You Understand the Value of Systematizing but don’t know where to start with your Startup

e66cf38c054d7c9fa4050d4a13625342_viewI recently listened to a podcast about hiring a virtual assistance and using them in a startup company. It’s entitled “How to Use a VA in Your Startup” over at the Startups for the rest of us blog. As I listened I thought about some questions that I often receive from you about business processes as follows: “Where do I start with systematizing?”, “How do I use processes to help my business?”

While the post does not get into any level of detail about the manner in which you manage the VA’s specifically (I am writing a book that will help you learn how to do that), it does a great job of identifying task that you can consider systematizing and handing off to someone else.

Some of the highlights to consider that I totally agree with:

  • Repetitive task are great for systematizing
  • Things that you feel only take a few minutes to complete do not account for time lost from the distraction.
  • When a task is handed off to someone else, they are focusing 100% on that task and that will often yield better results than your < 100% focus while multi tasking.

If you are running a startup today then you will likely find one or many things on the list that are applicable to you. So get started today.


Summary of the past few weeks of June

Wow, It is July already. I wanted to capture some of what I have been up to in June. In brief, I have not posted any new content here in a couple of weeks. This is a short summary of what I have been doing with my time. I have been working on a few things that I will share in this post as follows:

Marketing my book Systematize 
If you are writing a book or creating a SaaS app, you want to launch it to an audience and not crickets. My mailing list was not growing and I knew I needed to start getting some attention to make that happen. I reached out to some entrepreneurs and was able to get some of my articles on the topic published before their audiences. One of the articles can be found here at the BidSketch blog. There are a few others that have not yet been published but will be soon.

Finalizing my book Systematize
Putting the finishing touches on the book. Completing interviews and working through pricing strategies.

Working on a WordPress Plugin
Released a free plugin for documenting step-by-step instructions in WordPress.

Working on a WordPress Service business
Not really much to say here except that this is a support service for WordPress Plugin business owners. I have a paying customer and we are learning for the moment. This was a part of an experiment to validate an idea in seven days.

5 signs that your business is running you instead of you running it

Your business running you.Have you ever observed a business that seems to be in chaos? Maybe you don’t know what that looks like. Maybe that business owner is you and it still doesn’t appear that there is a problem because you feel like you are in complete control.

Many business owners that think they are running their businesses are actually being run by the business and may not be aware. Here are some common signs that you are being run by your business: Continue reading “5 signs that your business is running you instead of you running it”

Pay me now or pay me later, why you need to systematize now not tomorrow

Penn_State_Morelli_handoff_to_Scott_cropOne of the reasons for creating documented processes for your business is portability. Meaning that the day may come when you want to hand off ownership of your business to a third party. It could be that your business is being acquired or that you have decided to bring in a manager to run it for you. Either of these scenarios  are going to be a challenge if you do not have your business processes documented.

It’s like going to ikea and buying a brand new entertainment center and having the sale rep say that there is no manual. Can you figure it out without a manual? Some people can others won’t even consider trying. That is exactly how people will view your business if there is no manual and documenting business processes provides that manual.

I’ve seen this scenario play out before. A valuable deal fell apart because the companies founder had never documented any of the task required in the day-to-day operations of his company. 10 years in, he had no idea where to start and  when he figured it out, the timeline was lengthy. As a result, the prospective buyer lost interest and moved on.

In fact, I am currently in a the middle of a small deal myself where I am the buyer. The original agreement was to close the deal in two days. We were making good progress toward that end, until I found some documentation to be missing. This documentation is critical to the deal. Ten days later the deal still has not closed, my time planned for other things is now being impacted as well as the sellers. The seller is scrambling through what should be a vacation to get this documentation or I will walk away.

All of this could have been avoided if the owner had documented processes for the business. Very simple if it had been done upfront or overtime and because it was not, it is difficult for him to put together now. So get your business processes documented because you never know when not having them could prevent you from handing your business off to a 3rd party for sale or to be managed.

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