Better Systems, Better Results

I hear it often from business owners, ‘I tell them what we need (or what to do), but it never gets done or done right.’ Sound familiar?  Despite what many think, most employees want to do a good job and make a contribution to the business. So what’s the problem?

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Do they know what you actually want – not just hear what you say or ask?
  • Do they know how to do what you want or ask? Is it clear and concise or vague and left to interpretation?
  • Do they understand why the task or behavior is important to customers, the business or other team members?

So what’s the solution? Systematize. That’s right, your people and your business will benefit from taking the time to document critical processes and procedures in your daily operations. From answering the phone and handling problems to billing and collecting money from customers, simple how-to steps, with supporting forms, templates and documents, make it easy for people to deliver what you want and need – consistently and profitably.

How To Make Better Systems

Keep them simple. Effective processes are typically 1-2 pages long with 8-10 specific steps. If your procedures are too long, consider breaking them into smaller tasks. For example, instead of one process for all front desk/receptionist tasks such as answering the phone, handling the mail, scheduling appointments, etc – break them into individual processes.

Include basic scripting or supporting forms. If a process includes the use of a specific form(s), include a sample with the process and reference it. Add scripting where appropriate and don’t overlook frequently asked questions (with answers or actions).

Link processes to goals. Every process should have a purpose and be linked to goals such as creating a positive buying experience, growing sales, delivering consistent service, improving productivity, etc. It’s important that your people understand the purpose or goal and recognize how they contribute to making it happen.

Look for ways to improve. Systems will change over time as the business grows and technology changes. Encourage people to always look for better ways to do things. Get them engaged and create a continuous improvement attitude. You will be amazed at what you all can accomplish together!

It’s not enough to simply document procedures. The payoff comes when they are used effectively and consistently. So get others engaged. When it comes to getting the most from your people, consider the old Chinese proverb, “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”

Leverage Your Business With Systems

If you are serious about leveraging your business with systems but struggle with where to start and how to do it, the 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.


7 Reasons Why You Should Make Systems a Priority

Need business systems? Of course, you do. You already know this. And you probably have systems: methods to attract new customers, serve them, bill them and keep them coming back. But…

  • Are they written down so others consistently do things the same way?
  • Are they efficient or do they have a lot of duplication or unnecessary work that robs people of precious time – while adding little or no real value?
  • Are they effective? Do they get you the results or outcomes you want?

As you can see, it’s not about having systems. It’s about having GOOD ones. Those that deliver the results you want AND allow you and your people to do what you do efficiently and consistently.

While systems and procedures are not glitzy, but they are profit-building tools! Documenting procedures and monitoring results make everything you do – from marketing and sales to daily operations and billing – more efficient, more effective and more consistent. And isn’t that a critical key to profitability?

7 Reasons Why Systems Should Be a Priority
  1. Make more money! Yep, I’ve seen this a lot with clients. Good systems put more profit on the bottom line and ultimately in your bank account. That alone should give you a little motivation!
  2. Deliver what YOU promise to customers each and every time.  Whether it’s convenience or quality, give customers what you promise and they keep coming back and gladly tell others.  It’s a recipe for success — and systems help you deliver. 
  3. Train new employees better. Documents systems (for their tasks) makes training easier so they contribute sooner and are more productive! It saves time and money. It also takes away the anxiety owners often feel when an employee leaves or is terminated.
  4. Take time off without stress. We all need time away to re-energize and relax. The constant ‘checking in’ and continuous phone calls make it stressful for many small business owners. With systems in place, your team can handle it just fine, maybe even better!
  5. Delegate tasks to others. Looking to expand or start up another location? No problem. Your systems are repeatable for others to use.
  6. Plan to retire and pass your business on to your children? You put your heart and soul into growing the business and want to see it continue to thrive. Your systems make it easier to transition and keep the business running well.
  7. And if you ever want to sell your business, proven systems that are documented make your business more valuable and sellable! You won’t need to stay on for a year or two to ‘teach’ the new owner how things are done. Your business is no longer totally dependent on YOU.
How to Get Started

So if you are putting it off, it’s time to re-think your attitudes about systems. It’s easier than you think if you keep these four things in mind:

Set the right goal. Setting a goal to complete a ‘how to’ manual is just plain boring and overwhelming. Instead, set a goal to build systems into your business – as you are building it. You will end up with a practical, how-to manual, but you’ll build profit along the way to keep you motivated.

Take it one system at a time. For every procedure you document and implement, you will see improvements in efficiency, productivity, and profit. Things will run more smoothly without your day-to-day involvement.

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

Keep it simple. Procedures must be understood by those who implement them if they are to deliver results. Include scripts and samples where appropriate to help people perform the task at hand.

Leverage Your Business With Systems

If you are serious about leveraging your business with systems but struggle with where to start and how to do it, the 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.

More Ways to Grow Your Business

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