The Magic in Systems

09 May

The Magic in Systems

Don Loyd

The difference between those with goals and those who achieve them is very simple. Success comes to those who have a system they utilize to help them arrive at the desired destination.

Systems are so important that a Franchisee must agree to use the  Franchisor’s systems. Failure to utilize company systems will result in  the forfeiture of the franchise. Ouch!

A system is the procedure or process used to achieve a defined objective. The reason 90 – 95% of new, non franchise, businesses fail is the lack of systems. On the other hand, the foundation for such a high rate of success (more than 90%) among various franchise opportunities is the utilization of proven systems.

True Story

When I was 24 years old I decided I would become a general contractor. It struck me as an easy way to make money. My mindset was, if they can do, I can do it. What I failed to realize, however, was that to be a successful general contractor I needed more than the ability to build a wall or pour a foundation.

That was the easy part and I was in for a real education!

My first project as a licensed general contractor was a financial disaster. I worked hard and sweated heavily for three or four months, but I actually earned very little money for my hard work when the house sold.

As a result, I explored the reasons why some builders succeeded and others didn’t. In my search, I discovered that those contractors with a reproducible system were much more successful than those who just built a house hoping to make a profit.

Why am I putting you to sleep with this personal information?

The simple answer is, if you want to succeed in your business, you must develop and use systems. You need procedures that make easy work for your marketing outreach, sales process, bookkeeping and accounting chores, customer service, purchasing requirements, etc.

I know this is boring for many people starting a business. Creating a new company is for entrepreneurs – the idea people who get excited about carving out a niche then jumping in and doing!

But, you must be confident that if you (or more importantly, your employees) do “X,” the result will be “Y.” As much as possible take the guess work out of the equation! When you do, you are more likely to enjoy a successful financial outcome.

Your systems will also free you from doing the things that simply do not create income. With reproducible systems, you can outsource tasks or hire people to do a lot of the menial and tedious work that takes you away from your most productive time spent – producing business income.

As a bonus, when you develop systems, you increase the value of the business and you have something you can market and sell. Savvy business buyers will pay more for your company (or your book of business) when you have proven systems with reproducible results.

Reproducible systems will allow you to exponentially grow your business, too. If you are so inclined, you can have multiple locations (regional or national), license your business to others, or develop a franchise.

I am no longer a general contractor. But I have proprietary business programs and software my staff developed as we created systems that helped us work smart. An added bonus of having that intellectual property is I continue to enjoy income from those systems which are now marketable products.

Start today working on acquiring, developing, or streamlining, your business systems so that your work load will be made lighter, you will have more free time, you can earn more money, and have something you have the option of marketing and selling at some point.

It is relatively easy to begin creating your systems. You begin with what you have to achieve today, or this week. Simply document the steps that you take to get your business done.

First, ask “What is it I have to do?” Regardless of the things you have to get done (prospecting, writing a blog, doing marketing, having lunch with a client, answering the mail, etc,), brainstorm and make a list of those things.

Second, take the first two or three and do your best to systematize them. Will you get frustrated at first? If you are like me, you will. But, plow forward. Start with the top three things that have to get done.

Third, determine the desired outcome. What is “success?” What does it look like? What are the key milestones? If you can’t close a sale, what is the next step? Do you make another presentation? Do you refer to someone else? What?

Fourth, produce a step-by-step guide. Once you have defined your objectives, put them on paper. I make crude drawings but my son builds flow charts – which I understand are easy to do. There are some good flow charting software programs available today. Check them out.

However you choose to do it, simply show a directional flow of progress. If “A” happens, it takes you to “B.” What happens when “B” is completed? You go to “C.” If “C” is a fork in the road (yes, or no), you go to “D” or “E.” And so forth.

As soon as you can, begin creating your systems so that you can hand off the mundane to someone else so you can do those things that create cash.

Bottom line: The systems you employ will make your work load lighter and help insure your financial success.

There you have it. What are you waiting for?

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