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  • Writer's picturePhilip Marchant

Business Systems

This is the biggest factor overlooked in many business.

We’ll look at why you need them, and how they add huge value to your business.

What Are Business Systems?

In short, business systems start with written processes and procedures that allow your business to run without you.

Some call it an operations manual and its purpose is to capture the “how to” of the business.

For example - McDonald’s. This is a huge, worldwide, multi-billion dollar business that is basically run by teenagers who can’t even be trusted to clean their rooms.

How?

They run this massive business successfully by having amazing business systems. Their operations manual covers everything from hiring to product delivery to customer interaction.

Why Business Systems are Overlooked

There are two main reasons why business systems are overlooked.

1. Unlike the latest marketing strategies, sales techniques or other highly visible aspects of your business, good business systems are boring to build but the incredible power they give you is anything but.

2. Lack of urgency. When a business is just starting out much more important things like sales, marketing and order fulfilment can seem more important.

With all of these important things vying for your time, business systems seem like something that can be put off until later.

Why You Want Systems

After many years of hard work, a business owner goes to sell their business and discovers that it is worthless! Because they ARE the business and without them, it can’t operate properly and there is no real business to sell.

This is one of the most important reasons for implementing systems in your business. Here are some of the others:

It builds a valuable asset. It’s nice if your business gives you a great cash flow to fund your lifestyle. But wouldn’t it be fabulous if one day when you decided it was time, you could start another business or take time off, or even sell the business and the business would continue to function.

This can only happen if your business has a system that can allow it to continue running without you.

Leverage and scalability. Systems give your business the ability to expand. You can replicate your business yourself or franchise it or sell the licensing rights to your business system.

Consistency. Consistency is one of the keys to delivering an excellent customer experience. You may not like the food at McDonald’s but one thing you can say about them is that wherever you go they deliver a consistent experience.

Lower labour costs. When you and your staff don’t have to waste time and effort deciding how to do something each time, this improves your efficiency and reduces your labour costs.

Are you your business?

Let me ask you two questions.

1. If you left your business for a few months, would it function well without you?

2. Would you even have a business left?

If you answered no to either of these questions, then you have no systems in place and you ARE the business.

When the business is small and the founder or founders perform all roles, business systems can seem unnecessary. This thought processes dooms them to staying small.

They find they have no time to work ON the business because they are too busy working IN the business. They can’t hire anyone to help and they can’t get away from the business because they haven’t developed documented systems and processes.

They are stuck in a self-made business prison.

Don’t get me wrong, they may be financially successful. But they are chained to their business.

The problem is that all the “know how” of the business is stuck in a locked box between their ears. If they had to be away from their business for any time (due to sickness for example) the business would fail.

The only way out is to make time to create and document these business systems.

If you already have systems in place make sure you review them regularly, as your business grows and changes.

If you don’t have them then start now!

Separate areas of business and make a written process for each area such as-

· Answering the phone

· Sales pitch

· Packaging

· Delivery

· Follow up

· Marketing

· Accounting

· Recruitment

It can seem a daunting process but broken down into small chunks it can be done quickly.


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