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Systems Expert Connie S. Falls Shares 7 Ways to Level Up Your Business

December 1, 2022

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Scaling a business without documentation is like baking a cake without a recipe. You can’t possibly produce the same consistent results without first understanding the process.

But how do small businesses (that have never documented anything) start? To find out, we invited Connie S. Falls, founder and CEO of Entrepreneur Life Global, to Playbook 2022.

Connie has helped thousands of businesses to systemize their companies from scratch. And in this session, she explains how to build progress with business systems and processes.

Most businesses start from nothing, so start with something. 

Because all businesses start small (and maybe even as a hobby), leaders often wait too long to document their processes. “Many of us created businesses that came from nothing, so we learned everything on the fly,” Connie explained. But that doesn’t mean your employees should.  

“[Without clear documentation], more people [might] start coming into the business, [but] then you have to fire [them],” Connie told us. Because there’s no way to show employees how to be successful at their jobs without processes and systems. Meaning, there’ll be more terminations.

“[We need to] start documenting our processes early instead of waiting until we're trying to hire,” Connie shared. That way, you can focus on finding the right person for the role, and that person will have the tools necessary to be successful as soon as they start.

“The number one [task for leaders] is writing things down,” Connie added. You need to define the roles of your business and the daily tasks that make up your operations. That said, don’t wait for the ‘perfect time’ to do this step, and start documenting your processes early instead.

“Most people don't know what they don't know.”
<blockquoteauthor>Connie S. Falls, founder and CEO at Entrepreneur Life Global<blockquoteauthor>

Begin with your org chart and work your way down.

For Connie, defining your organizational chart is the best place to start documenting. This graphical representation lays out your company structure to determine business roles. That way, you can see how your business operates and exactly what tasks need to be documented.

“An org chart [shows you] exactly what roles and tasks your company needs,” Connie explained. It starts with your role as the president or CEO of the organization and expands into your operational departments (sales, customer support, marketing, etc.).

Then, once you have a clear structure of departments, you can list the specific responsibilities, standard operating procedures (SOPs), and policies under each designated role. As a result, it’s much easier to prioritize the tasks and responsibilities that need to be documented first.

Organizational chart example.

Build an aspirational org chart. 

In addition to a current org chart, Connie suggests creating an aspirational version. (Sidebar: A role chart is the best way to do this. Not sure what the difference is? Here’s a good primer.) This rendition showcases what your company could look like five to ten years down the line.

“[When leaders think they] only need five people [to run the business], their mindset gets locked [into believing that],” Connie explained. “[When] you probably need 17 people [in reality].” This is where the aspirational chart comes in handy — it forces you to think bigger.

“Don’t recreate the wheel [here],” Connie added “Research the industry standard or industry best and [model your org chart off theirs].” For example, a marketing agency would look for the best agency in their industry, find out how they’re set up, and work toward that goal.

“[Aspirational org charts] aren’t about where you are — but where [you’re] looking to grow.”

Document the tasks that create the most impact and income.

Once you’ve defined a clear org chart, it’s time to start documenting the tasks under each role. But to determine what SOPs get recorded first, Connie suggests prioritizing the tasks that create the most impact and income in your business.

“[Start with the tasks that] allow [you] to impact millions of people without having to impact them individually,” Connie explained. For example, these could include your business development tasks, social media marketing tasks, or any task that helps expand your reach.

A man says, "My impact has been felt here."

“Then, there are tasks that create the most income for the company,” Connie added. These tasks could include your sales process, client onboarding process, or anything that increases revenue for the short or long term.

“Choose one [repeatable] task that can be documented and delegated.”

Develop a positive mindset for delegating tasks to others.

Before we dive into documenting, it’s important to note that mindset will play a role in delegation later on. “Delegation [is scary] because we were raised to believe that we can do everything ourselves,” Connie told us. “Or [we’re] afraid somebody will steal our secret sauce.”

But here’s the reality: Delegation is the only thing that will push your company forward. Because you literally can’t scale and grow your brand without hiring more people. You have to get over your apprehension and shift your mindset if you want to grow.

But how do you actually do that? According to Connie, you constantly remind yourself that it’s a positive step for your business. You remember that doing the opposite (not delegating) only hurts your growth (and you). Eventually, you’ll develop a positive mindset for delegation.

“If [you] don't have more people, [you] can't serve more people. And if [you] can't serve more people, [you] cannot scale and grow.”

Learn how to create the perfect SOP.

Connie says she has always struggled with ADHD. But at some point, she realized that having clear SOPs helped her cope. “[When] I know every single step that’s coming, I feel less anxious and more prepared,” she explained. But for many people, creating systems can be scary.

A frog puppet biting its fingers in fear.

“To take the scariness out of systems, [focus] on creating a checklist [that outlines] how you want something done,” Connie shared. This is your foundation for writing the SOP. “Then, you can add all the business jargon to make it sound fancy,” she added.

Because writing out SOPs is easier said than done, Connie has her clients document how to start their car as an exercise. “There's probably 78 steps between being indoors and starting the car [outdoors],” Connie told us. “But [improper processes] would just say walk outside and start it.”

As a business leader, your goal is to create the perfect process. You want to include every detail possible to avoid confusion and set employees up for success. That way, you can avoid having to fire some people — since they’ve been properly trained to help move your business forward.

“Common sense is not common — systems are.”

Understand the difference between scale versus growth.

To truly appreciate how processes support business, Connie says you must first understand the difference between growth and scale. “Growth is when you make more money, but your expenses go up,” she explained. “Scaling is [making more money], but expenses level out.”

In other words, scaling improves revenue while also cutting costs and improving efficiency. This makes your business more profitable and allows you to continue serving more people. But both of these are impossible unless you delegate (and document) tasks in the first place.

“If [you’re not] expanding the team, [you’re] not growing the company,“ Connie explained. “[That makes delegation] imperative because it allows you to grow your team, which enables you to serve more [customers].” All that’s to say: Process and delegation are key to scaling business.

Building growth with business process is no simple endeavor. But with Connie’s expertise and these back-to-basic tips, you can start setting the foundation for future growth today.

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Article

Systems Expert Connie S. Falls Shares 7 Ways to Level Up Your Business

December 1, 2022

Jump to a section
Share it!
Sign up for our newsletter
You're all signed up! Look out for the next edition of The Manual Weekly coming Wednesday am!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Scaling a business without documentation is like baking a cake without a recipe. You can’t possibly produce the same consistent results without first understanding the process.

But how do small businesses (that have never documented anything) start? To find out, we invited Connie S. Falls, founder and CEO of Entrepreneur Life Global, to Playbook 2022.

Connie has helped thousands of businesses to systemize their companies from scratch. And in this session, she explains how to build progress with business systems and processes.

Most businesses start from nothing, so start with something. 

Because all businesses start small (and maybe even as a hobby), leaders often wait too long to document their processes. “Many of us created businesses that came from nothing, so we learned everything on the fly,” Connie explained. But that doesn’t mean your employees should.  

“[Without clear documentation], more people [might] start coming into the business, [but] then you have to fire [them],” Connie told us. Because there’s no way to show employees how to be successful at their jobs without processes and systems. Meaning, there’ll be more terminations.

“[We need to] start documenting our processes early instead of waiting until we're trying to hire,” Connie shared. That way, you can focus on finding the right person for the role, and that person will have the tools necessary to be successful as soon as they start.

“The number one [task for leaders] is writing things down,” Connie added. You need to define the roles of your business and the daily tasks that make up your operations. That said, don’t wait for the ‘perfect time’ to do this step, and start documenting your processes early instead.

“Most people don't know what they don't know.”
<blockquoteauthor>Connie S. Falls, founder and CEO at Entrepreneur Life Global<blockquoteauthor>

Begin with your org chart and work your way down.

For Connie, defining your organizational chart is the best place to start documenting. This graphical representation lays out your company structure to determine business roles. That way, you can see how your business operates and exactly what tasks need to be documented.

“An org chart [shows you] exactly what roles and tasks your company needs,” Connie explained. It starts with your role as the president or CEO of the organization and expands into your operational departments (sales, customer support, marketing, etc.).

Then, once you have a clear structure of departments, you can list the specific responsibilities, standard operating procedures (SOPs), and policies under each designated role. As a result, it’s much easier to prioritize the tasks and responsibilities that need to be documented first.

Organizational chart example.

Build an aspirational org chart. 

In addition to a current org chart, Connie suggests creating an aspirational version. (Sidebar: A role chart is the best way to do this. Not sure what the difference is? Here’s a good primer.) This rendition showcases what your company could look like five to ten years down the line.

“[When leaders think they] only need five people [to run the business], their mindset gets locked [into believing that],” Connie explained. “[When] you probably need 17 people [in reality].” This is where the aspirational chart comes in handy — it forces you to think bigger.

“Don’t recreate the wheel [here],” Connie added “Research the industry standard or industry best and [model your org chart off theirs].” For example, a marketing agency would look for the best agency in their industry, find out how they’re set up, and work toward that goal.

“[Aspirational org charts] aren’t about where you are — but where [you’re] looking to grow.”

Document the tasks that create the most impact and income.

Once you’ve defined a clear org chart, it’s time to start documenting the tasks under each role. But to determine what SOPs get recorded first, Connie suggests prioritizing the tasks that create the most impact and income in your business.

“[Start with the tasks that] allow [you] to impact millions of people without having to impact them individually,” Connie explained. For example, these could include your business development tasks, social media marketing tasks, or any task that helps expand your reach.

A man says, "My impact has been felt here."

“Then, there are tasks that create the most income for the company,” Connie added. These tasks could include your sales process, client onboarding process, or anything that increases revenue for the short or long term.

“Choose one [repeatable] task that can be documented and delegated.”

Develop a positive mindset for delegating tasks to others.

Before we dive into documenting, it’s important to note that mindset will play a role in delegation later on. “Delegation [is scary] because we were raised to believe that we can do everything ourselves,” Connie told us. “Or [we’re] afraid somebody will steal our secret sauce.”

But here’s the reality: Delegation is the only thing that will push your company forward. Because you literally can’t scale and grow your brand without hiring more people. You have to get over your apprehension and shift your mindset if you want to grow.

But how do you actually do that? According to Connie, you constantly remind yourself that it’s a positive step for your business. You remember that doing the opposite (not delegating) only hurts your growth (and you). Eventually, you’ll develop a positive mindset for delegation.

“If [you] don't have more people, [you] can't serve more people. And if [you] can't serve more people, [you] cannot scale and grow.”

Learn how to create the perfect SOP.

Connie says she has always struggled with ADHD. But at some point, she realized that having clear SOPs helped her cope. “[When] I know every single step that’s coming, I feel less anxious and more prepared,” she explained. But for many people, creating systems can be scary.

A frog puppet biting its fingers in fear.

“To take the scariness out of systems, [focus] on creating a checklist [that outlines] how you want something done,” Connie shared. This is your foundation for writing the SOP. “Then, you can add all the business jargon to make it sound fancy,” she added.

Because writing out SOPs is easier said than done, Connie has her clients document how to start their car as an exercise. “There's probably 78 steps between being indoors and starting the car [outdoors],” Connie told us. “But [improper processes] would just say walk outside and start it.”

As a business leader, your goal is to create the perfect process. You want to include every detail possible to avoid confusion and set employees up for success. That way, you can avoid having to fire some people — since they’ve been properly trained to help move your business forward.

“Common sense is not common — systems are.”

Understand the difference between scale versus growth.

To truly appreciate how processes support business, Connie says you must first understand the difference between growth and scale. “Growth is when you make more money, but your expenses go up,” she explained. “Scaling is [making more money], but expenses level out.”

In other words, scaling improves revenue while also cutting costs and improving efficiency. This makes your business more profitable and allows you to continue serving more people. But both of these are impossible unless you delegate (and document) tasks in the first place.

“If [you’re not] expanding the team, [you’re] not growing the company,“ Connie explained. “[That makes delegation] imperative because it allows you to grow your team, which enables you to serve more [customers].” All that’s to say: Process and delegation are key to scaling business.

Building growth with business process is no simple endeavor. But with Connie’s expertise and these back-to-basic tips, you can start setting the foundation for future growth today.

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Systems Expert Connie S. Falls Shares 7 Ways to Level Up Your Business

December 1, 2022

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