Business Systems

How to create a System for your Business

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No one wants to create a Frankenstein monster, so how exactly do you create a system for your business. Some can feel overwhelmed by the task or worry they’ll miss something important. The challenge is how to break it down into smaller chunks and yet make sure all those parts work smoothly together.

Rogan Hounsell-Roberts was a founder of a successful scale-up; has helped organisations across many sectors achieve success; a founder of KR5 Consulting; and passionate to help ambitious business leaders succeed.

Creating a brighter future

The recent global crisis has accelerated the use of digital, and we see business adapting to keep things running. Looking beyond the initial response, we wanted to help senior leaders to think beyond the next twelve to eighteen months and imagine a bigger and brighter future. We’ve created this series starting with the big picture in “Digital transformation – Why it creates Hope for your Future”. Then in part-two, we look at the mechanics in “Business System – Why do I Need One?”. Finally, in part-three, we look at “How to create a System for your Business”.

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Having a system for a system

I admire those people with tidy workshops. You know the ones with all the tools hanging neatly on the wall; where someone has helpfully drawn round each tool, so you know exactly where it lives. I confess that I have to rummage around to find the right tool, and I’ve been known to buy the same thing twice!

When you create a system for your business, you need something to organise your thoughts. I find that Michael Porter’s Value Chain a good starting point. For services you might create boxes for high-level activities of designing & developing, delivery, distribution, marketing, sales, and service. This means you’re less likely to overlook a key area. I know some consultants that have created their own ‘pillars’ to create structure. However, I find that Porter covers the bases well, and it’s more about using the right words rather than re-inventing the wheel.

It’s all about what you do

Although I’ve found templates helpful, they can often cause more confusion and create unnecessary noise. Let’s put it this way, templates used across many businesses tend to be a hotchpotch of every activity imaginable. Instead of making you go faster, you end up figuring out what to keep in and what to remove. There’s also the problem of using unfamiliar words: So, you’re constantly asking if this is the same or different to something you’re already doing. My advice is to use them as a reference.

When you create a system for your business, think about what you do. Think about what makes you unique and what things you need to do to make that happen. A good exercise is to start with a blank sheet of paper and draw your main activity in middle. Then think about all the activities that enable you to do that and add those. After that, think about the planning activities. This will help you see how everything’s connected. It will also help you focus on what’s most important to your business.

Flows across the business

In the above exercise, I expect you’ve drawn lines to show how everything’s connected. You’ll start to see the flows across your business. You’re starting to create and see how the system for your business fits together. Think about what’s in that flow. Be as specific as you can.

Bringing it together

Use your value chain to organise the activities you’ve discovered. With the big picture and flows across the business, you can confidently fill in the details. This is when you create the processes and think about the shared data across your business.

Finally

Creating a system for your business is easier with a little help. If you’d like to have a chat about your business, give me a call on 01344 266567 or contact me on rhounsell@kr5consulting.com or DM on LinkedIn to arrange an exploratory meeting.

KR5 Consulting helps senior leaders to transform & refine their business for profitable growth. We work closely with leaders to assist them in their Digital Transformation; refining their Business System; and applying Digital Technology.

If you’d like to explore the ideas in this article further or need help and advice, please contact Rogan at rhounsell@kr5consulting.com – to arrange an informal chat.

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