Ever since we launched Radical U earlier this year, people have been asking me why. Simple. Over the decades of working with small businesses, it's become obvious to me that the thing that separates successful companies from failing ones is the presence of a process to how that company is run.
Think about it - do you train employees "on the job" or do you have manuals to handle that? If you're doing on the job training, how many times do new employees know exactly what to do in every situation?
How about who to ask for answers?
Yes, none again.
So why do so many companies fail to simply create a documentable process for something as important can costly as hiring and training?
So I started Radical U to teach people the process to become successful entrepreneurs. An operational manual for how to start, grow, run, and eventually sell their own successful small business.
Just like you need to teach your new employees the process to becoming successful employees with your own operational manual for how they can learn the job and the various responsibilities that come with employment in your business.
Documenting either one of these ideas - Radical U for me and your business for you - stem from the same basic thought - no one can know it all and, with a standard resource, it's becomes less about the skill level and more about the engagement level.
Think of a McDonalds French fry. Hot, fresh, crispy, perfectly salted. Now, you can teach someone how to do that by hand, or you can document that fries are cooked for a certain amount of time in grease of a certain temperature, salted with a certain number of shakes from a certain shaker, and thrown away if they are a certain number of minutes old.
One system needs a chef, the other needs a willing employee.
Which is easier to find?
So if you haven't committed to documenting every process in your business as a training tool, why?
There are huge benefits to it - think about it:
· Operational manuals help you in the hiring process. You are able to get even the greenest new hire a wealth of basic information instantly. It's an overview of everything they can expect from the job and your company.
· Training is made easier, since you can easily document every standard, not just the ones your team remembers to teach a new employee. Teaching new people doesn't have to be people-dependent, it can now be systems-dependent. You can build the entire training process around the operations manual and vice-versa.
· You no longer have to act as the repository for every standard, every action, and everything the business needs to do. That means that "regular" people are able to play important roles with far less skills than you once needed. Think how simple you could make the process of invoicing? Payroll? Shipping? Sales? All without you having to be the one doing it.
· Your entire business is documented. Simply put, when someone walks in the door and wants to buy your company, you can point to the operations manuals and tell them, "here's how we do it here." Even better? That documentation validates your system works leading to two positive outcomes - the buyer knows it works and you, as the seller, won't undervalue how well it works.
In short, you're building a system to guarantee success just as I am at Radical U. The key is always to understand that ordinary people can do extraordinary things if they understand how to use a system and a process to move their own needle.