We have all heard that we need systems in our business in order to grow, or to “scale”. But, you may already have more systems and processes operating in your business than you think.
Many of my clients, and other business owners that I talk with, actually have more systems and processes than they appreciate. There are ways they do things. It is not always consistent across a business, but in many instances they have a few reasonably consistent processes in place.
What is often lacking is documentation of the systems and processes. This lack of documentation becomes very apparent, and even critical, when a person leaves your company and you hire a new person. Loosing that institutional memory can hurt you. That is one reason it is important to write things down. Documenting your systems and processes is critical to your sustainability and growth. It can help you transfer knowledge to new employees, and it can allow you a place to review and ensure greater consistency and repeatability of the experience your business delivers.
I have linked to 2 articles below to help you get started on developing, designing, and documenting your core systems.
In the first article, Dave Finkel of Maui Mastermind, outlines 6 Steps to redesign your core systems. The first 3 steps are:
- Pick the highest leverage system to focus on first.
- Lay out the current system you are using.
- Get clear on the purpose and key outcomes of this system.
In the second article, Dave talks about how every successful business system has two layers. These layers are the process layer and the format layer. These are important because how you package a system, the format layer, can have a huge impact on whether your team uses the system, or disregards it.
A few examples of possible formats are:
- Custom forms
- Written guidelines
- Step-by-step instructions
Dave goes on to describe 26 more potential formats, each suited to its use case.
The point is to think about the format, the packaging, of the system that will be most user friendly for (and most likely to be adopted by) the people on your team who will be responsible for operating and implementing that system.