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10 steps to systemise your business

Written by Tim Morris
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The Entourage's guide to business systemisation

How do you know when you’ve got a good business? When you can step away for a week, sit on the beach, or climb a mountain, and come back and everything is working perfectly. Do you know why it would be working perfectly? Business systemisation!

Business systemisation is vital if you want to be able to one day have a business that can run without you. So, do you want to know how to systemise your business? We’ll tell you what business systemisation is, why it’s important, and give you tips on how you can implement it. We have some Operations Training you can take if you want to skip right to it. Otherwise, read on my friend.

What is business systemisation?

Put simply, business systemisation is a set of work instructions, which explain in terms anyone can follow, what the processes are for running your business. It lists tasks, contacts, roles, and more, so you can walk away from the business and it will survive without you.

Some great examples of systemisation include:

  • FAQ for staff to answer questions from clients.
  • Authority for certain people to execute certain decisions.
  • Some automation of tasks, like emails or resupplying of stock.
  • Standard operating procedures for things like filing, documentation, or timelines for customer replies.

Why is it important to systemise your business?

Systemisation is important to your business, but it is also important for you.

For you

If you are unwell, you cannot be at work. You may have to cancel appointments or reschedule meetings, or things just might not get done, which will hurt cash flow. Systemisation means someone else can step in to fill in your shoes and keep the business running while you are away.

You should also not be at the helm 24/7. You need downtime, you need to live life. Put systems in place that can handle emergency calls after hours and on weekends. Delegate someone to help you out in those times. And this should be your aim as you grow your business - to scale in a way that the business can work without you.

For the sake of your health (both mental and physical), you need business systemisation.

For your business

Most importantly, if you don’t get some systems in place you cannot scale your business up. You cannot delegate roles or hire people to do the work so you can grow. You can’t open up as a franchise or plan for the exponential growth of your business unless you have systems in place for consistency.

Systems help with staff efficiency and can improve productivity, which helps your bottom line.

And if it ever comes to the point you want to sell your business, if there are systems in place, the new owner can take over your business and hit the ground running. This can dramatically lift the sale value of your business.

Signs your business needs systemisation

How do you know if you need to systemise your business? Your staff are happy, you’re making money, and life is good, right?

StepstoSystemise_Mid

  • Do your staff constantly ask you for advice or answers to problems? Do they call you when you’re not even at work?
  • When you’re home are you only thinking about work stuff?
  • Do you not leave work until a few hours after everyone else?
  • Must everything be done YOUR WAY?
  • Are you too busy working in your business to step back, innovate, market, and grow your business?

If the reason you went into business is getting lost in the noise of being in business, you need to implement business systemisation to free you up and remind you of your WHY.

10 tips to implement systemisation in your business

Time to help you out. Here are some tips on how to implement steps to systemise your business and get it running smoothly.

1. Start taking notes of things that go wrong

This sounds counterintuitive but stay with us here. Do you get customer complaints about the same issue? Are there some common updates that need to be applied? What about opportunities to upsell clients to bigger and better products, but your staff sometimes fail to sell because of language or notably, not understanding the features and benefits of your products?

Take note of the things that go wrong, then document and teach your team how to resolve those issues. Give the standard sales pitch for your staff to use. Write a how-to guide on fixing the common customer problems.

Make it so you’re not the only one who can put out fires.

2. Create a list of the most common and important tasks

We mean ALL of the tasks. What needs to be done at what time of day, on what day of the week? Is there a regular monthly meeting or call which must be made?

Get into as much detail as you can and write a standard operating procedure, or a step-by-step process of how it’s done. Dot point lists are very good for this.

Once you’ve written these down, give the list to someone else and see if they can complete the task. Take on feedback afterward and adjust accordingly.

3. Train more employees to do important tasks

This empowers your employees and gives them ownership. It also frees your time up to focus on your highest and best use - the things that will actually drive the growth of your business.

This also tests how good your documentation process is. If they have questions or better solutions, allow your team to amend the documentation appropriately.

4. Implement automation

This frees up time from menial and repetitive tasks so you can better use your time and the time of your employees.

  • Do you send out regular emails? Automate it.
  • Do you have repeat orders on stock? Automate it.
  • Get some standardised replies you can cut and paste into emails for customer response, and to build faqs.
  • Create macros to tabulate data and generate reports so you don’t always have to do that manually.

5. Assign managers

Again, this can help with morale and they can manage certain parts of the business, freeing you up to look at the bigger picture. Make sure they are accountable, and check-in with them once a week. Make sure you trust them to run their function of the business for you. The business is your baby, you want it taken good care of.

6. Delegate

Don’t be afraid to let someone else have a go. Delegation shows leadership skills. You acknowledge someone has the skill and ability, in your eyes, to take on a role.

7. Create fixed processes

This helps to create standardisation in quality across your company, whether it's a customer facing role or an operations role. 

This also helps if you branch out into franchising. Be inspired by the McDonald's model, the first company in the world to implement business standardisation. They got something right, so you can too.

8. Make training protocols

You’ve upskilled your current staff through the documentation you’ve made. Now it’s time to train new recruits. The quicker you can get new staff members on board and working, the quicker your business will surge ahead and get better and more profitable.

Also, if you can train new staff from your documentation alone you don’t need to take current staff off important work to train the newbie.

9. Continue to learn and improve your systemisation

Times change, your business will change and grow bigger and more successful, and as such your processes will naturally change as well. Always look to educate yourself in different ways to do business, better and more efficient ways for you and your team to work harmoniously.

You can certainly look through all we have to offer in business coaching and training for you.

And through this education and growth, your systems will evolve to meet new challenges.

10. Do test runs to see how the business operates without you

Now the fun part. How do you test to see if your business can run without you? Go on vacation. Leave your phone at home, hit a tropical beach or a theme park. Take a week to binge all seven seasons of your favourite show on TV while telling your friends you’re actually doing the gardening.

When you come back, if nothing is on fire and all your staff are still there, and they have handled customer queries, ordered things, and generally did a good job, then you can call that a win.

Action points

How are you feeling after reading that? In the mood to start systemising your business, getting your staff involved so you can grow and scale your business, and go on holiday, confident that your business will still be standing when you get back?

We can help you turn your business into a well-oiled machine, so it doesn’t feel as scary as you think.

Our legendary coaches at The Entourage can help you build your business in so many ways. You can dip your toe into training with our short course on how to grow your business to 8-figures, for only $19, or work directly with one of our business coaches to help you on the full journey to huge success.

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