Every business reaches a certain point when it needs to be systemized, when it needs to be automated, and then it needs to be scaled up.
There is a caveat, though:
You cannot systemize a business that is not making money.
You cannot automate a business that is not systemized.
And you certainly should not scale up a business that is not automated.
Well, you can, but it will be tough.
It takes a certain level of consistency in your business before you even get to systemize, automate and scale.
There are three reasons for this:
- If you try and scale up when you haven’t even systemized, you will crash and burn.
- When you try and systemize when you should be scaling up, you’re going to make a loss.
- If you try and automate when you should be scaling up, you will make a loss.
It is important to learn to recognize at which stage you are in your business at any given moment.
As we got this out of our way, let’s jump onto the first step – systemizing.
Stage 1 – Systematize
Once you have a business that is consistently making a certain amount of money every month, you are ready to systemize it and reach the next level.
This step is crucial especially if the business needs a lot of your input. Breaking your business down in steps will help you better explain the project scope and specifics to your employees.
After that, another essential prerequisite for starting the systematization is being disciplined.
One of the ways is having time slots dedicated to doing one thing. So, when that time slot finishes, you move on to the next thing.
This way you can find a pattern in all the processes that need to be done throughout the day/week/month to keep your business going.
It will also help you track how much time certain activities take and what effect on your profit they have in return.
Once you’ve established a set of necessary activities for running your business, you can begin with delegating them or automating them.
Stage 2 – Automation
Automation is not something only big corporations need. There are countless ways of delegating small, repetitive tasks to software tools so that the return on investment can be more than satisfying.
So many activities in your daily business take up a significant portion of your time, it’s pointless wondering if you need automation.
You can automatically post on social media using tools like Buffer.
For creating content, you can use Contentio.
And if you want to automatically set landing pages with all the content written for them (like sales pitches), there is Copyfunnels that can help you with that.
Automation tools will increase the productivity of the entire team. A virtual assistant with the tools given above can take away a huge part of your daily tasks and get so much done.
Do not automate if there is no business case yet
If you try and automate a business that doesn’t yet exist, here’s what’s going to happen.
Some things will go wrong, and you will never be able to figure out what happened.
It’s because it is like trying to diagnose a road accident when you weren’t there. It’s almost impossible trying to see what went wrong, what happened.
This means you can only really automate a business that has been systemized.
If you have a list of ten things that you or your team do, you could take one and automate it. Automating activities one by one will help you prioritize and determine the best approach.
Stage 3 – Scaling up
When you have your processes set up with proper outlines and SOPs, you are ready to grab a bigger share of the market.
Trying to scale up without systemizing will leave you with significant losses.
When you have first set a proper basis with systemizing and automation, business growth will be easier, more natural and with less internal barriers such as slow onboarding or bad infrastructure.
With good systemizing and automation, you can free up more time and devote less time to management.
Your time is a luxury, and it should be used on developing the core business.
On the plus side, you will also find your budget in a better condition for investing in growth or hiring A-Players for your team.
How we practice it
To showcase the points from above, let’s use the launch of our new tool, Insta Suite, as an example of the three-step process – systemize, automate and scale.
The current goal is to make $10,000 with it by the end of March 2017.
Now, this goal is hypothetical at this point. $10,000 is a number used for planning before we see how the actual release will go.
For that to even happen, it’s important to set everything up and lay out actionable steps. This systematization might already take up until the middle of March.
Then, once that’s done, automating some tasks is in order. I will search for the most appropriate automation tools to help us move forward faster.
I could also be delegating some of the tasks to my team. That said, I would be creating videos and SOPs for them to explain the processes in detail.
It’s imperative to delegate, and not to kill your business with micromanagement.
From there on, we can scale up.
Essential for every business owner is to first dive deep into the vision he/she is trying to bring to life.
Then make a business plan with all the processes, team members, infrastructure, and costs.
After that has been proven as the right way to go ahead, we can proceed with automating the business part by part.
In the end, once a good business case has been developed, I can tell my team freely: ”Let’s race this to the next milestone!”.
Reaching balance through consistency – the proper way to systemize, automate and scale
In the very beginning, you will have some fluctuation. On some months you will earn, for example, $500, on others $1,000.
Once you know it’s relatively consistent, and you’re reaching $1,000 every month consecutively, that’s the point at which you start systemizing your business.
All the steps that helped you come this far are those that you will systemize and use as a recipe for the future.
However, aforementioned will not guarantee that everything will go smoothly from there on.
Maybe the ads will stop working, or they won’t work very well.
Maybe you’ll realize you’ve exhausted your whole market.
Maybe you’ve realized that that’s not the right product anymore.
Maybe it’s been a year, and you’ve hit the ceiling.
Back to the drawing board – it’s time to optimize!
There are going to be ups and downs, that’s inevitable.
Once you’ve hit the ceiling and the growth has stopped, it’s time you settle down and stabilize your business.
Since you’ve been running your business in a certain way for the last 6 months to a year, a lot has changed.
It’s time to revisit all your systematization and automation processes and see where there is room for improvement.
When you’ve done that, you go back here and scale it up again.
Every business goes through the process to systemize, automate and scale. This kind of growth is common with companies, as no business grows up in a straight line.
Ready to tackle growth?
All of these three things – systematization, automation, and scaling up – are gradual.
What you cannot expect is to do one before the other. No rushing through one so that you can get to the next thing. It all comes in good stages.
In every stage of the way it’s important to be supported by the right team. Achieving systemization, automation and scaling is possible if you hire the right people.
Every major business has been built in the manner described – gradually and by investing efforts of both the founder and a highly driven-team.
Now, if all you need to get there are the quality employees – let us help you get there, and fast!
After that, what’s your answer – are you ready to tackle the growth ahead?