Rachel Mallett from Agenda has another great ‘business’ consideration lined up for us… food for thought………..
So you’ve cracked it. You’ve set up your business exactly the way you want it. Things are running well – it’s amazing you’re managing to fit so much into the day! You’re in control of your accounts, you have some strong leads you’re dealing with, you’re managing your marketing campaigns and you’re overseeing everything that goes ‘out the door’.
Sounds great, right? Well, not exactly…
Although everything may be going swimmingly at the moment, what would happen if you suddenly landed a big new client and your workload doubled? Or you fell ill and weren’t able to work for a few days, weeks, or even months at a time? Would your business still be able to operate, or would everything come crumbling down?
I come across this time and time again. Sometimes called small business syndrome, many business owners are not actually taking the role they should be and ‘overseeing’ a business’ operation, but are instead involved in every single step, activity and decision.
When challenged on this very point, many business owners simply respond by saying that they have to be in control as there’s no-one else to do it. Whilst in the very early days of a business’ life this is probably true, it’s arguably damaging to stay this way for too long. There is a school of thought that says that even in the very early days, you should create processes for everyday business activities such that anyone who entered the business would, in theory, be able to pick up an activity where you left off.
Still not sold? Here are three reasons why putting systems in place is a great idea.
Have a back-up plan
As described above, there are many situations in which you may find yourself unable to work. What would you want to happen in this scenario? Would you want the business to continue to run so you could continue to receive an income from it? Or would you rather risk the alternative? Most of us have bills to pay and want to keep a roof over our heads, so therefore, the latter option is essential!
Consistency, consistency, consistency
As well as having a plan in place to cover the worst of scenarios, having systems in place can also help you make the most of what you’ve already got. Customers appreciate consistency – be that in the product or service being delivered or the manner in which they receive it. Having a clear set of processes in place helps to develop consistency across both of these areas, giving your customers the consistency they love and importantly, also giving you the confidence to go out there and sell more of the same!
Humanise the exceptions
This is a favourite concept of mine… if you systemise the routines then you can humanise the exceptions. What does that mean? By putting systems in place, you can then sit back and observe how things run. You can look at which elements are running smoothly, but importantly, identify those areas where things are falling down. You then know exactly where your attention needs to be spent and can get to work developing a plan for making improvements.
Break free from business slavery!
Many business owners start up their company because they want to escape the oppression of employment. Yet alternatively, they end up being slaves to their own business! By implementing systems and mechanisms, you allow yourself a degree of freedom to step out of the business – even if only for a short time! As well as giving you a much needed break, you can also use this time to take a bird’s eye view; giving you the time and head space to make improvements to drive the business forward.
Agenda’s business consultants love a good system and have helped many business owners put mechanisms in place to assist with all of the above outlined problems, ultimately helping them to be better business owners and develop stronger businesses. For advice or assistance with business systems, please get in touch with us.
Words by Rachel Mallett of Agenda
Images by Jenny Heyworth and Catherine Connor of White Feather and Co
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