So, you want to have a well-run business, functioning on systems? That is often the business owner’s dream. The good news is that it can happen in any business, and the investment is worth it. The problem is it takes time and energy to do the tedious work of documenting all the processes. As with many things in life, when you clearly understand the benefits and are committed to achieving that end product, the resilience to get it done becomes stronger.
Let’s look at why building systems creates such incredible benefits.
Systems are Investments with Dividends!
In the short-term, systems increase efficiency, which in turn increases productivity, which in turn increases profitability. Something every business owner wants, right?? Seen this way, the time to build the systems pay for themselves with a tenfold in increased profits and increased efficiencies so you, and your team, can spend time on the things that matter.
But what many business owners don’t know or often forget, is that Systems Build Equity in your business and are a saleable asset when you sell. Seen this way, the investment to build the systems is like a dividend that will keep paying you in increments for years and will also provide a giant payout when you go to sell your business.
Systems Run the Business, People Run the Systems.
So, what are “systems”? Systems are the complete compilation of processes for a thing to run efficiently. Most commonly, systems are comprised of a policy (the explanation of why we are doing this and why it matters to the reader), the procedures (the step by step process), examples, templates, checklists, scripts and other supporting documentation that shows someone how to do the entire task the right way. Having the examples, templates and scripts is what solidifies the person will do it the way you truly want them to do it!
A key is to write the procedures in terms of “WHO shall do WHAT by WHEN”. This is a favorite mantra of mine and one I have spread for years, because it reminds the reader to add sufficient specificity, so they know what to do for each step. The inclusion of a time frame, the “when” is equally important to ensure the task gets completed in the right order and with the right urgency.
Systemize Your Business with Focused Systems Work 20 Minutes a Week.
We all have 20 minutes. It’s just a matter of learning to prioritize. Instead of that extra 5 games of Candy Crush or Words with Friends, instead of that extra 20 minutes of sleep, instead of poking around on social media for 20 minutes, start building an asset in your business instead! You can find 20 minutes if you are committed to building these systems. Whether early in the morning or as part of your lunch break, start building.
Just get started!
So, by now you might be wondering, where do I start?
For some that need a framework, start with an outline or a type of table of contents to sort tasks and give it some structure. Then list, “to be built”, under the sub-headers as a reminder to go build it out later. Finally, start drafting the ones that jump into your head, and you can easily recite the process.
For others, forget the structure for now and just pick an area of your business and document the process. You can write it, dictate it (then send for transcription), or even video it.
Point being, the quickest way to the end goal of having your systems built is to just get started on documenting, and over time you can make them better and better and build the equity in your business.
Kristen David, a former trial lawyer and partner who went from working 85 hours a week and being a slave to her law firm, built it up to a million-dollar-plus business, then sold her shares and pivoted into a business coach guru. She is now an international speaker, bestselling author, and operates a successful business, empowering business owners to build thriving, profitable businesses that are self-managed with systems. She helps busy business owners build those systems by implementing policies and procedures the Fast Track Way.