Many small businesses are so busy running the business and fending off daily emergencies that systems go completely ignored and chaos often prevails.
Efficient Systems Create a Better Experience for Customers and You
The business that leads in the race for customers is the business that has all its systems integrated and working smoothly together. A business that has an infallible billing system, acceptable customer service but has too much inventory is not going to win the race.
Ideally, your systems create an experience for the customer that makes him or her want to come back for more.
How to Improve Your Systems
Here are some tips to make sure your systems are up and running at a winning pace:
- System Reviews: Make sure you have a schedule for reviewing your systems and procedures. Consider reviewing them:
- Monthly to ensure procedures are being followed and required (not out of date)
- Annually to check for potential efficiency gains. This check should include talking to relevant team members to gain their practical advice about things they think work well or should change.
- Lead the Pack. Do not follow. Just because a system worked for one business does not mean it will work for yours. Always consider your business and your customer needs when using other businesses as referees for model systems.
- Have a Backup Plan. Take care that your systems have a backup and do not rely on one person to make them work. People get sick, make mistakes and have emergencies.
- Document Everything. Documenting how you do business safeguards your business in emergencies, alleviates confusion on the part of your team members and can ultimately protect you in potential legal matters. Think how much more appealing your business would be to a potential investor, lender or buyer if you could present a how-we-do-it-here manual.
- Finally, Verify that Your Systems Align with Your Goals: This check is to verify that your systems have the capacity to help you achieve your business goals. As an example, there is no point having a business goal to grow using an online store if your website is not set up to handle online purchases.