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I’ve been thinking a lot about systems recently. It’s not the most exciting topic and too often developing great systems gets ignored. And, at the same time, if you don’t have systems in your company, you can never grow and your business can never become sustainable.
Of the five areas of sustainability, systems are the one that I have the most trouble getting our clients to pay attention to. At the same time systems is the key to becoming operationally irrelevant as well as developing a company that has outcomes that are predictable and consistent.
Here are 5 things I want you to consider as you think about developing world class systems in your company.
Systems are the breakfast of champions.
I know you might think systems are boring. The truth is all by themselves, they are. At the same time if you’re business doesn’t have great systems, you’re never going to have a business that is truly sustainable.
Yes, your business can be successful and it can do some really cool things. The problem is you might be the only one who can get this type of performance from your business. For you to move away from day-to-day operations, you’re going to have to develop systems that produce the same result over and over.
A possible reason you hate systems.
I know that when I first started systematizing my business I felt that I was being stymied. I felt that I no longer could be creative because I had to start following rules that were being set up in my business.
If this sounds like you, then you’re not alone. I want you to start thinking about your systems as something that can provide you the freedom to have other people do what you used to do. Without systems, this just won’t be possible.
Don’t you want to have the freedom to work on the $5,000 per hour activities in your business and not the $25 per hour activities?
Your people really do want to know what they need to do for success.
One of the really great things about systems is it now lets your employees know what they need to do for success. You probably already know that your people don’t want to think about what they’re supposed to do next. If they know what they need to do and you have systems to support them doing their tasks, then it’s easy for them to provide great products and services for your customers.
When you and your people find a better way (and you’ll always find a better way) making a system modification is easier than hoping that your people remember wha they’re supposed to do.
Deciding who is going to document systems in a company is always a sticking point in getting started. Too often business owners tell me they don’t have time to document, they only have time to do. If this is you, I want you to think about a different way.
What if instead, you had the people doing the job write down what they do in bullet point formats and then have a shared file where everyone can find the system. The point here is that you want your people to be involved in documenting systems. Documenting is probably something you’re not very good at and it’s something that the person doing the job is going to be better than you anyway.
The ultimate secret of systems……they provide freedom.
This is the reason you want great systems in your company. If you no longer have everything run through you, it’ll provide you with freedom to focus on the important, but not urgent activities in your company.
It’s those activities that will take your business from
ordinary and make it extraordinary. And, I bet that’s what you want in the first place.
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Some other things to look at for making great systems.
Here is a blog entry I wrote a few years ago on the importance of keeping your systems simple. via Designing Systems, Make Sure You Keep them Simple
Why Small Business Need ERP Systems? via Why Small Business Need ERP Systems? While reading this post, make sure you think about the ramifications of an ERP system and whether your company can put with the disruption before the benefit.
Three ways small businesses can use a CRM system to help them grow in a sustainable way via Three ways small businesses can use a CRM system to help them grow in a sustainable way