Do you ever find yourself making that statement? Do you struggle with your staff delivering inconsistent service quality or handling customers with your level of professionalism? Do they sell your products or services as well as you? For many business owners, the answer is NO! So what is the solution?
The default solution for too many entrepreneurs is to work lots of hours and do it yourself. If this sounds like you, how is this “solution” affecting your lifestyle, time with those you love, and your amount of recreation? There is a way out! Put systems in place so others can do the tasks the same way you would, or possibly even better.
Develop and Implement a System
Systems are your way of empowering your team to perform the work on a level as if you were doing it personally. View the word SYSTEM as an acronym for: Saving You Stress, Time, Energy, & Money! Systems reduce your hours and stress by empowering average people to do great work. Systems also insure that customers receive the consistency they expect - each and every time. Sound too good to be true? Ask yourself: “How do other businesses grow beyond the owner?” - by creating systems to run the company, freeing the owner for strategic growth initiatives. Below are some simple guidelines for creating systems that work.
Keep them simple
If the system or documented process is complex, then keep working to distill the activity down to its critical essence. When you thoroughly understand something, and present it well, it will become simple for someone else to replicate. When is it truly simple? - when someone else, unfamiliar with the task, can complete it using only what you have documented in the system.
Write only systems that make money or reduce risk
You are not in the business of creating manuals, so only create a system if it simplifies a task, improves quality, or speeds up a service. This will keep you focused. Start small and grow the system(s) with time.
Assure the systems you develop are used
Have you heard of the proverb: “What gets measured or monitored gets done”? As you create systems or document processes, include a monitoring or measuring protocol to insure the systems are used.
Make the system selectively accessible
Not every team member needs to use every system. Your master manual should contain all of your systems. Individual team members should have copies of only the systems that involve them. This makes it easier for someone substituting as backup or when training a new team member.
Get the team involved
Who better to help document the systems than the people who are currently doing the tasks? The team can also help you improve the current systems by identifying redundancies and what’s not working.
Make sure the team knows their role in the overall process
Unfortunately, it is normal for team members to disagree on the sequence of tasks and how to best complete them. Team members need to know their role and how it affects the overall results. Clearly written and agreed upon roles (job descriptions) go a long way toward accomplishing this. So start the systemization process with clearly written job descriptions.
Documenting the systems in your business may seem overwhelming. Don’t try to do them all at once. Document one or two systems, implement them and monitor the results. Once you are satisfied, move to the next one.
So where do you start? That’s easy – select a task that you are currently doing (but shouldn’t be) or one that can fix a problem you are currently facing such as product rejects, low sales conversion rates, poor service or customer satisfaction, etc.
A final thought: take it one step at a time – but just do it!