If you’re trying to grow your business or your business is sucking up all your time and life, autopilot is the answer.
The best businesses are on autopilot.
Let's imagine you are a pilot and you're about to fly a Boeing 747 Christchurch to LAX.
Your job is to fly the plane, but there are lots of other distractions that can disrupt you. Direction needs adjusting, air control wants to change the schedule, a passenger is sick. Perhaps you had an argument with your honey this morning or are just having a bad day.
You’re just one person, so how can you handle everything? Enter the most amazing invention - the super dupa autopilot - an automated system that will fly the plane without 12 hours of your constant, unwavering attention. The beauty of this system is it can be turned on or off at any stage.
For the bulk of our flight to LAX, the plane is on autopilot. Fewer errors and more time to focus on the bigger picture.
In some or most situations, the autopilot is even better than a highly trained pilot. Smoother, more efficient, and having a backup for the pilot makes us feel safer at 30,000 feet as we look out the window at the fluffy white clouds of possibility.
What happens in your business if you grip the controls too tightly?
If you hold on too tight, you have to run a whole business all by yourself. That’s kind of crazy!
- Working long hours: nights, weekends... your family have forgotten what you look like.
- Wearing all the hats from driving sales to pushing marketing to hours of endless paperwork to collecting money and everything in between.
- Exhausted and frustrated.
- Not enough cash in the bank when you need it and cashflow headaches abound.
- Staff often grumpy and inefficient and everyone wanting a piece of you because all the numbers and systems are in your head.
- Just to name a few.
What can autopilot do for your business?
When we’re talking about autopilot – we’re really talking about systems in your business. Get the right systems in place and your business will run more smoothly, more efficiently, more profitably and with way less stress. Your time will be freed up for more time with family – or to focus on important projects to grow the business.
Here are some of the areas you want to start putting on autopilot:
Financials on Autopilot. Systems that ensure good profit and plenty of cash in the bank when you need it.
Marketing on Autopilot. Getting high-quality leads and enquiries coming in every month without relying on you.
Sales on Autopilot. A sales process that consistently converts enquiries to customers without relying on you.
Staff on Autopilot. Checklists and procedures that ensure staff produce consistent quality work even when you’re not around.
Time on Autopilot. Your time scheduled so that there is always time for the important things... Are you controlling your business or is your business controlling you?
Does it really work?
I was talking with a client of mine recently about what happened when we put some systems into their business. By the way, this was a solid, reputable building company with over 30 years of experience, producing top quality work and a reputation to be envied. But their office systems were letting them down, meaning they had to be the pilot a lot more than they wanted.
In their words "things were overwhelming and chaotic". But now they have some good systems in place; they go on holiday for weeks (sometimes over a month at a time) and business is rocking even when they are away! When they come back, everything is running smoothly... solid systems and great staff take care of the business for them.
Now their autopilot is working, so they don't have to. They are still pilots some of the time, but when they want to be, and doing the bits they want to do - not being slaves to their business.
Note: autopilot doesn't mean you're asleep on the job. You still need to be alert and in control. The autopilot will alarm when it’s NOT "business as usual" and you need to take the controls. Staff know when to come to you, or when you check in on the systems and the numbers, you'll know if something needs your attention.
And here’s the real key: Because you’re not exhausted and running from fire to fire, seeing only what’s right in front of you - you're fresh to deal with issues as they arise, and you are able to see the big picture and take advantage of the opportunities you can now see.
So how long could your business be on autopilot for before things go wrong? Anything less than a month is a sign that you need better autopilot - Drop me a line and let’s have a chat.