You know how everybody says they started their business to have freedom and to be their own bosses when truth be known, they just end up working the hardest they’ve ever worked and as more stressed than they bargained for.
Creating systems is a bit like writing a business plan. Everybody understands that is good but nobody actually does it. Its more exciting to be writing emails, making phone calls and meeting people, than it is to take a few hours to map out what needs to be done and how it will be done by using some effective systems.
Signs you need a systems
A good sign that things are falling through the cracks is when you find you and your team spending a disproportionate amount of time trying to find contact details and documents and emails of people your business has some into contact with.
- Where are the business cards you collected from your last networking event?
- Where is a copy of the invoice you just forwarded to Happy Company is July?
- Where is the phone number of that consultant you meet at the conference?
- Where are the details of clients who bought from you in the last 3 to 6 months?
There is a cost to all this things. Lost opportunity, brand damage, lack of momentum in your business because of lack of consistency.
Creating systems can be really easy. To keep things simple, think back to how businesses were run before the Internet and before computers and their software’s became more readily available.
Businesses were run using books:
- The cashbook for recording sales and payments
- The all important address book for recording names and address of customers and suppliers
- The message book etc. etc. etc.
Large businesses where adequately run using these basic books, which effectively detailed the most vital information that was needed to, run the business.
In fact I remember we had a message book by the phone at home and the office in the eighties and everybody had to record every callers details and message for my parents. It worked so well that even kids who could barely read or write could successful record messages for effective follow up.
Unfortunately the world is a global village now with most business coming into contact with thousands of people online and offline and this information needs to be processed and recorded effectively so that your business can make the most of its connections. People have stopped using manual books but have not quite picked up the right tools to help them keep critical information about their in one place.
Getting started building effective systems
You need to create your ideal system before searching for the tools that you can use to deliver the end objective. So creating basic systems are still vitally important if you want to find the right tools to do the job.
This is how to create your effective systems:
- Step 1: Start with the objectives for each cycle in your business. Always start with the end in mind.
- Step 2: Go through the current steps you take to achieve these objectives
- Step 3: Refine the steps to make them more efficient
- Step 4: Document what is actually done – Get it all out of your head!
- Step 5: Automate it with technology where possible
- Step 6: Develop me basic indicators to highlight whether the system is working effectively or not?
- Step 7: Keep the systems up-to-date and relevant as your business grow
It takes time to have everything in place so just start small and keep going.
Why should you listen to me?
Effective systems have helped my clients, save money, improve cash-flow, increase the leads generated with their marketing and also improve their sales conversion. All this can be achieved whilst also providing much better experience to the clients using effective systems. It is worth the effort.
Start creating systems now so that you can free up your time to be more strategic about how you grow the business.
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