Jul 2018 Systemising your business could be the best thing you ever do!
What is a System and what is a Process?
Every business has several systems they operate; such as a Recruitment System, Team Management System, Project Management, Marketing System and so on. Within each system is a process or several processes, which are steps that work together to make the system functional.
Some Simple Changes make a big difference
Recently, I have been working with a client, a Landscaper. He was winning many smaller projects, but wanted to win a larger number of medium to larger sized projects. So I suggested we started dissecting his sales process and later his marketing system. We started at the beginning of his sales process when a potential client contacts him, asking for a quote to design and build their dream garden. We wrote down each detailed step of his entire sales process from beginning to end.
What we found when going through his sales process was, some steps needed to be modified so he could start getting better results. My client was quoting 19 jobs a month and winning many of the smaller jobs but fewer of the medium sized or larger ones he wanted to win. So we wrote some qualifying questions so he eliminated the potential smaller jobs that were a waste of time (what I mean is that these prospects were expecting a $50,000 garden for $10,000). So rather than booking a meeting with most prospects, we created questions to help qualify which prospects would suit his business. Just that distinction and change meant he could now identify 40% of the calls were not suitable for his business and would save him time and allow him to focus on more of the medium/larger jobs, while still taking only some small jobs in the transition period.
After improving the qualifying questions, we created a brief sheet so my client would ask better questions on site and get a much better understanding of what the prospect wanted. A brief sheet also ensures that questions won’t be forgotten to be asked. The next step was to work on the presentation of his quote educating the prospect so they knew the quality they would be getting while addressing the prospects needs, wants and concerns. The results after 4 months meant the landscaper was winning 4 times as many medium to larger projects.
What does systemising your business mean?
Many business owners often talk about wanting to systemise their business. What they mean is they want processes within each business system to be conducted to a consistently high standard so their business happens seamlessly by all their employees, and ultimately have their business operating without them, the business owner if he chooses.
Nice thought ah?
As a business owner, you may have created a business that works reasonably well when you are there, but many of your business processes were created by you and are probably stored in your head. So the first step to systemising your business is to start getting these processes on paper. Go through your steps with your key people so they implement them the way you do. Improving the processes can come later or when you both agree that an improved step or steps would benefit everyone – the business, owner, employees and client.
Better systems are the answer to putting out fires at work
Do you go into work some days only to find you have to spend a lot of time fixing problems that have been created by employees?
The way to solve this problem is to target the tasks your employees are doing inaccurately and write down the correct process they should be following. This will re-educate them, so they know how they should be approaching the process properly.
I know teaching an employee the steps more than once is frustrating, but it will be worth the effort, when they can replicate it repeatedly without making mistakes. The problem is, we tell an employee once or twice verbally and expect them to get it. But everyone learns differently, so we must have patience, document the process, show the employee how to do something, guide them and let them do it so they start to own the process.
If you want to transform your business, start by documenting some of the key processes and teach them to your key employees, then you are on your way to systemising your business.