Allocating time for developing systems is a difficult task for busy business owners. If you’re familiar with our blog, or any of the EMyth books, you understand the value of developing systems. But adding more work to your already extremely busy schedule can leave you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Even with a regular chunk of time allocated to systems development and improvement, it can be difficult for even the most savvy business owners to create and develop systems.
There’s a variety of ways you can approach systematization, and different businesses require different systems. Some systems are common to all businesses, although even these have variations on a common theme. For example, an income statement is an information system common to all businesses, but there are countless ways to prepare and present even this most common of information systems.
Our first recommendation is to get an EMyth Business Coach. Our coaches are uniquely qualified to help you implement the systems essential to business success. But here are a few tips to get you started right now.
A system for systems development
Believe it or not, your systems development starts with a system. You need a system for developing systems in your business. While that may sound a bit trite, this is where so many people get tripped up. The reason you want systems in the first place is to produce order, structure and predictability. You want to approach your systems development in the same way… with a Systems Strategy.
A Systems Strategy will save you valuable time and reduce the frustration and stress of system development. In our coaching programs, we use EMyth’s proprietary Seven Essential Systems model as the basis for developing your Systems Strategy. This model demonstrates the integrative nature of any business. It contains the three essential business disciplines, Money, Management, and Marketing, and the three essential business processes, Client Fulfillment, Lead Generation, Lead Conversion, and finally Leadership at the center of the model.
If you use the Seven Centers of Management Attention model to guide your systems identification and development efforts, you’ll have a holistic or “360-degree” view of your business. It gives you the ability to consider the business as a whole, and then you can break it down to look at the major divisions of business activity. The Marketing Center is your marketing system; the Money Center is your financial system; and so on. Each of the Seven Centers may break into smaller component systems, which may break into still smaller systems, just like the root system of the tree.
The benefit of using the Seven Systems model is that it allows you to approach systems development with structure. You can look at this model and visually identify where you need to focus your attention to begin developing your systems and best practices. You might take a look at this and recognize that the area of Lead Conversion is where your business needs the most attention right now. Then you can create a plan that will guide your systems development efforts in that area. Viola! You have your first system and it’s in an area that really matters.
Start with the “big picture” of your business as a whole, and work your way through systems, subsystems, and sub-subsystems until you decide that further systemization is an exercise in the trivial.
If nothing’s jumping out at you, try examining each Center, and then ask: “What systems do I need for Money?” or “What systems do I need for Lead Conversion?” In this way, you will uncover the systems that will support each Center and ultimately, the systems that will lead to increased efficiencies and greater results.
One question we hear a lot is: how much is too much? Just think about it practically: you will certainly need a system for recruiting and hiring employees, for example, but you almost certainly will not need a system for sorting paper clips by size and color.
And remember, creating systems in your business is a team effort. As the business owner, it is your responsibility to lead systems development in your business. This means you set the stage for development, define the strategy for systems development and then involve your staff. Many times they are the ones working the systems on a day-to-day basis. Do not get caught up in all of the systems work. Involve your most important key players.
Share your story
How have you implemented systems in your business? Have you used the Seven Essential Systems model to become a systems-dependent business? What does your business look like now that it is systematized? Post a comment and tell us about it, we love to hear your stories.