Every aspect of business has it own unique set of rules. For example, management and building your team has rules. Connecting with your target market while seeing them as a single person with a specific need has rules. The daily operation of your business also has rules. Even though we are in business for ourselves and can do whatever we want, there are certain rules of engagement that can lead to success and certain violations that can lead to failure. These rules, procedures or standards have great impact on our bottom line.
In other words, it’s all about systems. If you put us in charge of anything, then we eventually come up with a way of doing it, because systems make “it” easier. Our personal morning routine is a system. Our coffee or tea before the first meeting is a system. The way the bank processes our money is a system. In fact, all the elements of business can be reduced to its most basic commonality—business is about systems that help us execute solutions for people.
Whether it’s a one-man production or a well-tuned creative team, there is still a system of some kind. Knowing this and maximizing it can serve us well in small business. In fact, the more order you bring to your business, the more business you can handle.
But here’s the problem. Systems don’t work in small business when they are nonexistent, inconsistent or broken.
We can’t shoot from the hip every day. There has to be some consistent way of doing things. If you intend to scale your business and eventually add to the team of people who help you, then effective systems are a requirement.
I found a few systems from some of our Small Business Trends experts that you may like:
If you are looking for a sales system for presenting your business, your products, your solutions, your books, etc., then Ivana Taylor has a quick and well-laid-out plan in how to get what you want in 7 minutes or less. It doesn’t have to take a long time to get your point across. This simple system can also double for an internal marketing strategy for presenting new ideas to your team.
Susan L. Reid lists 7 actions for small business owners to take now in the current economy. Two of her actions, investing in education and following the market, are systems for me. I read the Sunday paper Monday mornings and follow Internet news throughout the week. I learn something new that relates to my business every Tuesday and Thursday before the work day begins and after it ends. For me, having a system makes the behavior automatic. It can do the same thing for your employees.
Does your small business have a coherent strategy? Anita Campbell’s discussion of a recent survey by Booz & Company, reporting that most businesses with a strategy and one to three targeted goals have higher profit margins in their business, should encourage a systematic strategy among small business owners. Plus, if you decide to use Ivana’s sales system to propose and present upcoming changes to your leadership team, then this survey could serve as excellent statistical ammunition to inform and motivate your people.
The quality of our strategy (our plans and organized communication) impacts the quality of our long-term business. But it’s the systems that make the strategy a daily part of the company. It’s the systems that make it effective.