As business owners, we've learned that there's one thing we simply can't live without. And with January coming to an end, we'd like to share this piece of advice with you so your business can thrive too… So here it is!
To start the new year off on the right foot, our team can't stress the importance of implementing SYSTEMS into your business plan. Here’s why.
We all know that things often don't go as planned (take the last couple of years, for instance…). When you have systems in place, even if something goes wrong, you'll already have a backup plan or set protocol ready to go. That means you and your employees are not scrambling to find an answer at the last minute.
Systems provide structure to you as the owner to direct your staff and track the overall process of your business, whilst giving clear guidelines to your employees so they always know exactly what's expected from them.
Let's get a little more specific with seven reasons of our reasons for implementing systems into our business:
1. Systems create a consistent experience for your staff and your customers
Giving your customers a consistent level of service is integral for building trust and lasting customer relationships.
Having well-documented workflows will mean that no matter the scenario, your staff will know what to EXPECT even when something UNEXPECTED happens. Your business should then be able to provide customers with the same gold standard each and every time.
2. Allows you to retrain your employees quickly and easily when something isn't going as it should
A set system will make it easier for you, as a business owner, to spot when things aren't going to plan. It will also give you a protocol so that training someone to do things as expected is fairly simple. Once you see that your system isn’t being followed, you can then nip the problem in the bud by quickly training your employees to get back on track.
3. Systems reduce cost
With a bit of planning (and maybe some trial and error) you can figure out a system that is most economical for your business. You can then make this your standard practice.
4. Allows you to easily identify areas of your business that are not being managed appropriately, or at all
To strategically drive your business, you need to be measuring KPIs (key performance indicators). These will allow you to measure and track your business’ success. If you aren’t already doing this, your systems likely need some TLC. Putting processes in place will allow you to easily track your metrics, and make adjustments in terms of manpower when you can see which areas are lacking. This should allow your business to operate more efficiently and effectively.
5. Saves you time
Instead of coming up with a new plan for each individual issue that arises, you can quickly get things back on track with just a little bit of tweaking. You just have to make sure things are following your system.
6. Allows you to delegate
As your business grows, you’ll need to delegate tasks to your employees, hire new talent, or outsource. By having a well-documented way of doing things, you won't have to waste time micromanaging every section of your business but you'll be able to look at the big picture of how you want things run and can then spend your time delegating to your employees.
These systems will make organizing and filling roles much easier for you, as a business owner, and will give you confidence that it will be completed in the same manner you’re expecting. This will also give you more time to focus on working ON the business, not IN the business.
7. Gives your business the means to move forward without you
If something unexpected happens that takes you away from your business (illness, emergencies or the decisions to sell), your employees should be able to make things work without you. You can delegate so that the systems you've implemented continue as they should. This can be a scary thought but, as business owners, we CAN and DO tackle lots of scary things!
So, you're starting to grasp why having systems in place could be a good idea and how it might save you from a lot of trouble down the road… But you probably want to know what kinds of systems we're referring to. Well, that's up to you and your particular business but we’d love to give you some ideas to think about.
Implementing systems could, for example, benefit these five processes:
1. Onboarding a staff member
What are your protocols and criteria for hiring staff? How long does the process take, and what expectations should they be fulfilling? Knowing the answers to these questions will allow you to have ready the resources and time to find the right person.
2. Registering a new client in your customer management system (also known as CMS)
How does your business go about acquiring new clients? What do they need to do to register, and what do your staff need to do to ensure the process moves smoothly and efficiently? Consider taking customer acquisition costs into the equation too.
3. Tracking cash or card transactions
How do you keep tabs on your transactions? Can one person or multiple handle cash? How do you complete end of day financial reports? Having a protocol in place will allow you to track this as you go along. You're then not leaving it all for the very end.
4. Scheduling employees
What happens if someone is sick? What if someone needs to take bereavement leave? You should know the process for having a replacement. Unpredictable events like these should never hinder your customers' experience.
5. Inviting customer feedback and response
Have you provided your customers with a way to leave feedback? If not, you're leaving it in their hands to go out of their way to do so and are unlikely to hear back as much as you should. Having a system in place should provide more consistency for reviews.
So there you go, folks! We're urging YOU to plan and implement some of these systems (or some of your ideas!) into your own business plan for 2023.
Ask yourself, "Which areas of my business could benefit from a little more structure? What often tends to go wrong, and how can I create systems to manage these unexpected events?". We're confident that doing this will help you start the new year off on the right foot and allow your business to thrive in both times of certainty AND uncertainty.
This way, you (and your staff) will be ready for whatever it is that’s thrown your way!
Not sure how to get started? Book a free 15-minute consultation with The Tidy Biz Wizards and let’s talk about your business. Book an appointment at https://tidybiz.ca/pages/book-a-consultation