C-Suite Advisory

How savvy business owners can take back control with better systems

Milton Collins

Understanding and using systems can be a badly carried out element of doing business. Yet it’s one area that’s so important to implement well. Systems at every level of the business will empower you and your team more and dramatically increase your business’s productivity, efficiency and profits. Most importantly, systems allow your business to work without you.

Our definition of a business is “a commercial, profitable enterprise that works without its owner”. This may be very different from what you’ve been taught in the past, but think about it – why build just a job for yourself when you could build an income stream that keeps on growing whether you are involved or not. Systems let you extract yourself from the business so you can strategise further growth or pursue other ventures.   

However, there are several things that often stand in a business owner’s way of achieving this. Almost every business owner I have met works overtime. That’s because their business doesn’t work – they do. They don’t give new tasks to their employees because they keep important business information and processes in their heads, rather than communicating them to others. They believe they can do the job quicker and more efficiently. 

Business growth will be limited if the business owner personally has to train every new employee. Without systems, most owners can’t even remember the things they taught the last employee when they started, or the things they taught them all along the way. Often, uninspired employees stay with the business because business owners feel overwhelmed by having to devote their time to hiring and training new employees. 

If you recognise yourself in these scenarios, then you may be stuck in the trap of working ‘in’ your business instead of ‘on’ your business. The key to changing this is developing systems and learning to divide to grow your business. We call it “divide to multiply” and it is, in essence, about systemising your business. 

When you started your business, you probably built it in your mind. If you had drawn a mental picture of it at its start, it’s now time to imagine what it would look like finished. You need to finish a business at some stage so you can one day profit from its sale. If you don’t finish it – you will be left with only a job and you can’t sell a job. Look at Bill Gates, he made a lot of money selling software, but he became the richest man in the world by selling shares in his business.

Take a moment to imagine a business that you didn’t have to work in. Would the business still function efficiently? Would all the systems and people integrate to achieve the result you and your customers or clients want? Yes, with the proper systems in place. 

The four major areas where systems need to be implemented are: people and education, operations and distribution, improvement testing and measuring and IT.

Start by identifying which areas to systemise and you will ultimately transform your business from being more than a job to a growing enterprise that makes you a leader in your field. All you need are the right systems to run your business and the right people to run your systems.  

Written by Milton Collins.
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