How to Define Your Company Culture and Systematize Your Entire Business with a Purpose!

Do you want to Define or Improve Your Company Culture? Do you want your business and employees to stand together for a greater purpose? In today’s interview you will Discover how Jamin Arvig, CEO and Founder of WaterFilters.net; an INC 500 Company that now Generates Over $37 Million in Revenue systematized his entire company by first defining it’s culture!

You will discover how to define your company culture and how Jamin makes his company’s culture the focal point of his systematization strategy, and why it is the approach you should consider too. You will also discover how systematization made it possible for Jamin’s business to continue doubling year over year since the beginning.

Jamin Arvig CEO WaterFilters.net

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Tweetable Quote:

 Systems and tools don’t make it so we don’t need to work. They enable us and our employees to do much more! (Click Here To Tweet This Quote)

 

In this Episode You will Discover:

  • The way Jamin creates systems that allowed him to reach the Inc. 500 list.
  • Why company culture matters in defining the processes for your business.
  • How to define your company’s culture and its core values.
  • How to develop a new idea so it can be turned into a process, and how to make sure that this process is congruent with the company culture.
  • How to design the decision making process in your business based on the culture.
  • How to find time to document processes.
  • Why you should encourage your employees to create their own processes.
  • What to do when a given situation is not documented by any process.
  • How to make sure that your team is using the systems you’ve put in place.
  • What exact steps to take to get started with systematization.
  • How to use systems and your company’s culture to decide what products to develop next.
  • The exact workflow diagram Jamin uses to create processes in his business.

 

Noteworthy items Mentioned in this Episode:

  1. Start with Why by Simon Sinek.
  2. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss.
  3. Getting Things Done by David Allen.

 

Episode Transcript:

Owen: Hi, everyone. My name is Owen McGab Enaohwo. And welcome to Process Breakdown Podcast, where I bring on successful entrepreneurs to come on here to reveal how they have been able to create systems and processes for their businesses which have now enabled them to literally run their business on autopilot without their constant involvement. And my guest today is Jamin Arvig, the CEO and founder of WaterFilters.net. Jamin, welcome to the show.Jamin: Thanks for having me.Owen: So let’s just get started. Tell us what does your company do and what’s the big pain that you saw for your customers?

Jamin: We provide water filters and another healthy home product to people that need them and it’s for solving some pretty big problems in doing so. First and foremost, we’re solving the problem with pure water. It’s a major deal corporate, if we’re dealing to this around the world.  Here in Minnesota where we’re based, there’s actually a lot of great pure water but still there are a lot of contaminated areas. There are a lot of water scarcity areas and there are oil alerts or people don’t even realize that they’re not drinking safe water and they actually should be boiling it. The point being that water is a very important thing. There are very few things in life that are more important to humans than water. We try to make that pure for people.

And the way people buy water filters online, it sells some problems that in the past, people I have to deal with. First selection, it’s very difficult for people to find the filter they need out in the world.  It’s a fragmented market. There’s water filters all over the place. So it’s easy through a super store that we offer now to find what they need. It’s still difficult to understand water filtration and the complexity of it but that’s where it’s so critical to have experts, highly trained experts in water flow that can exists people. So that’s the problem that we solve as well. We really just try to make it easy for customers.

Owen: And so that the listeners understand the context of the size of your business. How many employees how many full-time employees you currently have?

Jamin: We’ve got a little over 60.

Owen: Wow. And last year’s revenue, if you don’t mind me asking?

Jamin: A little over $37 million.

Owen: So now, listen, you hear now this is real business, sizable amount of money. And we want to learn how Jamin was able to systematize his entire business. So let’s go back to the lowest point in your business, describe how bad it got so that the listener can understand why you had in need to systematize your business?

Jamin: I don’t know if I’m going to have a perfect example for you but I know throughout the years of this journey but there are lots of pain points and whatever pain points, it becomes more and more important to have structure in place, so with each step that we went through, with each pain point that we eventually solved, it was solved through more structure and more systems that will enable us to streamline things so they could run on their own and we could work on the business more.

Owen: One of the things I’d like to do is whenever I’ve got a guest out and they see a concept or point, I always want to make it more concrete in the mind of the listeners, if you could remember something that can help describe what you just pointed out.

Jamin: When you check about the lowest point, I guess me in my mind goes to the earliest days and the days when there was not much delegation going on and everyone had to do everything themselves. And at that point, we needed to have people and think on their feet and get things done and be creative because there were almost no processes in place.

Owen: When you started out, this was a business that was something you started on your own or you bought the business?

Jamin: Correct.

Owen: So how was it back then in terms of the systemization you had if at all, any?

Jamin: Well, it started from zero. We started the business and so there were of course no processes in place when you start from zero. So maybe let’s take the example of first customer service agent that we hired. They’re probably not just the customer service agents, they’re probably handling several other things too but somehow we need to find time and we need to find time to figure out a few processes for them to help place an order, answer questions, figure out how they get trained in the right way. So eventually we had to deal with all those things and then that person could be a good contributor to the business. And then to me, that was one of the earliest pain points.

Owen: Okay. So you mentioned that one of the ways you went about systematizing your business was you started by creating the kind of like a culture-based workflow prioritizing the feed between the teams and their tasks. Can you explain what you meant by saying that?

Jamin: We have what we call a workflow for the company and it involves a lot of the different processes that we put in place over the years. It can be overwhelming for a new employee that joins the company. They see all the documents and processes and they’re really pulled on together and understand as far as the business work. So we created a workflow diagram that shows how the business runs.

First, everything starts with an idea and then if the idea is bad, it went through a process for example. And then after that, it goes through a culture filter. So we understand our culture very clearly and our core values to make sure any of these ideas are consistent with the culture and our core values. Assuming they are, they would then go to the next level which is to fit into our strategic vision and planning. So we need to understand how it fits in, when it fits in and then we need to allocate resources for that project. We then need to assign it to someone.

So we’ve got one of the documents as an example as a responsibility matrix. So we understand who does what throughout the company. So when something gets to that stage, we’d sign it to someone. It’s very clear what piece of the project each person is doing both during the project phase and then later on in the maintenance phase. Anyway, you get the sense of probably try to pull everything together work for a diagram.

Owen: So let’s see if we can give kind of like a story behind that. You just described the framework you guys use and can you give us with an example of maybe a position that you had to fill in, how it goes through that whole culture workflow, a concrete examples where I’m going to get that.

Jamin: Sure, so maybe one example is a Product Line Expansion. So at one point we expand it from water filters to air filters. So that’s an idea. We’ve got a feasibility study document that we created that has a lot of formulas and systems in place, built them and we had someone model out this idea. And earlier I understand, “Should we even think about it or should we never talk about this again?” So someone models it with the feasibility studies. They do some of these processes. It checks out and it looks like it’s reasonable. We make sure it fits the culture and the vision and the core values of course.

Owen: So it was a culture and a vision? Maybe you can explain that to the listeners.

Jamin: Sure. Well our vision is to bring pure water to people, right? And to make it easy for people to have pure water and in doing so, both improve water and the world. So it’s a very water-focused vision traditionally but there are other things that the same people need to make healthy homes for that balance and so that’s where this particular example comes into play. You know, we want to be careful. Is it within our vision or is it outside of that? So in this case, it was within the vision. So that’s the vision piece as far as the culture and the culture is really driven by the core values that we have in our company and core values are a big discussion. I don’t know if we want to go into that or not.

Owen: Go ahead.

Jamin: At least we can but…

Owen: I want to give the listeners as much meat at into what you’re saying so that they really just know what you’re saying. Go ahead.

Jamin: Sure. So core values are very important. There are a lot of good books out there. There are end speakers that speak on these things but that was some good people that have done incredible things and built incredible cultures at a very large scales and this is critical to them and so we’ve adopted it as well. In fact, maybe it’s not the point that I tell you what our core values are. I think it’s important that everyone understands that the first four values are important. It’s important that people are focused on the values of company and really with the essence of the company.

Owen: So let me even see if I can ask another question because if we’re saying that as an entrepreneur, you can come in and eventually create processes and systems for everything that you do on a repetitive basis and literally your employees are just going to follow the information as to how you want them to do work and why is culture even important? I guess maybe that was the point I want you to make.

Jamin: Sure. That’s the big picture stuff, right? We need to understand what our impact on the world, right? So we can systemize all these things and keep these things streamlined so then we can focus on really impacting the world and that’s what we do through our culture or values.  There’s a good book called Why? I think it’s great. It describes the concept that…

Owen: It’s a book by Simon Sinek?

Jamin: That’s right.
Owen: Okay.

Jamin: It’s not just what you do or necessarily how you do it or even who does it. Those are all good things but it’s why you do it. What is our mission? So that’s a critical thing and when we’re talking about that, we’re talking about our values and who we are or impacting the world and that can drive the other things.

Owen: And I like the fact that you made that point because if you really think about it is it’s kind of like the “why-like” kind of tend to lead towards, what’s the end results you’re trying to achieve for your customers in this case and if you have an end result you’re trying to achieve hence maybe the goal or the culture that you want to portray to push you to reach that result, if you have that end in mind then everything now works backwards from that end, on that end goal. I guess it’s what you’re trying to say right?

Jamin: Right.

Owen: Okay. And so I see the importance of having that is when you have a set of understanding what the culture should be and maybe what the end go should be in this case to provide pure water for the world and you have a culture that is in place to help achieve that then now we can work your way backwards and say, “Okay. What are the different steps involved with the different procedures that will help us achieve that end go, vow or culture?”

Jamin: Right. And I can tell you that the core value behind the culture that we come up with is we need to be right. They need to be the right things that we want around our company with. We need to hire and fire on these core values. So this is as critical as we get these core values defined and defined correctly. So we want to make sure that involve the key leaders and the key rock stars throughout the company and that are models of the values that we want. I want to make sure that it’s critical because we will hire and fire on these types of core values.

Owen: And we’ve been talking about core values. Now I’m sure the listeners are saying, “Okay.  I’m so on this idea.” Let’s talk about what are your core values because it’s always to good to always put a concrete example behind it. If you don’t remember all of them, but the most critical one that all employees who come in have to actually be us, part of to fit the culture.

Jamin: Right.

Owen: Yeah. Give us some example.

Jamin: We’ve got 5. We came up with 5 and I’ll tell you a little bit about the first one. It actually got a few different parts to it but it’s service. So our first core value is service and it’s very important. All of us, we think of grab to “eccentric circles” and at the middle is the people that we are with most often, that’s internally, right?  So servant leadership and servant leadership is the way we’d meet. This is the reason why we’re in best place to work awards. We’re trying to help everyone win and succeeding and we do whatever it takes. There are lots and lots of examples how we do this in our business but this is very important to us.

So servant leadership is the big piece. And then if you expand out to the next people we work with one level further as partners and vendors and suppliers and these are people that are also we need to serve. We want a longer term win-win relationship. It’s very critical. So that’s important. Third, if we expand one level further is, customers. Customers are bosses and we need to keep them happy and we need to do whatever it takes to make sure that we’ve been able to fulfill our promise and more and so we really do have the best policies in place for customers that kind of looking for water filters for experts. We try to make sure we do whatever it takes to make them happy.

Owen: And one of the other example you just mentioned is you speak out one of your core values as one of your culture points and you now broke it down into all the different stakeholders that are affected by, you mentioned your vendors, your customers, even your employees how that core value of service affects all of them and I see the value in that.

Jamin: Right. And then beyond that, beyond those areas that other stakeholders as the world and the greater good and we really do try to make a difference, we’ve tried to sell a product that is good for the world. We tried solo practice. It helps people become more healthy. It has a great environmental impact. There’s lots of ways our product are very very good for people and the world and we’ve done educational outreach, we’ve done disaster relief, we’ve dug a lot of wells to bring pure water to people. It’s things like that that really make it all worthwhile. In Monday morning before the alarm clock comes on, we can get excited because we’re making a difference.

Owen: Definitely. And so, you’ve made the point of how culture fits into the whole thing but then you also mentioned how you made sure that you documented every procedure. Walk us through how you went about doing that because you mentioned that every team has a department, your company has guides as to what they need to do so I guess, let’s dive into that a little bit.

Jamin: Sure. Well, one example is the core values. So we have to document, what those were and then in our hiring process, part of the process is to make sure people picture this. But I can tell you more generally of our structure as opposed in documenting. We’ve got to have that the big buckets to the business to buy that out. And when a business is small, it looks much different than when a business is big. There are a lot of transitions but in any case, you need to bite off the buckets of responsibilities and the things that need to get done by someone at the company. And then you create a document structure, a process structure within each one of those and that’s part of culture.

Owen: Okay. So let’s maybe make it more concrete too. So you basically broke down your business into different structures and then you are going and fill in the whole with maybe creating procedures for each of them. So talk to us about different structures you have in there and how you went about systematizing each part?

Jamin: Sure. Maybe I’ll discuss my services as an example. They’re an integral part of the team that’s really driving how we help customers and of course, and we’ve got large customer service staff that is highly trained, talented people that do great work. And what we need to do to help them be effective is to make sure that it’s very clear, fairly listed of who does what. First, what we need to do to make a great customer service department when you list up all those responsibilities. We need to then assign them to the right people and make sure everyone understands them and make sure it’s very clear. When you do that, it can prevent people from stepping on each other’s toes and it can also prevent things are buying between the cracks. We need to make sure there’s an owner of each of these things. And then you can make sure that we make progress on all these things too, right? So if we know about each of these things and who owns them, you can easily track what’s been done and the progress on each one.

Owen: Okay. So let’s look at it from the standpoint that maybe the business is kind of like a conveyor belt now where the end of the conveyor belt is a happy customer that are happy about the water filter that they have received. But from the other point where the person comes in and they want to buy the product. Maybe that would make it easier for you to work those through the systems that were involved. You know if we know the endpoint is a customer receiving their product, right? And then on the starting point is a customer coming in to the website. So tell the listeners kind of the different departments involved and the different processes in place to make those two things neat. You know what I’m saying, because I really want to get this thing very actionable for the listeners.

Jamin: Right. And I’ll do that. One thing to know it though I think it’s good to think about an org chart or could be an accountability chart or responsibility chart.
Owen: Okay.

Jamin: And so I described one bucket, we’ve break up these buckets right now. Customer service is one of our buckets of responsibilities and so, I’ve got some book and documentation of process around that and each one would have their own. So as in order with flow in, it would first come through technology and into the system and so there will be technological processes around the website. There would be technological processes related to the Internal Systems. Once it comes into our servers, what does it do? You know, it go to the ERP and it would go to the Order Management System, it would go to the Customer and Relationship Management System, etc. So there’s a lot of technology pieces there that are involved even the telephone system, often it’s a customer call involved.

Owen: And if you see me looking down, I’m actually writing so I can ask you more full of other questions but go ahead.

Jamin: So it’s an idea and I’m giving you a few examples on the technologies. So each one of those things is a sub-bucket of responsibilities that someone owns, if someone is an expert on it and we’ve got very clear responsibilities laid out for what those things are and then after I guess take one step further. We’ll talk about the Responsibility List. One step further is the documentation beyond that.  So that responsibility of us is in a sense of table contents for our documentation. So if we talked about the technology person that is in-charge of the website integration process. All right. So that’s one of the responsibilities. Now, if we look at that, we would expand the documentation or that section that would be one piece of documentation for that over our responsibility grouping.

Owen: So you basically put it into a bucket and in each bucket, you basically give a specific person ownership for setting up roles inside that bucket and then you document how they’re going to carry their task. So I’m assuming that because you mentioned technology and all that, there are certain situations where the ownership of a certain bucket might not even be a person, it might even be a machine. Can you give me examples of when that is?

Jamin: Certainly. And that could change over time too. At certain times, things might be owned by a person in a manual process, maybe an example of Manual Order Entry Process from a certain channel. Maybe we need someone to actually and manually enter that order into a system. At some point, they would have gotten integration that was now automated. So we look at our responsibility list and we can cross that off from one department, we can move it over to the technology and they can just make sure that it’s maintained and then that’s great. Now our people in daily customer service as an example can do all their value-added work that they can’t be automated and we can provide more values to customers.

Owen: And also you mentioned that you had several challenges. Maybe I guess maybe I should ask this question. What are the tools are you using to document the procedure? How are you exactly systematizing the different tasks that your employees have to handle?

Jamin: We’ve tried different things. We’ve used several different softwares, tools and I don’t know if I’ll mention all of them here.

Owen: Go ahead. Learn by education.

Jamin: Yeah. I think it’s not so much the tool. In fact a lot of these things can be just a word processing software program and a spreadsheet. A lot of things can be that simple. Once that foundation is built, then you can view the principles into software, some it’s choosy and that’s not the most important part as far as I’m concerned.

Owen: And the next thing now was…

Jamin: We have you know…

Owen: Go ahead. Sorry.

Jamin: Well, that’s fine. I was going to mention that we talked about these pillars as it structure that we have in place. So certain ones maybe accomplished by a software management tool, maybe a task management would be a good example. So a task management needs to be something that you are very very strong at. Maybe a tool can help us with that particular pillar of structure.

Owen: And you mentioned that you also make use of a lot of workflows and flow charts. Give us behind the scene, like how does that work? I mean, maybe explain how you use it in your business?

Jamin: Well, a flow chart is of course a visual aid to describe a process and I think it’s most helpful when there are a lot of decision points that need to happen when there’s a decision tree and there’s many things that we couldn’t do but we’ve got to go through the steps to determine what we should do in a particular instance. And also it can be helpful when there’s multiple responsible parties involved in one process. So perhaps an example would be something manual that we need to do between a quarter, so you provide great service and maybe a particular type of work that comes into your system and it triggers an alert. So if that alert happens then the flow chart would begin. So if someone sees that the alert happened, maybe in customer service and maybe it makes sense to divide the flow chart into columns so as you go down the flow chart, you can have it going to one column for one person’s responsibility than back into the next column for someone else’s responsibility, etc.

Owen: You know, a swimming pool where you have different lanes and different parties are in different lanes or different departments on different lanes and as it goes through it flips back and forth between people, I guess.

Jamin: Right. I mean maybe customer service gets the alerts. They do one thing and process then one of the staffs wants to notify someone in order fulfillment and then maybe they do a manual process and etc., the process will continue.

Owen: So what I get from that is you have people in swim lanes and the task is triggered and as you’re going through the task then the situations where you also have situations where the people who are handling the task have to make certain decisions and when they come in to set a decision, you have also taken the time to document what exactly they have to do when they get to certain decisions. But what if there are times when they come to a situation where you have not documented what they’re supposed to do in a specific situation. How do you handle that?

Jamin: Well, fortunately we’ve got great people that are very smart and do whatever it takes to solve problems and make it very quick to customers. So people can think on their needs and do the right thing. But generally, as you expand, it becomes necessary to build a lot more and more process. That’s the way business is. So we would really try to make sure everyone has the skill and can create a process and document something because it’s very likely that we’ll continue pretty soon, they will be helping or training someone else to help on that particular task. So it’s really important to create the process and to document it whenever we can.

Owen: I like that because what I hear from that is that you’re giving your team members or employees ownership and so when they come into a certain situation where it’s not fully the outline of what they should do because this is a new situation.  You’re saying, “Okay. Go ahead and do what’s best for it.” But then I’m also trying to figure out how do you make sure that, “Okay. Now go ahead and do something and make a decision and take a step that I think is best for that specific scenario because it has never been covered before. How do you make sure that that same action that he take at that very instance is [27:01] like someone else when it comes to this same kind of exception again who handle that task the same with this employee just did?

Jamin: If someone comes across the situation and they’ve got to create a process if the process doesn’t yet exist. You know, really what would happen in their mind as they saw a problem and they solve it. So they would probably talk to their team or manager or someone and discuss this solution that they’ve put into place and a team could then implement that as a long term solution and make sure it’s documented and communicated throughout the team so it can be solved in the future.

Owen: Definitely. And so one of the things you mentioned is that there were a lot of challenges that you had when you started this whole idea of trying to systematize your entire business.  Can you explain some of the challenges that you had initially?

Jamin: Time is always the challenge. I think if you ask someone to do a little documenting, they’ll say, “Well, I don’t have time.” And so, it is a challenge. It does take a little time. So what we tried to do is really make documentation part of the culture. So you can keep a couple of key documents that you’re working on that you own and open at any time and so if you see a problem, you don’t need to put in an e-mail or jot it down on paper, you can just write the sentence or two down live and you’re done. So it shouldn’t necessarily take a lot more time if done right.

Owen: So it’s more of a collaborative approach? If that’s the case then that means your system has to be online where everybody is all accessing it. I’m just wondering how you guys manage that communication back and forth?

Jamin: I am definitely a big fan of web-based software in general. I think as much as we can get off the paper on the computers, the better and as much as we can get off to our computer to the Cloud, that’s even better. So I think that’s critical and it enables collaboration, so any of the tools that are effective even if they are Word processing or a spreadsheet type, tools like I mentioned earlier in the contact processes. I do think it’s helpful because of the live web-based tools that are people have been collaborating in. You know, at some point you need to put controls in place and make sure that certain processes are checked and signed off on and you’ve got to have those processes in place too. But I definitely think the collaborations are huge.

Owen: And so I’m curious that you’re saying that you have full measures in place to track what is being done. Meaning that because what is not major, you can now improve it. So I understand that you have systems for everything you’re doing but how do you track and verify that your employees are actually delivering on by using the systems that you’ve created?

Jamin: I think that’s one of the systems as a tracking tool, right? So if we understand what the responsibilities are in a particular area, we’ve got a way to track each one of us hopefully.

Owen: Give us some example.

Jamin: Well perhaps, speaking with customer service, there could be a process of making sure that, I’ll keep it somewhat general again but a particular order means you’ve got a manual process down to it. So we need to somehow track and make sure that’s done. We want to make sure if that creates quality for customers. So we need to have a system that finds all those orders that fell into that channel, into that bucket.  We need to find out lows and then we need to confirm that they were all dealt with. So we want to have some technological, automated system to do that if whenever possible. When that’s not possible, we have someone look through it that was either an awe at them or maybe a sampling at least.

Owen: Okay. And you also mentioned that you also use some kind of metrics and numbers that really help you track how things are going and you can use that to identify points in your system that you know, bottom line, it needs to be fixed. Can you give us an example of how that is?

Jamin: Right. And so, some responsibilities won’t fit into that category you just described.  If there are things that need to get done that have a KPI assigned to them. So perhaps it’s number of phone calls that are dealt with in a particular time, how many customers although it’s the call then who are satisfied and we solve their problem beautifully.

Owen: And just so the listener know what is a KPI because you mentioned that. I know what it is but I want to make sure that we really break this thing down.

Jamin: It’s a Key Performance Indicators is the acronym but a KPI it’s just that, it sound simple. But let’s say, come up with the right KPI’s that someone focuses on and a department focuses on and a company focuses on, that’s an art and science and it can be very very difficult to do that.

Owen: Because I mean, there are situations where people just can have different metrics and numbers and now you happen no numbers and it happens there’s so many numbers and they become scales. So how do you balance that to make sure that you only choose the right numbers that really help you to keep track on what matters?

Jamin: Right. It’s a constant challenge and I don’t know if any company ever has it right.  It’s so easy falling but we do our best as a team to come up with the ones that are driving our strategy and our key objectives and initiatives as an organization. We try to make sure we’ve got the KPI’s that are really helping us understand if we’re succeeding in those things. So for customer service if we’re really focused on customer service, we want to know that we took care of a lot of customers and they were very happy. So we need to have KPI’s to correct those types of things and so, the people the people that have the responsibilities of answering a phone call or replying to a message or if someone is coming in looking for a water filter will know how many customers they’ve helped and helped very well beyond expectations.

Owen: Since we’re keeping on customer service and you want to track the KPI of customers being happy, that’s kind of like, how do you exactly track a customer being happy? It’s what I’m trying to get at.

Jamin: Yeah. We use different survey tools and feedback tools and there are some pretty good ones out there.

Owen: So basically it’s based on at the end of when the other is done, you reach out to the customer maybe some technology or whatever but to get to give you a literal rating of how things were done. You know, if they’re done to their satisfaction and I’m guessing you’re keeping track of all the ratings that you’re getting. So you have kind of an aggregate or average of the data and then when you see it slipping, then you know that something is wrong with the system.  You need to guide them and figure out why is it slipping.

Jamin: Right. That’s right.

Owen: I like that. Now you’ve just basically done through the business and you mentioned the need for systemization and how you track in and making sure that things are always up the bar. Since your business doesn’t necessarily need you to be there all the time, what do you spend most of your time doing?

Jamin: Well, when a business grows like you mentioned earlier, there are some processes that needed to be created.  So during that journey through those pain points, each of those growing pain time periods, you need to spend a lot of time creating processes. And then hopefully together we can create teams and a culture that helps create these processes and probably some great people that can carry this on and help it flourish. You know, when a company grows as fast as we’ve been growing, we can approximately delve into every year of our existence and it gets very difficult to do in most environments. Most of the time, it’s impossible. The feasibility to that sustained growth, there’s two things. One is people. This is the biggest thing. We need to have the phenomenal people that will do whatever it takes and willing to work together in one great culture. If we don’t have that, nothing else matters. But you also need structure, you need these pillars and structure in these systems otherwise, with that type of growth, things will fall apart at the scene. You could keep no order to it. So it’s very important to have those two things.

Owen: So I think maybe didn’t ask the question correctly but I was trying to figure out. My assumption now is, you’ve created systems, you emphasized the needs for having the right culture in the place and from the culture you build a system to match that culture and also to meet the needs of the customer. But then, as you’ve build and you’ve grown away, you guys have been growing. I’m assuming that you’re not working literally in the business as much as you were before and I’m trying to figure out what are you spending most of your time doing now.

Jamin: Yeah. I think. I didn’t get to that quite. And what I was saying but first, it isn’t just we don’t need to just get away from working in the business. We need to make sure we figure out a way so that the team and the business and everyone can continue to make those processes throughout the growth. Otherwise, I would have to keep working in the business forever even though just creating processes. Anyway, I’ve got the great team that can help sustain a lot of that that does it much better than I could and now I can spend more time working on the business and the same goes of course for any leader in the business that they want to keep… to have a great impact. If they can make themselves irrelevant through process and training and empowering, then they’ve become indispensible and so that we’ll try to get there in it.  And then, now we can get to these big picture or ideas and visioning things and really start thinking ahead and making a difference and how we can serve customers in the world in a bigger way.

Owen: Yeah. And so what I got from that is now you spend most of your time trying to figure out how to make yourself irrelevant, basically to replace yourself is where you spend most of your time doing.

Jamin: That should be everyone’s goal.

Owen: And also just to give the listeners some of the ideas of the benefits of doing this. What has been the longest time you’ve been away from the business?

Jamin: Well, I can’t say that I got that part mastered. There’s a book called the 4-Hour Workweek and I think a lot of the people that really can streamline things and delegate you effectively also tend to have a passion for what they’re doing. So sure they could get away.  They’ve got some things streamlined but they love what they’re doing that want to make a bigger impact. So, I am very involved. I love what we’re doing. It’s kind of a great vision and great team and we’re doing wonderful things together.

Owen: I love the fact that you said that because the reason I asked that because I wanted to get your perspective on this because there’s the school of through that is like, “Let’s get to the point where literally we’re working far. So we do the whole goal in the systemization.” But what I’m hearing from that is that you’re passionate about the vision to make sure that more people have clean water, that’s part of who you are. And so the systemization part is to enhance the results of delivering that. But you so love what you’re doing that you also want to be pretty much involved in the day-to-day activity.

Jamin: Right. Systems and tools don’t make it so we don’t need to work. They enable us to do much more.

Owen: Definitely. And so the person who is listening up to this point, what’s the very first thing that you want to tell them, the very first step that you want to tell them to take to get a little bit closer to getting started with systematizing their business?

Jamin: I think if you make it part of the culture and just like I said, keep a few documents open and just start small. Even if it’s a blank doc and you had one thing in there, now you’ve made a progress. So just continue to make that part of the culture and filled on that.

Owen: And what books have really helped to influences your way of thinking and why?

Jamin: You know, one organizational theory or philosophy is Getting Things Done by David Allen. I think it’s a phenomenal approach that we certainly needs.

Owen: Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen.

Jamin: That’s right.

Owen: And so we’re rounding up and what’s the best way for listeners to connect with you and thank you for doing this interview?

Jamin: I will leave an e-mail address for your people to contact us if they’d like to.

Owen: Okay, definitely. And final question is, we’ve gone through the entire discussion so far. But is there one question that you wish or you are hoping that I would have asked you that somehow slipped my mind. Maybe we can address that.

Jamin: I think you’re pretty thorough.

Owen: Okay.

Jamin: Great interview and I think, again in your business, you’ve got a great vision too that you focus on ways to systemize things, streamline things so people can do more and so people can focus on the culture and they can focus on the vision and making a much bigger impact. I’m a huge fan of the work and a mission of streamlining and organizing.

Owen: Thank you very much. And so as to listeners, you’ve been listening to this so far and if you found this interview useful and one of the biggest points I’ve got is the need to make sure that you have a culture in place and that you’re building systems to match that culture. And if you feel that this interview is something that if someone you know, another entrepreneur you know will find useful, please share with them and so that they can learn from this as well. And if you had that point of your business where you know, you feel like you need to literally get everything out of your head, put it into a system and document what you do so that your employees know exactly how to get things done then sign up for a free 14-day trial of Sweet Process. Hey Jamin, I really appreciate you doing this interview and we’re done. Thank you for doing it.

Jamin: Thanks again, Owen.

 

What You Should do Immediately After Listening to the Entire Interview:

  1. Define your company’s culture and core mission. Express in a couple of sentences what it is you want to achieve and in what way you want to achieve it.
  2. Use your company’s culture as a filter when deciding what procedures are really important for the type of business you do.
  3. Improve the procedures that are not yet 100% in tune with the culture.

 

Question for you:

What is your company’s culture? Have you put enough effort into defining one? Respond with your answer by clicking here!

 

If you enjoyed, we would really appreciate a review in iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here to leave a positive review on ITunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast! Thanks.

 

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