This means that things end up being done inconsistently. Different people end up doing it different ways… which is not good for your customer, not good for your business and not good for you.
Or worse still things get forgotten or fall through the cracks…
And this means you are left to carry the can or people are always coming to you with questions.
So what’s the solution?
Start systemising your business.
A system is simply documenting the best way to do something.
Done well, systems run your business. People then run your systems. Your job is to lead, train and manage your people.
Most business owners agree that systemising their business is a good idea…but where do you start?
Here’s 5 simple steps to help you systemise your business …
1) Create a Flowchart
The first step is to create a flow chart of the steps. This outlines the overall process, each that needs to happen and how they relate to each other.
A good place to start is to create a flow chart from when someone first inquires with your business through to the second sale. (i.e. a repeat purchase or referral)
By having a flow chart you will also start to understand the connections between roles. This is important as this is often where things can break down. For example, when an order passes from sales through to delivery.
Flow charts also help you identify any gaps or bottlenecks that are happening within your business.
2) Assign Responsibility
The next step is to assign responsibility. Each step in your flow chart needs to have a position in the business who is responsible for that step. This way things aren’t going to fall through the cracks. Each person can identify where they fit in the overall flow, where they need to pick up the ball and who to pass it on to next.
The other bonus of assigning responsibility is that other people can help you create the systems. You see, the best person to create the system is usually the person responsible for that task right now. So think leverage, assign responsibility and identify who could help you write the system for your business.
3) Identify Where to Start
The reality is it will take you six to twelve months to systemise your business fully. So how do you identify the best place to start? We recommend you start with the the areas that are going to give you the best return on your time.
So review your flow chart and identify where in your flow chart:
- there are any gaps ie no systems
- there are bottlenecks (where things take a long time or are inefficient)
- where mistakes are being made; or
- where people are always coming to you for questions
Sometimes you will need to create a new system or it may be as simple as updating a current system or training your staff in a system you already have.
Each system you create should give you a bit of time back so focus first on the ones that are simple to put in place and will have an immediate impact on your time.
4) Document Your System
So how do you document the system? Remember that a system is simply the best way of doing something.
One of the simplest ways to document a task is to shoot a video next time you do the task. This could be a screen capture or record yourself using a phone or video.
Other ways to document your system include:
- How to Steps
The key is to keep it simple. Always ask yourself, what is the simplest way to document the best way of doing something? And it doesn’t have to be perfect. Remember version one is always going to be better version none!
5) Use Checklists
Your final step is to create a checklist to accompany each system. Checklists are handy to summarise key steps. This helps new people remember the key steps and more experienced people can follow a simple checklist to keep them on track.
Checklists can also be automated using task management software for consistency in your business.
So there’s the five steps to systemising your business. When you implement these steps your business will run much more efficiently…saving you time and money.
And the simple thing is to start with one. So once you’ve done your flow chart workout one system that you can create. Your first one will probably be the hardest… but once it’s done you’ll be on your way!