Asking yourself “what systems do I need in my business?”
The systems of a business are critical to everything running smoothly and efficiently. A business without systems might do alright but as it grows and has employees things will get more and more challenging without documentation to support what you do, how you do it and why.
In a former professional life I was a Quality Manager and Auditor and helped the business I worked for at the time to create and manage it’s documentation. I also consulted to other organisations to help them meet a set of standards to achieve ISO certification (ISO stands for International Organisation for Standardization).
nb, Just for the record don’t get concerned thinking you have to adhere to some sort of international standard when documenting your systems! There are not many small to medium sized businesses I know who need to or desire to achieve certification at this or any other level.
You do need to ensure that you are adhering to any laws, acts or industry standards so always be aware of what they are for you and your team.
While I don’t do that any more for a job I do get asked frequently by business owners I work with and meet “what systems do I need in my business?”
It is a great question and an important one.
I’m going to answer by breaking my response down into a number of posts that I’ll share over the coming weeks.
To get started today I want to confirm that yes you do need systems in your business so always ask “which one’s?” instead of “do I need documented systems at all?”
A businesses documented systems form a significant part of the value of your organisation. If you don’t believe me ask your Accountant!
I’m getting off track. Ok now to add more to answer that key question “what systems do I need in my business?”
Now you know you do need to document systems be aware that anything you do the same way more than once is a system. This is a very basic definition but it makes sense to most people. Even if you are a sole trader and not yet employing a team, it won’t harm you to start documenting your systems.
If you do something more than once then you can write out what you do, why and how. This is the start of a basic Quality Management System (aka as a QMS). There are more detailed aspects to consider but you’ve got to start somewhere.
I hope this has provided you with a little insight into business systems and began answering the “what systems do I need in my business?” question for you. As I mentioned, I will be back soon with more information about business systems for small to medium sized businesses, including ideas about what to document and the differences between document types.
Until then I wish you abundant effortless success,
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