I talk a lot about systemising and automating your business, let’s just say I’m a huge fan. The power of systems to improve the efficiency and productivity of your business is a given, however like anything, everyone makes mistakes. The 2 mistakes I’m sharing with you in this article are the most common, and the most harmful.
Mistake to Avoid #1:
Not auditing your systems
Like any part of your business, with neglect comes mistakes. Not auditing your systems and processes is the biggest mistake we see. URL’s break, plugins fail and logins change so ensure your standard operating procedures are documented in a spreadsheet and flagged for review. A lead magnet isn’t much value if the email sequence has stopped firing, and your procedure for invoicing won’t help anyone if Xero has been through a major review.
Mistake to Avoid #2:
Not improving your systems
It’s great that you have your operations documented, well done you! However if you’ve painstakingly listed how you do everything without reviewing anything you’re missing a huge opportunity in your business. Take the time to give your systems your attention, get feedback from your team. Think about:
- manual steps that could be eliminated
- duplication of workflows
- areas of risk/errors not addressed
- measurements and goals not covered
- out of date tools and software
- missed opportunities in your process
For example, you have a system set up for managing your overdue debts. You email and phone debtors according to their overdue status but is there a missed opportunity in terms of doing a text campaign before you email and phone (possibly saving time while increasing your success rate)?
Don’t just document, take a moment to review critically and consistently – tech is changing so fast that there are constant opportunities for improvement.
Mistake to Avoid #3
Not using your systems!
You invested all that time into documenting your systems (and now auditing and reviewing) why would you let them go unused? One of the major benefits of putting the power of systems to work for you is consistency across your business. You don’t want Johnny telling people x and Mary telling them y. You don’t want Jack using a proposal template that’s 3 years old! Incorporate your systems in your project management tools, link to them from tasks and emails, have them in an easy to access library … wiggle them into the day-to-day routine of your business. Systems are like brains, the more you use them the smarter they get!