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We often do everything ourselves when we start a new business, from the paperwork to the marketing, but you will soon need some business systems
Like all other business owners, you will quickly get to a point where you need to hand some of the responsibility over to someone else. You might look for some administrative support or a bookkeeper, for example. 
What are business systems? 
You will have a whole range of processes for the day-to-day running of your business. You might think some of them are ‘just the way I do it’, but they are systems you can use to help your business grow. 
The systems themselves won’t create growth but, without robust systems in place, you will quickly get bogged down with things that only you know how to do. Eventually you won’t have time to support the growth of your business. 
When systems don’t work 
Many business owners think they have working systems in place but, in reality, they aren't effective. The systems might be faulty, or it could be that they aren’t being used in the right way. You will recognise the symptoms of failing systems when members of staff aren’t communicating, when problems escalate without resolutions and, worst of all, when customers start to go elsewhere. 
Whatever journey your business is on, it is often valuable to look at the systems first. 
Food for thought… 
Michael E Gerber highlights the challenges faced by business owners in his books, including ‘The E-Myth Revisited’. If you haven’t encountered them yet his books are excellent to read and will give you confidence. They touch on the most common issues faced by entrepreneurs so you will know you’re not the only one dealing with them. 
Amongst the characteristics of profitable businesses, you will find that the founders have freed themselves from their business. They have done this by systemising each part of the business and allocating responsibilities to other people. 
“This process of gradually delegating and systemising jobs that are currently carried out by owners is the path to maximising the value of a business.” 
How to systematise your business 
This is not something that you can do overnight, so don’t feel that you are falling behind if you haven’t already completed the process – or even started it. 
This process of systemising your whole business can take at least three years, but honestly is probably never finished. Finding the place to start is important, so look at these areas first: 
key systems – the processes your business needs to succeed 
objectives and responsibilities – how to organise your business so that everyone clearly knows what they should do 
total quality management (TQM) – make sure your quality processes are under control and focussed on the right things to deliver excellence 
employee management – focus on getting the best out of your team 
put it in writing – make sure all your systems and procedures are properly documented and reviewed 
monitor and improve – there’s always room for improvement so it’s important to regularly measure and review your systems. 
Maximising value 
When you take these steps, you will achieve four things. You will: 
start the process of standardising the way your business works so that it can run without you 
create a management plan with targeted results 
clearly define employee roles in your organisation 
plan for the future with clear objectives in mind 
The hardest thing… 
I understand that your business is important to you. One of the hardest things for every business owner is handing over control to others. 
Don’t think of it as losing control; you are empowering others and creating freedom for yourself. Please get in touch if you would like to know more. 
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