Every business, no matter how small, can only improve with the addition of clear, documented systems.
You may already have some systems in your business – perhaps how to file documents, or what paperwork to fill in, or how to use the computer system. Yet most small businesses grow their systems informally as they themselves grow and unfortunately many such systems are verbally passed on, remain in the mind of the founder, or variations are made by people as time passes.
What this or even worse, no systems end up as is a mess.
Whether you have or don’t have systems does this sound familiar?
- Someone leaves and you have to spend a lot of time training a replacement
- Employees do their jobs, but there’s always a holdup somewhere that has to wait for you to tell them what to do
- Outcomes of work processes are unpredictable or inconsistent, depending on who is working on it
- You can’t really leave your business for a vacation without being tied to email
Systems create predictable actions that provide consistent outcomes. If people have a set number of steps to follow to do something, then if they follow those steps the results will always be the same. It’s like a baking recipe.
At the same time, because they are consistent, they can be replicated, they can be scaled up, and they can be measured. Most of all, tasks with systems attached are delegable. You can ask someone to follow a system and do something – and you can leave them to it without having to micro-manage,
The benefits of systems are clear, but as a small business you might be worried about the time or the cost to develop systems.
But if you follow this step by step formula (a system to develop systems!) your documented business systems are within reach.
The best place to start is where you urgently need to delegate some task, or where improvements to a process are urgently required. Another place to start is within the customer service cycle – a very important set of business processes to get right.
When you ask your employees to detail the processes involved to fulfil their responsibilities and tasks, some of them may find it difficult to remember or explain what they do all day. If you face this blockage, ask them to carry a notepad with them through the day and write down every single thing they do during the day, every day, for a couple of weeks. At the end of that time, this list of things they do – and how they do it – may need some organising into logical processes and responsibilities, but it should be a pretty good list of how they fulfil their responsibilities.
If you would like to learn about an online course we offer called Business Systems for Success, click here to read more.
Our website teikoh.com is also full of business improvement ideas that you can implement immediately, along with a variety of online courses to help you provide leadership, create strategy, and grow your business.