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Don't keep re-inventing the wheel

Businesses owners start out doing everything themselves and fall into the trap of forever re-inventing the wheel.

Michael Gerber in his book, The E-Myth Revisited, “Small businesses don’t work, the people who own them do”.

This is why you must systemize. The three keys are:

  1. Innovation – test new ideas
  2. Quantification – measure what works best
  3. Orchestration – use the best ideas everywhere

Systemising your business allows you to:

  • Put your team in charge – delegate don’t abdicate.
  • Free up your time – and get your life back.
  • Step back - from the operational issues to watch, listen to and learn from your customers, competitors and colleagues - and use your findings to start thinking strategically.
  • Test new ideas – and improve everything. Constantly search for ways to make your business better and different from its rivals.
  • Do everything the best way.
  • Replicate and grow.
  • Become more profitable.
  • Attract a buyer.
  • Increase the value of your business.

Systemising your business is simple but it is not easy.

Step 1 - List your systems

The areas for which the systems should be listed are:

  • Leadership
  • Operational
  • Marketing
  • Customer
  • People
  • Finance
  • Administration

Step 2 – Classify your systems

Peter Drucker, Austrian-born American management consultant and business visionary, said: “There is no point doing well that which should not be done at all.”

There are two approaches to classification:

  • Salience/worth matrix
  • The organisation chart

The worth of a process is assessed on whether it adds more money to the business than it cost.

The second method of classification is to look at the processes for which each position in an organisation chart is responsible. This is an approach outlined by Michael Gerber and may be more appropriate to use in a small business with few systems and where the business owners do most of the work.

Step 3 – Map your systems

You need to map the systems to establish:

  • What is happening
  • How predictably, and
  • Why

Step 4 – Analyse your systems

By analysing your systems, you will be able to:

  • Measure efficiency against customer demand
  • Identify waste, and
  • Understand the impact on the customer

Step 5 – Document your systems

This step and step 6 are part of Orchestration – using the best systems everywhere.

Document every system as a step-by-step process and;

  • Link to standard letters, checklists, forms, scripts, videos, agendas etc.
  • Allocate responsibility
  • Show the objective
  • Design the measures

Step 6 – Implement your systems

The final part.

  • Add the system to your business procedures and make it accessible
  • Notify the team
  • Train the team
  • Get feedback from the team
  • Add to the induction process
  • Monitor the system
  • Set a date to review the system