Figure out how to add systems in your growing business…
Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” While that sounds obvious, figuring out how to create or fix a system is tricky.
Yet if you want to:
… implementing systems and controls is critical to making this happen. In this article learn how to identify where your business can systematize, automate and grow.
What is systematization?
Systems create standards for repetitive tasks. They enable businesses to consistently deliver a result, which helps you effectively position the business in the market. With this added reliability, most owners no longer need to fight those “fires” and are freed to perform higher quality work – like solving complex issues, connecting with clients/employees or (heaven forbid!) pursuing a healthier work-life balance.
Why are systems important?
Whether or not you planned on it, your business has processes. The problem, however, is that most businesses create makeshift processes “on the fly” – based on emergencies, not efficiency. Over time, these systems become the foundation on which businesses are supposed to grow… and we wonder why growth and scaling are so tough!
Where to add systems in your business?
If your business is growing and systems are needed, a helpful activity is to ask yourself these five questions:
- Where do we have unacceptable error rates or variation in deliverables?
- What do we do or say – over and over again?
- Where are we wasting our time, resources and/or money?
- What tasks stop us from accomplishing other (more important) tasks?
- Where do employees or customers get confused?
Your answers will provide a helpful starting point in figuring out where systems are needed in your business.
Example: Local engineering firm with eight employees
Before: each project manager managed and billed their project differently (regarding client information, visuals, timing, quality and billing). They created content from scratch, every time and randomly stored it on individual computers/inboxes. Hiring a new employee was chaos – and onboarding fell almost entirely on the owner’s shoulders.
After: after working on their systems, the firm now has a clear map of the customer engagement experience and shared templates, tools, graphics to guide project delivery (and payment) – to a consistent degree of quality, speed and price. The client proposal is now a distinct, personable document that both educates clients about what to expect and sets parameters for communication, decision-making and timing. Engineers spend less time on client management and more time delivering results.
They also use a project management system to manage the 80+ tasks involved in hiring onboarding of every new employee… tasks which are now shared amongst the team. Every day the system automatically sends directions to the various team members about their training responsibilities for the day – and to that new engineer for their own self-guided training.
Want more help with that?
Before diving in and adding systems to your business, consider mapping out elements of your work and critically evaluating performance. MOGL has a free seminar addressing this very topic (next date: September 22, 2016). It’s designed for owners of established, small-medium businesses that want to grow or become more efficient / effective.
Walk away having:
- learned key areas where systems are needed in every business
- learned how systems choices affect your market position
- identified and prioritized the most important systems in your businesses
- discussed workflow mapping as a tool to create or fix systems in your business
- reviewed real case studies of good and bad systems
Issues like bottlenecks, duplication, error rates or poor communication can hold any business back – from solopreneurs to large corporations. In MOGL’s experience, owners that actively map, monitor and take action on their systems (i.e. automate their business) execute a more sustainable business strategy.
Hope to see you there!