Starting a business is exciting and empowering. You are bound to make mistakes along the way but you’ll learn a lot. One of the lessons that I don’t want you to learn the hard way is how important it is to implement systems right away. As you grow, it is really easy for things to get out of control and before you know it, you are working long hours and you are completely exhausted.
When you don’t have systems in place, you aren’t running your business but rather you are the business. Everything that happens in your business depends directly on you doing something. So this means that if you wanted to double your revenue, you have to double your efforts. You will have a serious constraint on how much you can grow because there are only so many hours in the day and you will become burnt out.
There is a quote that says something like “don’t spend dollar time on penny tasks”. You are an expensive resource and you shouldn’t waste your energy on tasks that you could automate or delegate. When you systemize tasks, you create leverage and free yourself to focus on things that truly need your attention like strategizing or engaging with customers.
Are you convinced yet? I hope so. These are the systems that I suggested you implement from day 1. Yes, day 1. Don’t wait until you have grown to start. Now is the time. Your goal should to have the right processes in place to make sure that these things are simple, repeatable and to be able to perform them in a predictable way.
- Administrative System. Right away, you should have systems in place to manage your accounts, human resources, etc.
- Fulfillment system. The process of actually doing whatever it is that you are selling. This is the system of creating and filling the customer order. This isn’t much different when you have a service, you just are creating a filling a customer order that isn’t a physical thing.
- Sales system. Getting leads, following up on them and converting leads into sales.
- Marketing system. Generating leads to flow into the sales system that I mentioned above.
It doesn’t matter what your product or service is, these systems pertain to every business. Yes, everyone of them. Focus on making these areas process dependent rather than people dependent. If your business has to rely on an individual to do these things, it will be difficult to replicate and grow without making some real sacrifices.