Why should you systemize your business? Many years ago, when I was running one of my first businesses, I was fortunate enough to listen to some cassette tapes (yes it was a long time ago!) from Michael Gerber.
It was a recording of his famous “E-Myth Seminar” which was totally compelling. He coined a phrase in this seminar which has been etched in my memory ever since:
“Work ON your business not IN your business”
When you first start out with your business, you will probably end up doing everything. I have been in this situation many times, and it is not something that is sustainable over a long period of time.
If you try and do everything yourself then you will face burn out quickly and things will get overlooked as you grow.
Maybe you are in this situation right now?
How do you feel when you wake up in the morning? Are you motivated to drive forward to make a real impact with your business?
Or are you filled with stress and anxiety about the mountain of tasks that you need to complete just to get through the day?
Having your own business should all be about freedom. You are not working for someone else and have to play things by their rules. It is down to you to create the rules and then live by them.
If you try and do everything yourself without any systemization then you are a slave to the tasks you need to perform every day. This is worse than having a job.
Before I go on to discuss the advantages of systemizing your business, I want to give a shout out to Michael Gerber’s E-Myth Seminar and his E-Myth books.
Gerber has also published a book called “the E-Myth Real Estate Investor” which I highly recommend that you read.
What is Systemization of the Business?
So, let’s start off with my definition of systemization. I define a system as “a series of step-by-step procedures or processes that will ensure that your business is consistent and delivers reliable performance in every aspect”.
The bottom line here is that you will arrange how your business operates into a system or method. You need to include everything from start to finish.
To achieve this, you need to record how each of your business processes works step-by-step (more on this later).
When you do this, others can follow the processes easily and you can stop working IN your business.
The Benefits of Systemizing your Business
You probably already know that it makes a lot of sense to systemize your business. In fact, any business will benefit from systemization, and most business owners know this, but very few actually systemize their businesses. Why?
Because it takes time and effort, and if the business owners are busy working IN their businesses, where will they find time to do this?
The bottom line is that you need to make time!
1. You will be less Stressed
I can’t think of a better reason for systemizing your business than reducing your stress levels. It is vital that you are as healthy as possible in order to achieve your goals, and stress can have a negative impact on your wellbeing.
Look, the major decisions that you will need to make for your business can be stressful. A system is not going to take that away. But if you are stressing over the small stuff as well then that’s a real concern.
I have been there and it is not a place that I want to go back to.
When you are the owner of your business you will have to deal with a lot of detail. To be really successful there will be a lot of things going on in your business every day, and you will need a good team to support you.
Your team needs guidance from you and this is best achieved through systemization.
To effectively systemize your business be sure to involve your team. They have a valuable contribution to make and the end result will be a smooth-running business.
This means a lot less stress for you.
2. It is easier to Delegate with a Systemized Business
You are the leader of your business. Your team looks to you for guidance. It is essential that every member of your team knows what is expected of them. When you systemize your business this all becomes a lot clearer.
Ultimately you want to delegate tasks to team members and have them perform those tasks with minimal supervision (if any).
Even if you have new team members, they can use the system to get answers to questions, and execute their assigned tasks in the most efficient and effective way.
3. A Systemized Business is Consistent
There is a lot of power in consistency. Please see my post on this here. It is very important that your business provides a consistent experience to customers and suppliers.
This will enhance the reputation of your business significantly.
The most successful franchises in the world focus on consistency. I don’t eat at McDonald’s, but I know that they provide the same consistent customer experience in London, New York and Hong Kong. It is the same all over the world.
They do this because it works, and you need to aim for consistency in your business too.
4. A System helps you identify Gaps
When your business is systemized, you will be able to identify gaps. You may need to hire new team members that have a specific skill set to perform certain tasks.
Maybe you are performing those tasks at the moment because nobody else can.
Having the right team around you is essential for the success of your business. Once I systemized my business it was easy for me to identify the kind of people that I needed, and I went out and found them.
5. With a System you will have more time to do what you want
This blog is all about freedom. By systemizing your business and having the right team in place you can be confident that it will continue to run smoothly with or without your input.
Without this you will not be free to do the things that you want to do.
So, business systemization enables you to take time out to do what you want. This includes working on your business so that you can set compelling goals for the future.
It also means that if you want to live in another country for several months a year like I do, you can do that too.
How do you Systemize a Business?
There are a series of steps that you need to follow to systemize your business. What you want to end up with is a series of documented procedures called SOPs (standard operating procedures).
These will tell anyone that reads them exactly what they need to do to accomplish a specific task. They will learn what they need to do, how to do it and when to do it.
Step 1 – Create a Recurring Task List
The first step you need to take is think about all of the tasks that you perform in your business on a regular basis. Some of these will be daily, some weekly, some monthly and others when the need arises.
You can create your list of recurring tasks using pen and paper or use a word processing application on your computer. Using a document on a computer is preferred as you can easily make changes to your list without it becoming a mess.
Once you have identified all of your recurring tasks, estimate how long each task should take and record this in your list. When you have completed this for all of the tasks on your list, you can then organize the list on a duration basis.
Examine the list to see if there are any tasks which consume your time that you can systemize and delegate to others to perform.
Step 2 – Prioritize and Organize the Tasks
Your objective here is to identify which group in your business is responsible for each task. For example, some tasks may be the responsibility of marketing, some the operations department, some the financial department and so on.
Do not concern yourself with whether these groups exist in your business at the moment.
Look at each of the tasks and identify their importance. Give each of the tasks an importance rating such as “1” as the most important and “10” as the least important.
It doesn’t matter what approach you use here as long as it makes sense to you and you can put your tasks in the right order of priority.
When you are prioritizing your tasks, do this on the basis of their importance and the role that they play in maintaining the smooth running of your business.
What you want to end up doing here is to create policies and procedures which ensure that all of the essential tasks that your business needs to perform are taken care of.
Step 3 – Create Documents for your Processes
Now it is time to start documenting all of your processes. It is essential that you include all of the necessary details here. I found that the best way to do this was to put myself in the shoes of someone who needed to follow the process for the first time.
Creating a step-by-step guide is the best way to go. If it is possible for you to add images such as screenshots of a computer program for example, then do this. Videos are a great way to explain how a process is to be performed.
So take the time to create explainer videos that others can easily follow.
There are free templates available online that you can download that can help you with the documenting of your processes. Get someone to help you create the documentation.
It is better that they have never performed the tasks before, as they will probably ask you things that you would have never thought of including yourself.
Step 4 – Implement the Processes
After you have documented your business process it is critical that you test them. You can follow the instructions included with the processes and note how easy they are for you to follow.
It is likely that you will need to make some adjustments to provide more clarity as you test.
Once you have tested your processes, get someone else that is not familiar with them to test them out. If the person has any questions, then this is an indicator that there is not sufficient detail in the processes and that you have relied too much on your familiarity with them.
Add more detail to overcome this.
Always remember that your aim here is for someone else to work the processes and not you. You need to ensure that all of your documented processes are airtight.
This will ensure that anyone that has to use them will not be in any doubt what they have to do.
Step 5 – Continuously Improve your Business Systemization
Things are likely to change in your business so make sure that you are committed to continuously improving your business systemization. Through continuous improvement, you can make your processes more efficient.
Involve your team here so that they can recommend changes to the system to improve it.
Take a Significant Freedom Step with Business Systemization
Systemizing your business is a significant step towards freedom. Have this in your mind when you are analyzing everything to put your system in place.
It is vital that you don’t see systemization as a chore. If you view it in this way then you will be very unlikely to implement it properly.
Since I systemized my real estate business I have never looked back. Did I get it completely right first time? Of course, I didn’t. It took time to iron out wrinkles and make it as perfect as possible.
In fact, I am still making some adjustments to the system today, but the effort is certainly worth it.
I would love to hear from you now please.
Are you thinking of systemizing your business? What challenges are you facing? Have you got any tips for making the process more efficient?
Please comment in the section below. Thank you very much and have a great day.