An Operating System for Your Business

What separates the leaders of the pack from everyone else?

While there’s no “one size fits all” answer to that question, here’s one of my favorite answers: The Entrepreneurial Operating System, or EOS®.

Quoting directly from the EOS website, EOS is…

a complete set of simple concepts and practical tools that has helped thousands of entrepreneurs get what they want from their businesses.

Gino Wickman (literally!) wrote the book on EOS. In his book Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, Wickman details the Six Key Components of any business that must be managed and strengthened to be a great business. Those components are:

  1. Vision
  2. People
  3. Data
  4. Issues
  5. Process
  6. Traction

We want to help make it easier for printers like you to sell more printing, and the Entrepreneurial Operating System has the power to do just that. EOS works best for small businesses with ten to 250 employees. It’s been a huge benefit for how we do business here at Marketing Ideas For Printers, and based on our experience with EOS, I’m confident in saying that EOS could be a good fit for you, too.

Here’s a brief summary of each of the Six Key Components, along with a small insight as to what that component looks like at Marketing Ideas For Printers:

Vision

It’s not unusual to have long-term goals.

EOS will help you look into the future by guiding you in the process of creating a 10-year target, a three-year picture, and a one-year plan. You’re likely already doing long-range visionary planning, but does everyone know your long-range plans? EOS systemizes the process so everyone in your organization can help support your big-picture vision.

EOS at Marketing Ideas For Printers: The structure of EOS ensures that our leadership team spends thoughtful, forward-thinking time working ON the business, and not just IN the business. We use the Vision component’s forward-looking milestones to keep everyone on the team pointing in the same direction, aiming for the same target.

People

With EOS you’ll be challenged to answer this “people” question on a regular basis: “What is the right structure to move your organization forward in the next six to 12 months?”

EOS supplies the tools to help ensure your team has both the right structure and the right people in the right seats. Even with these tools, you may still have tough people decisions, of course, and EOS provides you with a clear path to objectively hit those people issues head-on.

EOS at Marketing Ideas For Printers: We use EOS’s people tools to make sure we have the right organizational structure to hit our goals and to make sure that everyone on the team gets their role, wants it, and has the capacity to do it.

Data

EOS keeps you pointing in the right direction by helping you develop a weekly report (a scorecard) of five to 15 activity-based numbers, or measurables, that tell you the overall health of your business at a glance.

For example, you might set a goal to add a certain number of new customers each week. What activities need to happen each week to achieve that goal? Who’s accountable for each weekly activity to make sure it happens? That’s the kind of information you’ll have at your fingertips on an EOS scorecard. This scorecard isn’t a report of the past; instead, it measures activity that’s a predictor of future success.

EOS at Marketing Ideas For Printers: We have a scorecard for our leadership team, and each functional area (department) also has its own scorecard. Each week the scorecards are reviewed by the teams that own them, and any issues preventing scorecard success are identified, discussed, and solved.

Reviewing the scorecards each week helps us stay on a course that allows us to hit our goals.

Issues

Issues will pop up even in the most perfectly refined business systems.

It’s part of the human experience. EOS creates a transparent, open, and honest culture that leaves issues with nowhere to hide.

In fact, with EOS you might even find yourself looking forward to the weekly meetings dedicated to solving tough issues! We do!

EOS at Marketing Ideas For Printers: Our leadership team meets once each week to identify, discuss, and solve issues. For me, it’s often the best 90 minutes of the week! Every functional area (department) has a similar meeting.

Sometimes the issues are challenging, but the results of solving issues in the EOS way are very rewarding. With EOS, issues are solved for good and don’t come back to haunt you.

Process

Every business has core processes. Sometimes these processes are documented, and sometimes the processes are just part of tribal knowledge.

EOS guides you through the process of identifying, addressing, and documenting your core processes so they’re consistent and can be followed by everyone on your team without fail.

EOS at Marketing Ideas For Printers: Before we started using EOS I thought we did a pretty good job documenting the core processes at Marketing Ideas For Printers, but the Process component of EOS takes it to a whole new level. Our core processes are now fully documented and followed by everyone on our team. By the way, don’t let the phrase “fully documented” scare you. EOS has a way of drilling down to what’s important. I can hear the words of Barry, our EOS implementer, in my mind as I type: “Less is more!”

Traction

This is the component of EOS where everything comes together for the team to grind it out in their day-to-day activity.

Take another look at the Vision component: It drives a 10-year target, a three-year picture, and a one-year plan. The Traction component takes that one-year plan and breaks it down to actionable quarterly goals for everyone on the team, with weekly accountability check-ins to ensure the progress towards those goals stays on track.

EOS at Marketing Ideas For Printers: This is where EOS really shines! The weekly accountability check-in meetings for our leadership team and each functional area create momentum like never before. EOS gives quarterly goals another name: EOS calls each goal a rock.

EOS Works!

I honestly can’t imagine leading Marketing Ideas For Printers without the Entrepreneurial Operating System.

I’m not alone in that assessment. It seems that there’s not a month that goes by in which I don’t hear the same kind of story from another business owner.

EOS can work for you, too! If EOS is something you’d like to explore, I’d encourage you to do two things: First, visit the EOS website and then, read the book Traction.

If you’re already using EOS, I’d love to hear your experience. And if you’re now considering EOS but have questions, I’d love to hear your questions, too. Drop me a note using the contact form below.


Written by

Dave Hultin

President, Marketing Ideas For Printers