A business is essentially a system and requires systems thinking in order to grow.
I have been building systems for a long time, both for myself and for my clients.
The classic book, The E-Myth, articulated the common entrepreneurial problem clearly for business people everywhere. When effective, predictable systems are not in place, you find yourself hitting a glass ceiling in your ability to grow your business.
The system – how things get done – is different based on the services and products you bring to the market. And you need multiple approaches based on the various functions of your business whether it is selling, servicing, nurturing, attracting, or fulfilling your service.
The beautiful thing is that we have an overload of technical options to build these systems. It’s easy to forget that not too long ago we had to spend lots of money and build everything custom. The world did not have cloud computing, apps and integration available.
Today, the tools are there for you. But knowing what to do with them and building behaviors and culture to support how data flows, how customers get serviced or how people collaborate is ultimately a test of leadership.
Your ability to see clearly, design well and ensure the inputs and outputs are working consistently will determine whether a system works or not. If the goal is around automation and moving data, then coding is the focal point. Get this right and you can put your system in motion and move on. If the goal is increased revenue, then sales process, CRM and follow-up behaviors are critical.
The harder system is always aligning people, namely knowledge workers. How they repeatedly use their computers, iPhones and software to move information to action becomes the crux point. This takes much longer and has a lot of front-loaded intensity.
The key is to get clear on your goals, remove any obstacles, and look for simplicity in design. Getting bogged down in the rat holes of technology and people problems can kill a system and keep you from the success you are looking for.
What systems are you wanting to make work in your business?