The next time you drive to work, notice all the systems going on around you—roads and intersections, traffic lights, signs, sprinklers, curb and gutter, power lines, automobiles, crosswalks, and so forth. Each system was created to accomplish a specific purpose.
Similarly, the moment you walk through the door of your business, you are confronted with the systems you or your employees have created. Pause for a moment and look around. How many business systems can you identify? How well are they performing?
I’ve been in many businesses over the years, and I can usually spot system weaknesses very easily. Put on your Systems Thinker hat and you too will quickly see problems and inefficiencies. However, noticing the system flaws does not improve them one bit. You have to take action!
What’s Your Plan?
The hardest thing about creating effective business systems and processes is finding the time and having a game-plan that works. The road to the small business scrap heap is paved with good intentions, so you can’t put off this important task.
Below are five elements of a good system-development game plan.
- Get in the Zone for an hour each day (preferably in the early morning) doing the things that matter most. Work on your business not just in your business (Michael Gerber). This is where the inspiration flows, and great ideas come. It is the most important hour of your day!
Not to be too salesy, but my ebook, “Box Theory™: Double Your Profit with High-Performance Systems and Processes,” will get your juices flowing.
- Become a Systems Thinker. As you walk around your business operation, look at everything from a systems perspective. Use customer or employee feedback, performance and financial data, and personal frustration to guide your problem-solving priorities. Discuss your observations and ideas at your next team meeting.
- Larger companies should establish a system-improvement management team; the business owner often takes the lead. The team leader—whoever it may be—is responsible for all improvement projects and has the authority to make decisions for the company. Owners of small to midsize businesses can form a temporary system-improvement committee for each specific project. “Teamwork allows common people to attain uncommon results” (Andrew Carnegie).
- Create a regular time and location—at least weekly—for system improvement workshops. Identify the bottlenecks and weak links of your business processes. Discuss ways to innovate and achieve better results. There are no meetings more important than those that elevate your business systems for finding and serving customers, and for taking waste out of your business operations.
- Determine how your system documents will be formatted, bound, and saved. (e.g., pdf files, binder, file cabinet; cloud). Store your library of checklists, forms, and resource materials for easy access by team leaders. Alternatively, get Box Theory™ Software, which will instantly do all this tedious work for you.
Don’t Put It Off Any Longer
Your need to create effective business systems and processes is never going to go away. You have to do it, and the sooner the better! Good business systems make life easier, save you time and money, and are the foundation of every great business endeavor.
Make the commitment today. You can do this! And let me know if I can help.
Four Easy Steps to Creating a New Business System