There is a replica ‘space lab’ at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. Crammed into a tube the size of a small van are life support systems, propulsion and navigation systems and a research laboratory. Despite, or perhaps because of, the confined space - everything works! Some systems stand alone, others integrate, each has a clear purpose.
It is valuable to look at your business the same way. Define each of your business functions and identify the ‘system’ that performs this function. Consider marketing, sales, production, delivery and finance. Follow each process through from start to finish. Are you systems clearly defined, logical and efficient? Do they integrate when they should? Do you have a back-up plan should a system fail?
It pays to document these systems for a number of reasons. Firstly, the process of explaining a system in words requires you to carefully consider each aspect of it. As you write down how things are supposed to work, you might uncover opportunities for improvements, or realise the system does not work the way you imagined it should. Documenting your systems allows you to share your knowledge, efficiently train your staff and achieve consistency in operations. A procedures manual adds value to your business when you’re ready to sell. Franchisees are attracted to franchise operations because they can access proven business systems and avoid the pitfalls that often accompany a business start-up.
As you design your systems, look for opportunities to automate. It is now cheaper than ever to access powerful software applications to automate many of your business systems, from marketing and accounting to ordering and customer surveys – there are free or affordable automation solutions for almost everything.
Learn about business automation at www.smartpassiveincome.com