In this episode, Erik shares how important to create your franchise prototype.
Erik J. Olson (00:01):
Documenting simple processes. What is happening? This is Erik J. Olson. There is a book that I listen to twice. I really need to buy it and read it, is what I mean. But I listen to it in Audible. It’s called E-Myth Revisited is the version that I listen to. That’s Michael Gerber. It’s like one of these classic books that if you’re in business, you really need to read it. It’s a fable. So it’s a story of where he is as a business coach. He interacts with just one and only one customer in the story. The story is a lady who is running a bakery and she’s really struggling. She has to work her ass off as always. Her so’s have enough money and she doesn’t understand why. When she hires people, they just don’t work out and things like that. And he goes through chapter by chapter, different things that they need to think about.
But at the end, not even at the end, I’m sorry, after you get into the story, what he talks about is you need to really write down your processes. And he calls it the franchise prototype concept. So imagine, and I’m telling you this story because this is what we’re doing now, imagine that someone came to you and your business, they’re like, Hey, I want to give you money and I wanna franchise your business. Well, you’d have to give them something of value besides being like Alright, well here’s how we do it, I guess kind of sorta. Or we just, we figured it out as we go. <laugh>, no one’s gonna pay you for that. You need to give ’em a binder. You’re like, Here’s the process. Boom, it’s written and here’s how you follow it. Here’s how you enforce it, and I’m gonna give you training. Well, imagine if instead of franchising your business, that was your business, imagine how well your business would run if every single thing was documented like that, right? That would be incredible. So if you do that, then your people will know exactly what to do at all times. There’ll be no confusion about what’s happening. So he says, You definitely need to create that franchise prototype. Now I’m doing exactly that. So just this week I’ve created several processes, and one of them was the requesting time off. Now, hold on.
All right, I’m back. You probably heard that that was a phone call from the wife. I had to take that. So where was I? The franchise prototype. So the franchise prototype, incredibly important. You need that for your business. And like I said, I did that for time off request. Now with the time off request, our employees know how to request a time off. And I was like, Ah, this will be an easy process to document because we’ve been doing it.
Erik J. Olson (02:59):
But the reality is there’s actually several steps. There’s three steps to it. So I had to create three processes, three step. Each step is its own process document, cuz there’s one person that’s responsible. So what I ended up doing just, and I’m communicating this because something that you think is simple, requesting time off, it’s actually pretty complicated. So step one is that the employee requests time off. That’s done. That’s easy. That’s like we knew how to do that. I just had to write two or three steps in there, go to this link, submit the form. Step two though, was completely undocumented, but we were kind of doing this. This is where the supervisor needs to adjudicate the request. Now I say adjudicate instead of rubber stamp, approve, right? So I expect you as a supervisor here to do a couple things. One, look at their task lists.
Is there an issue? If they’re gonna be gone for a couple days or a week, is there gonna be an issue? Are there deliverables that won’t be delivered because they’re gone? Number two, if they’re gonna be gone for a while, is there a plan? What’s the plan? What’s the plan that is in place to cover for them? Number three, do they have any big client meetings on their calendar? Do they need to clear their calendar first? Number four, who’s gonna do their work if it needs to be done while they’re gone? So there’s a lot of things that need to be considered by a supervisor. And I wrote all those expectations down before they either asked the employee to modify their request, change the dates they straight up decline it, which is incredibly rare or approve it. So step number two. Now step number three is if it’s approved, the employee has more work to do.
And what the employee needs to do is they need to prepare for time off. And again, this is an expectation that I have of them. So as an employee, if you’re taking time off, I expect that you are going to do a couple things. One, let your team know. Two, if you’re working very closely with a client at the moment on some project or something, let them know. And then number three, I expect you to set your vacation notification in Gmail. So when someone emails you, you’ll automatically email back saying, I’m on vacation, here’s the next day, I’ll be available. So that’s a small little thing, but don’t tell people when you’re gonna be gone. Cause if you come back on a Saturday or Friday, who care? They only care about when you’re gonna be back in the office working. So even a simple process like requesting time off, it actually turned out to be a little more complicated. But that’s the point of the franchise prototype and the email is that you need to document these things so that it’s very clear to everybody what needs to be done. And when they forget, you point them to the process.