Enabling business growth through systems

Creating systems is a really important way to enable growth within a business. Many people firstly think of improving leadership, skills and finance for growth and overlook building an organised and systematic approach to running the business. The growth and development of a business is a really exciting stage, but without solid planning and infrastructure, you jeopardise valuable growth opportunities. Thinking proactively and consistently working on an operations plan will encourage healthy development.

Whatever industry your business is in, there will be decisions that have to be made and actions that have to be taken by all members of the team. Thinking about the operation system to these decisions and actions is important to prepare your business for growth.

Here are some strategies that will enable your business to grow through the use of strategic systems.

What is a system?

Let’s start with what a system actually is, without knowing this you will struggle to create strategic systems.

A system is a collection of parts that link together to achieve a common purpose. Systems’ thinking is a way of monitoring the entire system by viewing multiple inputs being processed to produce outputs.

It also means gathering feedback throughout this process. Feedback is information that returns to the original transmitter and modifies their actions. This feedback helps the system to maintain stability.

How do I create one?

In order to make a successful and strategic system for your business, you need to think about what the best process is for each task and how to make the information flow. You also need to include business rules and consider human workflow task times. Make sure the system includes a document of workflow, as this is a huge building block of your business and will be helpful to refer back to.

Write everything you do down as you go through your daily work, be sure to take careful notes of the processes. Write down everything from how files are saved to how big decisions are made. If you have other people working on the tasks, as them to keep a close record of how they manage tasks. More information is better than not enough, it’s easier to remove what is not needed than to have to go back and try and fill in the blanks.

When do I create it?

Create your system as soon as possible. Running a business means juggling many things and having to respond to immediate needs of the day. However, be sure prioritise your workload and to set aside time to think about the steps and procedures of your business from the very first day in order to contribute to the future success of your business.

What does it require?

It requires you to anticipate problems and methodically create solutions. You will need to identify areas of concern and develop a responsive system. Even when certain actions seem obvious to you, they may not to others, so make a note of the steps and approaches.

Keeping close notes of all procedures will help other members of the team to understand the decision-making procedures and arrive at the correct results themselves.

What next?

Once you have done this, you should ask someone else to review your material. Collaborate with a colleague or hire an outsider to develop a manual for communicating the company’s operations. Someone who is not in the thick of the process may be able to communicate the instructions in a clearer way.

Once the instructions for the process is created, share it with the other members of the company. Take your time to explain it to them, set aside some time with your team and discuss over some speciality coffee to give you and the team a chance to discuss the system. If you rush through it then it may not be followed as expected, leaving the outcome to be disappointing.

Make sure that all employees have easy access to the information. Post the procedures on an intra-company website or distribute hard copies to encourage people to refer and follow the guidelines. As and when updates are made to the materials, have alerts sent to the appropriate people to ensure they are aware.

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