Do you know what’s underrated in business? Systems. While leadership, marketing and fancy pants websites get plenty of time in the limelight with awards and LinkedIn posts and mentions in client newsletters, poor old systems barely ever get a mention. Sadly, systems are like the engine of a car — they’re hidden from sight but they do a lot of the heavy lifting and you really miss them when they don’t work well!
As unglamorous as they might be, systems are the backbone of a business, providing structure, organization, and efficiency to help you achieve your goals. As a business owner or manager, one of the most important things you can do is establish and maintain effective systems. Creating and implementing a system can often feel overwhelming but the pay offs are worth the mahi.
Why worry about systems?
Several reasons! Firstly, they help your business run smoothly and efficiently. By establishing systems for tasks such as inventory management, sales processes, and customer service, you give yourself the best chance of having things running to plan and less things falling through the cracks. Not only does this help you avoid mistakes and errors, it also frees up time and resources that you can allocate to other important areas of your business.
Systems help improve the quality of your products or services. By establishing systems for quality control and testing, you can ensure that every product or service you deliver meets a high standard of quality. This can help to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as improve your reputation in the market. This covers everything from manufacturing to following up business leads to paying suppliers on time.
Systems can help you to scale your business. As your business grows, it becomes more difficult to manage all of the different processes and tasks involved. By establishing effective systems, you can ensure that your business can continue to grow and expand without becoming overwhelmed by the demands of the business. In your early days of business you may have been able to muddle through without systems but as you grow and get too big to oversee everything yourself, you’ll need systems to give your employees a point of reference, a proven way to do things, and the best chance for them to succeed with you.
If someone leaves, systems make it simple for someone new to step in and take over. Too often businesses have the problem of one employee holding all the IP in their head with no one else really knowing what they do or how they do it. If there’s a system, others can take over seamlessly.
Finally, when you go to sell your business one day, a future owner will definitely pay more money for a business with good systems than one without. They’ll know that a business with systems has a better chance of operating without their founder than one without…
So let’s talk about examples of good systems in a business. Here are some you might look to implement in your own business:
1. Inventory management system
One of the most important systems for any business that deals with physical products is an inventory management system. This system helps you to keep track of your inventory levels, reorder products when necessary, and ensure that you always have enough stock on hand to meet customer demand.
2. Customer service system
Another important system for any business is a customer service system. This system helps you to manage customer inquiries, complaints, and feedback. By establishing a clear process for handling customer service issues, you can ensure your customers always get the attention and response you’d like them to.
3. Sales process system
A good sales process system can help you to streamline your sales process and ensure that every customer is treated fairly and consistently. This system should include processes for lead generation, qualification, and conversion, as well as clear guidelines for pricing, discounts, and negotiations. As well as ensuring your customers get the service you want them to have, you’re also giving your employees the scaffolding they need to deliver the experience you want from them.
4. Quality control system
A quality control system helps you to ensure that every product or service you deliver meets a high standard of quality. This system should include processes for testing, inspection, and verification, as well as clear guidelines for addressing any issues or defects that are discovered.
5. Induction system
Instead of relying on an ad hoc approach to induction, take the time to create a proper system for how to treat new employees. Cover what comms they’ll get and when, have their work station ready to go when they arrive, give them a small welcome gift, have someone buddy up with them and introduce them to the team and so on. Create a proper system for inductions and you’ll have a better chance of exceeding expectations on their first day, a great start to any working relationship.
Have I convinced you yet that systems deserve their time in the sun?! That they’re worth a bit of focus and attention because of what they offer to the operation of your business?! Take the time to establish and maintain effective systems and watch your business thrive.
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