Systematic Management occurs when you consistently use the same procedures to perform the operations of your business . To build integrity in the business, only the Systems that have delivered the Mission, Values, and Vision targets are made standards of operation. So, another way to think of Systems is to think of them as tested standards of operation. Any Management decisions made should attempt to keep the established Systems in place or to improve them if needed.
If you plan to grow your “solopreneur” from 1 to 100 employees, you will need to adopt the role as “Director” of the business. In most situations, you are the technical expert. That’s the reason you are in business. You are good at a particular skill. This is an excellent place to begin the design of your Systems. You know what works. Now you should take a larger perspective and document these procedures, so you can train others to carry them out in the same manner that has brought you success in the past.
“Achievement comes to someone when he is able to do great things for himself. Success comes when he empowers followers to do great things with him. Significance comes when he develops leaders to do great things for him, but legacy is created only when a person puts his organization into the position to do great things without him.” – John C. Maxwell
Small businesses that succeed develop systems of operation for almost every function performed. Your systems are designed to help you achieve each of your major strategic objectives. 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 enable you to sustain and enlarge the enterprise. 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.
Your job as the “Director” or Manager of your growing business is to include Systems management as part of your Strategic Management plan. You can probably think of many examples of Systems used by successful businesses. Fast food enterprises or the franchise businesses are the best examples of this concept. If you visit any one of these businesses you generally get the same type and quality of service. This standardized concept is the same practice that your small business can use to grow your business. With a focus on your clear Values for each operation, you can grow from 1 to 100 employees and beyond.
“Think and plan from the beginning on how to be simple. If you don’t incorporate that from the very beginning, it’s going to cost you at least twice as much”. Rodolpho Cardenuto
There are several specific advantages of organizing and managing your business around systems. Some advantages were defined by Arthita Banergee in “5 Main Advantages of the Systems Approach in Management.”
First, since the process has been defined, you can concentrate on the results that the system provides. This will help you evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the operation. You can adjust elements as needed.
Second, it organizes that actions that you take to operate your business in a consistent manner. All people performing the operation will perform in the same manner. New workers can be easily trained, if the system is documented, by anyone who has mastered the operation. This can free you up for other management duties.
Third, performance management is much easier, because you have proven and documented standards for workers to follow. See the article for further details.
“The systems approach to management introduces a structured configuration where personnel work as a combined unit. The system is efficient; it provides an orderly plan of action with personnel having clearly defined responsibilities that overlap and interlock to ensure that absence of a member results in minimal loss of productivity. By improving workflow, it frees the management of the routine details of operations management. Feedback provides a good basis of control, leading to higher quality of products. Overall, the approach improves strategic and management decision-making due to the interrelationships between the various subsystems.”
Michael Gerber advises that you should systematize your unique way of serving your customer and actually think of your business as if you are going to franchise it one day. Systemization is helpful when you decide to scale your business to serve more customers. Your Systems can be enlarged as needed.
Systematic Management is a proven way to organize the many complexities of your business. This positions you to flow with the rapid pace of change that our society is experiencing because you can work with only the systems affected. In fact, your Systems may also allow you to be proactive and create valuable changes in your industry yourself ahead of everyone else!