Over the last couple of weeks, I have noted several business owners talking about developing systems for their Business, often considering methods in which they can implement to save them time in their Business. Believe it or not, systems can be Automated, e.g. using technology, apps, programs etc, or they can actually still be in the manual format, yes paper copies, document-focused etc. In order to be able to develop systems into your business operations, you really need to take time to learn and understand your business, and the way your business operates. Once you know the way your Business operates you can understand what needs to occur you in the business, and what can make it easier. Guess often we look at systems to solve 2 issues,
- Is to give us back time as a Business owner in our life, which can reduce the time in which we spend working in our Business in a day, which may allow us more downtime to spend with family and friends.
- The other reason is we might want to make the process of the client working with us to ensure it is easier for them and therefore gives them a better experience in working with our Business as a client.
If clients find the process is reasonably easy in being about to use our services, or buy our products, then they are more likely to return to our office/ store to make future purchases, however they may also be more likely to recommend or refer us to friends of their’s which helps to grow our businesses. I believe one of the best ways to develop systems for your business, once you understand your business is to document all the processes involved in your Business. Once you have the processes documented, you then can understand what steps you or the client has to go through in order to be able to do Business with you. You can review your processes, and see whether all steps are needed, or whether some can be combined at another point which can save time for yourself or your client, eg.. how many times in your sign up process do you ask for an email address or a phone number, are they answering the same question multiple times, just in different places, or in a slightly different way, however almost giving you the same information basically. In short, the tips are,
- Document what types of actions, items need to be done, within your business operations, think about yourself as Manager, employees, and customers/clients
- Create and document the process of how each is achieved and completed
- Brainstorm with employees, or your mentor/coach on how the processes can be altered and made better- does it have to be automated or manual system.
- Implement the processes and then the System you decide on.
- Review the system and the process, and evaluate whether they are working the best for both parties, does something need to be refined a little.
- Change as required, remember at times change can be the improvement for your business and the experience within doing business with your business.
Guess, if I can give one example of a system, which often is not effective is many Businesses, is how a person submits a quote request or request for more information. For example, the contact form on some websites might have a place for name, email, and a short message, which often results in a back and forth email conversation to get all the information required.
However, if we can be more precise in the information we need from the initial contact of the client it might help make the process quicker and more efficient. E.g asking for Name, email, phone, company name or at least industry, do they employ staff, what is their problem, possible hint at the budget in which they might have in place.
Whilst it might take longer for the client to fill in the initial request contact form, it might be that extra information in what you need as the business owner to provide the right information and therefore the right solution to their problem, therefore saving them time over the long run.
Every Business should have efficient systems within their Business Operations if your systems are not as efficient as they could be, now is the time to speak with someone to gain the help and support you need to rectify your systems inefficiencies, remember systems do not always need to cost you money, some can be inexpensive to yourself as the business owner, always work within your budget.