systems.teams.technology

Business Systems | Build Profit As You Grow

Business systems make life easier, drive profitability and leverage your business. Many small businesses learned the importance of systems this past year when a pandemic caused changes in the way they had to operate. The old way of doing things didn’t work. With safety as a priority, everything from sales and hiring to customer service, daily operations and billing were impacted to some degree.  These businesses also learned that it’s easier to modify your current systems instead of building everything from scratch.

The businesses with quality systems and technology to support them, found ‘pivoting’ was a lot easier. 

So whether your back to work plans include simple modifications, a whole new business model or something of a hybrid approach, make sure your systems are updated and documented too! Here’s a few things to consider:

  • Hiring people is on the rise. Training them without systems is far more difficult.
  • Getting customers back (or getting new ones) is a priority.  Consistent methods to implement your strategies is important for results.
  • Defining your customer experience is easy. Delivering on your promise time and again is more difficult without systems and technology to support your efforts. 

Business Systems | How to Get It Done

Whether you simply need to update what you have or build them from scratch, here is some good news. You can do it while you continue to grow your business. Here’s the best way to approach it.

Set the right goal.  Yes, I’m also a big advocate of setting goals! Avoid setting a goal to complete a ‘how to’ manual. It is just plain boring and overwhelming.  Instead, set a goal to build systems into your business – as you are building it.  You will eventually end up with a practical, how-to manual, but you’ll build profit and efficiency along the way to keep you motivated.

Take it one procedure at a time.  For every system you document and implement, you will see improvements in efficiency, productivity, and profit.  So you don’t need to reach the end of the project (a how-to-manual) to see results:  more sales, customers, profit, control and freedom.

Start with the most critical.  Business systems, like customers, are not created equal.  Focus first on the ones that impact YOUR sales, delivery, profit and time. 

When evaluating the systems in your business, you need to consider two factors. First, consistency. Is the procedure performed the same way by all involved?  Second, effectiveness. Does it deliver the outcome or results you want? 

For example. You have a sales system that is documented so everyone does it the same way.  But if your process doesn’t help you achieve a better outcome – more sales or a higher conversion rate – then it’s consistent but not effective.  In your business, you want both!

Keep it simple.  Procedures must be understood by those who implement them if they are to deliver consistent results.  Include scripts, checklists, and samples where appropriate to help people perform the task at hand. And always take advantage of technology that is out there for you. 

Include limits of authority.  Procedures will explain what to do and how to do it.  But some tasks such as preparing a customer quote, closing a sale, paying vendors or resolving a customer complaint may require you to spell out how much authority others have to complete these tasks.  Limits of authority empower others (with limits) so tasks get done without you while also reducing potential risks (aka bad decisions). 

Here’s a common example.  If quotes are needed to close a sale and timely response plays into getting the business, you don’t want approvals to become a bottleneck.  With guidelines, only proposals that fall outside the parameters you set need to be held for your approval. Therefore, your quote process may include language such as “All quotes or proposals over $5,000 OR under 35% gross profit margin require owner review and approval”

If you really want less stress, more profit and freedom and the ability to effectively pivot in the future, then make systems more of a priority.  Take it one at a time and build as you grow.  It’s not hard, you simply need to kill the excuses.

Get Serious About Systems

If you are serious about leveraging your business with systems but struggle with where to start and how to do it, then check out my Ultimate Systems and Procedures Guide. Designed specifically for small business owners, my step-by-step guide with templates and examples makes it easy to do it yourself.

leverage

Leverage | Get More With Less

In simple terms, leverage means using resources to maximum advantage. In business, these resources include your time, effort, money, knowledge and people. With leverage, you increase your ability to do more with less.

You work smarter, not harder. You get more sales at lower costs. And increase profit through efficiency. Your people work together and enjoy the relationships that come from teamwork. You deliver what you promise so customers keep coming back.

It’s a win-win for you, your people and your customers.

4 Ways to Create Leverage In Your Business

Time | Focus on What Matters

How much time do you spend on activities that create value? By value, I mean tasks that directly produce sales, grow profit, improve service and delivery or help others do these things.

Take some time to analyze how you spend your time. Then focus on the critical tasks while eliminating, delegating or outsourcing others.

Here are a few things that will help you do this:

  • Have goals and an action plan. Without goals, everything seems important.
  • Tap into technology. Your calendar and to-do list are as close as your phone.
  • Schedule time beyond meetings. Important tasks should be scheduled too.
  • Turn off distractions. Your phone, email, and people. Interruptions are time killers.

Sales | More Customers With Less Effort

When it comes to maximizing revenue, your marketing and sales channels can go a long way toward improving this area.

Good marketing with clear messages and targets can help you attract quality prospects. Why chase after the wrong people and waste a lot of time trying to convert them? Combine this with a great sales management system – and you get more customers with a lot less effort.

Next, think about sales channels.  You can personally sell to individual prospects in a traditional one-to-one manner. You can grow exponentially faster by selling online, but this model doesn’t work for all businesses.  So why not build a network of people who sell to the same people you do. Then let them do the work and pay them a fee for the sales they generate. You both win. Again, you get a lot more sales with a lot less effort.

People | Help Them Be the Best They Can Be

Your people may be your most valuable asset, but only if you leverage their skills and capabilities.

It starts when you hire and bring them on board. Invest the time to find the right people to join your company – even when you feel rushed to get someone in there. But even the most skilled individuals need time to learn and understand YOUR business. Orientation and training is critical to get them off the ground running and contributing.  Especially today, new hires want to feel that they are making a difference or they won’t stick around.

If you have low employee turnover and long-tenured team members, hiring may not be a priority. But you should still look for ways to leverage your people. Are you maximizing their skills and providing new challenges and opportunities?

As your business grows and technology changes, job responsibilities will also change. When was the last time you looked at your organization structure, positions, and job descriptions? Are they still relevant? Do your people have the skills and knowledge to take on additional or different work? This is an area often overlooked. But it can improve work flow processes and keep your team engaged and challenged.

Effort | It’s All About Systems

Regardless of industry, every business has key processes to develop products and services, build demand, satisfy demand and manage the business. These include common functions such as marketing, sales, customer service, manufacturing, shipping, service delivery, technology, human resources, finance and strategic planning.

A lot of tasks!  But the more efficiently you operate, the more profitable you become. You can leverage all areas of the business when you ask the right questions, focus on continuous improvement and take advantage of technology and people. You can take it a step further when you look for others/partners to help you grow without doing the work!

When you master the leverage game, you get more of what you want with a lot less effort. Pick one of the areas above to focus on and get started.

Leverage Your Business With Systems

If you are serious about creating leverage with systems, check out my Ultimate Systems and Procedures Guide. Designed specifically for small business owners, my step-by-step guide with templates and examples makes it easy to do it yourself.

Prefer to work directly with me — to build systems and a whole lot more profit in your small business? Then let’s explore the possibilities with a complimentary consultation. Call me at (856) 533-2344 or drop me an email Joan@HybridBizAdvisors.com

For new articles, exclusive business tools and entrepreneur insights, join mailing list