What happens when you run the risk of running your business without having any systems in place?

On the 2nd of Nov 2014 the Virgin Galactic Airship crashed to earth. The cause of tech failure uncovered that the pilot did not follow a particular system process that needed to be done at MAC 1.4. Unfortunately resulting in a catastrophe.

Now to be clear your business isn’t as dramatic as that. It can be however very taxing on the pocket or a system failure can lead to you not recovering or going out of business. I believe that systems are the measuring system to ensure you’re on track and to do regular systems check to give your business a “thunderbirds are go” (for those of you gen Y’ers they were a comic series that had plastic puppets where you could actually see the fishing lines , not the biggest of budgets but at the time innovative)

Step 1 – What’s the point?

Systems are the key to running a business regardless of size, style or location. You can create, measure and adjust any system till it’s simple and easy to apply. End result a business that is scalable and saleable with min input from YOU.

Step 2 – What’s a system?

According to Wikipedia a system is explained as:

System – a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network; a complex whole OR set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method. For business this means it’s everything you do within the business ( internal operations) and then everything externally (external client marketing and acquisition)

It’s the step by step process of doing something . For example if you have a bricks and moret style business a system could include a process of “opening the doors and getting ready for the day”

Step 3 – The cause

Imagine that at school you were taught business basics and the need to have systems in place be it business or for that matter life. OR when you registered your business you had to go through a “system” by which you could ascertain if you were business ready. Check out my UP-ology Business Health check to get your score [insert link]. What I mean by this is it’s NOT your fault , most business owners just haven’t been exposed to systems and the importance they hold in a business.

Step 4 – The solution

“Never fear Smith is here” the famous words spoken by Dr Zachery Smith ( AKA Jonathan Harris) in the famous series Lost in Space every time a solution was needed for a problem they were facing whether relationship advice or galactic domination.

SOOO

There is a way in order to get system ready and your business up and rockin. Now the key to systems is to start slow, don’t go trying to do everything in one hit and rewrite history. Just pick one department (if you’re a solopreneur think the different hat you wear) i.e pay the bills = finance dept and start to dissect the day to day system you are doing already. Eg If you are paying a bill to a supplier the way that you do that i.e open online banking, find account, look up person to pay, transfer the funds etc etc is what you need to record which then becomes a “way” you do it or a process within a system.

Step 5 – Tech. Hacks

Gone are the days of recording your systems and processes in a bid folder full of hundreds of pages and hard instructions. The Reason is that NO ONE looks at that stuff anymore, it’s sits there collecting dust because there’s no time…right? So here is what I use.

Screen record anything that is online – paying bills, checking stats, online marketing and so on . Basically everything that you use your computer to do running your business
Video camera anything that isn’t on screen – Literally you can record anything (even you recording you doing the system which is a bit weird but if that floats your boat …who am I to Judge) In other words record any other system that you need using your phone. The camera is HD and super easy to convert and store in a Systems folder.

Key systems and processes your business needs to avoid system failure

Sales – Creating a sales flow and automated funnel for nurturing and converting clients is critical. Reason being is NO SALES = NO BUSINESS plain and simple, so many people try to say “I’m in the building phase, my business is just a start up etc etc., at the end of the day you’re in business to sell your product or service in turn creating win/win relationships that help solidify and grow your business.

Marketing – So many business owners use what I call the “prayer method” they pray they get business in the door or someone refers them a client. Well that’s a sure fire way to go broke, especially cause there is no system in place. having a planned marketing with testing built in is critical. Ensure Lead Source (using Pay Per Click Social media marketing tools) lead Capture (lead Magnet that people are happy to trade an email , contact details for) and then an UP sell and follow up mechanism. Basically a way for people to start the initial conversation with you.

Finances – “Money in bank = good, money not in bank = no good” . I remember speaking to a business owner that told me this was his finance business system. The other one I love is “my accountant looks after the figures, I’m not sure what they are”. You need the following in a system to check and interpret the data on a weekly/monthly basis. P+L (Profit a loss sheet), Cashflow Current and projected, Balance Sheet. These 3 reports should be a part of your finance system.

Operational – If something happened to you or a staff member that you have entrusted a particular operational component if your business what would happen if god forbid something drastic went wrong OR the left the business taking with them all the data and ”how to “ information with them, chaos right? So having an individual ‘daily task’ process would then help create a system that can be used to measure productivity, accountability and application. So the system really acts as a dashboard on several levels. What people do on a daily basis in your business (even if you’re the one doing it) if systemised can have a major impact in your business.

One of the major strategies that I share with my coaching businesses is that Systems and processes equal freedom, time freedom, financial freedom and best of all life/ work freedom. It’s madness if you are running a business with poor or worse without any systems in place to be able to check , adjust and upgrade as you go along.

So If you are looking for help in creating systems be it Sales, Marketing , Operational, Financial and so on in your business to remove the need to be IN your business (another word for slave) all the time and you’re sick of saying “If you want something done do it yourself” then we can help you. Click here for more details.

Nick P