Why is a System So Important?
I bet this has happened to you because it has happened to everyone—you go to a restaurant and it is great but when you go back with family or friends it is nowhere near as good. Or, you engage with a retailer that creates an amazing experience for you only to find that on your next visit you are disappointed. Or, you go to a car wash and are amazed after your first visit only to find the second visit average.
How does this happen?
Simple, the businesses don’t have effective systems to drive their business.
First a definition on what a system is—any process that is documented, trained and implemented consistently in a business. Sure, it may be computer based but it may not. In other words, it is not necessarily a technology solution.
There are 3 things you get from a system:
1. Consistency—you know that you and your team will do it the same way each time and the marketplace knows that they will have the same positive experience each time
2. Efficiency—you don’t need to reinvent the wheel each time the same thing happens and certainly you don’t have to trust your memory to remember how you did it last time. Jim Rohn has taught me well to not trust your memory, follow the guidance and a pattern that is documented
3. Effectiveness—by putting a system in place you can constantly improve on what you do because you have a consistent starting place.
The importance of this huge because a first time buyer is not yet a customer. They have to buy from you at least three times before you can call them a customer. They are checking you out on the first two purchases to see if you can do what you say you can do. After that, and if they are persuaded by your consistency, they will continue to buy from you. They may even buy from you if your prices are higher than your competition because they know what they will get; and you have to deliver the whole experience consistently.
Here are just a few things you could write a system around:
· What we do when someone shops with us for the very first time
· How do we follow up with someone after their first purchase
· How do we answer phone
· How do we follow up with someone after they make a referral to us
· How do we make our deposits at the bank
· How do we purchase our products
· How do we place ads when we need to hire someone
· What is our recipe for each appetizer
· How do we submit payroll
There are simply hundreds of things you could write down, step by step, how to do it. Don’t you do it; get the person doing the job now to do it. Explain to them to be very thorough as if they were describing each and every action to a new person. If they write it, they own it. Just think of the leverage in play here. You, or someone on the team, are writing the bible for how you want your business to operate, even if you are not there. Get it out of your head and onto paper or a document file. This becomes the entire manual for how to run your business. Imagine, this is how it will be done consistently even if you are gone for the next 4 months.
Take Action today and pick one thing you do in your business and write a system around it. You’ll be amazed at how much TIME it will save you in the long run. Then Go Run a Lap! Business is Fun!
Tony Marder is a Gastonia resident and President of ASM Ventures Corporation. He is a certified business coach and a specialist in preparing strategic business plans. You can reach him for questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org