There is a lot of buzz happening in the business world about systems and systemising. For the most part, people have systems in their business without recognising that they are there.
But just what are systems and what is systemising?
Systemising your business is a process of analysing your business, standardising the processes, creating operating procedures and then following them.
Systems are the methods and practices used by you and your team to get the job done.
Every time you do something more than twice, you have a system. Answering the phone, posting on social media, entering customer details into your database, creating an invoice, inducting a new employee. All systems.
So why should you spend time systemising your business?
There are many benefits to systemising. Most of which will impact your business.
- Create consistency in the service or product that you provide your customers (be like McDonalds)
- Build a business that will work without you! Having a business that runs without you means that you can reduce your working hours, remove yourself from the day to day operations of the business and have a more passive income.
- Create more time in your week to spend doing the things you love with the people you love. By creating and standardising procedures and processes, you are able to create efficiencies in both time and money.
- Effectively and efficiently scale your business to meet your goals. With systems in place, you are more ready and able to scale and grow your business.
- Quickly and easily induct team members into a role. If someone is absent, someone else can easily step in and get the job done.
- Prepare for your end game and have something of value to sell. If your end game is to sell your business, then systemising it will greatly increase the value of your business. If you can make it run without you, then the attraction for investors or other business owners is significantly increased as they can just step in and take over without the worry of having to spend time and money learning everything from you and without worrying about client relationships once you are gone.
- Create an environment that makes it easy to do business. Your customers will love you, your staff will love you, and you will love your business.
Systemising your business is not a five minute task. It takes time, dedication and perseverance. A bit of ‘heavy lifting’. You may be taken away from the profit-making activities from your business for a short period of time (unless you delegate this task to someone else within the business) but systemising is a long-term benefit. Without it you may get stuck working in your business rather than on it, meaning you miss opportunities for growth and could make you less likely to be able to react and cope to change that is out of your control.
Tips and tricks
- To reduce the risk of a team member stealing a process or even your full set of operating procedures, do not keep everything in one file. Have a framework which refers to the different systems, processes and checklists. Give your team access to only the documents relevant to their work. There are many online programs that are dedicated to this now but your own Dropbox or Google Drive works just as well.
- The best time to systemise is NOW! The sooner you begin the easier it is.
- If you are a visual person, map out your processes on a flowchart.
- Keep everything digital. Gone are the days of the dusty operations manual on the bookcase. Combine your process with an operations checklist – keep your staff involved.
- If you don’t have time to write out step by step instructions, film yourself completing the process and then hire a Virtual Assistant (VA) from a platform such as Upwork to type them up for you.
- Keep them up to date. There are few systems in this world that last forever. Your systems need to change to keep up to date with the changing market and environment.
So to create an asset that continues to operate effectively even when you are not around, or not operating at your best…invest your time into systems.