Do you feel like you’re constantly repeating yourself, fixing errors and micromanaging your team? Our small businesses are so dependant on the owner to get stuff done. Systems may sound boring, but they’re the key to giving you space to step away from the operations and know with confidence your business will continue to perform.
Essentially business systems are there for operational effectiveness and to capture the collective “know–how” of the business. It’s why franchises work so well .. the skilling process in the system allows these organisations to recruit low skilled workers to deliver at volume for the customer.
Most people get put off though in trying to start to document their processes in the beginning as it seems like such a lot of work. David Jenyns author of Systemology and speaker at our October 16 2020 Small Business Forum say that this is a common expectation for small business owners.
“A lot of people think we should systemise like McDonalds. But small business is not like McDonalds so they shouldn’t start thinking like McDonalds is today, they should start thinking about let’s systemize like McDonalds did when they started 60 years ago.”
So what IS a Process?
The key to creating systems is to understand the difference between a project that you do once, like designing a website, and a process that will be done multiple times like a website update. Projects require project management systems like gantt charts which are driven by deadlines and milestones. Projects have an end and are perfect to outsource to a specialist.
A process is usually something that you use many times to deliver an outcome that gets your product or service to the market in the most efficient way. All work is done through processes. A process needs to be repeatable. Every business has many systems from picking up the mail, to performance reviews and strategic planning.
Examples of processes are checklists, templates, forms or flowcharts. A system is your proprietary way of getting anything you do, done in a consistent and predictable way. Processes can be simple internal tools or complex documents for to meet rigorous Quality Assurance Standards.
How do I start?
You don’t need to over document your business. You do need to identify the most important steps to your client finding, buying and using your product or service.
David Jenyns has developed a system to make this easy “The Critical Client Flow” which outlines how you currently do that step and explains how your business works from start to finish on one page. You can download David’s CCF Flowchart.
Is it worth it?
Your processes enable you to do the things the right way every time. Ask yourself …If I was more systemised what does that do for me in terms of making my business more profitable and delivering a better experience for my customers? What opportunities might you have missed if you were more efficient in delivering your day to day work? Systems enable you to outsource and employ others to assist you. Systems enable a better customer experience. Systems build a platform to enable your business to grow.
Good systems enable you to control your business rather than feeling swamped.
When you join Groei.Us you gain access to all previous SME Forums interviews including from:
Dave Jenyns – Davids business experience has spanned from franchising retail clothing stores to founding and growing a successful digital SEO business. In 2016 he hired a CEO and was able to step out of his business using the power of systems and founded SYSTEMology. Today his mission is to free all business owners from the daily operations of their business. SYSTEMology has evolved to a book, podcast, a Summit and systemHUB a cloud based software solution and is a proven step by step methodology to any business.
Mike Schrick – Mike is the founding principal and owner of 80Twenty a business improvement consultancy to enable businesses to be more efficient, productive and profitable. He has mentored and consulted to over 150 companies, has owned and operated a range of small businesses and has a wealth of expertise across a range of different industries.
Marnie Reiffel – Marnie has started and build numerous small businesses in regional areas originally in restaurants, cafes and catering, and found running a business required systems to ensure consistent engaging experiences for her clients. She has an intuitive business approach and throughout her career, she has accumulated the so-called “hard” skills of accounting, business direction, strategic planning and organisational development. She now helps business women get unstuck in their personal and business enabling them to focus on their mindset and grow their confidence.