Think: Systems, Systems, Systems

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Proven systems

 

Small businesses that succeed develop systems of operation for almost every function performed. see “The E Myth” by Michael Gerber and “Stick With It” by Lee Colan.  Business systems are activities performed in a consistent manner to achieve the organization’s goals. They are performed in several steps and the successful manager documents these steps for easy replication. To most, this will be boring and tedious but once the documents are completed, this will give the manager time to do what he/she enjoys doing and sustain and enlarge your enterprise as well.  This is one of the great secrets of successful business that many small business owners avoid. Creating systems simply starts with documenting what you do and how you do it. It could be called an operations manual or a systems manual or some unique name that might come to you; but the object is to document the successful operations that you want to make routine.

The various types of business systems have been described in different ways. Michael Gerber describes the systems as Hard, Soft, and Information systems. The Hard system refers to the placement of equipment or the vehicles used for execution such as bulletin boards for messages or the placement and care of equipment. Soft systems are procedures used to acquire customers and product/service delivery. Information systems are tools used to record activity in your business. Budgeting software, cloud computing, security and many other great services provided by today’s technology can help with these administrative functions. Three other ways of system creation have also been described: the Sales system, the Delivery system and the Customer service system. The Sales system includes your marketing efforts and customer acquisition methods whereas the Delivery system involves steps for getting your product/service to the customer and Customer service systems involves your contact with the customer and how you retain them. see “The Importance of Business Systems” by Ian Howard

You will know that your systems are working if there is very little conflict and customers are coming back for more. You will also know that the systems are working if elements of your strategic plan are being achieved and you Mission and Vision are being realized. You will , of course, need to use various ways of measuring the levels of achievement of critical objectives but systems help you pinpoint areas that may or may not need adjusting.

Developing systems will allow you to work on your business not in it which is what is required if you plan to grow. The best managers of growing enterprises are constant learners who get help and advice from professionals in the field and they read as much as they can in the field of management as well as readings in the particular discipline that relates to their business. If you are serious about your business, document systems when you find a successful one and continue learning, your business will achieve it’s Mission and Vision.

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