Best-Selling Author of E-Myth Revisited, Michael Gerber said, “Let systems run the business and people run the systems…People come and go but the systems remain constant.”
There are many examples of systems at work, including our human wiring systems, eco systems, and even marketing and social media systems. Some of the most profitable businesses started with systems: McDonald’s and Federal Express are popular ones.
A system can simply include a set of steps completed at regular intervals or a daily set of habits to increase productivity. Some business systems can be developed in a few minutes or more complex systems can take weeks to implement but offer the business leverage and significant return on investment.
Technology innovations are also changing industries, like the food service industry. Automated systems or machines solve many of the staffing issues that plague the industry. From flipping burgers to tossing pizzas, automation is improving operations.
Systems Solve Your Biggest Frustrations
Whether you realize it or not, systems are critical building blocks of your company. Because every single area of your business is part of a system that can be managed, building systems within each business function is critical.
Systems Create Freedom, Not Inhibit It
That said, a systems approach looks at the whole and reduces shoot-from-the-hip tactics. It includes processes, standards, and other metrics designed to serve as a blueprint for implementation. When you have a blueprint, one simple glance at your metrics and you’ll know how your strategies are or are not working.
The problem is that most companies take a broke/fix approach. They look at what’s broken and try to fix it independently of the whole then wonder why the system, process, or automation isn’t working.
What’s Most Important
What’s most important is making sure that each area or part works together for the entire business. Creating those interrelated, effective business systems is essential to growing a profitable business.
If you implement automation, consider how that automation impacts all of your customers or clients. When a fast-food chain implemented a fully automated pay system, they didn’t realize how it would impact their senior citizen customers who are not familiar with technology. In one case, they didn’t have a staff member assisting their customers.
When a senior citizen tried to use his gift card given to him by his son, he was frustrated and confused. While the other customers aided the gentlemen, there was a big impact not only on the customer, but on the restaurant’s reputation. In short order, the situation made it on to social media requiring damage control.
If you are implementing systems, understand how all of your customers, clients, and employees will interact with those systems.
The next time you want to implement a new system, consider these questions.
1. What is the pain point of your business that is impacting productivity and profitability? What is the root cause?
2. What is the most optimal solution: automation, a process or procedure?
3. How will the solution impact the whole business? One system may appear to be a quick solution, but really isn’t when you consider how it will interface with your other systems. For example, if you integrate a shopping cart software, but it doesn’t adequately interface with your accounting software, you may have faulty sales reporting or unnecessary staff expenses because you need to maintain two separate systems when you could have a system that works together seamlessly.
Ultimately, it is your business system that will leverage your time, effort, and resources. Just remember to consider the whole business, including how your clients or team will interact with those systems.