When I first started out as an author and entrepreneur years ago, I wish I would have known how to create business systems that work for me instead of trying to do it all myself.
There are three ways to get more done in less time:
1) create efficient systems,
2) automate tasks, and
3) delegate tasks.
It’s a lot easier to do all three effectively when you create written working procedures.
For example, I spent years doing my own audio and video editing because I knew how and every time I tried to outsource these tasks, it didn’t work out. When I finally learned how to create written procedures for audio and video editing, I was able to outsource these crucial but time-consuming tasks effectively and efficiently.
With clear, precise written instructions, literally anyone with a little video or audio editing experience could read my working procedures and get the job done the way I want and need it to be done. Hoping for a “superstar” contractor or assistant who can read your mind and do everything perfectly is a good strategy for disappointment and failure.
When I finally systemized my business, I had more time to focus on what I loved to do and my business grew exponentially.
What about you? Do you have systems in place that grow your business for you, or do you wake up every day reinventing the wheel over and over again, trying to do it all yourself, and never really making the kind of progress you know you should be making?
Creating Written Working Procedures
Creating written working procedures (also called Standard Operating Procedures or SOP’s), might sound like a lot of work. Truth be told, it does take time, energy and effort to get it done properly.
But what alternative do you have?
You see, most entrepreneurs and authors have the dream of finding a superstar employee or partner who will do all the work for them, do it perfectly every time, and never run into problems, challenges or setbacks. In reality, this never happens.
The truth is most people are average. People want to do a good job in their work, but most people need very clear directions and instructions so they can get things done efficiently and learn and grow from there.
Hiring an employee and saying, “get to work!” without any training, written working procedures and detailed guidance and communication is a recipe for disaster and failure. You’re setting up your new team member for failure, because they can’t read your mind.
No One Can Read Your Mind in Business
One of the biggest mistakes I see new entrepreneurs making is they think other people can read their mind, and so they don’t think they have to communicate very much because everyone else will just know what to do.
Life doesn’t work that way! If you don’t communicate exactly what you want, no one will be able to give you exactly what you want except by sheer luck. Luck is not a sustainable business strategy, so if you want to achieve something worthwhile in your business, you’re going to have to come up with a better strategy.
That better strategy is written working procedures. In the beginning, if you’re a solo entrepreneur, you’ll be the one creating the written working procedures. You’re basically downloading all the information in your head about how you do business and how you think it should be done, and putting it into a clear, concise, usable form that anyone, even a sub-average employee, could take and get the job done the way you want it to be done.
If your business requires a super genius employee to get things done, it simply shows that you don’t know how to communicate what needs to be done in a way that your team members can understand.
The solution is to create written working procedures that detail how your company should handle certain situations and complete certain tasks.
For more information on creating written working procedures, I highly recommend reading Work the System by Sam Carpenter. This book shows you exactly how and why to create written working procedures, and how this simple process can transform your business overnight.
For more info on systemizing, automating and delegating in your business, check out Systemize, Automate, Delegate. This book shows you the step-by-step system for creating systems, automating tasks, and delegating effectively in your business.
Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.