Can you Trust Your employees? I’ll explain what I mean in just a minute, but first, if you know me, you know I am a full blown caffeine-a-holic. As I like to frame it, I am simply a coffee connoisseur, who encourages everybody to #KeepItCaffeinated.


One of the many great things I love about living and working in downtown Venice, Fl are all of the wonderful cafe’s.


Unfortunately, one of them closed, with a sign that said they closed due to the chef’s illness.
This was especially sad for April and I because this is one of the places, owners, and staff, we really love, and we can only imagine how much this is hurting their business by being closed for the week. And sure enough rumors were flying around that they went bankrupt, etc. (Not true.)
As a business owner, you know straight away that you yourself would not close. You would find a way to figure it out, right?
Because that’s what we do. Day in and day out, we solve problems.


I know what you’re thinking, “Why didn’t the owner get in there and at least make coffee and offer some PB&J’s or let the employees have access to the Cafe’ and full access to the kitchen, to at least save face while the only chef was out?”


Crazy right!


One of two things has happened: coming back to that.

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If you’re reading this, I know you would have figured something out. How do I know? Because people like you and I, we constantly read, learn, study, while remaining teachable, so that we can figure out the next number on the combination to success. I also know you would have jumped in that kitchen and figured it out.


But what if, for whatever reason, you were not able to function within your business? Maybe you were in a car accident or had to leave town for a family emergency. Could you do so without one concern about your company skipping beat?


Can you completely hand over your key and passwords to your team leader?

If not, it’s one of two reasons:
  1. Either you have not clearly documented and communicated your processes to your team or,
  2. You do not trust them.
If it’s reason 1, the Trust issue, then you need to read this post about How To Find Good People, because you have been hiring for skill instead of character, which I did for the first 10 excruciating  years of starting out in business.

If it’s reason 2, not having your process clearly written and communicated to your team, then you likely feel overwhelmed at the thought of  even thinking about writing all your processes?  Man can I relate! So did I! I did it anyway.


It felt so overwhelming because I was looking at the project as a whole, instead of one step at a time. It goes back to the question, How to you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.


In fact, the words process or procedures can seem overwhelming. So, let’s call them checklist.


The key is to start with something small and as simple as how to answer the phone checklist. Oh Steve, answering the phone is too simple, and anybody can answer the phone? Yes, they can, but the way you need them to? And the exact same time over and over again? Is it really that simple?


Here is an example of an Answering The Phone Checklist:

  1. ANSWER  after the 2nd ring and before the 3rd ring.
    1. “It’s a great day at Burnett Painting, _______ speaking! “
  2. LISTEN  to the needs before asking questions.
  3. REQUEST their info (ALL on paper first!)
    1. First, spouse and last name
    2. Address
    3. E-mail (“What’s a good email for us to send the proposal to when we are finished?”)
    4. Is this the best number for you? (Phone number from phone)
    5. Who can we thank for referring you to us?
    6. Seasonal? Permanent? Rental? Flipping?
    7. Scope of Work: INT/EXT Etc.
  4. Open CALENDAR of estimator andbooktheappt.:
    1. Enter full name into calendar event title like this: Ven – Smith, Mary – EXT – Website   (CITY – Last, First – SCOPE – SOURCE)
    2. Enter the full address in proper form for quick GPS function.
    3. Be sure there is one hour travel time between estimates (book only 8:30, 10:30, 2:30, and 4:30pm) –
    4. Open Google CONTACTS: NEW Contact
      1. Enter notes from paper (Names, address, email, phone) in proper place.
      2. Click on the NOTES section of Contact
        1. Use TEXT EXPANDER (;take) and fill in the form
          1. Zillow address for:
            1. Sq ft
              1. Home Value Estimate
              2. Verify zip code – if need be
        2. Copy Text expander notes section and paste into CRM (PEP, Quickbooks Online, etc)
        3. Add labels:
          1. leads/prospect  and
          2. The current year
        4. Copy and Paste all NOTES from Google contact to Notes in Calendar event. Also, if an online booking – copy online to notes in Contacts as well as “;take” (see Note on what “;TAKE” in Text Expander is)
  5. CRM  – New Customer
    1. First, last, spouse, address, email address, phone, and, most important, the Source.
  6. Double check all info entered into 3 places:
    1. Google Contacts (Estimator/Owner’s/Main)
    2. Google Calendar (Estimator’s)
    3. CRM Pipeline Deals  ( at least a spreadsheet. )


With this checklist, you can use, or model it to create your own, and simply hand it off to whomever you wish to answer the phone, freeing you up to focus  on other responsibilities or for some well deserved R&R.


The sole reason we were able to sell our painting company, easily was because of these documented and trainable systems and processes.


PRO HINT: Use tech. 

Decide today to take action to implement your checklist and get the right employees on board! 


If you would like more help on writing your processes, eh, checklists, we created a complete online video training program of all of the tech and checklist we used to E-myth our painting company called the 30 Hour Work Week. Click here for 3 free videos .
Fortunately our friends at the cafe’ are back open again and the Chef is well. Pastries are yummy, and their fine coffee is flowing.
I encourage you to write one checklist today and to #KeepItCaffeinated !

About the Author

As a newly single father of two from MI, he struggled to start over as a paint contractor in FL, going door to door. His situation was so bad, even the IRS had mercy on him.

 Feeling completely hopeless, he remembered the story of King Solomon praying for wisdom. Could it be so easy? 

He felt he had absolutely nothing to lose. So, as a bankrupt, divorced, high school dropout, single father of 2 young kids, now living 1250 miles away from all friends and family, started to pray for wisdom.
 And while he continues to wait for the wisdom to arrive, what did come was an insatiable desire to learn and read books… 
Thanks to God for giving him the burning passion to read books, and attend seminars, (oh and winning the wife lottery) he not only cracks the success code and overcomes the struggle, but also streamlines his painting business in less than 3 years, published a how to book, then sold the company. Now he leads a business coaching company for painting contractors so he can help other businesses, like yours, to do the same. Hear more... Or