I had a funny encounter with a client recently. I asked what her follow up system was and she replied that is was “Brenda Brain Powered”!
(Names have been changed to preserve identities).That got us both laughing. It sounded silly but it was also the truth. Most of us entrepreneurs try to run our entire business by tracking everything mentally. It’s a recipe for disaster.
She will be the first to admit that it wasn’t a very effective system but she just couldn’t find a system that she liked. So she carried on trying to log everything in her brain rather than using an external imperfect but reliable system to consistently track her business critical activities.
A system is simply put a series of steps taken to achieve a specific result.
Other synonyms for system are “method – order – scheme – process”. Systems can be written, diagrammed or programmed as a computer software.
So what are the pitfalls of trying to brain power your systems?
- The brain has a very short memory so you’ll be missing out on lots of opportunities if you are not using an external system to track contacts, opportunities and projects
- The brain has a selective memory and will always navigate you away from tasks and activities that it considers “painful”. This means that you’ll conveniently forget to pursue opportunities and contacts that you find intimidating.
- Relying on your brain means there is no backup in case you and your brain are no longer available to access!
- Its exhausting and stressful trying to remember to do everything at the right time.
Why do you need systems?
- Systems will free up your time to do more things easily and with less stress.
- Systems help you to duplicate and multiply important business activities with ease without having to reinvent the wheel every time. An essential aspect of planning for growth.
- Systems give you leverage and help you to do things in a step by step manner so that you can delegate more effectively.
- Systems help you to examine what you do and make improvements.
Every core business activity can and needs to be systematised, from how you generate leads, nurture them, sell to them, deliver your product and services, finance systems, customer service systems, online and offline systems etc etc etc.
Every business needs effective systems. You can design and create some basic systems yourself but the more sophisticated and intelligent ones may need a small investment but they are definitely worth it.
Next weeks, article will look at “How to create systems in your business”