You’re working killer hours but you’re not making much money.
You keep making the same mistakes over and over again.
You’re just plain stressed out.
Creating your own business is a labour of love to be sure, but it’s also a seemingly endless source of overwhelming anxiety. No matter how many hours you put in you never seem to pull ahead far enough to where you’re able to take a breath, never mind actually enjoying the fruits of said labours.
This book is going to help you reduce stress, recognize and fix errors, and overall help you feel like you own your business instead of the other way around.
How? By showing you the power of setting up systems.
Once you codify how your business works best (including how you should, or should not, respond to mistakes) you’re going to find that:
- You feel like you’re finally in control.
- You’re getting ahead of your mistakes and that you’re no longer making the same errors over and over again.
- You’re more focused on what needs to be done to grow your company instead of merely treading water just to stay afloat.
- You’re working less but making more money.
The systems you’re going to set up will act as maps for you and your employees to follow. You’ll have ongoing procedures and emergencies down to a fine art, and you’ll be better prepared for the next unexpected event.
You might even have some fun.
Ready to take control of your business? Then let’s get started.
Chapter 1 – What are Systems and Why Do You Need Them?
First of all, let’s define what we mean by a “system”.
A system is where every step of a procedure is clearly defined and documented.
In other words, it’s the recipe of the business world. Let’s say you’re the one handling customer complaints for your business. But you get sick one day and can’t come in. The queries and complaints don’t get sick though, and they keep arriving at their usual pace.
If you haven’t laid out a recipe for success when dealing with those complaints then none of your employees are going to help resolve the situation with your customers. They’re not going to know how big of a refund they’re allowed to make. They’re not going to know if they’re allowed to substitute a newer model of widget for the older model that the customer has in their possession. At worst, they’re not going to know that there’s any sort of complaints email address or database at all.
Without you there dealing with the complaints they are going to back up. Customers will feel snubbed and they will leave you, and thanks to social media they’re going to let all of their friends and colleagues know that you dropped the ball.
But with a documented system in place your employees will know both who should take over handling the complaints in your absence and how much leeway they have in making a customer happy.
In addition, you’re going to have any easier time recognizing where your workflow needs help. If you’ve categorised how (for example) a client’s file moves through your system, you’ll be able to see the exact point that the file’s work gets bogged down. This is much harder to do if you approach your work in an undocumented and haphazard fashion.
A third benefit is that, now that you’re able to recognise and shore up your internal workflow, you’ll no longer have to roll up your sleeves and jump in very much, if at all, because there are few if any more emergencies. This will free up big chunks of time that allow you to get back to steering your company from the top down.
Last, your employees want to do good work for you. Too many businesses try to get ahead by doing exactly what they shouldn’t be doing – putting obstacles in the way of good employees that includes confusion and a lack of guidelines. Systems enable your employees to do what they want most to do – turn in a good day’s work. If employees don’t know how to make you happy… well, they won’t.
Every action you take in your business is one piece of a system. Every system comes together to make a whole – your business. The better your systems are the better your business will be.