How to Run a Successful Business Using Automation and Systematization
Business process automation (BPA), also known as business automation or digital transformation, is the technology-enabled automation of complex business processes.
One of the best things that you can do for your business is to implement business systems.
When you properly design and apply them, they will provide your company with many benefits.
If you want to create a high-potential company, you need to build viable systems that will allow your business to run without you.
With the right business systems in place, your company will gain the following benefits.
Meet and Surpass Customer Expectations
Using a systematic approach to your marketing efforts will allow you to monitor the expectations and satisfaction of your clients.
The subsystems that you put in place will analyze, measure, compare and provide you with possibilities for making a specific conclusion about what your customers want and what they don't want.
This will provide you with constant information about what you need to improve.
Produce Consistent Results
Systemization will allow you to repeatedly produce the same and better results every time.
When you implement business systems, you can ensure that your employees will complete each task with the same consistent results, every time.
Business systems will ensure quality in the completion of every task, every time, with the same quality as before.
Improve Employee Performance
Business systems will allow your employees to complete the same job in less time, increasing their productivity.
As their productivity increases, so will their performance.
The goal of business systems is to allow for the proper education and opportunities for all employees so that they can complete their work more effectively and efficiently.
When you don’t have to repeat activities several times to complete them, you will dramatically reduce your costs.
Documented systems help to reduce costly mistakes and improve the quality of work that your employees accomplish.
With documented systems in place, you will see a marked improvement in your productivity and performance.
This, in turn, will help to reduce the costs associated with running your business, increasing its profitability.
Meeting and surpassing the expectations of your customers will help to build customer loyalty and increase referral rates, which have a direct impact on your company’s profitability.
To set up documented systems within your business, spend some time determining the repetitive tasks that can benefit from being systemized.
The benefits you’ll gain by systemizing your business are much greater than the time and energy you’ll need to invest to get them up and running.
Creating an Effective Business Automation Systems
A business system, or standard operating procedure, is a guide that outlines the exact steps that need to be followed to complete a task.
While seasoned team members already know how to complete the tasks, and think that documented business systems are unnecessary, when new employees are hired, having the business systems documented will help them complete their job and achieve proficiency.
Recording your systems can be daunting but following some basic guidelines can help you find success.
Here are some tips for creating effective business systems:
Be The Expert
It helps if you are intimately familiar with the task that you are documenting.
Your personal experience completing the job can help but don't be convinced that your way is the best way.
Talk with your staff and take notes.
Make It Clear and Concise
When writing down the steps of a procedure, you want to be sure to use simple, direct language.
Your business systems need to be understandable to anyone who has a basic, working knowledge of the industry.
Remember The Details
You want anyone reading these documents to be able to complete the task without having to ask questions.
Be sure to include helpful hints to the steps involved.
These could consist of specific locations of valves and switches or where needed supplies might be stored.
When it comes to the position of valves and switches, consider making labels that you can refer to in the system documentation.
Link Related Procedures
Whenever possible, you want to cross-reference related procedures.
Most business systems require users to perform multiple associated tasks for them to complete their goals.
For example, a process for using the Print Preview function in your software should be linked to procedures for the Print function.
Combine Small Steps
Usually, when documenting business systems, it is best to only write one instruction per numbered step.
However, you can often combine smaller steps to keep the document from becoming too lengthy.
For example, “click the save button” and “close the application,” can be combined into a single step, “click the save button and close the application.”
You can combine multiple steps when the concepts are simple.
Well-written business systems and standard operating procedures should leave the users feeling comfortable with the experience and confidence in their ability to complete the task without having to ask questions.
What Is a Business System
For a business to thrive, it must move past relying on the “technicians” that own the company.
A great example of business systemization at work is franchising.
Franchises are essentially prototype businesses that use well-documented systems in their daily operations.
Franchises use written manuals to describe in minute detail how the company should be run.
Spending the time to create a business that can run by itself is accomplished through business systemization.
Successful Businesses That Use Systemization
One of the most well-known businesses that use systems is McDonald's.
Even with 34,000 locations throughout 119 countries, every individual franchise can duplicate the same standards in both products and services offered.
To be a successful business owner, you should approach your business the same way.
As seen in the franchise model, systemization means that you are replacing yourself with a system that can run your business, so you can focus on building your brand and growing your business.
Why Systemization Makes Sense
With all the technological advances and software choices you have today, it makes sense to start to systemize your online business.
Implementing systems in your online business will allow you to create repeatable systems to manage your business operations.
This will enable you to streamline and improve your processes, so your business can grow and thrive.
From digital calendars to cloud storage to office productivity suites, there is a program available for whatever you need.
Creating a systemized business that is capable of running without you is something most business owners often dream about.
You need to commit to building your business into something incredible.
While systemizing a business the right way does take time, the hard work you put in will provide you with an end result that is life-changing for both you and your business.
How a Lack of Systems Is Hurting Your Business
One of the most overlooked aspects of running a successful business is the business system.
A business system is nothing more than documented processes and procedures that allow your business to run without you.
One of the most successful companies that utilize systems is McDonald's.
They have managed to run a successful and profitable business for more than 60 years because of the fantastic business systems that were put in place.
Their operations manual covers everything from hiring to product delivery to customer interaction.
Why You Need To Implement Systems In Your Business
Unfortunately, many small business owners are caught in a catch 22.
They have no time to work on their business because they are too busy working in their business.
They can't take time away from the company because they haven't taken the time to develop documented systems and processes.
Along with saving you time, there are many benefits of implementing policies in your online business.
Lower Labor Costs
Putting documented systems in place will help to improve efficiency in your company, resulting in a reduction in your labor costs.
When an employee leaves, they may be the only ones knowledgeable of how to perform their required job functions.
Without documented systems and processes, you run the risk of losing knowledge and valuable company resources.
Having documented systems and processes in place ensures your employees are working with the same information as everyone else.
They don't have to rely on their perception of how a process should operate.
Systemization also prevents them from working with the instructions that are outdated, which could lead to costly errors.
Implementing systems in your business provides you the ability to expand.
Systems and documented processes allow you to replicate your business in different geographic areas yourself or through franchising or licensing the rights to your business.
Build a Valuable Asset
The day will come when you'll be ready to sell your business.
Wouldn't it be nice to be able to sell it for a nice profit?
Without documented processes and systems in place, this can be extremely difficult to accomplish.
Putting systems in place will help you build a valuable asset because they allow the company to continue to run without you.
A lack of business systems can not only hurt the daily operations of your business, but it can make it extremely difficult to sell when the time comes.
Do yourself a favor and start systemizing your business today so you can reap all the rewards in the future.
Mistakes Made By Businesses
For your business to grow and become successful, it's imperative that you create a systemized business.
Business systems are essential for building an asset that will generate the most significant return on your investment, creating the structure and order needed to produce your product, and for providing consistent results every time, exactly as promised.
While the systemization process can be approached in many ways, not all of them are successful.
Many common mistakes are made when trying to systemize a business.
Having No Strategic Plan
If you want to systemize your business successfully, you have to know what you're building, why you're building it, and where you want to go with it.
You need to write out your vision for your business and what you want to accomplish in the next five years.
Having this picture in your head will allow you to prioritize the development, documentation, and implementation of the system based on the impact they'll have on the business.
Looking For a One Size Fits All System
Unfortunately, you can't take something off a shelf and make it automatically fit your business.
For your systems to work, you have to customize them for your particular business.
They must work with your vision and your needs. You have to design your systems to produce the results you desire.
You can't correctly repeat a system unless it is clearly documented.
While you may have a system that has developed naturally over time that works really well if it isn't written down, how can you train others to create the same results?
Documenting your processes ensures that everyone does the task the same way, every time.
Documenting your processes is critical to the success of your business.
Lack Of Implementation
Implementation of your systems is essential if you want to truly have a systemized company.
It isn't enough to just document your processes; you have to execute them.
As Peter Drucker once said, Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately deteriorate into hard work.
Leaving Out Quantifications
You must have clearly defined and quantifiable results when you document your systems.
This will enable you to know how to evaluate whether the system is working or not. It is the only way to determine if the system you've put in place is sufficient.
Systemizing your business is an essential part of building a successful business.
Avoiding these common mistakes can make your journey to having a systemized business easier and more successful.
Running a Successful Business
For your business to be successful in generating steady and predictable sales and cash flow, you need to develop systems that allow your business to run smoothly without you.
Until you can establish and document viable systems and processes, the business activity only exists in the mind of those who know how to do it and cannot be replicated or duplicated when they are absent.
Systemizing the following business activities will free up your time so you can focus your energy on growing your business:
To generate a steady stream of qualified leads you need to develop a proven system of advertising, marketing, and promotion.
Without a predictable and continuous stream of leads, your company's sales and revenue will quickly dry up, and your cash flow will slow down.
This can eventually threaten the survival of your business.
To convert interested prospects into customers, you need to have a proven sales system in place.
The system will begin with a sales script that every employee will use from the first contact through to the completed sale.
Using a preplanned sales script can triple your sales in a short amount of time.
Sales scripts allow anyone who is talking to potential customers to know exactly what to say through the entire process.
To fulfill orders and deliver the product on time, you need to develop a step-by-step delivery system.
A reliable delivery system, with clearly documented steps, will enable you to get your product or service out to the customer efficiently and quickly with minimum delays.
Having written policies and procedures in place for providing follow-up service to your customers is an integral part of any business system.
A service system should include ways to handle customer complaints, how to generate additional sales, how to ask for referrals from satisfied customers, and how to alert your current customers of new products and services your business offers.
Your business needs to develop written systems that describe each position in your company and how it is done, as well as methods for training new employees and personnel relations.
Each of your employees needs to know what is expected of them and the standard of quality he or she are required to meet.
Documenting the processes of your company takes a tremendous amount of time, effort, and expense, but once you’re able to systemize your business processes, you’ll be able to focus on growing your business and increasing your revenue.
Automating Your Online Business
You started your own business because you wanted the freedom that comes with being your own boss.
Unfortunately, reality has set in, and you find that you are now busier than ever and can barely find the time to eat, let alone enjoy running your own company.
If you’re bogged down with the daily tasks that aren’t utilizing your strengths.
Then it’s time for you to introduce systemization into your online business.
Here are some easy steps to help you start automating today:
Identify Repetitive Tasks
The first step to systemization is to identify all the daily tasks and processes that you have in place.
This includes everything from checking your email to setting appointments to creating and sending out your invoices.
Open a new spreadsheet with six columns labeled, Inventory, Automated, Manual, Hybrid, Time Saved, Status.
Categorize Your Systems
In the columns on your spreadsheet marked, Manual, Automated, and Hybrid, check the category that explains the kind of system you will use to complete those tasks.
Any tasks that can be achieved automatically through technology will be marked in the Automated column.
The Manual column will encompass everything that can’t be automated.
Those tasks can have a combination of both in the Hybrid column.
Establish a Priority
You want first to complete those tasks that are more likely to have the most significant impact on your company's growth.
Determine an approximate dollar amount that you believe the system will contribute to your business and add it to your spreadsheet.
You can also establish priority by determining which repetitive tasks are taking up the most time.
Create a Process
This is the most critical step in systemizing your business.
You need to create a detailed process for each task.
This means listing out every step needed to accomplish the job from the first step until the last.
This step needs to be as detailed as possible.
So you can provide the information to anyone in the company and have them execute the process without any problems.
Track and Optimize
To know how well your systems are working you need to have a way to track the results.
If you identify any problems in the process, you can begin to tweak and optimize them so that you can gain greater efficiency, sales, and profits.
Systemizing your business will take a lot of hard work and effort upfront but will be well worth it in the end when you have more time to enjoy not only your business but your personal life as well.
Premium Article: HOW TO SCALE AND AUTOMATE YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS
Benefits Of Using Google Docs For Your Business
If you aren’t already taking advantage of Google Docs, you’re missing out on a powerful tool that can help you systemize your online business.
Google Docs is a low-cost package of compelling products that enables you to create, edit, store, and share files with your entire team, no matter where they are located.
Not only are you able to store information online with Google Docs, but the products are fully interactive and allow you to collaborate with your team in real-time.
Here are three core benefits of Google Docs that will help your business:
Available For Different File Types
Today’s small businesses utilize more than text documents in their day-to-day operations.
Using Google Docs allows you to share text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, and web forms with your team.
The Google Drive add-on app will allow you to view audio files, image files, video files, Adobe system files, as well as Microsoft files.
Ease Of Communication
Google Docs simplifies the work-based collaboration that is a part of the corporate culture.
Google Docs completely eliminates the lag time that exists when you email documents to other employees.
The communication in Google Docs in real-time with access to all the reports on the drive available at any time and from any location.
Files are easily shared making conversations among team members extremely efficient.
For employees that work remotely, Google Docs allows them to work with their team members together on a single document at the same time.
Google Docs runs in a web browser, which means you don’t need to install it on your computer like other word processing programs.
This allows you to work on any computer from anywhere. If you need to be able to work when you don’t have access to the Internet, you can still access all the documents with the help of Google Drive.
This is an app that can be downloaded to your computer, so you can still have access to your documents even when you don’t have an Internet connection, making it a flexible option for your business.
Google Docs is an easy-to-use and versatile program that allows you to collaborate with team members in real-time.
Documenting and implementing systems and processes for your business has never been easier when you utilize the tremendous power of Google Docs.
Books to Read If You Want to Systemize and Automate Your Business
If you feel uncomfortable with the idea of leaving your business to your employees for a couple of days.
Then you need to start systemizing your business today.
Systemizing your business will allow you to give up more control to your employees and give you the freedom you need to keep your business running smoothly even when you aren't around.
Here are three books you need to read if you want to begin systemizing and automating your business and free up your time:
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
Through years of observation, author Michael Gerber has determined that the reason most small business owners fail is that instead of working ON their business.
They are stuck working IN their business. He identifies the Business Format Franchise is one of the processes for creating systems within a company.
The core of the framework is that for the systems to actually work, they have to be built out of predictable components that can be tested.
Following the system, he lays out in the book will mean that you will have more freedom to step away from your business because someone else will be able to stand in when you’re gone.
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
Tim Ferriss has created a guide to help business owners achieve the ideal lifestyle they’ve always dreamed about.
He uses the acronym deal to discuss the four main parts of the book.
The ‘D’ stands for definition and discusses how to define and figure out what you want and how to face fear.
The ‘E’ stands for elimination, focusing on managing your time wisely by focusing on the tasks that yield the maximum results.
The ‘A’ stands for automation, dealing with how to build an automatic and sustainable source of income.
The ‘L’ stands for liberation, showing you how a fully automated business can allow you to live your ideal lifestyle.
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
In his book author, Atul Gawande identifies three kinds of problems that affect nearly everyone.
He teaches the importance of utilizing checklists to improve results within the business.
He states that a list is a useful tool that can help your staff work together to achieve better results.
If you want to reap the rewards that come with business systemization, then you have to start systemizing your business.
This means you have to start documenting your business procedures.
To learn more about business systemization take a look at these three highly recommended books.
Tools to Help Your Online Business
When you first started your business, you probably never imagined that it would quickly take up all your free time to keep things running.
From answering an endless number of emails to ensuring your invoices are created and sent to your clients.
The daily tasks that you're required to do can become overwhelming.
Systemizing your online business can help to free up some of your time.
So you can focus on the tasks that will help you grow your business.
Here are the top five tools that can help your online business:
If you need to collaborate with a team, Asana can help.
Asana helps keep you on task by splitting up your ‘to-do’ lists into actionable tasks based on the specific project, due date, and team members allocated. It also works with Google Drive and Dropbox so you can easily share files with your team.
Ontraport brings all your data, customer information, and business tools into a single hub.
It allows you to market your business via email, postcards, SMS, and more while providing you the capability to sell your products, services, and programs seamlessly.
It also has a feature that lets you process payments through PayPal or your regular merchant provider.
If your company lacks organization, Basecamp helps bring everything your company's working on into one place.
Basecamp helps you get organized, centralized, and clear so that everyone on your team knows where things stand and can get what they need without asking.
Google Docs makes your content accessible and easy to find for everyone.
The program allows multiple team members to work on material in real-time.
Immediately syncing decreasing the chances of someone over-riding something.
It also works well with Asana.
Calendly will change the way you schedule.
The app allows you to create simple rules based on your availability preferences that can be shared through links.
It works with Office 365, Outlook, Google, and iCloud so that you never become overbooked. It works great for individuals.
Departments, and teams and provides you the flexibility to create a one-on-one, round-robin, and joint availability meetings.
These tools will help to free up your time so that you can better manage your energy and focus on the critical activities that will allow you to grow your business.
These tools will enable you to streamline your processes, delegate tasks to your team, and focus on what's important.