2022 was a busy year for Business Success Consulting Group and the Systems Simplified podcast. Founder and CEO Adi Klevit interviewed thought leaders and entrepreneurs from industries across the map. She spoke with consultants and construction company owners, with CMOs and credibility experts.
With so many professionals providing insight, it can be challenging to summarize the specialized knowledge shared. Therefore, this new year-round-up article provides ten lessons learned from Systems Simplified podcast interviews. Here, you will discover fundamental wisdom from various guest interviewees – along with a link to the podcast episode and any articles that give a deeper look at the knowledge they shared.
Ten lessons learned from Systems Simplified podcast interviews in 2022
1. David Brier, Founder, and CEO of DBD International, Ltd, shared his wealth of knowledge about branding. Here is some of the insight he provided during his interview:
Branding takes the problems your business solves and encapsulates how your company solves them. Then, translating that information into something which communicates consistently across all platforms, whether it be a postcard mailing or posting on social media.
A good brand differentiates your business from all the others and shows potential customers that you are uniquely situated to provide the right solution for their problems.
Many company owners mistake a logo or font type for branding. They establish a color deck the marketing team uses and then say their branding is done.
In his interview, David shares a “how-to” for creating a brand-building process. Read on to learn more.
2. Krish Ramineni, the Co-founder and CEO of Fireflies, shared how he uses processes to increase productivity and discussed how he built and scaled his business. Here is a key point that he shared:
Scaling a business consists of growth, but it also consists of simplification. When your business expands, you want to simplify everything so you can onboard staff, focus your growth, and build upon a firm foundation.
Building a process will show you what the team is doing now because you can see all the steps being taken. This allows you to find bottlenecks, assign action items, and simplify. Simplifying, automating, and cutting out bottlenecks can take a ten-day process down to five days.
Read more and discover five steps for creating a scalable process here.
3. Mitchell Levy, a global credibility expert, discussed the art of building credibility – and shared how one can create a credibility process. Below are the three basic building blocks of credibility:
Three elements build credibility. These are:
1. Being Trusted
Demonstrating authenticity, vulnerability, and external integrity all show that you are worthy of trust and permit people to trust you or your business.
2. Being Known
There are many ways to be known. However, to be known as credible is another matter. This consists of:
- Showing up as a “servant leader” meaning that you consistently serve others.
- Sharing your commitment to do what is right in the face of any odds.
- Indicating your intent to improve and continue to choose the right action.
- And showing your internal integrity, or who you really are on the inside.
These four factors will get you known for the right reasons and showcase your credibility as a leader.
3. Being Likable
Standing in your principles and providing genuine respect and credit will make you both liked and respected in turn.
Read on to find out how to build and systematize credibility.
4. Mark Miller of Historic Agency discussed utilizing the process feedback loop when growing a company. Below, we share more information about the process feedback loop itself.
A process feedback loop is a system you create to review and improve processes. Here is a brief breakdown of what needs to be done to build this loop:
1. Come up with a bright idea.
2. Define the process to implement this idea.
3. Try it out and see if the process works.
4. If it does, perfect it by reviewing the process regularly to determine what is working and what is not, and modify it accordingly.
5. If the process does not work, revisit the bright idea. You may need a new one, or you may need to change your implementation strategy. Either way, you need feedback to determine the next steps.
The above is a very bare-bones breakdown of the process feedback loop. Find out more in this article.
5. Wendy Lieber, the Co-founder, and CEO of ContentBacon, shared systems for building an effective content strategy. Here, she provides the three keys one needs to make a practical content strategy:
1. Know your audience
There’s an old saying that if you try to market to everyone, you market to no one. This means you must understand your ideal customer, what makes them tick, what challenges they face, and how your company can best help them.
2. Develop goals for content strategy
Break your content strategy into three buckets:
- Content that supports general awareness.
- Content that drives interest.
- Content to support potential, current, and past clients.
Then develop goals for each bucket.
3. Map out what content will fill each bucket and accomplish the goals you’ve set
Now that you understand your audience and goals, you can map out the type of content that needs to fill each bucket. You can measure each idea’s efficacy against your goals, allowing you to refine and evolve the content map as you move forward.
From here, you can follow the instructions in this article to build an effective content creation system.
6. Odette D’Aniello, the Founder and CEO of Celebrity Cake Studio, provided boundary-setting tools to help protect and spur creativity. Here are the principles she follows to stay creative as an entrepreneur:
1. Find a system that works for your business.
2. Determine what would free your time for creative ideas.
3. Surround yourself with people who will give you boundaries and provide you with data to back them up.
4. Set boundaries that push your vision forward.
5. Test your boundaries and systems every six months or so.
By reading the whole article here, you can get the details on how Odette makes boundary-setting a key feature of her creative output.
7. Dré Slaman, the Co-founder and CEO of Farm to Fit, talked about how she and her spouse created a system for working together – and how that system translates into excellent working relationships with their entire team.
Build excellent work relationships by following these keys:
1. Assign roles and stick to them
When families work together, they already have a firm foundation of trust. This can be amazing, but it can also lead to business owners stepping on one another’s toes. Instead of causing friction in your working relationship, name your roles and stick to the jobs in your purview.
2. Help only when needed
Another aspect of not stepping on one another’s toes is to help the other person only when needed. If they are doing just fine, don’t step in and try to complete a task for them. Just as with any team member, doing work for the other person will lead to confusion.
3. Establish working hours
As with any new business, owners can end up working all the time. Build in working hours early, and try to discuss work only within those hours.
4. Build scripts for when someone wants to discuss work outside of working hours
Couples naturally discuss work when they get home. It’s a regular topic of conversation. Dre and G. try not to discuss work outside of their everyday. However, if it comes up, they are likely to tell one another, “let’s talk it through tomorrow morning.”
5. Establish your own ground rules
One couple’s rules may not work for another couple or family team. Establish your own ground rules that feel best for you and your family.
6. Treat one another with respect
Following the golden rule, “Treat others as you would like to be treated,” will always go far whether your coworkers are family or regular employees.
Read on to find out what elements informed Dre and her husband as they built their existing team.
8. John Lund, Founder and Executive Coach of MyB2BCoach, detailed the value of well-documented processes and procedures and how to identify and remove redundancies to increase business growth.
Here are five key areas that John recommends reviewing to remove any unnecessary and double work:
- Communication systems
- And anything that sucks joy out of the day
Find a how-to for removing redundancy and double work in this article.
9. Chad Gill, the Founder and Owner of Concreate, and Dr. Jeremy Weisz, Co-founder of Rise25 Media, share a lesson learned about siloing vital information that should be available to all.
Siloing information can be helpful, but it can also be damaging to a business. So, when is siloing damaging?
The short answer is: when the information and resources that are partitioned off from the rest of the company should be shared across departments.
Here is an example that Chad provided during the interview:
Chad had three employees. Each performed a particular task “as a favor” to the other. They did not know that other employees were performing that same task, so each employee thought another was not doing their job. Over time, this built up frustration, and a key employee left because they felt overwhelmed at having to do their assigned job – plus someone else’s work.
Had Chad put in a system for that one task and assigned the task to a particular job title, he may have been able to keep on a key employee.
This is an example of siloed information that damaged everyone. It caused frustration and was even behind a valued staff member’s departure.
When information, talent, or other resources would allow employees to do a better job, those resources should not be siloed.
Find out how to take vital information out of its silo by reading this article.
10. Cindy Free, the Owner and CEO of HR Annie Consulting, shared what many companies are missing out on when they don’t utilize HR as a strategic part of their business – and what companies can do to correct this error. Here is one suggestion:
Systematization is a fantastic way to build HR supports into your business. Whether you have a strong HR team or just one staff member, creating policies, processes, and procedures around HR actions will keep your company consistent. This gives your staff something to count on and can help protect your business against legal issues.
Look at these areas as you build HR-specific systems:
1. Legal and compliance
3. Employee lifecycle as it relates to HR (i.e., hiring, training, complaints, reviews, exit, retirement)
4. Industry best practices
5. Company culture
6. Needs of existing employees/Employee retention
7. Reviews – how to learn from past actions and build your own best practices
Finally, consider how you would measure success and failure in each of these areas. Tracking HR metrics can help you catch legal problems before they begin and discover holes in employee retention/hiring that you can solve before you experience a mass exit.
Read more about HR best practices and systematization here.
These ten lessons provide a brief peek into everything we’ve learned and shared through the Systems Simplified podcast and on the Business Success Consulting Group site. Put these principles into practice. Get your free initial consultation today!