Knowing you, streamlining processes and improving productivity in your business is of capital importance to you. You’re constantly looking for efficient ways that lead to notable transformation; you also understand that systemizing your business is of the utmost importance, but you’re not really sure about how to embark on this task.
Here are ten guidelines to help chart your way to success:
1. Create outlines and then delegate
You’ve always been one to get things done – see things through from start to finish – as such, the business becomes reliant on your input. At the initial stage of the business, this is understandable, but as your company continues to grow and expand, this approach is no longer feasible.
What you should do is take an outsider’s look at the business, be critical and reflect on what works. After which you take said observations and then synthesize them into clear frameworks, and then hand them over to your employees.
The goal here is to ensure that your business isn’t chiefly reliant on you – that it can function and operate successfully without your continuous involvement.
2. Get granular with the intended goals
Setting strategic objectives is another vital step to ensuring your business is ripe to be systemized. What this step entails is getting back to the drawing board and listing down what you intend on accomplishing on a single page: succinctly articulate the company goals, current and proposed strategies and even your strengths.
What this affords is clarity for everyone who reads this document, so that they’re all on the same page. As I’ve always said, ambiguity is a nuisance and nemesis to the growth and viability of a business.
3. Ensure your operating procedures are S.M.A.R.T
In putting together these processes another vital note worth considering is that they must be Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. I know you’ve come across this acronym, but it’s worth repeating.
The capital objective here is to certify that your employees not only understand these procedures, it dissuades them from procrastinating – they are then able to make the right decisions without delay. The reason being, clarity brings both comprehension and a sense of urgency.
4. Create functioning procedures using client prototypes
This where having complete comprehension of your client is crucial. You cannot develop these systems without considering your end user; so ensure that you intimately understand your consumer’s needs, journey map and basically everything that pertains to them and their interaction with your product or service. The information gleaned from such background work should then be incorporated into your process.
5. Be nimble – so tweak accordingly
Rules are indeed meant to be broken. As you go about implementing the procedures, ensure that you are open to change. Don’t be confined to the boundaries of your set processes. If you find that a particular stage/phase doesn’t work or is unnecessary, have no qualms in tweaking or eradicating it completely. You want to ensure that the process is lean and devoid of the redundancies.
6. No system is perfect – so move on!
In systemizing a process for efficiency, it can become easy to get caught in an endless loop (where you waste a great deal of time in trying to perfect a marketing strategy plan for instance). At every point, once you recognize your system is performing at optimum capacity (95% - 98%) leave it alone and move on.
7. Simple systems make for easier learning
The advantage of continuously tweaking and fine-tuning your process is that you end up trimming the “fat” and getting the procedures down to a point where it’s easily understood, which in turn, makes the adoption by new employees faster and easier during training for example.
8. Be weary of multi-tasking
Contrary to popular belief; ensure that you create systems that enable the recipients to focus chiefly on completing one particular task quickly and efficiently. It is a lot more expedient to complete one task superiorly than to have a bunch of other tasks done tepidly.
9. Encourage employee resourcefulness
Beyond system and processes, one vital thing to do is to embolden your employee to take initiative: encourage them to be proactive and find other methods outside of the existing framework that moves the productivity needle.
10. Allow for external critiquing
As hard as this might be, be open to getting reviews and feedback from external parties (clients, suppliers etc.) – basically, anyone who is outside of the immediate milieu of your company. This way you can be rest assured that the systems put in place are rigorous.
With all that has been said, don’t panic or be dispirited – it might seem like a lot to consider. So my advice would be to take it a step at a time – don’t forget, slow and steady wins the race.
Written by Pip Spibey-Dodd @ Locomote