where to start systematizingYou want to know where to start systematizing? Okay, so what’s the biggest hole in your ‘boat’?

Listening to a talk radio program recently, I was taken by a young man who was going through a difficult time in his life. He had called the radio host to ask for advice.

The young man told the host he felt helpless, with his business. “You know, that hands-in-the-air feeling,” he said with a sigh. Apparently, he had just given up; thrown his hands in the air, and didn’t know where to turn.

I’m thinking, this guy’s REAL problems had nothing to do with business process systems. Or did it? The more I listened to his story, it occurred to me that, a little better management of his personal life would likely have avoided some of his issues.

So, tell me Where to Start Systematizing

“That hands-in-the-air feeling” pretty much describes the sentiment of MANY business owners I hear from across this nation.

This past week, I spoke with another young business owner who also had that hands-in-the-air feeling about his company. He called me, asking for help; wanting me to come to his place of business. “I want you to show me and my staff how to implement quality and service control systems, using your software.” I assured him I would be there ASAP, along with one of our trainers. Of course, I was sure we could get him on track, using the power of systems.

Hearing his shaky voice over the phone, I knew he was close to panic mode. His business is growing (a good problem to have these days), but he felt he could no longer keep up, as even his personal life was suffering. He said he was working day and night and on weekends, trying to keep up.

“I just don’t have any more time to spare in order to implement systems, and quite frankly,” he said, “I don’t even know where to start.”

Growth in a Business is Good, RIGHT?

Doesn’t growth give you extra resources to hire more employees to take on some of the workload? My answer is YES and NO.

Before I explain that answer, let me say, this young man was MISTAKEN, saying he didn’t know where to start! He DID know where to start, because he started by admitting he didn’t know what to do and he asked for HELP. That’s HUGE!

Many business owners let pride get in the way of improving their business.

Now, back to the YES and NO answer.

My answer would be YES, that growing a business is good, as long as your growth is managed and well-ordered; moreover, if you have good written systems in place to handle that growth.

How often have you read about a business acquiring several other businesses, only to hear of its collapse, a few years later?

The What, When, Where and How becomes Blurred

In many cases, the reason for the collapse is that the systems of the acquired companies are different from those at the mother company. Therefore chaos increases at an exponential rate. Management can’t keep up with the mistakes and poor customer service, etc. Consequently, the company starts hemorrhaging money, and staff begins to jump ship, due to the stress and strain of the entire mess.

When a franchise like Starbucks opens a new location, they are up and running with great service on Day One! Imagine, if every Starbucks operated with different business processes. There would be no way to coordinate the thousands of locations now currently operating worldwide, and with more coming. They rubber stamp and use the Starbucks system!

So my answer would be “NO” to adding new business, in the young man’s case above. If you can’t handle the business you already have, without working 12 to 14 hours a day and weekends to keep up, it won’t work. I would say, FIRST use the hours you spend trying to acquire new business, and bring your current business to order.

When you have detailed, written systems in place, it is easy to duplicate the systems as you add staff, vendors and new customers; just like Starbucks, McDonalds, and many other great and successful companies!

Then when you have that hands-in-the-air feeling, it might just come with a rousing, “Hallelujah!!”

Did I mention? Great Systems Work!

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