The answer to this question is always the same: Learn how to work the system.
Fundamentally, every business is a system. A system is a collection of processes that together produce an intended result every time. The more you focus on improving your business systems, the better the results you'll produce. It's as simple as that.
Most people think systems are boring; their eyes glaze over when I mention it and they just ignore me. But here's what happens when you begin improving your systems:
- You make more money, but do less work.
- You have more focus and energy to do your best work.
- You make far fewer errors and mistakes.
- You fix the mistakes you do make quickly and permanently.
- You feel more calm, collected, and under control.
The key point to remember is that the system runs the business, but the people run the system.
What you are doing is following the franchise model. You start by assuming that you are going to franchise your business. There are six basic rules from The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber (one of the three books every entrepreneur should own, read and implement) that you must follow if you are going to win the franchise game.
- The model will provide consistent value to your customers, employees, suppliers, and lenders, beyond what is expected.
- The model will be operated by people with the lowest level of skill.
- The model will stand out as a place of impeccable order.
- All the work in the model will be documented in an operation model.
- The model will provide a uniformly predictable service to the customer.
- The model will utilize a uniform color, dress, and facilities code.
So what is the manager's real job? It is to keep the wheels of your business machine turning with maximum efficiency. Your task is to fix one system after another, not careen through the day taking care of problems as they erupt. Your job is not to douse fires. Your job is to prevent fires!