How To Systemise a Business so it Runs Without You

How To Systemise a Business so it Runs Without You

So you decided you need a break, and with great excitement, planned your vacation. As you organised flights and accommodation, you could already feel the beach sand under your feet, the sea water lapping at your toes, the sun warm on your face. But somehow, your long-awaited vacation didn’t go as planned. You did not return relaxed and joyful. Instead, you came back to your office stressed and highly strung. Because although you promised yourself, you’d switch off your phone and only take your laptop with for emergencies, you ended up working daily, answering questions from clients, trying to fan out problems at the office, and even following up the odd sales lead. Now, perhaps you think it’s not a big deal missing a family lunch or two or skipping a visit to the Oceanarium with the kids, but being your own boss should not mean sacrificing so much of your life, or that of your family. There’s a smarter way. It’s called systemising your business. But more on that in a moment.   Something Is Wrong Attending to business on vacation takes something away from you. You may not see it right away, and although you may perceive it as normal that your business needs you 24/7, it is not supposed to be that way. Worst of all is that it’s a symptom that something is wrong. Being needed by staff and clients may feel fulfilling, but it’s unhealthy for both you and your business. Here’s why: It stops you from completely relaxing and re-energising, which is essential when your aim is to grow your business, and you...
When is the Best Time to Systemise your Business?

When is the Best Time to Systemise your Business?

In October 2016, Newsmax published an article with the headline, “Walmart Plans to Radically Change the Way You Grocery Shop”. More recently, CNN reported, “Nike confirms it’s opening up an Amazon shop.” Both headlines are radical. Both are likely to bring colossal benefits to the respective businesses. And the overarching reason for both success stories of two world famous brands is…business systemisation. Of course, it’s not likely your business has quite reached the same status as these conglomerates, but both Walmart and Nike started with humble beginnings, just as you did.   Before becoming a household name, Nike was once a small business, having being founded by a University track athlete and his coach in 1964, initially operating as a Japanese shoe distributor. There comes a time when it becomes essential to sytemise your business so that it can grow and free up your time for other important activities.   So how do you know when it’s that time? The Business Begins Growing If you are planning to grow your business, it is important to make sure it can cope with the extra turnover that will come as a result. For some businesses where capacity is already an issue, systemisation is the first step. For other businesses who already have the ability to deal with some expansion, systemisation is best done alongside the growth strategies, to ensure the business continues to run smoothly and to lock in the benefits of new growth. In the initial stages, the business is reliant on you as the owner, but as it grows, this approach is no longer sustainable. Things Start Going Wrong...
How You Can Gain a Competitive Advantage with Customer Happiness

How You Can Gain a Competitive Advantage with Customer Happiness

The people that buy from you are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, your company would cease to operate. In fact, Forbes reports that 80% of new businesses crash and burn within 18 months of startup because entrepreneurs don’t understand their customers or how to retain them. To drive home the point, Geoff Graham, CEO of GuildQuality, a customer survey organisation, analysed 10 000 customer surveys over a period of 3 years and found that service providers who give the best customer experiences are 10 times more likely to stay in business than those who provide a substandard service. Customers have power, they know more, they expect more that’s why it’s important to understand the significance of customer experience, why it matters and the role of business processes for a reformation of the customer journey. What is Customer Experience? Customer experience is the perception of the customer of their interaction with the company who provides a product or service to them, for the duration of their relationship. The customer experience includes all the touchpoints in the customer’s journey with you. It is the sum of all parts.   A typical example of the customer experience would include: The initial enquiry by the customer The follow-up emails sent via your email marketing software The sales process The way the service/product is delivered The after-sales process The customer support experienced when encountering a hiccup The survey sent after receiving customer support Why Customer Experience Matters By 2020, customer experience will be more important in your customer’s buying decisions than the actual product, or it’s price, and the majority of people...
How to Avoid Costly Mistakes in Your Business

How to Avoid Costly Mistakes in Your Business

There are way too many businesses without well thought through processes; it can be so plainly obvious especially if you are on the receiving end. So I want to explore this a little and point out the impact of not having business systems and processes in place. In that vein…I’m sure you have experienced bad service or been let down in the past. These are the businesses that give you the wrong information or don’t get back to you. These are the businesses that you never return to. Sure, many businesses get away with it, but at a cost. They lose out to their competitors and miss out on profit. Not to mention, it’s much harder to run a business that doesn’t have business systems in place compared to one that does. We know that businesses worth millions are built with efficient business systems, but what about the smaller businesses; how can they build systems and improve efficiency? Mistakes happen in every business: sometimes things happen that are out of our control. But with first class systems and processes in place, most mistakes are avoidable. Every business benefits from having their core business processes optimised and documented. Let’s take a look at a simple case study and how a core process plays out; the “New Client Booking and Service” process: Case Study: Sally’s Hair Salon Here’s What Happened Monica decides to try the new hairdresser in town; so she makes an appointment for a haircut over the phone. Jesse takes the booking and is friendly and polite. Monica arrives for her appointment; she is quietly excited as she has...
Systemising Your Business Is What Brings Freedom

Systemising Your Business Is What Brings Freedom

Systemising your business is what brings freedom. The freedom to have the time to grow your business, freedom to spend more time with family and friends. The time to simply enjoy life. To create freedom, well it requires putting systems in place that allows your business to operate by itself. Without you. If you are like most business people, you work too many hours with little if no advancement in your business. The majority of people who start businesses did so because they didn’t want to work for someone else. They have what Michael Gerber in the E-Myth describes as the “Entrepreneurial Seizure”. They strive for the freedom to work on their own terms. The harsh reality is that they move from the position of doing a job that they were highly qualified to do, to doing the same job but with many more roles of which they have no knowledge or experience of. Now things become hard and they find themselves in a fair bit of trouble. The reality of entrepreneurship is that four in ten startups fail within five years. Statistics show that the most common reason for failure is incompetence, and within that is a lack of planning. Get Quality Help You Can Depend On The brutal truth is that most entrepreneurs do not experience freedom anytime soon after starting a business. Instead, they are tied to their desks, working harder than they’ve ever worked before. Entrepreneurs need help. They can’t do it all themselves. But business owners and entrepreneurs have one common concern: that getting help means things won’t be done as well and they...
Why Businesses Worth Millions Are Built With Efficient Systems

Why Businesses Worth Millions Are Built With Efficient Systems

The best companies in the world, are built by design, with highly efficient systems. That is, they are built with specific ways of taking action in order to get specific results. This could mean incorporating procedures, processes, or methodologies. Businesses that are worth millions would not enjoy the success they do if they did not put efficient systems in place. Walmart’s Supply Chain System Take Walmart. With an annual revenue of $134,4 billion (in 2016), they make more money than any other company in the world. Furthermore, they stock products that are made in more than 70 countries, have over 11,000 stores in 27 countries, and on average, manage an inventory of $32 billion. To accomplish all this successfully, they’d need to incorporate methods of organisation. And they did, from the get-go. In fact, many universities teach about Walmart’s infamous supply chain with its many triads of global suppliers, warehouses, and retail stores behaving almost as if it were one single company. Systems At The Core of McDonald’s Success Whatever you may think of their food, McDonald’s is the most successful restaurant chain in the world. Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s restaurants, created the McDonalds System on which the entire chain was built. His vision was unique: to provide food of high quality and which would taste the same everywhere. And it does, because franchises follow strict standards and processes in order to achieve that goal. Everything is systemised, from hygiene to office procedures to making burgers. The results are: Decreased staff costs Minimal customer waiting time Continuous order flows Staff getting more done in less time Exceptional...