Adi Klevit is the Founder and CEO of Business Success Consulting Group, an organization that provides businesses with the infrastructure, processes, and systems they need to thrive. Adi and her team help companies scale up, transfer knowledge, and prepare for succession. Adi has over 25 years of experience as a trained industrial engineer, management consultant, and business executive.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Adi Klevit discusses some of the reasons companies come to her for help
- Adi explains the factors involved in making changes
- Why documenting procedures and systems is the key to a successful company
- The methodology behind Business Success Consulting Group
- What working with Business Success Consulting Group can do for your organization
- Some of Adi’s favorite software and productivity tools
In this episode:
Trying to manage a growing business can sometimes feel overwhelming. There comes a point when doing things the way they’ve always been done just won’t work anymore. But how can you turn the processes that make your company special into a system that will keep things running smoothly?
Coming up with a new way to do things and getting all your procedures down on paper might seem next to impossible, but fortunately, Adi Klevit is here to help. As a productivity and efficiency expert, she can help you navigate everything from software selection to company culture. Even though Adi’s an expert in creating processes and systems, she doesn’t duplicate the same solution for every business. However, she might try to clone your favorite employees.
On this exciting first episode of the Systems Simplified podcast, Dr. Jeremy Weisz talks with the Founder and CEO of Business Success Consulting Group, Adi Klevit. She discusses the methodology behind her company, why documenting systems and processes is crucial for any company’s success, her favorite software tools, and much more. Stay tuned!
Resources Mentioned in this episode:
- Adi Klevit on LinkedIn
- Business Success Consulting Group
- Ari Meisel on LinkedIn
- Dana Clinton on LinkedIn
- Less Doing
- Vibrant Cultures
- Process Street
- Adi Klevit on the Inspired Insider podcast episode “[Sweet Process Series] How to Save Hundreds of Hours a Month Using Top Productivity Tools with Adi Klevit of Business Success Consulting Group”
- Dr. Jeremy Weisz on LinkedIn
Sponsor for this episode:
This episode is brought to you by Business Success Consulting Group.
At Business Success Consulting Group, we create custom processes and tailor-made management systems so businesses can thrive.
Businesses simply can’t survive without workable systems and well-documented processes. That’s why our team of experienced professionals takes care of it for you.
So, what are you waiting for? Do yourself a favor, and cut the chaos out of your business.
Adi: Adi Klevit here I’m the host of the system simplified podcast, where we feature top founders, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders on how to successfully systemize a business. And here today, I have Dr. Jeremy Wise of rise, 25, who has done thousands of interviews with successful CEOs and we’ve flipped the script and he will be interviewing me today, Jeremy over to you.
Jeremy: Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it. I always love talking to you because you are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to systems productivity, operations, and it’s like, The non-sexy stuff that actually makes things work. And so we’re going to dig deep into, I’m going to just try and extract as much stuff out of your brain so it can help business owners and executives. Before we get to that, I just want to tell people, this episode is brought to you by Business Success Consulting Group. And I know what you do there it is. You create custom processes and tailor made management system. So the businesses can actually thrive. You know, you and I both know businesses, they can’t survive without workable systems and well-documented processes. So it’s essential. And I know you take care of all of that for people. And some of the things that are floating around, if this thought is floating around in your head, it floats around in mine too, which is, I can, you know, I can sleep at night. Now when you have systems, I can expand now, I can sell my business now. So if you actually want to extract all this stuff out of you and your staffs, the knowledge in their head and get it on paper, so anyone could follow it, then go to bizsuccesscg.com or email them at email@example.com and, email them. So, Adi now. When I think of industries a lot, every industry needs systems, right. Every industry. But let’s talk about one in particular, and there’s, you know, you help people in construction, manufacturing, professional services, recruiting, but let’s take construction for a second. Okay. There’s a lot of moving pieces with construction. What are some of the pain points when you think of a company that comes to you in construction? What were some of the pain points they were feeling.
Adi: Okay. So, you know, there are two companies that we work with. There, there is a company that is growing and scaling and one, they want to scale up. They want to get to the next level and they know that they need the processes and procedures in order to do that. The other kind of company is also successful company. But they are looking into some kind of a transition, whether selling the company or there was already a change in ownership and the new owner comes in and they don’t have documented systems. They go, okay. So what if the key employees are going to leave and what am I going to do? So they need the knowledge transfer. So those are the two, the two kinds of companies. So let’s talk about the first one. Let’s talk about the construction company that is growing scaling, doing fantastic, and they want to get to the next level. So let’s say they get to a certain level. You have the owner. He or she usually are involved within the day-to-day operations and actually doing either the, usually I see the owners doing the estimating, the bidding, the selling, right. They are the rainmakers. They bring it. They definitely, that’s an area that we don’t want to let go. Often, you know, the owner is still doing some hopefully, hopefully, they got to a point where they don’t have to be in the field, but they do supervising or they’re involved in some ways. So the pain point is. The owner or the key, also the key personnel, you know, they want to extract themselves from the field from the day to day operations and be able to concentrate on the company and grow the company. So that’s why they come to us because they recognize that they need those systems in order to get to the next level.
Jeremy: Is there a psychology there? Adi, because I feel like. You know, sometimes the rainmakers feel like I’m the best. I’m the only one that can do this. Do, you have help them overcome some of that or by the time they get to you, are they already at that point? Like, okay, I know I can’t be doing all this.
Adi: You know, it depends, depends on what stage they are at. So they might already recognize that they have to be, that they need to replace themselves. So let’s say they work with another consultant, not a coach, like for instance, you know, there’s a company called Less Doing, Ari Meisel, you know, he’s very good at creating the replaceable owner. Right. So they already let’s say they engage with one of his, programs. They already have that mindset because he helps them with that and he coaches them. Right. To get that mindset, that how to replace themselves. Right. That it’s a good thing. They need to do it. And you know, I work with several of Ari’s clients and we take it to the level of, you know, documenting and creating those, processes. Right. So that those clients already have that mindset. But yeah, it’s, it is a mindset. So sometimes we help, we have to help them. Create get to that mindset or the already have the mindset that just don’t know how so, what we do is we show them how, because one of the fears are, well, I’m going to let go. And then what will happen? Right? Because that is how I’m the Rainmaker. You know, this is how I make my company grow. This is how I make my company succeed. So if we show them that by. Having really good documentation, like a playbook cookbook training manual, or whatever you want to call it. That has the secret sauce that has all the ingredients and you can actually take that and give it to someone else they see.Oh, okay. So I’m not going to lose what I’m doing because it’s now documented. And I can follow that. Oh, I can give somebody else to follow. So that’s, that’s how we change the mindset.
Jeremy: Yeah. It’s interesting because really people think, Oh, well, like no one else could do this. I mean, some people do, right. You know, I it’s my secret sauce. I’ve been doing this forever, but, but you probably, when you work with these people, you basically , kick everything out of their head. Put it on paper when you put it on paper, like, Oh, I guess someone else could do a lot of this. Right.
Adi: Right. And, you know, it’s a good point because I hear it from companies that when I first interviewed them, I hear it from owners. I hear it from key personnel that, you know, we do things differently here. You know, there is no way we can document it. Or there are so many variables that we cannot really document it. We cannot put it on paper or electronic paper. Right. So that is our superpower. That’s our, Secret or our way of doing things is what we’re so good at is actually taking out that information from here onto this electronic paper or paper or whatever we do and create the training manual that consist of all the common denominator actions. And if we look at it, we are not going to lose. And I, and I definitely ensure my clients we’re not going to lose that secret sauce, that creativity, that difference. But what we’re going to create is we’re going to create a system. We’re going to document all the common denominator, basically the common denominator of your business or that activity. And then you put on top of it, your personality, your ideas, you know, that your creativity, but everything that is in common will be documented. So then the next person will do the same thing and the next person will do the same thing, et cetera.
Jeremy: And sometimes when we’re like, Oh, we have too many variables out there really. It’s a lot of times when people haven’t taken the time to write down the variables, it may be like seven variables, right? It’s like, well, we have so many variables. We’ll actually know you have seven variables because we documented it. And this is how you handle these situations. Right.
Adi: Right. Right. You know, and, and also the thing that I like is I like to look up to people at six that made it right. People that were able to scale up. I mean, people that are, I work with men with franchisees and franchisors documenting. So I look at franchises that made it. You know, they basically were able to franchise themselves. They’re basically able to duplicate themselves and what do they have in common? They have good systems. They have good systems and good people. They know how to recruit, they know how to hire. So that’s the culture part. And then they have good systems. So that’s why I like to integrate those two and work with people that can put the culture there. Like for instance, Vibrant Culture. It’s a great company that does that. Dana Clinton is the owner. She and I work on several projects together and she’s great at really, creating a great culture for organizations. Then I come in and I create the processes and procedures that align with that culture. It has it both come to, they have to work together. You can’t do one without the other, right. So, but that’s, that’s part of it.
Jeremy: It’s cool because a lot of people may think, well, you know, you can’t put culture on paper. Right, but it’s just a feel, but there are specific steps that companies do to provide a good culture. As an example. So I’d love to walk. Have you walk through your methodology a little bit? Adi, which is okay, so construction company comes to you. They may have all these fears. They may have all these pain points that they’re experiencing. As you mentioned, what do you do with them first? When they come to you?
Adi: So the first thing is we assess the company in terms of procedures, in terms of systems. So want to see the, what is the situation? I really want to understand what, what is the deliverables that they are looking at? Like why I asked the why, why do you want a training manual? Why do you want that cookbook or playbook? You know, what is the, what is the reason behind it? And I once we identify that. Then we establish what area we’re going to work first. What, what, where are we going to start? Because you know, you look at the organization as a whole. And it can be overwhelming. It can be. And we probably going to talk a bit, a little bit about later about what, why people cannot ever, I mean, they see, let’s say 90% of the people have a hard time starting those process, those projects by themselves and completing them. Right. One of them is because it can be overwhelming. You can see the entire company and where do I start? So I have a very specific questionnaire and very specific methods of identifying what is the area that we need to start at, and I like to, again, break it down into quarters. So what are we going to do in the next three months? You know, let’s make it very doable. So I don’t like contracts that last for years, you know, this is like, okay, let’s look at the next three months. Let’s see how we work together. Let’s see if we like each other, if we’re a good fit, because. I also, as much as my clients interview me, I also interview them because I need to make sure that they have the time, the resource and the commitment available, because otherwise it’s, we can’t succeed and I want every project to be a success. So we basically decide, what are we going to start? And once we identify that, then we take it. We basically map. The processes that for that area. So let’s say we decide let’s take construction. Usually when I, when I assess construction companies, they like, they would like to start with the sale. So estimating, because that is the core of the business in terms of the, what the owner is probably wearing that hat at want to pass that hat.So we’ll, let’s, let’s decide that it’s going to be in the estimating department. So we’re going to start there. So I would assess what information do they have, who are the key players? What is the process from beginning to end? Walk me through the steps. You know, I’ve done many, many estimating and sales departments, so I know what the process should be. I can, I can compare it to what it should be finding out what they have, where are we missing? What is happening. They might be working with a sales consultant, which is great because then they’re creating the process. But then we come here and come and document it and then help implementing it. So. We identify the area where identify the process and then we’ll run it as a project we decide who is going to be helping us with each part of it. And who is going to be basically the question I like to ask is who on your team would you like to clone? And they tell me and go, okay. So those people are going to participate with us in the project. And then we interview, we, we basically set working meetings where we interviewed the key personnel. We assess information that they have. We ask them to walk us through, basically train us as though they’re training a new employee. We ask a lot of questions and we gather the information. I really like to record the meetings. So we can then take a look at it and extract the procedure out of that. So then we create the procedures for them or they write it themselves, or it’s a combination. So we have three levels of engagement there and. So we, but we always edit and, qualify them the procedure, like in terms of like making sure it’s written in the right way, some of our clients want us to teach them how to do it. So we go over best practices on how to name the procedure, how to, You know, what’s the voice, how you write it, you know, is it like an order, okay. Create this and this, or do this and this, or we say the estimate or does we’ll do so we make sure that the communication is very clear and within, in the same way, we will guide them through if we think that we need screenshots or videos or a recording of an interview. So we also combine all those tools to make sure that it’s very easy to understand. It’s not just a dry, written document, but it has all the tools and we implement those tools. And then, What we do is then we rolled it out to the team. So it might be that we have, let’s say a company that has several estimators with sending to all the estimators, to take a look at it, to give us their feedback. Cause that’s the, each one of them wrote a certain part of the process. Then we all meet together and have a discussion about it. And we, then I edit. And modify it accordingly and then we’ll roll it out to the team. We have to make sure because the process is only as good as it is implemented. So we have to make sure that it’s being implemented and that’s where we help train the team, roll it out to the team, get the feedback and make sure that it becomes part of the company culture to actually use those procedures, use their training, et cetera. So that’s. Nutshell the process.
Jeremy: Got it. I want to hear, cause you always give good advice around software and tools and things like that. But, but what I wrote down, is just to, to recap for, it could be a construction company. It could be recruiting company or, you know, manufacturing company. So the first thing you do is you get, you gather the why then you basically. Figure out. Okay. What’s going to be the biggest impact next. Then you kind of map out the exact process, which I imagine people get a lot of clarity around. Some people have never done this and they get a lot of clarity, like, okay, this, that alone is, is super valuable to actually have someone guide through mapping out because sometimes we jump over steps. Sometimes we’re not doing it. As it should be, then you, I feel you do a brain dump. Like you do this interview brain dumps, you take out, you make, make sure their key staff members do a brain dump, and then you basically have this roadmap. And in, you know, I don’t know at this point I would think Adi like, I don’t want to do this. Like, I want you or the team we’ll give you, you have everything just. Just write it up. And I guess there’s a smaller percentage of me, like, Hey, we’re going to take this and try and do themselves. I would guess most of those people end up coming to you anyways. You’re like, this is a lot, right. You know, a construction company may not be experts at, at documenting procedures. So let’s say you, you roadmap it out and then your team will take all that and create these procedures and systems. So that. Anyone can follow it and then you roll it out to their team to then, okay. Look at it, make any changes and then you basically make the modification step. And the last is just embedding it into the culture so that everyone can use it. And then it’s kind of like a rinse and repeat. So you go back to here’s. What I discovered from your, the whole process here is. The next quarter where we should focus. It’s not the estimating team. It’s the onboarding team for new staff or something like that.
Adi: Absolutely. Yeah. It’s the operations is the, it’s the HR. I agree, because there is all the aspects of the organization, which can be anywhere from, you know, the leadership, the HR, the estimating, the production, you know, the business development, et cetera. Yeah. Now one of the things that. I forgot to mention is, and it’s a key component is when we do that, we always, I can tell you like almost a hundred percent, we always find points of improvement, things that they are not doing, things that they can be doing, maybe automate some of it, maybe using system, you know, like, a software that they are not using, or maybe there is something in the sequence that we can change that can make it easier. Maybe we find that the estimator. Goes twice to the job site, as opposed to, or the prospective job site or prospective customer. And they can only go once if we actually combined that process right there, that’s a lot of time saved because if you look at like, let’s say you have a team that, each one of them say, let’s say you have a team of five. And each one of them saves 10 minutes, like an action saves 10 minutes. What together is 50 minutes. It’s almost an hour. Right? So you look at it that way. Like how can we save time? How can we make it more efficient? How can we improve the customer? Or the client experience, you know, it’s and again, going back to the culture, it’s, whatever is important for that particular company. That’s what we’re going to concentrate on. So if quality and the customer experience is very important too. It’s number one, there might be areas to improve efficiency, but they’re not going to align with the customer, with the customer experience. We’re not going to go there, but there might be areas that are, and we’re going to talk about those.
Jeremy: What are some, that’s a great point because when you uncut, when you map it out, there’s stuff that you can cut out or there’s stuff you can do automate to save time and money. What was, what’s been some examples of outcomes, like for a construction company, whether it’s in time saved or dollars. I don’t know how probably different companies measure it differently. What would be an example? Some examples.
Adi: Well, accounts receivable is a big one, you know, when we go and we document the processes and procedures for accounting, it’s usually when we go to accounts receivable, we see that there is, something missing in the procedures on how they collect the money that is owed. So either they’re not asking at the end of the job or the show, they should collect immediately on site or they are not following up. So that always results with more money. In another example, within the estimating is the follow-up. The follow-up is, if you don’t have a procedure, how to follow up your follow up on some you don’t follow up on others. So if we actually start implementing the process of following up on leads, you increase your ability to close
Jeremy: Yeah, so accounts receivables, huge, follow, you know,
Adi: It can be any area.
Jeremy: Conversion. Yeah. So why wouldn’t every accounts receivable department hire you then? But like, I mean, when you’re like, well, we could actually cut steps out. We could actually cut down your accounts receivable. That’s real dollars in, and that’s that’s cash flow for a business.
Jeremy: Is there, is there a common ones that you find, like you mentioned sales, I’m wondering if you’ve seen a common pathway of okay. You, you get the why and then you’re in this big, what’s the biggest impact. Do you find a common trend? Like, okay, first we attack the sales department, then we attack accounts receivable. Is there what’s the usual, like a typical hierarchy of what you, what, what companies decide to do first, second, third in, in their quarters.
Adi: You know, there is, I, I want to qualify that because we’re not cookie cutters, so. That’s why the interview, because different people, different companies have a different set of circumstances. So, you know, definitely operations finance meeting are the top three that we start with usually. But it really depends because let’s say you have an employee, a key employee that has been with the company for very long and they are about to retire and they happen to be. In the IT department. Well, that’s what we’re going to start, right? Because that’s the biggest pain point or let’s say for instance, you know, there is a disorganized, the sales is not organized and we’re bringing on a new estimator and we don’t know how to train them. We definitely want to start there. So. It really depends on the set of circumstances. I, you know, I ideally unusually the companies will do them all, but we have to start somewhere that will give them the biggest return on investment or the biggest bandaid on whatever is going wrong or not going as right. And then take it from there.
Jeremy: That makes perfect sense. But the first of all, I have one last question, and I appreciate you sharing. Your methodology and how you think about these problems, because these are really create huge solutions for companies when they map this stuff out. Before I ask the question, I encourage people to check out more episodes of the podcast. You’ve had some amazing guests and, you know, they’ve shared some of their secret sauce themselves. And check out the website, that I mentioned earlier, bizsuccesscg.com. Well, last question, Adi is about software tools. And maybe people you admire in the productivity space that, cause you have a lot of knowledge swimming around in your head. So what are some of the software tools or people in the productivity space that you really respect?
Adi: So software, I love to document the processes and procedures using. Documentation software, and I have several softwares that they use. I love SweetProcess a lot of my clients use that, like Whale, W H A L E, so usewhale.io that’s a newer. Software, but it is, it works great. And I also have plants that use that. It’s very flexible. It’s very usable user-friendly and there are others, you know, there are definitely there’s ProcessStreet, et cetera. So there are definitely companies out there. And I always, you know, I have knowledge with those different software. So I advise my clients, which one will be the best fit for their needs. So. That’s something that I love doing. I love researching it and finding out I have a wealth of productivity tools because that’s what I do, you know? That’s and that’s something that they use when. I work with my clients, you know, I’m, have knowledge of CRMs and, task management systems, email productivity et cetera. But I think this is really an we’re going to do that. That’s going to be like a whole podcast by itself. And I think you and I actually did a podcast. About productivity tools, which was a lot of fun so we can also direct people to that podcast because we named them and list them. And we went over, the different productivity tools that we like, and we just love those. So…
Jeremy: They always change, so I figured I get what’s top of mind for you lately.
Adi: So I think that process documented it’s right. They do change, but we like, you know, the text expander and still like Monday and a Asana monday.com and Asana and the CRMs. And, you know, I use personally, I use Pipedrive. I like that, but there are many others that, I’m going to use. And again, just because I’ve seen different clients use different ones. I can also, give my own personal advice based out of my experience on how to do that. And we do use, whatever the client is using. You know, if we’re not recommend, we’re not we’re agnostic in terms of like, which one are we going to use? And. I love using different ones because it gives me the experience and the exposure to different tools. So it’s not a problem using it. You know, I’ve documented, SAP and, SAGE and, you know, it’s like different ERP systems. I mean, I can just a lot, many different ones and it’s way too. To get familiar with them, because again, we don’t, we are not consultants that consult how to use a specific system. We are consultants that consult on the process itself and the client is the one who decides on the software to use.
Jeremy: Yeah. And then doing the execution as well. Yeah. So first of all, thank you. Adi people check out more episodes of the podcast, check out the website and, we’ll see you on the other side. So thanks Adi.
Adi: Thank you, Jeremy, always great to see you and talk to you.