Last week we spoke of how to 'Free yourself from doing Sunday invoicing' so you are not a slave to your Business; don’t you want a streamlined business delivering high quality work and happy customers :)
I had a great session today with a electrician running a medium-sized business going gangbusters, it was him and a partner.
Their business is doing really, really well. But we found ourselves discussing systems, and why should they do systems, and what the benefit of systems is to them, especially when there are mixture of small and large jobs.
So, what is the problem?
I think that there's a real danger there, if you don't do the system for the little jobs, when you do the bigger jobs or when you start to grow from being a small business to a medium then large business it becomes harder to do the systems consistently and you can lose time and money by the variation on every job.
'THIS PUTS A LIMIT ON YOUR ABILITY TO SCALE AND GROW YOUR BUSINESS AND YOU WILL HIT A CEILING EVENTUALLY'
- and maybe you already have and are just starting to realise it....
If systems are used always then it works best for efficiency and quality.
The real question is why to do systems? And what should motivate you to want to do them all the time? Ultimately, it means
- less time to get a job done
- consistency with the jobs
- quality of job completion increases
- less time to train the apprentice as its part of induction
Systems are vital
Even in our business we struggle with a consistent engagement and delivery across product development, sales or marketing. We have made huge efforts to systemise our workflows and its starting to pay off.
It's hard to sit down and write down exactly what you're going to do, but really, systemization of your business doesn't have to be a big bang approach.
Keep it simple ... Something along the lines of
- decide who owns the process
- when you started using it, and
- what's the status of it. Is it actively being used/applied or not?
It's three things:
- It’s purpose (the why)
- The procedural steps (the what)
- The checklist for completion (what does completion look like)
Three steps. Pretty simple. Hugely, hugely powerful and transformative. Transformative for an individual and magnified for a business.
Once you understand these key things, then you get your team together and ask them to write their own systems. This takes a bit of work, and a bit of nudging, and a bit of encouragement, and a bit of follow-up, and getting some templates and a few videos on how to do a system for someone.
You could even record yourself on your camera phone doing a system, and say,
"This is how you do it."
Once compiled get the team to explain each of the processes and do a few training sessions.
The power of it's phenomenal, we talk about delegating down and you can only delegate reliably and consistently if you have a procedure and with a good job management software you will fly through this.
Where to Start?
The power of the process. Grab a couple of common ones you do and start a catelogue then start ticking them off each week, say, "I'm going to knock off one process a week." By the end of the week, you'll have one!
That's a definite improvement in your workflow. By the end of the year, you'll have, what? 50 processes documented. That's probably 80% of your business operations documented.
Grab a spreadsheet, and grab some Word documents, and get started!
And just a couple of points as to what you gain by it. Even as an individual yourself.
When you do something consistently you're not relearning it every time by adding a variation that takes more time. You're not losing those 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes to remember how to do something. How to access some software. How to do a quote and all the elements that need to be included.
You get consistency and more importantly reliability. If you write it down, you save that time of recalling how to do it each time. You're actually much faster and your team dont have to guess what to do when they are in the field.
Where to now?
We talked about consistency. We talked about saving time. Stopping the relearning and this allows you to delegate to a team.
Allows you to have:
- continuous improvement.
- Improves the scaleability of your business.
It's all documented, and you can step away. To do what?
- More time with your family.
- Less time on the tools.
- Less time in your business and more time on your business.
- You can spend more time growing your business.
- You can spend more time being strategic with your business, developing partnerships with people.
- Talking to key customers.
Wow. The power of the process! Thanks everyone. Love your work.
Share this, Like it (Facebook). Comment. Susbcribe to our Blog for more weekly articles on how to improve your business. I would Love to get your feedback on systems and processes, and how you found them, or how hard you found them to do.
Flick me a question I would love to hear your thoughts :)