CEO Chatter: Having Systems

Mar 27, 2017 | Strategy

Do you ever find yourself in a daze after a long day at the office? You wonder what you even got accomplished after working yourself so hard. And you look back, and think “What did I even do today?” I’ve had those days. I hate those days. I also realized I have less of those days when I’m concentrating on fulfilling the systems I have put into place.

Define system, you might say. A system to me is: a defined set of rules, processes and protocols for which are to be followed at defined point within your business.

For example, your Sales System is the set of rules, processes and protocols which you implement during the prospecting and selling phase of your business. Another example would be your Onboarding System. The system you place new customers into to streamline their induction to your company. Make sense?

The days that are astray from my systems are the days that feel most chaotic. Often it’s because without following the system, your imagination can run wild and create a whole new system. Which isn’t the same, or even closely related to, the system it was supposed to be.

Now, I’m not saying you can’t change your system or that you are always meant to stick with the same process FOREVER. No, change is definitely important.

But it must be intentional.

If you find yourself saying, “There’s got to be a better way” or “Something’s not quite right here,” then block time on your calendar and brainstorm a change to the system. There probably is a better way, but that’s best discovered with intention and time set aside for that creation.

Change with Purpose

Making a change during the actual defined point in your business creates chaos for you and for your customers, employees, vendors, etc. Because, they’ve come to expect a certain route and you’ve gone altering their course. You’ve also altered yours. Don’t do that.

I can hear you though, saying, “But who’s got time to make those plans? I’ve barely got time to eat lunch during the day.” I hear you and I understand. Truly, I do.

But my question back will always be “What will happen when you don’t make the time?”

The answer might surprise you. You might end up realizing that things will always stay the same if you don’t plan to implement a system. You might also see that your business won’t grow or won’t grow as you’d envisioned it. Or worse yet, you might expect less of yourself because you feel you are already pressed to the max. As an entrepreneurs, expecting less of yourself means death of innovation. The death of innovation means death to your business.

Make the Time

Imagine a day in your business – you wake up, take a look at your calendar, and you know what to expect for the day. You know from 8 to 10 a.m. you will be writing your blog post, from 10 a.m. to noon you’ll be in a networking meeting, from 1 to 2 p.m. you’ll be having lunch, from 2 to 3 p.m. answering emails and from 3 to 5 p.m. you’ll be finishing the onboarding of a client. What if you had a day like that? No chaos and just a planned day ahead. Would you like that?

What happens if a client calls during the meeting from 10 a.m. to noon? Do you interrupt your meeting or do you call them back after the meeting is over? Do you have a basis to determine if assisting them is worth interrupting your onboarding of a new client versus putting them on the docket for the following day? If it’s interrupting your onboarding, what system do you have in place to get that new client setup?

There are the things you have to think about when you are developing your systems. They are plans of a sort, but they are more than that. The are only so flexible because there is a reason and purpose behind why they were created. To make each day in your business smoother and you and your employees happier. To reduce the chaos.

So here is my challenge to you – take one afternoon each week, and use that time to create, a system. Then create the next system, and the next. Once you feel you’ve covered your entire business, start over to see if any of them can be improved. Rinse, repeat. Take four hours weekly to pay attention to the systems that run your business.

You will not regret it.

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