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The Bus Rule


Welcome to another edition of Five Minute Friday! Today, I want to explore a rather unusual, albeit important, scenario — what if you suddenly couldn’t manage your business? It’s a scenario we seldom like to consider, dubbed the “Bus Rule,” but preparing for it is crucial for any entrepreneur aiming for long-term success and resilience.

The Bus Rule

Why Consider the “Bus Rule”?

Imagine this: you’re unexpectedly unable to run your business. This could be due to a myriad of reasons — health issues, family emergencies, or other unforeseen circumstances. Could your business continue without you at the helm, even temporarily? If the answer is uncertain, it’s time to think about solidifying your business’s operational foundation.

Building a Solid Foundation

In my conversations with business owners, when they encounter growth plateaus, their instinct is often to look externally — more social media exposure, increased advertising, etc. However, the solution often lies within. To build a “skyscraper” business, one must first deepen its foundation. This ensures that as your business reaches new heights, it remains stable and secure.

Implementing the “Bus Rule”

The “Bus Rule” focuses on having clear, accessible operational plans. Here’s how you can start:

  1. Create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs): Identify the three to seven critical daily tasks that are the core drivers of your business. This could include inventory management, order processing, customer service protocols, opening and closing routines, and your marketing strategies.
  2. Document Everything: As you perform each task, document the process. This can be done through written instructions, step-by-step guides, or even video recordings. Tools like Google Docs or Loom can be instrumental here. The key is to capture the details so that someone else could step in and perform these tasks without prior experience.
  3. Keep Your Documentation Updated: Whenever you tweak a process, update your documentation to reflect these changes. This keeps your operational manual current and more useful.

The Power of Preparation

This approach does more than safeguard your business against your sudden absence; it also sets the stage for scalability. By having detailed SOPs, you can more effectively train new employees, delegate responsibilities, and manage quality control. It turns the daunting task of training and onboarding into a streamlined, efficient process.

A Tool for Growth

Consider your operational document not just as a contingency plan but as a living tool that helps streamline training and operations. This not only prepares your business for unexpected events but also supports growth by making it easier to onboard new team members and maintain consistency in your operations.

Take Action

Start by tackling this project bit by bit. Dedicate a few minutes each day to document a process, refine an SOP, or record a procedure. Over time, you’ll build a comprehensive guide that not only secures your business’s future but also enhances its operational efficiency today.

In This Episode

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