I don’t think they can. Not sustainably. I’ve been pondering this question while sitting on a plane flying back from a break in New York. I find that having a break not only helps me to find my end of year mojo, but it also clears my mind enough that these questions come bubbling up.
It’s a moot point for me as I’m a list and table gal. Even my travel plans are tabled. I am very organised and systemised in all parts of life, and certainly in our business. ‘If it’s worth doing twice, it’s worth having a system in place’ is a mantra we tend to throw around. It has worked well for us, there have been times that we haven’t followed a system, and it’s cost us.
We have systems for everything, right down to booking and cancelling a flight. One time the system wasn’t followed, and someone forgot to actually cancel the flight when booking another one, it cost us $600. We follow that procedure closely now. In fact, we follow most procedures closely, so much so that we have a whole book of procedures for every single task that is done in our business. I’m slowly working on a blueprint of all the tasks and procedures that happen to make our business tick over. Just for fun because I love systems.
Maybe being so organised comes from raising six children? I’m not sure, I do know that I had to be very organised to get everyone fed, watered and where they needed to be, when they needed to get there. I was also studying most of my child-raising years so there were extra deadlines, throw my work in there too and you can imagine the organised chaos that was life. But it was good, and it was organised.
So getting back to small business owners and just how organised and systemised they need to be. I know that many business owners aren’t systemised, and they’re still operating. The question is then, how much better would they do if they were systemised?
Or being a bit more specific, what areas would benefit the most from having strong systems in place?
From my own perspective, I think the number one benefit is peace of mind. I don’t like wondering if I’ve missed or forgotten something. If I have a doubt I can quickly review the procedure to double check. I also find that if I’m organised, I can have a lot on my plate without feeling overwhelmed. I’m busy, not stressed.
If you want to become more organised and systemised my biggest recommendation is to put together a procedures list. For every single task in your business. One of the really good things to come out of this exercise is that it gives you real insight into what your team members do. It also works great when you have new staff members or when employees cover for those on leave. Another benefit is the management of your time, having clear systems is a time saver, no doubt about it, and as the owner leader of your business, you get to work on the strategic way forward for your business. You will also have more free time to enjoy your lifestyle.