Struggle to understand Small Business Systems? what are they? which do I need?
Following on from last week’s blog post “What Systems Do I Need In My Business?” I am back this week to share more about the key types of systems and to give you a list of the different types of systems you might want to consider for your small business.
As I mentioned in last weeks blog post, if you do something the same way more than once then you can document that process and it becomes a system in your business. Having documented small business systems will add value to your business and help to streamline workflow and allow your team members to know exactly what is expected of them.
What types of documents do I need to create when writing my Small Business Systems?
There are a lot of different ways to document your systems. Here’s a list of the key document types to consider along with an explanation of when to use each one;
Procedure – A procedure states the process an employee must follow step by step to complete a part of their role. Procedures generally depict operational aspects of a company. They can include both words and images to detail the process in the simplest way possible.
Policy – A policy is a statement about how your company does things. An example would be a leave policy which states the type and amount of leave your employees are entitled to. A policy is often accompanied by a form.
Form – A form captures information and is related to a specific procedure or flowchart. A form should not exist as a stand alone document ever.
Flowchart – A flowchart offers a visual representation of a step by step process. It is usually an add on document to a procedure but can also be a stand alone document.
Checklist – A checklist is used to capture information quickly and to guide a process to be followed. It generally accompanies a procedure or policy.
Types of Small Business Systems to consider
When it comes to knowing what to document remember to look at all areas of your business. Some of the more common ones would include;
Human Resources – all processes that relate to your team or how you manage the human resources in your business. Examples would include leave policy and leave form, uniform policy, vehicle policy.
Operations – all processes that relate to the operational management of your business. For example if you have a specific way you do things to complete service delivery for a client then that would be an operational system. Examples include
Customer Service – all processes related to how you interact with your customers or clients. Be sure to consider things like your phone or email scripts and when they are used or sent, your follow up processes and communication strategies to communicate with existing customers as well as lapsed ones.
Marketing – all processes relating to your marketing. These would include your marketing plan, marketing strategy and how you use specific tools and platforms to support your marketing. Be sure to consider including as a sub section all documents that capture how you use your website in this area also!
Financial – all processes relating to the financial management of your business. These would include your payment terms and conditions, your financial reporting, how and when you invoice, your payment plans or credit options and more.
Information Technology – all processes that relate to the technology or I.T. you use in your business. These would include your phone and computer systems and how they are used. They may also include your back-up processes.
I hope this has provided you with more valuable information to help you with your small business systems and answered the “what systems do I need in my business?” question for you. The thing to do is to create a master list and then break all the possible systems you can think of into different areas that make sense for your business.
Next prioritise which documents need to be created first. If you have employees the documents that help them to do their work to the best of their ability should always be a priority. Then just start documenting one at a time. Think about outsourcing to employees who follow the processes and ensure a quality process is in place to make sure what is documented is accurate and able to be understood and followed.
Think about small business systems as a big value add for your business rather than a massive job that has to get done. Baby steps are great. Just take one at a time. Documenting your small business systems does not have to be as hard as you might think!
If you have a burning question about your small business and how to market and grow it then please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll consider it for an upcoming blog post!
Until then I wish you abundant effortless success,
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