I think it’s really important that if you’re building a business, you’re systemising. I see too many people who hire people, and then they blame those people when they don’t work out. 99% of the time it wasn't because the person wasn't a good person, I mean, you’re not going to hire people that you don’t like, typically. You hire people that you like. You hire people that you think have got the skill, but then you fire them what they can’t get the job done or you don’t like their personality. So, if you want someone to be really successful at their job, it’s about having a system. People run your systems, systems run your business!
I’ve got 4 basic steps for you to think about when you’re systemising your business. They are:
Step one, flow chart the process:
Keep it simple:
Think about what is the process that you’re trying to document? Start by writing it out on a piece of paper. Grab a pen and write a few squares. Write down ‘step one is this,’ ‘step two is this.’ Just go through. If it’s a decision use a diamond. Is it a yes, is it a no? So you can start to think about what the system is that you’re trying to create.
Then when you go through it, forget about fancy software for this now, by the way. I see people using all sorts of flow charting software that you can download off the internet for free. They’re great things... but it’s just something else you’re going to have to try and learn, another obstacle or hurdle for you to get over before you do what needs to be done. When it comes to systemising your business, it doesn’t need to be complicated. How do you identify the things that you need to flowchart? Well, I would make a list of all the things that you do in your business that are repetitive, and that will help you do that. So step one is the flow chart and track your progress.
Step two, document how it gets done:
Once you’ve flow charted it, certain parts of that flow chart are going to need a document to explain how you carry out that particular task. So for example, one of your processes might be to do the invoicing. And to do the invoicing, the first step might be to calculate the client usage for the month. Well there may be a process that you need to document for someone to follow, step one, step two, step three, step four. So within that flowchart, there will be sub-flowcharts if you like, or processes that people will follow.
Step three: measure everything using key performance indicators:
Make sure that once you’ve set up a system, you’re measuring the results as you go along so you can identify where the strengths and the weaknesses are in that system. Because it’s no good having a system in place if it’s not effective. If people are dropping the ball still and you’ve got a system, it means there’s something wrong with the system, not with the person. And I think that’s key, you know. So once you put systems into place in your business, you can start to track things like that.
Step four, make sure you have a way where you can allow systems to grow, bend, change, and be flexible.
Systems are never finished. I know that’s going to shock you. You’re probably thinking, ‘Ben, can we just get these systems done?’ But they’re never finished. So if you’re going to develop systems in your business, you need to be ready for the fact that they are going to change, that you do need to be ready and flexible to be able to change them. Take team responses to be able to mould them, and continually and forever go on improving them so you can make sure your business is more efficient.
Create Systems for your Business:
Flow chart your process, document the different steps, measure using KPIs or key performance indicators, and then be flexible. There you are. Hopefully that’s helped you understand how to put some systems into place in your business.
About the Author
Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.