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‘System’ is Not a Dirty Word

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‘System’ is Not a Dirty Word

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Business owners are wary of ‘systems’, feeling they deprive them of flexibility.

However, a system is no more than a repeatable way of doing things to achieve a particular outcome. Properly implemented, systemisation increases productivity and improves profit in businesses of any size and type. Here are just some of the benefits:

  1. Systems ensure consistency of service or product by removing variables that affect quality, performance and delivery.
  2. Systems cut out unnecessary ‘think time’ by ensuring everyone knows what needs to be done.
  3. Systems stop mistakes happening because there’s a set sequence to follow. This also makes it easier to spot when things are going wrong.
  4. Systems create certainty and confidence, as everyone is clear about what is expected of them.
  5. Systems help make the best use of resources, cutting out time-consuming and duplicated tasks.
  6. The very act of setting up a system makes you think afresh about your business.
  7. Systems create a basis for future improvement and adjustment.
  8. Systems are teachable, so new staff learn the ropes faster.
  9. Systems add value to your business by making it easier to sell at a better price.

When applied to disciplines such as sales, marketing, through to customer service, fulfillment and manufacturing, systems allow you to maximise the power of your business, not just improving output, but also the quality of all that you do. So, far from being a dirty word, ‘system’ should be in the vocabulary of every business owner.

How to Systemise for Success

Many businesses work with ad hoc procedures that ‘just happen’, and aren’t really systems at all.

This article is about how to maximise efficiency, how do you systemise your business, or improve the systems already there. Here are some tips:

  1. Start by choosing an area for systemisation – such as answering incoming calls or dealing with customer complaints – then decide what you want the outcomes to be, and work out the action sequence for getting there.
  2. Aim to systemise to an appropriate level for your business and your resources – neither so complex that it’s difficult to sustain, or so basic that it doesn’t deliver.
  3. Start with simpler systems before going on to more complex ones, and don't try to systemise too many areas at once. Remember that systems don’t work in isolation, so consider how they will impact each other.
  4. Often the weakest component in a system are those who use it, so any system you create should be understandable by the least knowledgeable and experienced staff member who will use it.
  5. Formalise your systems in an ‘Operations Manual’ that is your ‘bible’ on how you do everything in your business, whether you’re a new recruit or an experienced employee looking for clarification.
  6. Try to get ‘buy in’ from staff for any new system, which won’t necessarily be welcomed, even if it’s needed.
  7. Give systems time to bed down -- allowing staff, suppliers and customers the opportunity to provide feedback.

And if it’s obvious a system isn’t working, don’t be afraid to pull the plug on it and start again.

Article supplied by How To Franchise Simply

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