Who doesn’t love an acronym, especially in the world of business?
Here’s one which offers the goal and the solution in one.
I’m talking about S.Y.S.T.E.M.S which stands for Save YourSelf Time, Energy, Money and Stress.
Pretty neat! But what am I going on about?
As a business owner, you have a zillion things to do. You have built your business from the ground up and everything within it, from the ordering process to the way you respond to clients lives inside your head.
It can be so easy to believe your staff have absorbed your prowess and intimate knowledge of your business just by being around you but this is very unlikely to be the case.
Without S.Y.S.T.E.M.S, you’re likely to be stuck in one of two scenarios. The first has your business doing well but only because you’re running around like a headless chicken, burning the candle at both ends and never seeing your family. The profits may be flowing but you, my friend, are holding a one-way ticket to burnout.
The second S.Y.S.T.E.M.S free business is floundering. Mistakes are made constantly, customers are unhappy and any wins on the board feel like flukes. This is because nobody is sticking to a standard way to do things. If this is your business, you are probably already burnt out and even starting to wonder why you bother.
The importance of systems
To S.Y.S.T.E.M.S, introduce systems into your business for almost everything you do. This means sharing written or recorded instructions and procedures across your business, and ensuring people stick to them.
Start by documenting the way customers should be greeted and creating a simple sales script. It may seem like a no-brainer but how else can you ensure each customer receives the same standard of service?
Have a think about the questions your staff ask you the most. Can something be systemised so they can work independently? How many hours will this save you per week?
Systems can reduce customer complaints and skyrocket efficiency levels. When you can say “Just follow the system!”, you’ll be free to focus on important tasks and so will your management team.
How to ‘S.Y.S.T.E.M.S’
Want to start saving yourself time, energy, money and stress with systems? Start by identifying the tasks each staff member (or even yourself alone) faces on a daily basis.
Encourage your staff to write down the tasks they do regularly and document the best way to do them. This may mean allocating them time to do so. You may also need to workshop or bring in a consultant to identify the systems which are ideal for your business. Often, a company intranet (internal website) which can be accessed via the cloud is a clever way to store your systems and policies. This can be easily discovered by any staff member at any time.
Implementing systems can take some time but you will thank yourself at the end of the process.
Once you have created systems to save time, energy, money and stress, stick to them! They won’t do you any good if they are ignored so offer incentives for staff who are diligent in this area.
One final point is that your systems don’t have to be set in stone. They can be constantly tweaked to improve efficiency and save your business more money. Some may even end up being redundant as your organisation evolves.
How do you know when your systems are working? You’ll be able to step away from your business and have it run without you. There will be no need for micromanaging or constant interruptions from your staff. Because they’re saving time, you’re saving money. And this means you can finally afford some time off!