As with many things in life and business, we only really see their value and impact after they’re in place, or after they happened.
Systems are no different.
What holds people back from creating systems and processes in their own businesses is the everyday, the urgent, but not always important.
Creating systems in your business can be painful and disruptive, but only ever in the short-term.
But why is it worth going through that to get to a point where you have systemised your business? Can’t you just carry on the way you are? Its been working so far, hasn’t it?
The short answer is that it our businesses are seldom working as well as we think they are, and hardly ever as well as they could be.
I keep coming back to the incredible effect automating, systemising or completely eliminating those 2-minute tasks that fill up your day and your business will have.
Think about everyday life, the simple things.
Tomorrow morning, when you get ready for your day, do everything a little different, and you will immediately experience how powerful the processes in your morning routine are, and how much they help.
Pay attention tomorrow morning, and disrupt your routine on purpose.
Get fully dressed before putting on your socks, then put them on staring with the “other” foot. (Yes, you start with the same foot everytime.) Brush your teeth with your “other” hand.
Have your morning shower AFTER you’ve gotten dressed. Interrupt your seemingly efficient morning routine with something as silly as getting dressed, making a coffee, then going back to get undressed and having a shower, getting dressed again, by which time your cup of coffee will be cold and you’ll have to make another.
Now, I know the exercise mentioned here will seem absolutely stupid to you, and it is.
However, I see business run like this all the time. Very little thought has gone into what is done and in what order. Shit just needs to get done, so different people keep doing different things.
This business leaves everyone feeling like they’ve done a full day’s work at the end of they day, but did they produce a full day’s output?
Do you and your team achieve as much as possible in a working day?
I’m not talking about working 16 hour days in order to get more done than anyone else. How about working less than everyone else, but achieve substantially more?
By looking at the detail of what goes on in your business, you’ll find countless opportunities for improving productivity, and productivity is THE most affordable way to increase your capacity and output.
Take this article for instance. We have a process for getting this article onto the website and out on social media.
1 – I write it in Google Docs
2 – Emilia, who lives in Slovakia, is then able to pick it up
3 – Ad to Website with an Image
4 – Share on Social Media
Now, in order for that to happen easily, and quickly, we had to do a few things first.
1 – There is a “Process Document” for uploading blogs to our website. This means anyone in the world who has the most basic level of computer skills will be able to follow a step by step process to add an article to our blog.
2 – We use the right tools. If I insisted on writing these blogs by hand or typewriter, then we would need a few additional steps in the process and our productivity would fall through the floor. (Productivity for this task that is.)
3 – There is also a process document for sharing the Blogs via Social Media and Email Broadcast, this ensure that every article goes out on as many platforms as possible, in the same manner.
None of the above can be called ‘critical’ to the day to day running of our business, which is why there is a simple process and beyond writing the articles, I am not involved at all.
This might not seem like much or a process at first glance, but the power it has is far bigger than it might seem.
For one, once I’m done writing this article, I won’t think about it again, but “things” will happen because I wrote it. And that is the key.
Once you have done the crucial part you have to do, you should not have to return to it, or give it any more “headspace”.
Your business is packed full of these kinds of tasks. They need to be done, but they certainly do NOT need to be done by you. Systems will be the only way you can design a business where you are focussed on the really important things, for the majority of the time.
Yes, there is an investment in time and sometimes money required to identify, create and continually improve your systems, but once you have some of them in place, you’ll develop an enormous appetite for creating more in your business, and the impact this will have on your business will be far greater than the time invested to create your systems.
Start with just 3.
1 – Identify 3 tasks in your business that you do every week or every day.
2 – Identify the part of that task (mini process) that YOU HAVE to do.
3 – Create a process for the rest of it, so you don’t get involved beyond your critical part.
Go forth and systemise!!
Author: Pieter K de Villiers
Pieter K de Villiers is slightly obsessed with systems. The systems and process automation he builds for small businesses are transformative, to say the least. Pieter is a Co-Founder of Barefoot Digital and the Amazon best-selling author of “Barefoot Business: 3 key systems to attract more leads, win more sales and delight more customers without your business killing you”.