iekos news • September 19, 2019
Why are business systems important?
Large organisations with many employees will have multiple business systems in place because in order to create a consistent approach it is important that each person knows what needs to be done and how to do it. In smaller businesses, systems usually develop in a more organic way, getting the business started and keeping it running is a top priority, so tasks are then dealt with on a case by case basis. Problems commonly arise when the business get busier and there is less time to deal with the day to day tasks. It is important to assess your business and how you can make it more efficient without a huge increase in costs but knowing what to do for the best can be overwhelming.
SME’s with a turnover of less than £200k have very hands on Managing Directors, with most owners running the day to day tasks of the business, everything from admin to sales and marketing to financial forecasting. Whilst this is perfectly normal it is also very time consuming, so when you are looking for opportunities to grow or change your business there is very little time to refocus. Some days you can feel like you have spent 10 hours in the office and achieved very little, firefighting an ever-growing to-do list can consume every day. When exploring automated software online, initial research will show many options: Hootsuite for your social media, Quick books for your finance, Sales force for leads, Mail chimp for emails, Acuity for bookings etc, but then you have to ask the question; Which ones do I need and how will I manage this new software?
How to be more productive
Be realistic about your restrictions, most owner’s first thought is to take someone on to help ease the workload, but you may not have the money or the time for this to happen right now. If you employ people before you have any systems in place how can you ensure that you will get the results you expect?
The first step is to look at how you currently manage the business and look at how you can create some business systems to help with the workload.
The first questions
Ask yourself which of your tasks are the most time consuming and also those that you don’t feel confident doing. Do you think doing these jobs is the best use of your time? Use this as the benchmark, then list your top ten challenging tasks.
Now order these tasks by the ones take up most of your time at the top. Are you spending a day every week checking invoices or reading through emails to assess which ones need actioning?
Now think about the same tasks; If you are not able to deal with them efficiently what impact is this having on your business? Poor customer service, lost sales, bad reputation?
The 5 tasks at the top of this list are the ones to focus on when thinking about creating systems.
This is a great place to start and with help the next step is to create your new business systems and add any software or packages you might need. If these systems could save you 6 or 7 hours a week, what kind of impact would this have on your business?