They might just be the two biggest keys to business.
Without them you’re not going to go very far.
People seems to be the biggest pain point for business owners.
How do you find the right people?
How do you keep them?
We’ve been pretty fortunate (with a crap load of daily hard work to back it up) that we have a rock solid team.
We have a full-time team of coaches, which is super rare in the fitness industry.
They are bought into the vision of the company, work hard, make smart decisions, and actually give a crap.
Now, they are not perfect, none of us are, but it’s solid.
I also now that didn’t happen by accident, and it didn’t happen overnight.
Here a couple highlights on the “people” part of a small business…
Be really clear on the job description of the type of person you want. I’m not talking skills, skills can be taught. I’m talking about personality types, outgoing, extroverted, detail-oriented, etc. Those are unique abilities, and you can’t change that about a person. I’m not saying you want those specific ones, but my point is, be clear on who you want, and it’s a bonus that they know the skills of the job.
Phone interview first. As a business owner you’re busy. You don’t have time to interview dozens of people. Hop on a call with any applicant for a 15-minute phone interview. Just ask them to tell you about themselves. If you feel like you can have a friendly conversation with them, if you feel you might want to spend 40+ hours a week with this person then you can bring them in for an interview.
Let the rest of the team have some say. I’m not saying that you can’t make the final decision, but let the team have some votes, they will be more bought in to making sure this new team member is a solid fit.
Have a solid (we do 90 days) onboarding program. By far the most common mistake I see people make is they hire someone and then give them zero formal training. They just expect this person knows the expectations, they expect them to be perfect, and they don’t think they ever have to train them. A strong 90 day onboarding program will fix this.
1:1 Meetings. If you agree that your employees are your best asset then why not invest more into them. Just like a financial asset, the more you invest into it the more you’ll get out of it. Depending on the size of your team this will vary, but some regular 1:1 time with them to check in and see how they’re doing, chat goals and visions, and make sure they don’t have rocks in their shoes can go a long way. For context, our team meets with their Director once a week for 15 minutes, and with me over lunch for 2-3 hours once a quarter.
Clear expectations and roles. Again, by far the biggest mistake I see owners make is not making roles and expectations crystal clear. Most people are good human beings and they want to do work. 9/10 times the reason they’re not is because they didn’t know what “good work” looks like.
If you want to grow past a one woman or one man (it’s okay if you don’t) you’re going to need a team.
However, you can’t just expect them to be self-sufficient.
It takes daily management, daily leadership, and a lot of time.
That being said, Team Development is one of the 4 Pillars of Business, so without it, your business will crumble.
Now, let’s say you have great people, next up is great processes.
A process is anything that happens in your business.
How is the business open?
Who and how do you answer the phone?
What is a client or customer journey look like?
If you’re a product-based business, how is the product made.
Processed can basically fall under these 4 Pillars
Sales & Marketing: What is your process for attracting new business? Do you follow a Marketing Calendar? How often and what do you post for content? What is your sales process? etc, etc.
Operations: This is by far the biggest section and will vary greatly based upon your business. This is everything from how the phone is answered or how the business gets cleaned, to everything that has to happen with a client or customer once they start doing business with you.
Finances: What is your process for daily sales? What weekly reports do you pull and analyze? What does wining look like financially on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis, and how are you keeping score of that? Who does your books and what is that process? What about quarterly and/or year-end tax prep?
Team Development: This is everything we talked about above. This is how you onboard a new employee, how you train them, what your meeting rhythm is, roles and responsibilities, etc.
Now, just like you can’t bring people on and forget about them, you can’t just create processes, stick them in an “operations manual” and call it good.
In fact, I personally don’t care for operations manuals.
Instead, I like 1-2 two page “play sheets” for each process.
So…you may have your four folders above, and in each folder there are a couple dozen individual “play sheets,” each one outlining a specific process.
This is important because although creating these is step one, the real work, and the work that never ends is training and holding your team accountable to these processes.
So, on a regular basis you can pull out one process (play sheet) and train the team on it.
Next week, pull out another one.
People and Processes.
Two keys to business success.