The development of systems within a small business is key to growth.
To succeed, people cannot depend upon memory alone. Most of us (entrepreneurs and employees alike) do not have enough time on our hands to stop and leisurely think each time a new project or problem lands on our desk.
Systems are incredibly important to have in place for:
- client or customer intake (welcome processes, contracts)
- prospect tracking (contact information/identify main possibilities) Don’t get lost in the graveyard of paper copies!
- marketing (marketing steps, social media calendars)
- expense tracking (bookkeeping system)
- note taking (in a planner – notebook, etc., track fresh ideas, thoughts, anything or everything that can be forgotten) Get it out of your head!
- instructions for assistant (with written systems in place you can virtually train anyone to help with everyday business functions) You cannot do it on your own forever!
- problem solving (i.e. What did you do the last time you experienced that problem with a customer? What steps did you take to resolve that issue: mail, phone, email?) Don’t make the same mistake twice.
Of course, this list is not inclusive.
Early on, as soon as you start a business, set your processes manual in place. This doesn’t mean you have to use an old school 3-ring binder and develop a binder of written procedures. Ensure you have a designed central location in place to record and track what you do, step-by-step, and why you do it.
On a regular basis, review your processes, don’t get stuck in a rut. Determine if there is a way to automate a process. Question if the process necessary. Does the process slow production down? How can the process be polished to perfection? Ask others, such as a virtual assistant, to review your process(s). A second pair of eyes, and an open ear (yours), sets motion in place for improvement.
Consistency leads to the development of an organized and systematic approach to running your business, which results in growth.