Video Transcript:
Hey Mike Callahan with a quick video had a lot of questions last week talking about the wiki or what is a wiki so this is pretty much platform-independent so a lot of different software companies have this or CRMs customer relationship management software. A wiki is a place where you store all the knowledge in your head and be able to share with everyone in your organization so this is something we started using back in the day on a product called know-it-all software and eventually recreated that into Service Autopilot  where we now operate our business but this video is really applicable that any software company because most software companies that we use in our service industries have this feature whether it’s called a wiki or something else but the wiki basically is what I would suggest doing is taking all the things in your head and all the questions predominantly all the questions that your staff is asking you and you have to answer on a daily or weekly basis and what you do is you document all the things in your head and put them in the wiki and now what happens is when your crew leader calls you and says hey where’s the mechanics you’re referring them back to the wiki well did you check the wiki or when your secretary calls you your admin and says hey they’re asking certain details about maybe routing number for the bank deposits or certain things like that. We want to take all those things that me hold hostage in our head and document them inside the wiki and hopefully include PDFs or basically long copy as well as videos and have those all in there and giving your team the ability to that knowledge database takes that knowledge silo and disseminates it across the organization and that is one of the keys to freedom in the business. What we did at Callahan’s Lawn Care is it took several years but every question that we got we would stick in the wiki and documented and I Had a pretty good idea of what was inside the wiki and what wasn’t in the wiki so if I knew ninety percent chance it was in there I would refer the person back in my business to the wiki so no matter whether it was an admin or someone in the field no matter who it was we sent them to the wiki well liked you check the wiki and if they came back and said it wasn’t in the wiki then I would go back and confirm it wasn’t in there and put that on my list of things to do for the week. The idea is we want to create a place that saves all the general knowledge in your business and put it in there and when this gets really interesting is once you have pretty much all the answers in there and you’re starting to update about regular basis as the business grows if you want to go on vacation or if you want to sell your business the ability for your team to be reliant on the knowledge inside the software is an extremely powerful tool it will help take that value when you go to sell your business or retire and exponentially raise it because now most companies when you go to sell it or when the business could owner leaves for vacation there’s an issue so when you go to sell your business traditionally at six twelve maybe twenty four months not the business owner has to stick around to transition the business but one of the key parts of the transition is getting all the stuff how the business owners had that they traditionally don’t want to share but if you’re ever looking to exit or retire taking the knowledge out of your head and putting that wiki as an instrumental move because at that point you’re not needed when that business transition is sold or even better if you want to leave for to three weeks on vacation and you don’t constantly picking up your cell phone answering questions of where do we pick up more fertilizer or what’s the call what’s the contact person and phone number person for irrigation parts or so on and so on we want to document everything in there no matter how base it is if someone is asking you that question at least once or twice a year put it in the wiki and I recommend take making subheaders in that wiki so Sales, Marketing, HR, Finances and then maybe some external ones far as Equipment and Asset Management and different things would be applicable for parts and things like that but by creating sub headers and creating a very standardized naming convention they’re easily sortable. If you’re going in 10. Marketing whatever that is 20. Sales 50. Internal-HR so where is an HR thing that always came up at Callahan’s if one of the main people my office is out is where’s the direct deposit form where do I find the link for that where do I find the tax information packet that they have to sign out so everything whether it’s online or physically in your office should be documented to that wiki and now we’re going to make the people in your business reliable to the wiki and not us as the business owner that’s when we start to buy that freedom on that we hear about it if you believe in that Michael Gerber -working on it not in it,  this is one of the main keys of freedom to work on the business and notin it because if we’re constantly fighting fires and putting them out each and every day and answering questions there’s no way that we can concentrate for 30 minutes let alone four or five hours out of the business and actually starting to grow a system and process. The challenge or at least the question today is what is a wiki in any software platform if your if your software platform doesn’t have a wiki in my opinion you can buy a third party one but it’s probably time to shop for a new software platform is any reputable software company that I’ve used for the service industry over the last 27 years has had a wiki in it but we want to take that wiki we store all our knowledge all the video links everything in there real based example is when we go to winterize the fertilizing tanks in upstate New York before we automated in repetitive tasks we would have the manufacturer’s video the training text the time and deadlines that needed to be done and pictures with the manufacturer’s video and a shopping list of materials so no longer was if it’s time to winterize the spray tanks what do I need to do and when’s it due by the software had it documented so I can take the individual responsible for that and point them to that knowledge database. Challenge today drop some comments if you’re using the wiki and any software platform you is using but the challenge today and write some comments hold yourself accountable are you gonna start taking the things in your head as a business owner or business manager and document them in a central knowledge base like a wiki so now everything that’s in your head is accessible to the organization if you ever got hurt feel sick or you wanted to leave on vacation it’s there and then when you go to sell your business or retire the transition of the knowledge is already in place and the business isn’t revolving around you as a single point of failure. Challenge today is let’s go out let’s start building some features and knowledge in the database of your wiki and start buying that time back to be able to work on it not in it as Michael Gerber says. If you’re watching this live today I’m gonna be back on the today implementer event for Simple Growth starting back up at 9:00 a.m. today and if you haven’t moved on that you’re using Service Autopilot we’re gonna have the ability for people to join a recorded version of that as well starting probably Wednesday of this week so I spent the night burning the midnight oil getting all those videos cleaned up and embedded and they’re ready to go for day one we’re hopping into day two today but main point of video is what is a wiki it’s a knowledge database or silo that we’re taking what’s in your head and putting into a software in a very easily searchable manner we like to use naming conventions so 10. Marketing 20. Sales maybe 50. internal / HR you kind of get the idea create a naming convention and plug each knowledge thing underneath that header and something as simple it’s just where is your mechanic if that’s not a question you put that in the wiki where’s the direct deposit forms put that in the wiki whatever the questions are that are starting to suck your time away as a business owner and get you away from strategic leadership and growing and scaling your business you want to stick that in there and as we continue to hire a staff it gets uncomfortable because people don’t want to give away what their job is people want to hold that tight and hold it hostage but if you’re looking to grow and scale your business because in my opinion if you’re not growing you’re dying as a business everybody’s position right now is going to be replaced by someone else because our goal as a business owners continue to evolve and create a better lifestyle and more ROI return on investment on those people and your in your staff so as we bring somebody in if they’re good cultural fit my idea is we want to sit them down get them to buy into the idea that they’re not going to be in that position forever there’s an upward mobility and movement in order to make that upward mobility and movement happen they need to continue to document their job as it evolves so the next person in can walk in and jump in two feet in and within a week or so be up and running and that next person can jump into their new position but if we don’t doubt and document all the knowledge and workflow in the wiki that’s in that person’s head not alone just the owners we have a hard time scaling and growing a business because to evolve to the next position they have to retreat basically train the replacement and after they train them they’re gonna get sucked into the fire fighting as a business owner is just the same because they’re answering all the questions where things are and how they happen so not only as a business owner you want to utilize the wiki but you’re also wanting your team to buy into the methodology of we need to document each position because as we grow and scale the business we need to have people to continue to evolve and as you evolve you’ll want to get sucked back into the question answering in the firefighting of the position you’re left so it’s a two-fold approach business owner first team whole approach is definitely the way to go. Comments or questions drop them below if you are joining us on day number two the two day live streaming implementer event feel free and if you haven’t joined us yet if you look on the Simple Growths Facebook page you could definitely get in on day number two and get the video of day number one so we’ll see you there later today.