Business systems are a sequence of co-dependent procedures and tasks with the purpose of achieving a business objective. Business processes on the other hand, are all the interconnected activities within the system that work together to make it function.
Systems and processes are essential in business because they provide the complete foundation for business growth and success. Systems allow your business to function more efficiently, provide time-saving benefits and ensure consistency in the daily operations.
As business coaches and consultants, we speak to a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners, and when we ask them if they have any of their processes documented, they almost always reply with “Yes, I’ve got systems and processes in place, but I haven’t written them down yet. They’re all in my head.”
While it is helpful to have the knowledge of your systems and processes, this emphasises the importance of getting them written down and documented. Systems should be developed for all areas of your business to empower your personnel to easily move into other areas, or fill in when required, besides supporting the training of new employees. First and foremost, it releases you, the business owner, from the daily grind of your business operations.
Still, the need for documenting business systems and processes goes beyond. It reduces the risks when a central, knowledgeable team member takes a holiday, is sick or leaves the company; supports further improvement and development within the business operations and reduces performance discrepancy across employees by increasing consistency.
By starting to document and build your business systems and map out individual processes and tasks, you will allow your business to grow more efficiently, without being solely reliant on you, and the knowledge ‘in your head’.
There are often several key reasons that cause business owners to not take action and get their systems and processes documented and set up. Although business owners recognize the importance of documenting processes they often do not know where to start or don’t consider it as an urgent task.
How many of the below reasons resonate with you?
All the above reasons are very common, so it’s important to address them and work on taking the first step. And what is the first step? It is getting all the knowledge on each of the essential business processes out of your head and onto paper (or in digital form).
Process documentation needs to be good quality and easy to read. While it is key for it to be thorough and comprehensive, it is also important to be clear and succinct. You need to ensure that while you do not include off-topic or redundant information, you cover the important elements.
Another point is that it is often valuable to include the purpose of the task. This facilitates for users to understand the reason why a process was modelled the way it was and contribute to process improvement as they can visualize the bigger picture.
A critical aspect is to keep in mind who you are writing the documentation for. Ensure to use images and screenshots to make it easier to comprehend more complex parts. Ask yourself if you would clearly understand the instructions if you were to complete the activity.
Would you find the data valuable? Would the steps make sense?
Business owners often feel that the building of systems and documentation of processes is all up to them. In fact, most times the owner isn’t the best person to document the processes at all.
If you’ve got a team of employees who help you, then it is highly likely that they have a more detailed knowledge of many processes within the business. If they’re dealing with situations, systems, software and processes on a daily basis, then they will know first-hand how things all come together - often at a much deeper level than the business owner themselves. Given this, it can be empowering to task your staff with documenting systems and processes and capturing their knowledge, as they’re the experts in their roles and the ones doing the work on a consistent basis.
Documenting your systems and processes can be a big process, or it can be quite streamlined. You can go it alone and spend additional time in creating the foundations required to grow and scale your business, or you can use a concierge program to help you get set up and organised in a quicker time frame.
If you want to fast-track documenting systems in your business, then our SYSTEMology program provides you with the hands-on support, step-by-step training and proven tools you need to build a systems-driven business.
Working with a YBM SYSTEMology team is easy and naturally efficient because our sole objective is to document your mission critical systems. Through our Done-For-You Concierge Service, we help you get your critical systems for your business created by an expert in just 90 days. Best of all this process is designed to work without the business owner being involved.
The importance of systems and processes in your business can’t be underestimated, as they can have a significant impact on your profitability, as well as the future growth and success of your business.
If you want to ensure that your business can continue to operate efficiently when employees are sick, on leave or may move on to another opportunity, then having systems and processes in place will help to safeguard your business.
If you’re ready to get started with using systems and processes in your business and want to fast-track the process, then book a call today to find out more information on getting started.
The YBM SYSTEMology team looks forward to hearing from you.