Got Systems?

When small business owners really begin to grow, it has been my experience that systems have not been put in place to handle the overload. All this makes it harder to really understand what needs to be done and who should be doing it.

At Michael Gerber’s E Myth, they say: “Most small businesses are dependent on the expertise of whoever is on payroll at a given time. As a consequence, how tasks are performed changes as people come and go. The danger is that customers will have unpredictable experiences with your business, and might not come back.”

The franchise model is the best example of having systems in place. The way every hamburger at Burger King is wrapped, how the chicken is prepped before frying at KFC and the way a sales associate at McDonald’s asks if you want fries and a drink are all scripted into a system, making these businesses duplicate- able.

How much easier would it be in your business if the things that impact your business were done in a systematic way? One of the areas I find small business owners lacking consistency in is their invoicing. Some wait too long, then have difficulty collecting. Or they make promises to a client then don’t communicate if there is a delay.

Another area that small business owners violate the most are marketing and sales. Consistency in generating prospects you can sell to is the only way to keep the business growing and working for you. Your effectiveness in marketing and sales starts with having systems that then allow you to apply the best strategies consistently.

So documenting activities that are ongoing or are done more than once should be developed as a way of doing business that builds trust with customers and referral sources. This is not difficult, think of a recipe, first the ingredients are listed, then the process for putting it all together. After you have made it a few times, you tweak it to your taste. What recipe (system) needs to be developed in your business. You can’t grow without the order systems make.

Good systems – solid repetitive systems, and activity – are utterly essential to building and sustaining a great business. At the end of the day, they should help you by minimizing costs, maximizing profits and ultimately increase the value of your business.

The Challenge: Choose one area of your business that you do repetitively that needs to be written down as a system, just do it! Then go on to the next, keep going.