Michael Gerber suggests in his book The E Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work And What to Do About It, that it’s a myth that most businesses are started by entrepreneurs. Gerber suggests that many businesses are actually started by a person suffering from an ‘entrepreneurial seizure.’ That is, instead of creating a business that works independently, we create a business that can only work with us in it. This is when the day-to-day running of the business takes us over.
So, once you have stepped back and looked at what you are doing In your business and made some decisions about what you want and have identified some specific goals to achieve, you will need to take action:
The next step is to look at developing simple systems for some of the key functions that your business depends on. Many people are aware of the concept of the ‘This is How We Do it Here’ manual like that in a McDonald’s store franchise. In a small business owners can feel nervous of the work involved in creating this kind of manual, I will always encourage making a small ‘baby step’ approach and look at documenting say 2 key functions a week. This means extracting information that we usually just keep in our heads about the way something is done.
One of the benefits of writing it down, is that once done – SOMEONE ELSE can perform that task and importantly for those of us who become control freaks as owners, is that you can document not just what has to happen but to a degree you can define HOW it is to be completed too.
Once you start to put simple systems in place you will begin to see a number of other benefits:
- You can more easily delegate to people in your team if you have one and that can really motivate them to be more involved in your business.
- The unwritten rules of your business can be clearly defined and everyone can understand the culture of your business more easily, what you do, how you do it and the standards you set in the delivery of your products and services.
- Customer service processes will become more efficient and you will become more effective, so that your business doesn’t suffer from unexpected breakdowns.
- Once the business is independent of you it has more value as well.
Now, I won’t pretend that this process is easy – it’s not! You are already overworked and under pressure and this work does mean more in the short-term – but this really is a classic case of short-term pain – long term benefit.
Why not have a go? You may surprise yourself….
If you try and get stuck – email me or give me a call 07760 767025 and I will make some suggestions about strategies to help.
Frozen Ps – Systems Development and Implementation – Alternatively – If you would like to know more or you know that you need to do this but do not want to spend the time or resources on making it happen then please get in touch, as this is a project management service that we offer our clients and with our help you can ensure that it is implemented, we have the resources and the know how and we can help you short cut the process and save you re-inventing the wheel!