Today I got to Interview
from Sweet Process. I hope you enjoy it!
Links from the Show:
Ari: Hi and welcome to the podcast. Today we’re talking with Owen McGab Enaohwo from Sweet Process; cofounder of Sweet Process. Thanks for talking with us today. Hi, Owen.
Owen: Thanks Ari for having me on the call; I really appreciate it.
Ari: Yeah, absolutely. So, first of all tell everyone what Sweet Process is.
Owen: Basically Sweet Process is whenever an entrepreneur is in essence which is where they feel like they're on the bottom and they have so many things that you need to delegate for the problem. How do you clearly make your teammates understand what is to get done? Well, Sweet Process allows you to document procedures that show step by step how fast or repetitive your business gets done so that you can delegate the work to your teammates and you know exactly what to do.
Ari: Great. Anybody who’s has been following podcast’s and seen the blog notes know that I'm really big on processes. I think that people go through these routines throughout their day or throughout the week that has to do with their personal life or their business and a lot of times they just do them and take it for granted and they don’t ever take the time to stop and figure out all the parts that go into it and how they might be able to optimize those. I really, really love what you're offering here. Basically, give me a walkthrough; how do you draw out a process basically?
Owen: Once we draw out a procedure is what you're saying?
Owen: The short way of putting it is basically as the person who doing the work in the business. The quickest way to document procedures is to look at what is currently the bottom neck of my time it demands at this very moment? If you try to document every task you're going to get overwhelmed. The short is to look at what you're doing on a daily basis and see what single recurring task happens to be the biggest bottom neck of my time. Once you know what that task is the first thing to do is you look and now you know exactly what to start with. You document step by step how to get that task done by using. Once you're done documenting that specific bottom neck, the biggest bottom neck using Sweet Process, then you delegate the work to your teammates. With the freed up time, after doing the delegation part of the process, you know have the ability to look at what is the next biggest bottom neck of my time. So by formulating this and starting with the biggest bottom neck known, document it in Sweet Process and then delegate it to someone on your team. Then you can look at the next bottom neck so you can document it. It allows you to basically eventually document everything in your business.
Ari: So most people should probably be able to think of a process that they have to deal with on a regular basis whether it’s billing a client or paying their bills themselves or to telling someone how to post the new blog post on the company blog – whatever it might be. Are you seeing any kind of really common processes that are showing up among different users?
Owen: That’s a great question because the reality is we [3:21]. Some users are signing up with their blog or creating blog posts for their site. That’s why we always say it’s going to be a lot difficult to see, to put people into that bucket and have to train what they are documenting but if they stop on their own specific lead and focus on what that bottom neck is in their own business, it allows them to get started quickly and document things on their own real need. Once they have sweet time after documenting and delegating the work, they can use that free time to study what is the thing that I have to do in my business. It might be something that they're already doing but with that free time you can really think about how to take your business to the next level. That’s all I'm saying.
Ari: Now, are you seeing any to be using this for kind of personal processes, home processes? I even talk to people about how they prepare family meals for the week and how they can kind of make those more optimized just by how they do it. So are you seeing any personal use for this, too?
Owen: We have not seen any personal use Sweet Process; it’s the fact that we try to encourage mostly business use. The way we look at it is that if your customer is too folded, too tense – if I lose customer, I lose profit. The person who is initially bottom necking and can no longer do the work anymore; he’s to document procedures and they're looking for a way to do that so Sweet Process works for them. Then the second type of person is someone who already has a team in place and they already have documented procedures in their business but it turns out that the tool is not an enterprise tool and is very complicated. They want something that is easy for their team. In both of those scenarios more people are using Sweet Process for business related tasks. Of course people can use it for personal but we don’t see that happening; mostly it’s a business related task.
Ari: Yeah, I figured that; I just thought it was worth asking. Do you have any plans for the data side of this sort of amalgamating this information seeing if you can find ways that maybe you can suggest ways to make these processes more efficient or things like that? It’s an obvious, I think it’s an obvious tie in for what you're offering and other services that help you delegate such as virtual assistant or other things like that. Do you have any programs for that kind of stuff?
Owen: Let me see if I get the question before I answer it. Are you asking us if besides just the part where we’re helping you make the procedures if we’re working on some way in which now the procedures are documented, how the work can actually be delegated to somebody else like project management or workflow? Is that what you're asking me?
Ari: Yeah, it would just seem to me if you're having the opportunity to observe many peoples different business processes that there may be some data that you can claim from that about general suggestions and ways that those processes can be made more efficient.
Owen: One of the things that we are working on right now is the idea that once people start using or your teammates start using the procedures, they're going to see situations in which they will have five steps with specific recurring tasks. But it turns out that your teammate now someone is there proactively saying, I don’t need to do this in five steps. Yeah, three steps and I can be able to handle this task and get it done quicker and more efficiently. The goal would be to have the teammate basically leave a comment or suggestion for that very specific step that needs to be eliminated or improved upon. That flows back to the owner of the account. Now, your procedures become more of a living, breathing document as opposed to just being static and nobody’s using it. By them being able to get that feedback from the users, you can manage or create or improve your procedures over time.
Ari: Yeah, okay. That’s great; I think that’s really, really cool. So, what are some of the future plans then? New services that you're going to be offering?
Owen: One thing we’re currently discussing and one of the things that we’re doing at Sweet Process is to make sure we build based on playing the feedback. Also, think in completion with the feed the reason we have. So, one of the things we’re trying to do is look into this personal; should we take it pass that layer of just documenting procedures. We have to question, why is this person really trying to document procedures. It goes way deeper than, oh, I want my teammates to know exactly what I want to do. The reality is that if you really dive into that question where are they going to place themselves and know that realistically that the work gets done exactly and also be able to track that it gets done. Myself and Michael is evaluating that vision of do we go beyond documenting procedures which we are currently solving and also get to a point where the tool essentially helps people to literally replace themselves. It goes beyond the procedures and goes into more workflow management and managing the work with all the teammates. This is something that we are talking about. We don’t know if that’s the next direction. The thing with software and service products is that they evolve based on user feedback and it opens suggestions.
Ari: Yeah, you mentioned something that I actually wanted to touch on which I really like that you also offer; I saw this in the demo – people can check off as they go through the procedure which is great. I've had this issue before where it’s hard sometimes to describe the details of a task very well even if you’ve gone through this many times; every task is different. Honestly, it’s my opinion that if somebody follows your task description and they make a mistake, it’s more likely your fault than theirs because you didn’t put down enough detail or new product. I've had tasks that I thought were really good and there were times when people missed a step, one way or the other. So, I love the idea that you sort of have these checkbox that people can go through as they go through the task. It’s really important that people make that distinction between a to-do list which is the thing that you have to do and a checklist which is how you do it. Whether it’s a commercial airline pilot or a heart surgeon, those people use checklist no matter how many thousands of times that they’ve done something, it’s so you can make sure that you don’t miss any steps.
Owen: Yeah and it seems people really question themselves but you and me, we do work based on checklist. They're just in a resistant way that it makes the work look more mountainous but the reality is no, it actually helps to foster creativity in a sense that now the person you hire who is doing the work they have a starting point from where they can start from. They used the checklist and the procedures that were created using Sweet Process to know exactly what needs to be done. One thing that I tell my users is that you also want to empower your workers so that they can take ownership of the fact that ok you have your starting point, you have the opportunity to help us improve the procedures because we know that it’s supposed to be an ongoing repeating product that [10:59] so, one thing that I suggest is that you get your teammates come back and tell you better ways to get stuff done based on the facts of just using your steps, incentivize. Some people incentivize by giving them a bonus. Some people might be incentivized by being recognized in a team; hey, these are the people who I helped in their business. Whatever incentivizes your teammates it helps to include that so that it can help you improve the procedures or task.
Ari: I love it. I played around with it and I really, really recommend people try it out as a method of really breaking down and sharing and thinking of new processes. So, the last question that I always like to ask people on the podcast is what are the top three things that you do personally to make yourself as effective as possible?
Owen: What I do a lot is if I find something that I tend to be, in my team I'm depended on a lot because if I don’t get my input back to them, it doesn’t get done. Then, I know that’s one of the bottom necks i need to figure out on how to replace myself. The second this is figure out what I should replace myself on, the question is how I grab out documenting the procedure to get it done? To be honest, it is going to be painful because you might say why document it? Why not just do it myself? At the end of the day I need to get myself to understand that not spending time not doing something is such an investment. If I were to do the work on an ongoing basis 10 hours every week but if invest about 2 hours or less to really document the entire procedure, that frees me up from having to do the work 10 hours every week. Trick your mind into believing that when it comes to removing yourself from being a bottom neck, trick your mind into understanding that it’s actually investment. Any time you invest to create procedures to replace yourself, is an investment that off over the long time.
Ari: Great, those are really, really good tips; thank you for sharing those. Why don’t you tell everyone the URL for Sweet Process?
Owen: The URL is SweetProcess.com. that’s where you can go on there and check out Sweet Process and one of the things we do is we give you a 14 day free trial, no credit card required, so that you can at least try out and evaluate the service and see if it’s a good fit for you. If you like it, you can go ahead and sign up and become a paying user. Also, we have a blog SweetProcess.com/blog where we post information about how to systemize your business and help you get more productive; you can check out the articles we have there as well.
Ari: Well, we definitely like that. Everyone, definitely check that out and try to get your free trial and start documenting some processes so you can be more efficient and do less. Owen, thank you so much for your time and good luck making people more efficient; that’s what we love.
Owen: Thank you very much for having me Ari, I really appreciate it.