Running your business is tough. It may seem like you are the only one who knows how to run it right — how to correctly respond to customers’s questions, how to coordinate a shipment, how to identify the right leads. These are all things that you spend days doing and nights thinking about.
The truth is, no matter how hard you work, you cannot scale your business by yourself. To scale your operations, you need to take your knowledge, document it, and delegate it so you can focus on the next big challenge.
The most important tool you have is the playbook.
A playbook is a collection of processes, procedures and information that allows you, and more importantly others, to consistently execute operations at a high quality.
Think of a playbook like a recipe. It should be simple to read, and comprehensive enough that anyone can pick it up and successfully work through it on their own.
We have created hundreds of playbooks to help businesses scale their operations.
At Flexscale, we have created playbooks for a number of processes such as:
- Responding to customer questions online.
- Coordinating freight shipments overseas.
- Designing content for Instagram ads.
We have built our own bulletproof framework to take the guesswork out of creating a strong playbook. And now we would like to share it with you so you can easily develop your own.
The 3 components of a playbook are the outcome, the process, and the quality check.
Creating a successful playbook starts with identifying a business process that needs to be scaled or automated. From there you can define the outcome, process steps, and the quality checks.
The outcome is the data-driven goal you are trying to achieve. An ideal outcome should be easily measurable and informative enough that you know how to improve the playbook based on the result.
- If your playbook is about increasing sales leads, then your outcome can be to create 1,000 leads per month. With 20 business days in a month, that means your team has to create 50 leads per day. This is a good outcome because it can easily be measured with a CRM tool like Salesforce, and can be measured every day so you know whether you are on track or not.
- If your playbook is about scheduling appointments by phone, then your outcome can be to have 0 missed calls and to handle each call in less than 2 minutes. This can easily be measured with a tool like RingCentral, and tracking the metrics above can help you understand how to handle calls quicker.
Now that you have defined the outcome(s), you have your north star. It’s now time to document your process, the series of steps that need to be executed in order to achieve the outcome.
As you write down each step, visualize how you would walk through it yourself, and be careful to note down each detail. The more clear and comprehensive the process steps, the easier it is to scale the process.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Keep a straight path: To keep your process as simple as possible, the steps should be numbered and performed in sequence. If there are more than one set of processes to achieve your outcome, then you should probably have more than one playbook.
- Images and Videos: Use images and videos whenever you can to clearly walk through a step. Processes and tools change often, and videos are an easy way to quickly relay a new process.
- No Loose Ends: You want to avoid any process steps in your playbook that leave the person running it not knowing what to do next. Or worse, leave it open to their interpretation.
The Quality Check
The most important, and often ignored, step of a playbook is the quality check. This can be one or more checkpoints during your process that verify that the steps are being followed in a manner that will produce the outcome you want.
Let’s take the example of scheduling appointments by phone from before. Some good quality checks would be:
- Conduct mock calls each week with your team to provide feedback.
- Schedule 1-2 appointments per week yourself so you can better understand the process and keep up to date with customers.
- Have your team keep a tally of customer objections so you can update the playbook with scripts to resolve them.
A great playbook is only as good as the tools it is made with.
A playbook is a living document that will change over the course of your business’s life. Make sure that you are documenting it with the right tools to make it easy to understand, distribute, and update.
At Flexscale, here are some of the tools we use to create playbooks:
- Google Docs or Notion to document playbooks and organize them. It allows easy embedding of images and videos and linking between playbooks.
- Loom lets you quickly record yourself and your screen as you walk through a process, making it easy for people to understand the steps.
- Miro or FigJam make it easy to create a flowchart of a process, so people can get a comprehensive view of how it works.
Now that you have your playbook, time to execute it!
Pairing a great playbook with strong, outsourced talent helps you save money, reduce complexity, and increase efficiency.
We’re here to help you construct a successful playbook and provide you talented operators in order to run it. Reach out to us today to get started!