February’s Weekly Spark theme is The Importance of Systems.
Every business, small or large, follows systems whether they realize it or not. Thinking about systems may not be the most exciting part of your business, but ultimately it is one of the most important secrets to create a successful, sustainable business.
Here’s the problem. Systems don’t work in business when they are nonexistent, inconsistent or broken.
Typically new entrepreneurs and small business owners rarely capture and implement systems. We shoot from the hip. We kind of know what works, but we don’t spend the time to capture, refine and work our systems to our advantage.
The reality is that we all use systems everyday in our personal and professional lives. For example, what is your morning routine? Do you check your emails 1st thing? Are you busy making lunches, dressing the kids and getting them out of the door? I know one entrepreneur whose system to separate their work and personal life is to go out, pick up a cup of coffee, come back, go to their office and read their morning emails.
Humans naturally develop ways of doing things. If you give a group of people a task that needs to be completed regularly, they will eventually develop a system for doing it with the objective of making it easier. When a business takes and processes a payment, they are following a system. In the food industry, creating consistency in each product requires a system.
All the elements of a business can be broken down to into systems. Knowing this, and maximizing it, can serve us well as business owners. In fact, the more systems you put in place, the more business you’ll be able to handle.
So many small business owners that I meet have never thought about the systems they use. If they thought about them, they have not captured their systems into a repeatable format. All we have to do is to look at the success of the franchise industry to understand the importance of knowing your systems. Statically speaking, the success of new franchises is more than 80%. Why? What are you buying when you buy a franchise? Yes you are buying the name, but more importantly you’re buying their system of success. One of the key components of a franchise is the Franchise Operating Manual. It lays out all of the steps that the franchisee must follow to maintain brand consistency and to ensure their franchise is successful.
What systems should be in your operating manual? What systems do you have in place now? What systems do you need to capture? What systems do you need to implement?
Next Week’s Weekly Spark: Identify and Prioritizing Your Systems