Have you ever looked at the flowers in your garden? Each one looks like the other on the same plant
with minor differences. Nature has natural patterns that form over and over again – almost like a
Julie puts systems in place in her business – just like nature. She started her business by keeping
track of her numbers! Smart move as that is possibly the most valuable part of any business. She created
her spread sheet so she could keep track of all expenses and categorized them into budget items.
There are a number of systems you need in any home and in any business:
- Your people systems
- Your performance systems
- Your profit systems
One way to get to the profit end is to do what Julie started with – knowing what her expenses were.
Yet, it is always easiest to start with the people end for your systems.
For instance, when you explore the people important to your business, consider the value they bring
to the bottom line. You are the leader, the brains behind your business. Your staff or your
contractors are critical to your success. And, your customers are your lifeblood – without them there
is no business. And of course, there are always those at home who depend on you! So, develop your
- Establish time for yourself to work and time to relax
- Create a hiring process to be followed each time you hire
- Develop a script for initial potential customer contact
Performance systems are critical in every organization:
- Write out the processes to complete tasks and keep them online or in a manual
so everyone can complete the job in the same manner
- Assign time lines to tasks so everyone knows how long it should take to complete
specific times – think brushing your teeth to the song Happy Birthday for the kids to
know the length of time to brush – eventually it becomes a habit
- Have regular meetings with staff to lay out goals
And then there are profit systems. Profits may be dollars, an increased number of paperwork
completed, or even more members in a non-profit group. Some ways to build profits are:
- Sending out invoices within 24 hours of work completed to assist with cash flow
- Establish a process to examine various projects to reduce time, to increase the
number of ___ processed in a regular project
- Create a program to increase the number of members in a group
Whatever your role in life… wife, father, boss and friend, find the systems you can create to make
everyone’s life better. Some systems are major – think creating the checklist on how unhappy
customers are dealt with. While some systems are reasonably quickly put together – consider how
the phone is answered… it’s one way in business so customers know who they are talking to, yet
quite different when we want to teach our children how to answer the phone to keep them safe.
Systems are critical to lessening the stress in your life. In our house, my keys are always kept in my
briefcase in a specific pocket. A simple system, put them away when I come home, get them quickly
when I am heading out. Yet, if I don’t follow this simple system, I can spend valuable minutes
hunting and getting frustrated. Stressed, here I come!!!
Think about the systems you already have. Then think about which ones are needed, and which ones
you already have that can be adjusted to help your brain take it all a little easier. Julie found her
business ran so much smoother as time moved forward simply because she started right and
developed a strong habit – ensuring she knew what she was spending.
Have you ever messed up? I did, just the other day! The gardener came and moved a beautiful, old Bleeding Heart plant to a different place in the flower bed – one that doesn’t get a great deal of water. This plant is very old – we have had it for 26 years and I do believe it probably had another 50 + years on it before we moved here.
I had talked with the gardener about my concern that the lilies were squeezing the bleeding heart out – we talked about weeding out the lilies so the bleeding heart could thrive. Or so I thought! Today I discovered it has been moved and there is only a small a(bout 10 inch) single stalk in the new home.
My concern – have you ever thought you had a good conversation, only to discover that things were not heard the way you anticipated? I know better and still I am disappointed. I failed to have the message repeated to me so I could know that I explained it well.
If you have had a similar experience I would love to hear the story – I bet there are some really good one’s waiting to be told! Just email me at email@example.com.
“Business and human endeavors are systems…
we tend to focus on snapshots of isolated parts of the system. And wonder why our deepest problems never get solved.”
– Peter Senge
1 thought on “THE POWER OF SYSTEMS”
Being an avid gardener despite my amateur level of gardening – I Love the flower analogy and the idea of systems.