How can I keep my business running successfully when I’m not there?

Ever wish you had an ‘easy’ button?

A lot of business owners are so ensnared in the daily activities of their business that they think they can’t get away from it. They think the business is dependent on their presence and things won’t work as well if they aren’t there. Wouldn’t it be amazing if your business could take care of itself at the touch of a button?

The good news is that IT CAN. The first fundamental fact to remember is: systems should run the business, not people. If your business is dependent on people to run it, what happens when someone is ill or on leave? Does your business have to wait until that person returns?

Sadly, that is the case for some businesses. They have become people dependent, rather than systems dependent. Systemising your business is crucial to its survival, as well as the smooth running of daily operations. Systems will give order and clarity to every aspect, from functions and operations to customer and team relationships. It will also help you track whether you are accomplishing your goals.

All too often, business owners get caught in the trap of doing everything

They fret over the smallest details, such as answering phones, and wonder why their employees can’t seem to accomplish anything without strict supervision. The owner worries the business will crumble to the ground if they leave, so they spend their time checking the work being done, endlessly correcting errors, or finding themselves having to answer all customer phone calls because the customer has a relationship with the owner, not the business.

If this is you, our quick diagnosis is: you are delusional and need professional help!

Try stepping out of your business for a day and see if it falls over. It won’t. There may be a little hassle here and there, and that’s because you haven’t established a response system to particular issues. That’s where you should focus your attention: on developing business systems. Your operations may be reactive, rather than responsive. You wait for issues to crop up, then deal with them. That’s why you think you’re the only one who can handle everything.

Instead, focus on what can be systemised. You might be surprised to find that 80 per cent of everything in your business can be systemised. Skills can be learned and transferred, responsibilities can be delegated, and decision-making can be categorised and assigned to your subordinates.

Identify the routine tasks in your business

Determine the most common issues that arise daily. Develop standards and guidelines that everyone, not just you, can use for daily business. Systems can be designed and developed for every aspect of your business so your operations remain dynamic, even when internal and external conditions vary.

But don’t just create systems

Make sure they are operable, efficient and easy to implement. If your systems aren’t easy, you might as well have no systems. Systems ensure that things are done at all times, and they are done consistently with the least amount of effort.

Here’s an example.

A sales system for your business should contain standard sales scripts plus information for follow-ups after the sales calls. In most cases, you send an information packet containing all essential details of the product, service and transaction. Instead of putting a new one together each time, pre-package the information packet so that all you need to do is print out a cover letter for each follow-up.

Likewise, you can develop standard forms where you simply need to fill out specific fields in a document before you print.

While these two examples may seem obvious, you’ll be surprised at the hidden inefficiencies you will uncover in your operations.

The deeper you delve into the way you conduct business, the more you will find that there are better and more efficient ways of doing things to make your business easier. 

This is the essence of systems: coming up with the most efficient ways to do things and being able to duplicate the processes.

Systems need to be documented, and it’s important to note that instructions should be laid out as precisely and clearly as you can. Use short, bulleted points, not long paragraphs.  Pictures, charts and diagrams or even video demonstrations can make everything easier to learn and absorb. You should design your systems to be so easy that even a child could follow them.

There is an ‘easy’ button for your business after all. And it’s spelled S-Y-S-T-E-M-S.

Take action today!