Today I would like to talk about systems. All of us have systems and processes, however the reality is most of us have not taken the effort to systemize everything and to really get a clear understanding of exactly how our processes work. Therefore, it often times makes it very difficult to delegate aspects of our company if we don’t have well-defined goals and descriptions. It’s critical for you to have some type of soft- interface to help you communicate. Today, we use a variety of different tools: video cameras on our phone system, CRM, and project management tools. We have so many tools and systems in place. It really helps keep everything accounted for and organized.
Redundancy – ensure you have contingency plans in place. Part of having a great system in place, is having a very well-defined, plan B if there happens to be a failure. If there is a failure, then you have backup capacity, which will allow you to continue operating. Even if it’s at 50%, it’s 100 times better than being completely down. We have multiple redundancy pathways in place, yet there are still some times we get caught flat-footed. The unthinkable takes place and there you are. Ensure you have other suppliers in place to handle additional work you can offload until you get back to 100%. The last thing you want to happen is for your inefficiencies to filter over into your clientele business or lifestyle, depending on the clientele you serve.
Nothing will cost you more business faster than the inability to supply your customers with what you’ve promised. This can be a hard, expensive lesson to learn. Be proactive and look at all systems you have in place, and ask what is the cost to build a redundant system in place? Do you have a list of similar businesses you can offload business to on a short-term basis while you work on our infrastructure? Do you have multiple pathways into your building in the event you were to lose Internet connectivity? If your building floods, do you have a way of sending people home and having them work from their homes equally as efficiently as in their office? These are just some of the many contingency plans that need to be put in place.
For example, it is much the same way, Henry Ford took a very complicated process of building an automobile and broke it down into having a worker sit in the same place, and tie down bolts, put a tire onto a rim, and to tighten four screws in order to lock down the engine onto the motor mounts. Henry Ford went through the entire process of manufacturing an automobile in very small, incremental steps that allowed him to mass-produce the product with relatively unskilled labor.
Prior to Henry Ford’s approach, manufacturing of automobiles was done as a customized solution, and master craftsmen completed the work. This made the production of the automobile very slow, tedious, and it required highly skilled labor in order to complete the process. So before you start saying my processes are too complex to systemize, think about the automobile and the amazing achievement Henry Ford accomplished. He independently re-created the way that manufacturing facilities would run forevermore. By creating systems and breaking up difficult tasks, you will discover new aspects of streamlining your business.
Let me share with you some of the systems I have. One of the systems I have in place is the lead generation system through LinkedIn. I have developed scripts to be used by our employees to make contact with people, with members, and members of groups. We contact the members of groups and give them our first script. Depending upon the response my employees get back from the prospect, they will send another script. This correspondence will generally go on two or three times until my employees invite them to do a call with one of our sales representatives. The sales representative will look at the prospect’s profile information in LinkedIn prior to the call. This gives the sales representative the ability to identify key information about the prospect before they jump on a call. The salesperson then, has a scripted presentation that they go through with them, and the objective is to enroll the client into becoming a customer of ours. This is one of our systems. Does your business have a similar system?
Let’s talk about another system one of the greatest basketball players of all-time had in place, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He, when you add up all of his points from playoff appearances, regular-season games, and All-Star games the total points scored are exactly 44,400. This is a feat I’m sure would’ve been impossible for him to have conceived. I can only assume this number was achieved by sheer luck, but this is the exact number. It was not rounded off! It is exactly 44,400 points. This makes him the all-time, highest point scorer in the history of NBA. How was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar able to achieve such amazing feat? Well for one thing, he developed a system of scoring. You see Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is 7’2″, and even by NBA standards, he had an unfair advantage. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar maximized his unfair advantage and capitalized on it.
He did what I would suggest all businesses do: take your strengths and develop a system that exploits your strengths compared to your competitors. Give yourself an unfair advantage! Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s unfair advantage was his patented shot called the “skyhook.” The skyhook is an over the shoulder shot at his release-point when he was fully extended. The top of his release-point must have been close to 10 feet. This created an unstoppable shot. This patented shot became so successful it landed him among the ranks of the NBA Hall of Fame. Here is a list of some of his other phenomenal achievements: six times MVP, six times as a NBA championship team-member, All-NBA team 15 times, All-Defense team 11 times, Rookie-of-the-Year 1970, All-Star 19 times, and listed as one of the top 50 greatest players of all-time in the NBA. How did Kareem Abdul-Jabbar achieve these impressive accolades? It was by developing a system. Magic Johnson would feed the ball in to Kareem, and then “bam,” the skyhook.
Does your business have a skyhook? Start delegating today, build your team and systems!