(Image from the famous Candy Factory episode of I Love Lucy – Lucy’s system didn’t work so well in this case…)
The now ubiquitous tagline “There’s an App for that” gained so much traction for Apple they filed to trademark it in Dec. of 2009. If you have an I-phone, Droid, or tablet PC you probably are amazed at the ever growing number of applications available. Some are for just for fun, but many were created to simplify your processes and your life.
So replace “App” with “System”? “There’s a System for that”. It certainly isn’t nearly as catchy, but for a business owner it’s even more important. Have you ever walked through your business and observed how many repeatable systems or processes are in place? In a really successful business you can bring someone new in, give them a little instruction, and turn them loose to follow the system you have in place and hardly miss a beat.
However for most of us…we think we have systems in place but somehow the same mistakes happen again and again – which is a clear sign that you’ve got an issue.
Call Before You Dig!
Everyone has probably seen a “Call before you Dig” commercial or ad. A large portion of my career was in the heavy equipment industry…and a lot of the equipment we distributed was “ground engaging”, which simply means during operation it will be penetrating the earth’s surface…digging. That means knowing the location of underground utilities is paramount. Without that – you aren’t going to be getting any work done.
I assure you every contractor and every municipality I ever worked with has a system in place that triggers someone to contact the “Call before you Dig” locating service well in advance of an installation crew arriving. But the reality is there were dozens of times I arrived at a job site to find out “the locates” weren’t completed or they weren’t done in the correct area. There was a break down in the System and the result is unrecoverable expenses in lost productivity for everyone involved.
A Better way?
It’s an ongoing battle, but as a business owner you have to continually look at your business and find opportunities to implement systems that will simplify your life or your employee’s lives, and improve productivity.
If you don’t know where to start, find a small specific area in your business and start there. Keep it simple, but take action. The system you design should be a written step-by-step process that you can hand to anyone of average intelligence and they can replicate it without you. Creating a system doesn’t have to be complex, but it won’t happen without focused action.
Do you have a system for selling your product or service? A structured way (a system) you prospect for clients? If a client has a complaint do you have a system to handle the complaint or do you just deal with them as they happen? Maybe it is a system to complete a task in your business management software (Quick Books. Peachtree, etc.) Proven repeatable systems are stress reducers and money makers.
You can do it. “There’s a System for That!”
We would love to hear about how you have implemented a system into your business and how it impacted you, your employee and/or co-workers, and ultimately your bottom line. Please share your thoughts in the space below.
Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach