All businesses have systems. They make the wheels of your business machine turn. Some systems are formal and many are informal. Systems that are informal can keep your wheels from turning smoothly when it comes to day-to-day operations, closing sales and ultimately selling or passing down your business when you are ready to retire. You can avoid major accidents and breakdowns by creating and maintaining formal, written systems that will grow and distinguish your business.
Too many small businesses are too busy running the business and fending off daily emergencies, that systems go completely ignored and chaos often prevails. A system is nothing but a series of processes. These processes are comprised of one or more activities that will involve one or more of the following inputs:
The business that will take the lead in the race for customers is the business that has all its systems integrated and working smoothly together. A business that has an infallible billing system, acceptable customer service but has too much inventory is not going to win the race. Ideally your systems create an experience for the customer that makes him or her want to come back for more. And your team should be well informed and easily adept at implementing the processes you have identified.
Think of it like this:
Imagine if you were in the market to buy a business. Would you buy a business that can run on its own or would you buy one that could not run without the owner? When a business can virtually operate on its own because its systems are so clearly documented and thought out, it is more likely to weather changes in business climate, transition to new ownership, maintain its value and sell off at a much higher price.
Here are some tips to make sure your systems are up and running at a winning pace: