How to Turn Problems into Better Systems

How to Turn Problems into Better Systems

When you’re a business owner, you’re guaranteed to encounter problems on a daily basis. You need to deal with customer complaints, supplier issues, breakdowns, employee issues, and so it goes. Often though, problems are symptomatic of, well, deeper problems. To find out what they are, you’ll need to dig a little, and one way to do that is by employing the “Why” technique. It’s not about dealing with the symptoms of the problem but to identify the root cause.     You start the process by asking what are the symptoms of a problem, and then asking, “why”? Keep asking “why” until you hit the nail on the head. It may take some time to conclude the root cause but at least the right problem gets fixed. Let’s analyse a business scenario. In the following example, a retail store experiences an increase in the number of customers that are complaining because they are unhappy with the products they were receiving. Why are customers unhappy with the products? Because the product manufacturer is not making the products as agreed upon in the initial contract. Why is the manufacturer sending out inferior quality products not congruent with our agreement? Because there was a miscommunication between our orders and what the manufacturer sent. Why was there a miscommunication? Because the order was phoned through and we are not sure whether our person or their person misheard the information. Why are we not sure where the miscommunication occurred? Because our ordering system needs to be updated to avoid communication errors. Bingo! Here is the root cause: an outdated ordering system, filled with flaws....
Growing Your Small Business: A Case Study

Growing Your Small Business: A Case Study

It’s easy to start a business. Anyone can do it. But not many can keep it going, especially for longer than 5 – 10 years. Maintaining and scaling, or growing a business, often determines its ultimate success or failure. What is your plan to keep your business going? Do you hope to scale your business? Since the majority of small business owners experience collapse within the first year, we can safely assume that scaling is an area of risk. Fast scaling, if not handled wisely, can result in major problems and can be the beginning of the end.     One entrepreneur who got it right, is Denis McFadden, founder of the Just Cuts franchise. Mcfadden started his brand in 1990 and which, 27 years on, has grown to 200 locations in Australia, New Zealand and India. Just Cuts is the largest hairdressing franchise in the southern hemisphere. “Just Cuts is a commonsense approach to hairdressing, bridging the gap between the barber shop and the conventional salon. We specialise in cutting for men,women and children. Just CutsTM was founded on one simple idea – that people want quality style haircuts from a qualified Stylist, at an affordable price. This notion changed the hairdressing industry forever and still remains the purpose of Just Cuts™ today, 27 years on. ” McFadden used certain principles to drive growth. A lot can be learnt and applied to our businesses.     Related: How You Can Gain a Competitive Advantage with Customer Happiness   Business Systemisation – The Success Factor Just Cuts used the franchise model as a growth strategy and attribute their franchising...
The Top 5 Excuses To Systemising Your Business and How to Smash Them

The Top 5 Excuses To Systemising Your Business and How to Smash Them

The world’s most profitable businesses are built around business systemisation. Why? Because their leaders understand the value of systems. Unfortunately, the very businesses that need it most – the entrepreneur who is so busy that he can’t take a holiday, or leave his business for a day – often do not understand the value it provides, and how it would help free up time so that he can grow his business. Here are five of the most common excuses small business owners use to stop themselves benefiting from using systems in their businesses, as well as how to smash those excuses once and for all… 1: I Don’t Have Time to Systemise My Business Here’s the thing. There’s never going to be enough time or the perfect time.     So when will you have time to systemise your business? It’s the same with exercise…you just have to make time. The truth is that when something is important enough, you will find the time. Those who make time to exercise despite their busy schedule, do it because they’ve seen the benefits and consider it to be a priority. And so it is with your business; you’ll make time for it when you understand the benefits of systemisation. The best time to start is right now because the faster you get systemised, the faster you will reap the rewards, and you’ll wish you had done it years ago. It may initially seem overwhelming, so the best way to tackle it is one step at a time. Start by making a plan of what you want to achieve and how to...
How to Get Clear on Your Role in Your Business

How to Get Clear on Your Role in Your Business

“If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business—you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!” ~Michael Gerber According to Huffington Post, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that more than 60% of small businesses pack up within the first three years. There are a number of reasons for this, but one of the primary causes is that people go into business for themselves because they are good at doing something. Now, being good at something will not make your business fail, but rather, being good at something does not equip a new business owner for the pressures of starting, maintaining and growing a business. In his book, Gerber explains the phenomenon:  The Technician, The Entrepreneur and The Manager The technician is the person who is good at something. The entrepreneur is the dreamer; the one that reaches up to achieve a goal. The manager is the part that gets things done. If you’re like many small business owners, maybe you can relate. You may have gone into business for yourself because you wanted more freedom. But pretty soon, you found that you were working harder than you’ve ever worked in your life. Here’s the problem: the technician in you desired to start a business because you wanted to do what you enjoy, or you wanted to create an empire and have more freedom. So it’s the technician that’s being given free reign. Except, the technician is not the one that’s going to grow the business, so you’re going to keep on working like a lunatic, doing...
How your Business Can Work Smarter With New Technology

How your Business Can Work Smarter With New Technology

Using technology to streamline business systems, workflows and efficiency create the foundation for success. Technology allows small businesses to get work done faster and smarter; it also saves costs over the longer-term.     Technology continues to innovate in leaps and bounds, keeping up with new and changing technology is exhausting. However, change can no longer be denied. If you are falling behind in the technology stakes, it won’t be long until your team, and your clients demand change; otherwise, you stand to lose massive market share. Nowadays speed to implementation needs to be fast; your market can easily find your competitors who may already be offering a better service in their eyes.   To illustrate the importance of changing with the times, here is a hypothetical case study: You own a small cafe, and you have a regular local clientele. Recently you have noticed there have been a few new cafes opening in your area. One of the cafes has a pit stop window offering a fast takeaway service for the busy workers; they also have the latest payment gateway installed where the customer can pay with the tap of their card. Another cafe has gone environmentally friendly and introduced a no paper cup policy; they spread the word by cleverly using Facebook and Instagram. Now they have a loyal customer base. Unfortunately, you don’t accept credit cards, your coffee machine is looking a little tired, and it can’t keep up with the speed of the new machines, and you haven’t changed your cup supplier for over ten years. Profits are dwindling, and the rent is rising. Times...
The Right People in a Systemised Business is Pure heaven

The Right People in a Systemised Business is Pure heaven

Whether you are looking to hire a full-time employee or a short term contractor, it pays to spend time up front looking for the right person. Having the right people in place in your business makes the world of difference to your overall success. If you still need convincing, read on. 5 Key Reason to Hire the Right People and How They Can Advance your Business The right people believe in your business, are passionate about their contribution and work hard to achieve goals. In any Business, employees are the most valuable asset. The right people work harder, getting more done than the average worker who’s at work only for the paycheck. A talented addition to your workforce can advance stimulate others’ productivity. The right people are effective and powerful ambassadors for your brand. For instance, content shared by your team on social media is more likely to be trusted than anything your business may broadcast. Without these core team players, it is impossible for a business to stand out and grow. The right employees save costs, and when companies take action to engage their employees, the company makes more money. Hiring takes time, effort and money so hiring the right person from the start will save on turnover costs, training and possible lost sales. The longer the employee stays, the more valuable their contribution. Lastly, Fast Company reports that happy employees work at least 12% harder than their unhappy counterparts. Building the right team with the right attitude contributes to your business’s culture and raises morale. Companies with positive team relationships have lower turnover rates. Choosing the Right...