Business Systemization is a well-proven strategy you can use to improve productivity in your business.
Now, what is Business Systemization, you might ask?
Business Systemization is a process by which you can organize and automate as much as possible most elements of the workflow in your business. The ultimate goal is to make it possible for you to be able to step away from your business for a while and the business still continues to operate with efficiency and profitability.
The idea of Business Systemization was popularized by the 1986 widely-popular bestseller by Michael Gerber, titled The E-Myth: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What To Do About It [Ballinger Pub Co ].
In this book, Gerber argues that the entrepreneur should spend their time creating a business that can run by itself, even when the entrepreneur is not present. And you do this by building business processes that are predictable and consistent that they easily replicate themselves, and anybody can pick up and do them in your absence.
The idea is to replace yourself with a system that runs like the proverbial well-oiled machine.
Or in real life, think of the McDonald franchise system that can be replicated anywhere by anybody using the same operating manual, and produce just about the same outcome.
Are You Working IN Your Business or ON Your Business?
One of the biggest reasons that 'business systemization' is so incredibly important, is that it allows you to step out of your business for a while and to focus on ways to make it better.
Often we are too consumed with working in our businesses to the extent that we stop working on them – and when we allow this to happen it can often represent the start of a vicious circle and a road to nowhere.
But what's the difference you ask? And how does business systemization help?
If you're someone who is only working in your business, then you'll likely be arriving at work with a long to-do list, working through that and then leaving the office once it's completed. Get to work tomorrow and you'll have a new huge list of things you need to be doing. It's relentless and it feels like you are always only just managing with your workload rather than having time to move around more freely and to come up with new directions and new ideas.
If you are working on your business though, then that means you'll be spending time in research and development, it means you'll be looking at potential future markets to move into and you'll be forecasting your profits over the coming months and years.
In other words, working on your business means that you'll be finding ways to expand, grow and develop – rather than just running round and round the circle.
As you might have imagined, the general idea is to reach the point where you work more on your business than in it. In other words, you should be working to either increase the profit you're bringing in or to decrease the amount of time you're spending working.
Either way, you'll be improving your productivity and that's ultimately the point of a business.
Business systemization helps you to get to that point by automating parts of your business and handing it over to your team members or VAs so that you can concentrate on other things.
This system makes your business more efficient and that means your business can grow or you can step back. Either way, it's the first step in a more fulfilling business and life balance.
You Get More Freedom
If you are currently putting in late nights at work and feeling as though you're not getting the results you deserve, then that suggests that your business isn't capable of operating without you.
By improving the ability of your team to work independently and putting systems in place, you'll find your 'hands on' time is reduced and as such you can spend more time with your family, travelling or enjoying your hobbies. And isn't that the point?
You Save Time and Money and See Improvements
Often systemization basically means introducing flow charts and checklists that automate the processes that make up your company's workflow. By using these systems you ensure that you use the same efficient method for every new job and every new client.
This is important because it in turn means that every client and customer will be equally satisfied and will know they can rely on you for a certain quality of service.
Moreover, having systems in place means that you can then assess those systems and find ways to improve them.
Once you know the exact checklist your team is following, you can look into slightly altering that checklist and seeing how that impacts on your profits, your overheads and your ratings. If you are all over the place though and you attack each problem in a different way, you'll never know how to improve.
You Can Expand
If you are dealing with issues as they arise then you will be working 'in' your business rather than on it.
Instead, use systems and you can take a 'step back' from everything and gain the time and perspective to actually improve your business model.
Meanwhile, extra efficiency will allow you to spend less time on each job thus meaning you can afford to increase the number of jobs you perform and thus your turnover and profits.
In short, systemization is the answer to many business woes, as Michael Gerber pointed out, and can make a huge difference to your efficiency, happiness and growth. It's time to apply some systems thinking!
Top Business Systemization Strategies for Any Business
As noted above, Business Systemization means automating aspects of your business so that they can run without you. This means looking at your workflow as a series of systems and then seeing how those systems can be 'upgraded' to save you time and money, while raising your profit.
But when you read about business systemization, it’s often in vague terms unless you're willing to pay. It's hard to find concrete strategies you can use to systemize your workflow, so to get you started and to give you an introduction to the subject, here are some simple strategies that you can use right away…
1. Flow Charts
A flow chart is a diagram that basically says, 'if this happens then do this'. This is perfect for diagnostics, for dealing with problems that arise and for making sure the precise same approach is used to similar situations in different contexts. Give your team flow charts and the manager will receive far fewer questions.
Even if you don’t have a team yet, you can still develop flowcharts you can use to work through projects. They can improve your productivity and efficiency.
2. Check Lists
Check lists meanwhile are lists that ensure nothing is being overlooked when carrying out a process. They can avoid mistakes and again they reduce questions and 'communication overhead'.
Many programs can automate and systemize aspects of your business. You can use something like IFTTT for instance to have e-mails added to a to-do list on Google Drive or you can use WordPress to save time when creating web designs.
But taking this to the next level means creating custom software that can take care of the smaller jobs you find yourself repeatedly doing.
Similar is using tools. These include force multipliers which create more output from the same amount of input (like a hammer, computer or a forklift) and automation – which might mean digital manufacturing tools to remove the manual labor component of your business.
5. Generating Passive Income
If you're keen to take your systemization to the next level, you can look at business models that will generate income passively. Think of it this way: you found a good business model or niche and set it up, forget it and move on to other things, and yet it continues to generate income for you. That’s a smart systematization.
6. Project Management
Project management means approaching a project in the most efficient way possible so as to avoid complications and to prepare for any contingencies. This doesn't just have to apply to construction, the same techniques can also be used in office work.
7. Training and Team Building
Develop your team enough and show them how to deal with a crisis and eventually you can remove the need for your input in the vast majority of cases. Your objective is to make yourself “invisible”… that is, if your ego will let you.