Consider this bold statement: The ability to develop effective business systems and processes is the primary skill to be mastered by the entrepreneur! All business functions—marketing, finance, and operations—fall within the scope of this single skill mastery.
Every business leader in the marketplace teaches the importance of "systems." Here are just a few:
“In order for any business to succeed, it must first become a system so that the business functions exactly the same way every time down to the last detail" (Rick Harshaw, CEO, y2marketing).
“At its core, a fully functioning business is basically a set of systems and processes” (John Jantsch, "Duct Tape Marketing").
“All wealth is based upon systems” (Dan Kennedy, author and marketing coach).
The Master Skill
Following a business-improvement workshop I conducted, a young entrepreneur remarked, “After eight years of business, I finally understand what I am supposed to do as a business owner.” A light bulb turned on as he realized his primary responsibility is to oversee the creation of business systems and processes—the building blocks of every successful and profitable company.
Just as the doctor is a master of the systems of the human body, the engineer is a master of mechanical or electrical systems, the lawyer is a master of legal systems, and the CPA of financial systems, you and your management team must become the master of your core business systems. It’s that simple!
Running a business is like playing the game of chess. And you can become a Grandmaster within your target market by learning the "Master Skill."
The Master Skill, in short, is the ability to create a successful business model with systems and processes that efficiently manage operational details, strengthen customer and employee relationships, and produce financial benefits for owners and stakeholders.
Your job, Mr. or Ms. Business Owner, is to define and put into operation every business process necessary to profitably find and keep customers. By addressing the six essential elements of high-performing business systems—process, components, people, quality, speed and measurement—you can accomplish this vital objective.
When your business systems—marketing, accounting, customer care, hiring, production, order fulfillment, and many unique to your company, are delivering a predetermined, consistent and desirable outcome, your company will be on the path to lasting success. The true long-term value of your business is in the maturity of its business systems—their ability to steadily produce customer-pleasing and profit-generating results.
There Is No Other Way!
Systems focus attention on the multitude of seemingly trivial, unimportant, and boring details that make up every business. The goal is to do the small things right, every time, over the course of time, without your constant hands-on involvement.
So, I ask you.
- Does your hiring system get you the best possible people?
- Does your customer care system consistently help you exceed their expectations?
- Is your labor force productive and motivated?
- Does your lead generation system create sufficient sales opportunities?
- Does your accounting system provide strategic information for business decisions?
- Have you reduced the waste and inefficiencies of your business processes to the minimum?
Business systems are the solution to your greatest challenges and the means to accomplish your most important objectives!
Mastering this skill is both an art and a science. You have to become a Systems Thinker and apply the laws, principles, and best practices for system development. Dramatic results will naturally follow. You will have a company that runs smoothly, efficiently, and profitability. It will attract and keep customers. One day, you will be able to sell your business for top dollar, franchise it, or hire someone to manage it for you.
By the way, while the Master Skill does require your vision, passion and determination, YOU don’t have to do the pick-and-shovel work. Most tasks can easily be done with the right tool and a low-cost assistant—a secretary, college student, or even one of your kids.
Michael Gerber teaches, “The business owner should be devoted to business development, not doing business.” That is the Master Skill of the Entrepreneur!
Isn’t it time for you to become a Grandmaster!