In this blog we take a look at six benefits of business systems & processes. Why should ambitious owners make the investment? When does it make sense to disrupt what you’re doing and create something different for the future?
You started with a few good people. They made it happen, now you want them for your senior positions. You know you can’t replicate the initial team to scale, you’d struggle to recruit, and even if you could, they’d get bored and want to move onto the next challenge. Could effective business systems and processes be the answer?
In this two-part series we take an in-depth look at business systems. Part one “What are business systems, and why should you care?” looked at what they are and why they matter. In this blog “Benefits of business systems & processes”, we look at some of the reasons to invest in your future business systems and processes.
Systems and processes work better when designed as a business system. Our guide, Business System: An Essential Guide to Growth, will help you design a robust system for better results.
Building the business
The real benefit of business systems & processes is to build the business. You might think about that in terms of keeping brand promises. As the business grows, you want to make sure you continue to deliver to customers. Systems and processes that keep delivering value, time after time. At the same time, it’s delivering competitively and to a high standard. That’s how you keep delivering your brand promises.
Similarly, it’s about building the IP value in the business. The way a business creates value is often unique and a trade secret. Business systems and processes capture what’s special about the business. It’s the methods and know how that makes the business valuable. Not something you want people to walk away with when they leave!
Focus & more control
Typically, systems start small and then develop to become quite complex. As the business direction changes, those systems can be at odds with the strategy. When systems don’t support the business strategy then it can waste time and energy. Effective systems help the business drive forward, aligned with the business direction. They are also easier to change so you can be more competitive or break into new markets.
Your business has to deliver value to others as well as your customers. The business must also deliver value to investors, shareholders and staff to name a few. Good systems mean that everyone’s a winner. Their role is to help the business to perform consistently without drama.
When systems work well, staff can achieve more without getting stressed. The business flows, and this allows staff to use their time where it really counts. Staff feel more engaged because they feel they are contributing more. That might be, for example, in better customer relationships, working on new ideas or improvements.
Never stop improving. Once you’ve got consistency and clarity over how you deliver value, figure out how to do it better. That’s tough if there’s any confusion or ambiguity. However, once you have clarity over how things work, you can benchmark and look at how you can improve.
Having a clear understanding on how the business works helps you measure, look for bottlenecks and work towards better ways of working. Having systems documented and measured means you can take a deep dive to find where you’re really hurting.
The benefit of good business systems is that they scale. Chances are, the people you started with aren’t going to be doing the same thing in a few years’ time. They’ll have moved on, and you’ll probably want to move them into more senior positions. If you could, should you recruit the same type of people to replace them? Probably not. More likely you’ll want to simplify the operation and use more junior staff for the day to day. So, you’ll need systems that make things simple and still get a great result. With the increase in work, you’ll need a system that’s fast, robust, with checks, balances and good monitoring.
Effective business systems are simpler and easier to learn. Well defined systems are logical with clear and easy to follow steps. That means it’s easier to create training material, and for staff to get up to speed. That clarity improves confidence levels. It also makes it quicker and easier to on-board new people.
We’ve taken a look at six benefits of business systems & processes. In summary it’s about making life easier, reducing complexity and improving results. That comes at a cost, it takes time and energy to make those improvements. For small businesses the pay-off may take time, for ambitious scale-ups it’s essential to keep up.
If you’d like to explore the ideas in this article further or need help and advice, please contact Rogan at firstname.lastname@example.org – to arrange an informal chat.
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