We couldn’t have had a better boarder. Billy Burchell would come every week from McLeod Lake to live with our family while he went to school. He would arrive on Monday for school and take the bus back on Friday after school.
Billy was in shock for the first few months he lived with us because he had no siblings and our house, filled with seven kids including four boys, was wildly active.
Billy loved to bake and every Thursday evening for years, he would bake – cookies and pies, bars and snacks. Almost inevitably, halfway through his recipe, Billy would remember it was Thursday night, and that he was going home the next day and wouldn’t be able to eat the bakes of his labour. We would tease him and laugh at his mix-up of the days, he thinking it was Wednesday and all.
As the years went on, I lost touch with Billy. He got married, had a couple of boys, started his own company and was very successful. I hope Billy still bakes but one of the reasons why he was the best boarder was his recipe for success. Billy went out of his way to do things for others. In hindsight, I wonder if he always knew it was Thursday night when he started baking and that was his gift to us every week.
What’s the recipe for your success? All of us have one. What is it that you do that really makes people like you or want to work for you? What’s the reason you’re able to get some things done that others can’t? Or what enabled you to end up where you are? Why were you able to accomplish the things you’re most proud of?
One of the keys to success in business is consistency. So we need recipes for success, too. We need step-by-step processes that allow us to get the best results every time we do things.
When our customers come in, will they get the same great service every time? A service or product that they can’t rely on for consistency will be a failure.
But imagine if you had a step-by-step recipe that your employees could follow that guaranteed results. Think about the confidence they would have in making and delivering that product or service. They would know it would turn out great. That would reduce their stress and yours, because they would have clarity about the expected results and the steps they need to follow to get there.
Now imagine if you had to write down that recipe.
Perhaps it’s how to deal with your customers, make your product or serve your clients. It could be how you receive your orders, pay the bills or do your annual marketing plan.
Whatever it is, there are steps you follow that enable you to be successful. Transferring that knowledge to your employees allows them to do the work exactly the way you want it done. By following your steps to success, every time they complete that task they’ll get the same results.
Write down those steps. Creating these systems, these processes, these recipes for your success, doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the simpler the steps, the more concise the process and the better the results. It should be just like the recipe Billy followed for making cookies.
One of the recipes to the success of many businesses is that they can transfer these key ideas, processes and systems from one person to another. Once they’re written down, you train your staff to ensure they know that “This is how we do it around here.”
Adding a level of accountability, making it a checklist or having some level of answerability ensures that the process is followed.
Finally, we want to put all these recipes in one book, an operations manual. Having this manual creates a valuable business because anyone can come in and follow the process, your system, and get great results. You can franchise it or sell it, and you can transfer the knowledge to another buyer or another location.
Writing down your recipes for success enables others to be successful — a valuable asset.
Billy was successful because he followed simple recipes that made people love him. What’s your recipe for success that makes your customers love you, that gives you a consistent, reliable result every time?
You know it … now write it down!
David Fuller, MBA, is a certified professional business coach and author who helps business leaders ensure that their companies are successful. David is author of the book Profit Yourself Healthy.