Not long ago I walked into a very small business that was struggling to turn a profit.

The business owner wasn’t connecting with customers very well, and although they had staff – the owner couldn’t say what they did in the place of business outside of the odd task that was set.

My question was: if someone walked out tomorrow – how would you replace them?

The answer was simple: “I would hire someone else.”

If any answer comes to you that quickly, you need to stop to think.

Although we live in a cut-throat business world; what many don’t understand is simply that People aren’t replaceable.

Because the next question was: “Great! What will you do to train them?”

And then we hit a wall.

Time is money – so the problem when we don’t have systems and procedures in place is that we waste it every time we work, or a staff member works. Whether it’s just reminding ourselves how to do something (express-style – without needing to Google or YouTube it) or it’s helping get consistency between our staff members; or even if we only use it for a temp when a staff member can’t make it; or for a replacement if a staff member ever leaves us.

Systems and procedures remind us of how to do things the right way!

When we don’t have systems and procedures in place, we spend a lot of wasted time re-creating a wheel that is probably functioning fine.

So here’s what you can do:

1. Spend time figuring out what’s working
Over the next week, observe what’s working for you in business and spend some time writing procedures for each of those things. Even if it’s as basic as how you get started in the mornings – or what programs you need open on your computer – or what order you like to do things in.

2. Work out everyone’s strengths
You also need to look at everyone you’re working with and work out their strengths. Whether it’s an in-house staff member or an external designer that you’re using; find a way to bottle their strengths in a system or procedure. Ask them how they do what they do – or check how you can make their job easier. For example: if your designer doesn’t already have a briefing form – you could save both you and them some time by creating one in-house.

3. Keep what’s working; and improve what’s not
The good thing about creating systems and procedures for your business is that it allows you to review everything you’re doing in your business. From there you can decide what to keep and what can be improved. Really look at any areas of weakness and address how you can improve it; because any areas of weakness for your business, is an opportunity for another business.

4. Test drive the procedure
Whether you get someone else to try it out, or you walk through it yourself step-by-step, make sure each procedure is detailed in a step-by-step format and very easy to follow. This test needs to happen at the time of creating the procedure – otherwise you will forget, and if anything is missing from it – you may only find out when you need it most. This spells disaster – and again, further wasted time and money. So it is worth investing in a test-drive!

If your business has been struggling with connecting with people, and struggling to turn a profit – review your systems and procedures.

To discuss a strategic way to approach systems and procedures in your specific business – make an appointment.