10 Crucial System Tips for Small Business
Have you ever stopped to notice just how many business owners you come across that are always under the pump, jumping from one urgent problem to another, working ridiculous hours just to stay on top of things. In my experience these business often suffer from a lack of quality systems. There the focus of this article will be looking at some systems small businesses owners can implement to improve the operations of their business.
Firstly, so we are all on the same page let me simply define a system as a way of performing any given task in a consistent way that will give a predictable outcome. This may include computer hardware or software but it is certainly not limited to them. It may include application forms, scripts or any number of resources including people that simplify your various business processes.
10 Systems Tips for Small Businesses
1. Possibly the most important reason to develop great business systems is to create a better, more consistent customer experience. Look at your customer touch-points and ensure you are delivering a great experience through systems that ensure consistency and reliability.
2. Don’t rush and make hasty decisions regarding your systems. You should have a strategic plan in place and this should help determine the best systems for you. Your systems need to align to your goals and your vision for the business.
3. For a small business it is essential that the owner is able to step away from the day to day operations and work on the business. Systems will create that invaluable freedom.
4. Some basic yet often overlooked systems revolve around your people. Don’t forget your people systems. Ensure you have Performance Standards, Position Descriptions, Procedural manuals, Staff Reviews and Reporting systems in place to get the most from your team members.
5. Systems help grow your potential sale price. When looking to sell your business a potential buyer is looking at how they can run it without you. If you have no documented systems this will have a detrimental effect on your businesses valuation.
6. Many businesses implement new systems and they turn out to be a disaster as the team reject them. To maximise the chance of successful implementation don’t impose change (be consultative), communicate the benefits and address any fears.
7. Avoid biting off more than you can chew. Lack of time and resources can quickly kill good intentions so start small and build momentum through the successful implementation of smaller projects before attempting larger changes.
8. Systems are a great way to grow your business. I see too many businesses where everyone is busy but there is no growth. The development of systems will create the necessary capacity to help your business grow.
9. Don’t set and forget. Once you have implemented a system don’t assume it will manage itself. Ensure you review the system at regular intervals and make any changes required to improve the system.
10.Off the shelf software is often expensive and generally better suited to larger organisations than small businesses. When looking for a solution don’t be afraid to get a quote from a Systems Analyst or Software Developer that can develop a customized system for your business on an hourly rate.
Bonus: Get your team involved by creating a culture of continual improvement. Encourage team members to challenge the status quo in an environment that supports and rewards change.
There are a host of reasons why you should be systemizing your business, from improved customer experience, to more freedom, to a higher business valuation, higher productivity, whatever your reason there are numerous options available to you.