Building Business Systems

October 7, 2021

Building a Business Foundation

Starting your own business can be a rewarding endeavor, and if done properly, can provide revenue and success long into the future. But just like anything worthwhile, it takes perseverance, strategy, and commitment. One of the most important aspects to starting a business is setting up a strong foundation on which to grow. Here are a few steps to start your business the right way.

1) The first step is to get started on your systems. Regardless of the industry that your business is in, identifying your business systems is one of the basics. How is the business going to run? To identify systems and processes, look at the steps required to complete a task. For example, a call taking process might look like this:

Phone Rings → Reception answers → Lead, Call Back, or Dismiss

It’s often easiest to tackle this massive step by breaking your business into systems. A system is a series of processes and other systems working together to produce results. So for example, start by breaking your business up into two major systems: Office and Field.

Office systems are any processes that relate to the running of the office, such as leads and bids, CRM, emails, and billing. Field systems are any processes that relate to doing the work, such as pressure washing, window cleaning, and soft washing. 

An alternative method of figuring out your systems is to imagine your company is 10X bigger. Imagine what roles and employees you’d have. Then list out each role and assign a list of tasks. For each task, create processes. Then categorize each into your major categories like Field and Office.

2) Once you’ve created a list of systems and processes, it’s time to work on your procedures. Procedures are the written documentation of your systems and processes, and it takes a lot of time to get right. One of the reasons many new owner/operators don’t have a procedures manual is because of how time consuming and difficult it is to write a coherent, efficient procedures manual. 

The key to writing a procedures manual is to understand its purpose. A procedures manual is a fall-back. It’s the foundation for your business. It eliminates the issue of “he-said/she said” managers, and allows for consistent training and work flow. A good procedures manual is vital to the scalability of your business. 

There are two ways to approach the creation of a procedures manual. One way is to hire a company to help write the manual. This can be expensive but time is money, and doing it yourself may prove to be too time consuming. Hiring a company with a good track record also means their writers are experienced in writing complex procedures in a manner that is efficient and concise for the reader. 

Alternatively you can write it yourself. A few key points if you choose the DIY route:

  • Be sure to be concise. Don’t get tied up in exposition if it is unnecessary.
  • Be clear. Think about each process as though you were reading it for the first time.
  • Avoid assumptions. It can be easy to assume the reader would know what you’re talking about without saying it, but that is not the case. You must write the procedure as though the reader has never heard of anything in your industry before. 
  • Take your time. One of the major advantages of having a procedures manual is to help training new employees without your constant oversight. This is mitigated if the manual is not well-written. If you have to babysit new employees despite having a good procedures manual, then it hasn’t helped eliminate the bottleneck in your business. 

3) The third key to success when starting a business is to follow your own procedures. It can be easy to forgo certain things such as filing or documenting leads and jobs, or making contact lists, or switching to electronic records, but by adhering to your business’s best practices, you help it run smoothly. This is key when you are ready to expand as it means everyone is on the same page, including you. 

A good procedures manual with concise and efficient systems outlined within allows your business to eventually run autonomously, making you the business owner and not the business itself.

Agent Clean Solutions offers high-quality detergents, surfactants, and degreasers for use in the exterior cleaning industry. Originally developed to provide optimal products for Agent Clean franchise, A leader in the cleaning industry, Agent Clean Solutions provides a product lineup useful for day-to-day soft washing, power washing, and window cleaning operations, as well as business and systems training at events around the country. For information regarding this release or our products, contact our office at (855) 927-4243 or email

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