Speaker: Greg Gunther, Co-founder, Your Business Momentum
What is the biggest thing holding an SME business back from scaling?
Greg Gunther: The biggest thing for most people from prohibiting them from scaling in the businesses is that you have a lot of what we call key person dependency. A lot of the way we do things around here is often in people's heads. And because of that, we were very reliable, have become very reliant on key people. Certainly in a business owners head, the business owner is often one of the main culprits where most of what we need to have done. Uh, and the way we go about doing that is in the person's head, so we need to unpack that. That's one of the most prevalent things that I find holding people back from scaling.
Where should I start with documenting my systems?
Greg Gunther: of course, the big question is where do I start? If I'm going to start mapping or documenting my processes, where do I actually start For me one of the most important places for us to start and where we're most exposed and that is actually with our customer. So I like to think about what we call the critical client flow. Where does the customer find us in the first place? So before they actually have business with us, where do they find us? when they actually do find us, what's their client journey through our business? From the first point of contact, through to onboarding and delivering. And of course, what's the after sales like? So that's another very, very important thing. That's where we must expose. So if we can actually understand all of the different processes, the critical processes that are defined within that client journey. That's the place where I would always like to start getting our systems documented and that way we can capture the client satisfaction.
What systems should I document?
Greg Gunther: one of the myths around system system izing my businesses that I have to systematize everything and in reality that's just not practical. I don't know if you've ever heard of the 80 20 rule, the Pareto principle, but usually what we find is that 20% of our processes, I have 80% of the impact on whatever it is that we're trying to achieve, or the output that we're trying to achieve. So what we really want to try and capture is what are those 20% of the processes that go on in our business uh that are having 80% of the impact. So they are the ones that we want to capture first and foremost. And my advice is always practice what we're doing, capture what we're doing now. Don't try and prove it along the way. Don't try and optimists keeps what we're already doing and that gives us a really good base zero Or ground 0 to start from.
Is it worth the time and effort to invest in documenting my systems?
Greg Gunther: one of the things we know from many, many years of solid research is that there's always inefficiency in any business. So I'm always confident when I walk into a business that I'm going to find somewhere between 25 40% of inefficiencies uh former referred to as waste in the business itself. So, is it worth documenting my system? Absolutely. Because what you capture those, we can get everybody trained around the way we do things around here. And of course, what we're looking to do there is first and foremost, produce a consistent result. So as a customer, I'm gonna be very, very assured that if we're doing everything the same way I'm going to get a consistent result with whomever I'm dealing with in my business. The other thing it does, of course, is that it gives us capability to train our people. So once we set and document our processes, it's something then that we can train our people right from the onboarding to also going through. And the third thing that really comes up for us documenting our systems is it gives us something to improve upon. Optimizing systems. Continuous improvement is always something that we strive for in any business. So once we've got something documented that gives us a base from which we can continue to optimize our system through our business.
How long does it take to document my systems?
Greg Gunther: kind of question we get is how long does it take me to document my systems? So that's a very long and open ended type of question for me, I always if you would start with the critical client flow, My belief is that you can capture those in 90 days. So if we actually understand what that client flow is like before, during and after their experience with us typically in about a 90 day period, you can capture most of the systems and it tends to be around that 15 to 20 core processes that we look to capture through that time frame. Of course. What we know is that there's other bits of our business that are critically important things like our HR finance, our sales and marketing and such etcetera. So They would typically start to roll in. And for most people, I feel like you could capture your core processes that 20% of processes in your business in a 9 to 12 month period and you will have a really solid base to work from.