Do you have a system in place for every aspect of your business?
A long time ago, I didn’t utilize systems in my business – I just operated on instinct.
When success sprouted, I eventually had to bring someone else on board and that’s when I realized how I had failed.
I had no way of communicating how things got done around the office. My new employees couldn’t get inside my brain and I couldn’t expect them to instinctively know what to do – yet I had nothing on paper that explained my processes.
Having systems in place is vital to the performance of your business. Even if it’s just you – you need to have a system mapped out on how things are accomplished. If you’re the only one in your company, then maybe you don’t need it written down – but at the very least, you should be able to verbalize it in a step-by-step procedure.
If you can’t explain it in concise terms of what happens at each interval, then you don’t really have a system – you have a way of doing thing.
The word ‘system’ implies that you can classify tasks, organize and rank them in order of importance, and assign them to the people you’ve designated to be in control of each aspect of the business.
Imagine what would happen if you were in a car accident one day… and hospitalized for a week or more. Who would run your company for you? Could you explain to someone how to operate the daily functions of your business?
Instead of a system, would there be chaos in the workplace?
Probably – if you’re not prepared.
It’s good to have your systems written out and filed so that whenever someone else is brought on board… or has to take over… they’ll instantly be able to refer to your model of doing business and follow it precisely.
Mapping out systems for your business can also give you insight into how things can be accomplished in a better way. Your goal is to simplify your process so that it’s as effective as it can be.
Don’t be afraid to utilize shortcuts if it won’t harm the end result.
There’s nothing wise about taking the long route to success. If there’s a tool you could invest in that would shave hours off of your task, then it’s worth it. If you’re doing all of your accounting by hand, and you could set up a software tool to quicken the procedure, then do it.
When you set up your systems – and you’ll need one for almost every aspect of running your business… do it with hindsight in mind.
Play Monday morning quarterback. What could you have done better, and how can that happen?
Categorize your systems to help you develop and update them as necessary. For instance, you might have a system for tracking sales performance, one for marketing, and another for sourcing new products or ideas.
If you have a ‘guinea pig’, start testing your systems out on that person to see if it’s easy for another individual to interpret and use. If any portion of your system needs further clarification, then go into more detail. You might know what you mean by “launch AdWords campaign,” but someone else may need you to answer the question, “how?” Systems give your business a framework. You can always add onto the system, or tear it down and replace it… but it gives your operation a structure and a foundation to work from.
You’ll always want to update your systems as time passes.
Maybe new technology has been developed that can replace an outdated approach to doing business. Perhaps you’ve discovered someone to outsource a task to so that you can concentrate your efforts on more profitable ventures.
Whatever the reason, always look for – and be open to – new ways of structuring your business so that it’s a living system – not one that’s too rigid and opposed to change. You want to maintain a vision for your company and use creative means to get you there.
Think of yourself as an architect of your company. It’s your job to create a blueprint for your business operations. You can always pencil in new additions to the company or erase structures that need to be phased out.
With a system in place, you’ll find you can manage your business more easily and find success in a shorter span of time.