Jaimie Jay brings in $1 million in annual revenue through Bottleneck Distant Assistants, a company that provides remote assistants to other businesses. In this business, he relies on a network of remote workers in the Philippines and South Africa as his team.
Jay shares the strategies that catapulted him from the mid-six figures in annual revenue to seven figures in a new book, Quit Repeating Yourself, funded, in part through an Indiegogo campaign. It focuses on putting the systems and processes in place that have helped him and his clients scale.
Jay’s mantra, when it comes to getting things done: “Do it as if it’s the last time you’re going to do it.” That means analyzing the processes of a business, committing them to video and paper to train other people on your team to do them—so you can stop repeating the instructions and focus on strategy and growth.
We spoke this week about some of the key ideas in the book. Here is an edited transcript of our conversation.
Elaine Pofeldt: Many small business owners do all of the work of their businesses themselves because they’re not sure where to begin handing it off to other people. How can they identify the processes they can delegate?
Jaime Jay: We use a delegation road map. We have a template in a Google Sheet where you can list every task you do on a day that’s repeatable—sending emails, scheduling calls, making calls, marketing, writing reports, writing blogs. Then we ask: Is it something that drains you or gives you energy? Is it something you must do, or can you delegate it to someone else? If it drains you someone else can do, you can delegate that.
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Elaine Pofeldt: How does a business owner begin the documentation process?
Jaime Jay: Document the steps of the work you’re doing each day. If you purchase software to book an appointment, document the steps it takes to use it. When you’re training someone on Zoom, record yourself. Then document it. Over time you can build a library.
Then, if you start getting to the point where you’re really, really busy and hire an assistant, a fractional CFO, or a vendor to do your social media, you’ll have processes in place and feel confident in handing off the task. You’ll be able to tell them exactly how you do it.
Elaine Pofeldt: It sounds like this would take a lot of time.
Jaime Jay: You’ve got to see the long game here. The biggest challenge to people doing this is they don’t have the time. If you’re too busy now and you say your business is growing, where will you be three to six months from now? You have to slow down to speed up.
When you build a house, it takes time. You have to build the foundation. It’s the same thing as building a system in a business. Once it’s done you just have to tweak it. It doesn’t take as long to patch the crack in the wall as it does to build the wall.
Elaine Pofeldt: Where do you record the processes?
Jaime Jay: We have different work flows that are written and stored in a Google drive, in Google Docs or Google Sheets. A lot of times, team members can reference these along with the video.
Elaine Pofeldt: Who creates the workflows?
Jaime Jay: Anyone on our team can create a workflow. Everyone is taught to do the work the same way.
Elaine Pofeldt: Systems and processes are important, but they’re not the only thing it takes to scale. What is the missing ingredient we haven’t talked about?
Jaime Jay: Your business should be aligned with your personal vision. If you’re not passionate about your vision, when it gets hard, that’s why so many businesses fail in my opinion. They weren’t passionate about it. Every business has “crud” you don’t like to do. It’s important to think about the 75% of the business you’re really passionate about.