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How to Systematize Your Business for Scalability

Michael S Melfi

Intellectual Property Attorney at Melfi Associates
Michael S. Melfi, J.D., MBA, is an attorney with Bodman PLC who represents emerging companies and established businesses in a wide array of technology and corporate matters. He has extensive experience mentoring, counseling and securing funding for entrepreneurs, inventors, startups and small businesses and their disruptive technologies. His passion is guiding and supporting emerging companies and entrepreneurs and has authored four books aimed to help entrepreneurs gain a better understanding of often seemingly complex areas. Michael is a partner at Bodman PLC, one of the Midwest’s leading business law firms, that provides counsel to some of the region’s most successful companies and individuals on a broad range of issues.

It is equally as important to systematize your business as it is to systematize your personal life. As humans, we are what we habitually do. Our success, our fulfillment and our day-to-day happiness is a result of the actions we take on a consistent basis. As humans, we’re constantly fighting the battle between keeping the patterns that drive us forward, and changing the ones that hold us back. The same holds true for beliefs in our life. You most likely experience similar beliefs, values, thoughts, emotions and actions on a daily basis. Very rarely do people change the patterns in their life.

Based on a recent lesson from Jesse Henry of Be Investable, there is a quick system that will help you systematize not only your business, but every area of your life: COWS.

Categories

According to Henry, your life is split up into different categories. You can picture these different categories as folders on your personal hard drive. The “C” in COWS stands for categories, because everything you do falls into specific categories, which may include:

  • Your company
  • Your mindset and emotions
  • Your health
  • Your fun
  • Your spirituality
  • Your relationships
  • Your mission
  • Your growth

Don’t get too stuck on the above categories because the reality is, you have your own set of categories. For those asking, “what do all these have to do with my business?”, your business has categories, too. Within your company category you may have marketing, sales, operations, customer support, accounting, human resources and content creation. These are many different folders within your business, and it’s your responsibility to clearly identify each category your business must take into account in order to succeed.



Outcome

The “O” in COWS stands for outcome. Once you know each of the categories within your personal and professional life, set an outcome for them. As you go through all of your different categories, you may begin to realize that you don’t have outcomes and goals for all of the different sections of your personal life and your business! Try setting outcomes 100 days ahead, which is a little more than three months. The reason I say 100 days is because if you get one percent closer to your goal every day, after 100 days, you’re there.

Why

Now that you’ve identified each of your categories and the outcome for each of those categories, you have to figure out why you want those outcomes. That’s the “W” in COWS. It’s no secret that purpose-driven people are more likely to succeed in their endeavors than non-purpose driven people. Once you understand why you want what you want (whether it’s in your personal or professional life) the how becomes quite easy. When you’re driven by a why, you’ll do most anything to accomplish your outcome. You’ll get rid of excuses and all the reasons you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t get what you want. Once you find your why, the excuses go out the window.

Strategy

The last part, the “S” in COWS, stands for strategy. Don’t come up with one big convoluted strategy right now; that’s not what this exercise is about. Try something really simple instead; stop trying to do 1,000 things to attain a result. I just need you to focus on doing one specific thing, and do it right. Under each outcome, identify the one strategy you need to implement over the next 100 days in order to make sure you hit that outcome.

Change can be one of the hardest things for people to recognize. Implementing that change is an entirely different story. Recognize that change is what makes you investable. Before you start changing, you have to get crystal clear about who you are as a business entity, and as an individual. The COWS lesson is a great way to get the necessary details down to develop a clear vision.

Once you’ve wrangled in the COWS, you are ready to really scale your business.



Systematize your business summary

Every businessperson has heard that to really grow a business, they have to be able to scale the business model. There are many techniques and methods, books and online classes that are readily available to teach anyone willing to learn and most of them are pretty good.

With so many ways to systemize a business, we’ve outlined a fairly easy and failsafe way to set up systems so that a business can grow and scale. It’s one of those hacks that is simple to remember and even simpler to follow. Utilizing this simple principle will help even the busiest, most distracted entrepreneur to establish realistic systems that are scalable as the business grows.

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