Systems “sustain” growth and productivity in your business. Creating systems for small business is extremely important.
Small business owners face a dilemma: Too much work, very little time. This prevents small businesses from growing, increase productivity and loss of clients and customers.
I was talking to a fellow entrepreneur about why some businesses tend to outgrow other businesses.
He said every one of us has 24 hours in a day and the problem lies in how each and every one of us invest those hours.
But here is the major problem: None of us has 24 hours in a day.
Yes, no one has the capacity to stay awake and implement our plan for the whole 8,760 hours in a year.
The moment we acknowledge that the number of hours we can work in a day is extremely limited, the more we’ll be looking out for the real solution to this problem.
And that’s where systems for small business comes in. You can’t work for 24 hours in a day but a well-developed system will work every single second of the day.
Systems make your business to run like a well-oiled machine, freeing up valuable time, become more productive and exponentially grow your business.
Here is a perfect example of why creating a system is extremely important:
To grow your business and become more profitable, you need to get more customers or clients.
Which means, as a small business owner, you need to spend more time with your sales and marketing personnel. Ensuring that you’ve the right strategy and steps are taken to implement it.
But during this process, you end up spend more time on other little task and your team eventually spend lesser time on sales and marketing.
By creating a system which will automate those task with less supervision, you and your team will work smarter and efficiently hereby exploding your business.
If you cannot leave your small business for a 90 days period on a vacation then you’re not an entrepreneur, you’re self-employed.
Creating systems for your small business allows you to travel around the world, scale your business, reduce your workload and work smarter.
What’s a System?
A system is a set of tools, people, processes, and strategies that links together to achieve a specific goal.
You sometimes create a system without intentionally wanting to.
By automating your newsletter, your sales funnel, your service delivery process and goods creation, you’re creating a system.
In the business world, creating system is natural but as there is a good and great system, there is also bad and expensive system.
Your job is to figure out a way to create a streamlined, cost-effective and efficient system that’ll enable you to reach your business goals effortlessly.
Creating such systems takes time and effort but it saves you a lot of energy and mental stress in the long run.
Systems are what differentiate an entrepreneur from an unsuccessful entrepreneur.
Now let’s dive into the steps to create systems for small business.
Step 1 – Identify your major business activities critically
The first step in creating systems for small business is to identify those activities you need to systematize.
As I said earlier, your time is very limited and you can barely get anything done by clustering activities here and there.
You can identify which business activities you need to create a system for through the following:
- Time: Which tasks do you spend the most time and energy on in your small business? As a business owner, you have a lot of things to get done in your business, therefore, wasting your precious time on tasks you could automate will do more harm than good in the long run.
- Energy: What tasks consume the most energy in your business? By automating little tasks, you can preserve the energy level of your team for better use on the core part of your business.
- Productivity: What activities distract or slow down the speed of your team at getting things done?
- Speed: How can you improve the speed of your team at getting things done? What can you automate to get your product/service to your customers/clients faster?
Once you figure out which activity you want to create a system around, proceed to the next step.
Step 2 – Break down the business activity
The next step to create systems for small business is to break down the business activity you just identify.
By breaking down the steps you took to achieve those activities, you’ll be able to systematize it easily.
The most exciting part of the system is maintaining and advancing momentum. This is the moment where you feel almost invincible, where everything goes according to plan effortlessly.
Right now you’re still at the stage of creating momentum, to reach this exciting part of a system, you need to carefully lay down the principles, processes, tools, features and people that make up the system.
Write down each part of the business activity on a paper.
Let’s say you want to send an email newsletter to your clients:
The process is:
- Choosing the segment of your contact you want to send emails to.
- Choose an email template.
- Write the email subject.
- Write an email.
- Include CTA.
- Schedule email.
Tools to use:
- A/B test.
- Subject lines test.
- CTA test
Once you figure out all the functions of your business activity, move on to the next step.
Step 3 – Improve the speed to get things done.
The third step to creating systems for small business is to figure out how to increase the speed of getting things done in your business.
Just creating a system around your business activities is poor when the speed of getting things done is no different from doing it manually.
The whole idea of creating a system is not just to save time but to increase the efficiency of your service/product.
The next step here is to improve the speed of getting things done in your business and to do that you need to first understand the 4 types of speed in business:
1 – Functioning Speed
Your functioning speed is the time frame you to took to deliver your product/service to your clients and your staff took to execute their daily goals.
To increase your functioning speed, you need to get more support into your system.
The more people are involved, the fast the process will be.
You’ll be eliminating the need for a single person to get a lot of things done before your service can reach your clients.
And the lesser work each supporting cast do, the easier it’ll be to replace them if anything goes wrong.
2 – Processing Speed
Processing speed is how long your product/service takes to get from A-Z.
This includes the process of finding your ideal clients/customers, getting your product/service ready, presenting demos, sales funnel stages, delivering the service, retaining the customers/clients and getting the referral.
You try to find loopholes in your processing speed. What’s the part/step you can eliminate to increase your processing speed?
The whole idea of creating systems for small business is to get your product or service delivered to your customers quickly.
Write down the loopholes in your processing speed.
3 – Expansion Speed
Expansion speed is how quickly you can expand your business from one city to another and from one country to another.
How quickly can you go from targeting clients from one country to another?
How quickly can you take your business from local to global?
The main purpose of a system is to work diligently and effectively thereby removing the barrier of time and location.
You need to figure out (not assume) how quickly you’ll be able to improve the overall function of your business without affecting productivity.
Some people expand really quickly that it affects their business. You’ve to use real-world figures to determine your expansion speed.
Write down your expansion speed.
4 – Timing Speed
Business is all about timing.
When do I make this announcement?
When do I set up a meeting with my clients?
When do I give recognition to my staffs?
When you integrate new features into my service/product?
When you get the timing wrong, your business will collapse. Although it’ll take time to get most of your figures for your speed right, nevertheless it’s extremely important you know the real figures.
Write down your timing speed and let’s go to the next step.
Step 4 – Execute systems for small business
The fourth step to creating systems for small business is to take action.
You’ve figured out the figures, steps, processes, strategies and tools that make up each business activities in your business.
Now, you need to take action and put everything into play.
Having everything figured out is not the same as taking action on it. Hire staffs into the roles that are required, implement new strategies that make the system run efficiently and hire consultants if needed.
Also, you need to carefully implement your proposed system to ensure that your product/service is not affected.
However, if you might lose some important support in your business, don’t shy away from implementing the system.
Think of the long term rather than the short term.
Systems we’ll ensure you scale your business predictably.
Step 5 – Track and Test
The fifth step to creating systems for small business is to track and continue optimizing.
Just figuring out the business activity and implementing a system around it is not enough.
You need to track the performance of your system, test, twerk and continue to improve.
The best thing here is that you’re now at the stage where you’ve to maintain your momentum and figure out the right timing to take your business to the next level.
When you have a system around your business, you’ll be able to track effortlessly.
Write down the key performance indicator in your business (KPIs) and track the figures.
Did you earn more profit? How did your customers/clients react to getting improved service? How many follow-ups get opened? Did your sales increase? How can you take your business to the next level?
When you follow the steps in this article carefully and implement each step, you’ll be able to answer any questions relating to your business and improve.
Business systems allow you to scale your business predictably. Although it might take time and effort to implement your system the way you want, it pays in the long run.
Do you’ve any question? Let me know in the comment section.