Systems & processes are vital to a business’s success. Think of them as the building blocks that you need to scale your business. Without systems and processes, your business has no foundation and will crumble like the dreams we had at the beginning of 2020.
If I’m not getting through to you yet, let me put it this way. You make an average of 35,000 decisions every day. Each of those decisions saps a little bit of your time and a lot of your energy. As coincidence would have it, time and energy happen to be the two key ingredients you need to grow and scale your business.
Without having systems and processes, you’ll spend more time and energy making decisions that could have been made for you if you had the right systems and processes in place. Eventually, you will run out of steam, and your business will fail as a result.
I don’t want that to happen to you or your business. So, I’m going to help you see why systems and processes inside your business are so important. I’m also going to tell you how you can implement systems and processes and why they are more crucial to your success than you think.
Why your business needs systems & processes
The average human makes about 35,000 decisions every day. That is a lot of decisions for any one person. However, you probably have more than one person working in your business, which means there are potentially hundreds of thousands of decisions being made in the business each day.
Do you feel comfortable leaving your business at the mercy of that unpredictable chaos of the human mind? Yeah, I didn’t think so. So, let’s talk about systems and processes.
Imagine you won an all-expenses-paid cruise trip for 14 days. It’s your dream holiday, and you don’t think twice about packing your bags and sailing into the sunset. The only problem is that your business has to survive without you for two weeks. When you get back, how is your business holding up? If you can’t leave your company without something terrible happening in your absence, you’ve got a severe problem.
Usually, business owners who can’t leave the business without something potentially going wrong are the ones who do not have the right systems and processes in place. To run a successful business, you need to have systems and processes that are repeatable. Think about every time you’ve ever had a Big Mac at McDonald’s. Even though you ate at different McDonald’s branches throughout your life, Big Macs always taste the same no matter where the branch is based. This is only possible because everyone in the business follows the same systems and processes.
What is the difference between a system and a process?
A process is a series of steps for anything in your business that needs repeated more than once. If a task needs repeating, you need a process for it. Your business solves problems for a living. So, you need to have a process that provides the steps necessary to solve those problems repeatedly.
Processes include how you book meetings with potential clients and whether you send an email first, followed by a CTA for prospects to go to the calendar link, and book a time for the meeting. This is then followed by an email confirmation and a calendar invite with an email reminder on the meeting day. Those steps are a process that can be repeated. As you’re working on your processes, you are continually trying to improve your business’s effectiveness. When the steps of a process are ineffective, you can work to improve that process. Whereas when a process is successful, you can continue repeating it.
System stands for save yourself stress, time, energy, and money. Systems are sets of processes, people, technologies, and interfaces that come together to create a system within your business.
Your online booking system for meetings is an excellent example of combining systems and processes to make something work. You have the process in place, which is the steps that happen when booking a meeting with a potential client. Now, you need a system that reveals what technology is needed, who needs to be involved, who needs to be accountable, and what interfaces will come into play.
Do you really need systems and processes within your business?
You need both systems and processes in your business to scale it and continue scaling it. How you implement them depends on your business and how you think about it from a strategic perspective. You might be a solopreneur who starts by building processes before developing the systems, and that’s completely fine. Do what works for your business, whether that involves implementing systems or processes first.
Before you set goals inside your business, you need to consider your strategy and the framework you need to achieve your goals. Processes exist to improve the effectiveness of your business while systems are there to improve efficiency. That is the most significant difference between the two. It would help if you made sure that elements of each are not delaying the other. Everything must work cohesively to ensure effectiveness and efficiency.
If you discover that something isn’t done fast enough, you need to look closely at the system. How can you improve the system to make it more efficient? If effectiveness is suffering, you need to consider the process. What steps can be improved? Can you switch a step somewhere in the process with a better alternative?
To implement successful systems and processes in your business, you must consider how you can improve the existing systems and processes until you find what works.
How to implement systems & processes in your business
Implementing systems and processes in your business is more straightforward than you might think. If you plan on doing anything more than once, make it a process. Log the steps you (and your team) must take to follow the process. If the process turns out to be successful, stick to it. If it ends up being a complete disaster, either scrap it and start a new process or improve it until it is successful.
Whatever the process is, write it down so that you and others can follow the same process again and again. Turn your processes into standard operating procedures so that future employees can use it and know exactly what they need to do.
To implement systems inside your business, you firstly need to consider the objectives of the business. What do you want to achieve? What are the processes that need to operate? What is the strategy of where your business is going? And, how can you make all of these things work in harmony together?
Systems are there to make your life easier. Some examples of business systems include the marketing system, online booking systems, sales systems, an operating system, etc. You need to consider your business’s various functions and how they will all work through your created processes. You don’t want one function to work in isolation. Each function must work in harmony with each other. This includes the technologies used, steps to take, processes to interact with, and so on.
Your system is vital to make sure that everything works smoothly together and that everything (and everyone) are doing what they need to keep the business afloat! Read more about the essential functions you should have in your business to make sure everything runs smoothly here: Essential Functions of a Small Business.
Systems and processes are beyond important, especially if you want to build a successful and profitable business that can survive without you. For more tips and insights on building a successful business using systems and processes, check out my YouTube channel. I post weekly videos on all things business, so make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more!