[Think Like An Entrepreneur Thursday] Ep 25 - Three Areas To Implement Processes

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It's Thursday, which means we're thinking like entrepreneurs, and today I want to talk about key processes that you need to start implementing probably yesterday into your business. Hey. It's Erin Smith, and welcome to another episode of Think Like an Entrepreneur Thursday, where we discuss the mindset shift of going from an employee to an entrepreneur. Today, I want to talk about processes. Now, I've done another episode on this where we talked about, you know, why you need processes and how they will set you free, but today I want to specifically cover three areas of your business where you really need to start thinking about implementing processes so much soon rather than later.

Processes are really important for several reasons. First of all, as a business owner, you've got to scale. Unless you're a lifestyle business and you want to be a one man show and you're totally cool with that, which hopefully you're not, because I'll be honest, the stress of owning a business isn't worth it, I'd rather go to a, back to corporate America for that, your goal is to scale. The great businesses can run without the owner, and not just run without but actually be successful and grow without the owner. Your goal is to put processes in place that you can scale, that you can hand off to other people, that it's not difficult for you when you have to bring somebody on or you're not overwhelmed. The sooner you start thinking about this ...

Maybe you're like "Eh, Erin, I can't afford somebody quite yet," or "I have one full-time employee. Bringing on more is too much," but start thinking about this. Even if you're the only person that's working, start thinking about how you want, and we'll talk about three areas, but what you want things to be like or how it works, what's the process you put into place for everything you do. The more you can document that, if you just take an hour every week just to document a certain process, maybe how you put out a podcast, how you put out content in general, how you run your social media, how you sell, what's your selling process, how you prospect and find clients. All of those things, every piece of your business, I'm telling you there's a process behind it, and the more you're aware of that and documenting that and being more proactive, you're going to grow. You're going to grow so much faster.

The first area that I really want you to start thinking about your process is your marketing, so how, what's the whole, what are you putting out there? Hopefully, you're not just throwing things at a wall and seeing what sticks, but what's the process, you know? You have so many posts about, maybe, a blog article you have, and maybe once you do a blog article, this is the process you put into place. You write the article, and then you make five memes, and you put it out on social media, and you put three tweets for it, and one Facebook post. You may be like "Whoa, Erin. That's just a lot," but that's, that's where you want to get into play.

Here's a perfect example of this. I do videos. I do Think Like an Entrepreneur. To do one video, I laid out the process and said "Okay, here I want to be able to do this. I want to be able to do this. I want to be able to do this." One video is three pages, single spaced, of line by line items of what it takes to do one video and how to clip it and what I want the thumbnail to look like and where it goes and how the description works and where you put it and how you post it out. One video, three pages. Now, it might seem daunting, but taking that effort and that work makes hiring and training so simple.

What I did was I took those, every step, and anywhere where there could be a question, I actually made a video, and I attached that video to a Dropbox folder, so anytime I have a VA, all they need to do is, if they have any questions, they can just click over to the video and watch it. It's all linked there. I've done it once. It took some time to do it, but now when I hire, it's so simple, because A, I'm able to understand more of the skill I need to hire versus you just need to be able to do social media. "Well, here's the specific things I need you to do." There's just less, there's less area for assumptions. Let's put it that way. It's just, it becomes so much easier, and you can hire, and it's really great, because it allows me to test out a few people if I'm hiring. I can give them a couple different things to do and see how it works out, and it's just a much smoother process. Again, that's just one thing that's a video, but have your whole marketing laid out. How are you going to market? How are you going to prospect? What's your messaging you're going to get across?

The other area is going to be your sales, so once you market to those people, how do you capture the lead, how do you close? What is your process? Again, this is huge, because when you hire, especially a sales team, you've got people who are the name and the face of your brand, and if they aren't closing right or if they aren't following the certain procedures that you've set out in how you close, you could have a mess on your hands. I've made the mistake when I've hired people, not just in sales but just in service industry and having them work for me, I've made the mistake of assuming a bit too much, and we all know what assuming does. I sometimes feel "Well, I don't need to put that there, because that's pretty obvious, right?" It's not, never is obvious.

As you're thinking about all of the things that you do, again, in marketing and then in sales, don't just take for granted the obvious stuff. Write it down. Mark it down. What do you want the process to be? How do you close a deal? How soon do you want to close a deal? How does that work? Do you discount? Do you not discount? How do you create urgency for them to close a deal? All of those things. From marketing to sales, again, think about, even though you may be doing it without really being consciously aware of exactly what you're doing or how you're doing it, it's time to say, take a step back and actually do that.

The third area, and there's going to be ... These are just three top areas of your business. There are so many, the hiring, you know, so many others, but let's, these are the three I want to go over, so marketing and sales, and the third is your customer experience. Okay. Here's why this is huge is because if I talk to you, or if I talk to you and then somebody else talks to you and then somebody else talks to you, and you have three very different feelings, but we all work on the same team, it's going to be a very inconsistent feel, very negative feel for your customers.

Think of Apple. I love Apple, and just, in every touch point you have with Apple, it feels just a very great experience, from their website to when you open a package. God, I love getting an Apple package. It's just so awesome to open that up, but everything is so thought out, how they follow up with their customers. You know, what is that ... How will you surprise and delight? Hopefully surprising and delighting is on your agenda somewhere, somehow, and how are you going to do that? Not only just think about that, but document that, again, so when you bring on team members, you say "All right. So, when somebody purchases, here's what happens." Maybe even if you're not bringing on team members, you need to be aware, so every single person who buys something from you or gets some sort of service gets the same experience. It's really crucial, and these are the tiny, tiny things that are going to make all the massive differences from you and your competitors, because you've thought out these things, and this is the fundamental core pieces of every business that we talk about in the Business Mastery Society.

Think about these, and if you've skirted past them, if you haven't really set processes in place, it's okay. You know, my first business, I didn't have anything in check. I knew what we did. It was just my ex-husband and I, so we kind of had our own systems down together, but until I started hiring was when I really said "Okay. What does make us different?" I knew what made us different, but I gotta document that, and that made hiring so much easier, because I said, you know, "You have to align with this." I knew what to expect. I knew what, exactly what I needed them to do, and I could outline it. I knew the standards I set for our customers and our business. It just became super, super easy to hire and build a team and scale, because it was all right there. Then, when I hired somebody to do the hiring for me, it was just a pass off. They knew it. It makes scaling and building your business so much easier, and that's what you have to do. You have to set yourself up like that in order to scale and grow and really get the business that you want.

Tomorrow ... Just start there today. Start thinking today, getting your processes in place and taking a step back. Start with marketing. Go to sales, then the customer experience, and it's a great way just to begin kicking off the systems in your business. As always, thank you so much for watching. If you love this, make sure you subscribe, share it with a friend. I'm Erin Smith, again, of The Starters Club. I believe everybody's got it in them to start a business. You just got to get started. Join us next Thursday for Think Like an Entrepreneur. We're here every week, helping you go from an employee to an entrepreneur.


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