For your business to develop, grow and eventually become successful, it is essential that your business is systemized.
Business systems are imperative for creating resources that will nurture the most profits on your investments, building the structure and order needed to make your products/services, and for offering non-stop results every time, exactly as promised. While the systemization process can be done in multiple ways, it is important to note that sme of them will not go as expected, and most of these common mistakes are made trying to systemize a business. To succeed, avoid these mistakes!
1. Not doing the research yourself.
As a small business owner you may have some idea of what is meant by “systemization”, but you may not have worked in the environment of a large company with multiple automated business processes, and importantly, you may not have the IT expertise to introduce appropriate software-based systems. But don’t simply hand the process over to an IT person or management consultant; rather understand and own the process yourself.
Make sure you understand what your business needs to become more successful and generate more profits. Research best practices and get advice about effective software solutions for businesses in your industry. Be open to new developments in technology that will help with systemization.
2. Not planning
In business, perhaps more than anywhere else the old adage holds true; fail to plan and you will plan to fail!
When embarking on business systemization, set aside a few days to formulate a plan.
The plan will involve:
- Identifying routine tasks and activities.
- Describing the standards that you expect at the end of each activity.
- Describing the philosophy behind each activity.
- Identifying the right people (person responsible) in the business to carry out the activity.
- Creating a template for the steps in each activity, and using these to compile an operations manual.
- How you will review and continuously improve your processes.
Included in your plan should be a communications strategy to keep your team informed about what you are doing, processes for monitoring compliance with systems, and a training program for training current and new team members in the use of systems.
3. Trying to do too much at once.
Especially in the case of startups and micro businesses, don’t try to design too many systems all at once, or systems that are too complicated for the level at which the business operates.
This will leave you as the overstretched business owner, even more frustrated.
First create systems for those operations that happen most frequently. If an activity happens only once a year, for example, don’t spend time right away creating a system for it. Focus on an activity or business process that happens frequently and creates frsustion and problems. When that has been systemized, move onto the next process. Start small and get in documenting and testing systems before tackling the more complex processes.
4. Not communicating your strategy and objectives with your team.
Make sure that your team members are informed about the changes taking place around business processes. The more you share about the benefits to the business and to them personally for systemizing, the more support you will receive throughout the systemization process.
Crucially, your team wants to do their job to the best of their ability, working in an organized and productive environment will assist them to do that.
If you were initially a one or two person operation and you have experienced fast growth and new hires, it is important that you communicate your business vision and how systemizing the business is important to the development of the business.
You will need to introduce more formal methods of team communication, for instance, regular systemization plan progress meetings and team announcements through a company intranet.
5. Not having a systems training program
You may be excited about the development you have made in systemizing your business, but if you just rely on the fact that an operations manual exists and do not train people in its use, your systems may never be executed appropriately.
Therefore, make sure that your team knows exactly your expectations of them, what the standards for performance are, and that compliance is being kept track of very often.
You must also contemplate on having a major member of your team whose responsibility is to update and observe the systems routinely.
It is also very crucial to make the process documentation/operations manual easily accessible to every single team member. Online portals or company intranets are important to consider.