Is Systemizing a Business a Waste of Time?
We talk about systems ALL the time. Yet businesses fail to grasp the intrinsic importance of a good system and continue to ignore the necessity of implementing even the most basic systems to their businesses.
Being a person that for many years hated systems, I have come to learn to appreciate the true value of developing systems for almost every area of your business and life.
I used to feel that systems stifled you, inhibited creativity and forced you to “toe the line” .
What I found instead was that (wait for it … drum-roll), “Systems Set You Free!”
Here are four points that need to be considered and understood when thinking, talking, designing or implementing a system.
1. Businesses need to understand that systems are about different processes within the operation of your business. They are not rules, policies or regulations that everyone in the business must follow.
Every business will need to be adaptable and create different systems for different processes within their operation.
For example, there needs to be a system for dealing with and entering receipts through the organization, on all expenditure by all relevant staff that are spending the company's money.
If there is no system in place anyone at any time can spend anything and before too long the company will have no money or worse find themselves in debt because they can not control their cash flow, their debts and their receipts.
As simple as it sounds, a simple bookkeeping system is needed by ALL businesses to ensure that there is money in the bank and that the business is not operating insolvently. Yet many businesses do not have such a system in place.
2. Businesses need to plan for the systems they need and the processes that they have.
As you can see bookkeeping is simply one system within an organization, most organizations will need a system with regards to customer engagement, marketing, sales processes and product or service delivery, just to name a few.
As a business person you need to see your business as a process from beginning to end, and look at the different sections of your business that flow from one to another.
Once you are able to identify the flow of your business, then the processes will be a lot easier to identify and then you can engage a professional to help you create the necessary systems you need to simplify your operations.
3. Do not leave your systems gathering dust.
One of the biggest challenges with most businesses, is that even though they take the time to work out how their business flows and then they invest the time and the money in creating the appropriate systems, once the manuals are written and the systems are in place , they seem to sit on a shelf gathering dust.
I can admit this now, but once I was one of the biggest anti-system people in the business world. I played with systems, I saw organizations with systems and I even created a few in my time.
But I never applied them and then ended up wasting enormous amounts of time, energy AND money that were invested in potentially worthwhile systems that were never used.
Today, I leave the system design and implementation to others who are better qualified (my business partner for example). However, I now enjoy using these systems as I have discovered, painfully, that systems, good simple and effective systems, actually set a business person free to do what they do best.
They are very simple to implement … implement them one at a time … do not try to implement all your systems at the same time, that is a recipe for disaster.
REMEMBER, systems set you free, implement them one at a time and you will have created a successful business.
4. ” Kaizen”, Japanese for “improvement” or “change for the best”.
Kaizen was a development by the Japanese after William Edwards Deming who was an American statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and consultant set Japan on the path to industrial super stardom after the Second World War.
Where your business systems are concerned, you need to have at least an understanding of the basics of kaizen … making small improvements on an ongoing basis.
No system is perfect!
The systems you create today will need to be regularly tested, measured and improved on as your business grows and develops in its size and complexity.
If you check your systems on a regular basis you will find that making small, important improvements will be very easy as you have already created a culture using them within your organization.
These are just 4 simple steps to get you on your way to thinking of systems in a positive and engaging manner.
There is so much more you can learn and read … and you should, once you recognize the importance of systems in your business.
Have fun starting the journey, I look forward to you creating some amazing systems and developing a growing and successful business.