Having systems in your business is like having healthy eating habits...once they're established they contribute to longevity, vitality and create a solid foundation for great things to happen - such as growth in your business.
Having strong systems in your business will also lead to:
- Better results
- More time for you, the business owner
- Better professional and personal balance
- Elevating your company's value, particularly if you are considering selling it in the future
- Enjoying your work more
- Creating a sustainable business
- Creating a solid foundation to grow and scale
The challenge, is many business owners are still the lifeblood of their business...but not in the most productive way. They are involved in many daily decisions and the minutiae of running the business. When you're in this place, it's difficult to see how there might be another way.
If you have limited standardized processes in your business right now and want to find a way to start, let's look at an area that's core to your business:
Your Service Delivery System.
Or, if you sell a product, Product Creation/Delivery System.
This is the process you use to deliver your service or produce and deliver your product (if you're a product-based business).
First off, If you're thinking you don't have a process...that each client/customer is different....then I encourage you to really think about what you do. I would challenge that you do have a process each time you deliver on your company's core offering. It may feel unstructured, but I bet you have a process with key elements that you repeat each time.
The challenge may be, that you haven't thought about how to standardize it or make it repeatable so that someone else can do it...
Yes...think about teaching 'someone else' how to create your product or how to deliver your service. What steps do you take? What decisions need to be made?
You have a process. It may not be written down, but you have one. And, if you have one, you can improve and standardize it.
HOLD ON...I connect with EACH of my clients uniquely. I like to customize my service/product to my clients!
That's great. There are still things you can do to 'standardize' your customization so you can be efficient and deliver it the most productive way possible.
In order to help you systematize your own Service Delivery or Product Creation/Delivery process, check out these questions to you get started:
- When does your service delivery/product production start? When does it end?
- How do you capture your client's/customer's specifications, needs & wants?
- What paperwork do you have that records the details of the service or product requested?
- What common questions come up from your client/customer?
- What questions do you need to ask?
- How long do you spend delivering your service and creating your product? Is it a set time each time? If not, what are the reasons this could be different?
- What happens if there is a dispute or conflict?
- Who delivers the service/makes the product? Are there different people at different stages?
- What questions do you often get or decisions you, as business owner, need to make during the process?
- How can I be less involved and not sacrifice service/product quality?
- What happens after the product has been delivered or the service ends?
The next big question is...how is this information shared within your business? How does everyone know what to do, besides you being involved each step of the way?
Creating systems in your business doesn't have to always include technology. Systems are defined as:
Any formulated, regular, or special method or plan of procedure...; things or parts forming a complex or unitary whole
This doesn't have to be complicated. Start by capturing what you do now and share it with your team. Look for opportunities to improve as you go by gathering input from your team and clients as they interact with the process.
Find ways to extricate yourself and empower the people directly involved in the process to make decisions within the scope of their work.
This is truly when you get to experience the efficiencies of having solid systems - when you can extricate yourself from certain steps in the process.
Even if you are a one-person operation...it becomes even more critical to use your time in the best way possible. Having clear processes can save you from becoming overwhelmed and burned out.
NOW is YOUR time.
PS: If you want support in systematizing your business and finding ways to exponentially improve your productivity, your freedom and flexibility - connect with me for a Business Accelerator consultation. You'll walk away with the most impactful system in your business to leverage, what's possible for your business and your best next steps.