Below is an excerpt from our book Startups Made Simple: How to Start, Grow and Systemize Your Dream Business. Learn more about the book here.
The Right Routines
They key to putting this all together is establishing consistent routines to make sure everyone is clear on The Plan, continually optimizing The Process, The People are getting things done (according to The Plan) and making sure everyone has The Right Tools. This mainly consists of a few well-run meetings and a lot of great communication (review Superpower #13: Good Communication Skills).
Depending on the size of the company, you’ll want to have regular meetings to keep everyone aligned and solve problems. If you’re a small team, all working in the same room, this may not be necessary too often but as your team gets larger or are in several locations you’ll want to schedule regular meetings (eventually you’ll have separate management and departments meetings). The point is to make sure you have a clear agenda and time limit for each meeting otherwise they’ll go off topic and people will start dreading them.
Do this meeting the same day and time each week (or less) and set a hard time limit, an hour is usually plenty of time. Here’s a good agenda framework:
As mentioned in the Communication Skills Superpower, a great way to start the day is with a Daily Huddle. The purpose of this is to start the day out on a good note, give your team an update and mention anything that is blocking you from doing your job at the moment (questions, concerns you may have, limited to one minute per person). What this does is cut down on interruptions throughout the day and makes sure the team is aligned and knows what it needs to get done today. Check online for best practices and videos of great Daily Huddles.
Employee Reviews and 1-on-1s
Regular employee reviews should be calendared and done at least yearly. Many managers have started doing regular 1-on-1s (as mentioned previously) to get and give feedback on performance so there are no “surprises” at the annual review. It’s also a great time to get to know the employee and what their future plans and desires are with the company.
That’s pretty much it for routines. Have your regular Team Meeting, your Daily Huddle and Reviews. The key is making sure you actually do them. Routines are how you will solve problems and continually improve this management system you have built.
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this chapter (many books take hundreds of pages to cover these topics) so don’t think that you need to implement it all today. As mentioned in the beginning, focus on The Plan, The Process or The People (start with whichever is your biggest challenge) and set aside regular time to actively build and optimize your management system with consistent Routines which will ultimately be the key to your freedom as a business owner.
Visit http://www.startupsmadesimple.com for Chapter 9 Resources and to download the Startups Made Simple Strategic Plan and Example Written Procedure.
This was an excerpt from our book Startups Made Simple: How to Start, Grow and Systemize Your Dream Business. Learn more about the book here or see our previous excerpts here.
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