Once upon a time, I was a lone wolf. I did every aspect of my work by myself. I kept almost every detail in my head.
I took a strange pride in that.
If I met with a new buyer, we would go through certain steps together. Getting a house ready for sale = certain steps. You get the point.
So it never occurred to me that I should document my steps.
Why bother writing it all down? I had it all stored away in my mind.
Now I have a team, we are growing pretty quickly and that necessitates change. So I started documenting all the little steps of how we do what we do.
It is tedious and boring work for me.
Nothing is as unsexy as a checklist. Not my forte at all, but super necessary.
Otherwise, how does one build a business so it can grow?
I’ve been in real estate for 12 years but according to the classic book I’m re-reading, I don’t even have a business at all.
In the book, The E Myth Revisited, Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, by Michael Gerber, it is made clear that if you don’t have processes, in place you don’t have a business. Instead you have a job.
The author calls it Orchestration.
“Orchestration is the elimination of discretion, or choice, at the operating level of your business. Without orchestration, nothing can be planned and nothing anticipated by you or your client. If you’re doing everything differently every time you do it, and everyone around you is doing it their own way, you are creating chaos.”
Instead, we need to think of our small business as a franchise. Something so well documented and orchestrated that we could hand it off to a stranger and they could follow our steps without missing a beat.
Now that sounds like something to work towards.
The idea that I can take a vacation and everything can operate without me?
I want to move that from fantasy to reality. I want our business to be Teflon tough.
The alternative is not pretty.
Even if you don’t have a small business, you know what I’m talking about.
Have you ever taken a day off work and your phone is ringing nonstop because no one can get anything done without you?
Growth is a bitch. There is nothing sexy about building out assembly-line like processes for everything that we do.
Yet I know that by doing so, our business will become sleek.
Like a cheetah!
Harder to kill.