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The last three weeks I have written about the first five essential secrets to build a business that works…

To recap:

  1. Essential Secret Number One – You Must Have a Vision
  2. Essential Secret Number Two – There Are Only Four Ways to Grow a Business
  3. Essential Secret Number Three – You Must Have a Strategic Plan of Action
  4. Essential Secret Number Four – What you Measure, You Can Manage
  5. Essential Secret Number Five – Creating a Difference


This week, I will write about…

Essential Secret Number Six – Performance Standards

The secret is that most businesses have no standards. They just do it the way they learned in the past. It is not by design.

Consequently, there is no consistent pattern of performance that a customer can expect.

As a result, they experience something different every time.

This problem gets bigger as the business grows.

The solution is to create simple performance standards – created with your Team – that you can use as a tool for performance.

Even better – share them with your customers – and let them be the judge of how well you are doing.

Performance standards make it easy to manage your business – because now you can see when they are being done or not.

Performance Standards must be written down so that people can memorize or refer to them and new employees can be trained in them.

They must be simple and easily duplicated.

They can be managed.

For example – we have a very detailed set of performance standards to answer the phone.

One of the standards is to – “answer the phone on the second ring”.

This is a Performance Standard that is based in physical reality. It either is being performed, or not being performed. You can observe it and measure it in physical reality.

It is not an emotional, feel-good motherhood statement.

When anyone is not performing to the standard, it stands out like a sore thumb…

Performance Standards are designed to:

  1. Create consistency in the outcomes you are committed to produce.
  2. Give you a tool to train new people with.
  3. Create a culture that is bursting with energy and awesome service.
  4. Be measurable.
 Essential Secret Number Seven – Systems

If you’re not working on your business, you are working in it.

The secret is to work on your business and create powerful simple systems that work. A great business has a system manual – it is the blueprint for “this is how we do it here.”

After you have your systems created, outsource everything you do not like or are not good at. That means the bookkeeping, the administrative work, the emails, the phone calls, the event management…. all of it!! Leave yourself the fun, inspiring and important work.

Systems, like Performance Standards, are designed to create a way of doing things in your business. This “way of doing things should be unique and designed to create high-quality outcomes for your customers/clients in your products, services, aftermarket service, and delivery.

The system is your business. Your business is the system.

Think of a franchise, like McDonalds. When you invest in the McDonalds business franchise, what you are truly investing in is their systems.

A business that is not dependent on systems, is by default dependent on you, and on your people.

The more time you spend working IN your business the lower the value of your business.


Because potential investors will see the amount of time you are putting into your business. They want to buy a system that will give them a consistent rate of return based on their investment, not their personal time investment.

Thank you for reading…