What are business systems, anyway?
Simply put, business systems include any system that can be defined as the way you do things. Any routine that has a process you follow is a system. You may have a regular process for feeding your dog, putting the kids to bed at night, or doing the dishes after dinner. The way you do those tasks becomes systematic.
A system adapts over time as things change. In business, a system is very helpful for establishing an orderly process for getting work done. People establish systems as they find what works well and what process is the most efficient. Documenting systems becomes important because you can teach someone else to replicate the same process and does not limit the systems knowledge to one person.
3 Ways Business Systems Improve Efficiency, Competitive Advantage and Customer Satisfaction
There are three ways that business systems can improve your efficiency, competitive advantage and customer satisfaction.
1. When you document what you are doing, you can see the strengths and weaknesses of the process.
With the system outlined, you can:
- Improve the process if weaknesses exist.
- Teach someone else the process to protect the systems knowledge.
2. Systems can be improved when the process is clarified.
Some reasons that systems may need improvement include
- Duplicate efforts.
- Bottle necks in the process.
- Unnecessary delays occurring with hand-offs between departments.
- Only one person understands the system.
- The process is being handled manually.
3. Systems can be improved by automation whenever possible.
Begin automation by taking these steps:
- List the manual processes in order of priority and automate the ones that can easily convert.
- Document because automated systems need to be documented just like manual systems.
Getting Started with Developing Business Systems
When considering where to begin with developing your business systems, consider tackling customer impact processes first. Looking at the systems used to provide customer service and move a lead prospect to the client category should be first on your list. It offers the best return.
Second, look for low hanging fruit. What processes can you automate or improve to become more efficient and add time back to your work operations?
The Benefits of Business Systems
Business systems are useful in all functions of business operations. For example, in your marketing endeavors, if you project a consistent message, you will be seen as an established business that becomes more readily recognizable over time. Of course, client services must provide consistent results if you want to stay in business. You must have a system to allow clients to work with you smoothly and providing consistent, high quality results.
And, finally, no business will stay around long without strong financial systems. No one wants to work with a business that does not have structured invoicing and payment processes. And no business wants to lose revenue because it does not have a structured follow-up for late payments.
Systems allow you to grow your business by documenting where you are now, where you want to go, and how you can achieve these goals. If you are willing to spend time and money building a business, you need to be willing to document the processes that provide this profitable success.