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Productivity / Processes

Business systems: How they save your sanity!

A challenge for any solo business owner is how to get others to help run the business, so that it doesn’t completely take over your life. You can look over everybody’s shoulder all of the time or you can invest in business systems to free yourself.

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In reality, solo business owners are going to do most things themselves. But it’s possible to get help from the likes of book-keepers, virtual assistants or colleagues in the same industry. This way your business doesn’t completely take over your life.

To set up a business system you have to get the knowledge out of your head and into a format that others can understand and follow. You need to identify what are the most critical actions in your business, who is responsible for them and how they should be done. Once you know these things, you can share this information with others and begin to do less of them yourself. A little time invested in giving direction to others will pay big dividends down the track.

Systems in your business are as important as the products and services you sell. If you don’t give your customer sufficient reason to purchase your product, they will go elsewhere. Look at your business systems in the same way.

Your product or service can be recreated by following a ‘recipe’. Your recipe is having systems, making sure they are functional and constantly being improved.

When you have business systems in place, others can replicate easily the critical actions. This will give you the opportunity to have a break when you want to and know the business will perform in the same way as if you were there.

"Business systems stop you, the business owner, from having to be the bad guy/girl all the time."

If you don’t have systems you will always be a slave to your business.

Want more articles like this? Check out the processes section.

Further, to expand your business it is critical that you have business systems in place. When your product is good you need to ensure you replicate the process each time you make it. You need to do the same with your business. Things that are replicated are easier for others to follow.

Business systems stop you, the business owner, from having to be the bad guy/girl all the time. When something isn’t being done as per the system you can simply say “This is the way we do it here and this is the system”. It leaves no doubt in the mind of staff about the way things need to be done. This is why McDonalds is so successful. They have business systems and they say “This is the way we do it here”.

Business systems can take many forms e.g. manuals or a web based method. Web based methods for many business processes are popular today. These types of business systems are not as expensive as you might think. What price do you put on your own sanity and health?

Another benefit of having systems in place is in added value to your business. If you wish to one day sell your business and retire, having business systems is much more attractive to a buyer than a business that runs from inside the owner’s head.

Do you have systems supporting your business?

Sue Hirst

is the founder of CAD partners (also known as ‘CFO On-Call’), a team of Financial Controllers who can help business owners grow their business safely.

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