As business systematization specialists, one of the questions our consultants get asked is, “When should I build business systems?”
The answer to this question is similar to the Chinese proverb that advises on when to plant a tree. It states: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
Business owners should build systems into their companies as early as possible and revise and revisit those systems as the company grows. However, many entrepreneurs don’t think about systems immediately upon signing their first client contract. Instead, they focus on finding ways to deliver their product or service quickly and at the highest quality possible.
So, whether your company has been in business for fifteen years or fifteen minutes, right now is the time to begin implementing systematization.
Five Practical Tips for Building Business Systems
In a recent interview between Business Success Consulting Group’s Adi Klevit and Founder and CEO of Packed with Purpose, Leeatt Rothschild, the two successful businesswomen discussed their approach to systematization. While Adi specializes in helping companies create and document business processes and procedures, Leeatt’s built her company with systematization in mind. So, both have unique perspectives and practical tips for entrepreneurs approaching systematization.
Tip #1: Start with documentation
Whether you are serving your first customer or your millionth, you have determined that there will be a way to help them. Document what you and your team members do as you provide your product or service to your next customer. This is the very first step of building a system.
Tip #2: Name your business policies
Company policies provide a foundational understanding that can be applied across all processes and procedures. For example, you may have a policy that employees must answer customer communication within 24 hours. If this foundational policy is established, you do not have to repeat it as you build process documentation.
Tip #3: Get employees to help
Your employees can help you:
1) Document processes and procedures,
2) Improve existing systems, and
3) Establish better systems over time.
They benefit by a) making their jobs easier to perform and b) building the ability to cover their job on sick or vacation days into their overall tasks. You benefit by a) building a better, more efficient company and b) retaining proprietary knowledge during workforce transitions.
Tip #4: Document more than the basic systems
There are actions your team may only need to do every six months or so. It can be tempting to skip documentation on a website update or yearly account review, but these are vital systems that must also be documented.
Tip #5: The CEO and Executive Suite must participate in company systematization
It is tempting to think that everything you and your C Suite team does is unique and that there is no way to systematize it. But, you will likely find that there are routines that you and your executives follow – all of which can be documented. Not only should these routines be documented so that they can be performed consistently – they should be documented on the off chance that you can delegate some routine actions to an assistant or even a new addition to your C Suite team.
Additionally, when company executives participate in something as integral to the business as process documentation, they show the entire company how vital systematization truly is. Building processes must come from the top – so start today.
Are you ready to build business systems? Schedule your initial no-cost company evaluation today.