Like you, I’ve started a business – as a matter of fact, two LLCs and two not-for-profits. Like you, I experienced the pains of the start-up, including idea to inception, finance, brand, and more.

There are three key processes that we all need, and those are

  • Management
  • Strategy
  • Operations

All of these are tightly integrated. The management process provides a framework for hiring, training and managing people to get results. The strategic process defines your short-term, as well as long-term goals, where you want to take your business (earnings, sales, and revenues), and how you will get there. The operational process provides the roadmap, tools, and resources for getting there.

Think GPS! – you plug it in, or bring it up on your device, and it takes you where you want to go. It systematically takes you to your final, or perhaps interim, destination.

Let’s consider these examples:

  • McDonalds – not the most-healthy, but certainly systematized
  • Nordstrom – why does it work, often better than the competition?
  • Costco – what makes it consistent across markets?

They are very different businesses; yet, the common denominator among them is a system – and that is something that took me years to learn in my own business. How far could you go in your life, on the highway, or in your business without a map- without clear goals, short and long-term goals.

Like you, I started a business or two, and early on, perhaps you also utilized fly by the seat of your pants management. Maybe you worked in your business rather than on your business, or perhaps you managed by exception.

What I know is that Integration, Standardization, and a Steam-lined System yield Results!


  1. Replication
  2. Charting the organizational process
  3. Acculturation
  4. Operations based on guiding principles
  5. Consistency reduces risk and uncertainty
  6. Success often comes from simplicity


  1. Analyze each process
  2. Identify gaps
  3. Develop a process
  4. Nurture cooperation
  5. Establish performance benchmarks
  6. Roll out the plan
  7. Monitor and evaluate progress
  8. Consider outsourcing what cannot be done in-house

Streamlining the Systems

  1. Analyze your steps
  2. Identify gaps in efficiency and productivity
  3. Develop a solid plan to redesign and formalize processes
  4. Nurture relationships with partners, investors, managers, and employees
  5. Prepare for change
  6. Establish performance benchmarks


I understand how you feel and what you are thinking. I, too, felt overwhelmed by what needed to get done. I found, and documented in B is for Balance, 2nd edition, that you need to recognize the need for help, know when to ask for it, and understand how to use it. You are not alone! Nor, do you have to go it alone; you’ve got a friend, a peer, and several of them – ask me how!

This content was originally shared, live, with #EPWNG.