7 Reasons for Systemizing Small Business
Systematize a small business!? This sounds formidable, intimidating, complicated … not to mention, time-consuming.
Folks, it’s NOT complicated, but it does take some time and effort. However, it pays huge dividends! With today’s tools you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. No need to start from scratch.
When I investigated how to Systematize Small Business in 1994 there was no Internet tool or software. I had to start from scratch, due to not having the funds to hire a consultant to do most of the work. My time investment for systematizing our business took eight years; so the real leg work is already done.
But the world has changed since then! In fact, we offer most of what we’ve learned about systematizing for FREE. Not our software, of course. But we do have many FREE templates and videos for building systems.
1) Sustainable Order
Most small businesses struggle to maintain order with business processes, once designed and implemented. There’s a reason for that! It’s for the simple fact; they don’t have a follow-up system.
Consider what’s required for keeping your home cleaned and organized. Someone, like yourself, must keep constant vigil to maintain a clutter-free home. Right?
In the same manner, to sustain order in a business, a system for monitoring and inspecting must be in place. In addition, to assure compliance to the system, supervision of the labor, those doing the cleaning, must also be in place.
We provide FREE information, for step-by-step process building for systematizing sustainable order. So, keep reading!
The 100 Percent System of Cleanliness for keeping the business building and property clean and clutter-free would be a good start.
Also, info and templates for building an Operation Manual with document management for policies, process control checklists for quality, daily routine checklists, procedures, and job descriptions, etc. All are designed to drastically reduce rework, bottlenecks and chaos, for lean sustainable management.
2) Maximum Efficiency
A systematic approach to service and product production empowers people to work at maximum efficiency. Simply giving employees access to an Operation Manual (the company’s “brain trust” for all technical aspects of the business) raises the employee’s effectiveness. Moreover, this access to all production and service processes enables employees to do their jobs without constant supervision. Sadly, employee accountability is sorely missing in most small businesses. We have the FIX!
3) Waste Elimination
Did you know that most small businesses operate in a state of disorder, which creates an incredible amount of waste and lost profits? How do I know?
When I first started systematizing our business, I designed a System Buster Locator system to measure all waste. In other words, we are able to measure the cost of rework and non-conforming, chaotic activity in our business.
I can tell you, the cost of waste we found was astounding. You know, those silly, stupid mistakes that occur repeatedly.
The good news here is, tracking and measuring all waste enabled us to also systematically eliminate that waste. This powerful tool encourages employees to systematically identify bottlenecks, errors and other waste/problems in production and/or service. WHY? Because, when employees see that top management doesn’t just talk about problems, but has a system to fix them, they gladly climb aboard.
The systematic approach to investigating root causes and remedies for waste/errors is also known in business as CAPA - Corrective Action - Preventative Action.
Reducing waste adds to a company’s bottom line; not to mention, the owner’s sanity.
4) Minimal Training and Re-Training of Personnel
One of the most mundane things for a manager or owner to do is, training. Especially, re-training!
An Operations Manual, with step-by-step processes for how a business operates from morning to night and front to back, eliminates redundancy. In addition, the owner doesn’t have to become the go-to guy; the one constantly interrupted by others. Those interruptions are simply to find answers for how to perform certain processes or jobs. There’s a simple fix for that!
When employees have easy access to information for how to do their job, management is free to do ITS job. In other words, owners have the freedom to do those things that grow company sales, and work ON the business.
5) Continual Improvement
With systems in place, like CAPA or The System Buster Locator, for updating the company’s Operations Manual, continual improvement becomes part of everyone’s daily activities. In fact, it should become just as ordinary as any other work performed.
6) Employees & Family
Sadly, employees and family are rarely considered as a reason to systematize small business. Many business owners believe, as long as an employee is paid, then a little business chaos should be expected. Besides, everyone knows and understands, “chaos is normal” in business. Right?
Well, that’s right, IF the systematization of the business has NOT yet occurred. In that case, not only do employees suffer, but family life also suffers. WHY?
Because, many small business owners and managers work 60 to 70 hours a week, to keep up with unsystematic business operations. Unfortunately, many of these owners don’t realize, with the right systems in place they would gain the freedom to enjoy not only their business, but also their family.
One more thing concerning the family: when the time comes to pass the baton of ownership to the next generation, consider their pain of inheriting a chaotic business.
7) Customer Satisfaction
Isn’t this what it’s all about? Serving our customers/clients is really the number one benefit of systematizing a business. I placed it at number SEVEN, because every business says they have the “best quality and service around,” without really considering that statement. Generally, they claim having the best quality and service, but have NO way to prove it.
Therefore, if I had placed Customer Satisfaction at number one above, many business professionals would have dismissed it without ever considering. They might say, “business as usual” works just fine, as long as a profit is being made. But, are they right?
Again, without a system for achieving real quality and service, guaranteed customer satisfaction or customer retention is never consistent. Why? Because without a system for measuring quality and service, you simply can’t prove it! Therefore, the slogan with the word “quality” printed on a business card or sign has a hollow ring!
Finally, whether building the systems yourself (do you really want to take 8 years?); or buying a tool to systematize your small business, it’s a meaningful investment; one that will change your life.
More importantly, it’s a tool to help guarantee these seven reasons to systematize small business become seven realities.
Did I mention? Great systems work!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.