Of all the amazing restaurants and takeaway places in London, one of my favourites is… Subway.
Yes, that Subway. The first one you thought of.
The one that makes the (not particularly good) sandwiches. I love it.
Now then, as someone who has a former high-end chef as a business partner, I should probably qualify that statement before Neil slowly eviscerates me with a kitchen knife, so…
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a fan of their food. I love their systems.
Next time you’re near a branch of Subway and you have a spare £5, go in and order a sandwich. You don’t have to eat it (you could give it to a homeless person), but just watch what happens when you order. If you pay attention, you’ll get a big lesson in how to create and run a successful business.
When you go into a branch of Subway, anywhere in the world, you get exactly the same outcome via exactly the same system. Exactly the same. Every time.
Is it the greatest sandwich in the world? Not even close. But they’re almost beautifully regimented and consistent.
I know that if I go in there, I can get the exact sandwich I want, every time.
So, why am I geeking out about Sub-Par sandwiches?
Because they’re doing something that will help you and every other business owner to be far more successful in business, if only you took the time to do it.
Creating Systems And ‘The Idiot Bible’
If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, you must be creating systems in your business.
As it stands right now, how much of what your business does is actually written down as an easy-to-follow guide?
My guess is: Not enough of it.
Instead, a lot of what happens in your business only happens because it’s in your head. You might have explained it to an outsourcer or a virtual assistant (VA), but you haven’t actually written it down so that everyone can follow it.
The problem with not having systems for your business is that it allows for conjecture and personal discretion. As Michael Gerber said in his brilliant E-Myth Revisited book:
“Discretion is the enemy of order, standardization and quality.”
– Michael Gerber
Allowing people to have discretion means that you’ll get a different result for each person doing the same job.
From your customer’s point-of-view, that means they can’t be sure that the job will always be done to the same standard… And that’s not good for anyone.
Instead, you need to create an Operations Manual, or what my former stage manager girlfriend refers to as ‘The Idiot Bible’ – A document so clear and prescriptive that even an idiot could do the tasks to the same high standard every time.
Incidentally, my girlfriend’s first job as a teenager was working in Burger King, a place where (like Subway) the Ops Manual rules all.
She took that ‘Idiot Bible’ ethos and used it to become a successful stage manager in the theatre and events industry. No matter what business you apply it to, this stuff works.
Standardise your business practices and you’ll see a much better return on the time and money you spend. Plus, your team will know exactly what to do every time.
Creating the systems is only part of The Shift.
The other part is actually hiring people to do the work for you.
This is a potential minefield of hiring, setting wages, drawing up complex contracts in employment law speak and interviewing candidates.
At least, it is if you do it the traditional way.
However, thanks to the internet, you now have access to a huge number of resources that allow you to hire people from all over the world to do your admin work while you build the business.
One great example of this is OnlineJobs.ph, where you can hire a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines to tackle your admin work for as little as $350 (£212) for 40 hours per month!
And OnlineJobs also has a sister site that will actually train your VA’s in all the internet-related tasks you need them to do. All you really have to do is pay them.
Resources like this are invaluable for the smaller tasks in business that you must either automate or outsource…
But what about the bigger tasks like creating full marketing campaigns or running complex Facebook Ads for your business?
Well, there’s an easier, smarter answer for outsourcing that.
The Online Marketing Shortcut
You see, the massive downside of standardising and systemising your business is that it takes a large amount of time. Time you could be spending getting more customers.
It’s an epic undertaking just to put your own knowledge down in writing…
But what about the stuff you don’t yet know how to do?
You have to learn how to do it all, then make that knowledge into a workable system, then get someone to whom you can teach it, then teach them, then guide them as they learn and finally start setting them tasks.
Instead, why not hire a brilliant online marketing agency like, oh I don’t know, RoarLocal?
We can use all the systems that we already have in place to make your online marketing soar, leaving you time to run your company.
We have proven results over the years of running and marketing many very successful businesses, made more successful by our marketing campaigns.
You can get in touch with us here to arrange a FREE 20-minute consultation session with us. We’ll show you how we can help you outsource and improve your marketing campaigns. There’s no obligation and you’ll leave with at least one strategy to increase your business.
If you’re still floundering in your business, doing too many of the admin tasks and not enough of the strategy, you need to outsource your work pronto.
Talking to us is a great start on that journey for your business.
Got a question about any of the elements I’ve mentioned in this post? What other shifts do you think that entrepreneurs need to make to succeed? Leave a comment below and I’ll reply to you as soon as possible.