How to Stress-Test Your Systems and Procedures

A woman adjusting under the hood of a car - testing your systems

Are your standard operating procedures untested?

Then you have to assume they don’t work.

And if your processes don’t make your business run without you, they’re incomplete.

Most of us have holes in our processes. There are things our staff members can’t do. And we won’t find those gaps unless we put our business under pressure.

Below, you’ll find the exact steps to find—and fix—the gaps in your processes.


The SOP Stress Test


1. Write out your staff playbook (on the Two-Brain Roadmap: Playbook, Milestone 1).

2. Deliver your playbook to your staff at a meeting (Playbook, Milestone 2). Have them sign off.

3. Run your processes for three months.

4. Take four consecutive days away from the business. Plan this time in advance. Let your staff know you’ll be away. Tell them you won’t be responding to email, but they can call you in an emergency.

5. Record any calls you get from them. Remember the topics.

6. When you return to the gym, write processes to solve all problems that came up while you were away.

7. Provide training to avoid the same problems in the future.

8. Book a seven-day break from the gym—but this time have no communication with the team whatsoever. Have your staff document any questions or problems they have while you’re gone.

9. When you return, debrief with each staff person (or the one in charge). Write SOPs to cover the problems and record the answers to all questions in your staff playbook.

10. After a year, take two weeks away from the gym without contact.

11. Debrief when you return. Write SOPs to cover the problems and record the answers to all questions in your staff Playbook.


You Can’t Build With a Weak Foundation


Why is this procedure so important?

In Tinker Phase, you’re focused on larger opportunities, not the day-to-day operation of your gym. Maybe you’re thinking about scaling over 150 members and you’re attending seminars or receiving mentorship on those bigger issues. Or maybe you’re scouting a second location or opening a different business. Regardless of your reason, you need to be able to focus on higher-level opportunities.

The biggest problem new Tinkers face? They keep getting pulled back into daily problems instead of working on the much larger opportunities before them.

Solve gym problems in advance. If you can’t solve them in advance, solve them when they happen—but only once. Then document the “right” answers, build SOPs and keep your hands out of the machinery.

You can’t drive the car if the hood is always up!

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