How To Systemize Your Growing Business

From the exciting times of the start up, most business owners then end up at the mundane times of just keeping the business going. We don’t feel like we have enough time to even remember WHY we started the business in the first place, our vision. Instead of being the maverick entrepreneur, we now become a mundane manager. Where once every day presented new challenges and opportunities, now the daily routines make every day feels like a photo copy of the last.

As small business owners, most of us grew our business organically. We started out with just a few employees (or maybe just one!) and things were exciting! Over time as we have more projects, our team grew and we had to somehow create some sort of a system to manage the flow of the operation.Unfortunately, the more customers we service and the more employees we have, the more we seem to be repeating the same problems too, such as: our employees seem to keep making the same mistakes, we seem to be teaching the same things to new employees, we seem to always have to be in the office to make sure that things are being done the way we want them to be!

From the exciting times of the start up, most business owners then end up at the mundane times of just keeping the business going. We don’t feel like we have enough time to even remember WHY we started the business in the first place, our vision. Instead of being the maverick entrepreneur, we now become a mundane manager. Where once every day presented new challenges and opportunities, now the daily routines make every day feels like a photo copy of the last.

So how do we break away from this cycle? How do we recapture time to dream and to strategize? How do we ensure that our businesses continue to grow even if we no longer play a major role in them?

1. For things to change, things must change. Albert Einstein once defined insanity as ‘doing the same things and expecting different results’. So in order to create effective systems in our businesses we need to have to fully embrace change and not look back. The way we used to do things can only take us so far. If we want to change our results, we have to change the way we work.

2. Systemize the routines & humanize the exceptions. The first things you want to systemize in your business is the little mundane things. List out all your tasks in a given week and write down how many hours each take and then note down which tasks can be done by somebody else. Then write down who could handle these tasks. If you find that some of your tasks SHOULD be transferrable yet none of your employees are ready for it now, it’s a good time to start listing down what needs to happen to get someone ready for it.

3. Rules. Before you introduce any changes, make sure you create a set of rules that will support your implementation of the new system. These rules should cover how much you want people to adhere to the new system. Why the should and what happens if they don’t.

4. Process. This is where you get to the nitty gritty. Most business owners have a clear picture in their mind on how to do things – it’s now time to download. Pick a task, and then create a flow chart that notes down each step. You can then write a few notes on each step to make sure whoever is following this can get a clear picture. The flowcharts and the notes can later be turned into an SOP as required.

5. Tools. Now it’s time to make sure that all the tools required to complete the process is clearly defined and is accessible to whoever is supposed to run the process. These tools could be documents, a piece of equipment or anything else used in one of the steps outlined in your flow chart.

6. Manage the process. Here’s where you apply the art of delegation and not abdication. Our goal here is to make sure they do the task that you’ve passed on well and on a regular basis so you won’t have to track back and handle the mess. Take the time to let the person learn the rules, process and tools, show them how to run the process, observe them run the process and then set aside time to do periodic reviews on how they are handling the process.

7. Continuous recruitment. Most businesses enthusiastically create new processes only to then slip back into the old pattern because “my employees preferred the old way!”. Uhm, didn’t we already clear up in Step 1 that for things to change, things must change? This is a common excuse. You’ll find the underlying reason that most business owners tolerate their employees resisting change is because they don’t do enough recruitment. Make sure you run plenty of pre-scheduled recruitment drives to make sure that you get a good look at the talent available outside of your business.

– Marvin Suwarso –

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ActionCOACH South Jakarta 21 July  Seminar : How to Systemize Your Business

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