I was asked the other day “what is a business system?”
A business system is simply the way you do things in your business.
A system is a method, procedure or process designed to achieve a specific result. It’s a series of interrelated steps that work together to produce a greater outcome.
Some businesses have systems documented (paper or video) so they can train others and refer to them and improve them constantly, while others have them in their head and have to continuously impart that information to the rest of the team until they ‘get it’…
A business system could be as simple as a checklist to follow when completing a task, or it could be a complex series of certified policies and procedures that require weeks for teams to implement. In the end, they are the assets within your business that deliver specific results – the results your customers want, regardless of who you employ. Businesses can’t rely upon certain people… people come and go. Systems are the assets that belong to the business that you employ people to operate.
If you want reliable, high quality and measurable results in your business consistently, you will need well designed and maintained systems. It will be the results from these systems that ensure you will have loyal, trusting, fanatical and repeat customers!
Clearly defined and articulated systems, allow you to monitor and measure performance. If you can measure performance, you can refine and improve your output to produce a better outcome. This (if done regularly) is what the industry refers to as continuous improvement.
Continuous improvement is a concept believed to be introduced by W. Edwards Deming, and mastered by the company Toyota from the 1950s. It is a culture that involves every employee monitoring processes to identify where improvements can be made to reduce time and save on resources to give a more consistent and reliable result. It is often referred to as ‘Kaizen’.
- Within your business, you will probably have the following systems:
- HR (hiring, training and managing people)
- Financial (purchasing, payroll, bookkeeping, accounts)
- Sales (Conversions, quoting)
- Marketing (Lead generation, promotional material)
- Operations (Quality, safety, SOPs)
- Customer relations (Customer service, feedback)
Just to name a few…
Imagine having processes within the major functional areas of your business so they would produce the daily results that you need for your business to meets its goals, and for it to be profitable. To give you the results you need, even when you’re not there! This is how you develop your business into an asset that has significant value.
Michael Gerber in his classic book (The E Myth Revisited) stated: “Organise around business functions, not people. Build systems within each business function. Let systems run the business and people run the systems. People come and go but the systems remain constant.”
Good systems remove waste and inefficiency from your business. Built around elements such as strategy, design, quality, time and measurement, they increase performance, customer and employee satisfaction and reduce cost, errors and frustration. Nothing is left to chance, you will have the control.
Have you identified what you’re most valuable systems are within your business? Do they make running your business easier? If you would like to know more about designing and implementing systems within your business to reduce stress, increase performance and allow you to focus on what you want to focus on, please contact me to discuss what steps you could take next.