Did you put on plays when you were a kid? I know I did, and when it was time to put on a play, we put some serious planning into its production. In fact, my brothers and I had a system of sorts for pulling it all together. We would fashion some theatre tickets, carefully choose costumes from mom and dad’s closet, and color a play program for our guests. I think the planning was as much fun as the performance. As I have enjoyed greater success in business, those same system-creating skills have become a valuable asset. Systems can take the drudgery out of work, making your business run more efficiently.
WHAT IS A SYSTEM?
Want to work less and earn more? System can help you to do that. As your business grows, you will need easy ways to handle the increased workload. Systems will help you work smarter and accomplish more with less effort. It can save you time and reduce errors.
Think of your business as a factory. In order to increase production, you need to make your factory function more efficiently. Similarly, having a routine way of handling simple tasks will make your business increase production with less effort on your part. It’s like putting your business on autopilot!
If a bus hit you today, would your business survive? That’s a question I often ask myself as a safeguard to ensure I am not putting too much “me” in my business. Having well developed systems can enable your business to run with your brand of expertise and style without you. This can free you to enjoy your life, spend more time planning future growth, or dream up new business ventures.
While Ray Kroc is long gone, his legacy of fast food and friendly service lives on. He broke his McDonald’s business into down into easy to replicate procedures and systems. He documented the processes for making the perfect fries and hamburger in painstaking great detail, noting the equipment, the timing, and the temperature. He tested his procedures to make sure that employees could reproduce the results easily. Mr. Kroc then founded McDonald’s University especially for the purposes of training his management team. By having simple systems, Mr. Kroc was able to ensure that customers can go to any McDonald’s across the country and get the same quality product they know and love.
ELEMENTS OF A SYSTEM
How do you create systems that work for your business? The answer is to create a foolproof system that even a monkey could do. Write down each step of what you do, document it thoroughly , and train someone on it. If you have done your job of creating an easy-to-follow system, then anyone should be able to take your set of instructions and complete the task.
A system can be as simple as a set of procedures; it can involve specialized forms, lists or software, machinery, consultants, or a team of assistants. It simply involves all of the elements needed to make something happen!
And the great news is that the system you need may already be out there. There is an endless variety of self help books with systems designed to make your life and work easier. There are self-appointed experts for every subject imaginable who can share their systems for success for a mere consulting fee. You can take a teleclass, read an ebook, or attend a class at your local college to help you master a certain skill and devise a system that works for you.
THE SYSTEMIZATION PROCESS
Here is how you can systematize any aspect of your business.
1) Identify which tasks in your business could be handled routinely by systems.
2) Document all the steps of what needs to happen for this task to be completed.
3) Design a “flow chart” of sorts to show how all the parts of the system will work and interact together.
4) Gather the tools, people, and resources necessary for these steps to be carried out
5) Create a timeframe for the frequency and timing of often this system needs to run. Do you need this to happen on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis?
6) Test your system. Hand the instructions and all tools off to a coworker or consultant to see if they can accomplish the task.
7) Take note of any problems that occurred and make any necessary adjustments or problem solving techniques that were employed.
8) Test again. When the system runs consistently without you and gets the desired results, it is complete.
WHAT KIND OF SYSTEMS DO YOU NEED?
These days there are systems to serve every need from accounting to search engine optimization. Ask yourself where you need help in your business? What could be made easier? Take a look at what systems you currently have in place. Think about what systems will you need as your business grows.
Here are over 50 key systems that you can implement to make your business run more efficiently:
Today I get a kick out of watching my daughter employ those same list making strategies into her playtime as she thoughtfully prepares her daily “to do” list in crayon, prepares her agenda for her family “exercise class”, or practices her pop star routine (she is going to be the next Britney Spears she tells me!). While systems might not make your work seem like child’s play, they will simplify your business and your life. Be an architect of your future, commit to enjoying greater success with less stress by designing smart systems to handle your work.
Kristie Tamsevicius, is the author of “I Love My Life: A Mom’s Guide to Working from Home”! Thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs have used her step-by-step home business system to earn money working from home. Get a free ecourse Home Business Success Secrets at http://www.webmomz.com/ilovemylife1.htm