There's a reason why McDonald's are so successful...why they have grown from one restaurant in the backwaters of Illinois, to 34,000 restaurants, and counting around the globe.
You can look at society's ever increasing need to have their food fast; you can talk about how much kids love their Happy Meals; you can even put it down to the fact that they are a very affordable choice during a recession.
But the truth is that the majority of McDonald's initial and continued success can be attributed to the combination of passion + people + process.
So why don't more businesses copy their formula..?
There are so many successful businesses out there...with great products and great people...that have grown from a ‘one man band’ to find themselves with a team, a group of loyal customers and a pretty ok turnover. Life should be good....
But instead the owners find that as the team has grown, so has their workload. What used to work well when they were small, now just isn't and they've become less efficient.
Costs have gone up...profits have gone down.
They have good people but they just don’t trust them to do the job like they would and end up wasting time checking up on them and duplicating their work.
Without realising it, they've become a Wacky Races operation where everyone is going in roughly the same direction, but in their own way and at their own speed, when what they set out to be was a Formula One operation - a high performing team where everyone knows exactly what they are doing, how it fits into the bigger picture, and that they are responsible for doing it to a high standard.
That’s the sort of operation that needs a strong platform of process and systems. The sort of operation that McDonald's has built their success on.
As a small business you need to know where you're inefficient and where you're duplicating effort and how to tweak or redesign your process and systems to make real and significant impact on your team and your bottom line.
There are only four key areas in your business where you need to look...areas where you can either save money or make more money.
Firstly, there's your operation...is it as lean as it could be?
Where are you duplicating effort?
How are you using IT to support your people, and is it the right IT?
Where is the crazy ‘but we’ve always done it this way’ system in your operation?
Next your people systems...
What sort of training do you have in place?
How do you manage and reward performance?
How do you root out poor performers and keep your whole team engaged?
Thirdly, your service model...is it built around your customer?
Are you giving them the sort of experience from ‘introduction to invoice’ that will make sure they come back for more?
And finally your financial controls...the numbers that you are focusing on, the reports you are asking for. Do you have a dashboard of information that highlights the key areas needing your attention on a monthly basis and keeps you focused on continuous improvement.
1 in 3 businesses fail in their first three years...the average small business wastes around £2500 pm through inefficiency and waste...and even the successful business owner stunts their own growth by being far too busy working in the business to work on it.
Having simple, logical and repeatable processes and systems gives your people the opportunity to grow, develop and take personal responsibility...and gives you more time, more control and more profit.
If you have the ambition, it could even see you grow your business through franchising to McDonald's proportions!
And why not...?!
Contact Marianne Page Limited at firstname.lastname@example.org
Marianne is the author of three books, and is currently working on her fourth, whilst regularly writing her blog, we hope you enjoy it :-)