Process + EOS: The Bridgetown Way

Consistency is one of the most effective tools we can use to keep customers coming back for more. When first-time customers become repeat customers, revenue explodes (in a positive way). Customers trust brands like Starbucks, Apple, and Google because expectations and delivery are consistently aligned.

Process and the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)

How does a company achieve consistency? Through processes.

The Process Component

This article is part of a series on Traction and the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). EOS is a set of tools that enables a business leader to grow a company while maintaining sanity. Today’s EOS component: Process.

Shout Out to E-Myth by Michael Gerber

The author of Traction offers tribute to Michael Gerber, author of business classics The E-Myth and The E-Myth Revisited. Gerber’s point in his books (and speeches and interviews) is that the entrepreneur must create systems if they ever want to have a life outside of their business. We must view the business as a “pre-production prototype of a mass-producible product.” When we systemize the business, we can step outside of it, fine-tune it, and scale it.

Business owners who complain about lack of control and lack of freedom need to work on systemizing their businesses.

How to Systemize

Systemizing consists of two key steps:

  1. Document core processes.
  2. Ensure that the processes are followed by everyone in the organization.

Systemizing Example: Bridgetown Partners

For our systemizing example, we will use a company that I happen to know well: Bridgetown Partners. Bridgetown manifests my vision for serving clients and customers by leveraging my careers in commercial real estate, software development, and community service. The three layers support each other as shown in the diagram below.

Bridgetown Partners Business Plan

This is how we define the layers at Bridgetown:

We’ve structured the CRE layer of Bridgetown to produce a long Runway for all company ventures. With a longer runway, the software team has time to learn the market, experiment with products, learn from mistakes, and produce great results for customers.

Beyond the Big-Picture Vision

A single chart with boxes and lines is only the beginning. The leadership team must document the company’s core processes. These can vary between companies, but the list of core processes is likely to include the following:

Document the 20%, Get 80%

The author makes an insightful point about documentation: Don’t document everything. If we try to document 100% of the company’s processes, we risk falling into analysis paralysis, and that’s just a death spiral. The world will change (perhaps drastically) before we have time to achieve 100% documentation. Therefore, we stick with the Pareto Principle. Create the 20% of documentation that yields 80% of results.

How much is 20%? Hard to say. That answer will vary from company to company. This is where business artistry plays a role.

EOS Recap

If you are considering EOS for your business, you might enjoy the other articles in the series: