Implementing reliable business systems is an essential action for any business in any industry. Systems build stability, ensure a job is performed correctly, make things easier on employees, and show customers they can rely on your company.
But what if your industry is based on change or “disruption?” What if your industry standard is following the latest trend? How do you implement systems in that kind of industry?
How to Implement Business Systems in a Developing Industry
Industries from fashion to technology are built on a sea of constant change. This makes it incredibly difficult for business owners to count on the reliability that correctly implemented business systems provide.
Here is a “how-to” for finding the right systems to put in place – even if your business model is based on change.
Step 1: Define your standards.
Think about what your company is there to accomplish. What is the overall goal of your business? What qualities and service standards need to be in place to do business? Understanding the basic criteria necessary to promote reliability will help you form the necessary policies to create effective systems.
Step 2: Recognize what is changing – and what remains relatively stable.
The technology in your industry may constantly be evolving, which means you need to stay on the cutting edge to make sure customers stay the course with your products. However, there are plenty of departments in any business that need to remain stable, even as the industry changes.
Accounting, HR, customer service, policies around product development or quality control, sales procedures, and more likely see little change in a 12-month period. Make a list of all the parts of your business that continuously evolve – and what parts stay relatively stable.
Step 3: Systematize the stable departments first.
Usually, we tell business owners to dive into the departments that are causing the most chaos in their business and build systems there first. However, when the industry itself is what is causing continual change, it may be better to systematize anything that will not require you to update processes for at least six months.
Step 4: Once you’ve systematized stable departments, relook at your business.
What aspects of your industry can you systematize or create policies around? For example, in fashion, companies release clothes at defined intervals, and they have dates on which they always have sales. Can you stabilize the less certain aspects of your business to ensure growth and development will happen consistently – with some predictability baked into the overall growth pattern?
Step 5: Work with sister companies in your industry to develop standards across platforms.
This may or may not be possible in your industry. However, talking with other companies about commonalities and discussing industry standards can often alleviate some of the perceived instability in an industry – even when that industry is based around “disruption.”
Standards that will benefit all companies could include expected product release dates, data sharing standards, quality standards, and more. If you are in a completely cutting-edge industry, setting up standards in partnership with others in your industry will likely lead your business to become a more prominent leader in the area.
Step 6: Talk to your team and the contacts you’ve developed to see what else is missing from your systematization efforts.
Keep learning and growing. As you develop new standards, new issues will likely arise. Establishing data sharing systems will help you, your team, and those other companies you’ve partnered with to determine the best path forward – possibly on an industry-wide scale.
Step 7: Finally, document what cannot be systematized so that your team is not caught off guard.
When you are working on the cutting edge of any industry, you are likely developing entirely new technologies, trends, and products. Be sure to document anything that cannot be systematized. This is both to ensure mistakes are not repeated and to make sure success is replicable.
If you are an expert in your field – but not in systematization, reach out to Business Success Consulting Group today. We work with companies in every industry to help them systematize by creating policies and documenting processes and procedures to ensure consistency as the business develops and grows.