected et cetera. So you just sort of can feel it. It can add to the weight on
your first day in terms of performance and you wanna do a good performance on
your first day. So this book, this induction manual takes all that guesswork out of
It doesn’t matter what business you have even if you’re on online business; you
could have an induction manual for your virtual staff, this is the way we
communicate, this is the way if you need to leave, this is the way you apply for
annual leave or sick leave or whatever if you can’t make it to work or something
goes wrong. This is the channel that you report it in. So that’s just one system
that we’re, we’re talking about here.
I heard the story one time around Disneyland and, speaking of companies with
great systems, that these guys really, really do it well. There was a young guy
that actually, got a job at Disneyland and, I think it was just sort of working in the
ticket booth and excuse me if I get some of these facts wrong, circumstances
wrong, but it’s the concept that I want you to understand.
What this guy did, he went to work the very first day and he came home and his
father said to him, “Well, how was, how was your day today, Johnny?” “Today I
learned all about, Disney.” And the father said,”That’s great.” And the next, next
time and the son went to work and, came home and the father asked again,
“What did you do today? Did you start selling your tickets?” He says, “No, I
learned a little about Disney.” And this went on for a number of days and it was,
it was quite on time. The father actually stopped him and, and said, “Listen,
Johnny, how much about Disney do you have to learn like I mean aren’t you just
And, the little boy turned around and said, “Oh, no, Dad. This is Disney. Disney
has a way about it, Disney has a way of, of selling. And I have to understand all
about Disneyland, in order to work there.”
And so that highlights the depth that you can get through its procedures and
systems and, making sure that all your people are following the company culture
and the way you want that company to perform. And the other, I remember
hearing it, it just highlighted to me, just how you can get your culture and you
can get your company to be all working together and in unison, in such even the
largest of the organizations through the help and use of these systems and
processes which is, which is really important.
Another story about, um, the systems and processes that I, I love too, that was
actually in, Michael Gerber’s book the “E-Myth” he talks about this hotel that he
went to and, this hotel was so systemized and procedurized that when he wakes,
he only ever had to say something once and it didn’t matter how many times
subsequent to that he would stay at that hotel; his same brand of coffee would
be there waiting for him, his newspaper that he liked to read was the same
newspaper every single time every, every personal detail about his experience
with that hotel was exactly the same every time he returned to that hotel.
Didn’t matter who was working that day. Didn’t matter who wasn’t working that
day. The same experience happened every single time. And l think we’ve all
experienced this where you, you go to a particular business or service and you
go, “Wow, that was really great! They gave me, a beer or coffee when I turned
up and it was this.”
But then the next week you go and it’s a totally different experience. Your
haircut, your haircut is exactly the same but the coffee or beer didn’t come out,
you weren’t asked like you were last time or whatever and it just takes a shine
off. It can just take the shine off the service.
So, systems and procedures are really, really important for, ensuring that
continuity of service standards. So that’s sort of another system that you would
have is a customer service standard systems. So this is the way we look after our
customers. These, these are the systems and processes we have when we’re
delivering our product. If you’re in a business that rent things out or anything
like that, you know, this is we make sure that when the item comes back it’s
cleaned, it’s checked for working order, uh, everything is, is as it should be in top
quality ready to go out again.
That would be a system and you would have checklists in place that would
actually map out and people would sign off that they have fulfilled that role and
they understand that role. So, you know, you can get the idea that, these you
can’t get too granular systems and processes, you really want them to be
thorough because you want, virtually I always think, I want the most untrained
person to be able, to come and do this job.
Now, technologies moved on and the system space, so these I was talking before
about not having them, written and printed out. Because it can be a bit sort of
like an outdated really quickly and then you end up with tombs of information
that people don’t want to follow.
What I’ve been using myself to create systems and processes which I’m
absolutely loving is doing video recordings of performing that task. So a lot of
what I do is on the computer and the digital space so it makes it easier to do this
but you can just, with an iPhone, shoot video and show people how to do a
particular task in your organization.
There’s a program I’m using at the moment cold “Loom” and I’ll put a link to it in
the show notes. It’s spelled “L” “O” “O” “M”–Loom. It’s free which is the right
price. And what you can do with Loom is you can record your screen as your
performing or doing a demonstration of a particular task. So I’ve got to show
someone how to use a particular piece of software then what I do is I just start
up a Loom video. It’s very, very simple it just, just sits on your Chrome browser, I
don’t know if they have it for any other browsers; it just sits in the Chrome
I do know they’re bringing out a desktop version so you’ll be able to record the
desktop as well. But with Loom, you just click the Loom button on your browser
and a little camera comes, your camera starts up and puts a little circle of you, on
the screen plus shows your screen and you can talk and show people and record
at the same time exactly the tasks and steps that you want them to follow and
once you hit the stop button, they basically give you a link and you just copy that
link in an email or in your document; you can even just put the, put the actual
document in the link just in your procedure documents.
So your procedure might say, uh,”The next step is to do X, Y and Z process. Click
this link to see how to do that.” So you click it now comes a video. It’s really,
really good. Free and it’s visual so it makes it easy and there can be no mistake
on how you want something completed within your business. Really great for
office procedures and marketing procedures and all those sorts of things.
A bit hard to do it if you’re on a physical factory floor type thing but that’s what
you might have your iPhone to show people. You just get your iPhone, put it on a
little tripod and hit the record button on your phone. There is a little remote
control you can get for your phone. It’s like about the size of a coin, small coin?
And it Bluetooths with your phone so what you can actually do with that is you
can push the button and it’ll create a really professional video for you.
You can turn that into a procedure as well. So there are two resources there.
You can use Loom, aside for screen recording things; just use your iPhone with
this little remote control. I’ll put a link to the remote control that I’m talking
about also in the show notes. It’s really cool. Well, it wasn’t that. I think it was
like 40 dollars assuming all that. So we’re not talking shape stations. But they’re
great tools to build out your systems.
The other, the other one, on, the other tool I’m loving at the moment, is a tool
called Asana, A-S-A-N-A. Again, I’ll, I’ll put a link in the show notes for you. But
Asana is a great task management system. So you’ll have systems and
procedures on how to do things. You know we want this step, you know, we
want this done and this is how you do it, et cetera. But then you want to make
sure that things are being done and then the person waiting on something to be
done is informed that it’s being done, and a central place that you can check the
tasks are being performed.
And the quality control and all that sorts of things are happening. So Asana is a
great way to build out your quality control system and making sure that various
steps are happening at particular times and tasks are happening by different
people at particular times. Particularly nowadays with the sort of outsource
virtual world, the digital world we work in?
I know myself, we’ve got people in the Philippines and in India or in Australia,
America actually, are all working on various parts of things that we do in our
business. Now we all need to be able to communicate together and know what’s
expected and know when particular tasks are being done.
Take this podcast, for instance, there’s a number of different steps need to
happen every single week so all done by different people so we use Asana,
A-S-A-N-A. And we can map out all the various steps in the processes and we
can actually add the hyperlinks to our actual procedure of how to do it like the
videos and things like that. We can add those, links and procedures all in Asana
at that task. So just to give you a little bit of a quick, quick update.
Let’s just say, for instance, we’ve got a procedure to, um, I don’t know, well just
say, peel bananas. We’ll get a procedure that we wanna peel bananas and I just
saw bananas, that’s why, if you’re wondering, sorry about that. I got the worst
stories, I swear. That’s why we got a procedure, and one of the jobs is to peel
bananas, well we might have a video which shows exactly how you want that
banana peeled, where you want the skin to go–all that sort of things. With that, I
can put that link to that procedure in video in my Asana task which might be
titled “Peel Bananas” and then assign that to the various persons that needs to
do that and we go from there. So, Asana is a great tool for keeping track of
procedures and systems on what we’re doing.
Another tool which I’m absolutely loving is just Google Sheets. I’m sorry, Asana
is free too, just for a regular of Asana. Google Docs and Google Sheets are a web
free cloud-based word processor. The cloud-based ones are great because you
can share and multiple people can work on the same document at the one time.
So, it does really make it easy to collaborate and keep the systems up-to-date.
So you might just have a folder on your Google drive and you might have sent
your very first procedure might be an HR system and procedures. So all those
documents might go into that folder. Now the beauty of using Google Drive and
Google docs and sheets, et cetera, for your systems and procedures is that you
can search. It has the same search functionality as standard Google does. So
very, very easy to type a keyword in and bring up the particular document that
you’re looking for.
So it makes it really, really easy and quick for people to, to find in a factory
situation you might have iPads or computers around your, various stations
within the organization you can, have those procedures and documents easily
brought up on a screen. People can follow them and see what, see what’s going
on. They can also bring up Asana and see what task they’ve got to do and those
sorts of things.
So there are plenty of purpose-built, ones depending on your industry but I’m
just giving you the free ones that I know, that works a treat and if you’re just
starting in business these work absolutely brilliantly you don’t need too much
more than this. Asana has great communication services and things in it as well
so it’s quite a really robust program and it really is great. There is a paid version
but you only really need the free version to do the stuff that I’m talking about
now. So there you have it.
This Google sheets, that’s a great, great tool, Asana, and Loom for video.
Another one that is really good for forms and filling in forms that you might
have, forms and checklist that you wanna have it within your organization. So
you want people to, complete these action steps and, and take off for sign-off
that they’re doing. fillable PDS.
Adobe PDF Reader reads PDF but you can get the functionality to create your
own forms and, and then they’re not changeable by people. So, they’re great if
you want something consistently done, that’s a really awesome way to do that.
So Adobe fillable forms are, really good as well.
So, I have sort of coming clear that your systems and procedures need to be
flexible yet robust. We want them to be updatable should changes occur
because changes occur in business all the time I’m sure you’ll agree but, we also
want them to be rigid enough that people follow them. So a few ground rules
that you do you need to put in place.
I like to have these rules in place. Try and allocate one key person to be the
system policy updater. And you liaise with that person. You don’t want to be
having all hands in the pie, creating and updating final procedures because
everybody has a different interpretation of, way of explaining things and
wording. So you want some sort of consistency in them, some sort of
consistency of the system. I know in an organization we’ve had to put rules in
place because you know how one person feels that a document should be filed,
you know, the banana peeling procedure might be filed under “Bananas.” but,
you know, someone else gets in and wants to file it under,”Skins” or “Fruit.”
So, you wanna have some consistency about you’re filing and documenting, and
indexing system is, well what I’ll say there around that because that could be
really frustrating if people are just not putting things in the right spot and it’s
kind of like,”Why are we doing this?”
You wanna make sure that I guess you build into your culture that to follow the
system, it’s not enough to just have your system there, and then when
someone’s been in the role for long enough they just don’t worry about the
system, they just do their own thing. You really have to keep on to that. Keep
that cultural, “this is the way we do it here”. I just keep saying that “this is the
way we do it here.”
Someone asked a question, “What’s the procedure say?” Well, there is no
procedure. Right. Well, let’s write a procedure. Let’s get a procedure. So you
have to be bringing that language into your business all the time. It’s not enough
to just go, “Uh, yeah, Jason said we should have systems so I’ll just have it there
and hopefully everyone just catches on it.” It really is a discipline that you have
to bring into the culture of your people. And I’ll say this to you, even if you’re
working on your own and let’s say you don’t have staff, still do systems and
procedures because you’re going to have staff one day.
You don’t want to have to go and reinvent the wheel, so try and, try and write a
procedure and follow a system and even if you’ve got all the forms and
checklists and templates in place that you follow, at least that way when you do
get staff, particularly outsourced staff that you, can easily say “Okay let’s work
through this. This is hey, this is how you do it. This is how we do it here.”
Remember that one. This is how we do it here. So that’s another important point
to remember as well.
And the final point I’ll leave you with this is, if you have to do something more
than once, turn it into a procedure. So if I have to type a particular type of email
more than once, I turn that paragraph, I have a Google sheet with all the key
paragraphs that I use. Key messages that I use. So if I’m gonna write the same
email several times I’ll just open that, have that document open and I can just
copy that, paste in there. Tidy it up a little bit and hit”send.”
I don’t have to re-type the same email out every single time. If it’s a task or
procedure every single time typing up the same stuff, it’s just a waste of time
and you’re losing hours and hours a year, just for doing a repetitive task. So,
keep that in mind if you have to do it more than once, do it well but turn it into a
procedure. So that you can, leverage your time, get consistency across your
brand and consistency with the customer service as well.
So there you have it guys, systems, and procedures, systems in your business. I’ll
put the links to those programs to help you in the show notes. if you’ve got any
feedback around systems and procedures or anything else in business, feel free
to go over to the website of”businessmadeeasypodcast.com” hit that red record
button and ask your question and I’ll answer it on the show for you.
And if I do, I’m going to send you a free, “Business Made Easy Easy” t-shirt too.
So I’d love to hear your question. If you don’t wanna leave an audio question,
you can certainly send me an email to “[email protected]”
and I will answer any question that you have or any business to help you out
there as well.
Alrighty, that’s it for this week, I hope you have a great week and if there’s
anything that I can help you with just let me know and until next week I’m going
to hand you over to Mia. Here’s to your success, have a great one guys, bye!