It might be fun to fly by the seat of your pants but you can’t do it all the time. Having the proper structure to your business and putting in place systems and processes that improve productivity and maintain quality are a much better guarantees of success.
When you first start up a business, you may find that you are able to control all the different challenges that come your way. As you get more successful, however, there comes a point when you have to put the right plans in place.
What are Systems?
They’re basically the documented processes and procedures that you need to follow to do your business. This can be anything from how to operate a piece of tech or machinery to how marketing material is disseminated. It can include putting your brand to the fore in any client contact or simply the right process for chasing up a sales call.
The reason many businesses don’t get on board with sorting out their systems and processes is that they are often seen as back room measures. The newest developments and the latest client are much more exciting. Putting in systems, however, means that people coming into your organisation to work have a strong framework to operate from.
Another reason that business neglect this particular area of their daily functioning is that it’s a thing which can be put off. We’ll do it tomorrow or we’ll schedule some time to get it done in the next month or so. This is understandable, particularly if you are working hard to get a business off the ground and have ‘more important’ things to do.
But systems and processes need to be put in place. They are actually vital and they can save you a lot of time and money. Here are just a few more benefits:
- They are important if you want to move on and sell your business. Potential buyers expect systems and processes in place, they don’t expect to have to do all this work themselves.
- Systems and processes prepare you to expand and scale up. It means you can take on new staff knowing that your business is going to stay on a desired course and not veer away because someone didn’t know how to do something important.
- They make your brand and your business operation consistently. Everyone knows where they stand and what to do when X or Y happens.
- You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time a situation comes up. It saves on time and money if you have a process for this or that eventuality.
Implementing sound systems and processes can include:
- Introducing accounting systems that keep track of sales and expenditure.
- Writing down your business plan for at least the next five years, including what goals you need to achieve and by when.
- How are you going to fund new developments and when you need it by.
- How you are going to manage recruitment and what new employees need to know when they start working for you.
- Creating a policy for technology including the use of secure passwords and the dos and don’ts of operation.
- How you are going to bill people and collect money.
- Where you are going to market and develop your brand.
- What customer support you are going to provide and how this is going to be delivered uniformly and to a high standard.
Basically, as your business grows the more need for systems and processes you are going to have. While your business may be small now, the hope is that it will begin to scale up and become a success. Rather than putting them on the back burner for now, having a detailed think about what processes and systems you need in place is better done sooner, rather than later.