The Lazy Person’s Guide to Building Systems

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Some people love to draft policies and procedures and build systems, and some people don’t.  

This article is for those that want, “systems”, in their business, but don’t want to spend a hundred hours building them.  

Fast Track Tip #1: Fast Track Building Your Systems by Starting With What Others Have Built. 

First, don’t re-invent the wheel. Starting from scratch takes way too long. Instead, use what other successful people have built and reduce over 3/4 of the planning time and 80% of the drafting time.  

To be clear, you will rarely find someone else’s policies and procedures 100% on point to your business. You will need to do some work. But if you start with a base that has been used by other successful business owners, then you can shortcut your build time. 

Fast Track Tip #2: Get Help!  

You don’t have to do this all yourself. Get your team to help. Get a part-time assistant to help. Get a coach to help. Get a family member to help. Get a friend to help. Everything is made easier with someone there helping you get it done, so find someone to help you. 

Successful business owners know that the middle class trades their time for money, while millionaires trade their money for time. In other words, exchange a little of your money and, in return, get back some of your precious time.  

Think about it… you could spend 10 hours beating your pencil against your head, trying to write these on your own… or you could hire someone to help you, and they could interview and then type up the procedures.  

Bottom line: Enjoy life on your terms. You can always make more money. Buy systems that are already built out and then just tweak them. Don’t start from scratch.

Fast Track Tip #3: Create Videos and Screenshots to Describe the Procedure.

We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, the same goes for when you are creating policies and procedures and systems in your business. Often, a quick 2-minute video can more acutely describe a process much better than five pages of text. 

If you want to fast track building policies and procedures, jump on a video platform, and start recording. Simply describe what the process is for and why it is relevant to your business and how it makes the job easier for the reader/ listener, (hint: this is the policy). Then record your description of the procedure using share screen or other demonstrable documents or programs.  

A good rule of thumb is to pretend you are walking a temporary employee through how you want a project done.  

Once you record, hand the video to your marketing assistant to clip it and add an intro and add it your video library.  

Finally, have it transcribed and have your helper in tip #2 edit the transcription to create the written procedure. 

Fast Track Tip #4: Test the Systems.

Systems are the culmination of various policies, procedures, examples, templates, scripts, images, videos, and other training materials that help a person quickly understand the process. Once you have a base system, test it for a few weeks and see if it is missing any elements. A great way to test is to have a new employee try reviewing the procedures and then do the task. They will often find where there is a lack of detail that is key to completing the task the way you want it done. 

Depending how often the task is completed in your business, the testing phase may range from a few days to a few weeks. 

Fast Track Tip #5: Get Feedback from Your Team and Always Look for Ways to Improve the Systems. 

As your team uses the various processes and procedures, ask for feedback and suggestions on how it can be improved or streamlined. Others on the team will appreciate having a voice to give feedback while also being able to showcase their ideas on how to make it better.  

Build a culture where the team thrives on the benefits of systems, and they will keep honing the systems for years to come.  

Kristen David, a former trial lawyer and partner who went from working 85 hours a week and taking home way too little money in her law firm, built it up to a million-dollar-plus business, then sold her shares and pivoted into a business coach guru. She is now an international speaker, bestselling author, and operates a successful business, empowering business owners to build thriving, profitable businesses that are self-managed with systems. She helps busy business owners build those systems by implementing policies and procedures the Fast Track Way.

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