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Leading the way to a systems-thinking culture in your small business

When you want to develop the systems in your business, one part of the journey is persuading your team to come along. Every business that works needs a balance of structure (your systems) and substance (your people). Without the commitment from your employees that they’re going to work the systems as you’ve designed them, you’ll never get the consistency or results you want.

So how do you begin? By starting with the first foundational system: leadership, then modeling success.

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Build your seven systems—but start with leadership

Believe it or not, building a rocket is not dissimilar to building a business.

Rockets are traditionally built on stacks that break apart in stages as it moves toward space. The first stage provides thrust to leave the Earth’s gravitational pull. This is like your core business disciplines—Leadership, Marketing, Finance and Management—which form the foundation of your business and inform everything you do. The second stage allows the rocket to continue accelerating into space and to provide the velocity for the rocket to reach its final destination. This is like your business activities—Lead Generation, Lead Conversion and Customer Fulfillment—which allow you to grow your business and reach more customers. 

But before you can actually build your business, you have to define your mission objective. If you’re in the construction industry, do you want to build skyscrapers or affordable housing? Why do you want to do that? If you’re in the health industry, or technology, or retail or manufacturing—why do you do what you do?

In other words, what’s the vision for your business? What's your mission objective?

Answering these questions is the key to building the most important system in your entire business: your Leadership System.

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The nine parts of your Leadership System

Systems alone don't lead to the results you want from your business. Your leadership—having a clear sense of your mission and the values that drive it—allows your systems to create the results you're after. To build your leadership foundation, you need each of these nine systems:

  1. Written Strategic Objective: This short statement (up to three pages) defines what your business will look, act, feel and perform like when it’s treating customers how you want it to, every time.
  2. Written values: A clear set of values that truly matter to you and that inspire a team of people who share your priorities and own their responsibilities in a way that frees you.
  3. Business metrics: A simple dashboard of strategic indicators to track progress toward your vision, ensure initiatives have the right impact, and give you the information you need to course correct when you’re not meeting your targets.
  4. Revenue plan: Plans for generating revenue, documented and translated into a 12-month budget that’s both realistic and that stretches you.
  5. Employee role descriptions: Signed agreements that define every role—focused on results and values, not tasks and policies. These are the foundation for job ownership and excellence.
  6. Repeatable sales plan: Driven by powerful customer experiences, you design systems that leverage your existing relationships to sell more—and more often—to your current and former clients.
  7. Ideal customer profile: A detailed definition of your perfect customers. This includes demographics and psychographic information about how they feel, think and make decisions.
  8. Written marketing plan: A cohesive plan for generating leads designed to meet your ideal customer where they are with what they need in a brand-consistent way.
  9. Marketing metrics: Indicators that tell you how well you’ve converted people from total strangers to your best customers so you have actionable data to maximize your impact.

Doing things in this order makes sense because each system builds progressively on the one that comes before it. Each one is easier to build than the last because it's informed by the vision and values that serve as your foundation.

Creating each of these systems isn’t easy. A written Strategic Objective alone takes deep, personal thought. While you work to improve your business, you might find yourself feeling more uncomfortable than before. You might not have all the answers. You might be stuck at the beginning of this process for months—and that’s okay. Just keep at it. And if you’d like the support of an EMyth Coach on this journey, schedule some time to talk to us.

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EMyth Team

Written by EMyth Team

We share free resources and stories from our clients, Coaches and team members about how to build a business that serves your life. Our posts will give you updates on our business insights and free educational content.