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What is your recipe for success?

David FullerWe couldn’t have had a better boarder! Billy Burchell would come each and every week from McLeod Lake to live with our family while he went to school. He would arrive Monday for school and would 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 other siblings but our house, filled with seven kids, including four boys, was wildly active. Billy loved to bake, and every Thursday evening for years, he would take to baking cookies and pies, bars and snacks. Almost inevitably, halfway through his recipe, Billy would remember it was Thursday night and that he was going back 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, thinking it was Wednesday and all.

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As the years went on, I lost touch with Billy. He 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 Billy always knew it was Thursday night when he started baking and that was his gift to us each and every week.

What is the recipe for your success? All of us have one! What do you do that makes people like you or want to work for you? What is the reason you can 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 are most proud of?

In business, we need recipes for success too. We need to have step-by-step processes that allow us to get the best results each and every time we do things. One of the keys to success in business is consistency. When our customers come in, will they get the same great service every time? A service or product that they cannot rely on for consistency will be a failure!

But imagine if you had a step by step recipe that your employees could follow that would guarantee results. Think about the confidence they would have in making and delivering that product or service. They would know that it would turn out great. That in itself 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.

Imagine now if you had to write down that recipe. Perhaps it’s how to deal with your customers, make your product, or serve them. It could be how you receive your orders, pay the bills, or do up your annual marketing plan. Whatever it is, there are steps that you have followed that have enabled you to be successful. Transferring that knowledge to your employees allows them to do the work exactly the way you want it done. As a result, by following your steps to success, every time they complete that task, they will achieve 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 and the more straightforward the process, the better the results will be. It should be just like the recipe Billy followed for making cookies.

One of the recipes for the success of many businesses is that they can transfer these key ideas, processes and systems from one person to another. Once they are written down, you train your staff to ensure they know that “This is how we do it around here.” Adding a level of accountability and making it a checklist ensures that the process is followed.

The final step is to write all these recipes in a book called an “operations manual”. Having an operations manual creates a valuable business because, now, anyone can come in and follow the process, the system, and your unique system and get great results. You can franchise it, you can sell it, 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 is your recipe for success that makes your customers love you and gives you a consistent, reliable result every time? You know it … now write it down!

Dave Fuller, MBA, is an award-winning business coach and a partner with Pivotleader Inc.

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