When people ask what I do, my reply is that I help small businesses run smoother and more efficiently by helping them improve their systems and processes. Often this can draw a blank, and I have found that the words “systems” and “processes” can be rather abstract words that people don’t understand.
I think the best way to describe systems and processes is to say that they are the way “we do things around here”. The way that work gets done, that clients get information, that information gets stored on a computer, that invoices get sent are all related to the systems (or lack there of!) that businesses have.
Do you worry that you have invoiced all your clients or customers for the correct amount each month?
If so, I would suggest that your financial system may need to be looked at.
Do you spend half an hour looking for a document you drafted a week ago but don’t know where it is now?
I would suggest that your filing system could do with some improvement.
Does your assistant come to you and ask where the information for a client is that you gave to them last week?
Perhaps then the process you have in place for transferring tasks to one another needs to be changed.
Do your meetings always begin with back-tracking over the discussions from the previous meeting?
Then perhaps your records of outcomes and actions from meetings need to be improved.
Each of these systems will affect the way in which your business runs.
Every system is perfectly designed to get the outcome it gets.
So if you don’t like some of the current outcomes in your business, or you are unhappy with the way that things are currently working within your organisation, perhaps it is time to look at changing your systems and processes.
Every improvement to a system (no matter how small) has the potential to have a large and positive impact on your business.