Where to Start Building Your Scalable Ops
Does scaling your business feel overwhelming?
Because building your systems… is overwhelming.
Building all the tech and automations to scale… is overwhelming
Building and managing a team to get you there…is overwhelming.
Because how are you supposed to actually put them into place?
I get it – building all the systems, hiring all the team members, and upgrading all the tech that you need to scale your business is a very big ask, especially when it seems like they need to be all done at once.
But here’s the thing that no one talks about: scaling (even when you have a team of VAs, OBMs, and high-level consultants doing it for you) NEVER happens all at once…
Scaling really happens in phases.
No one really talks about this because for your coach, your mentor, your business beastie, or your mastermind looking back, it’s easy to lump all that work into a single period of time…
And it’s just not as exciting to read “I build the systems to work 4 hours a week…over 4 years.”
But in reality, it’s far, far, FAR more likely that they build their systems, their team, their tech, their automation – their ops – in phases.
So if you are overwhelmed with the idea of building your ops to scale and not really sure where to start, start here by identifying what scaling phase you’re in and what you need to focus on right now.
🏗 Scaling Phase 1: Stabilize
You have to crawl before you walk and walk before you run.
This is the crawling stage where there is a lot of “figuring it out” and a lot of “making it work, and it doesn’t feel solid or consistent.
And some of the key hallmarks of this phase are:
🙈 Overwhelm or overworking
🙈 Messiness or disorganization
🙈 Not enough clarity about how you want the business to run
🙈 Every new software, strategy, or hire seems like it’s going to THE thing that makes your business easier to run.
It’s really hard to start building your operations foundation – create systems, automate, hire the right people, and delegate with trust when you’re not even clear on HOW you want to operate.
And this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a beginner either.
One of my clients had a multi-6-figure marketing agency that had a full team, but was still working to the max, and they struggled to answer when I asked how they turned a lead into a customer.
So if you are in this phase, your priorities are to stabilize your business and create some breathing room by:
1️⃣ Getting clear on how you want the core functions of your business to operate and cutting the excess.
2️⃣Preparing to delegate with trust by using lock core tech and building good organizational habits.
🏗 Scaling Phase 2: Solidify
Ok, so you’ve made it through the stabilizing phase, you’re clear on how you want to operate, you’re more organized, and you’ve cut out the excess work.
In this phase, you have some breathing room and your business doesn’t feel like a disaster du jour.
You know how you want to get work done and you’re passing it off to your team…
BUT execution and results are inconsistent because…
The process is too loose.
Someone forgets to execute.
And things are done a little differently every time.
You know what you want, but you haven’t found a foolproof process to get there.
Like a recent client of mine who knew they had a great onboarding process…but sometimes, the welcome didn’t go out or their team forgot to schedule second strategy sessions so they could never really trust their team or their onboarding process.
This phase is about creating the most efficient way to do work and handing it off to your team so you can solidify your ops foundation.
And working with a team is critical in this stage because they will show you exactly where the operating gaps are AND help you develop the leadership skills that make delegating and scaling possible.
So if you’re in this phase, your focus is working with your team to solidify your ops by:
1️⃣Testing your ops processes with your team to fill in the gaps, the cracks, and the places where you’re not quite getting the results that you want.
2️⃣Learning what you need as a manager and including those needs into your processes.
🏗 Scaling Phase 3: Scaling
This is the phase where most coaches and gurus tell you to start in.
This is the phase they’re talking about when they tell you to write SOPs and delegate, delegate, delegate…
…All of which is difficult if you haven’t gone through the previous stage.
This is where I see business owners trying to pass off tasks, but not trusting the work will get done to their standards because they never got used to working with a team or what they needed to securely lead, manage, and delegate with control.
This is also where I’ve seen business owners who don’t know how they want their businesses to run get frustrated because it’s hard to know when they’re “done” or if you’ve done it right.
BUT if you’ve gone through phases 1 and 2, this phase is easy.
You know what their end results should be.
You know the fastest and most foolproof way to get the results you want.
You know what it’s like to work with a team.
And you know what you need to delegate and trust.
So your focus when you hit this phase is scaling by:
1️⃣Drafting SOPs (I do NOT advise you to write SOPs before this point).
2️⃣Delegating whole processes and projects, and leaning more into your team running things without you.
These phases break down the scaling process into manageable steps so you can integrate them without massive disruption to your business.
So you have confidence that the processes produce the results you want every single time.
You’re able to lead your team, communicate what you want done, and they can do it for you.
You trust your team to execute whole projects/they can manage whole processes.
You’re also looking to delegate decision-making and management activities.
Your team is honed in just to get things done for you; makes things happen.
Which is ultimately the goal, isn’t it?
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