Starting a new business is exciting and it is easy to be passionate about creating your product or your offers, developing your brand, and then telling everyone about your new venture and riding that wave is fun.
Meanwhile, “building your internal structure” sounds like the most boring task EVER so you skip it and move along merrily. And you can get away with that for a while BUT…
Building a solid internal structure for your business is crucial for several reasons:
If, as you were skimming through that list, you found yourself thinking, “Yes! That’s exactly what I want to create!” or “Oh my gosh, is that really possible because that’s what I am missing!” then you are in the right place.
10 Essential Steps for Building a Solid Internal Structure for Your Business
(click on each step for more information)
You need to streamline your operational procedures to minimize bottlenecks. Grab a pencil and piece of paper and map out a flow chart of your customer/client journey.
What is happening and in what order is it happening? Look for gaps where you are missing a key component that is preventing sales or repeat buyers.
Be honest about where you are getting caught up and wasting time.
While this may feel daunting, it is this first essential internal step to increasing productivity for you, and your team, allowing you to grow your business externally.
Looking at your workflow, determine which activities are repeated over and over.
Document these key processes by creating standard operating procedures (SOPs) that become guidelines for others to use to maintain consistent performance.
While one-on-one training is great, providing SOPs in either written form or as short videos is highly effective because they can be referenced as often as necessary.
TIP: Don’t get caught in the weeds! Create the SOP, test it, tweak it, and test it again. Start with the basic information needed and add to it as you go.
Your time is the most valuable commodity you have. Money comes and goes, but your time flows in only one direction so consider what activities you can automate.
This will be unique to every business based on how much personal touch is required, but you’d be surprised at how much people prefer faster responses over personal ones.
Once you decide what you want to automate, choose software to invest in that best meets those needs.
There are a ton of project management tools that can help you effectively plan, execute and track projects. Getting started on one when you are still a solopreneur is a great way to lay the foundation for building your team later, but it is never too late.
Develop a habit of using the project management system to help you manage all the “ToDos” that need to be done for your own business and for clients (if you have them).
It’s also a great place to write your SOPs, track your automation tools, brain dump your marketing ideas, and manage your content.
TIP: My personal fav is Trello! You can get started with a FREE account and stay that way as long as you want.
Now it’s time to build your team and hiring someone to join you is so much easier when you have already completed the first 4 steps.
Why? Because there is so much less confusion about what needs to be done means you are wasting less time and $ on your new hires and you can focus on clarifying roles and responsibilities within your business instead!
When defining roles and responsibilities, be sure to create and share yours just as much as your new team members’ so that they have a better understanding of how they can support you. This documentation should be available to everyone on the team for transparency and accountability.
Implement effective communication guidelines that foster collaboration and information flow and establish appropriate boundaries from the beginning.
When is the team expected to be available for communication?
How often and to whom should the team be checking in to report progress on a project or objective?
In a nutshell: Who should be talking to who about what and when?
TIP: Choose a form of communication that is easy to track and stick to as few as possible. The more places you chat with your team, the easier it is for important details to get lost and miscommunication to occur.
Provide ongoing training and professional development opportunities to enhance the skills and knowledge of yourself and your team and incentivize them to want to learn.
This may look like you training your team personally, inviting someone to do a group training for you, OR paying for access to a course for them to take.
When your team is better equipped for the job you hired them to do, your business grows!
Cultivate a work environment that values teamwork, innovation, and continuous improvement.
This doesn’t need to be hard or extravagant. Simply sharing “Monday Motivation” quotes or “Funny Friday” memes is a simple way to encourage an enjoyable working environment.
Start each team meeting by asking everyone to share 1 thing that is going on in their life outside of work. If this feels awkward at first, use fun “This or That” questions and have everyone give their reason for their preference.
Helping your team see you and each other as actual people and not just coworkers can increase loyalty and promote a more supportive environment.
While you should have already established regular check-ins with your team, it’s also helpful to have quarterly reviews to evaluate predetermined performance metrics and provide feedback to drive accountability and improvement.
This isn’t always “easy” which is why having clearly defined roles and responsibilities as well as effective communication is so important from the beginning.
Referencing back to the project management tool for tracking progress is also helpful for assessing progress made on assigned jobs as well as timeliness.
Make these meetings a 2-way street, allowing for your team member to voice frustrations or point out broken links in the chain. Ask them to offer suggestions to improve issues they see or are experiencing or just give them the opportunity to share new ideas they may have.
Remember, multi 6-figure and 7-figure businesses didn’t get that way because they all started with the perfect internal structure.
They reach that level because they continuously evaluated and refined their internal systems to align with evolving business needs and goals.
And you should do the same!
Clarity doesn't come with time - it comes when you
MAKE A PLAN. TAKE ACTION.
But not just ANY action…STATEGIC ACTION!
And that is exactly what this FREE workshop is designed to help you do!