Small Business Empowerment Series by Dave Kauffman
Nature Works Through Systems –
How did the 60-foot tall live oak tree on my street get there? Through one of Nature’s systems. One thing we can learn from God’s hand is the necessity, structure and value of systems. For running a business, nothing can replace the benefit of having good systems.
“They’ve got it down to a science.” This means a particular group has a task mastered so well that when they do it, it is done quickly, without error, and even with style! You can learn exactly how to transform the tasks of running your business with systems that will allow you to operate with the confidence and efficiency possible when you “have it down to a science.”
As you go about your day, you may not realize how much systems (or lack of them) impact your daily life. When I think about my childhood growing up on a farm, I realize that systems were everywhere. In fact, all agriculture consists of sets of systems.
How does a farm attempt to duplicate Nature’s systems? In more ways than we can name. Just for the crucial task of water application in order to supply water requirements not satisfied by rainfall, there are at least ten different man-made methods. Examples are irrigation using perforated pipe, partial surface flooding, and spray sprinklers. Any one system for water application includes equipment, a procedure, and a schedule—exactly like any system you can set up to help your business handle crucial tasks.
Having and using systems is especially important in business, and successful companies all have them. One can say that McDonald’s has a fairly amazing plan to maximize profits. Have you ever wondered how they can put out hamburgers so quickly? By the time you put in your order and pull around to the window, your whole meal is ready to go.
That’s because McDonald’s has a proven system to get food to their customers as quickly as possible. Recently the fast food chain has been testing one-minute-or-less guarantees to help generate more interest – and profits – during the lunch hour.
The great thing about having a system in place is its ability to set you free! What I mean by that is that the whole operation takes care of itself. The workers go in knowing what to expect each day. They know they should do the same thing every day, whether they are the ones flipping the burgers or dunking the fries in hot oil—for exactly three minutes and ten seconds (add twenty-four seconds for nuggets). It is the same process over and over again. Once trained on the system, they know what the expectations are. And once you have someone there overseeing the whole operation, what else is there for you to do? Absolutely nothing! What can be more brilliant than that?
Back when I started my first company, I had the energy and passion that fueled it to get off to a good start. Soon after, when the U.S. economy tanked, my wife and I both got laid off at our “day jobs.” Now our small business became our entire lifeline. Unfortunately, I had lost my initial enthusiasm, had become frustrated, and felt trapped.
I desperately wanted to grow the company and bring in more revenue, but to do that meant adding more frustration into the mix. I was open to suggestions and that’s when my friend Dave stepped in. He suggested that I go with him to a conference in Houston, Texas. He thought I would find it helpful, but I just couldn’t afford to go. With having a business to run during one of the most economic trying times in American’s history, it didn’t seem like a good idea.
But I went anyway. I want to mention that this is an important part of the story, because if I didn’t go, you wouldn’t be reading this article!
The moment the conference started at 8 AM, the speaker asked, “Do you remember why you started your business? Was it to make money, or to have more free time?” I started to think to myself…that’s exactly why I started my own business. He continued: “How is that working out for you?”
“Not very well,” I admitted to myself, under my breath. I had another thought…that this conference had just started. This guy has barely been on stage five minutes and he was already getting under my skin and pushing my buttons. How was I going to endure two more days of this? But I decided to give the guy a chance and it was one of the best decisions of my life.
As he got into the heart of his message, the speaker started talking about a business that was predictable, profitable, and considered a turnkey. I immediately knew that was exactly what I wanted; a company that was able to run and operate without me having to be there 24/7. By the end of the conference, hope was beginning to seep back into the picture. Finally, I started to picture just how amazing my company could be.
I had an epiphany that you should start to consider as well: I’m in full control of my company. I made all the decisions on how it would be run. I got to choose how my dream and vision would be fulfilled. Even a small company could have a mission statement and a set of goals that are to be achieved. Of course! They were MY goals. And the reason why I was so frustrated all the time was because of how I designed my company. As the architect of the business, I get to design the ideal business I want. And, just like in Nature, my ideal business needs good systems in place.
Unless you bought a McDonald’s franchise, you get to create your own systems to run your business. They are as imperative to your business success as any other factor. What if you didn’t have a system for invoicing or getting paid by customers? Accounting systems are the most obvious ones you need, but any area that warrants a system should have one.
Here are a few examples of small business systems. Which ones apply to your business?
- Prospect Follow-up System
- Sales Tracking System
- Database/Contact List Update System
- Social Media Management System
- Referral Generation System
- Public Speaking Opportunity Booking System
- Key Account Management System
- Client Anniversary Acknowledgment System
- Lead Source Tracking System
- Advertising Results Evaluation System
It’s really simple to start and doesn’t take that long at all. In my recently published book, Freedom To Succeed, you will find a template you can use. It is super easy when you use my four-component format to create any system. Click here to learn more and purchase!
With systems, you get your best workflow. With flow, you get freedom. It’s time to reclaim your freedom.
Author, Freedom To Succeed: The Diamond Mindset and Six Systems Needed for Business Success
Empowering Small Business LLC
(813) 580 – 8920
Radio Talk Show Host, The Empowering Small Business Radio Show, WSRQ 106.9, 98.9 FM & 1220 AM