25 Effective Formats to Package Your Small Business Systems

One of the things that most business owners ask me is “how can I get more done in less time without compromising quality?”, and my answer is: build more business systems! Business systems are the reliable processes and procedures that empower your business to consistently produce an excellent result for your clients or customers, and do to do so more efficiently. They’re documented best practices that increase your company’s efficiency and reduce costly mistakes.

Every successful business system has two layers: the process layer and the format layer.

The process layer consists of the step-by-step process or procedure you’ve created. Does your system accurately capture the steps of the process so that when you follow it, you consistently get the desired result? It does you no good to formalize poor processes. You want your systems to capture your best practices and winning moves, making it easier for your company to replicate and scale those successes.

The format layer deals with how you package and present your system to your team. Is your system easy to use? Is it transparent so team members intuitively understand how to use it? Can it be automated so much of the work happens via technology instead of manual work?

Here is a quick list of 25 potential formats for you to package your small business systems to make them easier and more effective for team members to use.

1. Checklists

2. Scripts

3. Worksheets

4. Step-by-step instructions

5. Software that automates a process

6. Databases of key information

7. Pricing lists

8. Templates and samples

9. Common Q & A sheets

10. Written ” warnings” for an area, providing how to deal with predictable problems

11. Spreadsheets with built-in formulas

12. Camera-ready artwork

13. Filing system (paper or electronic)

14. Pre-approved vendors lists

15. Standardized equipment and parts

16. Online communication tools for effectively sharing information (discussion forums, wikis, whiteboards, social networks, etc.)

17. Delivery timetables

18. Job or role descriptions

19. Instructional videos

20. Project management software with reusable project pathways

21. Reporting templates

22. Organizational charts

23. Pre-approved forms and contracts

24. A timeline or Master Calendar

25. Complete enterprise management software

I hope this list sparked ideas that you implement to grow your small business and make it less reliant on you or any key team member. Remember it is always worth the effort to create a system, even if it takes an initial time investment to do so. In the long run small business systems save time, effort, and reduce the business’s reliance on any one person.

The Challenges Of Running A Successful Business

Being a business man has its highs and lows. It gives you freedom to a certain level since you are your own boss and also the flexibility to make your own decisions as you are answerable only to yourself. You are able to implement your own ideas and strategies. When the business does well you will reap all the benefits. The lows on the other hand will mean being responsible for the success or failure of the business and bearing all the financial losses. But there are coaching groups that will be only too willing to guide you and direct you in the right direction. They are the experts and will provide all the business coaching that you may require and help you to implement different strategies and solutions that can make a vast difference.

Reasons For Choosing A Business Coach
Sometimes we work so hard, but business is still very slow. We are unable to get an efficient work force or have enough time to do all that has to be done and thus we are not making enough money. This can be a really frustrating situation. The best option is to get in touch with someone who has a lot of experience in business coaching and they can help you find where you are going wrong. They will ask you a lot of questions like, time management, about the team that you have in place, the systems used and how money is spent and saved. Once all these questions are answered, the coach will help you analysis them and you will be able to check out the state of your business. They can then work out remedies to set right all the problems.

What Is Their Plan Of Action?
There are a few coaching options available; basic, momentum and rapid growth being the main ones. For a business that is just in its starting stage, basic advice like organizing time and setting up a structure for the growth of the business finances is provided. These coaches act as small business mentors and guides a person who is inexperienced. Once the business has been set up and stabilized, the goals have to be attained. There could be some reason for that not happening and this program will help you find the problem. The rapid growth program just adds to the momentum program and by getting some good systems established and a reliable workforce, you are encouraged to take a few more risks for the building of your business.

Mentors For Small Businesses
When the business is small it is more important to employ the services of small business mentors,because any small error can cause the business to collapse. Hence it will be a good idea to avail the guidance of a coach when it comes to dealing with the different changes in the industry.

Are Business Plans Important?

Before you start your own business and seek out funds for it, you should have a typed and well-researched business plan because lenders want to see that you are serious about the business. Lenders also read your business plan because they want to know if your business is viable to the community and if it will survive long term. Lenders often do not give funds to aspiring business owners unless you can prove to them that you will use the funds they give strictly for the business and not in a wasteful manner.

Lenders Evaluate Your Business Partners

Lenders are not just interested in how you would handle the business; they also want to to know how your partners and management team will operate the business during times when you are not at the business. Your plan should list all of your business partners, their specific roles within the company and their qualifications for becoming your business partners.

Research is Necessary for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

As a future business owner you should research whether your business can survive long term and if people in your city will want and need your products, and this is another reason why you need a business plan. For example, if you live in an upscale neighborhood and a majority of the residents shop online, it may not be the best idea to open a mall in this neighborhood unless there is a strong demand for a mall by these residents that has been expressed recently.

Are There Times When I Don’t Need A Business Plan?

If you are starting a business without the help of lenders or investors, then a business plan would be a waste of time. If you are opening an online vintage music store with only your savings and money from relatives and friends, then a business plan isn’t necessary. If you have a babysitting or tutoring service that you operate from home, you may not need extra funds from lenders.

Getting Assistance With Business Plans

The local chapter of the Small Business Administration holds seminars during the year and at these seminars you’ll hear advice on how to write a business plan. There are also books you can read about business plans and you can talk with people in your professional organization on the topic. Watch online videos about business plans and if you have relatives who work as lenders, they can give you suggestions.