So let me ask you a question,if you wanted to take a vacation today, no work at all, would your business run without you and be in better shape than when you left?
If the answer is no, your business operations needs systems my friend.
They may not sound sexy but systems in your business are super important.
Plain and simple?Systems keeps your stuff, products, and your team organized, documented and working like a well-oiled machine.
Why you need to have systems in your business.
When you are just starting out as a small business owner and just you its easy to just get things done “along the way” and not think about systems.
Its easy to do that, its> just you right? Yet, before you know it – doing it all and feeling overwhelmed. You’re stuck between doing at all yourself with no time to have that vacation, get more help or scale. All while you may be doing great financially and business is booming!
Yet, you are stuck doing it all or overseeing it.
That means the business needs a defined way of doing things- that don’t involve you micromanaging, handling and creating redundancy in the process.
Systems are your foundation and building block to:
Be more productive. Before expanding that marketing funnel or sales pitch, the capacity your business can handle. Setting a foundation and system that is an organized way of working in the different areas of your business.
Be profitable. With increasing your productivity, you have the time to get work on scaling your business.
Get your time back. You get the time back by hiring the RIGHT people for the job so that they can give you the support the business needs so you don’t have to be so hands on. Resulting in getting hours a week back.
Standardize your way of doing things.
First, start with documenting what you do daily in one area of your business.
- Pick one area and create a step by step list of what you do. Each area of your business should have its own system so keep it simple and pick one.
- Every task and project should have a method to follow. Standardization (creating a process) decreases the guesswork out of a task. Anytime you have someone on your team spend time on guessing “what to do,” you may be wasting company time and theirs.
- Ask for feedback. Have your team check your list. You want to know if there are any gaps or issues with the process.
- Ask for collaboration in any changes they suggest. This is a great opportunity to put their creativity and strengths to work.
- Keep it simple to use and easily accessible and visible. You want to leave room for that grey area that they can
- Clear and visual tools with it help those that are visual learners. You don’t have to just write it down. Use video, pictures, audio. Whatever works to help keep it recorded and organized.
- Make it easy to update. Businesses and processes evolve –so should your process. Use programs like Asana, Trello and Google to keep it stored and easy for everyone to reference.
- Use automation and software as tools- not solutions. Automations are great tools to use to help you and your team streamline a way of doing things. The key is to not use they solely as a way to get organized. Having a system that can use them to supplement your system. Software companies change, technology changes and relying on another company solely as the answer can be risky. Instead, use them as a way to remove redundant tasks and creating a workflow. For example, if you have a system for customer service, you can use Asana to document the step by step process for your team and Zen Desk to help you automate it. You have your system down so if it goes down, your customer service is able to reference their process and provide the excellent level of service you always do.
Once completed, you have a basic guideline that should be followed. It’s a great way to provide a guide they can use without you overseeing the systematic process.
Nothing is perfect, this is a process that is always evolving.
Yes, it is at times necessary for them to “figure things out” but you want them to spend that time figuring out how to make it better, more efficient or better yet innovating a new way of doing that process.
But, have a set way of doing things, they will be more equipped to handle the complex tasks when they encounter those grey areas. This will make it easier to have a level of quality and performance you expect and reduce human error.
Having standard systems in place can be a great tool that helps your business avoid the common problem of bottleneck issues and losing touch with how your team operates.
By knowing this you have eliminated any concerns they have and can focus their energy on the areas that foster their creativity.
Whether it is that vacation, time with family or friends, or just white space for creativity, creating a process for doing it all will result in getting hours back each week. You will have the time to focus on the other areas knowing that it is all being done in a uniformed manner every step of the way.