Systemise the routine and humanise the exception

Ever wish you had an “Easy” button?

Do you find that your business is so dependent on you that you can’t get away from it? Wouldn’t it be great if you could just press a button and your business would take care of itself?

Well… here’s the good news! It is possible, but you need to understand one fundamental fact: people should never run a business – systems should. You need the people to run the systems. Systemising your business is vitally important for its survival and your continued happy existence and that of your relationships.

All too often, business owners get caught in the trap of doing everything. They consider nobody can do anything, or at least the “important” things, as well as they can. They obsess over the smallest details, and then wonder why their employees can’t seem to do anything without strict supervision. They spend all their extra time looking over the work of their staff, and correcting the mistakes. They take all the calls, good and mostly bad, from the customers because the caller’s relationship is with the owner.

If you feel any of these sad statements apply to you, here is my diagnosis: You are delusional and need professional help!

There, I said it!

Stop the crazy misconception that you are the only one who does what you do. Start to realise the power of systems. You see, about 80% of what’s done in your business can be systemised. Take some time to figure out all the routine things that are done. Now document the best way to accomplish these tasks.

However, creating systems is not enough. You need to be sure that the systems are easy to follow, and easy to do. If you don’t make it easy, it will not be done, or at least not consistently. Here’s an example. Let’s say you create a sales system. Apart from the scripts for all the human interactions (that’s right, scripts) you also have an information pack to be sent to your good prospects. Instead of putting this packet together each time you have to mail one out, I suggest you pre-pack them so all you have to do is print a letter, insert it into the packet, and send it out. Sure, this seems obvious, but you may be surprised at all the obvious inefficiencies that exist in your business.

The more you look, the more you will find that there are creative ways to make your business straightforward. The documentation also needs to be easy to understand. Use short, bulleted instructions – no long paragraphs. Use pictures, diagrams, even videos to make the information easy to absorb. It should be so easy that a third-grader could follow it.

So remember, there is an “Easy” button available for your business. And easy is spelled S-Y-S-T-E-M-S.