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Systemising Your Business: Waste of Time or the Way to Supercharge Performance?
Systems are presented as the holy grail of business success.
Numerous business books, such as Michael E Gerber’s bestselling, The E-Myth, point to their necessity. “When a small business is systemised the owner has the power to transform any small business into an incredibly effective organisation,” wrote Gerber.
Almost 30 years ago, Gerber wrote in his best-seller that businesses fail because they cannot balance the business success requirements of entrepreneur, technician and manager. The entrepreneur is the big-picture thinker who sees the business in its entirety delivering success to customers and making profits. The technician needs to look at the individual business parts, what actually has to be done, bit by bit, to deliver to the customer. The manager builds systems and processes so the technical requirements can be carried out to a repeatable standard. The manager craves order, and often ends up cleaning up after the other two!
Gerber’s argument is these three business personalities are rarely found in the one individual, hence the main reason why businesses fail. The holy grail of systemising a business emerges as a way to ‘get everything out of your head’ and into a set of repeatable instructions that makes recruiting, onboarding new team members, sales, marketing and delivering customer satisfaction much more achievable and easy.
Whether it is worth the time depends on your business vision. If you wish to remain a solo operator, likely not. However, if your vision is to grow in size, profits and employees, then systemising your business sets you free to do just that. It allows you to save time, energy and money, instead of being stressed and exhausted.
6 advantages of a structured and systemised business:
1. Stability and control.
Systems and processes make sure the business will remain on course even if the unexpected happens, enabling you to make informed decisions. Too often business owners find themselves as the ‘bottleneck’ in their business; this is the alarm bell to re-evaluate how you are ‘doing’ business and to see if you can develop a new way that removes you as the ‘bottleneck’ and empowers someone else.
2. Stress reduction.
Once systems and processes are in place, your workload and stress will decrease because any employees you have will be empowered through structure and direction. Rather than looking to you for guidance and direction (because how it’s done is locked in your head) they can get on with their roles, freeing you up to focus on what really inspires you in your business.
If you don’t need to re-invent the wheel every time you deal with an issue, your
business will run better and more efficiently than ever before. This could be as simple as not having to repeat to an employee how to set up a new customer quote in the computer system, or who to talk to at the printers when the marketing brochure is delayed for delivery.
Think about it as allowing your employees to fly free in the direction you want them to go, rather than them tweeting at you like baby birds in the nest unable to take flight without you being the all-important ‘feeder’.
With clear systems directions in place, everyone in your business will work more
effectively with better, more predictable results. It sounds simple, and it is. Human beings thrive on repeatability. Systems allow you to track better, meaning your results can be monitored.
For example, it’s as simple as identifying in your sales process that it takes 20 calls to book an appointment, that for every 5 appointments there’ll be a proposal requested, and for every three proposals you send, one will be accepted. If your average proposal is valued at $5 000, and your sales target for the year is $50,000, you will be able to reverse engineer how many calls your salesperson will need to make to book the appropriate number of appointments that will result in ten accepted proposals.
Clear goals and direction will improve the morale of everyone in the business. In the scenario above, your salesperson will know how many calls will need to be made each week to reach the target. People will know why they are working in your business and what they are working towards.
6. Business value.
Systems and processes significantly increase the value of any business because it can more easily be transferred to a new owner or duplicated. It’s a macabre example, but if you were hit by a bus tomorrow, would your business be able to run without you? If the answer is yes, then it is in the business where value resides. If the answer is no, then the value of the business is closely tied up to you – and it will be worth taking the steps to systemise your business through something as simple as writing a business systems manual.
A little time spent on your business rather than in your business can pay dividends. If you are looking to move closer towards consistent, smooth-running business operation characterised by order, discipline and continuous growth, having a business system in place can help.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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