I also need to clarify that I’m talking about nailing your business operations so that you can scale your business, increase your capacity and grow your income. Other business coaches talk about nailing and scaling too – but many focus on ’nailing the customer’s problem, so that you can scale for growth’. Can you see the difference? I’m all about nailing the operational/HOW the business runs on a day to day basis.
I’m focussing specifically on HOW your transition into the CEO role of your business, nail your business operations and build more capacity (aka getting out of startup).
These 4 phases assume that you have some simple marketing funnels place and that your messaging is working for you.
Why you should nail your business operations?
It’s important to work out how to nail your business processes before you start to head into bigger growth strategies.
Just imagine if you’re working on higher lever marketing, or creating new courses, but still struggling to blog consistently, or onboard your new clients effectively.
Another reason why nailing your business operations is important is because until you do, you will be the one doing everything. When you first start a business, it’s lean. All of the tasks are done by you. That’s a part of being an entrepreneur. However, as your business grows, you become the bottleneck, because there’s only so much one person can actually do.
There are always procedural aspects of your business that can be handed over, and that’s a good place to start.
So, if your procedures are still in your head, then it’s time to start getting it out of your head and into Asana, or a Google Doc!
You can’t run your business in your head forever!
You have to get those processes out of your head and nailed so that you can start to outsource, batch and get ahead. If you don’t, you’ll get stuck in a startup doing #allthethings in your business and not able to step away from the admin.
Nailing your business processes is a key way to getting ahead and the start of your outsourcing journey.
What it means to nail your business operations
This can look different for every business, however, there are a few key elements that are common, especially for service-based online businesses.
Here are a few processes you could have in place to mean your business runs smoothly:
- Content batched well in advance, because you know what to create, for which platform, and how to re-purpose it so that you can get most of it done in one hit, and hand it over for publishing and distribution
- Content distribution process in place with a clear outline on how to publish, when, where, which image and how often – newsletter included
- Financial management processes in place so that, ideally, you are paid in advance for your services, invoices reconciled, and GST bookkeeping outsourced, income and expenses tracked against a budget
- Client journey operations and communications templated, automated and/or anticipated so that the flow for leads and current clients is consistent, procedural and easy to track.
- Day to day operations of running the business is documented and outsourced to a VA or team
If these key processes are nailed, then you have SO MUCH more time to create valuable content, be visible in your marketing and show up for your clients. You’d also have more time to create that leveraged product, scale your launch – be the CEO and grow!
How to Nail your Business Processes – 4 Phases
Phase 1: Clarity – the Holy Grail!
When you have been running your business for a while (albeit in your head), take some time to stop and ask: “What’s the ideal way you want this process to work?”
For each of the areas mentioned in the dot points above – what would you really like them to look like?
How do you really want to show up in your business?
Get really clear on how you want to spend time in your business. This will identify how you need to set up your processes so that you have the time to choose.
Having clarity on the outcome and the ideal for your key business operations is a powerful way to nail your business processes.
Only want to work 4 hours a day? Only want to see clients 2 days a week? Never want to format a newsletter again?
Get clear on how you want to work.
Phase 2: Analyse
This is where you can analyse what’s working and what’s not – and why measuring is so important!
This is not just about which offers are selling more, or which opt-in is most preferred. There’s a whole deeper level of improvement that’s relevant here so that you can analyse the processes you have for asking for money, for creating content, for determining what to handover, for determining what aspects of your business are hindering, or even what to let go.
You know the process, but this is your opportunity to improve it or supercharge it.
It’s an opportunity to improve your customer service when you onboard new clients.
It’s an opportunity to add more distribution channels to your blog scheduling and reach new people.
It’s an opportunity to get really clear on the types of tasks you don’t want to do!
Taking a good hard look and noticing what feels easy for you, for your team, for your clients – and improving those, will certainly help you scale more than putting a lot of effort into the things that might actually need to be culled or reviewed.
Phase 3: Nail
Once you’re clear on the processes and the operations to make your business run smoothly, then nail them.
Nail them by documenting all the steps, creating checklists, creating templates – anything you think someone else would need to competently run the process. Trust me, there’s a home for everything in your head, and once you put all the things you have to remember into a process, you’ve so much more space to be creative!
Nail the operations in your business – so that you can hand them over. You didn’t start your business so that you could spend your time doing admin all day. You were meant for more, and this is how you step into it – by letting go of the operations and processes.
Phase 4: Improve and refine
Once your processes are set up, you can run them again, and keep improving!
I wrote about how I was getting in my own way because of how much my system improved once I started documenting it. It was mainly because I had the mental space to think ahead so that I could improve – whereas before when I was still just trying to remember the next step, I was getting nowhere.
Refining is a powerful process. It can improve your customer service, increase your reach, reduce your expenses – this is where the extra mental space allows you to be the CEO and make CEO decisions!
Your next steps:
Scaling is about building the capacity. Let’s face it, if there are more clients, there’s more work, and you will need to have more time and brain space to serve them. You won’t have that time if you’re constantly doing the admin.
Stepping into the CEO role, and building a team is key here, but it’s not just the only aspect of scaling. You may need to build a team to support your free community, your paid community, your clients, your membership platforms, your marketing and advertising, your financial management, your live events, and your launching – to list a few off the top of my head.
Start with one key area of your business and consider your ideal. Get really clear on how you want it to look or feel. Analyse where you are with it at the moment, and document or update your processes with your ideal in mind.
Then you can hand it over to your team, or source a VA to hand it over to.
Want help with any of these steps, or someone to talk them through with?