You should know what business you’re in, what your company will look like when it’s finished, what your product it is (and it ISN’T English lessons), who your customer is and you should know how much money you will need to live happily ever after. Well done.

Next come the tasks that need to be done in the business to achieve the mission, to make a profit to give you they money you need to be able to lead a life that will make you happy.

Most people get the next bit upside-down. They look for and recruit people they think are good, and then given them jobs they think they might like, or might be good at. It invariably ends up in a mess.

It needs to be done the other way around.

The first thing to do is to document all the things you know how to do now: all the things you and any staff are doing now.

Then you need to analyse precisely what needs to be done to achieve the mission – how it needs to be done, how it will be measured – and write it all down in processes or systems and put them into an operations manual. (You’ll probably discard some things from the above step.)

You need to assign those jobs to a role, give each role a title, then write job descriptions for them.

Finally, the people can be brought in.

You may well be a self-employed teacher-owner-operator. You may be doing all of the jobs you’ve identified, but you will not do them forever. Further, you cannot give them all away at once.

It’s also very important to remember that you are also the shareholder – but when you step below the line that divided the shareholders from the company, and step inside the actual business itself, you become an employee.

In fact, you are probably multiple employees. If you hand out the flyers, clean the classroom and teach the lessons, those are three jobs that may one day be done by three different employees (or outsourced or done by robots).

You should be appointed separately to those roles and be accountable as such.

In one of those roles you have to think like an employee, and being an employee, you’re accountable to someone who is ultimately accountable to the CEO, who is accountable to the shareholders.

Within the organisation everybody is accountable to somebody. Note, again, responsibility has to be taken; only authority can be granted.

Let’s just assume that you are an English school teaching adults and children both general English and test prep.

You need to get students, and you need to keep them.

Getting students falls under CRM, as does keeping them.

However, without providing the right courses, which the DoS is in charge of, you will not meet the needs of your market, and so the CDO and the DoS need to talk to each other.

You have rent, bills and salaries to pay. You may have suppliers. You need to keep books and do a budget. You have to be profitable; otherwise there’s no point and you may as well lock up and go home right now.

Finance, of course, comes under the CFO.

You need to define every single task involved in getting new customers to take those well-matched courses through the door, keeping them, ensuring they are looked after, their fees are collected and banked, your expenses and salaries are paid, your staff are happy, your customers are happy, you contribute to the wider world and you make a profit.

It may be that once you’ve done all of this, identified every single task and written it all down, that you perform every single role. However, this will not always continue. The work will stay the same, but the people who do it will change. That is how you delegate and expand.

We will look at a specific part of the business and the systems for it next time.


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